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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 03/26/15

Guests: Michael Goldfarb, Floyd Dent, Gregory Rohl, Ayman Mohyeldin, DaveBerardi, Matt Rousse

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He`s knocking, he`s asking to be let in. Zero response from the copilot. HAYES: The Germanwings crash becomes criminal. Mass murder now suspected as cockpit audio suggests the co-pilot deliberately crashed into the Alps. We`ll have the latest on the stunning developments from France. Then, mapping out the Middle East after Saudi Arabia begins dropping bombs on Yemen. Plus, shades of Rodney King. A police beating caught on dash cam in suburban Detroit. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t do anything. HAYES: The man in that video joins me tonight. And it is a bathroom fad causing headaches for sewer systems across America. (on camera): And you can see, those are all wipes, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wipes just get everywhere. (voice-over): An ALL IN investigation into America`s newfound love affair with moist personal wipes. (on camera): Disgusting! That is so disgusting! (voice-over): ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. A stunning development today in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525. The co-pilot`s intention was, apparently, to, quote, "destroy the aircraft." That the assertion of the chief French prosecutor overseeing the criminal investigation of the crash, Bryce Robin, who described often in great detail what he says happened in the final 30 minutes of the flight, based on the audio from the plane`s cockpit voice recorder and the transcript of that audio. Quoting "The New York Times`" translation of today`s press conference, "During the first 20 minutes, the pilots talked normally," Mr. Robin said, saying they spoke in a cheerful and courteous way. "There is nothing abnormal happening," he said. The pilot, whose name has not yet been released, was preparing a standard landing plan for Dusseldorf and the pilot asked the co-pilot to take over and sounds indicate that the pilot left the cabin and the cockpit door closed. "At this stage," quoting again, "the co-pilot is in control alone," the prosecutor said. "It is when he is alone that the co-pilot manipulates the flight monitoring system to activate the descent of the plane." The prosecutor said, "This action could only have been voluntary." And then later, "The captain is heard pleading to get back into the cockpit, but the co-pilot, heard breathing normally until the plane crashes, does not react. You can hear the commanding pilot ask for access to the cockpit several times," the prosecutor says. "He identifies himself, but the co-pilot does not provide any answer." It should be noted that the Airbus 320 mechanism for the cockpit door allowed someone inside the cockpit to lock the door in such a way that the normal procedure for getting in from outside the cockpit is disabled for five minutes, as depicted in the Airbus training video. The video also shows an emergency procedure for gaining access to the cockpit if the pilot is incapacitated. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NARRATOR: The captain moves the toggle switch to the lock position. The open light remains extinguished. Now if we look at the code pad, the red light is lit, confirming the door is locked. Be careful, automatic door opening, the code pad, and the buzzer are inhibited for five minutes. Obtaining no response, she decides to use the emergency access procedure. On the code pad, she enters the emergency code, then presses the hash key. This triggers the timer for 30 seconds. The green light on the code pad flashes, indicating imminent unlocking. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Just before the crash, passengers could be heard screaming, according to the French prosecutor. As noted by Lufthansa`s chief executive Carsten Spohr, quote, "When one person is responsible for 150 lives, it is more than suicide." And of course, there is now heightened, intense scrutiny on the young co-pilot who apparently brought the plane down on purpose. His name, we learned today, is Andreas Lubitz and he had, according to Lufthansa, passed medical and psychological tests. Today, investigators searched his parent`s home for possible evidence. And joining me now, NBC News correspondent Claudio Lavanga. Claudio, what do we know about Mr. Lubitz? Is there any indication of any possible motive? CLAUDIO LAVANGA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is exactly the problem, Chris. There is just none. This is a man that we understand, especially from local reports, from a small town in Germany, that he had a childhood dream and that was to fly. Since he was in elementary school, he said that that`s what he wanted to do. He worked hard to do it. He started training at Lufthansa in 2008. He started as a flight attendant and he just worked his way up to becoming what he just wanted to become, a pilot. He just finally realized his dream about a year and a half ago, when Germanwings, the budget airline from Lufthansa, gave him a job as a co-pilot. He`s clocked 630 hours of flying. This just sounds like someone who`s realized his dream. So there`s no indication on why, at least on the professional level, why he would do something like that. On the personal level, as you said, he did pass all the psychological tests. The person, the neighbors that were interviewed today from local papers said he was a nice boy, and I`m just quoting a local newspaper there. They kept saying that this was his dream job. We do have a bit of a record there that may explain he had some dark side, if you may call it like that. About six years ago, he took six months off his training because of a burnout syndrome. Some kind of depression, but the authorities say that they may not build any link between that, which was six years ago, and what he did on Tuesday. Of course, they`re not leaving any stone unturned. They are looking at his history, his background, they are interviewing the pilots that worked with him in the last weeks and months, to see whether they have any indications of any strange anomalies, any strange behavior, something he might have told them that may just explain why he did that. HAYES: NBC News correspondent, Claudio Lavanga, thank you, Claudio. All right. Joining me now, Michael Goldfarb. He`s former FAA chief of staff. And, Michael, there`s so much to get to here. MICHAEL GOLDFARB, FORMER FAA CHIEF OF STAFF: Yes, where to start. Right. HAYES: So, maybe let`s -- before we get to the possible motivation for this, or precedent for this, let`s just talk for a second about the cockpit door and protocol there. I mean, obviously, one of the big safety concerns after 9/11 was the impregnability of the cockpit. And we did see a real design shift and protocol shift, not just in the U.S. and around the world, right, around making that cockpit as much as a fortress as possible. GOLDFARB: Well, you know, in the United States, certainly, but some places around the world, not quite as much. But the thinking, as you said, after 9/11 was, we need to protect the cockpit from the cabin. This turns that equation on its head. We may need to protect the cabin from the cockpit. That fundamentally changes the security threat. So, here we have a situation, and, you know, from what we know, the voice recorder obviously, clearly, he intentionally did this. And then we had data streaming that led us to understand exactly what he did. I mean, he was a smart opportunist in that sense. Right after cruising altitude, he probably either knew the captain would go to the restroom or it`s pretty much standard practice. He took advantage of that. And the Airbus plane has a flight management system, so it overrides pilot action. That`s why that very unclear -- that very puzzling descent that most aviation experts couldn`t figure out. He took it down within the speed and within the speed, so the flight management system would not override it, and he programmed to it 100 feet, because the flight management system will not allow the Airbus 320 to go under that. So, I mean, this was methodical. And had he not -- had the captain not left, he may have chosen another flight at a later date. HAYES: So, here`s another question about this. And maybe this is a dumb question, but I`ll ask anyway. I`m a little unclear how based on the streaming data plus the vocal recordings, they can be sure who is the pilot and who is the co-pilot in this scenario. GOLDFARB: Well, they probably know the voices of the two. So, you know -- they`re pretty -- I mean, this was a stunning announcement. I mean, to come out three days after -- HAYES: Yes! GOLDFARB: -- "The New York Times" report, I mean, normally these speculative reports really do damage to investigations, because investigators have to chase each new lead. To have the German authorities come out and say, we know that he brought the plane down, I mean, that`s -- they know that. They know the voice profile. So, that`s not as surprising. But I`ll tell you, I`m not sure going forward what we do to fix this. You know, there`s the cosmetic. You know, the whole notion of two people in the cockpit at any and all times, right? So, if one leaves, you have a flight attendant that comes in. That was primarily for medical reasons, if someone had a heart attack. That`s why that was put in there. So, now, we have airlines saying, tomorrow morning, we`re going to do that. You know, that`s not really sufficient. And, Chris, here`s why things don`t change after the horrific year -- I mean, people are scared. I mean, statistics show otherwise, but they`re on the edge of their seat. But the regulators use those statistics and here`s what they are: 1 in 25 million chances of being killed in a plane crash. That means if you got in a plane every day for 365 years a day, it would be 63,000 years before you would be involved. So, when they look at that, when the regulators, FAA or otherwise -- they say, you know, we can`t put in major changes to how we do business, because these accidents are so rare. HAYES: Well, and one of the things, I think, to look for as this investigation plays out is that in previous incidents in which there`s heavy suspicion that, indeed, it was a pilot murder/suicide, there`s always a certain degree to which it`s very hard to definitively ascertain why they did it. GOLDFARB: Yes. HAYES: So, we may not have -- it feels like there should be some satisfying diary entry somewhere, where we learn, but we may not. GOLDFARB: And EgyptAir, there was a pilot suicide, and the Egyptians still disagree with the NTSB and the State Department on the nature of that crash. HAYES: Michael Goldfarb, thank you. Always very informative. Really appreciate it. GOLDFARB: Thanks. You`re welcome. HAYES: A police dash cam captures a very ugly scene in Michigan, as white police officers pull a black man from his vehicle and beat him bloody. I`ll talk to the man you see there on the ground, being beaten, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: In February, longtime North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith passed away at the age of 83. But the love he had for his players lives on. Coach Smith, through his trust, left $200 to every letterman, that is players who played a certain amount of games, during his time as head coach of the school. The example that made its way around the Internet today was a letter addressed to former Carolina player, Dante Calabria. It reads in part, quote, "Enjoy a dinner out compliments of coach Dean Smith. Enclosed is a check in the amount of $200." The trustee tells that the checks were sent out on Monday to about 180 lettermen. Many of Dean Smith`s players went on to have successful NBA careers, including that guy, the man widely considered to be the greatest basketball player, if not greatest athlete of all time. In his 36 seasons as head coach, Dean Smith won 879 games, had 11 final four appearances, and two national championships. But one of the things I`ll always remember about Coach Smith is something he once told writer John Feinstein about helping to de-segregate restaurants in North Carolina in the late `50s. "You should never be proud of doing the right thing. You should just do the right thing." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Protesters tonight are vowing to shut down the Detroit suburb of Inkster after dash cam video emerges showing an African-American man severely beaten by white police officers after a traffic stop. Fifty-seven-year-old retired auto worker Floyd Dent who worked for Ford for 37 years and who has no criminal history was driving in Inkster in January when he was pulled over by police for a traffic violation, as seen on this police dash cam video. A warning: what your about to see is very disturbing. As police approach Dent`s car, Dent opens the door, prompting an officer to raise his weapon. After a brief exchange, during which officers claim Dent appeared to be reaching for something in the vehicle and said to them, quote, "I`ll kill you", another officer pulls the retired auto worker out of the vehicle and pushes him to the ground. The first officer then puts Dent in a choke hold, and then starts to punch him, repeatedly, in the head, as the second officer struggles to put Dent in handcuffs. In the video, you can see Dent being punched in the head 16 times. A few minutes -- moments later, more officers arrive on the scene, including one who tases Dent in his thigh and stomach, as he is lying on the ground. A police report indicates that Dent was also kicked at least twice during his arrest. Dent says he spent three days in the hospital, with injuries that included broken ribs, an orbital fracture and blood on his brain. Police claimed in their report that Dent was, quote, "very hostile" to officers on the scene. They said they found crack cocaine beneath the passenger seat of Dent`s car. Police charged Dent with assault, resisting arrest, and possession of cocaine. Dent says the drugs were planted. He says the hospital blood test showed no drugs in his system, no weapons were found in his possession, police had no audio record of his alleged threat to kill them, and although the officer who put Dent in a choke hold and punched him repeatedly says Dent bit him, that officer, William Melendez, indicated on the police report that he was not injured and has no official record of having been bitten. Melendez has been accused of impropriety in the past. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Officer Melendez, the one seen throwing the punches, is the same officer while working as a Detroit police officer in 2003, was charged by the U.S. attorney`s office with planting evidence and falsifying reports. A jury found Officer Melendez not guilty. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: After seeing the video, a judge threw out most of the charges against Dent, though he still faces the drug charge. Yesterday, protesters in Inkster, which is 73 percent African-American, rallied at the Inkster police department and called for the officers involved to be fired. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. CHARLES WILLIAMS II, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK MICHIGAN: This is blatant police brutality. Towns like Inkster, all over this nation, are faced with the same problem. Inkster is no different than Ferguson or Sanford or any of these other small towns, where police are using an excessive uses of force. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: At a press conference today, city leaders urged patience. The Inkster police have opened an investigation in the incident and the Michigan state police are investigating as well. One officer has been placed on desk duty. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VICKI YOST, INKSTER POLICE CHIEF: We`re not afraid of following the facts and we`ll take appropriate action. But this -- it needs to be independent, it needs to be thorough, and it needs to be impartial. I don`t want to rush to any conclusions. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now is Floyd Dent with his attorney, Gregory Rohl. Mr. Dent, maybe I`ll start by asking you, just what was happening right before you got pulled over and did you have any sense of what was coming when you pulled your car over? FLOYD DENT: I was visiting a friend before I got pulled over. HAYES: And the police tailed you and after a traffic -- after a stop sign, and you pulled over, they say that you were hostile, that you seemed -- that you said, "I`m going to kill you." Did that happen? DENT: No, that`s not true. HAYES: What was going through your mind as you are on the ground, being punched, repeatedly, by officers? What are they saying to you at that point? DENT: They wasn`t say -- all they was doing was punching me, telling me to resist. I told them to stop choking me, I can`t breathe. He just kept on choking me. HAYES: You said, "I can`t breathe"? DENT: Right, I told him -- stop choking me, I can`t breathe, you know? And he continued are choking me. You know? And after about 15 seconds, I just gave up, you know? Because I couldn`t -- I was on my last breath. You know? And that`s when he let go. HAYES: Do you remember being tased? DENT: Yes, I remember being tased. I heard somebody in the background saying, "Tase the MF." HAYES: Mr. Rohl, let me ask this question to you. There is -- I want to play some tape of a local affiliate that has an angle of the video that they say suggests the possibility of an officer planting the drugs in question, which is the contention that you have for your client. Take a look at this footage for a moment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: In the video, the officer seen throwing the punches, William Melendez, is seen pulling something from his pocket that looks like a plastic baggy with something inside it. Melendez testified in court, police found a baggy of crack cocaine under the passenger seat. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Mr. Rohl, is it you and your client`s contention that the police planted the crack cocaine they say they found in the car? GREGORY ROHL, ATTORNEY FOR FLOYD DENT: Chris, it`s pretty obvious, if you look at the entirety of the tape, first of all, the officer who beat my client, known as "Robocop", did the initial inspection of the vehicle, you can see him on tape go through the passenger compartment, where allegedly the cocaine was found, and come out with his hands clear and clean of anything. And then he goes to the back of the car, when the state troopers leave the scene, there`s another officer who stepped in the middle of the camera, and then you can see "Robocop" reach into his pocket, and sure enough, start pulling some plastic bag out, the officer then steps in the camera again, and all of a sudden, whoopty-doo, it`s right in front of him and he starts field testing in it. I guarantee you my client`s fingerprints are nowhere on there. We`re submitting him for a polygraph on it to confirm it. And if it wasn`t for the history of this officer having done it in the past, and thank God for that, we would be going for trial. Honestly, my client was offered a plea. HAYES: Yes, he was offered a plea on the drug charge, which you have declined. ROHL: Yes, a plea of probation. He could have taken it and nothing would have happened. And he said, quite honestly, an innocent man does not plead guilty. Good for him. HAYES: Just two clarifications, when you say "Robocop", that was a nickname for Officer Melendez in question. ROHL: He calls himself that. HAYES: He called himself that, right. And also, I should say, he was acquitted, right? He was tried and acquitted of planting evidence. He was formally accused -- ROHL: Hold on, he was acquitted of a criminal charge, Chris, but he also has nine violations of civil rights, which they paid millions of dollars in the city of Detroit based upon his prior actions. HAYES: Floyd Dent and his attorney -- ROHL: Quite honestly -- HAYES: Please continue. ROHL: I`m sorry? HAYES: Finish. ROHL: Quite honestly, this man took the oath during our examination and proudly indicated that he racially profiled my client, saw him as a black man, driving a Cadillac, in a high-crime area of Inkster, and that served as a proper basis for a pullover. It had nothing to do with the stop sign. His testimony was very clear, he was proud of it, and said, I was going to pull him over, no matter what. HAYES: Mr. Dent, finally, I just want to get your sense of what you want to see happen next. DENT: Well, I would like to see the officer fired for what he done, because he had done a terrible job. You know, he beat me, you know? And, you know, I just can`t -- I`m just lost for words right now. ROHL: We want accountability is what we want. That`s all we want. We want the system to work. HAYES: Thank you, Mr. Dent and Mr. Rohl. Really appreciate it. Thank you very much. DENT: Thank you. HAYES: All right, there`s a story out of Georgia you probably haven`t heard, but you probably would have heard if the man behind it was Muslim. I`ll explain, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: On November 4th, the FBI Explosive Unit was called to Vickery Creek Park in Roswell, Georgia, to investigate a suspicious package. And unlike other calls, this one was not a false alarm. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: A mother and daughter hiking along Vickery Creek Trail spotted a backpack a few feet off the beaten path and called 911. Roswell police contacted Cobb County`s bomb squad and the FBI, once they took a closer look at the backpack, which the FBI described as filled with bomb components, including pipes. It had all the makings of an IED, an improvised explosive device. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The backpack wasn`t just filled with the makings of two bombs. Federal authorities found a Koran, a book titled "The Rape of Kuwait," a t- shirt, and location of Jewish centers in the area among other things. But last week, the FBI found their man. And it wasn`t a member of al Qaeda or an ISIS cell that had come to Georgia, as one might think examining the contents of the backpack. No, agents arrested 67-year-old Georgia resident Michael Sibley after they say he confessed to leaving the homemade bombs. He told authorities he put the other items, including the Koran in the backpack as well, and he purchased the t-shirt from a garage sale and wrote a name, Mina Khodari in the backpack, because it looked foreign. He said he put the Marcus Jewish community center location and Falcon schedule on the backpack because he knew law enforcement would consider them soft targets. Sibley went on to tell the FBI that he`s a patriot and he felt no one was pay attention to what was going on in the world. And if he placed the package in the Roswell park and people would finally get that this type of activity could happen anywhere. In other words, it appears, this man wanted to create the impression of Islamic terrorism where there was actually none, so that people would understand just how ubiquitous Islamic terrorism is, because some people need demons to be afraid of, even if they`re imaginary. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Saudi Arabia announced yesterday they are bombing Yemen, their neighbor down here, along with a coalition of other Gulf states. They`re doing it as the country falls into a very, very scary civil war. American personnel have been evacuated, NGOs are even leaving. I wanted to bring in Ayman Mohyeldin who knows as much about the region as anyone I know, to explain what is going on, because the region is so engulfed right now in war, chaos, and strife, it can be extremely confusing. So Ayman, it`s great to have you here. AYMAN MOHYELDIN, JOURNALIST: Great to be here. HAYES: Obviously under sort of terrible circumstances. So here`s Yemen. And I find maps really useful, because you can really sort of lose sight of where`s where, right? Let`s start with Yemen. Yemen is a very poor country and up until around 2011, what was the relationship between Barack Obama, U.S. White House and the Yemeni government? MOHYELDIN: Well, with all U.S. administrations, really, not just Barack Obama, Yemen was a cornerstone of counterterrorism operations. They were under the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was by all measures, an authoritarian ruler, an individual who was a strongman in his country, and was a very close ally to the United States, sharing intelligence and pretty much allowing the U.S. to carry out whatever counterterrorism operations they did, including controversial drone strikes. HAYES: Right. So, AQAP, which is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is operating out of Yemen. al Awlawki, the American cleric who went and was killed by a drone strike, the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber trained in Yemen. MOHYELDIN: That is a side of Yemen that people obviously sometimes focus on, that they definitely had a very robust terrorism hub, if you will for drawing some of these extremists terrorists from around the world. HAYES: So you`ve got this sort of classic deal with the devil. The U.S. says to Sale, we`ll look the other way while you put journalists in jail and you repress people, just help us coordinate on counterterrorism. Then the Arab Spring happens. What happens to Saleh? MOHYELDIN: Well, at that point, he`s ousted from power. He tried to hold on to power, but then ultimately was forced from power and we saw the country begin to fracture, along all kinds of different lines. There was a process that was put in place that brought into power the vice president. He was supposed to bring in reforms. But Yemen does have a part of the population that are Shias. And they wanted a bigger say in the affairs of that country. They wanted to have a political and economic part of the pie, so to speak. They weren`t getting it as much as they wanted to. And that led to a military insurgency, a rebellion, that brought to the scene, to the forefront of that, the Houthi rebels. They had been around for a while, but really have 2011, gained a lot of momentum on the ground. HAYES: So into the sort of vortex of power, you have the Houthis who are Shia, Sunni and Shia, are the sort of two dominant strains of Islam. The Houthi Shia rebels basically say we do not want to be shut out of government anymore, right. They start to take more and more territory. We now have a situation in which they have managed to essentially chase the Sunni president from Yemen. He landed today in Saudi Arabia. In this context, why is Saudi Arabia going into Yemen? MOHYELDIN: Well, first of all, look at where Yemen is. I mean, strategically, it`s important. This right here, this little passageway that leads to the Suez Canal is where so much of the world`s oil supply flows from. That`s very strategically important for Saudi Arabia. But more importantly, as we were talking, there is a certain part of Yemen that is Shia. And Saudi Arabia is staunchly Sunni. It has very much concern about Iranian influence growing in the region. Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels if not materialistically, at least morally and from a political point of view, diplomatically, at least. So Saudi Arabia wanted to make sure that doesn`t happen. So they are trying to make sure that the entire country does not fall to the Houthi rebels and protect their president. HAYES: So we`ve got just the broader context here and the thing that everyone is talking about today when they talk about proxy wars. You have the Sunni state of Saudi Arabia, which is the sort of pillar of Sunni power in the region, you have the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is the pillar of shia power. And in three different countries now in Syria, in Iraq and in Yemen you have open violent warfare between Sunni and Shia factions in which Iran is essetnially allegedly backing the Shia factions and which now Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations are backing the Sunnis factions. MOHYELDIN: Yeah, and one of the greatest ironies of what is going on right now, the United States is involved in trying to defeat ISIS in Iraq. HAYES: The Sunnis. MOHYELDIN: Yeah, the Sunnis. They are using Iranian-backed Shia militias on the ground as well as the Iraqi army. HAYES: So they`re bombing on the side of Iran in Iraq. MOHYELDIN: Yes. HAYES: And then down in Yemen, they are bombing against the Iranian- backed Houthis. MOHYELDIN: Exactly. HAYES: This is just a massively complicated and extremely violent and somewhat bleak situation. Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you very much. MOHYELDIN: my pleasure, chris. HAYES: Back in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Did you feel justice was served when General McGinnis got sentenced to 40 years? MEGAN HENNESSEY, HOUSE OF CARDS: Yes, as far as his crimes go, but not for thousands of service -- HAYES: I`m sorry to interrupt. My producer is telling me that Jacqueline Sharp has called in, the house majority whip. Congresswoman, are you there? JACQUELINE SHARP, HOUSE OF CARDS: Yes, I`m here, Chris, and thank you for taking my call. HAYES: Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That was a clip from my favorite episode of season 2 of House of Cards. All thirteen of season three are streaming now on Netflix. To be honest, I haven`t watched any of them yet, because I have a tendency not to watch things I`m not in, but that will not stop us from having the creator of House of Cards back on the show tomorrow. We will talk to Beau Willimon about a number of things, like what`s up with Doug Stamper, did that guy die or what, and what`s more problematic for Frank Underwood, his presidency or his marriage. But mostly, we`ll talk about what roles there are for me in season four. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The fight over Arctic drilling is heating up in Seattle, and if that sentence doesn`t quite scan for you, let me explain. As we first reported last week, commissioners from the Port of Seattle, with little notice to the public, agreed in February to a the two- year $13 million deal that paves the way for Royal Dutch Shell to use the port as its base for Arctic drilling, which would take place thousands of miles away off the coast of Alaska. Although there would be no drilling in Seattle, Shell would keep and service its rigs and equipment in the port. Now, this is a big deal, and not just because it creates environmental risks for Seattle itself. As outraged Seattle environmentalists have pointed out, the deal means their city is poised to play a central role in Shell kick-starting its Arctic oil drilling efforts, which, after a series of setbacks, have been suspended since 2012, despite the company reportedly having spent more than $4 billion on the endeavor. At the behest of Seattle Mayor, Ed Murray, and the City Council, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development is now reviewing the legitimacy of the deal. And environmental groups have sued the port to block it. But for now, the deal is moving forward. On Tuesday, port commissioners upheld their decision to let the Arctic drilling rigs dock at the port. In an audio leaked to the Seattle newspaper, The Stranger, over the weekend, port commissioner Bill Bryant dismissed components of the deal and laughed about The Stranger awarding him five dead polar bears for supporting him. BILL BRYANT: We`re going to move forward and we`re going to have Shell there. The first drilling rig will arrive in early April and we`ve been threatened with a flotilla of kayaks to block it. So, we`ll see what happens. HAYES: On Monday, The Seattle Times newspaper editorialized in favor of the port deal, writing that blocking those rigs at terminal 5 wouldn`t stop Arctic drilling, nor alter the course of climate change. And arguing that if the deal is killed, Shell will simply move to another port. And, if that argument sounds familiar, it`s because it is. The people who want Shell in Seattle, that want Arctic drilling, heck, the ones who want to see the Keystone pipeline built, they always say, don`t fight this battle because it`s inevitable, it`s going to happen anyway. But, the very fact this battle is being fought means it`s not inevitable. As Seattle council member Mike O`Brien pointed out on this show last week, it is not at all clear that Shell has another good option as a base of operations for Arctic drilling. And, if it really doesn`t matter if Shell or its allies get their way, believe me, they would not be fighting so hard to win. (BEGIN COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOWARD STERN, THE HOWARD STERN SHOW: You don`t carry baby wipes? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. STERN: I do. Man, I carry them in my man purse. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then it becomes -- STERN: You`ve got a man purse? Get the baby wipes. The only thing embarrassing with baby wipes is -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re baby wipes. STERN: They`re baby wipes, and everyone knows why you`re using them. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Howard Stern has been on the baby wipe bandwagon for years, baby wipes for his own personal use, even though he`s not a baby. Specifically, for his own personal use in the bathroom. He`s not the only celebrity who likes the wipes. Back in 2007, here`s what actor Terrence Howard said was a deal breaker for him in the romance department. Quote, "Toilet paper and no baby wipes in her bathroom... If they`re using dry paper, they aren`t washing all of themselves, it`s just unclean. So if I go inside a woman`s house and see the toilet paper there, I`ll explain this. And if she doesn`t make the judgment to baby wipes, I`ll know she`s not completely clean." The market for mature baby wipes has seen huge growth recently. A baby wipe boom boom. The popularity of the so-called flushable wipes is having some serious repercussions down the drain. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: For generations, parents have used baby wipes to, well, wipe their babies. But there`s a new growth market. Baby wipes for adults. (MUSIC) It`s big business. Sales of personal wipes have doubled worldwide since 2003. In North America, sales have tripled. In 2013, nearly 20 billion wipes were sold and 9 billion of them were in the moist toilet tissue category. Many of those are marketed as flushable. And they are. Pull the lever and it disappears. But it does go somewhere. Every bit of water, when it goes somewhere, it comes here. MATT BERARDI, SEWAGE TREATMENT CENTER: That`s right. HAYES: In New York City, where toilets are flushed 10 million times every single day, whatever you send down the toilet ends up here, at one of the city`s 14 waste water treatment plants. We visited the largest in North Brooklyn. This one facility deals with hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage produced by over 1 million New Yorkers every day. BERARDI: So we are at the influent chamber for the New Town Creek waste treatment plant. This is where the raw sewage from Brooklyn comes in and this is the first step in the treatment process. HAYES: So the raw sewage comes in here, right? And then its first step is -- what is this? BERARDI: So, this is the far screens. It`s a mechanism to just physically remove debris that`s in sewage. So, you`ll see in here a paper bag, a candy wrapper, a rubber ball. And that`s what we generally removed for years and years and years through this process. But, over the last few years, we`ve been just seeing more and more baby wipes, to the point now where the vast majority of what gets removed here are wipes. HAYES: The amount of debris that workers sift out of New York sewage has doubled in just the last six years, which the city says seems to correspond with the boom in flushable wipes. You can see here, look at this, this is the machine. Now, the rake is stopping stuff here. The machine comes, it grabs the stuff that has been physically stopped, and you can see -- that`s -- those are all wipes, right? BERARDI: Wipes just get everywhere. HAYES: Disgusting! That is so disgusting! BERARDI: Many wipes get caught on the bars, but a lot of wipes actually make it through, and then gum up the equipment in our plants, they get stuck in gears, they get stuck in pump impellers. New York City says it has spent more than $18 million on wipe-related equipment issues just over the last five years. And every year, the city fills up over twenty five hundred dumpsters full of debris, which ends up in landfills. issues. The bulk of that debris right now, this stuff. This is gross. BERARDI: This is what got pulled out of sewage, and its just sitting there, its not moving at all -- HAYES: And you can see its almost got this weird, almost like, braiding to it. BERARDI: That`s right, they do, among other things, knot up and it makes them all the more difficult to rake and remove. Its just -- they just get into these big knots. HAYES: Why is this more problematic for your system, the sewage system, here and across the country than just toilet paper. BERARDI: Toilet paper, you got to remember, it`s tree pulp, it`s organic, it`s dissolved, it just falls apart. It gets absorbed in the treatment process. We have a digestive system that breaks down organics. These wet wipes are synthetic. They`re plastic based. And so, they don`t break down in the treatment process. We have to physically remove them, and, you know, that`s an extra cost that we didn`t anticipate years ago. HAYES: But, a lot of them are being advertised as flushable, right? MATT BERARDI, SEWAGE TREATMENT CENTER: And, you know, they are flushable to the extent they`ll go down the your toilet, but they end up somewhere, and that`s here. HAYES: Right, they`re flushable but they don`t breakdownable. BERARDI: You can flush a golf ball but it`ll end up here. HAYES: The wipe industry has guidelines for what is flushable and what is not. They blame what`s happening in the pipes and sewage systems of America on consumers flushing the non flushable wipes. But for the people who work here, whatever the wipe had on the label, its where it ends up that`s the problem. In the four-and-a-half years you have been here, have you seen an increase in it? MATT BERARDI, SEWAGE TREATMENT CENTER: Definitely more baby wipes. HAYES: Just one of the rakes in this one facility fills up every half hour. All of those wipes have to be removed by hand. Alright, so, show me how you do this here. I don`t know if the camera is capturing this, but there is [ bleep ] in there, okay? BERADI: Believe me, some days we get a lot worse than that. HAYES: Do you see this, baby wipe consumers of America? Do you see what you`re doing to Matt here? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Dave Rousse, President of INDA, the association of non woven fabrics industry, a trade association which represents wipe manufacturers among other users of nonwoven fabrics. Mr. Rousse, how did we get here, to this point, which nine billion individual wipes for personal care or as alternatives to toilet paper are be being sold in the U.S. DAVE ROUSSE, PRESIDENT OF INDA: The flushable wipes category is actually a relatively new category that has grown quite nicely in the last few years, but overall, wipes have developed as a solution to many problems beyond personal care. And -- to hard surface disinfecting, to skin care, disinfecting, personal care. HAYES: Sure, but let`s talk about the flushable wipes. What`s fascinating to me, here, is you`ve got this -- you`ve got a product that didn`t exist before, now exists, is growing very rapidly. And, has really changed consumer behavior. My question is it chicken or egg question. Here`s some group of people that said, you know what? Those baby wipes, I bet you we can get adults to use those too. Or, did people start using it and you guys caught on and the industry started catering to that need? ROUSSE: More the later than the former. There were attempts to market moist toilet tissue as toilet tissue that did not work, but there was never the less a need out there among consumers to supplement toilet paper with some moist apparatus to complete the function, and they were gravitating toward baby wipes. So, baby wipes were never designed for that purpose. They`re designed to be rolled up in a disposable diaper and thrown in a trash can. Not to be flushed. So, the wipes manufacturers went about engineering a substrate that does behave properly in a sewage system and marketed as a flushable wipe. HAYES: Okay, so this is key. What I`m hearing from you, and you sound slightly uncomfortable with the whole thing, although this persumably, this is your job, this is what you guys are selling so there`s the -- you know, we`re all adults here. You basically found customers were on the sly using baby wipes and then designers inside these companies thought, well, we have to actually create a product that`s for adults, went about trying to engineer products that could be flushed, hence the creation of these flushable wipes marketed to adults. ROUSSE: That`s a simplified version but, basically accurate. HAYES: Okay, so then, here`s the question. The big question is, are the flushable wipes actually flushable. And, they are flushable. They go down the toilet. But do they actually break down the way toilet paper does. I want to show you this little clip from Consumer Reports that did a test on a few of them back in 2013. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here`s how easily regular toilet paper breaks down in Consumer Reports test. Here`s the same test with a flushable wipe. Testers gave up after 10 minutes. Then they tried to break the wipes down in a mixer. Another ten minutes in the mixer, and the wipes still didn`t break down. Our advice? Don`t flush flushable wipes. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: So, that what we`re hearing from municipal sewer departments across the country, its what I heard from the deputy commissioner at the New York City Department of Sanitation. What`s your response? ROUSSE: Well, I`m aware of that particular consumer products video. We don`t know what wipe they were using and certainly cannot validate their testing methods. But here is the real issue, Chris. The problem that the sewage treatment districts are having around the country are not caused by the wipes that are designed to be flushed, marketed to be flushed, and pass the industry guidelines that determine flushability. Those wipes are not causing the problem. And, those wipes represent less than 10% of the wipes sold. HAYES: But, how do you know that? How can you say that definitively? How do you know that? ROUSSE: Because, we have developed a set of flushability assessment guidelines, scientifically, which measure seven different properties of fabrics that are designed to disintegrate as they pass through the waste water treatment system. The test that consumer products showed you is just one of seven. Wipes that are designed to be flushable have to pass all seven. If they fail one, then they`re not considered to be flushable. HAYES: So you`re confident that the stuff that`s being sold as flushable, that`s not the problem. The problem is on user error. Basically, there`s lots of people out there flushing wipes that are not marketed or designed to be flushed. ROUSSE: That`s essentially true. That`s essentially true. The wipes that are flushable, that pass the industry guidelines, we can vouch for as not causing damage to sewer systems. But, that`s a small percentage. The majority of the wipes being flushed and causing a burden, and we acknowledge this, were never designed to be flushed, were never marketed to be flushed, but are flushed anyway because of the way they`re used, or where they`re used. If they`re used in a bathroom setting, they are often times disposed of in a toilet when they shouldn`t be. We`re doing something about that, Chris. HAYES: Yeah, well, you`re partnering with some municipalities to tackle this problem. We might see, I guess, an education campaign for people. Don`t be flushing your wipes down the toilet if they`re not flushable. ROUSSE: Yes. We`re partnering with four of the largest water and waste water associations in the both North America and Canada. And we have a collaborative process going on that`s gone on for about a year and it`s making great progress in defining and further defining flushability, the properties of flushability that they can agree to. But also going beyond that, and developing a code of practice with the proper labeling of all wipes if they`re flushable or not. And, if they`re not flushable, our do not flush sticker, or do not flush logo, a symbol to indicate to the consumer not to flush that product. HAYES: Never let it be said the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry is not proactive in tackling the problem. David Rousse, President of INDA, thank you so much for your time. ROUSSE: Thank you. HAYES: We performed an experiment in the office today because well, this segment wasn`t long enough. After the makers of Cotonelle flushable wipes, Kimberly Clark e-mailed us this morning to assure us their flushable products are indeed flushable. They asked us to see for ourselves by putting a wipe in a dish of water, letting it soak for one hour to simulate a residence time in a home drain line after flushing, and then removing the wipe. The wipes will literally fall apart when picked up. So, we did. And for good measure we put in toilet paper and a different brand of flushable wipes, Charmin, and finally Kimberly Clark`s Cotonelle flushables. Then, with cameras rolling for posterity, we left them alone as instructed for one full hour. When the time is up, the toilet paper did literally fall apart. The Charmin partially fell apart, but parts remained sturdy. Well, the Cottonelle fared much better, though it needed a little tearing to come apart. Bottom line, TP is still tops. That is All In for this evening. I made it through the whole time without laughing. 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 BE UPDATED. END