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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/9/2015

Guests: Steve King, Keith Ellison, Betsy Woodruff, Jerry Brown

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 9, 2015 Guest: Steve King, Keith Ellison, Betsy Woodruff, Jerry Brown (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is about safety. This has nothing to do with religion. HAYES: Roundly rejected by everyone from President Obama to Dick Cheney, we`ll look at just who is lining up with Donald Trump. Plus, Republican Congressman Steve King and Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison with their reaction to Donald Trump`s plan to ban Muslims from coming to America. And amazing new polling on where rank and file Republicans stand on Donald Trump`s bigotry. Plus, outrage over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia`s remarks about affirmative action. A stunning courtroom admission from the Planned Parenthood shooter. ROBERT DEAR, PLANNED PARENTHOOD SHOOTER: Kill the babies. That`s what planned parenthood does. HAYES: And why Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel nearly lost it on a day his city erupted in protest. MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: That has to come on an end. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Despite the bigoted nature of Donald Trump`s plan to keep Muslims -- all Muslims out of this country and almost universal condemnation of that plan by prominent Republican leaders, new polling out today suggests that what Trump wants to do may be perfectly acceptable to rank and file GOP voters. In a new FOX News poll of South Carolina Republicans, part of which was taken after Trump`s comments on Muslims, Trump support jumped from 30 percent just before he announced his plan to 38 percent afterwards. That is within the margin of error. In South Carolina overall, he holds a 20-point lead over his closest rivals. According to an online poll from Bloomberg Politics, 65 percent, nearly two-thirds of likely Republican primary voters, favor Trump`s proposal to ban Muslims. While 46 percent said it would have no impact on their decision whether or not to support them, 37 percent said it made them more likely to vote for Trump. While that poll may not be perfectly representative -- it was conducted online in just one day -- there`s plenty of other evidence Trump is in sync with the base, including a major survey released last month that found that 76 percent of Republicans think Islam is incompatible with the American way of life. While GOP elites say they`re shocked, shocked, by Trump`s religious bigotry, this is far from the first time Islamophobia has bubbled up in their party. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I believe Sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it. I think it is that straightforward and that real. REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: This is not an attack on Muslims. But the fact is the enemy right now is within the Muslim community. A small percentage but it`s there. BOBBY JINDAL (R), FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: This is a problem that Islam has. I called upon Muslim leaders to call out and denounce these murders, these terrorists. Decrying violence isn`t enough. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: If we think there is an undermining now, just wait if Sharia is adopted or utilized by justices in the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Today, the Clinton campaign posted a pretty clever online quiz that makes a similar point with the Republican presidential field. Who said it? Donald Trump or not Donald Trump? For example, quote, "I mean you can prove you are a Christian. You can`t prove it, then you err on the side of caution." That was not Donald Trump. It was this guy, who strongly denounced Trump`s proposed Muslim ban but supports a religious test for refugees. Given where the Republican base seems to be on this issue, it makes sense that Ted Cruz who`s been gaining on Trump in Iowa and is polling ahead of him in the latest Monmouth poll would be quite reluctant to criticize Trump`s plan saying simply it is not his policy. While Cruz hasn`t hesitated to take on some of the more establishment candidates, most notably Marco Rubio, this is what he said in an interview set to air tomorrow on MSNBC. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I get that the media wants us to play theater critics and critique every other proposal. What I`m focusing on are my own policy proposals. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: I`m joined now by Congressman Steve King, Republican from Iowa who has endorsed Ted Cruz for president. Congressman, I saw some comments you made earlier today in reaction to Donald Trump`s proposal to ban Muslims coming in to the U.S. you said you didn`t necessarily agree with it but you were glad it opened up space to be debated on the merits. Can you elaborate what you mean? REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Well, yes. Politically correct enforcement that`s out there in our society has tightened things down to the point where people just walk on eggshells and they are afraid to address things that are really on their mind. HAYES: Yes. KING: Donald Trump has opened this up wide. He`s made a very bold statement and he`s backed it back just a little bit when he said it is temporary. But now, that lets us all have an open conversation about what this might mean if Trump gets his way or how we might be able to adjust that and make American people safer. And I hope we are able to shift this debate over to the Middle East and change this debate to how we help the people in their home countries rather than believing we can be their relief valve for the poverty and the grief that`s in the world by bringing people here. HAYES: You talk about political correctness sort of tamping down. If someone were to say, we should not letting Jews into the country, and people had a reaction against that, would that be the same thing as that kind of toxic political correctness tamping down honest discussion? KING: Well, if Jews in the name of their religion were killing Americans, then I think that would be an appropriate comparison. But as far as I know, there`s only one religion that`s doing that, and it is a segment of the religion of Islam that`s doing that. So, I don`t -- (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Congressman, let me stop you right there. Congressman, there was a man named Robert Dear who in court said he was a warrior for the babies, whose ex-wife talked about his Christian beliefs motivating his desire to attack and murder three people, including a police officer, in Colorado. That man is a Christian. He`s an avowed Christian. He appears to have acted on those Christian beliefs to undertake that act of violence. KING: I don`t think that he`s following Jesus` teachings. HAYES: But who are you to say? He says he`s a Christian. KING: That`s what he says, all right. But that`s not Jesus` teachings. Jesus didn`t teach people to kill. HAYES: But you`re doing the exact same thing that every Muslim I`d seen on air do in the wake of what happened in San Bernardino. They say they weren`t following actual Islam. Islam does not preach hatred and violence and destruction, right? I mean, why is this any different? You understandably as a Christian, as someone of the faith, right, you look at what happened at Planned Parenthood, you said that`s not the faith that I believe in. Millions and billions -- KING: What Planned Parenthood is doing is not the faith that I believe in, but Jesus never ordered anyone to be killed and he never raised his hand to injure anyone specifically. But Mohammed did and there is a big difference in this. And so, they`re carrying on the traditions that are centuries old -- HAYES: Let me ask you this. KING: Yes? HAYES: Yes. Because what I hear from you is there is this difference in kind when we`re talking about Islam. And I was looking today, a piece in the "L.A. Times" about a paper called "The Menace" back in 1915, that was railing against Catholics and it said all sorts of things about them. They are essentially a fifth column. They are crypto fascists, that they said if we were compelled to live in this term with Romanists, that`s their term of Catholics, the Romanists will have to be taught their place in society. There were anti-Catholic lynch mobs that came up, huge movements. Was that bigotry or were they correct back then to look at Catholicism as fundamentally alien and threatening to the American way of life? KING: Well, it`s difficult to judge people from 100 years ago by today`s standards. But I go back into the early middle part of the 19th century also. The know-nothings were a Protestant movement, and they rejected Catholics and didn`t want Catholics brought into America. HAYES: Were they right? KING: No, they turned out to be wrong. Me being a Catholic sitting here you couldn`t get me to say they were right. HAYES: But, Congressman, that`s my point. KING: I would say this, here`s what`s happened. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Let me ask you this. Why are you so confident that they got that wrong, that we now look with the sort of benefit of hindsight, see say clearly that`s bigotry, Catholics weren`t infiltrating America to bring it down on orders from the Vatican. How can you be so confident that you are correct about the religion of Islam that it is really different in this insidious way and people 50 years from now, people aren`t going to back on what you are saying and put it that that same category? KING: Well, first, I would say that Catholics came in and competed with the Protestant work ethic. That is one thing. And they did assimilate into the broader society and a lot of them, especially Irish Catholic did their best to sound like they were English rather than Irish by dropping and the O and the apostrophe, it would be one of the things. They changed their names to blend in -- HAYES: Congressman, I can cite you chapter and verse of literature at the times saying Italians don`t speak our language, these folks coming from other places -- it sounds identical to what you are saying about Muslims now. It really does. KING: But you`re hearing the imams that are preaching in places like the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The imam preached there to the migrants go in to Western Europe, build your enclaves there, breed their women and do not associate or assimilate into the broader society. You might call that a peaceful invasion but that`s the nicest thing can you call it. They`re not assimilating and they`re not assimilating because Sharia law is incompatible with the Constitution of the United States. That`s an important principle that we need to have a debate about. HAYES: Last question here. You -- I`m going to have Congressman Ellison on a moment. You said that he would not renounce Sharia law. What do you mean by that? KING: When Congressman Ellison takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and also -- you`ll get to ask him. I`m glad he is going to be there to answer this question. HAYES: OK. KING: Which is superior, the Constitution or Sharia law? In Sharia law by their teachings is superior to everything else, it replaces everything else, it replaces the Constitution itself. So, you can`t be assimilated into the American civilization and accept Sharia law as being superior to our Constitution. It`s antithetical to Americanism. HAYES: OK. I`m going to talk to him about that. Congressman Steve King, thank you for coming on. KING: Please ask him. Thank you, Chris. HAYES: I will. Joining me now, Congressman Keith Ellison, congressman from Minnesota, first Muslim-American elected to Congress who I believe had the benefit of listening to that exchange. Would you like to respond? REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, all I`d like to say is that I am a patriotic, loyal American. I love my country and the values that it stands for. And I am a Muslim. These two value systems do not clash in any way, and my son is a member of the United States Armed Forces active duty. He`s proud to serve his country. And there are many more people who are exact same thing. Muslims are absolutely integrating into the United States. You can go nearly any community and you find people opening up clinics that mostly non-Muslims go in to get services. They are feeding people who are hungry, American citizens, mostly people who are not Muslim. They`re running for office. Andre Carson is another member of Congress and there are many other state legislators and city council members. Muslims are a part of the fabric of this country. By the way, they always have been, and more so now than ever. So, I think Mr. King is absolutely wrong and I just hope that we can try to reach higher ground, because when you are spewing this kind of nonsense, things that Mr. Trump says, Dr. Carson says, but also Rubio and Cruz and even Jeb Bush have said, you know, these things are I think divisive, they`re distracting and they`re deceptive, and I think good people need to stand up and reject them. Let me just say, Chris, even though me and Paul Ryan disagree on a whole lot of things, when he stood up and confronted those ugly words that Trump said, I was proud of him. HAYES: Yes. ELLISON: And I think that`s the kind of thing we need to see more of. HAYES: You know, I want to play you this news clip of an attack on a Muslim store owner here in New York City, in Queens, of all places, which is one of the most diverse places on earth. Take a listen to what happened. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He punched me here. So I fell down here. I say, "What the hell you doing? What`s wrong with you?" So then he said, "I kill Muslim." He punched me as much as he can with this left hand. Then he grabbed me here. And he punched me here. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Is the rhetoric coming from people like Steve King and even from Ted Cruz and from Donald Trump contributing to an atmosphere that produces a higher likelihood of these kinds of attacks? ELLISON: Yes, it is. I`m quite confident that when you spew out hateful rhetoric like that, you green-light people who are -- who have violent and who are dangerous, and that`s why we have to watch what we say. Words do matter. I mean, you know, George W. Bush, another Republican who I probably didn`t agree with on much, right after 9/11 went to a mosque and joined with some Muslim leaders and said that, look, you know, we`re not going to tolerate any backlash. These people who attacked our country are criminals and they`re terrorists, and they might try to profess a religion, but they definitely violate the principles of that religion. And I think that that helped a lot. You know, I think that, you know, different leaders, whether it`s Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or Paul Ryan, saying that we`re not going to turn on each other, which is exactly what ISIS wants. I think that`s what this moment calls for and I think, right now, you see who are the pandering demagogues, and who are the people who really have a higher standard and the best public interest at heart. HAYES: Does this -- does this moment -- you know, there`s one way of looking at the Trump phenomenon that he`s essentially a Doofus or he is an opportunist. ELLISON: I don`t buy that. HAYES: Yes. This is -- do you think, does this scare you? I mean, I guess my question is how, as one of -- as first Muslim American congressman, as one of two, like inside at night when you are thinking the thoughts of a private man about your place in this country, and at this moment in time, does this phenomenon scare you? ELLISON: I -- to say the word "scared", I don`t know if I`m scared because, you know, I have faith that we will see this through. But I take Donald Trump seriously. He has literally millions of people who support him. If you unpack the statistics on who is supporting him, it means that there is a lot of people who hold very bigoted racist ideas and there is a lot of them. And he is using an age-old trick of right wing populism, much like George Wallace, much like Joe McCarthy, Pitchfork Ben Tillman who in the 1880s and `90s was a rabid hateful racists who whipped up hate and hysteria for his own political benefit. I mean, this is the kind of thing is he doing. HAYES: Congressman Keith Ellison, thank you very much. ELLISON: Thank you. HAYES: We should note that in my interview with Congressman Steve King he referenced an imam who allegedly encouraged migrants to, quote, "breed" with Europeans as some type of infiltration invasion tactic. That report originated from Info Wars, a Web site run by Alex Jones, who the Southern Poverty Law Center dubs the most prolific conspiracy theorist in America. And new claims the U.S. government carried out 9/11 and the Boston marathon bombing. Still ahead, Donald Trump`s unshakable base and who just said that opposing Trump aligns you with Hamas. I`ll explain. Plus, massive protests in Chicago amidst calls, growing calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign. The latest on that ahead. And later, the shocking comments made by Justice Scalia in the affirmative action case. Reverend Al Sharpton is here and joins me to respond. Those stories and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: We`re learning more about the two terror attacks that happened in America in the past two weeks. FBI Director James Comey revealed a major development in the San Bernardino investigation at a Senate committee this morning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: San Bernardino involved two killers who were radicalized for quite a long time before their attack. In fact, our investigation to date, which I can only say so much about at this point, indicates that they were actually radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online, and online as late as -- as early as the end of 2013, they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and then married and lived together in the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: NBC News has also learned Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik spent at least a year preparing for the attack, including doing target practice at a long gun shooting range. Meanwhile, in the other act of terror, the mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood over Thanksgiving weekend, the alleged gunman Robert Dear appeared in court making several outbursts, including saying he`s guilty and a warrior for the babies. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT LEWIS DEAR, ALLEGED PLANNED PARENTHOOD GUNMAN: The babies that are supposed to be aborted that day. Kill the babies. That`s what Planned Parenthood does. You`ll never know what I saw on that clinic. The atrocities. That`s what they want to seal. The babies. Planned Parenthood and my lawyer are in cahoots to shut me up because they don`t want the truth out. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: His lawyer who also defended the Colorado shooter James Holmes today questioned whether his client is competent to stand trial. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`d ask for some kind of, an exemption -- (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: Do you know, folks, even Hamas -- Hamas is a terrorist group -- do you know that Hamas came out in opposition to Trump`s statement? That puts the Republican Party, the Democrat Party, and everybody else in the establishment and Obama on the same side Hamas is on. And over here all by himself is Donald Trump. (END AUDIO CLIP) HAYES: Rush Limbaugh thinks he`s found the argument ender in support of Trump, which is that Hamas, the terrorist organization, has come out against Trump. So, according to Limbaugh, Obama and Democrats and the Republican Party are now on the same side as Hamas, with Trump all alone. But Trump is not alone if you look at this as Limbaugh does, those who are for an those who are against Donald Trump`s Muslim banning proposal. On the against side, you have basically everyone -- Democrats, Republicans, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, along with the other GOP presidential candidates, present and past leaders like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Dick Cheney. You get the picture. On the other side, you have Donald Trump plus right wing talk radio, plus America`s white supremacists. Like David Duke, where one leader today who was quoted favorably comparing Donald Trump to Muhammad Ali as in the Muhammad Ali of the white nationalist movement. And even the leader of the Dutch far right wing anti-immigration party, Geert Wilders. That`s how this lining up so far. And buckle up, because according to Trump himself speaking to "The Washington Post" a few days ago, "I will never leave this race." Periods after each of those words. Joining me now, Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter for "The Daily Beast.` So, here`s what`s fascinating to me. Obviously, this is all very calculated, OK? This was not an off-the-cuff Trump. This was not someone asking him a question, as happened with the Muslim registry. This was a statement they put. The statement put out the day after a poll showed him behind Cruz in Iowa. Lots of people say, look, he`s doing this. And yet no matter how premeditated it is, it`s -- he has struck the billiard ball and now everyone has to respond to it. BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: Exactly. And all campaigns are premeditated, all politicians make decisions based on timing, based on whether at on the polls. What differentiates Trump, of course, is the decisions he makes or the politician decision he takes are so eye-poppingly bizarre. And I think what`s really interesting about the response to his call for a religious test for immigration is how it`s probably it is probably not going to hurt him in the polls. His supporters don`t seem off-put at all. And the reason is there is a large swath of the American voting populace and the Republican base, comparatively large, bigger than we expect, that isn`t actually represented in D.C. These folks who are just terrified of Muslims, terrified of any immigrants, there aren`t people speaking for them because people who are well-educated and get elected don`t hold those views. So, Trump can capitalize on that, he can monopolize those voters. That`s why the farther right he goes, the more baffling and wacky he gets on these things, the more they love him. HAYES: I`ve been spending a fair amount of time in the recesses of white nationalist, white supremacist social media online areas, what called itself is the "alt right", which is sort of the euphemistic term they use for what is essentially modern day white supremacy. And they are some of Trump -- this has been reported from the beginning but they are very excited about this proposal. I mean, they feel like this is a watershed moment in the history of white supremacy in which something that had been cordoned off to the kind of white supremacist back waters, an idea like banning all Muslims from coming to the country is going to be -- let`s be clear -- one of the focal points of the Republican debate on Tuesday. WOODRUFF: Oh, yes, without a doubt. Trump is great for white supremacists. He`s saying what they want. He`s saying the policy proposals that they would like to hear someone say. They recognize, of course, that he`s not going to come out and give the same rationale that they give for it. But a lot of these folks in the alt right, their concern is that immigration, particularly immigration from Latin American countries and immigration from the Middle East, especially Muslim immigrants, that immigration is bad for white Americans. That as America becomes less white, that white people`s lives will be worse, right? In other words, that diversity and multiculturalism make things not good for white folks and they think curbing immigration, especially curbing Muslim immigration is going to make life better for white people. That`s the view they have, that`s their motivation. And the reality is by saying that Muslim immigration endangers the United States, endangers our security, Trump is essentially onboard with that argument. I mean, if we`re using the Rush Limbaugh logic here, of course, saying that the Republican Party is with Hamas, is like saying, OK, Trump is on the side of white supremacists, by Rush Limbaugh`s arguments. Of course, they`re making the same arguments. HAYES: Yes, and I also don`t think -- I mean, this is not the end of this. I mean, Trump is not going anywhere. And we see as calculated as these are, he has a knack for telling a certain segment of a base what they want. Scott Walker today saying something basically, a bunch of other people should drop out like I did. So, it comes to Trump, to someone else and Trump. There is a certain logic, I got to say. WOODRUFF: Yes, there`s a certain logic in it, on the other hand, though, I don`t know yet. I don`t know even know that would necessarily work. HAYES: Yes. WOODRUFF: "Real Clear Politics" polling average in Florida shows Trump ahead by double digits and also with more support than Jeb Bush and Rubio combined in Florida. HAYES: Yes. WOODRUFF: In their home state. So, this idea that if everyone drops out all of a sudden, Trump will just, you know, fade into the abyss, I think that`s really wishful thinking. HAYES: All right. Betsy Woodruff, thank you. WOODRUFF: Sure thing. HAYES: Still to come, while many expect the Supreme Court to deal affirmative action the death blow, some comments made by justices were pretty shocking. What they said, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Rahm Emanuel is facing the biggest crisis he`s ever faced as mayor of Chicago, and what might be one of the biggest crises over a police shooting we`ve seen across the country, after outrage and sharp questions mount over his handling of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Today, hundreds of people took to the city streets in a walkout to demand the mayor`s resignation, blocking traffic, leading chants like "Rahm must go" led by student organizers.

Emanuel tried to strike a contrite note in his address to the city council this morning apologizing for his handling of the McDonald shooting and promising reform.


RAHM EMANUEL, MAYOR OF CHICAGO; I take responsibility for what happened because it happened on my watch. If we`re going to fix it, I want you to understand it is my responsibility with you. But if we`re also going to begin the healing process, the first step in that journey is my step. And I`m sorry.

One young man asked me a simple question that gets to the core of what we`re talking about. He said, do you think the police would ever treat you the way they treat me? And the answer is, no. And that is wrong. And that has to change in this city. That has to come to an end and end now. No citizen is a second-class citizen in the city of Chicago. If my children are treated one way, every child is treated the same way.


HAYES: City Council Aldermen had mixed reactions to the speech and several are calling for further investigations into the mayor and his administration. A Democratic Illinois State representative, also introduced a bill today that would provide a mechanism to recall the mayor.

In new polling from the Illinois Observer shows that more than half of voters believe Mayor Emanuel should resign, and another 20 percent undecided.

There are still a lot of questions about who knew what and when in the Laquan McDonald case, who`s been punished, who`s been investigated and what the chain of custody of it all was.

But perhaps the biggest question right now immediately in a city so dominated by machine politics that upheavals are rare is whether the mayor of Chicago can provide answers to all those outstanding questions in a way that doesn`t end his political career.


HAYES: Today, affirmative action was back before the Supreme Court with the most observers thinking this was going to be the case in which the Roberts court would finally hit affirmative action in higher education with a death blow after having already chipped away at it in prior cases.

And today, in oral arguments in the case of Fisher versus University of Texas, comments and questions from some of the conservative justices certainly caused concern about the fate of affirmative action.

Justice Antonin Scalia opined "there are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well as opposed to having them go to a less advanced school, a slower track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don`t come from schools like University of Texas, they come from lesser schools where they do not feel they`re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them."

Joining me now, Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC`s Politics Nation. And Rev, you were in that room and The Times describe that moment when Justice Scalia was talking about a slower track school as that comment being met with audible gasps in the chamber.

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC COMMENTATOR: That`s only because we are not allowed to do anything but gasp. I mean as much as you have laid it out correctly, many of us were there, Action Network was leading a rally outside, which is why I was there and where it`s permitted to go and hear the arguments.

We were there saying this could be the death knell, because they`ve been slowly chipping away every time they had an affirmative action case, including this case.

None of us were prepared to hear what Scalia said, because in essence what he was saying is let`s go back to pre-Board of Education -- Brown versus Board of Education, 1950s America where blacks are doing all right going to black schools or schools where blacks go. He said go to less advanced schools where they do all right. We`re going back to separate but equal.

And as I said to the press coming out, this is like the biased -- anti-Muslim bias at a Donald Trump rally, but we`re hearing this on the bench of the Supreme Court, a Supreme Court justice saying that it`s just fine for them to go to less advanced schools, they do fine. This is appalling. I don`t care who you are.

HAYES: Now let me -- in the interest of being as fair as possible, to bend over backwards in defense of Scalia and also some of the things Clarence Thomas said, that the brief they were citing was trying to make the case that schools that have produced high levels of black scientists and doctors often aren`t schools considered, quote, top schools but for instance HBCUs had done a very good job of producing black scientists. There was this amazing Times article about the school in the country that produces the most black doctors, which is again a predominately African- American institution. Does that change at all how you sort of read that comment from Scalia?

SHARPTON: Not at all. First of all, the data is wrong, because the - - what he was quote is factually wrong because you do have the majority of black scientists that do come out of advanced schools, not taking anything away from those other schools at all. The information is correct, the conclusion is wrong.

But I think that what -- the reason it doesn`t change it is the argument is not about where blacks advance, the argument is that you had the former solicitor general to Bush, to George Bush, as the attorney for the University of Texas saying how this program had added to a real problem of having low numbers of black enrollees, low diversity on the University of Texas campus, and it worked for the campus, period, it helped education for majority and minority students. This is a Bush solicitor general who was the lawyer for UT saying this.

So, we were arguing about what was good to deal with making education fairer, diverse and more American. We were not arguing about where black scientists get a good education. So it had nothing to do with the argument other than you wanted to reintroduce pre-Brown versus Board of Education America.

HAYES: Did you come away thinking what a lot of observers came away, which is that basically they`re going to nuke it, that this is -- that the first time this went up that University of Texas responded by saying 80 percent of applicants come in through race-blind means. We take 20 percent to use a holistic approach in which race is a factor, but not the predominant one, and that they`re going to get rid of that last 20 percent?

SHARPTON: I came away with very, very concerned. I was -- I feel that the court may do this, but they will not do it on the merits. I thought that there was an excellent argument by the UT attorney. I never thought I`d be commending a Bush appointee, but he did an excellent job. I think that the solicitor general under this president, Obama did an excellent job.

And I think Ms. Ifill LDF gave every argument backward and forward that you could want. But for Scalia to say this and not have other justices gasp, Justice Sotomayor was absolutely superb, but to have people sit there and not respond to this was something that I walked down those steps -- you think you leaned over backwards? I had to lean forward to even get down the steps after being insulted like that by a Supreme Court justice.

HAYES: All right, Reverend Al Sharpton, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, with only a few days left to negotiate a climate deal on Paris, we`ll visit the front lines in the U.S. with our investigative report


HAYES: The clock is ticking for world leaders in Paris to secure an agreement on climate change. I spoke with California Governor Jerry Brown who had -- who was attending the climate summit. And that interview is just ahead.


HAYES: There are just three days left to hammer out a climate deal in Paris and as much as people want to think the issue of climate change is someone else`s problem in some far-flung location, this year we`ve seen one of the starkest examples yet of climate change here in the U.S. California is in its fourth year of a historic record-breaking drought. We went out west to see what the state is up against.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California`s dealing with its growing drought crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state of California is resorting to drastic measures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California is in the midst of a drought of unprecedented scale.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is being called the drought of our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the worst could be yet to come.

HAYES: As long as there have been people in California, there have been people obsessed with California`s water. And now four years into a record breaking drought, scientists say the state is at its driest point in half a millennium and as any Californians will tell you, it is not just their problem, it`s everyone`s problem.

OBAMA: California is our biggest economy. California is our biggest agricultural producer. So what happens here matters to every working American.

HAYES: California`s $50 billion farming industry produces everything from dairy and beef to fruit and vegetables. The state`s agricultural heartland is the central valley. It produces a quarter of the nation`s food and all that food requires a lot of water.

80 percent of water used in California is used for agriculture. And that means that you, the average American, are consuming more than 300 gallons of California water each week by eating the food that is produced here.

These kinds of crops, the kinds of stuff like almonds, which you`ve got, cantaloupes, they -- this is the climate they need. They don`t want rain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t like rain during their season. No. They like -- they`re like the people in California. We like the sun all summer long, we like it warm, and the crops are the same way.

We want the rain in the winter. We want it in the mountains 400 miles away. That`s where they capture is and bring it to us.

These crops, because they`re not going to get any rain, they need water so we irrigate them.

HAYES: So, where does the water come from to produce this food? Much of it comes from here, the Sierra Nevada mountains where every spring the melting snowpack replenishes the state`s crucial reservoirs. Right now that snowpack is at historic lows, and that means the state`s reservoirs are in trouble.

HAYES: I`m standing in front of Peter`s Canyon Reservoir and that dusty patch of white behind me is where the water should be.

With reservoirs running dry, farmers are turning to groundwater. Over time, groundwater accumulates in vast underground aquifers. But now, over the past few years, groundwater levels have dropped 50 feet or more as farmers drill deeper and deeper to access it.

JERRY BROWN, GOVERNOR IN CALIFORNIA: Today we do set in law a framework that has been resisted for long, long time, since before my father was even governor.

HAYES: Just last year, California became the last state in the west to regulate groundwater usage. The state`s first-ever mandatory water restrictions soon followed.

BROWN: We`re in an historic drought, and that demands unprecedented action.

HAYES: A 25 percent reduction in water usage statewide has forced residents and businesses to cut back. Farmers with rights to California water dating back to over a century ago are also facing restrictions for the first time since 1977.

As the mayor of California`s largest city told me, examining water usage will help offset the crisis.

ERIC GARCETTI, MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: we`ve added in the last 45 years a million residents without having to consume a single drop of water more. So it`s changing...

HAYES: That`s really true?

GERCETTI: It`s true. We have a million more people. We went from 3 million to 4 million people in last 45 years and we consume the same amount of water today that we did back then, because there`s so much water wasted.

HAYES: But it`s not just cities that need to examine where the water is going. Some are looking at the very industry that uses up so much of the state`s dwindling resource.

STEVE FLEISHLI, AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: Half of California`s farms still use the old antiquated flood and furrow techniques where you literally just lift up a sluice gate and let the water flow through and flood your farm.

HAYES: You guys used to use flood irrigation, now you use drip irrigation. What`s the difference? Explain the difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The difference is that flood irrigation goes on top of the surface and have you no control about how much water the land takes. Now, it goes under the surface. We have a drip hose here. This drip hose begins at the other end of the field, it comes down the center of the row and we can control every drop. We can meter how much water we want there.

HAYES: So it used to be that you just poured the water on to the field?


HAYES: It does seem wasteful.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Yeah, well, it was wasteful.

HAYES: Yet, after four years of drought cutting back on water waste may not be enough. Some in the state are banking on a controversial billion dollar water project to offer a solution: the Carlsbad desalination plant, the largest of its kind in the country, uses a process that takes seawater and removes the salt from it.

Environmentalists worry about the plant`s impact on the Pacific Ocean, but proponents believe desalination could alleviate the strain on the state`s water supply.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have got growth throughout the southwest. We`re all dependent on the same sources of water. You have the Colorado River and the Sacramento River are basically what serve San Diego County along with a little bit of local runoff.

So, this is an opportunity to look to the Pacific Ocean for a new supply to meet a portion of our needs.

HAYES: Desalination may offer a solution for the future, but the drought has paved the way for a whole host of problems in the present. Wildfires have caused destruction across the state, something we witnessed this past summer.

We continue to monitor the dramatic scene unfolding if San Bernardino County, California. The fire that you`re looking at broke out on the Cojone Pass (ph), northeast of Los Angeles and has closed Interstate 15 in both directions.

Last year, 500,000 acres of land across the state of California went up in flames destroying homes and costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars. This year, conditions in the state are even worse. During the first half of 2015, California fire officials responded to more than 3,300 wildfires, that`s 1,000 more than the average over the previous five years.

I spoke to San Diego fire and rescue`s chief of air operations about what they are up against.

HAYES: Has the fact that the state has been in this historic drought now for several years, does that increase the risk factor?

CHRIS HEISER, SAND DIEGO FIRE AND RESCUE: Well, what`s interesting, fire burns dead, fuel significantly faster than it does green live fuel. So, we really look at how much dead fuel is out there. And what the drought`s created is large pockets of dead fuel which then provide the base for the fire.

HAYES: Wildfires have wiped out vegetation, which helps soil cling to hillsides that has many worried about another threat -- El Nino, the periodic warming of water in the Pacific Ocean is expected to create heavy rain and because fires have left so much land in the state barren, residents are now bracing for mudslides.

Yet experts believe that even an extremely rainy winter will not bring California out of its historic drought.

We do not know when this drought will come to an end. What we do know is that the era of climate change is upon us and the extraordinary in California today will become the ordinary of tomorrow.

Next, my conversation with the governor of California, Jerry Brown.


HAYES: As the eighth largest economy on planet, California is such a major player in the global discussion on climate change, the state`s Governor Jerry Brown is currently in Paris for the climate talks working alongside world leaders. Before he went to Paris and before the tragedy in San Bernardino, Governor Brown told me what he expects from the international community at the climate talks.


BROWN: If you say the world is totally dependent on oil in many parts of the world, coal and certainly natural gas, we are fossil fuel, that is modernity, modernity has two elements: individualism and oil. Now to move toward a more enlightened sustainable world, we have to transform with lots of technology, with even differences in the way we see the world and how we live in the world. That`s going to take decades.

So we`re taking baby steps, but we got to walk before we run. And my benchmark is that the countries get out of Paris having signed something like what they`re pledging going in.

HAYES: People talk about -- there is a little bit of debate about what binding might look like. Obviously there is no binding agreement as of yet and that word can have a lot of different complicated meanings in the context of international agreements. But there`s concern that anything truly binding would then have to be ratified by a United States Senate that clearly will never in,, at least the near future, provide the two-thirds margin necessary to ratify it.

BRON: Well, even when you sign a treaty like I think Nixon did, the anti-ballistic missile treaty, George W. Bush reneged on it. He got out of. So any treaty can be withdrawn from.

And so what we need is durable commitments that are built upon year after year, forever. That`s the orientation that I have.

HAYES: There are folks in your state from the sort of environmentalist movement, or folks who are sort of fighting against carbon pollution who do feel that for all your leadership on this issue, regionally, internationally, for all your commitments on the sort of clean energy side, that you`ve been insufficiently tough from a regulatory perspective on natural gas, fracking in the state of California and on oil.

What`s your response to them?

BROWN: Nothing can be sillier. And the same critics were completely absent when the oil companies were able to knock out a provision that I supported to reduce oil consumption in California by 50 percent, 50 percent in the next 15 years. They didn`t even bother to show up.

Yes, California is the third largest oil producer. More importantly, California burns more oil, consumes more oil than any state or collection of states in America.

We burn 18 billion -- "b," as in billion -- gallons of gasoline and oil to drive our vehicles, 32 million of them, over 330 billion miles. And were I to stop oil production, we`d have to import it from Iraq and from Caracas, Venezuela or from North Dakota where the environmental standards are much lower, on trains that have already proven themselves unsafe, or by more ships that are causing significant pollution in the world. It`s just really dumb.

What we have is an integrated plan, step by step, to reduce our carbon foot print. No other state, no other country in the western hemisphere, comes even close to what California is doing.

So I understand we have to keep a significant amount of fossil fuel in the ground. I`m committed to that. But I`m not going to just all of a sudden try to stop the cars of California or to increase dramatically the number of ships carrying oil into the state when we already have our own production.

We`re going to phase out in a very well programmed way. We`re not going to have a backlash. We`re going to build a consensus. And I live in the real world, not the kind of fantasy goals that we would all like, but we would never achieve if we go about it in the blunderbuss fashion that your question would assume.

HAYES: All right. Governor Jerry Brown, clear-eyed pragmatist.