Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 10, 2015 Guest: Katie Packer, Dave Weigel, Hunter Walker, Jeb Lund, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bob Inglis (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The establishment seems to be against me. HAYES: Republican leaders hold an emergency meeting to prepare for a brokered convention as the evidence showing that Donald Trump isn`t going anywhere mounts. TRUMP: I don`t play games. I play to win. HAYES: Then, Ted Cruz makes his move to take out Trump. A House Democrat`s questionable remarks on Islam. REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: It can be anywhere between 5 percent and 20 percent from the people that I speak to that Islam is their religion and who have a desire for caliphate. HAYES: And as Paris talks continue, a look at our changing climate from space. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Extremes of weather that are occurring in places that you normally don`t see them. HAYES: And in a historical reminder that change can happen. GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Twenty years ago, nations finalized an agreement called the Montreal Protocol. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In the first scientific poll since Donald Trump announced his proposal to keep Muslims out of the country, a plurality of Republicans support the idea, 42 percent compared to 36 percent who oppose it, according to a new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll. By comparison, 55 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats oppose Trump`s proposal. Those results are pretty consistent with "The New York Times"/CBS News poll of the GOP field that was partially taken after the big announcement. Trump is at 35 percent nationwide among Republican primary voters, up 13 points since the same poll was taken in October. And almost 20 points ahead of his closest rival, the newly surging Ted Cruz. Notice that Ben Carson slipped 13 points while the much ballyhooed Marco Rubio barely budged. Last night, Republican pollster Frank Luntz invited reporters to a focus group of Trump supporters. The results were pretty revealing. This was "The Washington Post`s" headline, "Attacks on Trump just make these voters like him more." Among the 29 people in attendance, only eight disagreed with Trump`s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and asked if President Obama`s a Christian, only three raised their hands. And there`s another group that`s found a lot to like about Trump`s candidacy, white supremacists. The editor in chief of "Stormfront," a Web site that bills itself as the new voice of the embattled white minority, told "Politico" they`re upgrading their servers in part to cope with the Trump-related traffic spike. According to David Duke, one-time grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, quote, "He`s meant a lot for the human rights of European Americans." And the "Stormfront" editor said of Trump, "He`s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point." Despite those affinities, which have been reported on since the early days of the campaign, Trump insists he`s no racist. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I am the least racist person that you have ever met. I am the least racist person. DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Are you bigoted in any way? TRUMP: I don`t think so. No, I don`t think so. LEMON: Islamophobic? TRUMP: I`m a person -- no. Not at all. I`m a person who happens to be very smart and I happen to have a certain street sense, and I know where things are going. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: According to Yahoo News, the Trump campaign says it has a strategy to win 100 percent of the black vote and prove he`s not a racist. Meanwhile, Republican elites continue to condemn Trump`s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the country. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a resolution rejecting the proposal, with support from all but four Republicans -- Senators Jeff Sessions, Thom Tillis, David Vitter and perhaps not surprisingly Trump`s presidential rival, Ted Cruz. And in another sign of just how nervous Trump is making the Republican establishment, "The Washington Post" reports they`re now preparing for a contested convention, something we haven`t seen since 1976. I`m joined now by Katie Packer, Republican strategist who is deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. And, Katie, here`s my feeling about this brokered convention talk. There`s nothing political journalists love more than speculating about the possibility of a brokered convention. OK? Stipulate that for a moment. But also I was -- there`s also nothing -- political journalists have been saying for five months now this Trump thing is not going to last. At a certain point, you`ve got to start to look at the math, you`ve got to look at where delegates are winner take all, and start to think this is not a ridiculous idea. KATIE PACKER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I don`t know how many people were saying that Trump wasn`t going to last. Certainly there were some, but I think mostly what you were hearing is Trump isn`t going to prevail. And I still think that that`s the case. I think he`s still somebody that has certainly some appeal from a segment of the party. He does not have an appeal with 50 percent plus one of the Republican Party. The winner-take-all states do come a little bit later in the process, so he`s going to have to make his way through those early states. And once the field starts to winnow, I do think you`ll see an alternative to Trump emerge. That said, I think it`s smart for the party to prepare for the possibility of a brokered convention with or without Donald Trump. When you have 15 candidates that are vying, even if you didn`t have Trump -- HAYES: Right. PACKER: -- there`s a real possibility that nobody can get to a majority of the delegates prior to the convention. HAYES: The new poll out today that shows a plurality of Republicans support this plan to ban Muslims from entering the country, whether immigrants, visitors, students, whatever. Does that number surprise you? PACKER: It surprises me a little bit. I don`t think that that necessarily means that all of those people are for Donald Trump. I do think there`s some real concern from folks in our party that this administration doesn`t have a plan to deal with radical Islam and they won`t even call it radical Islam. And so, if the only alternative at the moment is this other alternative, you might see some people that say well, take that, but they don`t think President Obama`s getting the job done. HAYES: Why is that phrase so -- it`s funny. I listen to every Republican candidate. And when you ask them, what would you do about ISIS -- because let`s be very honest here. That`s not an easy answer, right? I think we can all agree -- PACKER: No, absolutely. HAYES: It`s not an easy answer. But what is an easy answer is the first thing is I would say the magic words of, whatever it is, radical Islam, whatever the phrase. Why is there such focus on that phrase? Is it simply because it`s an easy, concrete response? PACKER: Well, I think it`s important that people feel like he understands what the problem is. And if he`s not willing to address that the problem is a very radical ideology, it`s a religious ideology and some folks that are willing to give their own life in order to take other people`s lives in the name of their religion, it is important to identify that that`s what the problem is. And I don`t know -- by contrast I don`t see what the problem is with the president acknowledging it. HAYES: Was George W. Bush wrong not to use that term? PACKER: Well, I don`t know that we were in the -- that we had the same realization back then that we have today. Certainly -- HAYES: After 9/11? PACKER: Well, you know, after 9/11 it was not necessarily a sense that this was a global thing that was happening on every street corner. HAYES: Katie, after -- you`re saying this is a -- that we have a better realization of -- PACKER: Absolutely. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: -- international jihad now than after 9/11? PACKER: A realization 15 years later after we`ve seen people get shot in movie theaters and on street corners -- HAYES: As opposed to 3,000 Americans murdered? PACKER: I`m not talking about the number. I`m talking about the instances in everyday life. We didn`t have people ten years ago flying planes into every cafe on every corner. Two weeks ago, we had people just sitting enjoying coffee at a cafe in Paris and having guns pulled out on them. So, it does bring it a little bit closer to home. HAYES: Interesting. PACKER: We`ve seen more and more of these situations and these instances happen. And I do think it`s important to call it what it is. And ISIS has taken it to a whole new level. HAYES: Well, with that I would agree with you, the last part. Katie Packer, thank you very much. PACKER: Thank you. HAYES: Joining me now, Dave Weigel, national political correspondent for "The Washington Post" and Hunter Walker, national correspondent for Yahoo News. Both you gentlemen have been doing your own reporting on the Trump phenomenon. Dave, you were at -- you have a great write-up in "The Washington Post" of being at this Frank Luntz focus group. What`d you learn? DAVE WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I learned that Trump voters do not look like the caricature of Trump voters you might see. I`ve seen lots of memes of people who show up at these rallies. There were a lot of working-class, middle-class people who are pretty well off, frankly and just were angry at the media. They`re angry at President Obama. The grievances were not exactly tied to their economic status. And the grievances were not really tied to race, I should say. They were that the country is being betrayed from within by Barack Obama. There`s one man I didn`t get to quote in the article who started to weave a theory about how gas prices were artificially suppressed before the 2008 election, that he tried to explain how the economic crisis happened in ways that didn`t make a ton of sense unless you think they, capital T, they are out to get us. And that is a sentiment that is not really tethered to one little group of the country. It was pretty big in this room. HAYES: OK. Hunter, you wrote on this plan to get 100 percent of the black vote. Which I`m just going to go out on a limb and predict doesn`t happen. But I do think this. There`s been all this reporting about how all over the place Donald Trump has been in his career position-wise, and I do think that were he to win the nomination I think he would just etch-a- sketch it up, shake it and just be completely -- just say whatever he thought would work for that. HUNTER WALKER, YAHOO NEWS: Well, there was a really stunning admission in my opinion that I got from the Trump campaign while reporting this story. And Michael Cohen, Trump`s lawyer, long-time member of his inner circle, said he`s the one coordinating this African-American outreach effort, and he said they know they have to move beyond Trump`s white Christian southern base. And they turn to African-Americans because in Michael Cohen`s words, they`ve given up on the Latinos and they`re not concerned about that -- HAYES: They`ve given up on the Latinos -- I basically should say he`s given up on the Latinos because all those people who are Latino who don`t like him are illegal and he wants to deport them. WALKER: Yes, he said they can`t vote anyway. He actually said that. HAYES: Which is, just to be clear, is untrue. He`s polling way underwater among Latino citizens of the United States. WALKER: Yes. So, you know, they have targeted African-Americans. I think we`ve seen Trump go through several different reinventions. He really does what works. So I think that possibility that he could completely go through a makeover is possible. HAYES: One of the takeaways, David, from your article was that basically no attacks work on him, that attacking him only reaffirms that he is under attack and that the media is lying to people and Luntz seemed kind of flummoxed by that. WEIGEL: The lamest attack that they saw was actually from Right to Rise, the pro-Jeb Bush PAC, which played a bunch of Trump`s quotes where he had in the past said he was very pro choice. They thought that was old news, where he`d criticized fellow Republicans. They agreed with him. They were laughing along with what Trump was saying about fellow Republicans, Bush included. And I should add, I add in the piece, these are all people who voted for Mitt Romney. This is not something that`s crawled from under a rock. This is not Stormfront readers. This was real Republican voters who have voted Republican election after election, in 2014 all of them did, four Republican candidates. These were mainstream Republicans who just jumped this chasm because they`re so frustrated with politics. And that was why nothing -- the media said -- that Trump said back at them, nothing made them think he can`t do it. One woman said and I quote in the article, yes, he starts off -- he says things that might sound crazy, but once he explains himself, it makes a lost sense. The people say it sounds crazy, they don`t care. They`re ready to see how he spins his way out of it. HAYES: One thing that`s interesting to note. He did sort of try to do a positive story last week and roll out the endorsement of these black pastors and it basically backfired and didn`t give him the kind of attention he wanted. And so, you sort of saw him return to home base with this totally despicable call to ban Muslims. WALKER: Absolutely. He attempted to have this kumbaya meeting with he claimed over 100 black pastors at Trump Tower. It quickly came out that many of these people didn`t endorse them, the number was much smaller than they said it was. And so, he returned to the fire and brimstone rhetoric. I think Dave`s bringing up a really interesting point, that people are really upset about the media. They`re really under siege. And that`s created a situation where Donald Trump is kind of this icon that they can project all their feelings on. He`s coming out, he`s saying the government`s attacking us, so nothing he`s ever said matters -- HAYES: Right, right. WALKER: -- because he`s the guy willing to take on the government. HAYES: And keep in mind, in the polling we have, American trust in institutions is at essentially a 40-year low. It`s never been lower. WALKER: One important point I think we should make, though, I don`t think this totally isn`t racial. I think some of the reaction we`re seeing to the Obama administration is coming from people`s racial and nativist fears. HAYES: Yes, all right. Dave Weigel and Hunter Walker, thank you both. Still ahead, Ted Cruz in his own words. The candidate closest to Donald Trump in national polls caught on tape outlining his plan to overtake the front-runner. Plus, as an added bonus the latest 2016 ALL IN candidate book report. On his memoir titled "A Time" dot dot dot "for Truth." And later, we`ve been digging into a story on someone I once interviewed allegedly joining ISIS. I`ll tell you what we found out. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The first trial for one the six Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray continued today. After Police Officer William Porter took the stand in his own defense yesterday. Porter`s facing manslaughter, second degree assault and other charges in connection with Gray`s death. He testified yesterday he thought Gray was faking his injuries and says he only realized his life was in danger when he found him unresponsive. The trials for the six officers are taking place seven months after Freddie Gray`s death and the subsequent unrest in the city of Baltimore. Tomorrow, we`re going to air an ALL IN special report "Back to Baltimore." we`ve been working on it for months. We return to see what happened in that city after the cameras left and what needs to happen now. That`s tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: I think it`s fair to say we`ve entered the Ted Cruz era of the 2016 presidential race. That`s largely due to positioning. Cruz has stuck to a steady strategy from the very beginning which we`ve described on this show as the equivalent of a pro-cyclist drafting behind the leader. Nice job, graphics department. He stayed close to Trump while Trump has not put enough separation between the two. And now that strategy seems to be paying off. A few days ago he took the top spot in an Iowa poll released by Monmouth University showing he has support of 24 percent of likely Republican voters. Today, in a "New York Times"/CBS poll Cruz has jumped to second place directly behind Trump quadrupling his support since the last time the poll was conducted in October. And now, according to the "New York Times", less than two months before the Iowa caucuses Cruz appears to be finally throwing a little bit of shade at the GOP front-runner. According to two people who attended a private fund-raiser for Cruz yesterday here in New York the Texas senator raised questions about whether Donald Trump and Ben Carson have the judgment to be president. Tonight, "The New York Times" released audio of those Cruz remarks. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The final two candidates I`ll discuss are Trump and Ben Carson. Both of them I like and respect both Donald and Ben. I do not believe either one of them is going to be our nominee. You look at Paris. You look at San Bernardino. It`s given a seriousness to this race. That people are looking for who is prepared to be a commander in chief, who understands the threats we face, who am I comfortable having their finger on the button? Now, that`s a question of strength, but it`s also a question of judgment. And I think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them. (END AUDIO CLIP) HAYES: When asked about those comments, a Cruz spokesperson told "The Times" that, quote, judgment is a question for all candidates for president of the U.S. that`s the point Cruz was making." The biggest challenge for Ted Cruz ultimately may just be his persona or as "The New York Times" puts it "Mr. Cruz appraised as grating and pompous as a matter of bipartisan consensus is work diligently at the simple task of establishing human connections." For further analysis of a man who once said of himself, "he`s not a person you want to have a beer with," we go to our book correspondent Jeb Lund, who`s just finished reading Cruz`s book "A Time for Truth." (BEGINVIDEOTAPE) JEB LUND, COLUMNIST, THE GUARDIAN: For a long time, the left has had two caricatures of conservatives -- that we are either stupid or evil. I take it as a backhanded compliment that they have to some extent invented a third category for me -- crazy. (MUSIC) LUND: At the end of a hearing on the repeal of the First Amendment, I asked the chairman, Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois, three simple questions. Do you believe Congress should have the constitutional authority to ban movies? Do you believe Congress should have the constitutional authority to ban books? Do you believe Congress should have the constitutional authority to ban the NAACP from speaking about government? He`s talking about campaign finance regulation. Cruz is very smart. There are few howlers in this book. Instead, he argues from omission and by a line in context whenever possible. From a narrow perspective, it`s factually correct, it`s just broadly untrue. It`s all very lawyerly, which makes me wonder why a former Supreme Court clerk wrote a 340-page book that has only 66 end notes, about half of which are just citations of old quotes from conservatives. The kind of insidious fact about Ted Cruz is that he can tell a great story, has a good sense of humor, and is clearly brilliant. Then, he uses all that empathy and intelligence to do Ted Cruz things. This is one of those things. Don`t read the book. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: And joining me now is Jeb Lund, columnist for "The Guardian" and "Rolling Stone" who recently wrote a piece for that magazine called "Ted Cruz isn`t Crazy, He`s Much Worse", and also our dedicated book correspondent. Thank you for doing what you do. LUND: My pleasure. HAYES: What do you mean he`s not crazy, he`s worse? LUND: The analogy I used in that "Rolling Stone" column is something from old pro wrestling, sort of about living the gimmick. You never let the audience in on it being a work. So when he says he`s crazy, that`s part of the work. He knows he`s not crazy. Nobody that crazy gets to become a clerk to William Rehnquist. He`s an incredibly erudite man and he knows exactly the impression that he`s giving to his followers, which is rock-ribbed conservative, which is his favorite phrase, who`s uncompromising. But you can`t be a really good attorney and have that black-and-white vision of the law. His level of accomplishments in that field suggest that he has a nuanced understanding of what`s happening, he just chooses not to broadcast that at all. HAYES: This is the big question. There does seem a little bit of a con happening here. Part of what I find fascinating in this, is here`s a guy who has punched every ticket in the American elite. I mean, this guy who was Princeton, Supreme Court clerk, fancy white-shoed law firm, solicitor for Texas. I mean, this guy`s a guy who operates among the American elite who has positioned himself somehow as this like populist outsider. LUND: Yes, he is the 1 percent, the intellectual 1 percent in a party that is rabidly anti-knowledge. And so, the way he`s converted that is this gimmick of being so completely uncompromising on everything and fighting for you and, you know, reducing nuance down to these binary oppositions. And that`s great. If you have people who want you to fight for them and who feel besieged or victimized by the elite, Ted Cruz positions himself as -- he may have come from there educationally or socially but he`s firmly in opposition and he knows the way they work, he knows the inside of the Washington cartel. HAYES: Right. Do you come away from reading this and spending time immersed in him thinking his chances are better or worse? LUND: I think -- I think they`re a lot better than people would be comfortable with because he knows how to transition to both worlds. HAYES: That`s exactly right. LUND: It`s easy to dismiss him as crazy but he`s far too erudite for that to stick. When he needs to thread the needle argumentatively, he`s capable of doing it. HAYES: I saw this guy -- the first time I was introduced to Ted Cruz was a Supreme Court argument I had no idea who he was, he was a Texas solicitor and he argued in front of the court a case called Medellin. No idea who the guy was. And I walked out of there thinking that might have been the best performance I`d ever seen in front of the court. And I`d watched a lot of argument. The guy can do it. He`s amazingly adept at what we might call in another context code switching. Sort of Breitbart comment thread and like guy who argued in front of the Supreme Court. LUND: So, he knows the sort of conservative slang and the accent to put on it, and make you seem like a down home, you know, rebellious folk, but he`s coming from -- like you said a white shoe law firm and he`s got a job that one in 100 people in the country have. HAYES: We`ll see if that inauthenticity is something that ends up tripping him up. Jeb Lund, thank you very much. LUND: Thank you. HAYES: Ahead, how Democrats are responding to the rank bigotry coming from the right. My interview with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we stand for anything, we have got to stand together and end all forms of racism. And I will lead that effort as president of the United States. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: It`s been a real study in contrast in presidential candidates. It was before the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. Senator Bernie Sanders invited that student in hijab onto the stage when she asked him a question. And I`m fairly certain he`d do the same today. On the GOP side, Donald Trump has proposed bang Muslims from entering the U.S. Now, Republican presidential candidates have disagreed with and sometimes strongly condemned that proposal. But a lot of the bigotry on which it is built has been articulated by a variety of the Republican candidates. Democratic candidates and politicians have more or less unanimously condemned Trump conversely, but that was muddied a bit yesterday by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Democrat of California. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: We know there is a small group, and we don`t know how big that is. It can be anywhere between 5 percent and 20 percent from the people I speak to. That Islam is their religion and who have a desire for caliphate and to institute that in any way possible. Again, I don`t know how big that is, and depending on who you talk to. But they`re willing to go to extremes. They are willing to use and they do use terrorism. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She`s chair of the Democratic National Committee. Congresswoman, I want to start getting your reaction to those comments from Loretta Sanchez. REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIR: Sure. I`m not really sure to whom Congresswoman Sanchez has been speaking. I certainly haven`t heard anything like that and really I`m not sure what she`s talking about or how and to whom she`s attributing those statistics.
I haven`t heard any statistics like that.
HAYES: There`s polling out from NBC about Donald Trump`s proposal to ban Muslims from coming to the U.S. We should be clear, sometimes they say immigrate, but it`s actually visiting too.
Republicans agree 42% and 36% oppose it. 50% -- 57% of all adults disagree and 25% agree. Among Democrats, this is interesting, 75% of Democrats disagree, which is about right. But also, is that number lower than you would expect?
SCHULTZ: It`s hard to say in any given poll, because polls obviously have a plus or minus when it comes to accuracy. But that`s a pretty overwhelming percentage of Democrats that don`t believe that we should be prohibiting Muslims from entering the country, either on a temporary or permanent basis.
But this election, Chris, is going to be decided by the dramatic contrast between the two visions that each party and their nominee has, and the two directions that will be starkly different, that each nominee presents to the voters.
And so that huge difference in the percentage of Democrats that believe that that is an outrageous, unacceptable position to take, versus the very large percentage of Republicans that believe that is, in some way, the right thing, that`s why ultimately the Democratic nominee will be elected president of the United States.
HAYES: Is there any part of you that thinks to yourself that there is clearly something happening among a certain segment of the population that Donald Trump is speaking to, manipulating, taking advantage of, however you want to phrase it, that Democrats should be speaking to, or do you think to yourself, the kinds of people that are saying, yeah, that sounds like a good idea, are never going to vote for a Democrat?
SCHULTZ: We have no desire nor would it be responsible for to us to do what Donald Trump and really the entire field of Republican presidential candidates are doing to appeal to these base, vile instincts that a percentage of the population that support Republicans, apparently, are embracing.
And so, you know, what our job is, and our candidates each have been doing that, is to call out that kind of jingoistic xenophobia and call it exactly what it is, what Donald Trump is doing and what the rest of the field is doing a version of what he`s doing by also suggesting that we limit access or even close down establishments like Marco Rubio suggested, going further than even Donald Trump did with mosques and saying cafes and diners should be closed where Muslims congregate.
You know, what they are suggesting takes us back to the McCarthy era, and that was a very slippery slope that went faster and faster until we had long lists of supposedly -- supposed Americans who were engaged in, quote, un-American activity. And this is just the same or very similar and unacceptable.
HAYES: All right. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thanks for your time.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Up next, I want to reintroduce you to Saadiq Long (ph), a U.S. air force veteran who I spoke with on my show two years ago. Now, as a result of the current rampant perpetuation of religious bigotry, has seen his name unjustly tied to terrorists, and I want to clear that up. Do not go anywhere.
HAYES: All right. I want to tell you a story. So, a few weeks ago a bunch of people started tweeting me an article from a right-wing website called Pajamas Media. It`s a site that spends a whole lot of time churning out anti-Muslim stuff.
And the headline of this article said, "MSNBC`s no-fly list is Islamophobia poster boy arrested in Turkey as part of ISIS cell", with that picture. It`s a screen shot from a show I did on my previous program, "Up" in 2013, when we told the story of U.S. air force vet, Saadiq Long, a Muslim who was living abroad and barred from flying back to visit his dying mother because he was on the no-fly list.
We interviewed him and told the story of the bewildering and confusing process for getting oneself removed from the no-fly list, and eventually he was allowed to fly home and visit his mother.
Now, this new article cited U.S. and Turkish officials to say that Long had been arrested earlier this month near the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell.
When I saw this article I had a few reactions. I`ll be totally honest and say that my first was, this is not good. I wondered if I had been duped by someone who it turned out was a crypto Jihadi in waiting all along.
My second reaction was that even if the story was true, and maybe it was, the point about the basic constitutional unfairness of the no-fly list still stood. I mean, if the government has enough to charge someone, they should charge him. But putting someone on the secret list that curtails their movement and rights without recourse is pretty clearly unjust.
And in fact, it just so happens that`s precisely the argument that basically everyone on the right has been making for the last week in response to calls to ban people on that no-fly list or the government terror list from purchasing guns.
And my third reaction was skepticism. It does seem kind of weird that someone would take his wife and daughter to go join ISIS. And why was only Pajamas Media reporting it and reporting it with unnamed officials?
Also, Turkey isn`t exactly a bastion of justice and due process. It`s a place that had detained a Vice journalist on trumped-up charges, and where a man is currently right now facing a criminal trial for comparing President Tayyip Erdogan to Gollum from Lord of the Rings. I`m not making that up.
Before we responded we set about trying to get to the bottom of what actually happened. That was not the approach of others who ran with the story, including Red State, Jihad Watch, Front Page, Mediaite, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller, and Fox News.
A local station in Oklahoma led their nightly news with the report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAADIQ LONG, U.S. AIR FORCE VET: And now they won`t let me get on a passenger aircraft.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: A native Oklahoman living in Qatar who fought back when he was placed on the no-fly list is now accused in connection with a terror group.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was arrested reportedly for trying to join ISIS.
We`re following this developing story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Perhaps, by this point in the tale you won`t be surprised to learn the story is bunk.
One part of it is true. Long and his family are being detained by Turkish authorities, but a state department official confirmed to Long`s family and to The Intercept, who did fantastic reporting on this, it is not terrorism-related. "We are aware of Mr. Long`s case and are not aware he has been formally charged with a crime." In fact, according to The Intercept, Long and his family are being detained on immigration violations when he attempted to enter Turkey seeking to work.
And get this. His detention may well have been triggered by, drum roll, the fact he was on the U.S. no-fly list to begin with.
Long`s American lawyer says "Saadiq and his family were detained by Turkey because they are all on the no-fly list. This is what accounts for the family`s detention in Turkey."
Saadiq Long, who served his country for more than ten years in the armed services, was first tagged with suspicion by a secretive no-fly list due clearly at least in part to his faith. And it was that suspicion plus his faith that made him a plausible target to be smeared as a man who just up and joined the death cult ISIS.
And now his name appears next to ISIS in literally hundreds of articles and tweets. His face is under an ISIS headline on Mediaite and those other sites basically forever, unless those outlets show a little bit of contrition and change it.
The Daily Caller today acknowledged that the feds say there are no terror ties, but the outlet characterized the Intercept`s reporting as a new detail.
Folks, this is what Islamophobia means. It means a taint of suspicion that attaches to millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people who practice a faith because of the acts of a few of their co-religionists.
Here in America, in our history, we`ve seen Jews decried as communists, subversives, anarchists and a menace that will infiltrate the state and the media from the inside.
We`ve seen Catholics decried as fundamentally hostile to American values, incapable of assimilating and treacherously taking their orders from a foreign power.
Now, it is Muslims who find themselves vilified. The very definition of bigotry is taking the actions or traits of a few people, of a race or faith or creed, and generalizing to all of them.
American politics and frankly American media are currently in the grip of a deep-seated bigotry. Donald Trump sure as heck isn`t helping, but let`s not fool ourselves into thinking he is the cause, because Donald Trump had nothing to do with this story.
And I`m sure the countless editors and writers who passed it along don`t think of themselves as bigots. But they unambiguously aided the worst kind of bigotry. And every last one of them should be ashamed. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
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SCOTT KELLY, ASTRONAUT: Being up here for a long time really gives you an opportunity to look at the Earth, which is a very beautiful place.
There are certain parts of it that, you know, at least from this perspective are more striking than others. For instance, the deserts are incredibly beautiful. Whether it`s in Africa, Australia, or even certain parts of Asia. And then the blue waters of the Bahamas, for instance, is quite striking in color but also in how large of an area it is that is that blue.
But then the other things that you notice when you look out at the Earth is how thin and fragile the atmosphere looks. We see weather systems, extremes of weather that, you know, are occurring in places that you normally don`t see them.
I saw this -- took some pictures of a tropical cyclone that was off the coast of Oman in the Middle East recently, which is almost unheard of, to have such a large tropical storm in that area.
So you know, the Earth is very beautiful to look at from here. You also have the window on the world so to speak to see certain things that are a little bit alarming.
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HAYES: That`s a view of the alarming changes to our climate as seen from over 200 miles above Earth.
I`ll show you what those changes look like on the ground, including a river that no longer manages to make it to the sea, just kind of stops.
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HAYES: With tomorrow`s deadline looming for leaders of the world to come to an agreement on fighting climate change, a stark reminder of just what`s at stake here in the U.S.
For nearly 100 years, through dams and reservoirs and canals, the Colorado River has provided water for millions of people and for acres of crops in the southwest.
But as MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff found out, the Colorado River is running dry.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For untold centuries the turbid waters of the Colorado River battered their way through the forbidding canyons of its 1700-mile course, traversing the arid southwest.
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Today, the Colorado River is the lifeblood of the southwest, flowing through what are now seven U.S. states, providing water to nearly 40 million people.
Around half of Southern California`s water alone comes from the Colorado by way of Lake Mead, a giant reservoir outside of Las Vegas. But recently, Lake Mead has been shrinking.
Okay, so where we`re standing right now, just five years ago this area would have actually been underwater?
CHRISTIE VANOVER, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: Absolutely. The receding water line has continued to go down throughout the past few years. Even just 15 years ago there would have been a good 100 feet of water above our heads right now.
SOBOROFF: Christie Vanover works for the national parks service and she sees the problem firsthand every day.
VANOVER: We`re at 39% capacity.
SOBOROFF: Wow. So 60% of the water that used to be here is no longer here.
VANOVER: That`s correct.
SOBOROFF: But Lake Mead`s decline doesn`t just threaten the beauty of the recreation area. Will Hasencamp and his colleagues at the Southern California metropolitan water district are expected to deliver that water to millions of people.
Eight million people`s worth of that water comes from here, and the water level`s dropping at a rate of 120 feet over the last 15 years. That must give you pause.
WILLIAM HASENCAMP, METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRIC SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: It does. It hit its lowest level of course last May and June, and the outlook is to continue to drop. The Colorado River is ground zero for climate change.
I think a modest projection suggests we`ll have about 10% less flow in the river on average by 2050 than we have today.
SOBOROFF: 10% matters because right now every last drop of water released from Hoover Dam to flow downriver is being used by customers in California, Arizona, and Mexico.
By legal agreement and treaty, California gets the most water from the river, partly through this giant pumping station called Whitsett 180 miles to the south of Hoover Dam.
How does it get from here to Los Angeles?
JASON CHRISCHILLY, METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: We take the water and through nine series of pumps here it takes it over the hill and enters a small reservoir.
SOBOROFF: Less water would have a huge economic impact. In Arizona just like in California, most Colorado River water is used for agriculture, possibly up to 85%.
Tom Davis controls the water flow even further down streams in Yuma, Arizona.
TOM DAVIS, YUMA COUNTY WATER: You see the lettuce growing.
SOBOROFF: And I was going to say, this is all water from the Rockies basically.
DAVIS: Water from the Colorado River.
SOBOROFF: At the border, Mexico diverts its share of Colorado River water away from the river bed for the same reasons we do, to grow food and for customers to use as far away as Tijuana.
We`re on the border wall here. This is the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. You said this is the Colorado River. Doesn`t look much like a river.
DAVIS: No, it`s not much like a river.
SOBOROFF: So there`s no water in the Colorado River.
DAVIS: There`s no water in the Colorado River anymore.
SOBOROFF: Made it. 305 miles Hoover Dam to that bridge right there is the border with Mexico. It`s actually in Mexico. And this right here is the mighty, mighty, mighty Colorado River.
After millions of years of flowing across the West, the Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean. Today no water flows in its final stretch because people have siphoned off every drop.
It`s bone dry.
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HAYES: Joining me now from the banks of the Los Angeles River, which has water from the Colorado River flowing into it right now, is Jacob Soboroff.
Jacob, all right, what happens if this continues as it has been going?
SOBOROFF: Well, essentially, Chris, you can see what it looks like in Mexico happen north of what`s called the Moreles Dam here in California, and that`s because the Colorado River is essentially like a faucet that flows from Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, every single drop that comes down this river is already accounted for. So, if there are any additional stresses on this river, in particular climate change and you heard Bill Hasencamp say it could be 10% less water because of climate change, but some scientists say much more. At worst -- at best I should say you could see stress, at worst a climate crisis.
HAYES: What is being done to deal with the writing on the wall?
SOBOROFF: Well, again, because every last drop is already spoken for, this is not an issue of giving states less water. They get the water because of their water rights. The issue is we have to have people conserving water and you know, we already have, as you`ve reported, mandatory water restrictions here. But water recycling like the water behind me from our toilets is an option.
HAYES: All right. Jacob Soboroff. Hey, congrats on the baby, huh?
SOBOROFF: Thank you, sir.
HAYES: All right. Up next, as climate negotiations near an end, a reminder though it seems an insurmountable challenge, a deal can be made that quite literally changes the world.
Stick around. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
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UNIDENITIFIED MALE: A long-sought are multination agreement aimed at safeguarding the ozone layer, that thin layer in the stratosphere that protects life on earth, that agreement finally has been achieved.
TOM MCMILLAN, CANADIAN REPRESENTATIVE: The Montreal protocol is a triumph in international cooperation.
LEE THOMAS, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: I fully intend to sell it to the united states congress as a strong protocol and one that is in the best interest of the world and the United States.
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HAYES: Nearly 30 years ago, the depletion of the ozone layer was a top environmental concern, and, at the time, it seemed like an almost impossible problem to tackle, getting the entire world to stop using the widely available chemicals that cause the damage.
And yet, the international community did exactly that with the Montreal Protocol. An agreement championed by conservative heroes Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, who called it, quote, "a monumental achievement." Today it is widely viewed as a model of global cooperation. Right now, as time is winding down for climate negotiators in Paris faced with a similarly difficult task, bringing the world together to reduce carbon emissions that are warming the planet, we know that that difficult task is possible because we do have some precedent in the Montreal Protocol.
Joining me now, former Republican congressman, executive director of Republican.org., and Bob, it seems to me the argument about futility is the most dangerous one about climate right now. And the Montreal Protocol, championed by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher is as good a model as any.
BOB INGLIS, (R) SUOTH CAROLINA: Yeah, I think that`s right, Chris.
It shows the importance of American leadership but also shows that really you can solve problems. Scientific questions that actually have solutions.
HAYES: Yeah. And I think it also -- I mean, I was going back through the archives of the coverage of that. Thatcher and Reagan didn`t view cooperation on this as selling out. As being suckered or selling out some conservative principles.
In fact, they in fact viewed it the other way. They viewed it as part of their role in global leadership.
INGLIS: You would think that conserving might have something to do with being a conservative. And so perhaps that`s what Ronald Reagan saw. And of course Secretary of State George Schultz says that Ronald Reagan bought an insurance policy, that`s the way he viewed action on this.
HAYES: That`s interesting because you`ve used that same metaphor with me before.
INGLIS: Yeah, it`s basically that Reagan was acquainted with the science. He knew -- he counted on the scientists to give him good advice. And then he took steps to ensure the future.
And that`s of course what we need to be doing on climate change. We need American leadership here. The will, which is what we hope comes out of Paris, needs to be matched with a way, and of course that`s up to us in America I think to figure out as the indispensable nation how to solve the problem.
HAYES: That point about American leadership is always so odd to me. That, when we`re talking about something like ISIS, politicians, particularly conservative Republican politicians say we need to lead, we can`t just let other people do this. When you talk about climate they say well, the Chinese, the Indians, everybody, what are we really going to do?
All of a sudden the role for American leadership seems to do a 180.
INGLIS: Yeah. And, of course, in this case I think what it might be is that the solution so far has seemed anathema, it seemed a bigger government solution made with Cap and Trade or Clean Power Plan.
There are alternatives, you and I have talked about before, like a revenue-neutral border-adjustable carbon tax. That`s a way of getting conservatives to see that there`s a solution here that involves actually a smaller government, not a bigger government.
HAYES: All right. Bob Inglis, it`s always a pleasure. Thanks for joining me.
INGLIS: Good to be with you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END