All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/19/2016

Guests: Ian Bremmer, Gary Locke, Anna Galland, Robert Reich, Michelle Goldberg, Sam Seder

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 19, 2016 Guest: Ian Bremmer, Gary Locke, Anna Galland, Robert Reich, Michelle Goldberg, Sam Seder


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Nine killed in Berlin and Russia`s Ambassador to Turkey assassinated in Ankara, on the day America hands the Presidency to Donald Trump. The votes are, ten votes -- Donald J. Trump. Tonight, the tinderbox Trump inherits and the real-world danger of his twitter fight with China.

Plus, Electoral College protests around the country. Where does that energy go from here? And from striking deals with news outlets for coverage, they could control to word that the Trump rallies may never stop.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They`re saying, as President, he shouldn`t be doing rallies.

HAYES: Robert Reich on fears of a never-ending campaign when ALL IN starts right now. TRUMP: Well, now, this is the way you get an honest word out.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. In 32 days, Donald Trump will become President of the United States.

Today, the country took a major step towards that inevitable reality. Electors in all 50 states formally voting for President and officially awarding Trump, a majority of votes in the Electoral College. It is a routine part of the presidential election process, like, like so much in 2016 was anything but routine this time around. More on that in just a moment. Donald Trump is now on his way to taking the oath of office on January 20th, and today, events around the globe provided a grim reminder the world he`s about to inherit is a tinderbox, where it doesn`t take much from spark to ignite a blazing deadly fire.

Tonight, at least 12 people are dead and dozens injured in Berlin, after a truck plowed through evening crowds in the Christmas market in the German capital. According to the police, the truck was registered in Poland and may have been stolen. Police said they arrested a suspect believed to have been the driver. Investigators have yet to determine whether it was a deliberate attack, much less whether it was terrorism. But ISIS and Al Qaeda have both called on followers to use trucks in attacks on public places, and ISIS claimed responsibility for one such attack over the summer in Nice, France where a truck barreled through a crowd, celebrating Bastille`s Day killing 86 people.

Trump responded to what happened today in a statement, "Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today`s horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets, as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas Holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorist continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad." Just to reiterate, the deadly incident has not been declared a terrorist attack by the German authorities themselves -- as of yet.

Also, today, in the latest examples Syria`s violent wars filling past that country`s borders, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by a lone gunman while delivering a speech at a museum in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Police sources tell NBC News, the gunman was Turkish, a 22-year- old officer in the Ankara Special Forces. According to witnesses, the gunman yelled out, "don`t forget Aleppo, don`t forget Syria." Wounding three additional people before being fatally shot by police.

Russia has been a strong ally of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, most recently taking part in the government successful offensive to retake the City of Aleppo, which have been one of the last remaining strongholds in the Syrian opposition.

President-elect Trump responded to the assassination today in a statement quote, "Today, we offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist. The murder of an ambassador is a violation of all rules of civilized order and must universally condemned."

Donald Trump will take office as the relationship to U.S. and Russia reaches what may be its lowest points since the end of the Cold War. The American Intelligence Community concluding the Russian government under Vladimir Putin, was behind hacks, targeting democrats during the election. A bipartisan group of high ranking Senators including Republican John McCain and democrat Chuck Schumer is now calling for a special select committee to investigate what happened. The President-elect still disputes Russia`s involvement in interviews yesterday, two of his top aids dismissed the controversy as a political witch hunt.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: It does seem to be a political response at this point, because it seems that the president is under pressure from team Hillary who can`t accept the election results.

RICHARD PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTE: The reality of all of this, and all of these players that are -- that are spinning these reports are doing it for a political purpose, which is to de- legitimatize the outcome of the election.


HAYES: Even as Trump officially won the majority in the Electoral College today, and majority of the American public continues to raise questions about its leadership. In a new NBC News - Wall Street Journal poll, 54 percent said they`re either uncertain or downright pessimistic about how Trump will do as president. I`m joined now by Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group, Foreign Affairs Editor at Time Magazine.

Sort of one of those days in Global Affairs that where things feel like they`re are dangling on the edge of a precipice. Let`s start with Berlin, we don`t have any confirmation yet from authorities, but the context is that Angela Merkel has their German elections coming up, the issue of refugees is extremely strong and like many places across Europe, there`s a kind of nationalist backlash happening, this in the context of that seems like it could be quite important?

IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT OF THE EURASIA GROUP: Certainly, I mean, Berlin, the most cosmopolitan city in Germany, in many ways, in the entirety of Europe, and, you know, Merkel`s popularity has been decreasing, not just on the back of all of the scandals she`s had around things like Lufthansa and Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen, but most importantly, the refugee issue and, you know, what we see now is they brought in and she`s taken a leadership on that and it`s been increasingly negatively responded to by the German people. Populism is growing. There is a concern to link it that Trump is going to be supporting the populist in Germany, and that Putin is assertively preparing to manipulate the outcomes in Germany and France like he did in the United States. This attack clearly plays into all of that.

HAYES: We should also say, I mean, it`s on its own, it`s a horrifying mass murder. If in fact, it was not an accident, which --

BREMMER: It appears like it was not.

HAYES: It appears that it was not, 12 people dead, dozens injured and we`ll presumably learn more details about that. The point there about intervention, I mean, you have elections happening in France, elections happening in Germany, you have Steve Bannon who`s going to be sitting in the in the White House who is a sort of an out-ally of the kind of far- right populist-nationalist movements and the German Intelligence Authorities, warning of possible Russian penetration in run-up to the election.

BREMMER: I mean, this is where Obama needs to be stronger, right? Because, I mean, he only has a few weeks left -- he`s clearly not going to be able to do much directly against the Russians. He had his opportunity, he basically let it stand. But the Germans and the French -- key allies of the United States -- are incredibly concerned that the Russians are going to have the kind of impact maybe greater than they did in the U.S. This is where Obama needs to reach out to American allies, and say we need to work on this jointly. As this intelligent report comes out while Obama is still President. If there`s several countries that are actually talking about this together with republicans and democrats in congress, this isn`t about the legitimacy of Trump`s election at all. This is about an American National Security issue And in the same way Obama simply dropped the ball when he said, well, I didn`t want to do anything because it might look partisan and supporting Hillary. You know what, you can look partisan, if the alternative is I`m not going to defend the American National Security and Trump has to pick this up. He now, has clearly -- has gotten the Electoral College.

HAYES: There`s no way he`s going to though, right?

BREMMER: Well, you know, Reince Priebus, a couple days ago, said you know we haven`t yet heard anything consolidated, coordinated from the intelligence agencies in the U.S. He clearly was trying to create a path so that after Trump became formally President --

HAYES: A permission structure, as the -- as the folks in the White House like to say?

BREMMER: You know, yes, exactly. Look, if he doesn`t do it, this is going to become one of the most significant challenges to his presidency from day one.

HAYES: Well, and speaking of Russia, of course, we have this -- just the stunning images of this -- of this cold-blooded assassination happens where, you know, this member of the Turkish armed special forces who essentially, we think used his I.D. to get into this event there.

BREMMER: Correct.

HAYES: Shooting the Russian Ambassador, essentially as a kind of, you know, quite explicitly, like, this is for Aleppo. Those two nations, I mean, just the various access -- I mean, those two agencies a year ago where absolutely probably the worst point they`ve been. Things have improved considerably since, there`s a lot of talk today about World War I and the assassination of (INAUDIBLE). You`re shaking your head because in many ways this may move in the opposite direction in terms of how those two interact.

BREMMER: If this had happened a year ago, this would have been a very serious risk for direct military confrontation between the two countries and markets would be all over the place. It isn`t. And you have to understand that both Erdogan and Putin are, you know, authoritarian leaders. They don`t worry about the freedom of the press in their country, they don`t worry much about opposition parties. So, if they want to use this to solidify their own relationship and use it to whack their own enemies, they will.


HAYES: Well -- And the Turkish government is starting to say that -- already saying trying to link this gunman to the Goulan movement which, of course, who they say was behind the coup, that cleric who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. When you talk about Putin and Erdogan, I mean, they are this kind of in their own ways both kind of populist authoritarian rulers.

BREMMER: Correct.

HAYES: Who have kind of really block by block taken apart some the fundamentals of liberal democracy, whether they existed ever in their full flourishing those two countries is another question, do you see Trump in that same category?

BREMMER: No, certainly not, because the United States is a consolidated democracy and there`s massive constraints on what a President can do. But to be very clear, you know, Trump`s appointed, designated national security adviser has said, "oh, Goulin, well, we should send him back to Turkey." The reason we haven`t done that is because it doesn`t actually follow the rule of law, that, you know, you haven`t shown us evidence so we`re not going to do that. So, clearly there is an inclination, right? There is an authoritarian tendency from Trump to be closer to these strong men. And that the transactional nature of alliances matters more than whether or not you have Human Rights or you don`t --

HAYES: And there`s going to be a test -- a test just about how constraining those institutions are as I suggest. Ian Bremmer, thanks for your time tonight.

BREMMER: Chris, good to see you.

HAYES: United States relationship with Russia is not the only one Trump is signaling he`ll transform the President-elect drew ire from China, after talking on the phone with the President of Taiwan which a violation of this country`s long standing One China Policy.

This weekend, after China took possession of an unmanned drone in the South China Sea belonging to the navy and purportedly used for oceanographic research, Trump decided to weigh in on Twitter. "China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters, rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act." Later replaced that tweet with the correct going on unprecedented.

Trump followed up with another tweet Saturday evening quote, "We should tell China we don`t want the drone that they stole back. Let them keep it." At that point, China had already agreed to return the drone to U.S. It`s expected to be back in America`s hand as soon as tomorrow, not surprisingly, the Chinese were not thrilled with the President-elect`s intervention quoting New York Times and editorial on People`s Daily, an organ of the communist party wherein President Xi Jinping to prepare for rockier relations with the U.S., knowing that Trump`s quote, "real thinking is very difficult toll fathom." Time Magazine reports another communist party paper, the Global Times, mocked Trump`s typo on a headline accusing him of adding fuel to the fire and concluding he seemed emotionally upset but no one knows what he wanted to say. Trump is not behaving as a President who will become the master of the White House in a month.

Former U.S. Ambassador of China, former Governor of the state of Washington, Gary Locke, joins me now. Ambassador, there are a lot of people who feel that basically the U.S. has been getting played and rolled by China, that China has done all sorts of things to in (INAUDIBLE) American middle-class in terms of its economic relations, that it has stolen intellectual property and finally someone is going to come along and get tough and crack down on the Chinese. What`s your response to that?

GARY LOCKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: Well, first of all, the United States has been getting tougher on China over the last several administrations -- under President George W. Bush and President Obama. Lots of cases have been filed against China in the WTO and we`ve won those and have forced China to change their trade policies. We`ve also imposed a lot of duties and tariffs on a lot of Chinese goods coming in, raising the price of those Chinese goods that have been subsidized by the government unfairly, or where they`ve been sold at below normal market prices.

So, there have been a lot of cases taken against the Chinese, and I think we have been able to get their attention. More needs to be done, of course, American companies have concerns about intellectual property theft, lack of rule of law. But we`re also cooperating very closely with the Chinese on many other issues, whether it`s climate change, whether it`s trying to end some of the civil wars of Africa and trying to put pressure on North Korea to stop developing a nuclear weapon.

HAYES: So, what is the -- when -- it appears to me in the early sort of, phases of the President-elect`s foreign policy to the extent there`s a coherent one, in some ways, it seems to sort of reverse of what Nixon did, right? Nixon sort of going to China as this kind of counterbalance to Russia. We see something that seems a little like the opposite of that, right, getting closer to Russia and more antagonistic posture towards China. What are the risks that runs? I mean, why not just, you know, get really bellicose with China, why not really just rang them daily, and get more antagonistic with them? LOCKE: Well, it`s because we also sell a lot of made in USA goods and services to China and hundreds of thousands if not, almost millions of jobs in the United States depend on those made in America goods and services being sold to China. Almost 25 percent, 26 percent of all of the cotton that our farmers grow is sold to China. 50 percent of the hops that our farmers grow is also sold to China and about a quarter of all the Boeing airplanes that are made in America, are sold to China. So, if we start going into a trade war, if we start imposing, as Mr. Trump promises to do, a 45 percent tariff or tax on every item coming from China, that will affect the pocket-butts of Americans, and the Chinese will retaliate. They will impose a 45 percent tariff on all American goods going into China and that`s going to really make it less attractive for the Chinese consumers to buy American products. They`ll buy -- they`ll buy air bus, made in France or Germany; they`ll buy milk powder produced in Australia, or they`ll buy hops and other agricultural goods from Latin America. They don`t have to buy stuff from America that`s then going to hurt the American worker.

HAYES: What about the sort of military aspect of this? Obviously, the South China Sea is the sort of focal point of tension. There is -- China, in many respects, obviously, quite distinct from any other Nation on Earth for a bunch of reasons but also, in President Xi, you have someone who is quite nationalists, who we have seen more repression under him, there`s a sort of fear about the kind of growing militancy. As part of a kind of rising global tide of that, I mean, what`s your read on the kind of military situation right now between our nation and China?

LOCKE: Well, obviously some of the actions of the Chinese are very alarming. Their actions in the South China Sea and also to the north but with respect to the islands that are disputed between China and Japan. We`re seeing them build, these military bases out of reefs that used to be submerged and now they have landing fields and weapons on them. So we`ve got to be very, very concerned. So we`ve really going to be working much more closely with our allies in the Southeast Asian Region, whether it`s Vietnam and Philippines and Australia and many other countries who don`t like what China is doing, but they`re also trading with China and so it`s a very delicate balance there. But they really want the United States to be strong, to be present and to be basically backing them up.

HAYES: All right, former Ambassador to China, Gary Locke. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Still ahead, who could inspire ringing endorsements by the same people who brought you the war in Iraq? Why one of Trump`s cabinet picks is just the ticket for George W. Bush and company. But first, the extraordinary scene across dozens of states today as the normally routine Electoral College vote took place.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: This is my America! This is my America! My America! Take me out if you must! This is my America!



HAYES: Today, the Electoral College officially decides who will be our next President and Vice-President isn`t something that typically makes big headlines. But this year, due to the unique nature of Donald Trump and the fact that he lost a popular vote by the third worst margin of any President while still winning the presidency since way back in 1824, there was a concerted effort to get enough of the 538 members of the Electoral College to stray from voting with the presidential results in their state. And here`s what that looked like in Michigan as anti-Trump protesters gathered outside the Capitol in Lansing, inside the State Senate Chamber as they shouted "vote your conscience" at the State`s 16 electors. And here`s what that sounded like in Wisconsin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Thank you, tellers, for tallying the votes. The votes are: 10 votes Donald J. Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Every one of you, you`re pathetic. You don`t deserve to be in America! This is my America!

CROWD: Shame, shame, shame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: This is my America! My America! Take me out if you must! This is my America! You sold us out. Listen to your heart! Listen to the facts.

CROWD: Shame, shame, shame


HAYES: Despite the protestations, the end result was basically a foregone conclusion. At around 5:30 this evening, Texas, the state pushed Trump over the 270 vote threshold needed for an Electoral College win. Despite of two Republican electors who cast votes for former U.S. Representative Ron Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich, now perhaps the irony here is that more electors defected from Hillary Clinton than they did Trump. For instance, in Washington State, where Clinton beat Trump by about 16 points, former Secretary of State Colin Powell got three votes, Native American Tribal Leader Faith Spotted Eagle got one vote and in Minnesota, and Maine, electors tried to cast votes for Bernie Sanders. Who were buffed by state laws require electors to abide by election results.

Joining me now, Anna Galland, she`s the Executive Director of Civic Actions. And Anna, you know, I had that thought while I watched that video of that woman in Madison Wisconsin. There`s a lot of -- a lot of liberals, a lot of folks I think that are probably sympathetic to the (INAUDIBLE) organization had put some energy into this moment and there was more contestation here than normal, but I think the question is how do you see where that energy flows now?

ANNA GALLAND, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MOVEON.ORG CIVIC ACTIONS: Yeah. I mean, well, first I should say, today, you know, people obviously knew that this was an extremely long, long shot that actually today`s protests would in fact change the outcome of the Electoral College vote. But what it did do importantly was serve as a marker for what`s to come, and what`s to come is a mass moral accessible opposition movement. Some are calling it a resistance movement that`s going to stand up and fight back and not let Donald Trump tear apart this country or enact his extraordinarily extreme policy agenda that he has no mandate to enact. He has no mandate to devastate Medicare, he has no mandate to deport millions of Americans or blocking an entire world`s religion from entering the United States, he has no mandate to tear apart the clean air and clean water laws that he`s in the process of attacking or signal that he`s about to be attacking through the nominees that he`s bringing in. So, you know, today`s protests, I think, were a harbinger of the mass, peaceful and accessible movement that we are going to be building together in the days ahead to stand up for all of us against this extraordinarily divisive demagogue who`s ascending to power with the help of a foreign government. This is -- it continues to be something we need to stay shocked and stay in motion to fight back.

HAYES: So when I looked at the video of the woman in Madison, Wisconsin, you know, the first thing I thought of about was the footage I saw at tea party protests in that -- in that summer in 2009. And I remember, you know, that they`re back with a lot of coverage and all those people are yelling and in some ways kind of yelling intimately, right? They were at a town hall and they couldn`t actually stop the Affordable Care Act from getting passed. But there`s a degree to which that, that sentiment was organized into something that actually became quite politically powerful just a year later. How do you understand getting from that Point A to Point B for folks like yourself and progressives?

GALLAND: Well, I think what you saw today was an outcry. It`s basically a cry of despair and rage and frustration and yet where we need to get to, where we will get to, I`m confident we will get to --

HAYES: Are you?

GALLAND: -- is a cry of -- Yes, yes, of course. We have to be. We`re going to be more creative, more dogged, more fearless more united than we`ve ever been at any other point in our history. We have to be. Because if we`re going to survive the next four years with our Constitutional Democracy intact, we have to be. We cannot trust Institutions to save us right now. We cannot look to, you know, The Republican Party to do what it needs to do to defend the republic. We`ve tried that drill and it failed. We need to stand up as a movement, as a bold, inspired, united, creative, fired up movement and peacefully assemble as the constitution gives us right, to stand up and say, we`re not going to stand by as Donald Trump tears apart America. We`re not, we`re just not going to. We`re going to, we`re going to keep fighting and we`re going to win. And I will say, Democrats in congress, community leaders, corporate leaders need to really understand the depths of passion that people feel --

HAYES: Yeah.

GALLAND: -- for the American Democracy and the fact that they need to join with us, right? They need to be out there and be bold and be leading as well.

HAYES: You know, it strikes me that organizing is so -- is very difficult work and it`s sort of, a lot of it can be just sort of repetitive drudgery and then there are this sort of galvanizing moments. Your organization was founded during the impeachment, a little factoid, it was sent to move on but the origin of the organization. And had this real galvanizing moment, the run-up to the Iraq war. I mean, and you`ve been an organizer since then.


HAYES: Does this feel like those that previous moment, that in terms of what you see in terms of just the intensity, the passion of people, do you feel like you`re getting a flood of donations or contacts from members? Can you feel -- can you compare it to sort of previous moments as an organizer?

GALLAND: Yeah. So, look, I`ve actually been telling people that it feels to me like my organizing against the Iraq war, which is really where I cut my teeth as an organizer, was a dry run, or a trial run or a small trial for what`s to come. I mean, that was a mass movement. We had a million people in the streets of New York in February 2013, as some folks still remember. But that was -- that`s nothing compared to what we`re going to see. We`re going to see people from all walks of life coming out of the woodwork, and we are seeing that. Chris, you asked, you know, are we at MoveOn hearing from the incredible uprising of people all around the country who are saying, "I want to do something." Absolutely.

My phone hasn`t stopped ringing since Election Day. My email inbox is overflowing. I`m so sorry if you`ve sent me a message and I haven`t responded. Because people are saying, number one, give me my marching orders. And or, number two, I`m organizing locally. I`m not waiting for you National Organizations to get it together. I`m organizing here, we have a knitting club against Fascism. Can you help me? You know, where -- anything. And so, in any case, yes, people are coming out of the woodwork. We need to be coming out of the woodwork, we need to stand together and if we stand together and we organize creatively against things like the Muslim ban, against attacks on Medicare and for a progressive vision of this country, we will prevail. I have confidence in that.

HAYES: Anna Galland, who I`ve known her for almost 20 years, who is as damn good an organizers you will find. Thank you very much.

GALLAND: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, a Tea Partyer who wanted to shut down the government now on live for one of the most important jobs in the incoming administration. Meet Trump`s latest pick for a cabinet level position ahead.


HAYES: When Donald Trump first announced Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as his pick of Secretary Of State, it was greeted in some corners as an out of the box pick, one that reflected Trump`s promise to shake up Washington by bringing into his administration, people who don`t reflect the same old GOP establishment politics. The key thing to remember is that Tillerson is the CEO of the world`s largest oil company and oil in the Republican Party mixed like well, whatever the opposite of oil and water is, oil and some more oil, for instance.

We already knew that Tillerson, seen here in 2013, receiving an order of friendship from Vladimir Putin, has a very close relationship with Russia. Not to mention, a half a trillion dollar oil deal with the Russian Government currently on hold. This weekend, we learned that Tillerson was also the Director of Bahamas based U.S.-Russian oil firm. Now, an embrace of Putin and one of their loyalist nothing new for Republicans, the last Republican President, as you may recall, was also rather chummy with the Russian leader, George W. Bush professed that he looked into Putin`s eyes and got a sense of his soul. He even reportedly nicknamed the Russia leader, and this is true, I`m not making this up, Pootie-Poot.

Like Tillerson, Bush is an oil man, having to gut his business career by founding an oil and gas exploration forum in 1977. Now, that same George W. Bush is urging Republican Senators to get over their misgivings and back Tillerson for Secretary of State and then there`s Bush`s Vice-President Dick Cheney, who was, you`ll recall, the Chairman and CEO of Halliburton, massive oil company among other things. Trump and his team are reportedly relying on Cheney to help ensure that Tillerson is confirmed. And that`s not all, former top Bush cabinet officials Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates who also served under President Obama are also pushing hard for Tillerson. Those two also made money from oil as ExxonMobil, the company Tillerson runs, is a client of their consulting firm. And that`s far from the only through line to the latest GOP administration. Remember the Bush era push to privatize Social Security? Well, it might be back very soon if Trump`s new pick for budget director gets his way. That is next.


HAYES: During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised massive tax cuts to the rich, a trillion dollar infrastructure program and an explosion in defense spending all of which would significantly increase the federal deficit. Yet over the weekend, Trump said his pick for budget director was South Carolina Representative Mickey Mulvaney, a proponent of austerity, who is willing to shut down the government and potentially push the country into default in order to reduce spending.


REP. MICKEY MULVANEY, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: The national mood now is such that people recognize we can`t keep spending this money that we don`t have. We need to get back to fiscal basics and spend what we`ve got.


HAYES: By the way, that burning your money graphic is aces.

Mulvaney was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave and went on to co-found the House Freedom Caucus, that`s the rebellious group of far-right conservatives who advocated dramatically slashing federal spending and eventually help push John Boehner into retirement.

After having campaigned on a promise not to raise the debt ceiling, despite the potentially catastrophic consequences, Mulvaney played a central role in those debt fights in 2011 and 2013 and voted against the debt ceiling deal that ended the 2013 government shutdown.

Now, if confirmed, Mulvaney would be expected to fulfill Trump`s big spending promises while also somehow reducing spending, a seemingly impossible task which could result in a dramatic and devastating cuts to a huge swath of the federal budget, that includes Medicare and Social Security, which Mulvaney and his fellow Freedom Caucus members have long sought to, quote, reform, or maybe not. After all, we we`ve seen over and over, those Republican vows to be the austerity party tend to fall away once the party actually takes power.

Joining me now, MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report.

This to me is really one of -- when you look at where the sort of action is going to be on the domestic side, this is where it`s all so fascinating, because they really got religion on austerity. They I think damaged the country and damaged the recovery by the debt ceiling standoff. I think actually more expansive fiscal policy is good on the merits. And I think we`re going to see them go back to George W. Bush boat.

SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: I mean, look, I don`t know. I tell you. Like, Paul Ryan is very happy I think to get Mulvaney probably out of the House.

HAYES: That`s true.

SEDER: This is somebody who was one of the people who chased John Boehner out, and now Paul Ryan has now said to Donald Trump he`s your problem. I`m sure that`s not the way the conversation went, but I`m sure that`s what he`s saying outside the room.

HAYES: That`s a good point. It also, though, means though in a budget negotiations, Mulvaney would be sitting on the other side of the table.

SEDER: Yeah, that assumes that the Trump administration will actually present a budget.

HAYES: That`s a good point.

SEDER: You know, as far as I`m concerned they are going to be rioting, they`re going to be blaming a lot of things on the Obama administration and they probably don`t want to put any foot forward frankly.

I mean, if you look around, there`s no cohesion here.

HAYES: None.

SEDER: It just seems like Donald Trump is in the room just basically handing out goodies to the loudest voice or to whoever he thinks is most...

HAYES: The sort of most extreme examplar of whatever that type is. Like, oil guy as secretary of state...

SEDER: Exactly. Oil guy over here.

HAYES; Freedom Caucus founder.

SEDER: But, you know, Mulvaney may be -- may end up being just a lot more craven. I mean, he was one of those guys who sort of made overtures about immigration reform and backed away from it very quickly when h got a lot of heat. I mean, so he may be one of those guys who just comes in and decides like it`s time for me to have a little bit of a transition or not.

HAYES: Which we`ve seen before. You and I saw it when we covered the Bush administration. I mean, there is this story that got told that like really they lost their way in the Bush administration, became big government conservatives, but then if you go back to Rreagan, the last time they also had , you know, unified...

SEDER: They always...

HAYES: It was the exact same thing.

SEDER: Yes. Yes.

HAYES: It was tax cuts for the rich and a lot of big spending. That is the recipe.

SEDER: Right. It`s going to be interesting to see if there`s any fault lines there and whether or not this whole Freedom Caucus thing, even the most extreme, if they are all just sort of pretenders.

HAYES: Posturing, right.

SEDER: Exactly. So, I mean, we`ll see.

HAYES: The one thing I feel confident of is the only thing that I feel confident of domestic sort of legislative side is there`s going to be a big tax cut at the top, like, that`s the only thing that I think is definitely.

SEDER: Yeah, I mean, the question is, how are they going to do it? I mean, one way they may do it just the Affordable Care Act. The one thing that can surely happen will be a tax cut if they repeal it.

HAYES: People should just listen to this. So everyone understands. Repeal the Affordable Care -- the tax cut is hightly -- the ACA is highly redistributive as it is and a tax cut, a repeal of it just would be a huge tax cut for the rich.

SEDER: And even if they do their plan, which is to sort punt the repeal in so far as we vote to repeal it today, but people won`t feel the impact of it three years from now, theoretically this is what they are talking about it a little bit, because they want to get it past the 2018 election.

The tax cuts could theoretically actually apply to 2016, nevermind going forward.

HAYES: Right.

So, they could just retroactively apply it back to 2016 so that when you file your taxes in April if you`re in that top bracket, like.

SEDER: It seems possible.

And what is also problematic about that for them is that at one point they`re going to have to replace it with something, and that`s going to cost money and the question is where is that money going to come from because they`ve now given back the funding that allowed for the expansion of the Medicaid, that allowed for the subsidies.

HAYES: That`s right.

SEDER: And so...

HAYES: That`s the source of the revenue. But again, what we`ve seen -- and I think what -- which will be such an interesting test here, or these people that all got religion on deficits, what we`ve seen time and time again is that no one actually cares about deficits, it`s the word they use to pursue whatever their policy at the time is and we might see Democrats do the exact same thing who got real religious on deficit -- you know, who are all about deficit...

SEDER: Well, the question is whether or not this will be internalized by Democrats. I mean, like, how many times does the football need to be pulled away.

HAYES: That`s right. That`s a good point. Sam Seder, thanks for being with me.

SEDER: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, why Donald Trump thinks rallies are a core part of his presidential communication strategy. But first, the reality -- the reported reality of accusations behind voter fraud. Tonight Thing One, Thing Two is next.



TRUMP: The issue of voter fraud.

Isn`t it amazing the way they say there`s no voter fraud?

And voter fraud is all too common and then they criticize us for saying that.

How can Donald Trump complain about voter fraud? There`s no voter fraud that goes on. Really? Really?

So many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is very, very common.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, the great myth of voter fraud repeatedly, consistently pedaled by Donald Trump. The New York Times investigation just debunked it again, finding out despite all the talk of voter fraud across the country, officials found next to none.

Of the more than 137 million votes cast, 26 states and D.C. knew of no, zero credible allegations of fraudulent voting. Officials in another eight states knew of just one allegation.

And while some states reported a few dozen fraud claims that were still under review, overall the survey found no states that reported indications of widespread fraud.

But The Times notes that while they conducted inquiries to all 50 states, they could only report on 49 states, one state did not respond. The state that appeared to be prepping for a voter fraud crisis, and that is Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So The New York Times investigated voter fraud this year, but inquiries to all 50 states, everyone but Kansas responded, found no states taht reported indications of widespread fraud.

Now, what`s especially strange is that the issue of voter fraud borders on an obsession for the person who administers Kanas`s elections, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach has been the leading crusader behind the myth of voter frauder, according to The Nation.

The Washington Post dubbed him, the conservative gladiator behind restrictive voting laws under the guise of preventing voter fraud.

And while he hasn`t previously found evidence of widespread voter fraud in past elections, appears to be the source for Donald Trump`s recent voter fraud allegation.

Now, the contingent of Republicans pedaling voter fraud conspiracy theories are so obviously acting in bad faith that we here we have the logical end point, the person tasked with running the state`s elections, who would presumably want to brag about the fact that things are running smoothly declining to report those positive results if, in fact, the election in Kansas looked like every other state in America.

All In reached out to Kobach`s office for comment, but received no response.


HAYES: President-elect Donald Trump hasn`t held a news conference since July. It was much noted by the media during the campaign, especially since he would often pop up on local TV interviews. While playing to the local news media is not new for presidential candidates trying to stay on message, another explanation has surfaced with regards to Trump, that his campaign cut a deal with a major media company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, to try to get better coverage.

It was none other than Trump`s son-in-law and trusted adviser Jared Kushner described the deal to business executives at after off-the-record meeting, according to Politico. "Kushner said the agreement with Sinclair gave them more access to Trump and the campaign," according to six people who heard his remarks, speaking to Politico without attribution.

In exchange, "Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary," Kushner said.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns dozens of local TV stations in states across the country, including swing states told Politico this kind of deal is nothing new. Scott Livingston, vice president of news at Sinclair said the offer for extended interviews with local anchors was made to both candidates. Trump did a handful of interviews while Senator Tim Kaine did a few as well, though Hillary Clinton did not.

Now, whatever the exact nature of the deal, the Trump campaign and the Trump transition have already abandoned many norms with regard to the media often with the motive of making it easier to shape their own coverage.

Trump`s tweets as president-elect often get accessive news coverage, even for him, because Trump himself has given so little access to the media since he won the election.

And Trump now suggests his rallies may continue even as president. But our next guest says that the rallies and tweets give Trump an unprecedented platform for telling big lies without fear of contradiction. A president intent on developing a base of enthusiastic supporters who believe bold- faced lies poses a clear threat to American democracy. This is how tyranny begins.

Robert Reich joins me, next.



TRUMP: They are saying as president he shouldn`t be doing rallies, but I think we should, right? We`ve done everything else the opposite. This is the way you get an honest word out, because you can`t give it to them because they are so dishonest.


HAYES: President-elect Donald Trump held the last of his nine victory rallies in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday. Trump campaign dubbed it his thank you tour. The tour only included states won and as Trump suggested in Mobile, he may very well keep doing such rallies as president.

Joining me now, former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who`s latest opinion piece in Newsweek is titled rallies and lies, this is how tyranny begins. And Michelle Goldberg, columnist for Slate.

And Robert I`ll start with you. You argue -- I mean, I`m sort of torn about these rallies because they definitely seem like something new, at the same time I wonder how much it`s just being sort of refracted through the perception of Trump himself.

Why do you find it ominous or threatening if he continues the rallies as president?

ROBERT REICH, FRM. LABOR SECRETARY: Because, Chris, the pattern and practice of Donald Trump, whether it`s the rallies or this deal with Sinclair or the tweets has been the same, and that is to try to communicate, especially with his followers, communicate a lot of lies, bold-faced lies without any contradiction, without any press. There`s been no press conference since July.

I mean, Trump has not wanted to face a lot of questioning reporters. And that is dangerous for a democracy because it means that bold-faced lies, such as that he`s told during the rallies, you know, 45 percent increase in homicide when in fact the homicide rate has actually declined by 50 percent, or that he has won the election by a landslide when in fact it`s almost 3 million fewer -- popular votes fewer than Hillary Clinton got, or he`s saying that there was massive voter fraud.

I mean, all of these massive, big lies that he`s telling don`t -- can kind of circulate and dominate without any kind of a criticism of these lies.

HAYES: And there`s a certain, you know -- Robert made this point. So, here`s the statement from the Trump folks today, the electoral college. Today marks a historic electoral landslide victory in our nation`s democracy. The official votes exceed the 270 required to secure the presidency by a far larger margin, far greater than ever anticipated by the media.

Now, every politician hedges the truth, some of them sometimes they tell fibs. But he just -- there`s something about the casualness with these lies about something so clearly obviously untrue. Like we can all go look at the record.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: Eventually a difference in degree becomes a difference in kind, right? I think anybody who remember the George W. Bush administration remembers how frustrating it was the way that they very deliberately created an alternative reality and, you know, talked about that they were -- talked about the fact that they were doing it as they were doing it.

And meanwhile you had the Christian right that was sort of creating an entirely alternative epidemiological reality around history, around science, around all sorts of different things, there was kind of less and less overlap between what the two parties and two parties and the kind of two polarized camps in American politics believed, but now they have become completely untethered.

And I saw one poll that said 52 percent of Republicans believe that Trump won the popular vote.


GOLDBERG: I remember going down to Trump Tower when the Pussygate tape came out, and I thought -- there was a lot of his supporters had massed there, and I thought they were going to be angry about the Republicans who were calling on him to step down, but what shocked me is that they denied that that was even happening.

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: You know, I said to them -- and so to me this just shows...

HAYES: The difference between those two, right.

GOLDBERG: Right. And so the thing that`s particularly dangerous about Trump`s lies is that they then become pretext for real policies, right? So he`s lying when he talks about massive voter fraud but they are not lying - - the consequences of that about the mass disenfranchisement.

HAYES: And the other thing that has happening, which is sort of the along the trajectory here, Robert, is, you know, we started to hear talk about maybe they will change the daily briefing at the White House for the White House Correspondents Association, or who gets to sit where. And there`s all of these traditions that have developed, traditions which I think some of them probably can get (inaudible) -- I have no stake in them continuing, but they are traditions which were established in an era in which some way the White House did need the press corps to get its message out in some ways, right. And the sort of -- the trade was, we need you to communicate with the American people and so you get to ask us questions and hold us accountable. Increasingly, you can imagine a world in which they don`t actually need the press corps to do that and so why even have them around?

REICH: In fact, I don`t think the Trump administration, the incipient Trump administration, wants the press corps. I mean, the whole idea -- the word media comes from the idea of intermediate, between the power and the public, that is, translate, hold power accountable and Trump doesn`t want to be held accountable by the media.

And so much of what he has been doing has circumvented the media. And when he`s not circumvented the media with rallies and tweets and the Ssinclair deal, for example, he`s been denigrating the media, calling the media dishonest. I mean, you know, kind of turning the public against the media.

This is what dictators do. And I am not suggesting at this particular point in time that Donald Trump is or will be a dictator, but this is dangerous for a democracy.

HAYES: OK, but Michelle, isn`t it also the case that all politicians, particularly -- if you`ve ever listened to the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talk about the media or Bill Clinton talk. They`re - in some ways, all politicians --Barack Obama, I`ve heard him off the record railing -- you know, the other day he said 10 minutes at his press conference lecturing the media about getting it wrong.

Like, politicians don`t like the media.

GOLDBERG: It`s an inherently adversarial relationship, although -- but this is where sort of norms come in to play. You know, other politicians, they are suspicious of the media, they want to evade the media. They also realize that they -- they kind of don`t have the audacity to think that they can entirely cut the media out of the picture.

And Trump being unrestrained by the norms of liberal democracy is willing to go places and do things that no previous politician has done.

HAYES: For instance, one of them, Robert, is the sort of ritualistic booing of the press pen which is a genuinely novel and unnerving tradition that has been part of these rallies.

REICH: Exactly.

I mean, calling the media scum and dishonest and having then everybody boo the media and that boo resonating and ricocheting around the country -- I mean, you do have to have a fourth estate, an independent press. This is guaranteed in the constitution. And if we have a president, a president- elect, that is going to denigrate the press and bypass the press and not have press conferences and basically dump on the media and invite everybody else to dump on the media, who is going to tell the truth? Who is going to criticize the president? Who is going to ask hard questions?

HAYES: Robert Reich and Michelle Goldberg, thank you for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.