All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/16/2016

Guests: Michael Moore, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Jeff Merkley, Bob Graham

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 16, 2016 Guest: Michael Moore, Jeremy Ben-Ami Guest: Jeff Merkley, Bob Graham, Michael Moore CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "All In."

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BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin.

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HAYES: President Obama sending signals to his successor.

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OBAMA: Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave.

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HAYES: And his Russian counterpart.

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OBAMA: We can do stuff to you.

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HAYES: As the FBI today said Russia acted to help Trump. Team Trump draws its own conclusions.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wouldn`t have happened if Hillary Clinton didn`t have a secret server.

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HAYES: Then Michael Moore joins me on Obama`s strategy, what he will and will not do.

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OBAMA: It is not my job to decide my successor.

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HAYES: Plus North Carolina`s Republican governor signs a law stripping power from the Democrat who defeated him. And the conspiracy theorist Trump wants to make an ambassador.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huma Abedin, close connections to the Muslim brotherhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And al Qaeda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And al Qaeda, right.

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HAYES: And "All In" starts right now.

Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In 35 days, Donald Trump will become president of the United States.

Today, the current president, Barack Obama, gave his final press conference of the year, addressing a global audience on a wide range of issues. But it centered on what the U.S. intelligence community says was a covert campaign by Russia to disrupt the 2016 election.

And on that subject, the president have messages for two specific individuals -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and the U.S. President- elect Donald Trump. After telling NPR in an interview, the United States will respond to the Russian hacks, targeting Democrats.

Today, the president said the public may never know the details of that response.

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OBAMA: There have been folks out there who suggest somehow that if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff, that somehow, that would potentially spook the Russians. But keep in mind that we already have enormous numbers of sanctions against the Russians.

At a point in time where we`ve taken certain actions that we can divulge publicly, we will do so. There are times where the message will go -- will be directly received by the Russians and not publicized.

And I should point out, by the way, part of why the Russians have been effective on this is because they don`t go around announcing what they`re doing.

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HAYES: This comes as NBC News confirms what was first reported today by "The Washington Post." According to U.S. intelligence officials, both FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, agree with the CIA`s assessment that Russia intervened in the election, in part, to help elect Trump.

NBC News previously reported based on intelligence sources that Putin himself was personally involved in directing the use of hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee, democratic House campaigns and Clinton campaign Chair, John Podesta. Today, President Obama called for a bipartisan independent investigation into the hacks, warning against injecting politics into the process.

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OBAMA: I think it is very important for us to distinguish between the politics of the election and the need for us as a country to make sure that we don`t create a political football here. One way I do believe that the president-elect can approach this that would be unifying is to say that we welcome a bipartisan independent process that gives the American people an assurance not only that votes are counted properly, that the elections are fair and free, but that we have learned lessons.

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HAYES: The president-elect, for his part, continues to dispute the intelligence community`s unanimous conclusion made in October that Russia was behind the hacks, seeming to imply in a tweet, the hacks performed a kind of public service, quote, "Are we talking about the same cyber attack where it was revealed the head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions from (ph) the debate," Trump apparently referring to an e-mail suggesting the Clinton team got a heads up about a question for town hall during the primaries from Donna Brazile, who was not yet acting DNC chair. We should also note that`s not illegal.

Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York, an early Trump backer, made a similar argument in an interview today.

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REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: Now, as the Democrats, to the extent this did happen, it`s the truth that came out that may have had an impact on this election instead of the lies and deceit. So if -- if the truth had an impact, then so be it.

I don`t think anyone should complain that the truth did come out.

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HAYES: Former Trump Campaign Manager, Kellyanne Conway, whose role in the next administration remains as yet unspecified, has been picking a fight with the White House press secretary over his contention earlier this week that Trump knew Russia was responsible for the hacks. And today, she dismissed the whole issue as, quote, "Monday morning quarterbacking over the election."

KELLYANNE CONWAY, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Now, how does he know what Donald Trump knew and that it was (ph) -- he obviously knew and he knew it was hurting Hillary Clinton? You know, if you want to shut this down and you actually love the country enough to have this peaceful transition in our great democracy between the Obama administration and the Trump administration, there are a couple of people in -- in pretty prominent positions, one`s named Obama, one`s named Hillary Clinton, since these people are trying to fight over her election still, they could shut this down.

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HAYES: Just to be clear, that was Kellyanne Conway, apparently questioning whether President Obama loves this country. Sean Spicer, Trump`s transition spokesperson and reportedly a frontrunner to be White House press secretary, blame the hacks on Hillary Clinton`s completely unrelated use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

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SEAN SPICER, TRUMP TRANSITION SPOKESPERSON: I think the problem I have with this story and the narrative that`s out there about Russia is a few things. Number one, this wouldn`t have happened if Hillary Clinton didn`t have a secret server.

It wouldn`t -- I mean, she didn`t follow protocols.

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HAYES: Just to reiterate and make painfully clear, Russia`s alleged cyber espionage into the DNC and John Podesta has nothing to do whatsoever, at all, in any way, shape or form, definitively at all, absolutely with Clinton`s e-mail server -- at all. At his press conference today, President Obama pointed to a new poll showing that a lot more Republicans view Vladimir Putin favorably than they used to -- 37 percent -- 37 percent up 27 points from just two years ago.

The president sounded a warning about potential danger of this kind of lockstep partisan polarization.

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OBAMA: We`ve got to think about what`s happening to our political culture here. The Russians can`t change us or significantly weaken us.

They are a smaller country. They are a weaker country. Their economy doesn`t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms.

But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB.

Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave.

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HAYES: I`m joined now by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat from Oregon who formerly worked as a national security analyst at the Pentagon.

Your reaction to the president today? There are a lot of folks who really felt like they wanted him to be more vociferous, to be more pointed to maybe call out Donald Trump for -- for his sort of refusal to accept the intelligence community consensus.

What was your reaction?

JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: Well, we have to recognize that this is the political equivalent of 9/11. Russia has attacked the core process in our nation, the core process behind our presidency.

And this is -- is a -- not just a -- a modest deal or a big deal. This is a gigantic issue and it deserves massive exploration, declassification.

Americans need to know the story. We now have to develop a strategy for it to never happen again. And we need to understand the full depth of it.

For example, "The New York Times" has reported that it`s not just Russia hacking in -- to influence the presidential election but to also influence congressional elections. So a -- a bipartisan independent commission similar to that for 9/11 is absolutely essential.

HAYES: So on that -- on that policy ground, the president called for that. Dick Durbin has been on this program calling for that.

Ben Cardin has called for it. Others have as well. You`re -- you`re -- you`re of the belief that should happen. But I can`t help but notice that your tone about this is very different than the president`s.

The president was -- was -- took pains today to kind of tamp down the rhetoric about this, basically saying, we hold our own destiny in our hands. And if our political culture weren`t as bad as it is and if the media weren`t as bad as it is, we wouldn`t be here.

You`re just -- you`re calling this the political equivalent of 9/11. Who is right on this?

MERKLEY: Well, certainly, I -- I feel like the president feels a responsibility to have a gracious transition of power. He feels that`s his role at the moment.

But our role is to recognize that our political system has been hacked by a hostile foreign power and that that is a huge issue. It compromises the legitimacy of the presidency coming in.

We have a president-elect who lost a citizens` election. And now, we find out a lot of the -- these very narrow votes in key states were influenced by a Russian operation.

And that is completely unacceptable. So we`ve really got to go at this with a lot of vigor. What`s missing in the puzzle are the -- are the Republicans standing up.

And we really need to have this bipartisan commission. Imagine the situation if it was reversed. FBI found out in September 2015 that the DNC was being hacked.

And they didn`t go brief the DNC. Can you imagine if that was a Republican National Committee that -- that was hacked and -- and the FBI didn`t fill them in?

They would be up -- up in arms. We`ve got to walk in each other`s shoes here. This is just an unacceptable assault.

HAYES: So in terms of walking in each other`s shoes, I just -- I want to be -- I want to be specific here. You mentioned the narrow margin.

And I assume you mean across the three states that determine the election, 80, 000 votes. You know, we don`t have any specific causal evidence, right, that the -- that the leaks themselves produced the outcome.

Do you believe they were definitive?

MERKLEY: Well, I wouldn`t go far as to say definitive because there were many elements in those final days and including the actions of our director of the FBI. I must say that the director of the FBI between not briefing the DNC about the Russian hacking and then interfering 11 days before the election has proven himself really in history, he`ll be one of the worst directors we`ve -- we`ve ever had.

This is just outrageous performance by the FBI.

HAYES: Well, and what do you say to folks, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, other Republicans who basically say, you, Senator, this is sour grapes. You`re being a sore loser.

And you`re -- you`re attempting to undermine legitimacy of the duly elected incoming president-elect of the United States?

MERKLEY: I would say if you`re a patriotic American, you care when America is attacked. And attacking the validity of our elections goes right to the heart of who we are.

So let`s stand together. Let`s take on this threat. Let`s fully explore it. Let`s fully understand it.

And it does cast a cloud over the incoming administration. But that`s because of the facts.

And it`s -- it`s the facts of the situation. It`s not political positioning that cast that cloud.

HAYES: All right, Senator Jeff Merkley, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

MERKLEY: You`re welcome.

HAYES: Joining me now, former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat from Florida, who chaired the Senate select committee on intelligence holding that post on 9/11 and responsible really in -- one of the architects of the current intelligence architecture we have in this country, I think it`s fair to say.

You were nodding your head with Senator Merkley. Is that basically where you`re at on this?

FORMER SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: Yes, I think you have to divide the issue between the outcome of the election, which is known. I don`t believe anyone seriously thinks that Donald Trump is not going to be inaugurated on January 20.

From the issue of a foreign government, in this case, a government with which we have had very challenging relationships in recent years, has interfered with our election. One of the things that our founding fathers were most concerned about was foreign governments interfering with the politics of this new country.

They didn`t like the idea of democracy. They wanted.

HAYES: Right.

GRAHAM: .more monarchies. And the -- the fact that this has now happened, I think as Senator Merkley said, is a very important issue and deserves to have the fullest investigation. And we can learn some of the lessons from 9/11 as we prepare for such an investigation.

HAYES: So I should be clear, there was -- there was the select committee which was empaneled by the Senate and there was the 9/11 committee. Those were -- those were distinct bodies.

You were on that select committee that was empanelled by the Senate.

GRAHAM: It was both the House and.

HAYES: Right.

GRAHAM: .the Senate intelligence.

HAYES: Right. I`m sorry but by -- by Congress. Is that the kind of model, the select committee that you chaired -- is that the kind of model you think we should see for investigation of what happened here?

GRAHAM: Yes, because it can be done quicker, more efficiently. You have people who`ve already had intelligence clearances. They can start.

They also, if they decide to continue to use their current staff, they are in a position to move forward. If they did, as we did, have an independent staff, they could get about the business of selecting that.

So I -- while I don`t think that is a major issue, the major issue being independence and bipartisanship. But I would prefer that it be the two intelligence committees.

HAYES: Mitch -- Mitch McConnell basically saying the -- the standing committees as they are will do fine with the Republican majorities and why would you want to take them away from that. I`ve had other Democratic senators saying this is nonsense and that in any other setting, we would obviously have immediately have a select committee.

What`s your view?

GRAHAM: Well, we did.

HAYES: I mean, why -- why is Mitch McConnell saying that? Do you think he`s being -- that`s good faith?

GRAHAM: I -- I don`t question his motives. I mean, I frankly think that the process of using people who are experienced -- and the intelligence committees have had a long history of being bipartisan. And they are almost of equal numbers even in the House where the Republicans have a significant majority.

So they, I think, adequately meet the test (ph) of being independent and bipartisan.

HAYES: I want you to -- to -- to speak to viewers who are trying to parse all this because we keep having new reports. First it was there was a consensus that it was the Russians across the different agencies, the DNI saying that, right?

There`s 17 different intelligence agencies in the United States government. Then it was that not only that but -- but then before the election, the FBI saying, well, we don`t know the motives.

Maybe they were just trying to kind of mess with us. And then afterwards, the CIA saying, well, no, we know the motives.

They were -- it appears they`re trying to elect Trump. Today`s news, the FBI has joined them in that.

What -- how should we read what appears to be a pretty broad consensus across the intelligence community? How rare is that? How robust is that?

GRAHAM: It is relatively rare in complex issues like this. For instance, the war in Iraq, there were 17 agencies split. Fifteen supported the proposition that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that warranted a war.

Two of the agencies, the State Department and the Energy Department dissented from that.

HAYES: And you voted against that war.

GRAHAM: I voted against that war because I thought the -- the -- the State Department and the Energy Departments rationales were much more persuasive.

HAYES: So -- so do people like myself who were scarred by that experience and looking at this intelligence and saying, I don`t know, is this another WMD (ph), what do you say?

GRAHAM: I wouldn`t use this -- the example of a false interpretation.

HAYES: Yes.

GRAHAM: .that occurred back in 2002 to color whether the agencies today are capable of providing more credible assessments.

HAYES: Former Senator Bob Graham`s got a new book out you can read. It`s called -- it`s on (ph) political engagement called "America: An Owner`s Manual," co-written with Chris Hand.

And it`s a great pleasure to have you here, Mr. Graham. Thank you so much.

GRAHAM: Thank you very much, Chris.

HAYES: OK, don`t go anywhere. Michael Moore is going to be here after this two-minute break. Stick around.

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OBAMA: I haven`t shared previously private conversations I`ve had with the president-elect. I will say that they have been cordial and in some cases, have involved me making some pretty specific suggestions about how to ensure that, regardless of our obvious disagreements about policy, maybe I can transmit some thoughts about maintaining the effectiveness, integrity, cohesion of the office, our various democratic institutions.

And -- and he`s -- has listened.

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HAYES: President Obama seemed restrained this afternoon when discussing his relationship with the incoming Trump administration. It was a familiar tone for the president who is calm and professorial, no drama-Obama, as he was nicknamed early in his presidency.

But about a month away from Donald Trump taking the oath of office and being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, a man with no political experience, who admits to skipping daily security briefing, even as he refuses to accept the clear consensus from the intelligence community that (ph) foreign government interfered with America`s election, the lack of outrage or alarmism from President Obama may have disappointed some of his most fervent supporters. There was something singularly disconcerting about watching the president diplomatically tiptoe around how this country will fare in his absence.

Our next guest has a rather dire vision for what we can expect next, writing in an essay, published this week on Facebook. And I quote here, "Donald Trump is going to get us killed."

Joining me now, Michael Moore, Academy Award winning filmmaker and author, that piece (ph) as well. I will say.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I`m not -- I`m not smiling, am I?

HAYES: No. I hope that`s -- I hope that`s -- I will say you wrote this piece during the election that Donald Trump`s going to win the election. And a lot of people got mad at you.

I hope that prediction -- I hope your -- this prediction is much worse than that prediction. Why do you think he`s going to get us all killed?

MOORE: I think anytime the commander-in-chief refuses to attend the daily national security briefings puts the entire country in danger. That is -- that`s not rocket science for me to come up with that conclusion.

I don`t have to be a professional pundit to -- to say that if you don`t know what`s going on, you know, it`s -- it`s one thing when we have Bush asleep behind the wheel, when he didn`t read the -- the security briefing of August 6, 2001.

HAYES: The one determined to strike the U.S.?

MOORE: Yes. Now, Trump isn`t even getting behind the wheel.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: Now, after I wrote that, the day after I wrote that and other people chimed in, his aide announced that he will go to three a week.

HAYES: Three a week.

MOORE: Three a week. So -- so -- so the other four days, America.

HAYES: All right, I`m -- I`m very curious. You said, we were just talking in (ph) the break.

MOORE: You`re on your own.

HAYES: .you said you watched all of that press conference.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: And I thought (ph) the reaction to it (ph) was amazing because in many ways, it was very consistent with the way Barack Obama has always been.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: He is -- he is bone-deep and institutionalist. He has a.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: .a tremendous amount of confidence that that in the end, things will work out.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: That when the tone is panicked or hysterical or alarmed, his tone is measured and cool.

MOORE: And I saw a lot of people who were feeling very panicked and hysterical and alarmed a little frustrated with measured and cool.

MOORE: Now is not the time to be measured -- measured and -- well, cool is OK.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: You really -- it`s never good to operate in a panic.

HAYES: Yes.

MOORE: .situation becoming panicked yourself.

HAYES: It`s one of the things I admire truly about the man.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: .of Barack Obama.

MOORE: And he does -- he does -- he is trying to show Trump how we expect to, you know, for him to behave.

MOORE: He`s modeling presidential behavior, is what you`re saying?

MOORE: Had Hillary won, right.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: .like this is the way you -- we -- you should behave. But yes, I think he`s trying to teach a lesson but there`s other lessons he could have taught today, too.

For instance, when the -- when the Electoral College was brought up.

HAYES: Yes. Well, let me play that clip because I`ve got a question about that. And I want you to respond.

Here is -- here is when he was asked about electors` meeting on Monday whether there is need for Electoral College reform in its place (ph).

MOORE: OK, sure.

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OBAMA: The Electoral College is a vestige. It`s a carryover from an earlier vision of how our federal government was going to work that put a lot of premium on states.

So there`s -- there are some structures in our -- in our political system as envisioned by the founders that sometimes are going to disadvantage Democrats.

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HAYES: But he stepped aside from the -- any talk, of course, of -- of that they should be swayed on Monday or -- or be briefed or not vote for Trump.

MOORE: Right. Or -- or being a constitutional law professor, use this as a teaching moment to tell young people who are watching that the reason we have an Electoral College is because the founding fathers wanted the slave states to join the union. We didn`t want them separating at the beginning.

So to get them to join, we had to agree to their plan, which was to be able to -- they could count two-thirds of their slaves.

HAYES: Three-fifths, yes.

MOORE: Yes, three-fifths and they could -- and -- and that would -- the slaves couldn`t vote.

HAYES: Of course, right.

MOORE: But they were actually.

HAYES: But they would get those in the census.

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: .three-fifths counted as citizens.

HAYES: That`s right.

MOORE: .and -- and then they could claim that, as population for their congressional districts and the Electoral College.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: And the irony that a system that was set up to placate slave states would end up 200 plus years later benefiting a man who ran on racism is truly profound.

HAYES: And do you think -- there are people who are pushing very hard who think that because of some of the constitutional perils of the emoluments clause, because of the popular vote margin, because of a fundamental, they think, threat to liberal democracy that -- that electors should be persuaded and pressured on Monday to -- to part with what their pledges and vote -- and vote against Donald Trump.

MOORE: Yes, they absolutely should do that.

HAYES: Do you think so (ph)?

MOORE: Absolutely. I -- I believe right now that there are electors. Only 38 of them, who have a conscience or who are worried about a man who won`t attend the daily security briefings, who -- who we now know Russia was trying to help get elected, I mean, can you imagine if this -- if you or I had been running for office and they -- they showed that the Iranians were somehow involved in helping you or me get elected? What would happen to you or me, Chris?

I`m just curious. What would happen? This is.

HAYES: I think it would be a totally chill situation all around.

MOORE: I think we would -- yes.

HAYES: Yes.

MOORE: .we would -- I`m just saying that -- that yes, this is the time that electors this weekend -- I don`t know if any of them watch your show, if any of the Republicans do. This is a moment for a profile in courage here.

We need them to.

HAYES: You don`t think that would precipitate chaos, like genuine -- genuine chaos.

MOORE: No, no, there`s I think what has to -- there is these -- these Hamilton electors. They polled.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: .they polled the electors. And they know none of the Republican electors will vote for Hillary.

HAYES: Of course, yes.

MOORE: So the chance of that happening is gone, OK?

HAYES: Right. The idea is to push them away from Donald Trump to some sort of.

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: To a -- to a Republican.

HAYES: Right.

MOORE: To a Republican who will agree to have a vice president who`s a Democrat and half the cabinet will be Democrats, half Republicans, have a unity government to pull -- to pull through this. And -- and they`re hoping that by -- if it`s -- if it`s a Republican, you see, you need Republican leaders to step up this weekend and say, at the very least, can`t we just put this on hold until we find out what the Russian situation is?

HAYES: But if you`re -- if you`re counting on Republican leaders to step up, that -- that I think is a plan.

MOORE: Yes, you know, I do that all the time.

HAYES: Yes, that`s not a good plan. I mean.

MOORE: I`m constantly depending on Republicans to do the right thing.

HAYES: There is a dispatch -- there is a dispatch from the state of North Carolina that -- that gives you a little window into.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: .a sort of a certain philosophy of government.

MOORE: Yes.

HAYES: I want to give an update on that if you will stick around to react to that.

MOORE: Oh, sure, yes, yes, yes.

HAYES: That`ll be great. Michael Moore is going to stay here. More on the remarkable doings (ph) in North Carolina after this break, don`t go anywhere.

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REP. DAVID PRICE (D), NORTH CAROLINA: No notice was given. I mean, it was a very, very quick thing, a matter of a few hours. The legislature announced they`d be having an -- an additional special session and that this one was going to be aimed at a whole raft of efforts to reduce the governor`s powers.

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HAYES: On this show last night, Congressman David Price said there had been no notice about the special session Republican lawmakers in North Carolina called to strip power from the incoming Democratic governor. The power grab has been met with outrage and protest.

The "Associated Press" reporting 16 people were arrested today, 17 arrests from it yesterday, including a journalist from the advocacy (ph) group. And today, the lame duck governor recently booted out of office by the voters of his state, the Republican Pat McCrory, began signing into law these bills that will sharply reduce the power of the new governor, the Democrat Roy Cooper.

He rammed through legislation, will effectively undermine the new governor`s input into state election boards, increase Republican control over who he picks for his own cabinet and bar him from making appointments to statewide educational positions -- all powers his predecessor, the current Republican, enjoyed. These moves are being widely denounced across the country and in a bipartisan fashion, some Republicans raising hackles as well --partisanship so extreme, it strains the bounds of democratic legitimacy -- a defeated Republican governor signing into law measures that will strip powers from the incoming democratic governor who defeated him when no one discussed this during the campaign.

Governor-elect Cooper has already threatened to take Republicans to court. And this legislative act engineered -- we should name who has done this -- by Senate leader Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore -- those two gentlemen, is being voted on by a Republican supermajority, many of whom come from districts that have been deemed by a federal court to be flatly considered unconstitutional because they were so aggressively, and here I`m quoting that court, "racially gerrymandered."

New elections to right that wrong won`t come until next year. Given all that, the frustration of democratic lawmakers was intense.

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REP. LARRY HALL (D), NORTH CAROLINA: At some point in time, we are going to have to give up some of the power to the people we represent.

REP. ROBERT RIEVES (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Stop making everything partisan. It would just be nice one day if we got back to governing.

REP. CHRIS SGRO (D), NORTH CAROLINA: It is shameful that we have an omnibus piece of legislation costing the taxpayers of North Carolina $42,000 a day so that we can embark on this coup. And I will not stand with you as you embark on a coup.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Coup, strong words.

Michael Moore is here. What he thinks about what is happening in North Carolina and what it portends for the rest of the country next. Don`t go anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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REV. WILLIAM BARBER: We have an election coming up in 2017, and they know that many of them are going to be voted out of office. So now they`re trying to engage in a coup. If this was going on in any other country, America would be outraged. If this was going on in any other country, the president of the United States and others would even speak out, even candidates would speak out against it. Because what you see going on here is just blatant unconstitutional meanness. It`s like apartheid government, it`s like fascism. It`s wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: All right, Reverend Barber saying if this was going on in any other country we`d all be outraged. Still with us Michael Moore.

And I want to talk to you about what is going on in North Carolina in some ways I think it`s actually the most important story in the country right now this week.

MOORE: It`s an amazing story.

HAYES: Because it is such a flagrant violation.

MOORE: Right.

HAYES: It is a technically -- it`s technically procedurally, it`s technically legal. They can do this. They have a super majority, but it is such a manifestly sort of -- it seems so illegitimate that it`s straining the bounds of something that feel pretty deep.

MOORE: It`s a good coming attraction to what -- how the Republicans are going to use power in the next -- not years, few weeks and months. I have to say this, you have to admire conservatives and Republicans. They are so brazen. They are so -- they don`t care. They just go for it. This is just amazing that what you just showed, it was just amazing.

HAYES: And what`s amazing to me Reverend Barber there who I think is a man who is a pretty amazing or organizer. I`ve spent some time with, reported on, he does understand power. But then you have the Democrats in the State Assembly saying things like, essentially trying to shame them.

It would be nice if we could get back to governing. This is so non- bipartisan, as opposed to understanding that what essentially is happening there is a very fundamental power.

MOORE: How come on my side of the political fence we don`t have that sort of, yeah, you know, that courage of their convictions, the sort of decisiveness and the full speed ahead. I mean, seriously, just if tonight, if Donald Trump was ahead by 3 million votes but Hillary was going to get the electoral college on Monday, what do you think the Trump people and the Republicans would be doing?

HAYES: The world would look very differently, I agree.

MOORE: Absolutely. And I don`t mean that they would react violently, I just mean.

HAYES: Lawsuits.

MOORE: Everything. They would throw everything at this. And what is our...

HAYES: There would have been no concession yet.

MOORE: There would be no concession, but again the Clinton campaign, everybody is trying to -- President Obama wants to be the nice guy, everybody is, you know, and it`s like this is not the time -- this is serious stuff that`s ahead of us here.

HAYES: The story in Maine, you know, goes with this as well. Governor LePage they passed a minimum wage referendum that increased the minimum wage for tip workers against the opposition of the sitting governor Paul LePage. He announced today that he is going to instruct his Department of Labor not to enforce the law.

MOORE: Right. Right.

HAYES: This is just -- and it does seem to me almost that we`re -- this seems to me like -- this seems to me like edging into democratic crisis in a very profound way.

MOORE: Absolutely. No, no, our democracy here is at risk.

HAYES: But then how do you -- but can you fight to restore -- the question is becomes do you fight fire with fire, does that restore democracy or do you further degrade it if you do that?

MOORE: No, you have to fight fire with fire. You absolutely have to.

You can stay on the high road and fight at the same time. Unfortunately, the Democrats` our side, my side, they`re usually, oh, wait a minute. That`s not right. Wait. Whoa. Oh. And then everybody goes into their depressive voice of, oh, wait a minute. It`s like, no, come on, people. Come on.

HAYES: Speaking of the Democrats...

MOORE: The tanks are 20 miles outside of Paris. Let`s go. Seriously.

HAYES: Speaking of the Democrats and democratic leadership, do you have there`s -- the department -- the Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced he`ll be running for DNC Chair. Keith Ellison, one of the very few members of congress to endorse Bernie Sanders in the primary, who has been endorsed both by Bernie and by Chuck Schumer, so sort of different wings of the party I think it`s fair to say, do you have a preference in that race? Is there someone you want to see lead the Democratic Party?

MOORE: Oh, it should be Keith Ellison, absolutely. Yes. And not because the Bernie thing. I think we need new blood. We need young blood. this thing -- I mean, god bless Nancy Pelosi, you know, she`s done so many great things. Historic figure, but to go with the same old, same old, same old when we need new thinking, fresh blood and a fight in us, a fight, and this is -- there`s so many things that should be discussed right now.

Here`s something that`s not even being discussed, the fact that the CIA has told us that they have both the DNC and the RNC, but only released the DNC, did not release the RNC. One of the things that nobody is talking about is, well, clearly they have the goods on somebody there. Why do you want to risk a president in the White House that could be blackmailed by whatever they discovered at the RNC?

HAYES: I will note The Wall Street Journal is reporting today to suggest that perhaps they didn`t get into the -- it`s not clear. There`s some reporting today in The Wall Street Journal to suggest they didn`t get into the RNC because of security measures. That said...

MOORE: To believe that we have to believe the Republicans, the Grand Old Party, is so up on their technology that they had firewalls in there and the Democrats of Silicon Valley didn`t.

HAYES: There`s also a broader question about the implications more broadly about this entire thing. I mean, once people start pulling on the threads of where this investigation goes and what else happens to the possession of whoever pulled this off, which appears to be the Russian state actors.

MOORE: Listen, we are hours away now from the electoral college coming together on Monday. This needs protest. This needs people`s voices. You can go to vigils for America. I think it`s .org, and they have a list of all the state protests at the state capitals this weekend and on Monday. People need to have their voice heard.

Don`t say to yourself, oh, what`s the use? How do we -- nothing`s going to happen. You don`t know that. You don`t know that. That`s why we have to keep fighting. We have to fight all the way to inauguration day and then be ready for them to start the day after the inauguration day and then be ready for them to start the day after the inauguration passing law after law after law.

HAYES: And you think protesting on inauguration day and...

MOORE: Protesting. Objecting. Disrupting. Civil disobedience. I mean, the man has no right to enter that house. There are too many questions about whatever collusion was going on. I mean, that admitted that they were in touch with the Russians during the campaign. They have said that.

So, we would need to know as Americans what the hell was going on there and he does not have a mandate. He does not have a mandate. And that just needs to be said over and over and over again. And the media, for god`s sake, please do your job.

HAYES: We try. Michael Moore...

MOORE: You`re not trying hard enough, Chris.

HAYES: Thank you very much. Appreciate it very much.

All right, still to come, the bankruptcy lawyer Donald Trump wants to be the ambassador to Israel, a man who finds himself to the right of Benjamin Netanyahu. More on that ahead.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing one tonight, amidst all the concerns about conflicts of interest in the Trump family came this tweet. Eric Trump Foundation auctioning a private coffee with Ivanka Trump for charity. The New York Times picked up in, reporting on just who was ready to pay big bucks to grab coffee with the future first daughter.

Ozan M. Ozkural, a London-based investment manager bid nearly $60,000. Mr. Ozkural wanted to meet with Ms. Trump to gain insight into topics like President-elect Donald J. Trump`s possible future dealings with Turkey and other nations where Mr. Ozkural invests.

Other bidders, including the owner of a Tex Mex restaurant chain from Houston wants to press Mr. Trump, through his daughter, about immigration policy. And a real estate executive and fringe presidential candidate from Florida who wants to send a message to Mr. Trump about election fraud.

By this morning the bids was up to well over $72,000.

So who won the prestigious java date with Ivanka Trump? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: This is a charity auction that offered the winner coffee with one of the more influential women in America right now -- soon to be first daughter Ivanka Trump. The bidding was meant to close next week and the winner would get coffee with Ivanka Trump and a secret service some time next year. But when the New York Times reported on the auction, which was offered by the Eric Trump Foundation to raise money for the St. Jude Children`s hospital, Eric Trump told the paper on Thursday he was considering shutting down the bidding 10 days after it started, about an hour after The Times raised questions about it. Then this morning the auction suddenly disappeared from the website. One of The Times reporters who originally broke the story tweeted that Eric Trump canceling the auction today. The only people that lost were the children of St. Jude. And finally no response from Trump.org as to why Eric Trump did not simply donate money himself to St. Jude after calling off auction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID FRIEDMAN, TRUMP LAWYER: Where does Hillary Clinton get her advice from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Soros.

FRIEDMAN: George Soros, good.

I got it. You`re right. George Soros. Sidney Blumenthal, Max Blumenthal -- Max Blumenthal, one of the most vile anti-Israel haters on the face of the Earth.

What about Huma Abedin grew up in Saudi Arabia, close connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

UNIDENITIFEID FEMALE: And al Qaeda.

FRIEDMAN: And al Qaeda, right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: None of that`s true.

It is an appointment that has sent such shock waves around the world. Donald Trump naming his longtime friend, bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, a hard line ideologue to the right of Benjamin Netanyahu, has zero government experience, as ambassador to Israel.

Israeli newspaper Harretz notes that Friedman has expressed opinions that are considered radical even in today`s more right-wing Israel. Adding that -- and again I`m quoting Harretz, for some of his articles and statements, Friedman could get arrested by the Israeli police on suspicion of incitement.

Friedman holds a maximalist worldview, reflecting a belief that Israel should have total territorial sovereignty over the entirety of the Palestinian territories as well as the divided city of Jerusalem where he wants to move the U.S. embassy.

He has said he does not believe it would be illegal for Israel to annex the West Bank and contradict decades of official U.S. policy. He supports building new settlements there.

Friedman has also written the two-state solution was never a solution, just an illusion. He has claimed President Obama, quote, is engaging in blatant anti-Semitism, has pushed the false, as I said, conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton aid Huma Abedin has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRIEDMAN: I think the evidence is such that she does have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

She grew up in Saudi Arabia. Her parents are, you know, known intellectuals with regard to Shariah Law, and they have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. I don`t think that`s terribly controversial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It is controversial, it`s not true.

Friedman reserves some of his nastiest comments for Jews with whom he disagrees. He`s negatively compared the left-leaning group J-Street which supports a two-state solution to the Jewish Nazi prisoners who helped run the concentration camp known as kapos, quote, "the kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under the circumstances to save a loved one, but J Street, they are just smug advocates of Israel`s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas. It`s hard to imagine anyone worse."

Asked about those comments recently, Friedman suggested members of J Street do not even have a right to a Jewish identity. Friedman saying of J Street, quote, "they`re not Jewish and they`re not pro-Israel. They`re not Jewish."

The president of J Street is a man named Jeremy Ben-Ami and he is here live to discuss Friedman`s worldview and respond to those very personal attacks. And that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRIEDMAN: A Trump administration will never pressure Israel into a two- state solution or any other solution that is against the wishes of the Israeli people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Here to discuss Trump`s far-right pick to be U.S. ambassador of Israel David Friedman is Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the left-leaning pro- Israel group J Street who Friedman has negatively compared to Jewish Nazi collaborators because of his political beliefs.

And Jeremy, I guess first, respond to that.

JEREMY BEN-AMI, PRESIDEN, J STREET: Well, Chris, I can`t even begin to tell you the outrage that is pouring out of the Jewish community today. This kind of language and this kind of discourse has no place on the national stage. It has no place in American diplomacy. It has no place in the Jewish community.

We`ve got to find a way to reject, and the Senate has the opportunity to reject this kind of discourse in this country at this moment and the time`s coming to draw the line and this man is the line to be drawn.

HAYES: You`re saying he must be opposed?

BEN-AMI: He must be opposed. It is impossible for me to understand how any Jewish American leader could say that somebody who has expressed views like that about the president, about other Jews, about Huma Abedin, about the entirety of the Arab world could possibly be supported to be the ambassador to the state of Israel. It`s throwing a match on embers and the center of the potential next world war that you`re putting this man in the center of.

HAYES: You know, there are a number of people that I sometimes read, I canvas a wide range of opinion particularly on this particular issue, people in the very -- let`s say the anti-Zionist left, some of whom are Jewish Americans, some of whom are Palestinian, Arab, across the board. And reaction to this was basically this was a kind of taking the mask off of policy, right, that this is someone who is so extreme he will expose that basically the Israeli government and the U.S. government have no interest in a two-state solution whatsoever anyway.

What`s your response to that?

BEN-AMI: Well, I think there`s a large part of the right wing in Israel that has no interest in a two-state solution. There`s a 20, maybe 25 percent of the Israeli public that supports the greater Israel movement, the settler movement and 20 percent, 25 percent of American Jews who voted for Donald Trump.

But the overwhelming majority of American Jews and of Israelis who care deeply about there being a state of Israel, who adhere to Jewish and democratic values, deeply oppose what the settlers stand for, what David Friedman stands for and the direction that this pick has the potential to take American policy. This is not ripping the mask off the majority of supporters of Israel, this is ripping the mask off a very limited minority.

HAYES: Do you think it would be dangerous, would it be dangerous for the world for this relationship given everything that`s going on in the Middle East for this man to hold this very important position?

BEN-AMI: It`s reckless. It`s dangerous and reckless for the president of the United States to put somebody who has shown an inability to have a civil discussion without immediately resorting to name calling about the people that he disagrees with, you know, on a religious and racist basis in the middle of a potential religious war.

So that is a tremendous risk and highly reckless with the American interests.

HAYES: J Street is just one part of a variety of organizations invested in both Israel and Jewish American life and relationships between the two states. Do you anticipate that some of the other ones, AIPAC, for instance, other organizations, will not be as vociferous in their opposition as you are?

BEN-AMI: I do.

I think that there`s going to be a real split in the sort of institutional life of the American Jewish community. There are organizations that will go along with the leadership in this country and the leadership in that country despite the fact that a majority of Jewish Americans in both countries don`t agree with the policies that are being implemented.

And this is a real crisis in American Jewish leadership.

HAYES: Crisis in American Jewish leadership.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.

BEN-AMI: Thank you.

HAYES: And that does it for us here at All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END