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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/11/2015

Guests: Ben Domenech, Michelle Goldberg, Nate Silver, Bill Nye, Jannie Ligons, Benjamin Crump, Richard Branson

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 11, 2015 Guest: Ben Domenech, Michelle Goldberg, Nate Silver, Bill Nye, Jannie Ligons, Benjamin Crump, Richard Branson (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So my approach to the frustration of the media has been to bear-hug both of them. HAYES: The "say it to my face" portion of the Republican primary begins. Ted Cruz lays out the plan to defeat Trump. Now, Donald Trump is calling out Ted Cruz. Tonight, we`ll go live to the Trump event in Iowa. Plus, Nate Silver and Robert Costa on how brokered conventions work. And the far right extremists who say Donald Trump`s bigotry is a little much. Then, my interview with the Oklahoma grandmother who stopped a police officer`s serial rape. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just picked the wrong lady to stop that night. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. HAYES: And breaking news from Paris and the president`s last-ditch effort for a climate deal. As well as my interview with Sir Richard Branson. SIR RICHARD BRANSON: It has been sad that America seems to lag behind the rest of the world. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The tacit alliance between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz may be coming to an end as the two start to circle each other in Iowa, where Trump is set to speak tonight at a rally in Des Moines. We`ll be monitoring it to see if he has anything to say about Cruz. Meanwhile, Cruz just scored a big endorsement yesterday from a prominent evangelical leader in Iowa, and he`s been gaining on Trump in recent polls there, one of which even has him in the lead. Big new one comes out tomorrow. Now, instead of going on the attack, Cruz has stuck to the strategy of making nice with both Trump and Ben Carson in hopes of eventually picking off their support. Something he discussed quite openly at a private fund- raiser this week, audio of which was obtained by "The New York Times." (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) CRUZ: My approach, much to the frustration of the media, has been to bear hug both of them and smother them with love, because I think -- look, people run as who they are. I believe that gravity will bring both of those campaigns down. I think the lion`s share of their supporters come to us. (END AUDIO CLIP) HAYES: Trump, for his part has been a willing ally, content to pull his punches until provoked. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I won`t say Cruz because he`s been very nice to me. (BOOS) No, but he`s been nice. He`s got to hit me first. Once he hits me, I promise you, I promise you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: But then as we played for you yesterday, Cruz was caught on that same tape at the same private fund-raiser discussing the shortcomings he sees in Trump`s and Carson`s candidacies. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) CRUZ: 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: In response, Trump tweeted, "Looks like Ted Cruz is getting ready to attack. I`m leading by so much he must. I hope so. He will fall like all others. Will be easy." And then, "Ted Cruz should not make statements behind closed doors to his bosses. He should bring them out in the open. More fun that way." Cruz, however, is apparently not quite ready to do that. He later tweeted, quote, "The establishment`s only hope, Trump and me in a cage match. Sorry to disappoint. Donald Trump is terrific. #dealwithit." Trump then retweeted him. The circle was complete. But while Cruz may still be trying to bear hug Trump as he put it, two political figures you might expect to be on team Trump are now distancing themselves from the Republican front-runner. Yesterday on this show we talked about how white supremacist groups are seeing a surge of interest which they credit to Trump. So it might come as a surprise the chairman of the American Nazi party is skeptical of Trump`s proposed Muslim ban. According to BuzzFeed, quote, "Unless Trump plans on ruling by presidential decree, I don`t see how he would implement any of his plans. The rest of the sold out mainstream political whores would block his every move. I seriously doubt if he even whether he believes what he says but it is nice to have someone like him saying it." And while Trump`s anti-Muslim proposal earned him comparisons to Marine Le Pen, the leader of France`s far right National Front Party. Le Pen herself sees things differently. "Seriously, have you heard me say anything like that?" she said, according to "The New York Times". "I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion." Consider that for a second. Trump`s plan is too extreme for Marine Le Pen and too impractical for the American Nazi party. With the Iowa caucuses less than two months away, Trump`s continued domination of both the polls and the conversation has provoked a genuine identity crisis among conservative intellectuals and Republican elites, wondering what exactly the heck is going on and what it means about their party. Perhaps Lindsey Graham who`s barely registering in the polls said it best. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What Mr. Trump is doing is making it virtually impossible for our party to grow. We`re a diverse nation. That`s truly what makes America great. I`d rather lose without him than try to win with him if he keeps doing what he`s doing. There`s no shame in losing an election. The shame comes when you lose your honor. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Ben Domenech, publisher of "The Federalist", and Michelle Goldberg, columnist for "Slate". Ben, I`ll start with you. So, here`s -- I want to give the skeptical take that there`s anything to be worried about, OK? So, I`m going to play the role you that guys don`t have to be worried. Look, in numerical terms, Donald Trump has about as many supporters as Bernie Sanders, right? Essentially the Trump phenomenon is a product of two things. One is an unbelievably divided field. And number two is the fact that the guy is a television star. I mean, and he is a genius for attracting media. He says things that are offensive to get coverage. They are covered. And that`s all there is to it. There`s no big identity crisis going on. BEN DOMENECH, THE FEDERALIST: I think to a certain degree you`re right. But I also think there is something that`s underlying this that Lindsey Graham maybe doesn`t understand and a lot of Washington elites. The pundit class certainly didn`t understand when Trump first got in, which is expecting this to just be another celebrity candidacy or something like that, selling books. Instead, it`s actually been about a couple of different ideas. It was interesting that the Nazi party guy said that his ideas were impractical unless he would rule by decree. I actually think that Trump as the authoritarian for the white identity politics class of people, disaffected in the current economy, who feel left behind and ignored by Washington, I think that`s a very powerful message. You know, I`ll be the authoritarian for you in the way that President Obama`s been an authoritarian for the left or something of that nature. And I think that`s something that people respond to because they just look at it and they say he`ll get stuff done, he`ll just do it, we can trust him to do that. And I think that`s a very powerful message for people who feel left behind by Washington. HAYES: Do you -- what do you think about this sort of identity crisis for the GOP? MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: Well, I mean, part of the identity crisis is that he`s taken I think as my colleagues said, he`s taken the subtext of the Republican Party and made it the text, right? So, this is a party that has always dog-whistled to Islamophobia, dog-whistled to anti-immigrants, xenophobia, kind of has flirted with economic populism, although never actually has gone down that road when it actually conflicted with their donor base. But he`s kind of taken all these things that maybe people have said in certain venues or kind of implied and he`s made it the center of his campaign. And so, in a way, he`s exposed what the Republican Party has turned into. DOMENECH: I don`t think that that`s necessarily true in the sense that when you look at what he said most recently like the Muslim thing, if you are an American, I think you can have an American citizen who`s not Islamophobic. You can have a significant degree of distrust for the government to be able to tell good Muslims from bad. We saw in 2011 with the Iraqi refugee program, you know, they had a dozen people who came through who ended up planning IEDs -- (CROSSTALK) DOMENECH: But you understand what I`m saying. If you have that view, you don`t trust the government. I don`t trust the government to protect us. I don`t trust them to tell the good refugees from the bad refugees. I don`t trust them on this count. Then he comes out and he says -- HAYES: Right. DOMENECH: Then that sounds like a solution. HAYES: I mean, one of the things that came in -- response. GOLDBERG: I suppose that you could make an argument that somebody could want to shut America`s borders to Muslims for reasons beyond Islamophobia. But the idea that -- this policy is the essence of Islamophobia -- DOMENECH: But I don`t think it`s about confidence. I think it`s about trust. I think it`s -- HAYES: Well, it`s not either/or. I mean, look, he`s not saying don`t bring Jews in. We all know the suspect here is massive suspicion. The suspect is the subtext of the fact that ISIS is an actual entity that it`s carried off attacks to scare people. DOMENECH: What they hear is the president saying, ISIS has been contained and ISIS is not a threat here in the homeland. Then they see what happens in San Bernardino and they say, well, you can`t trust him on this. You can`t trust him. So they look at Trump -- HAYES: Wait a second. DOMENECH: -- and they say, this is a guy who gets things done. HAYES: Let me say this, though. Before that he was talking about the wall with Mexico. DOMENECH: Oh, yes. (CROSSTALK) DOMENECH: There`s no ideological line that -- GOLDBERG: There is. DOMENECH: There`s no ideological line that runs through Trump. Trump will say anything to appeal -- GOLDBERG: But there`s an ideological line that runs through his campaign. HAYES: A very smart writer called white identity politics, Ben Domenech. Months ago, Donald Trump could transform the Republican Party into a coalition focused on white identity politics. We`ve seen this in Europe and it`s bad. DOMENECH: Yes. HAYES: Referencing the fact that you have these kinds of parties, national front style parties in Europe and that is kind of what -- so this is Matt Continetti writing in "The Washington Free Beacon" saying the future of the GOP as we know it is in question the party`s political future but it`s ideological one. Basically does this election mean a kind of coming out party for we are a national front style party? DOMENECH: Exactly. That`s the concern that I have because I think there`s a very real risk of that and if you have this sort of Jacksonian populist in the sense of his style who`s going to dispense unequal laws to savage race or something like that you`re going to end up -- HAYES: I like Jackson as my antecedent here. DOMENECH: That`s a pretty frightening possibility if you have the view -- there are all these Republicans who talk about how Barack Obama has turned America into Europe. If he has politically, then this is something that could actually have some real firepower in the long term. GOLDBERG: As the Republican elites are very invested in at least maintaining the illusion their party doesn`t appeal to racial grievances, right? It`s one of the reasons Republicans typically act like accusing someone of racism is actually worse than racism. HAYES: Right. GOLDBERG: So inasmuch as Donald Trump makes it an explicitly an entho-nationalist party, kind of Erin Bolk (ph) party, there`s a lot of Republican elites that will not feel they can be associated with it. HAYES: Let me also say this, because you said something that I think goes hand in hand with what some of the -- I`ve seen other folks say sort of about Barack Obama has given rise to Donald Trump. I`ve seen people make this argument explicitly. But I just think it`s much broader than that because the kind of distrust you`re seeing isn`t just Barack Obama. You watch these Trump focus groups. It`s the media. It`s Republican elites. It`s basically a complete universal distrust in every institution in American life, something I read a book about, which in some ways really did predict this kind of thing, right? When there`s no institutional trust this is the kind of figure you get. DOMENECH: And I would say it`s not just Barack Obama. It`s actually everything that`s happened since the Iraq war. I mean, you can`t trust the elites when it comes to WMDs, you can`t trust them when it comes to Katrina, you can`t trust them when it comes to Obamacare. You know, the basic takeaway is they don`t know what they`re doing. You can`t trust them on anything. And Trump comes along -- HAYES: Says I do basically. DOMENECH: Says I do, and they respond to that. GOLDBERG: Right, and also is promising to rule by decree. Specifically what he said with the death penalty -- HAYES: He told the cops yesterday in new England, he told the cop union, anyone who kills a cop will get the death penalty, full stop -- obviously constitutionally deranged statement. GOLDBERG: And he said he was going to do it by executive order. As if that`s how laws are passed. DOMENECH: The great irony of this is we`ve had all this debate about like the sort of -- the Ayn Randian portion of the Republican Party over the past several years, that`s actually something that is better in this sense, in the sense that the Paul Ryan sort of faction of people, that`s a group of people who you`d much rather deal with than the Donald Trumps of the world. HAYES: That is a better impulse, Ben, authoritarian populist. DOMENECH: Exactly. HAYES: Ben Domenech and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both. DOMENECH: Thank you. HAYES: All right. Still ahead, could Donald Trump actually force a rare brokered convention? Top Republicans meeting behind closed doors seem to think so. The reporter who broke the story of that meeting will join me. Plus, a police officer in Oklahoma is convicted of serial rape while on patrol. I`ll speak with the grandmother who brought him to justice. And later, President Obama is personally working the phones, trying to secure a climate change deal at the 11th hour. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Earlier this week, we reported on some controversial comments made by Justice Antonin Scalia during Supreme Court arguments on affirmative action in higher education. Now, Scalia appeared to be citing an amicus brief that was filed with the court for this case that argued schools in which students have lower average SAT scores and high school grades, what he referred to as lesser schools, produce more African- American graduates with science and engineering degrees than elite schools. Today, the high court released the actual audio of that exchange. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 less -- a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the -- most of the black scientists in this country don`t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they`re -- that they`re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them. This court -- you know, I`m just not impressed by the fact that the university of Texas may have fewer. Maybe it ought to have fewer. And maybe some -- you know, when you take more, the number of blacks, really competent blacks admitted to lesser schools, turns out to be less. (END AUDIO CLIP) HAYES: Now, Scalia`s comments have been met with condemnation from everyone from the White House, the congressional black caucus, civil rights leaders, and it prompted this from Senator Harry Reid. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: I don`t know about his intent. But it is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench on the nation`s highest court. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is not happy. It now appears -- get this -- to be threatening to leave the Republican Party. His discontent seems to be fueled by a report in "The Washington Post" today detailing a behind-the-scenes meeting with GOP officials and leading party figures about what to do if they end up with a brokered convention, which is a scenario in which none of the candidates have the requisite number of delegates to lock up the nomination when the convention comes. According to "The Post" the brokered convention talk is being driven by establishment Republicans unhappy with Donald Trump`s success, quote, "Weighing in on that scenario is RNC Chair Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell listened." They were at the meeting. "Several long-time Republican power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party`s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in which the GOP`s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative." Reacting to that report Ben Carson today released a blistering statement that reads in part, quote, "If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described in `The Washington Post`." Carson goes on to say, "If it is correct, every voter who`s standing for change must know they`re being betrayed. I won`t stand for it. I assure you Donald Trump won`t be the only one leaving the party. I will not sit by and watch a theft." Now, fantasies of brokered conventions are somewhat of a time-honored tradition amongst us political observers. The last time it actually happened was in 1976, when Ronald Reagan tried to oust Gerald Ford from the ticket after Ford failed to win enough delegates to secure the nomination when the convention came. And then there was the 1924 Democratic brokered convention. Nate Silver pointed out in a tweet today, took 103 ballots, was dominated by the Ku Klux Klan in which Democrats lost the general election by 25 percent. Interestingly enough, Nate Silver, who in August put the chances for a Republican brokered convention at 10 percent, now says he probably puts the chances at about 20 percent. Joining me now is Nate Silver, editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight, and Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post" and MSNBC contributor and the man who broke that story. Robert, I`ll get to you in a second. But first, Nate, the odds of the brokered convention doubling essentially, I mean, 20 percent is -- that`s not a trivial amount. That`s like a real possibility. NATE SILVER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: No, for sure. To give you one comparison, we give the cubs a 15 percent chance of winning the World Series. I think it`s as high or higher than that because of -- HAYES: I give the Cubs 85 percent chance. But I`m not a stats geek. SILVER: It`s because of Robert`s reporting where he says ordinarily, you would want to avoid a brokered convention. Here you have McConnell and so forth saying, we would prefer a brokered convention to nominating Trump. HAYES: Right. If the options are Trump actually wins outright or we manage to keep enough people in the field to take enough support he can`t win outright and then we can control the levers of the brokered convention, they prefer that. SILVER: And that`s very different. I agree with their assessment, by the way, which is even though a brokered convention would be a fairly big disaster, it`s way less disastrous in my view than nominating Donald Trump. So, it`s like, you know, it`s popcorn if you`re a Democrat and we`re still very early. It`s because I think Trump is unlucky that a brokered convention could be a plausible way to avert that as the reporting has indicated. HAYES: OK. So, Robert, tell me about this meeting. It`s one of those things, like the conversation you have after three beers at a bar in New Hampshire when you`re out covering the primary, what if we get a brokered convention? But these were serious people seriously entertaining the notion. ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: This was a serious meeting. This was the party chairman, the Senate majority leader, a group of about 20 other long-time party hands meeting upstairs at the source restaurant, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant near the Capitol, private, off the record gathering. It started out about logistics for the convention in Cleveland, but about two hours in, near the end of the conversation, it devolved as many attendees describe it to me. It became a conversation of angst and what to do if it actually had a convention where no one had enough delegates. What would be the second ballot strategy? How would the establishment take control? That was the discussion. HAYES: So, the numbers we`re talking about here, you need somewhere a little north of 1,200 delegates to win the -- to win outright, right? So, 1,237. There`s 2,470 total delegates, right? So some of the states, Nate, are winner-take-all, and some are proportional. So when you`ve got proportional representation plus all these candidates, if a bunch stay in, five, six, seven remain viable, plus proportional representation, you could see no one getting that magic number. SILVER: You could. But I think you`re not looking -- you`re not going to have five or six candidates remain viable beyond Super Tuesday. But you could have three. And there are some polls that show when you have a race involving Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump specifically, it`s split pretty evenly, about a third, a third, a third. So, I think, you know, look, if there`s going to be one candidate I think after the first few states, so if it`s Christie or Rubio, who knows, Jeb Bush, I doubt it, right, but the fact is you`ll have Trump maybe still in and you might have Cruz, who is kind of an in-between case. HAYES: Right. Well, that`s certainly how he`s marketing himself. SILVER: It`s exactly how he`s marketing himself. If Trump weren`t so orthogonal to everyone else in the party, you could have a real mess. HAYES: Robert? SILVER: I would just add one thing to Nate. Nate`s spot on there. One thing I picked up in my reporting is there`s a sensibility, a consensus now among some of these Republican insiders and party officials that if you`re a Kasich, a Christie, and you don`t have the will to go on, you don`t have the money to go on but you`ve done OK, you`ve picked up some delegates early on, not to, quote, "end your campaign" but to suspend your campaign so you could carry those delegates and come to the convention and be part of a consensus of alternatives for the right and center. HAYES: That is fascinating. The other part of this, too, is -- I saw a pullout today from Georgia that had Trump up huge, 40 or 50 points, I think it was. And it`s a reminder there`s this thing called the SEC primary they`re calling it where you`ve got all these southern states and you`re down there in Mississippi reporting on this. I mean, Trump is polling -- we look at Iowa numbers and New Hampshire numbers. We haven`t been looking at those deep southern states in the calendar. But he is cleaning up there. COSTA: He is. I would just say I`m down here in Mississippi because I think when you look at the calendar everyone should look at the map and the calendar and spend an hour with it because you see everyone`s talking about march 1st, Super Tuesday, but Mississippi`s march 8th and you`ve got to find what comes next when it shifts from proportional to winner-take- all. Cruz has a huge organization here. Chris McDaniel is running for U.S. Senate and almost beat Thad Cochran, he`s running the Cruz organization here in Mississippi. This kind of organization matters. I`m pretty impressed based on my reporting with Cruz`s operation, in a state like Mississippi which isn`t even Super Tuesday. HAYES: So, Nate, what would be the -- the 1924 is one precedent. `76 is another. You basically then have a situation where people are -- there`s actual voting happening there, right? There`s numerous ballots. And there`s jockeying amongst the delegates. And one of your contentions from the beginning, one of the sort of guiding theoretical conceits at FiveThirtyEight, this whole primary is elites matter a lot, elite endorsements matter a lot, that the party decides essentially. SILVER: Or at least the party can veto a nominee who would be a nuclear-level disaster for him. But it is true this would be total chaos. These rules have not been tested for many, many years. HAYES: That`s a key part. SILVER: Donald Trump, by the way, is a guy who is quite a dealmaker but also quite litigious. And there could be legal wrangling over this too. So, it`s a really messy outcome. I do want to emphasize that there are also lots of nominations that look chaotic until Iowa votes, then all of a sudden -- HAYES: Right. (CROSSTALK) SILVER: It`s a different race. (INAUDIBLE) Iowa. HAYES: That`s the question, Robert. What ends up happening usually is after one or two results, there`s this huge cascade effect, right? We saw that in 2004 where it was wide open on the Democratic side and then all of a sudden, John Kerry kind of came within the last week, won Iowa and it was just like oh, John Kerry`s the nominee. I mean, could you imagine that happening here? COSTA: That`s why I was very careful how I framed my story. This is not so much about anti-Trump effort. This is about four different people or three different people win the first four states. HAYES: Right. COSTA: It`s not about just Trump. It`s about it`s split and there`s no real consensus on who`s going to be the nominee. HAYES: All right. Nate Silver, Robert Costa. Thank you gentlemen, both. Ahead, the trial for the first Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray enters a critical phase. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Today, a major turning point in the first of six trials for the police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.

This afternoon the defense rested its case. Jurors returned home for the weekend. Closing arguments are expected Monday. And Officer William Porter is accused of failing to put a seat belt on Gray in the back of the police van and failing to immediately get medical attention for the 25-year-old when he requested it.

He faces charges of assault, misconduct in office, reckless endangerment, and manslaughter.

Jury deliberations are expected to begin as early as Monday, so a verdict is all but imminent.

We are rapidly approaching the moment that people in Baltimore have been anticipating for quite some time. Since the death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed, Baltimore has gone through an incredibly tumultuous several months. And now, we`ve put together a one-hour special examining that period of time. Tonight at 9:00 p.m., an All In special report. We went back to Baltimore to see what has happened in the months since Freddie Gray`s death. We spoke with everyone from residents, journalists, police, activists, and elected officials to find out where the city of Baltimore goes from here.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: I think that for Baltimore we are at a very significant point in the life of the city. I talk about transformative moments, and those are the moments that come when you realize that you are -- you either have to get better or you are going to see things get worse. And this is one of those moments for our city.


HAYES: Make sure to tune in tonight, 9:00 p.m., right after this show. Don`t go anywhere. We go Back to Baltimore.


HAYES: A verdict in the shocking case of an Oklahoma City police officer, now a convicted serial rapist.

Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted on 18 of 36 counts of sexual assault including four counts of first-degree rape. Here`s part of the 36-count verdict being read.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: count 8, defendant is guilty of the crime of forcible oral sodomy and punishment is set at 20 years.

Count 32, rape in the first degree, defendant is guilty of the crime of rape in the first degree and punishment is set at 30 years.

Count 33, sexual battery, defendant is guilty of the crime of sexual battery and punishment is set at 8 years.


HAYES: The verdict happened to coincide with Holtzclaw`s 29th birthday.

The convicted felon there appearing to say how or how could you to the jury as he approached the bench. Holtzclaw, who now faces a sentence of up to 260 years, used his position of power as a police officer to prey upon people he thought would be vulnerable and unlikely to report him.

All 13 of the women are African-American, many had criminal records. Prosecutors alleged that he stopped women on the pretext of checking them for outstanding warrants or drug-related items.

The youngest accuser was 17. She said Holtzclaw drove her to her mother`s house and raped her.

What kind of police do you call on the police, the teen said when asked why she didn`t report the encounter.

Holtzclaw was found guilty of first-degree rape charge related to that 17-year-old girl.

All 13 women testified against Holtzclaw, and he was found guilty of three other first-degree rape charges and 14 other charges of sexual assault. Holtzclaw had been serially preying upon women who were understandably too terrified by his power to report him, but one of them was a 59-year-old grandmother whoa sexually assaulted after pulling her over for a traffic stop in June 2014.

This woman, Jannie Ligons, who filed the first police report related to this case, and that prompted other women to come forward with their stories.

Joining me now, Jannie Ligons and her lawyer, Benjamin Crump.

Ms. Liggins, first let me start with you. How did you feel in the moment right before those verdicts were being read in that courtroom yesterday?

JANNIE LIGONS, RAPE VICTIM: I felt like he was going to be found guilty without a doubt, that`s exactly how I felt.

HAYES: And did you feel relief when that is what happened, particularly on your counts?

LIGONS: I was relieved to a certain extent, but I don`t feel like justice was done the way it should have been. I feel like the of the 18 charges that they convicted him on I feel like it should have been all 36.

HAYES: Did you have a reaction to how he reacted? He broke down crying. He appeared to say to the jury "how could you do this to me," something like that. What did you make of that?

LIGONS: Actually, I have no comment on that, sir.

HAYES: I understand.

Mr. Crump, were you confident, having watched the trial unfold, there was a lot of concern in the jury selection part of this process in which it was an all-white jury that maybe this would not go the way that it ended up going. Were you confident that he was going to be prosecuted?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: Well, I did not have the confidence that Ms. Jannie had because I have seen it too many times before when you have all-white jurors not understanding the value of black lives and black experiences. So I was concerned.

But I want to say very publicly, Chris, that we are thankful to the jury. They deliberated. They based their verdicts on evidence. And we believe this gives hope for society. This gives hope for America.

After Trayvon and so many other cases you worried if you could get justice if you are a black person with an all-white jury.

HAYES: Ms. Ligons, you are someone who came forward, one of the first if not the first as I understand it. There`s a question I think if he had kept going along and had not attempted to prey upon you, if he would still be out there with his badge doing what he was doing. What do you think?

LIGONS: I think he`d still be doing what he was doing without a doubt. He`d still be out there right now, preying on other women.

HAYES: And you put a stop to that fundamentally.

LIGONS: I did.

HAYES: How do you feel about that?

LIGONS: I feel relieved. I feel grateful. The victims that he had already terrorized, because (inaudible) it didn`t give him room to take any more victims` lives or sexuality away from them or anything like that.

HAYES: You know, Mr. Crump, there`s a profound question that hangs over this that was articulated by one of Mr. Holtzclaw`s victims who was asked why she didn`t report and said, who are the kinds of police you call to report the police?

That question fundamentally is one that still kind of haunts a tremendous amount of law enforcement in this country.

CRUMP: It is very problematic, Chris, especially when you think about you have a serial rapist with a badge. I mean, it was just unbelievable to me that there wasn`t more national outcry that a police officer was accused of raping multiple women, and so we had to challenge where were the national media?

Was it because these were poor women, black women, disenfranchised women, part of the system. But they were women and their lives mattered. And so I felt compelled with a lot of National Bar Association leaders that we had to speak up for them, and I`m just relieved that he was held accountable because this sends a message. This is a hero here, Chris, because she spoke out, she had the courage, we`re celebrating not the court victory yesterday but we`re celebrating their courage to speak out so other victims can come out.

HAYES: Ms. Ligons and Benjamin Crump, thank you both.

Ms. Ligons, thank you for doing what you did.

LIGONS: Thank you.

HAYES: Up next, a video that may just restore your faith in humanity. You do not want to miss it.


HAYES: The idea of accepting refugees from war-torn Syria has become somehow controversial in America, with some on the right calling for temporary bans or restrictions based on religion. It was a much different scene last night in Canada as 163 refugees arrived at the Toronto airport.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally welcomed the Syrian families, handing out winter coats and teddy bears to the children and welcoming them to their new home. One of the most emotional moments was a reunion capture by a cBC reporter, a father seeing his two sons for the first time in nearly a decade.


UNIDENIFIED MALE: 15 years without meet my father. I see him in photos, you know.


HAYES: The next planeload of refugees is set to arrive in Canada tomorrow. Trudeau has committed to accepting 25,000 people by the end of February. Our neighbors to the north are demonstrating empathy, humanity, and common sense and Americans should follow suit.



ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: We in California have proven that you can take on a global problem with local solutions. Governor Jerry Brown, the current governor of California, has continued our relentless march. Along the way, we have proven one of the most important lessons. We have proven that the environment is not a political issue, but it is a people`s issue.

I`m a Republican. He is a Democrat. The governor before me was a Democrat. The governor before then was a Republican. But we always kept marching in the same direction, which is to protect our environment.


HAYES: Arnold Schwarzenegger was the only prominent Republican who took part in the climate talks in Paris, the only one, an absence that was most definitely noticed as more than 40,000 other people gathered to try and find a solution to the current crisis.

Everyone from world leaders to activists to scientists to business leaders, among them billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

And before he went to Paris he told me what he thinks about the climate denialism that still somehow manages to run rampant in the Republican Party.


RICHARD BRANSON, VIRGIN GROUP: Outside America, I think people have realized that climate change exists for an awful long time.

Inside America it`s always been quite strange that you`ve got one political party that seems to have doubted it for a long time although I think the Republicans seem to be finally coming around to realizing that there is an issue.

But it has been sad that America seems to have lagged behind the rest of the world. But I think the rest of the world has been there for a long time.

We cannot afford to have any more coal-fired power stations built anywhere in the world. I noticed that Australia had allowed a big new coal mine to be mined next to the Great Barrier Reef. And coal is -- coal`s a dying commodity. And it really hasn`t got many years left to go.

You know, oil will -- won`t last that much longer either. So, we`ve just got to get governments and business to realize that the future is clean energy and clean energy can be far more cost effective than dirty energy and we`ve got to move the world there as rapidly as possible.

HAYES: It`s interesting you talk about coal as a dying industry because there`s been a lot of press recently, it started in the kind of industry press, in the -- you know, the newsletters that goes out to energy investors and it`s now migrating out towards the general press and just what a problem fossil fuels are as an investment.

BRANSON: Yeah. I mean, you`ve got oil companies and you`ve got coal companies that have got on their balance sheet all the coal they`ve got in the ground and all the oil they`ve got in the ground. And a lot of that, most of that coal will stay in the ground, I mean, if Paris is half successful, and a lot of that oil will stay in the ground as well.

So, the idea of exploring for oil in the Arctic, I mean, it`s just -- you know, it`s a very foolish business for anyone to consider doing.

HAYES: You mentioned earlier the sort of -- the weird -- the strangeness of American politics with respect to this particular issue, climate. One party sort of devoted to kind of saying the science is rigged or some conspiracy theory. What are the stakes for American presidential election viewed from the position you`re in as someone who is very involved at sort of the forefront of a lot of these global issues?

BRANSON: I`ve always tried to avoid getting involved in party politics. But I`m very happy to speak out on specific issues. There`s no question I think that Democrats seem to have got these -- they`ve got bigger issues like change more akin to how us Europeans think. There are some Republicans that certainly, you know, worry us in what they say. And you do wonder whether it`s because Republicans maybe are too closely attached to coal companies or oil companies, whatever, that make them say these kinds of things. But scientists, I mean, the overwhelming majority of scientists are very, very clear that the more carbon you put out the more of an envelope, more of a blanket we`re putting around the world and inevitably the world`s going to heat up and we need to do something about it. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: That was part of my interview with Sir Richard Branson.

Up next President Obama reaching out to get a climate deal in Paris as the deadline gets extended. What will it mean for his legacy? Bill Nye the science guy joins me next.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that there is such a thing as being too late and when it comes to climate change that hour is almost upon us.

But if we act here, if we act now, if we place our own short-term interests behind the air that our young people will breathe and the food that they will eat and the water that they will drink and the hopes and dreams that sustain their lives then we won`t be too late for them.


HAYES: President Obama is working the phones, calling world leader after world leader trying to get a climate deal in Paris after Friday`s deadline was extend another 24 hours.

Meanwhile, negotiators are working behind closed doors through the night, racing to iron out the sticking points of a potential framework to lower the carbon emissions that are warming the planet.

China and India are reported to be the two major holdouts. The White House said today that Obama has called the Chinese president. That comes after calls to French, Brazilian, and Indian leaders, all calls from the president, signaling the White House is willing to expend a significant amount of political capital to get an agreement, one that could cement the president`s climate legacy, a legacy that 50 years from now could very well crowd out everything else depending on how these Paris negotiations among other things go.

Now, there are two things that can be said about President Obama`s record on climate change. He has been the best president on climate we have ever had. There`s not even a number two. It`s just him. And at the same time it is quite likely that history will judge him still harshly for not doing enough to save the planet.

Joining me now, Bill Nye the Science Guy, CEO of The Planetary Society.

What do you think about that? When we look back on this period, say, 30 years from now, how this legacy will look.

BILL NYE, CEO, THE PLANETARY SOCIETY: Well, it will look as good as it can. I mean, he`s working -- he`s done two things. First of all, he said we need to do something. He said it`s a real problem. And the other big thing he`s done is declared that carbon dioxide is equivalent to a pollutant.

Now, I think part of what`s making it very difficult for China and India to come along is they`re probably not willing to equate the smog that they`re -- for example, in China the smog they`re producing with carbon dioxide. It`s a very difficult thing.

But as I always say, I strongly believe that if the U.S. were leading for real, if it were technologically advanced in wind energy and improved solar panels, photovoltaics and concentrated solar power, then the rest of the world would come along because the United States would be exporting that technology.

So what the president`s doing in my view is trying to lead on this, like let`s all get together on this. Carbon dioxide`s the problem. And this is a very difficult thing.

HAYES: Yeah, you mentioned technology and one of the big sticking points that ends up happening in these, and I was reading some of the breakdown of the talks today, has to do frankly about financing right.

I mean, folks like China, the Chinese and Indian government have a pretty good case. They say look, there`s a finite amount of this stuff we can burn, you guys burned it all. You already put it in the atmosphere. You used it to build up your economy. Now we`re left trying to power nations of billions of people and you`re telling us we have to curtail. There`s got to be some transfer of either money or technology in order for us to be able to do this.

NYE: Well, that would be straightforward, but I think it`s just easier to burn coal than to create new infrastructure, especially if we`re going to do it quickly.

Now, what`s going on in Beijing is terrible pollution situation. We on the other side of the ocean wonder how long Chinese citizens are going to put up with that.

But this is the place for politics. Am I correct?


NYE: So I wonder if in this spring, let`s say after super Tuesday, is someone on the conservative side in order to get the votes of Millennials, is he or she going to have to address climate change? And I ask this of you hard-hitting investigative reporters.

The international talks are very important and the president is being out front just calling leaders around the world saying let`s make a deal, we`ll cut back this much, if you cut back this much and the big three polluters, the United States, China, and India are having trouble reaching an agreement indeed.

But the U.S. president -- you asked about 30 years from now. Whoever the next U.S. president is also going to be held to account on his or her dealing with climate change. And so I wonder if anybody`s doing this calculus very carefully. Like, for example, in Florida, I think there are 29 electoral votes, but 60 percent of the population is not much older than Millennials. And so are people in Florida, for example, where the expanding ocean is going to cause flooding and is going to cause increase in taxes or somebody`s going to have to deal with the costs of moving people or building sea walls or what have you. Are those voters persuadable?

And this I`m sure people in China and India are watching this, who`s going to be the next president, how seriously do they have to take these talks? If one of the conservatives with the current rhetoric that all of them are using with maybe one exception, if China and India would say to themselves if there is such an entity, they would say to themselves that we don`t need to hustle on this issue because the conservative president isn`t going to bother.

HAYES: This is key. The next president is going to determine a lot about how the accountability for whatever deal happens, if it happens -- because if we walk away you can kiss it all goodbye.

Bill Nye, thank you so much for joining me. Really appreciate it.

NYE: Thank you.