Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 28, 2015 Guest: Grant Bosse, Betsy Woodruff, Ruth Conniff, Rosie Gray, Ryan Grimm, Jonathan Abady (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe McQuaid, he is a real low life. There`s no question about it. HAYES: A full on air ware in New Hampshire. TRUMP: This man is absolutely terrible. HAYES: Donald Trump alleges a Republican conspiracy to defeat him in the Granite State, and he says he knows who`s behind them. TRUMP: That`s why I go against Chris Christie. He`s the one that got McQuaid to do this. HAYES: Then, why the Republican front-runner is officially feeling the Bern. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has said that he thinks wages in America are too high. HAYES: And no charges in Cleveland. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police. HAYES: Making sense of the Tamir Rice announcement when ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. If the GOP establishment has a New Year`s resolution, it is this -- quite simply, figure out some way, any way, to stop this guy from becoming the Republican nominee. Trump currently has a double digit lead over Ted Cruz. That could change very quickly if Trump loses the first two states on the calendar, Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, the caucuses will be held on February 1st. Polls show that surging Cruz now holds a small lead over Trump, though the race is tight. Cruz is planning a six-day 36-county Iowa tour starting on January 4th, in an effort to keep Trump at bay and attempt to lock up the state. Now, if Trump does lose Iowa, the coalescing conventional wisdom which, of course, has not been particularly accurate all year is that New Hampshire just might be Trump`s waterloo finally, the double whammy of early state losses, piercing his aura of invincibility and dragging down his poll numbers nationwide. Right now, Trump holds a pretty big lead in the Granite State, where voters will head to the polls on February 9th, eight days after Iowa. Trump has more than double the support of his closest rival, second place Marco Rubio. But Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich are all essentially all in in New Hampshire. And if one of them or Rubio can consolidate enough establishment support, they have a chance to take the Donald down. Right now, those four candidates combine enough support to easily best Trump. The problem is they are splitting the establishment vote, which is why each is trying to cast himself as the one and only true Trump alternative. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: What would you like to say to him should he walk into the room right now? JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ll say, Donald, I`ll take you on one-on-one, anytime, any place. You name it and I`ll do it. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Today, "The New Hampshire Union Leader" newspaper which endorsed Christie unleashed a blistering editorial, calling Trump a, quote, "crude blowhard" whose campaign insults New Hampshire voters` intelligence. The paper even compared Trump to Biff, the villain of "The Back to the Future" movies. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BIFF BUFORD: He said some day, a crazy, wild eyed scientist or kid may show up and ask you about that book. And if that ever happens -- (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire, just a short time ago, Trump called "The Union Leader", quote, "a pile of garbage", and attacked its publisher who wrote the editorial in personal terms. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Because you have a very dishonest newspaper. It`s also a failing newspaper. It`s going down the tubers. I remember when this was a paper. Look at the size of this thing. If they cut it down anymore, you won`t be able to find it. So, this guy, his name is Joe McQuaid. (BOOS) No, he`s a low life, I`m telling you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: New Hampshire also a crucial state in the Democratic presidential contest. While Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by a fairly wide and consistent margin in Iowa, Sanders has the lead in New Hampshire, where a victory would upend the approach that Sanders is -- would -- that would establish Sanders as a genuine contender. The Clinton campaign said today that Bill Clinton will campaign for his wife in New Hampshire next Monday and what will be his first campaign trip of 2016. Hillary Clinton accused Trump of a penchant for sexism, prompting Trump to accuse Bill Clinton of the same thing. And today, Trump tweeted, quote, "If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband with this terrible record of win and abuse, while playing the women`s card on me, she`s wrong!" Trump yesterday defended his attack on Bill Clinton and attacked Hillary Clinton for calling him sexist. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Yes, I think he is fair game because his presidency was really considered to be very troubled, to put it mildly. She`s playing the woman`s card and it`s like give me a break. I`ve had so many women come up to me and say, you`ve got to keep her out. She is just terrible. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Grant Bosse, editorial page editor for "The New Hampshire Union Leader", the newspaper that ran that front page editorial blasting Trump. Mr. Bosse, I guess I`ll get you to respond to Donald Trump calling your boss a, quote, "low life". GRANT BOSSE, THE NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: Yes, that`s fine. Thanks for having me back, Chris. Joe McQuaid gets called worse than that in letters we run in the paper. I think he`ll get over this. We were kind of expecting this for a while. We endorsed Governor Christie back after Thanksgiving, and frankly, whenever anything doesn`t go Donald Trump`s way, he attacks. We knew this was coming for a while. Just happened to be today. HAYES: Let me ask you this, he essentially says that you`re in cahoots with the Christie campaign. Did you have any interaction with the Christie campaign? He said that Joe McQuaid actually urged him to tweet to get Christie on the main stage, which sounds a little more like essentially advocating for Christie as opposed to endorsing him. BOSSE: No, that`s absurd. I would love to see what would happen if a presidential candidate told Joe McQuaid what to run in an editorial in "The Union Leader". When the FOX Business Channel was going to cut down the field and kick candidates off the stage, Joe McQuaid on behalf of "The Union Leader" urged all the candidates to stand up and say, look, Chris Christie should be on the stage. Mike Huckabee should be on the stage. And we think that if FOX Business Channel won`t do that, you shouldn`t participate. We asked that of Donald Trump, we asked that of all the other candidates that were on the main stage. It didn`t happen, but we just wanted to see more candidates on the stage. The idea that we asked Donald Trump to tweet something is ridiculous. He just makes this up. HAYES: Let me ask you this. Trump -- you guys basically say he`s unfit for office, that he`s insulting New Hampshire voters` intelligence, but your paper endorsed Patrick Buchanan twice, in 1992 and 1996. You go back and you read coverage of Patrick Buchanan, in 1992, he gives the infamous culture struggle, culture war speech at the convention. That`s, of course, after your endorsement. It doesn`t seem that different frankly, build a wall, attack trade deals, the immigrants are coming to ruin the country. He doesn`t seem that substantively different, the guy you endorsed twice from the Trump campaign. BOSSE: Well, the big difference is that Pat Buchanan knows what he`s talking about. He had decades of policy experience. He was a top aide to presidents before he ran for president. He had some policy expertise and something behind what he says. Trump just makes it up off the top of his head. Now, maybe some of the same people are attracted to that because he`s saying some of the same things, but Pat Buchanan can back it up. Donald Trump just makes it up. HAYES: So, you don`t, this is not -- I mean, just to be clear, "The Union Leaders`" problem with Trump isn`t the policy profile. It`s not the build a wall or ban Muslims and all that, it`s the un-seriousness of him personally? BOSSE: Yes, you can`t criticize Donald Trump on policy because he doesn`t really have policy. He just has some lines he spouts at these rallies. He`s unfit, unsuited, and unqualified to be president, and whenever anybody calls him on it, he lashes out with insults and non sequitur attacks. That`s my job. HAYES: Mr. Bosse, let me ask you this, there`s one point in Joe McQuaid`s editorial where he says the media has been covering Trump not just because he rates, but because it will help Hillary Clinton, which I have to say, it struck me as a bit odd, because I consume a lot of conservative media. I read a lot of conservative Web sites, conservative magazines, "The National Review", and "Daily Caller" and "Free Beacon", and listen to right wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh. They`re covering Trump all the time. I mean, I don`t know how much you consume yourself. But it seems implausible that Rush Limbaugh or Hugh Hewitt, or "The National Review" are covering Trump because they want to get Hillary Clinton elected. BOSSE: Well, he`s good for clicks and he`s good for ratings, but Donald Trump is a stocking horse for the Clinton campaign. He`s been friendly with the Clinton -- HAYES: You really believe that? You think this is a thing, a setup? You think this is a conspiracy to put Donald Trump in the field to mess with the Republican primary to get Hillary Clinton elected? BOSSE: Yes, conspiracy would imply a little more planning. I think Donald Trump has the ego to think that he should be president, but I think he got into this thinking that he didn`t like some of the other Republican candidates and that if it was him or Hillary -- well, it`s no lose. I find it strange that every single time Donald Trump attacks Hillary Clinton, it`s with the stupidest, least effective means possible. He attacked her for going to the bathroom. Now, he`s trying to remind Democrats of her more popular husband. HAYES: It is true that he attacked her in those ways that you mentioned but that is true of basically all his attacks. Grant Bosse, thank you very much. BOSSE: Thanks, Chris. HAYES: All right. Joining me, Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter of "The Daily Beast." And, Betsy, I`ve read now two or three articles that put together an interesting game theory problem for the Republican field which is Dave Weigel called it the three stooges problem after a Simpson`s episode where basically you have Kasich and Christie and Jeb Bush and to a certain extent Marco Rubio all trying to sort of get through the door at the same time and that could split the vote enough that Trump wins in New Hampshire. I think the campaign changes from one day to the next once Trump has won something tangible. BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: Oh, yes, without a doubt. If Trump wins either of these states, we`re going to hear about it all day, every day for months. We`re going to be so tired of hearing about how all Trump does is win, right? And it`s kind of funny watching this weird fracture of the Republican establishment in New Hampshire because typically, that`s what happens to conservatives, and to insurgent Tea Party-esque candidates. HAYES: Right. WOODRUFF: They`re the ones who, you know, have an embarrassment of riches and want to vote for everybody. But right now, it`s kind of a flip with the establishment candidates. I mean, we even have Jeb Bush`s super PAC telling donors to hand write letters to undecided candidates, according to a "New York Times" report, to try to get undecided supporters to get these guys to support Jeb. I mean, they`re pulling out all the stops. It`s getting kind of weird. And I don`t know -- it`s unusual. It`s interesting to watch. HAYES: Do you think the inverse is true? We were debating this today. I think it`s absolutely true if he wins New Hampshire, there`s a kind of fortification it gives him which means he`s around for a while. I mean, whether he wins the nomination or not, he`s around. The inverse which is basically the idea that the aura of invincibility goes away if it can be stopped in the first two contests and then sort of fades. What do you think of that? WOODRUFF: I think that`s a totally reasonable hypothesis. And looking at Iowa for instance, he`s down about two points under Ted Cruz and the RCP average right now. But if he loses Iowa, all he has to say is, well, the last two guys lost Iowa, too. I don`t want to be a loser like Santorum and Huckabee, you know, bummer for you guys, onto New Hampshire, and it might not damage him that much. So, New Hampshire is really, really important to him. That said, I mean, look, he has more than twice the support of Rubio. He`s in second place. I think he might have more support than Rubio and Christie combined in New Hampshire. HAYES: Right. WOODRUFF: And what`s really -- what has to be chilling, I think, is the fact that Trump`s success in that state undermines the entire premise of making New Hampshire versus the nation. That premise is, voters talk to every candidate five times and they have this access and that gives them special wisdom, but that`s not what voters are doing with Trump. New Hampshire voters love him for the reason any other voters love him, and sort of undermines the New Hampshire project almost. HAYES: Well, I spent a few hours today going back and reading 1992, particularly 1992 Patrick Buchanan coverage, particularly Buchanan in New Hampshire, a state he won. And, you know, that was the same New Hampshire voters in many ways and everything about Patrick Buchanan, you could sub in Trump and it reads the same, the people he`s attracting, the way the establishment doesn`t know what to do with him. So, we have seen this before. There`s no guarantee that New Hampshire with its wise, prudential voters chooses the person that isn`t the anti- immigrant extremist. WOODRUFF: Right, totally. I mean, the conventional wisdom that New Hampshire is going to pick the establishment choice, those things are true until they`re not. History is not a statistically significant sample size. What we do know is that people who liked Pat Buchanan in `92 and `96 like Donald Trump right now. I mean, LifeZette, which is Laura Ingraham`s site ran an article a few months ago about how great Pat Buchanan was and how he needs to be resuscitated as a prominent conservative figure. And, of course, Ingraham has had a lot of great things to say about Trump. I mean, Trump is his ideological heir. HAYES: All right. Betsy Woodruff, thank you very much. WOODRUFF: Sure thing. HAYES: All right. Coming up, the worst environmental disaster happening in America. You probably haven`t seen it because it`s invisible. We`re showing it to you. Plus, Bernie Sanders makes a play for Trump supporters. And later, `tis the season for retrospectives. The year in politics, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: To the naked eye, the site of the ongoing environmental disaster in California doesn`t look like much, just a natural gas storage field. In Los Angeles County, it appears to be functioning normally. However, this infrared footage shows the real story, a massive plume of methane gas spewing from the site since October at a stunning rate of up to 110,000 pounds per hour. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The residents of nearby Porter Ranch said the leak has resulted in nausea, dizziness, vomiting, nose bleeds and headaches. Seventeen hundred homes and two schools in Porter Ranch have been evacuated due to the leak, which is estimated to account for a quarter of the state of California`s entire methane gas emissions. And the gas is still spewing. Southern California Gas Company officials said Sunday they had pinpointed the location of leaking well, but they warned the massive leak might not be plugged for weeks or months. It remains very possible, the methane will be spewing into the California sky straight through to spring. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unchoreographed. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is honest. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like his roughness and little Reagan-esque. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is smart like a fox. He`s in campaign mode. He has to be proactive. He`s intentionally playing the media. He`s staying things right on the edge. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is entertaining. He is giving everyone something to talk about. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He looks presidential and he acts presidential. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think he acts presidential. So when he said, and I quote, "I would bomb the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of ISIS" -- (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The Trump supporter has become, somewhat understandably, an object of significant fascination this year. Who are they? What do they want? What`s wrong with them? Bernie Sanders thinks he has the answer in a theory for how he of all people can win them over. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: Many of Trump`s supporters are working class people and they are angry. They`re angry because they`re working longer hours for lower wages. They`re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low wage countries. What Trump has done successfully I would say is take that anger, take that anxiety about terrorism, and say to a lot of people in this country, look, the reason for our problems is because of Mexicans, and he says they`re all criminals and rapists, we got to hate Mexicans. Or what he says about Muslims, they`re all terrorists and we`ve got to keep them out of the country. Those are -- that`s what we have to deal with to make America great. Meanwhile, interesting enough, John, this is a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage. In fact, he said he thinks that wages in America are too high, but he does want to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 3/10 of one percent. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right. That last point, he`s referring to Trump`s tax plan, one of the few concrete published bits of policy, in which, according to a new analysis in the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the highest income households would receive the largest cuts, both in dollars and as a percentage of income. This graph shows the percentage increase in after tax dollars under the plan, and those massive columns on the right represent the top one percent and 0.1 percent, otherwise known as Donald Trump`s homies. It was the first point made by Sanders saying Trump believes wages are too high that actually prompted a direct response. Trump tweeted, "Bernie Sanders who blew his campaign when he gave Hillary a pass on an email crime said that I feel wages in America are too high. Lie!", customary exclamation. Actually, it wasn`t a lie. Bernie Sanders was entirely accurate. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Taxes too high. Wages too high. We`re not going to be able to compete against the world. We`re becoming non-competitive. I would love to say make it $50 an hour, I think it`s great. But you know what? It`s a tough position politically. But you know what? We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high. Our wages are too high. Everything is too high. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: What`s interesting is that on this issue, Trump has chosen not to dig in but apparently to reverse course. Of all people, it was Bernie Sanders who initiated that. Joining me now, Ruth Conniff, editor of the "Progressive Magazine". Ruth, what do you think -- this is a theory I`ve seen articulated in different contexts before. What do you think about Bernie Sanders` theory that the folks that are being drawn to Trump, particularly what we used to call the white working class are people that are gettable by a candidate like Bernie Sanders? RUTH CONNIFF, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: I think there`s no reason that couldn`t be true. We`re witnessing a civil war in the Republican Party. Trump is currently bashing the Republican Party in Virginia for saying people have to declare themselves Republicans and take kind of a loyalty vote in order to vote in the primary, that`s because he knows he`s attracting people who are not standard issue Republican voters, who are independents and who are just as Bernie sanders describes, people who are really anxious, really upset. He`s got a core group of white supremacist support. HAYES: Right. CONNIFF: That group is probably not going to Bernie Sanders, right? As we know, he`s actually got explicit support from white supremacist groups and he plays with this racism and xenophobia which is very toxic. And it`s, you know, a staple of right wing populism. But there`s a broader populist message out there that both Sanders and Trump are pushing that really resonates with an awful lot of people which is you`ve been sold a bill of goods, you know? HAYES: Right, you`ve been sold a bill of goods. But part of me always thinks there`s this sort of undying belief among liberals, the progressives, the left, about like, this idea that people are sort of angry because of all of these changes in the economy that have screwed over a lot of folks, particularly when you look at non-college educated white voters who are the sort of core of Trump and the core of conservative politics, right, that these folks have been screwed over by globalization, by the economy, inequality. And the anger is being channeled in all these sort of false ways and if you can redirect it, but it seems to me they aren`t giving credit to people`s actual politics, like people really don`t like immigrants or they want a wall, or, you know, they actually have the beliefs in things Trump is saying. CONNIFF: Yes. Well, anger is a toxic thing, you know, and it can be channeled in different ways. But I think the underlying anxiety that generates that reactivity has to do with people`s personal circumstances. It doesn`t have to do with actual Mexicans or Muslims. It has to do with how you`re doing, and how you expect to be doing in the future and how your children are going to be doing. And that`s what Bernie Sanders speaks to very explicitly and dispassionately, about, you know, really doing something about wages, about the fact that, you know, he has new ads, he has four new ads coming out tomorrow that are incredible, talking about how the top 15 people in America made as much as the bottom 100 million people. This is a message that really resonates. And, you know, you`ve been talking about Pat Buchanan this evening. He had that message, too. HAYES: Yes. CONNIFF: He talked about NAFTA. He talked about jobs flight. It turns out he was right about those things. It hallowed out this economy. HAYES: I think actually what`s interesting is that Trump actually does understand what he`s doing on this stuff. When he goes after NAFTA, when he goes after China, when he goes after immigration, when he talks about how the system is bought and sold by donors, when he talks about not cutting Social Security and Medicare, right, all of these things are distinguishing him from a kind of donor class consensus that dooms Republicans because it`s so out of sync with their base. That`s why I think he retreated on the wage question. I mean, today, he tweets, "Wages in the country are too low, good jobs are too few. People have lost faith in our leaders." That`s just a total reversal, right? I mean, he was talking like a capitalist when he was saying wages are too high. He recognized the error of that and the fact that actually the Trump supporters, the core of the Republican base supporting don`t want to hear that. CONNIFF: Yes, interesting that Bernie Sanders was able to rattle Trump in a way the other Republican candidates have not. I think that`s right. HAYES: So, there`s also this -- there`s also this polling which I think is interesting that in a head to head matchup, Bernie Sanders actually beats Trump, 51 to 38 percent. Now, I tend to find if the election were held tomorrow head to head up matchup, somewhat ridiculous. There was a point where Ben Carson was beating Hillary Clinton head to head, but that`s just not going -- that was not going to happen. But there`s something there when you ask people to choose. You know, part of the kind of appeal of someone who is outside the system or is saying the system is bankrupt is shared by both candidates. CONNIFF: Yes. The system is cracking up. People lack confidence. I mean, look at the debate, the Democratic debate, where Hillary Clinton did extraordinarily well where she said the force is with you and "Star Wars" fans were thrilled. She was super smooth. She asks, does business love Hillary Clinton? Everyone should love Hillary Clinton, she responded. Then you go to Bernie Sanders and he says, would business love a Sanders administration? No, I think they wouldn`t. And he articulated why specifically he was actually the opponent of this incredible inequality, this free pass for corporate crime, Wall Street crime, and that is a very credible message to Americans. And we would like, I think, a lot of us, to think it`s morning in America and to think that the go-go Clinton years of the `90s were great and that we can have a boom economy. But the truth is, people aren`t living that and Sanders` message is resonating. HAYES: Yes. CONNIFF: And that`s going to be a lasting thing, beyond the individual candidacy of Bernie Sanders. HAYES: That`s going to be the biggest challenge for the Democratic nominee is to speak to that while also not alienating Barack Obama and Barack Obama supporters and his legacy. I think that`s actually the key sort of messaging task the Democratic nominee will have to pull off. Ruth Conniff, thank you very much. CONNIFF: And beyond messaging, Chris, you know, it`s -- are you going to do something about it? You know, Hillary says, I`m going to do something about Wall Street and I`m going to take all this Wall Street money and it doesn`t affect me. That is a message that is creating a great crack. HAYES: Yes. All right. Ruth Conniff, thanks a lot. Still to come, why the decision in the Tamir Rice case is a complete failure of the justice system. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We have a president that thinks that ISIS has been contained. We have a president that doesn`t know what`s happening. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course, he also was the one who said that ISIS was contained one day before the Paris attacks. JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ISIS is not contained when they can take acts of terror in Paris or San Bernardino or take out a plane in the Sinai.
CARLY FIORINA, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, Mr. President, they`re not contained. They`re at our shores. They`re in our community centers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Obama`s comments the day before the Paris attacks about ISIS being contained have supposedly been the gaffe that keeps on giving for his political opponents but only when taken completely out of context.
Here`s what the president actually said in that November 12 interview with ABC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: From the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria, they`ll come in, they`ll leave, but you don`t see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The White House maintained President Obama was specifically referring to territory held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria returned a true from Politifact on both context and substance.
Today, the president`s claim got some new vindication. With help from American airstrikes, Iraqi security forces recaptured key parts of the city of Ramadi from ISIS, a potentially major victory that`s both strategic and symbolic.
Ramadi is the capital of the Sunni majority Anbar province, and while Iraqi security forces won previous battles with help from Shia militias, this time they fought alongside Sunni tribesmen whose long-term mistreatment by the Shia Iraqi government first helped ISIS gained the foothold.
Now, Ramadi is the latest in a string of military defeats for ISIS, which according to The New York Times has lost as much as 40 percent of Iraqi territory it seized last year.
And evidence suggests there may actually be a relationship between the group`s battlefield setbacks and its decision to pursue more conventional terrorism abroad.
One alleged defector told The Daily Beast that after ISIS sent thousands of foreign fighters to their slaughter in the battle for the town of Kobani, which it ultimately lost, the shortfall in recruits led ISIS high command to rethink how supporters outside of Iraq and Syria could best serve the cause.
Now, with the Iraqi government once again in control of central Ramadi, now comes the real test. For the first time since American troops toppled Saddam Hussein, can the majority Sunni parts of the country finally be fully integrated as equals into the new Iraqi state?
HAYES: More than a year after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer after that officer was found to have had a dismal performance record with handguns at a previous job with another police department, after a municipal court judge was asked by activists to review the case found probable cause for indictment on murder charges, making a recommendation to the county prosecutor, after the justice department released a damning report on the Cleveland police department, finding a widespread use of excessive force, and after protesters around the country took to the streets to demand justice for black Americans killed by law enforcement.
After all that today, what many had seen as inevitable finally came to pass. Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, announced that a grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved in the of Tamir Rice who was carrying a pellet gun outside a public recreation center when someone called 9/11.
The grand jury`s decision was widely expected, especially after three outside reports which were commissioned and made public by the prosecutor`s office found the officers had acted reasonably.
At a press conference today, Prosecutor McGinty said both he and the grand jury came to the same conclusion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIMOTHY J. MCGINTY, COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police.
Believing he was about to be shot was a mistaken, yet reasonable belief given the high stress circumstances in his police training.
He had reason to fear for his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: While grand jury testimony is typically sealed, the prosecutor`s office did release a written statement from the shooter, Officer Timothy Loehmann, which tells his side of the story, including the claims that Rice appeared to be over 18 years old and about 185 pounds, that he commanded Rice multiple times to show his hands, even after seeing him reach into his waistband and that he had tried to get in the back of the police cruiser before firing.
Compare all that to what we see in the surveillance video of the encounter, which appears to unfold in a matter of seconds.
Tamir Rice`s mother, Samaria (ph), responded to the grand jury`s decision in a statement, quote, in time in which a non-indictment for two police officers who killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir and for all the black people who have been killed by police without justice.
I don`t want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored.
Joining me is Jonathan Abady who is one of the attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice. Mr. Abady, let me ask you first your reaction to the announcement today. I assume it did not come as much of a surprise to you.
JONATHAN ABADY, ATTORNEY: Unfortunately, it was not a surprise. It was widely anticipated, as you suggested, but nevertheless it was incredibly disturbing, demoralizing and in actuality infuriating.
In our view, it`s a clear miscarriage of justice. This was absolutely an unjustified, unreasonable shooting of a 12-year-old child and it should have been presented. And it should have been presented to the grand jury in a fair and impartial way and it wasn`t.
And it`s very clear to us that it wasn`t. And it`s very distressing.
HAYES: Well, let`s talk about the process.
I mean, the case made today by McGinty, by the prosecutor, was essentially, we took a long time with this. We brought in outside experts. We impaneled a grand jury. I came to my own conclusions. And I -- that this was justified or that it was a reasonable fear for his life, and presented to the grand jury and they agreed with us, that`s a kind of check on the system. We both came to the agreement and that`s the way justice should work?
ABADY: It`s very disheartening to hear a public official, a prosecutor who`s entrusted with the responsibilities that they`re entrusted with to have that kind of description of this incident given what happened.
Let`s start with the proposition that this took over a year. This should not have taken over a year. Jeremy Martis, a white child this past year in Louisiana who was shot and killed by two black police officers, in that case the officers were indicted within 72 hours.
In Baltimore and South Carolina recently prosecutors have moved with expedition and alacrity to prosecute police officers who are engaged in wrongdoing.
This took more than a year. And when we first came into the case, our principle question to the prosecutor was, why is this taking so long? We were told that he was attempting to do a thorough investigation, that his mind was open, and that he was attempting to get experts.
Now, most people probably don`t understand how anomalous and irregular it is to present experts in a grand jury. It`s almost unprecedented. Experts opining in the grand jury on the ultimate issue in the case, which is whether the force was reasonable, typically those kinds of experts are testifying at trial and they`re testifying on subjects that are outside the normal ken of the typical juror.
And so we were shocked to hear that he was attempting to do that. And what was happening in actuality was he was canvassing and scouring the nation to try to find someone, anyone, who would say that this shooting of this 12-year-old child was justified, and it took him almost a year.
In October, he came up with two people who were willing to say that the shooting was justified, and they had clear pro-law enforcement biases. One of the people who he got had testimony that was rejected by the Justice Department as being excessively pro police, another of the individuals that was a so-called expert had opined that this shooting was reasonable before he was even retained.
And so it was clear what was being attempted here by the prosecutor over this very long period of time. They were going out and they were searching for people who were willing to say that the shooting was justified. It`s very, very unusual.
And then to add insult to injury, this prosecutor allowed these two police officers to testify in front of the grand jury, not to testify but to read sworn self-serving statements without ever being cross-examined. You can`t do that. It`s black letter law.
You either invoke your right to the fifth amendment, or if you choose to testify, you`re subject to cross-examination. These two officers were able to go in, read statements, and then shut up.
HAYES: So, it struck me today, as watching McGinty, about this process, it recalled to me the process that we unfold in Ferguson with Bob McCullough in which it seems a strange kind of hybrid process in which clearly the prosecutor has reached an independent decision not to prosecute, but want to essentially have the cover, whether political or legal, of a grand jury. And so they go to the grand jury and sort of present the kind of defense`s case to a grand jury despite the fact they`re the prosecutor.
ABADY: I think in conventional parlance it`s usually referred to as a whitewash. I think the reference to the utilization of the grand jury process as a means to cover an ulterior motive, which in this case was to exonerate these police officers is exactly what happened here.
And it`s very troubling and it`s very disturbing. It`s a long- standing problem in this nation. Prosecutors have historically had tremendous difficulty impartially and properly prosecuting their own because they work with these people every day.
But it`s a tremendous disservice to the men and women in uniform who are actually doing their jobs competently, conscientiously and professionally for this kind of thing to happen.
I mean, one of the remarkable things that happened in this case was we saw what was happening and we have a clear record of objecting to what we believe to be prosecutorial misconduct and a corruption of the grand jury process. When it became clear that this was so far off the rails we went to the extraordinary effort of actually having our own experts presented because the prosecutor told us that he was going to present them fairly to the grand jury.
I mean, what other crime victims are really required to provide evidence for the prosecution.
HAYES: For their own prosecution.
But we did it because this case was so important and because we felt that it was so off the rails. We presented three experts to this grand jury proceeding, and they were extremely well credentials law enforcement experts who have testified all over the country in federal and statement courts. They left that grand jury room after having been ridiculed and grilled for hours. They said they had never in all of their experience been subjected to that type of treatment.
One of the...
HAYES: This is from the prosecutor, McGinty?
One of the prosecutors in the grand jury, according to multiple witnesses, got into the well with the grand jurors and was openly snickering and ridiculing the experts that this family presented. It was not a fair presentation. It was extremely dirty pool and it`s so egregious that we`ve asked the federal government to step in and investigate this case.
HAYES: All right, Jonathan Abady, thank you very much for your time.
ABADY: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, we can`t bid adieu to 2015 without doing a year in review. It`s practically mandatory. So, tonight, the political story of the year. I`ll tell you what mine is ahead.
HAYES: In the wake of protests for his calling for his resignation over the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is cutting his planned 16-day vacation short after another fatal police shooting in his city. There`s also a very sparse story about what exactly happened and a whole lot of lingering questions.
Here`s what we know. The day after Christmas, Chicago police say they, quote, accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old mother of five while responding to domestic disturbance where they were, quote, confronted by a combative individual.
The 55-year-old woman was apparently a neighbor who was asked to keep an eye out for the arrival of police, according to family members.
Police also shot and killed a 19-year-old during the incident who is reportedly, they say, carrying a baseball bat and threatening his father.
So, that`s what the Chicago Police Department is saying.
What they are not saying is whether the, quote, combative subject was armed, whether officers knew they were responding to someone with possible mental health issues, whether the officers had Tasers and how exactly the bystander, the neighbor, was shot and killed.
The incident is being examined by the Independent Police Review authority whose integrity has been called into question by whistleblowers.
The officers involved have been put on administrative duty for 30 days, which is a new policy. The old policy required officers to be taken off active duty for three days following the firing of a gun.
Tonight, we`ve learned the 19-year-old victim`s father has filed a wrongful death suit against the city.
In the suit he claims there are video recordings over portion of the events that had been confiscated by the city.
Chicago Sun Times reports the city has declined comment. We will continue to follow this story. We`ll be back in a moment.
HAYES: 2015 has truly been one of the strangest years in American politics in a long time. Obviously, there`s the trump phenomenon, but there`s also the deeper question of what that represents: for conventional wisdom, for the Republican Party, for the country as a whole.
The Late Show host Stephen Colbert went about examining the Trump phenomenon through a lens he`s very familiar with.
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STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE LATE SHOW: I`m not the first person to say this, but I completely agree that he`s my old character with $10 billion, you know, he doesn`t -- he`s completely playing on an emotional level and so beautifully. I mean, it`s one of the reasons why I just can`t do that old character anymore because he`s doing it better than I ever could, because he`s willing to drink his own Kool-Aid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: One of the biggest questions in analyzing the Trump effect is how his candidacy could influence and shape politics possibly for years to come.
Buzzfeed reporter Rosy Gray (ph) looks at how Trump helped fuel the rise of the white nationalist alt-right movement, that`s what it calls itself, a movement she describes as, quote, white supremacy perfectly tailored for our times all riding on the coattails of the Trump boon.
I don`t know about you, but I can`t get enough of year-end retrospectives. So when we come back, our experts will weigh in on their favorite most important political trends and stories of the year. I`ll tell you what mine are, ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best. They`re bringing drugs. They`re bringing crime. Their rapists. And some I assume are good people.
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Let me ask you flat out whether you stand by the claim that you as a young man, as a 14-year-old boy, attempted to stab another boy and attacked your mother with a hammer.
BEN CARSON, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Those claims are absolutely true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who else was at your home? Were you alone?
HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. SECRETARY OF STATE: I was alone, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole night?
CLINTON: Well, yes. The whole night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I don`t know why that`s funny. I mean, did you have any in-person briefings? I don`t find it funny at all.
CLINTON: I`m sorry. A little note of levity at 7:15.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: When one of your Republican colleagues gets on the show, do you say are you a capitalist? Have you ever referred to them as capitalist.
CHUCK TODD, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Are you a capitalist?
SANDERS: No. I`m a democratic socialist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, joining me now to talk about this year in politics Rosie Gray, reporter for Buzzfeed News and Ryan Grimm, reporter for Huffington Post.
All right, I`ve been thinking about sort of what the kind of big takeaway trend, the kind of topline thing that happened that was new and most important in politics this year.
Rosie Gray, what would you nominate?
ROSIE GRAY, BUZZFEED: Well, I think the obvious answer is the Trump phenomenon. He`s just completely turned the primary on its head and really the Republican Party on its head. And it`s led to so many ripple effects throughout the party and throughout sort of our political atmosphere right now. I think that`s kind of the obvious answer.
HAYES: You had a really good piece about what calls itself the Alt Right, which is a kind of internet movement of white nationalists. They don`t like to call themselves white supremacists, although if you spend any time reading with them they pretty clearly think white people are superior.
Tell me about what the Alt Right is and how they kind of relate to the Trump phenomenon.
GRAY: well, it`s sort of a movement that grew out of -- that sees itself as really a rejection of mainstream conservatism. But they`re basically white nationalists who really understand the internet. It`s not your father`s white nationalists if you know what I mean.
I mean, these are people who have like a really good grasp of sort of the current politics of the internet in 2015 and they`re becoming sort of a little bit more and more mainstream because they`re all really big Trump supporters and they see him as validating certain aspects of their ideology.
HAYES: Yeah, it`s amazing how it only takes you a few clicks when interacting -- it`s a remarkable thing that has been very clear to me since the sort of rise of this phenomenon. You`re always a click or two away when sort of interacting with a Trump support from like -- it gets like real white supremacist real fast when you start to enter into the online world of Donald Trump support.
Ryan, what do you think the sort of top -- or a top political trend of the year is?
RYAN GRIMM, HUFFINGTON POST: One thing that really struck me was at the last Democratic debate the candidates actually spent a significant amount of time talking about the heroin crisis in this country. And it`s so unusual for an issue like that that doesn`t really have a partisan edge to bubble up into the national political conversation.
And the candidates, by traveling through rural places like Iowa and New Hampshire, other than Trump, who doesn`t actually campaign in a real way, have just met so many people whose lives have been destroyed by this that they have just begun talking about it because they`ve realized that so many voters actually care about it.
HAYES: I think it`s so fascinating. I think this is the one place where the kind of campaign system is actually working, right.
I mean, the idea is that you go out, you talk to people and you hear what`s going on and you sort of respond to them. And heroin is an issue, an addiction and treatment for that addiction and the way we should think about drugs and the war on drugs, it really does seem organic.
And it also, Ryan, seems like the rhetoric is so notably different than, say, the rhetoric on crack in the late 1980s, early 1990s.
GRIMM: Yeah, I think that`s right. And it goes -- early in the spring Hillary Clinton, some of her aides told us that she was hearing a lot about this. And, you know, you hear from one person, you know, whose child died of an overdose, that`s one thing. You hear -- every event you go to and when you start getting confronted with this, then you really start to think of it.
And the conversation at the debate was kind of striking in the sense, how nuanced it was and how non-kind of martial, non-war-like it was. And part of that is you had Martin O`Malley who as mayor of Baltimore dealt with this in a real granular way.
But you know, they were talking about hey, we need to go to emergency rooms and that`s where you need to make your first intervention, with people who are struggling with this. And this was nothing like the fear- mongering that the drug war has been over the last 30 years.
HAYES: So my top trend, which relates in some ways to what Rosie is talking about is I think the most interesting thing that`s happened this year is these sort of two things running up against each other.
One is that partisan polarization in terms of identification is more intense than it`s ever been in America. This polling which was pulled out boy Vox is fascinating: would you be upset if your child married someone from the other political party? 1965, 4 percent of Democrats and Republicans respectively, it goes up to 27 percent and 20 percent.
By 2010, which is again five years ago, 49 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of Democrats. So people see this identity as increasingly central.
At the same time that the thing they`re identifying with, with the Republican or Democratic Party is institutionally collapsing. The Republican Party seems to be as an entity to have no actual substance or center. It can`t tell anyone what to do. All the money in politics is sort of alternate.
So you have this like bizarre situation this year in which everyone`s more partisan in some senses, more tribal, more polarized, more associated with these entities at the same time as those entities are losing actual institutional power.
That to me I think is going to be one of the biggest stories we see coming up in 2016.
Rosie Gray, Ryan Grimm. A happy new year to both of you. Thank you for joining us.
GRIMM: Happy new year, Chris.
HAYES: All right that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END