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All in with Chris Hayes, Transcript 1/11/2017

Guests: Norman Eisen; Richard Painter; Sherrilyn Ifill, Michael Moore, Bob Menendez

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 11, 2017 Guest: Norman Eisen; Richard Painter; Sherrilyn Ifill, Michael Moore, Bob Menendez

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for being with us tonight. Tomorrow, former CIA Director Leon Panetta is going to join us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.




HAYES: Donald Trump finally meets the Press.

TRUMP: Well, I`m not releasing tax returns because as you know, they`re under audit.

HAYES: Announcing a conflict of interest plan full of props and catch phrases and essentially signifying nothing.

TRUMP: If they do a bad job, I`ll say "you`re fired."

HAYES: Tonight, the single-most important development from the Trump the newsier. And the guests who say it could lead to a constitutional crisis.

Plus, the President-elect`s feud with his own intelligence agencies escalates.

TRUMP: That`s something Nazi Germany would have done and did do.

HAYES: The historic scene at today`s sessions hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus.

HAYES: Major holes in today`s Tillerson testimony.

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: Were we lobbying before the sanctions or were we lobbying against the sanctions?

HAYES: And Michael Moore on just what kind of president we elected.

TRUMP: I`m also very much of a germophobe by the way. Believe me.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. There are now just nine days until Donald Trump becomes President of the United States. Today, we were inundated with news, much of it disturbing, about what to expect when he takes office. In fact, there was so much news today it is, frankly, impossible for us to fully cover what we saw and heard, which may well have been the point. But we are going to aggressively cover the issues we have deemed most important and they are big ones. Among them, the President-elect evoking Nazi Germany to characterize U.S. intelligence agencies, offering kind words to the Russians who the Intelligence Community believe hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign. Trump`s Secretary of State pick ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson possibly lying under oath at his confirmation hearing about ExxonMobil lobbying against Russian sanctions and an impassioned and unprecedented plea from the sitting senator, Cory Booker, to reject Trump`s Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions over his record on civil rights.

But we begin tonight with the story we believe to be most important at this pivotal moment and the issue this day was supposed to be all about. The nearly incomprehensible set of global conflicts of interest that result from Trump`s refusal to relinquish ownership of a multibillion-dollar organizations that is engaged in deals with hundreds of businesses in countries around the world, the full scope of which we still do not know. And that`s because Trump refuses to release his tax returns.


TRUMP: Well, I`m not releasing tax returns because as you know, they`re under audit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But every President since the - since the 70s has, you know, filed audit from the IRS the last six (INAUDIBLE)


TRUMP: I`ve never heard that. I`ve never heard that. I`ve never heard that before. You know, the only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters. OK, they`re the only ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t think the American public is concerned about that?

TRUMP: No, I don`t think so. I`ve won. I mean I became President. No I don`t think they care at all. I don`t think they care at all.


HAYES: The applause you hear was not from the press, it was from people that the Trump folks had brought in to cheer during the event. Now, Trump made those remarks at his press conference in 100 - first press conference in 168 days, which had been billed as the moment when Trump would reveal the steps he had taken to address his conflicts. He came with props -- a stack of manila folders that Trump said contained some of the document he had signed in order to turn control of his business over to his sons.


TRUMP: And what I`m going to be doing is my two sons who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company. They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They`re not going to discuss it with me.


HAYES: Reporters tried to take a look at the stacks of papers Trump referenced but were prevented from doing so, so there is no way of knowing whether they were genuine documents. The folders were or if they were just phony visual aids like the supposed Trump steaks that Trump showed off last march which turned out to have been purchased from a South Florida meat company and still had the labels on them to prove it. To explain the steps he had taken, Trump brought to the stage, Attorney Sheri Dillon, whose law firm, amazingly, perhaps amusingly, just won the "2016 Russia law firm of the year" award -- I`m making that up. Dillon told the reporters that Trump is not -- is not liquidating his assets in part because doing so could lead to and I quote here, "unreasonable losses" for Trump and that is simply too high a burden.


SHERI DILLON, TRUMP`S ATTORNEY AT LAW: The approach we`ve outlined today will avoid potential conflicts of interest or concerns regarding exploitation of the office of the Presidency without imposing unnecessary and unreasonable losses on the President-elect and his family.


Hayes: That position prompted this response from the Head of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Schaub.


WALTER SHAUB, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT ETHICS HEAD: That the President is now entering a world of public service. He`s going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. He`s going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. So, no, I don`t think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the President of the United States of America.


HAYES: Here are the really important takeaways and what we learned today, which is that Donald Trump will not release his tax returns, he will not liquidate his assets or divest and he will not place those assets into a blind trust. Instead, he will enter the White House with the ability to use U.S. policy to enrich himself and his family while maintaining a financial empire that could routinely invite bribery attempts on the part of foreign or even domestic actors.

Remarkably, Trump today gave a very concrete example of precisely what that sort of thing could look like detailing a heretofore unreported meeting he held this very weekend without public knowledge with a developer from Dubai.


TRUMP: Over the weekend, I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East. Hussain Damac, a friend of mine, great guy. And was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai, number of deals. And I turned it down. I didn`t have to turn it down because, as you know, I have a no-conflict situation because I`m President, which is -- I didn`t know about that until about three months ago, but it`s a nice thing to have, but I don`t want to take advantage of something.


HAYES: Joining me now, Ambassador Norman Eisen who served as the Chief White House Ethics Lawyer under President Obama and Richard Painter who served in that same role under President George W. Bush. Gentlemen, let me start -- I guess, Norm, I`ll start with you. A grade, if you`re grading the plan, if you can call it that propose today in terms of insulating the President-elect from conflicts of interest?

NORMAN EISEN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND PRESIDENT OBAMA`S ETHICS LAWYER: Chris, thanks for having me. Yesterday, Professor Painter, the Bush Ethics Adviser, myself, and America`s most distinguished constitutional Lawyer, Larry Tribe, issued a five-part - a five-rule -- set of five criteria. We did it before the press conference so there could be no question that the clarity that this was not pre-arranged. In all five spaces on that report card, Donald Trump got a "F" today, maybe a "D+" in one area.

So, he did not divest ownership, he did not follow what every President has done for four decades, blind trust or the equivalent. He did not appoint an independent trustee as OGE has advised him to do. He did not deal with his emoluments clause problems, the unconstitutional flows of funds and other benefits from foreign governments and their agents. And he didn`t set up an ethics law. What he announced today with his children is more like an ethics sieve or an ethics calendar, full of holes. So he gets "F" across the board.

HAYES: I should note Mr. Painter, I`ll go to you next, that Walter Shaub, the man who`s charged with running the Office of Government Ethics with an independent entity created after Watergate, gave a sort of remarkable speech, we exerted some of it. You can read the rest online which he basically agreed with you, Norm, this is not my area of expertise.

And Mr. Painter, what about the argument that was made explicitly by the President-elect`s lawyer that forcing divestiture would essentially cost the President-elect too much money. That it would be too painful, too large, to unreasonable a financial sacrifice?

RICHARD PAINTER, GEORGE W. BUSH`S ETHICS LAWYER: Well, in the Bush administration as the Chief Ethics Lawyer I worked with a lot of incoming cabinet officials who sold off assets and left money on the table, stock options and other money, and, yes, it cost them money to enter public service. I took a substantial pay cut to go work in the White House. That`s what public service is all about. I am thrilled to have a President who has friends all over the world who will offer him $2 billion and so forth, that`s great, but that`s got to stop as of January 20.

He`s got to focus on being President and this is -- business is worth a lot to him but I`m sure he could sell it off for a couple of billion dollars, which is plenty of money for him, but this government everyday spends more money than that business is probably worth, and he is in charge of it as President of the United States. He`s got to focus on his job and Walter Shaub`s job is the Director of the Office of Government Ethics is to advise government officials including the President on complying with a conflict of interest standards, and Walter is exactly right in what he said today. And there has been a political war against the Office of Government Ethics this week conducted by super PACs and against Walter in particular, trying to line him up for getting fired by the President or something like that, and I`m - I have said this at the Brookings institution this afternoon.

If there`s a Saturday night massacre over there at OGE, we`re not going to stand for that in United States, and we`re not going to stand for a President who would tolerate that. This is an independent agency which implements the ethics laws and the executive branch. Walter Shaub has a job to do and he is doing it and it`s time for the President to focus on his job and to divest for those business enterprises instead of attacking the Office of Government Ethics.

HAYES: I should note the Saturday night massacre, of course, a reference to the attempted firing of key Department of Justice officials by Richard Nixon which essentially was the end of the end.

PAINTER: Well, they did fire them.


PAINTER: Yes, they got down to Robert Bourque who would take care of the job for them. But that`s not going to happen and we`re not going to let that happen in this administration unless President Trump wants to go the same way Nixon went.

HAYES: Those are strong words and I want to talk about what you gentlemen have - I think referred to as a constitutional crisis, in which you, Ambassador, referred to it earlier, emolument. This is a clause of the constitution in which bans emoluments for American officials. This was the words -- Sheri Dillon basically issued kind of from the bench as it were at the microphone, her constitutional ruling, quite clear about what is and is not an emolument. Here`s what she had to say.


DILLON: Since President-elect Trump has been elected, some people wanted to define emoluments to cover routine business transactions like paying for hotel rooms. They suggest that the constitution prohibits the businesses from even arm`s length transactions. But the President-elect has absolutely nothing to do with and is indeed unaware of. These people are wrong.


HAYES: You`re wrong ambassador, is that correct?

EISEN: Well, like many of her client`s tweets and statements, it`s totally incorrect. The emoluments clause, it`s a fancy 18th century word, Chris. All it is intended to say is that Presidents of the United States cannot get cash and other benefits from foreign governments and you can understand why that would be a concern, how can we know if somebody`s getting these $2 billion offers.

HAYES: Right.

EISEN: Let`s say that came from a foreign government. We don`t know if a foreign government was involved in that or not. How can we know that they`re doing what`s in the best interest of the United States? The founders were very concerned about that. They put this in the constitution and Donald Trump is allowing all of that to continue. It`s absolutely shocking.

HAYES: All right, Ambassador Norm Eisen and Richard Painter, gentlemen, you guys have been really, really helpful and understanding in navigating all this, and I thank you for your time tonight.

EISEN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: All right, still to come, filmmaker Michael Moore with his reaction to the slights, vendettas and major unanswered questions from the President-elect`s first press conference. And as that press conference was going on, we got our first chance to hear Trump`s pick for Secretary of State and his somewhat inconsistent views about Russia. We`ll dive into the Rex Tillerson hearing ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you this question. Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?


REX TILLERSON, EXXONMOBIL CEO: I would not use that term.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me describe the situation in Aleppo and perhaps that will help you reach that conclusion.



REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (R), LOUISIANA: First, I want to express my concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels. To have a senator, a house member and a living civil rights legend, testify at the end of all of this, is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus. It is a petty strategy and the record should reflect my consternation at the unprecedented process that brought us here.


HAYES: The confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General Congressman Cedric Richmond had some very strong words for the Senate Judiciary Committee`s decision to place key testimony against Sessions from members of congress at the end of today`s hearing. Former Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and current ranking member, Senator Patrick Leahy, said in an interview, he cannot remember a time when lawmakers who testified were put at the end of the hearing. Among those testifying at the end of the hearing today, civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis and Senator Cory Booker who today we believe, just became the first sitting senator to testify against a colleague in a confirmation hearing ever.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: If confirmed, Senator Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won`t. He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender Americans, but his record indicates that he won`t. He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won`t.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: It doesn`t matter how Senator Sessions may smile, how friendly he may be, how he may speak to you. But we need someone who going to stand up, speak up and speak out for the people that need help.


HAYES: Joining me now, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. And Sherrilyn, of course, I should be clear that your organization has been a strong opponent of Senator Sessions in this role. Let me - let me ask you if you saw anything in the last two days that changed your mind?

SHERRILYN IFILL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR-COUNSEL: No, I didn`t see anything that changed my mind. In fact, Chris, I saw several things that deepens the concerns that we expressed about Senator Sessions, we`ve been familiar with him since 1985 when lawyers at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund represented three civil rights activists, two of whom had been close friends of Martin Luther King, who Senator Sessions prosecuted when he was U.S. Attorney in Alabama. They were acquitted but that prosecution really had long-standing effects on that community in terms of intimidating black voters who were questioned by the FBI and who Senator Sessions allowed to be intimidated by members of his team.

So, we`ve known him for -- and his record for a very long time. But what I heard yesterday was, you know, in my view what is a very cynical effort to dismiss a record of over 40 years, Senator Sessions has been a U.S. Attorney, the Attorney General of Alabama for about two years, and then United States Senator, and in that time we`ve had an opportunity to see where he stands on a variety of civil rights issues. He was rejected, as you know, by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986, when he sought to become a Federal District Judge because they found that the evidence of that prosecution and statements that he was accused of making, made him unsuited to be a Federal District Judge.

Yesterday, in the hearing, he dismissed all of that. He essentially said that you know, he was wrongly caricatured, that`s the word he used for the 40-year record, that we amassed in our report that you can find on our web site that looks not only at 1985 but all the way up through this century as well, and up to 2017, including during the campaign of President-elect Trump, where Senator Sessions was a close ally and was the first sitting senator to endorse President-elect Trump.

HAYES: I want to talk about one specific area that I`ve - that I`ve been following closely myself for a book I wrote and something you and I have spoken about, which is policing. And particularly because this justice department, under President Obama, I would say, particularly in the second term, has played a very muscular role of civil rights division, in patterns and practices investigations of cities from Chicago to Cleveland to Baltimore to Ferguson, and consent decrees that are essentially federal efforts to reform policing externally for a localities that have proven to be unable to do that for themselves. Here`s what Senator Sessions had to say about those consent decrees today. Take a listen.


SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, (R-AL) ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE It`s a difficult thing for a city to be sued by the Department of Justice and to be told that your police department is systematically failing to serve the people of the state or the city. And -- so that`s an August responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice and so they often feel forced to agree to a consent decree just to remove that stigma.


HAYES: That was obviously yesterday. What do you make of that answer?

IFILL: Well, I think you have to combine it with -- of even more testimony yesterday, the fact that he was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, there was a phalanx of law enforcement there to support him yesterday and the Head of the Fraternal Order of Police Chuck Canterbury testified on his behalf today. And they all essentially said the same thing, and what they said, and what I heard out of the mouth of Senator Sessions, is that he intends to be a champion of local police, that he does not believe that the Federal Government through the Department of Justice should be intruding in local policing matters. He said specifically, he thinks that, excuse me, too many people, including the department, are painting entire police departments as being engaged in unconstitutional conduct, when in fact it`s just a few officers, just a few bad apples, something we`ve - something we`ve heard before. He`s a - he`s a proponent of that view. He has been skeptical about consent decrees for many years, not just recently. But what we heard from him at this confirmation hearing makes me quite certain that Senator Sessions, if he is confirmed, will be taking a very different tack on policing reform. I do not expect pattern and practice investigations, I do not expect consent decrees. I hope that he will continue the work of the cops` office that works on training and retraining police departments, but that remains to be seen. I would say I was not encouraged by what I heard from his own lips yesterday and by what I heard today. As you know, you know, local practices like in Ferguson, it was the Department of Justice that discovered this kind of pyramid scheme that Ferguson was running, it was Department of Justice that discovered unconstitutional policing in Baltimore and we need the Department of Justice to be engaged in that activity.

HAYES: Yes, those patterns and practices report which you can find on line are remarkable reading (INAUDIBLE) produced by that same department that the senator would be running. Sherrilyn Ifill, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

IFILL: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, nine days away from his inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump today escalated his feud with his own intelligence agencies by -- and I`m not making this up -- comparing them to Nazis. That story after the short break.


HAYES: The President-elect of the United States started his day on Twitter as he so often does where he compared today, America`s intelligence professionals to Nazis, quoting here, "Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to leak into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi, Germany?" The President-elect was later asked about that comment at his press conference.


TRUMP: I think it`s a disgrace, and I say that, and I say that, and that`s something that Nazi, Germany would have done and did do. I think it`s a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public.


HAYES: Trump referring to an unverified dossier containing embarrassing claims about his alleged ties to Russia, which was prepared by a third- party individual, not members of the Intelligence Community, and published not by the Intelligence Community but by BuzzFeed News. Now, that came after the President-elect opened his press conference with a broadside against American intelligence officials whom he blames for talking to press.


TRUMP: I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they, in fact, did that, a tremendous blot.


HAYES: And in a particularly astonishing moment, frankly, the President- elect even admitted openly to setting traps for the Intelligence Community, in an attempt to find out whether they`ve been leaking about his classified briefings.


TRUMP: I said, maybe it`s my office. Maybe my office. And what I did is I said, I won`t tell anybody. I`m going to have a meeting and I won`t tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence, nobody knew, not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years. She didn`t know. I didn`t tell her. The meeting was had, the meeting was over, they left and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting.


HAYES: Now, based on the reporting over the past few weeks, and admittedly, it`s a lot of anonymous sources and hard to make sense of, but it seems pretty clear that at least a significant portion of the American intelligence apparatus appears to believe that the incoming President of the United States, their future boss is potentially the turned asset of a foreign adversary. And at the very same time, that same man, the President-elect, seems to think, that the intelligence apparatus is out to destroy him politically by staging a kind of soft coup. It`s all a recipe for a major constitutional crisis in the very near future.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On that intelligence report, the second part of their conclusion was tat Vladirmir Putin ordered it because he aspired to help you in the election. Do you accept that part of the finding?

TRUMP: Well, if -- if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.


HAYES: President-elect Donald Trump still showing no demonstrable outrage or even unease, frankly over Russia`s reported attempts to sway the U.S. presidential election through criminal political sabotage, which he acknowledged today for the first time.

Trump`s response to the election hacks, the claims of ties between his inner circle and the Kremlin and his general stance towards Russia all make up at this point the single most controversial aspect of the president-elect`s foreign policy.

So it was fitting that today while Trump was giving his press conference, his nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was testifying in his first confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill.

Tillerson has had extensive contact with the Russian government as the CEO of Exxonmobil, even winning Russia`s Order of Friendship award in 2013 after making a half trillion deal with the government-owned oil company.

But asked about Russia`s role in the election, he sounded a somewhat different note than his would be boss.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: Do you believe during the 2016 presidential campaign Russia intelligence services directed a campaign of active measures involving the hacking of emails, the strategic leak of these emails, the use of internet trolls and the dissemination of fake news?

TILLERSON: I did read the interagency report that was released on January 6. That report clearly is troubling and indicates that all of the actions you just described were undertaken.


HAYES: Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat, asked whether Tillerson`s responses reflect the views of the president-elect himself.


SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, (D) NEW JERSEY: I assume to some degree you`ve had some discussion about what it is that that world view is going to be in order to understand whether you`re willing to execute that on behalf of the person you`re going to work for.

TILLERSON: In a broad construct, and in terms of the principles that are going to guide that, yes, sir.

MENENDEZ: And I would have thought that Russia would be at the top of that aconsidering all the actions taking place, is that -- did that not happen?

TILLERSON: That has not occurred yet, senator.

MENENDEZ: That`s pretty amazing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Senator Menendez also asked Tillerson about his company`s history of opposing economic sanctions including those leveed against Russia for its invasion of Crimea. This was the response.


TILLERSON: First, I have never lobbied against sanctions personally.

MENENDEZ: But the company you directed did.

TILLERSON: To my knowledge, Exxon never directly lobbied against sanctions, not to my knowledge.


HAYES: New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez joins me now. And Senator, shortly after that your colleague Bob Corker, Senator Corker, basically said "Mr. Tillerson I believe you called me essentially to lobby against sanctions."

Later in the committee meeting, you then pulled out the lobbying disclosure forms that showed that Exxon had in fact filed disclosure forms to lobby on sanctions. Do you believe that Mr. Tillerson was being deceptive with you today?

MENENDEZ: Well, he was either avoiding the truth or his management style has got to be of concern as he seeks to head one of the biggest departments of the federal government, the State Department, not only with its operations here but across the world.

It`s impossible to almost believe that you could spend and direct millions of dollars in lobbying activities as those reports that I submitted for the record show, and not know that that was happening and not know they were lobbying actually against sanctions.

And the second thing he said to me when I presented the evidence, he said to me "well, it doesn`t say whether we were lobbying for or against."

So, in what world would he have lobbied for sanctions that would have hurt the bottom line of his company?

So it clearly was at least not transparent and worrisome because if he really didn`t know, then how do you operate a large institution like the State Department and what`s your management style?

HAYES: He also -- Exxonmobil responded saying let`s be clear, we engage with lawmakers to discuss sanction impacts, not whether or not sanctions should be imposed, although that strikes me as a distinction without a difference if you come to a member`s office and say "this is going to hurt our bottom line" You don`t have to say "that`s why you should oppose it."

MENENDEZ: Well, absolutely.

And Mr. Tillerson said that, if anything, it was to seek information and guidance. Well, you don`t have to have a lobby disclosure form in order to seek information or guidance. You have a lobby disclosure form because you are taking a specific position for or against a specific piece of legislation or regulatory action. So, that thing about getting information is not tenable because you don`t need to do that to file a lobby disclosure form. They were clearly lobbying against sanctions on Iran, against sanctions on Russia and other iterations of those sanction regimes.

HAYES: So, then, I mean, was this fundamentally deceptive? I mean, I asked you at the beginning but it does seem to me that, you know, he says he never personally lobbied and then you have your colleague basically saying "you called me." Do you feel that the answers he gave today were forthcoming and truthful?

MENENDEZ: No, I have serious questions as to what he answered. You know, on the whole sanctions regime, which is part of our limited arsenal of peaceful diplomacy tools so you don`t have to go to war over disputes, he had it all over the place. He has a history of lobbying against it to Exxonmobil then he says they can be powerful -- a powerful tool. Then he equivocated at different times when I asked him today, well, without specifying with sanctions, do you not believe on the face of everything that Russia has done, including trying to affect our own national presidential elections, that additional sanctions should be called for and he wouldn`t commit to that.

So I have a real concern as to where he really stands as it relates to that and other issues.

HAYES: All right, Senator Bob Menendez, thank you for your time, appreciate it.

MENENDEZ: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, today`s press conference served as a stark reminder of the temperament of the incoming president. I`ll talk about it with Michael Moore ahead.

Plus, a truly, truly bizarre Thing One, Thing Two that you absolutely have to see after this break.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, the ongoing saga of the Capitol Hill art heist. For 35 years, the House has sponsored a nationwide art competition for high school students in which a winner from each district has their work displayed in the Capitol for an entire year. This painting is one of hundreds of winners from 2016 done by a high schooler in Missouri who lives just miles away from Ferguson where Michael Brown was fatally shot in 2014.

As you can see, the painting depicts several figures as different animals, a police officer who appears to be a warthog is aiming a gun at another figure who appears to be a wolf. A second officer is also depicted with unspecified animal-like figures.

Now, that painting has now been stolen three times in six days. Leading one congressman to seek charges for theft against one of his colleagues, and another to say, quote, we may just have to kick somebody`s ass. We`ll tell you who is behind the heists in 60 seconds.


HAYES: A high school student`s painting has been stolen from the halls of the Capitol three times in less than a week. So, who`s responsible?

Well, four Republican united states congressmen so far. Last Friday, Representative Duncan Hunter of California was the first to snatch the painting, falsely claiming it depicts police officers as pigs and returning it to the office of Missouri Congressman Lacey Clay who represents the artist`s district.

Yesterday morning, Representative Clay and fellow members of the congressional black caucus returned the painting to its rightful place. Clay even asked Capital police to press charges against Hunter, but they declined.

Later on Tuesday, Doug Lamborn was the second Republican congressman to just take the painting down with no authorization and, again, Congressman Clay had it returned to the gallery wall.

Before the end of the day, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Brian Banbin together removed the painting from the wall with no authorization for a third time.

As of this evening, the painting is back up but the fight continues.

Congressional Republican staffer, quote, "making it a top priority" to request a review from the capital architect on whether the painting should be removed.

And Speaker Paul Ryan told members he will try to take it down, to which Congressional Black Caucus Cedric Richmond responded "if this is something that Speaker Ryan thinks is one of his priorities in a new congress, to pick on an 18-year-old art student who only depicts what is he sees in his community, then I just think that`s sad."



TRUMP: Lindsey Graham. I`ve been competing with him for a long time. He`s going to crack that 1 percent barrier one day.

I didn`t realize Lindsey Graham`s still at it.


HAYES: President-elect Donald Trump`s performance in today`s press conference served as a stark reminder he is still the same person he was during the election. As Trump stands poised to become the president of the United States entering office with a 37 percent approval rating, he still seems most comfortable pursuing vendettas, responding to slights and engaging in outright intimidation.

And while the president-elect couldn`t resist a jab at former enemies like Senator Lindsey Graham today, most of his vitriol was reserved for the people right there in the room with him.


TRUMP: But I will tell you, some of the media outlets that I deal with are fake news, more so than anybody. I could name them, but I won`t bother, but you have a few sitting right in front of us.

As far as Buzzfeed, which is a failing pile of garbage writing it, I think they`re going to suffer the consequences. They already are.

I`m not releasing the tax returns, because as you know they`re under audit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But every president since the `70s has...audit from the IRS. The last six have released them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, since you`re attacking us, can you give us a question? Mr. president-elect, since you are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance?.

TRUMP: Your organization is terrible. I`m not going to give you a question, you are fake news.


HAYES: That man -- not the man sitting down, the man standing up, is about to become the most powerful person in the world. I will ask filmmaker Michael Moore what that means for our democracy next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since you`re attacking us, can you give us a question?

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President-elect, since you are attacking our news organization...

TRUMP: Not you, not you.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Can you give us a chance?

TRUMP: Your organization is terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re attacking...

TRUMP: I`m not going to give you a question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you state categorically...

TRUMP: You are fake news.


HAYES: President-elect Trump refused point blank to answer questions from CNN today because of the story they published the previous day. CNN`s Correspondent Jim Acosta said that incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer threatened to throw him out of the press conference if he tried to ask another question. That incident, and Trump`s behavior throughout his first press conference as president-elect raises some serious questions and implications for American democracy, and questions about how our institutions will deal with him.

And joining me to help me answer that, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. What did you make of the press conference today?

MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Well, first of all, I`ll speak as a director, then, as a film director. It was a masterful performance. He owned the room. He owned the day. This should be very distressing to everyone.

HAYES: You think it was politically effective today?

MOORE: Absolutely, especially for he and his side.

HAYES: As showmanship?

MOORE: As such -- I did this in my head, take those same words you just showed "you are fake news." Put those words in Nixon`s mouth. You are fake news. It would have sounded like the paranoid that Nixon was.

Put those words in George W. Bush`s mouth, you know, it would have sounded defensive like a little boy. This guy pulls that off and he pulls it off over and over and over again and confuses the situation with so much -- you don`t know -- we don`t have enough time here to deal with everything that was said and done, but again speaking as a director, once again, the props, the Trump steaks were replaced by file folders that -- by the way, I don`t know if this has been reported, they wouldn`t let the reporters...

HAYES: We said that earlier today, because one of our own reporters tried to look inside, among others says, well, what`s in here.

MOORE: Yeah, because of course somebody went to Staples an hour earlier.

HAYES: I don`t know but that certainly is plausible.

MOORE: Created this prop that looks like a law student`s dorm room, you know? It`s like -- it really...

HAYES: It`s like obviously we`ve thought this through and obviously we`ve addressed the conflict of interest, just look at how many sheets of paper there are.

MOORE: Just look at all this paper in an era where none of this is really on paper.

So this is where now after this -- what happened today the threat against CNN and NBC has suffered the same sort of threat before.

HAYES: He attacked our reporter Katy Tur on multiples on occasions.

MOORE: Absolutely. So now it`s critical that the media do its job and do not be afraid, do not back down, do not try to -- because Buzzfeed screwed up in some way because of the Michael Cohen thing, don`t now not do your job because this clearly was something that wasn`t vetted.

HAYES: So here`s my -- you`re referring to that dossier, which had circulated. It was published by Buzzfeed. It contained a bunch of completely unverified and possibly unverifiable, frankly, outlandish and lurid accusations. He -- you could tell from the very first moment that in a smart tactical sense they were going to attack the weakest point so that was distinct from the CNN report, right? But he conflated the two very wisely, I thought, to sort of attack them both and...

MOORE: correct.

And the main story, really, if you`re a serious journalist isn`t the salacious prostitute stuff, it`s the second point which is was there collusion between the Trump campaign and any Russians during the campaign? And that`s worthy of the investigation that apparently the FBI and others are doing right now.

HAYES: So, we should note that Jim Acosta -- that was the question he was asking actually was can you state categorically, it was dodged.

Acosta then said afterwards that someone from ABC asked that and the president-elect said no so I want to enter that in the record.

Here`s my question to you, you know, I have watched this play out in the transition period and what I`ve noticed is this: Donald Trump ultimately became president-elect I think because he was able to profit off a forced choice between himself and Hillary Clinton, and Hillary Clinton because of 30 years of the public eye, because of different cohort of factors, he was able to say well you may not like me but it`s me or her, right, and he attacked her as the kind of alternative.

It strikes me that he has now replaced Hillary Clinton, who is no longer on the ballot, with the media, the media -- he is now running against the media.

MOORE: Right. So, the scary part of that analogy is you have Hillary who won, but because of the Democrats and who they are and the way they are, she lost. Are you saying.

HAYES: Well, I mean, she didn`t win in the sense that she did not win the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president.

MOORE: Well, let me put it a different way, if Donald Trump had won by three million popular votes...

HAYES: Things would have played out very differently.

MOORE: What would be going on right now?

HAYES: I agree completely.

MOORE: Everybody knows the answer, including Donald Trump to that question.

HAYES: In fact, he laid the ground work for it.

MOORE: Correct.

HAYES: So, then -- so play that out. So when you say the press has to be uncowed, and I think I agree with you. My own personal perspective on this, they also have to sort of focus as much as possible, which is very difficult to do, very difficult to do.

MOORE: Yes, right because you`re dealing with somebody with certain issues, we`ll call it that just to...

HAYES: Who likes to pick a million fights.

MOORE: And says a million crazy things. He will, in one moment today, say he believes Russia did hack into the DNC and literally less than a minute later...

HAYES: Say I don`t know.

MOORE: Maybe not, maybe it was some other country.

Fortunately, the 400 pound guy sitting on the bed now has been left out of the discussion, but it could be other countries. It could be other countries.

So this is crazy time, but it`s so important. We`re laughing about this a little bit, but you, the media, the media -- I mean, how they said people knew this story, that this story had been floating around. Did you know? Had you heard it?

HAYES: I had heard word of it, but I certainly hadn`t seen the dossier. What I had read was, I had read David Corn`s piece, which was based off this dossier -- I mean, I -- in terms of the first order of question, I think that you don`t publish that dossier, that`s my own personal feeling, because you have got to verify stuff that you publish. That`s my feeling.

MOORE: No, that`s correct.

HAYES: Thank you.

MOORE: And as someone who -- I myself have had Buzzfeed print things about me that aren`t true so I...

HAYES: Now you`re sounding Trumpish.

MOORE: Well, no, it`s just the truth that this is where this is going to be the undoing of the press if they don`t do what you just said. If that kind of serious journalism doesn`t happen and we should point out that NBC Universal is an investor in Buzzfeed, any time that`s mentioned it should be said.

HAYES: Yes. They are.

So we should say here, though, that that the -- you`re getting at the sort of pay dirt here, right, which is what is the term he used? They`ve all now appropriated this term, fake news. Fake news is this term...

MOORE: FAke news that he`s one of the founders of in the the Obama era. He created the fake news of the...

HAYES: Barack Obama is not a citizen.

MOORE: And he says that there was intelligence.

HAYES: That`s right. He was called by a reputable source...

MOORE: He was called by a reputable source that there was intelligence. He, himself, was going to -- he was hiring investigators to support his fake news. He is the godfather of this decade`s fake news. For him now to say fake news...

HAYES: Well, this is a great point. As a person who launched his political career off of unverifiable and ultimately incorrect conspiratorial and frankly racist theories about the president`s crypto- Kenyan birth and forged documents and all this stuff.

MOORE: And the fact that -- the way he deals with the sex thing is his defense is I`m a germaphobe. He just admits it publicly on TV. He goes, "I`m a germaphobe." like to him that takes care of any sex -- like sex is all dirty and germy, and whatever.

HAYES: Well...

MOORE: That`s what he used.


MOORE: This could have never happened.

HAYES: I`m not going to get into these weeds.

MOORE: This couldn`t have happened because I`m a germaphobe and I know where they put the cameras in the hotel rooms, because I have hotels.

HAYES: That was also fascinating.

But here`s the thing, right, the term fake news and what I found so sort of potent about that is this describe this very specific thing that happened during the election, you see it all the time, in your Facebook feed, Denzel Washington endorses Donald Trump. That`s just not a true thing and the people that wrote that know it`s not true. It`s not even that important, frankly, but it`s not true.

MOORE: He even tweeted -- I put out a movie against him called "Trumpland" just before the election and he tweets "thank you, Michael Moore, for putting out Trumpland." And it`s like -- I thought at the time he sees his name in the title, so he`s thinks, you know, it`s -- to a narcissist it`s always a great thing to see your name.

HAYES: To be mentioned, yeah.

MOORE: But, you know, it`s just...

HAYES: But we`re through the looking glass. He has appropriated this term to say -- it`s a sort of judo move where it`s -- it`s fake news.

MOORE: That`s why I`m telling you, this was genius today. He pulled it off. Now we`ll see if the press decides to back down or come back at him.

HAYES: And stay on the conflict story.

MOORE: And stay on the fact that he is a founder of fake news and that`s - - and when he says things like "over the weekend I was offered $2 billion." Have you ever heard a president or president-elect ever say "yeah, I just got offered $2 billion."

HAYES: And I have to say, I was happy for that moment because it was news. We didn`t know that and it also concretized precisely the conflict problem we have been trying to illustrate on this show, which is very difficult.

Michael Moore, thank you.

MOORE: And thank you. And let me just say that you are the best MSNBC host ever created by god. God created you, Chris, to be here.

HAYES: Thank you, Michael.

Alec Baldwin should be looking over his shoulder.

MOORE: No way.

HAYES: I was now lying, actually. That was just me being nice.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.