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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 1/16/2017

Guests: Guest: Ted Lieu; Hakeem Jeffries; Debbie Stabenow, Jonathan Chait, Ilan Goldenberg

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYESDate: January 16, 2017Guest: Ted Lieu; Hakeem Jeffries; Debbie Stabenow, Jonathan Chait, Ilan Goldenberg (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He lost. It`s like a spoiled child. CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Team Trump rebukes a civil rights icon. REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Stand up. Speak up. When you see something that is not right -- HAYES: Four days from inauguration, the growing crisis of legitimacy as the Trump boycott grows. Then . UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he has to recognize that his words do have impact. HAYES: Why Donald Trump`s ongoing alignment with Vladimir Putin has multiple continents on edge. Plus, is the Trump White House actually planning to kick reporters out? CHUCK TODD, MSNBC MEET THE PRESS DAILY HOST: There will still be reporters every day going to work in the White House. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Either -- well, that hasn`t been determined, Chuck. HAYES: And an eruption of ObamaCare support across America. AMERICAN CROWD (chanting): This is what democracy looks like. HAYES: As Donald Trump floats a (INAUDIBLE) balloon when ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I`m Chris Hayes. And there are now just four days until Donald Trump is sworn in as this nation`s 45th President. And right now, he is poised to enter office amid a swirling and growing tornado of controversy that at least for any other political figure, would widely be seen as creating a major legitimacy crisis. Trump, of course, will become President despite Hillary Clinton having won the popular vote by more than 2.86 million votes -- the widest margin of any losing candidate in American history. He will take office despite any assessment from the U.S. Intelligence Community, the Russian government interfered the election to boost his chances an ongoing questions about what influence the Russian government may hold over him. While most past Presidents have seen their popularity hit a high point right before they are sworn in, Trump is at historic lows. Comparing to Bill Clinton`s favorable rating pre-inauguration of 66 percent and George W. Bush`s 62 percent and Barack Obama`s nearly 80 percent, Trump, by contrast, is sitting right now at just 40 percent. More than 20 points less than each of his three predecessors. Trump is viewed unfavorably by a majority, 55 percent of adults nationwide. A majority compared to 18 percent unfavorable rating for Barack Obama before his inauguration. Meanwhile, even before Trump is sworn in, a resistance movement has taken shape against what republicans say is their top number one priority under the new President, that, of course, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act with thousands pouring into the streets across the country into congressional offices this weekend to protest efforts to take away their healthcare. Perhaps the starkest scene was in Colorado. A republican Congressman, Mike Coffman snuck out of a constituent event early, after more than 150 people showed up, many of them there to confront him over the repeal effort. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am going to potentially lose my health insurance. I have -- I`ve had a pre-existing condition. I`ve had breast cancer. What`s going to happen to me? I`m trying to get an answer and I can`t even get in. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: As for Trump, he spent his last weekend before becoming President engaged in public feuds with the outgoing head of the CIA, the government of China and the casting crew of "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE". He also lashed out at John Lewis tweeting, "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime-infested, rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk, no actions or results. Sad." That, of course, would be this John Lewis the towering civil rights figure who helped lead the 1963 march on Washington and had his skull fractured by State Troopers after marching into Selma, Alabama, in 1965, and who on Friday described Trump as an illegitimate President. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEWIS: I don`t see this President-elect as a legitimate President. I think the Russians participated in having this man get elected and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don`t plan to attend the inauguration. It would be the first one that I miss since I`ve been in the congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Lewis` decision not to attend Friday`s inauguration and Trump`s response has spurred many of Lewis` colleagues to follow suit. There are as of now at least 31 democratic lawmakers who have announced plans to boycott, including one, who I will speak to in just a moment. The question of the Presidential legitimacy is not a new one for Trump, of course, a man who spent years questioning President Obama`s legitimacy by pushing a false conspiracy theory known as Birtherism. Yesterday, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus argued that Obama side with Trump over Lewis. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It`s irresponsible for John Lewis, historic as he is, to have done this. And the other piece of this, Chuck, is that Barack Obama should step up as well and call it what it is. It`s wrong what is happening. It`s wrong how some of these democrats are treating President-elect Trump. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Trump marked today`s holiday at a meeting with Martin Luther King III and told reporters he pressed Trump to make it easier for Americans to vote. Lewis, for his part, urged young African-American men to stand by their beliefs at an event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. in Miami. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEWIS: So I say to you, young men, you must have courage. You must be bold. And never, ever give up when you know that you`re right. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Democratic Representative Ted Lieu of California says he will not attend the inauguration. And Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York a member of the House of Democratic leadership who says he`s undecided about whether he`ll be there on Friday. Congressman Lieu, let me start with you. Can you give your reasoning for not going? REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, thank you, Chris, for that question. And let me first say it`s an honor to be on your show with the wonderful Hakeem Jeffries. Based on an information I know, Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but I`m not going to normalize him. I cannot normalize his (INAUDIBLE) of behavior, his racists, sexists, and bigoted statements, he attacked Gold star parents, veterans such as John McCain, Latinos, Muslim-Americans, and now John Lewis. And for me the decision was do I stand with Donald Trump or do I stand with John Lewis, I`m standing with John Lewis. HAYES: Are you doing something that is toxic or destructive to America`s basic institutional character when you`re doing something like this? LIEU: What makes America great is that unlike Russia, we don`t make people watch parades or ceremonies. Keep in mind, nothing is happening at this inauguration in terms of votes casts or policies being enacted. It`s pageantry. Now, can a man like Trump who has made a series of racists and sexes statements, have a good idea? Oh, yes, he can. So when he withdraws the United States from the transpacific partnership, I will support it. But if he`s got bad ideas, like creating a Muslim-American registry, or cutting Social Security Medicare, then I`m going to fight like hell to oppose them. HAYES: Congressman Jeffries, since you`re here and you have not announced how you`ll be -- what you`ll be doing on inauguration day. How do you understand what you are communicating as a member of congress and as a member of constitutional office by going or not going? REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: Well, the peaceful transfer of power is something that I think is an important part of American democracy. It`s very unique to republic and is something that we should respect. I don`t think not attending the inauguration for instance would be disrespecting that principle in this particular situation because John Lewis is completely right, there`s a cloud of illegitimacy around the election of Donald Trump. The Russians interfered with his election. James Comey and the FBI interfered with his election. The fake news industry interfered with his election. He didn`t win the popular vote. He lost the popular vote. The majority of the Americans didn`t vote for him, they voted against him. And so, every member is going to have to work -- HAYES: Why is that different than just whining because you lost? JEFFRIES: Because, you know, the notion that a foreign power could have interfered with American democracy in a way that could have altered the results is a unique threat to the Republic and that`s a serious thing for each member to have to consider and to weigh. I`m going to spend the next day or so in the district speaking to people in Brooklyn and Queens, and then I`ll make my own -- HAYES: Yes. What`s the -- what`s the equation here? I mean, what is the -- what are you balancing right now when you think about this? JEFFRIES: Well, again, you know, the principle of the peaceful transfer of power and the opportunity, quite frankly, to be in the presence of Barack Obama for the final time as the 44th President of the United States of America perhaps is the only good reason that any democrat who chooses to attend, may attend. But Chris, the nerve -- and it`s great to be on with and Ted he`s a tremendous member of congress. The nerve of that folks on the other side of the aisle who declared war on Barack Obama on day one to lecture any democrat about Presidential etiquette is just striking. HAYES: Congressman, first let me -- let me ask you this, Congressman Lieu, do you agree with John Lewis` assessment. Hakeem Jeffries -- Congressman Jeffries just said there, there`s a cloud of illegitimacy. I`m hoping I`m quoting that correctly. Congressman Lewis said he does not believe him to be legitimate. Do you believe him to be illegitimate? LIEU: There absolutely is a cloud of illegitimacy and Donald Trump can remove that cloud. He can release his tax returns, so we`ll know if he`s got special interests in Russia or business holdings in Russia that we need to know about. On day one, Donald Trump is going to be in violation of the constitution, article one, section nine, which says you can`t have conflicts of interest. So if he takes his vast global business holdings and divest them or put them in blind trusts, he can remove that element of illegitimacy. He refuses not to. So really, it`s upon Donald Trump to remove this cloud of illegitimacy. HAYES: That article, the emoluments clause of course particular to foreign flows of income. We should be -- we should be clear. And Congressman Jeffries, I want to know how much -- as I listen to Congressman Lieu here, and you talked about how republicans dealt with Barack Obama. There`s that old drug -- anti-drug commercial where the dad asked his son like where did you learn to do this? He said I learned it from watching you dad. How much of -- how much of how you as democrats of the minority are saying, "Well, they were implacable opposition to President Obama and it kind of worked so maybe we should do that." JEFFRIES: Well, the role of the majority is to govern. The role of the minority is to get back into the majority. So, that`s a clear principle of American politics. That`s said, we`re not going to follow the irresponsible model that was set forth by the other side. Keep in mind -- HAYES: There`s 30 people who are going to boycott his inauguration. JEFFRIES: Half of them didn`t attend the inauguration in 2012 when Barack Obama was not just elected but re-elected. But keep in mind, their obstruction came in the midst of two failed wars and the worst economy since the great depression. All we`re saying is, Donald Trump has some issues that he has to work out. By the way, he was the leader of the Birther Movement. He perpetrated the racist line that Barack Obama wasn`t born in the United States of America, so he`s got some things that he`s got to apologize for and deal with. And then he goes -- he had this bromance with Vladimir Putin and yet he attacks a civil rights icon. And so, he`s given us every reason to say there are going to be some problems the day that he`s sworn in. HAYES: Congressman Lieu, as soon as I saw John Lewis`s comments, my colleague, Chuck Todd, I thought to myself, "Well, there`s some tweets that are going to come from the President-elect." Were you -- were you surprised or not by what he said? LIEU: But the tweets from Donald Trump were completely inappropriate, and it shows one of the weaknesses of Trump. Instead of addressing the very real issues about legitimacy, he attacks the messenger. HAYES: Right. LIEU: He attacks John Lewis and his district, which is false, his district is doing great. And by attacking the messenger, it shows a sign of weakness and he has not addressing the very real legitimacy issues that he needs to clear up. HAYES: All right, Congressman Ted Lieu and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thanks to you both for your time. We`ll check back with you, Congressman Jeffries, to see if we will see you there on Friday. Joining me now, MSNBC Political Analyst Michael Steele, former Chair of the Republican National Committee. And Michael, you know, this is a thing that`s struck out to me about the Lewis thing -- aside from the fact that anyone else probably would have just taken a pass. Right? You don`t need to -- you don`t need to engage. MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Just don`t -- (CROSSTALK) HAYES: But this -- the tweets about -- he should spend more time fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape, falling apart, not to mention crime-infested, like, Lewis represents buck head, he listens -- (INAUDIBLE) like the downtown Atlanta. There`s this great Atlanta the Atlanta Journal constitution, front page as "Atlanta to Trump: Wrong." I got to say that there`s an interpretation of those tweets that basically are like, he thinks John Lewis is black, he associates blackness with, like, falling apart inner cities and attacked him for a fictional district. STEELE: You are right on the head. That`s it. I mean, it`s the stereotype of the black congressman representing a black district that`s got to be poor, highly uneducated, urban, et cetera, et cetera. And it just -- it just speaks to this sort of stereotype narrative that some have about black officials, black politicians, black leaders that they represent not you know, prosperity and opportunity. HAYES: Right. STEELE: And a way forward, but rather represent the (INAUDIBLE) the forgotten and the misaligned. And just -- it is such a bogus piece of B.S. that it just drives me up the wall. When I hear this, not just from -- not just with Donald Trump`s tweets, but just in politics, generally, I hear it from the right, I hear it from the left. These assumptions about black people, the black community as a whole whenever there`s a tragic event it`s, you know, the first thing you know, you hear about the, you know, the person who was shot or killed was whether or not they had a criminal record. So it`s just this constant stereotyping of a people that just after a while just becomes too much. HAYES: I hear you on that. That`s something that I -- (CROSSTALK) STEELE: Sorry. I ate some of my soapbox. Sorry. HAYES: No, it`s something -- no, it`s something that I think is very consistent frustratingly. I want to ask you about your reaction to watching this, you know, John Lewis, his comments, Trump attacking him. I think Trump attacking him ended up pushing a lot of members of congress to sort of side with Lewis. STEELE: Yes. HAYES: Because they feel like, "Well, if I`m choosing -- if I`m a democrat choosing between John Lewis and Donald Trump, this is not a tough one. What do you think of the 30-plus members who are -- who are sort of, boycotting the inauguration? STEELE: Well, I think, you know, look, I`m not going to second guess their individual choice. They can make it for personal, political or whatever reason. That`s fine. But I do -- I do think that it is a bit much. I think that there`s a lot more drama around this. This was really unfortunate. I think Donald Trump should have handled it better. As President of the United States, you never punch down. You know, the congressman expressed his own personal view. That`s John Lewis` choice. So you live with that. If I were in his shoes, what I would have advised the President to do is say, look, let me call them up and say hey John, I`m sorry you feel that way. I`d like to you come to the inauguration as my guest and if that`s too much, let`s you and I get together in the Oval Office after the inauguration and sit down and talk. HAYES: But Michael, you are -- that is -- that is a -- that is a normal and gracious set of actions that one can take. But I mean, at this point, we know that`s just not the way he rolls. Like there`s -- STEELE: It`s not like how he rolls. Right. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: He punching down, feuds, he thrives on beef. The guy thrives on beef. That`s going to be -- it`s going to be that on Friday, it`s going to be that on Saturday, on Sunday and on Monday. STEELE: Well, you know, you raise an interesting question then, going forward. And that is, how much does the office of the presidency change the man or does the man change the office of the presidency? HAYES: That`s a great question. Yes. STEELE: And I really think that that`s something that we will get a very strong inclination of over these first 100 days when he has to deal with the congress that will turn less friendlier as the process unfold with the Supreme Court nomination, with the citizenry that`s on edge. Not just those who are against him but those who are -- have an expectation level from him. HAYES: Yes. STEELE: So there`s going to be a lot of things that the office of the presidency helps the man deal with. And the question is whether Donald Trump will allow the office to do that or will he try to control it as we`ve seen so far. HAYES: That`s very well put. Michael Steele, thanks for your thoughts, and I appreciate it. STEELE: You got it, buddy. HAYES: All right still ahead, I`ll talk with Jonathan Chait about his new book on the Obama legacy and the massive protest across the country to save ObamaCare. Really remarkable images from this weekend as President-elect Trump suggests his first concrete idea on what healthcare should look like under his administration. What he said after this two-minute break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: So what do the republicans want to do? they want to repeal and run away. You know what I think? I think repeal and run is for cowards. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Senator Elizabeth Warren estimated 6,000 people showed up in Boston yesterday. 6,000 people in support of the Affordable Care Act on just a winter Sunday. Lawmakers and citizens alike rallied across the country this weekend in an attempt to pressure republicans against fully repealing ObamaCare, a move that could throw state health care systems into chaos and strip coverage for millions of Americans. And as uncertainty reigns and patients who have coverage, the ACA including some who are cancer patients who credit the ACA with saving their life as they wonder about this fight, the President-elect steps forward to highlight the core principles by which he would like to be judged for the success or failure of his version of healthcare. In an interview with The Washington Post yesterday, Trump was quoted as saying, "We are going to have insurance for everybody." Also promised to do so with, quote, "much lower deductibles" and also, "don`t worry about paying for it", according to Trump. "There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can`t pay for it, you don`t get it. That`s not going to happen with us." Now, these new healthcare promises from Trump actually sound a lot like his old ones. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Everybody`s got to be covered. This is an unrepublican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, no, no, the lower 25 percent, they can`t afford private but -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Universal health care? TRUMP: I am going to take care of everybody. I don`t care if it cost me votes or not. Everybody is going to be taken care of, much better than they are taken care of now. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: OK. Everybody`s going to be taken care of. Now, what Trump is saying sounds a lot like universal coverage, which we should note is wildly inconsistent and at odds with any republican alternative on the table and also important to note (INAUDIBLE) in the face of Trump`s own actual plan, that`s a thing that they published and put on their website during the campaign, "health reform to make America great again", which is still up on the website. And which according to one study would cause almost 21 million people to lose their insurance coverage. Perhaps this is why it didn`t take long for Trump`s spokesman, Sean Spicer, to come out today and clarify things Trump`s goal he said, is quote "to get insurance for everybody through marketplace solutions." In other words, access to healthcare, not necessarily to make sure everyone has insurance. Which brings us back to this weekend`s rallies and the fight to defend ObamaCare, something that has seemed to unify all the various wings of the Democratic Party and indeed, the broader center-left. Case of point yesterday being the rally in Michigan with Bernie Sanders there appearing alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Gary Peters and Senator Debbie Stabenow. And joining me now is Senator Debbie Stabenow, democrat from Michigan. Senator, there are -- the politics of this are fascinating because we all saw what happened in reverse seven years ago, eight years ago during the Affordable Care Act. Is the goal of democrats to essentially reverse engineer their own version of that kind of citizen pressure? SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: Well, first, Chris, we missed you yesterday. It was bright sunshine and we had more than 8,000 people. We beat Boston. I just want that to be on the record. HAYES: Oh, I`m glad. And we will let the record reflect that. STABENOW: Please that, yes. The truth of the matter is, I`ve always felt that once we put in place affordable healthcare, additional ability for people to see their doctor, take away the protection, or give protections from insurance companies dropping you, and so on, that it would be very difficult to go backwards on that, that we would only go forward. There`s more we need to do. I strongly supported a public option for more competition. There`s a lot more to do. But it`s very difficult to go back because it`s not political. For the 8,000 people in Macomb County -- let me just stress, Macomb County that voted for Donald Trump, we had people there that voted for him. That said, wait a minute, I didn`t mean that you are going to take away my healthcare for my family. So it`s very personal for them. And I think republican are finally seeing what happens when you have to get beyond the rhetoric and actually do something that doesn`t hurt people. HAYES: Macomb County sort of famously is sworn to Trump is one of the counties in Michigan that sort of -- was one of the things that provided the margin. STABENOW: Right. HAYES: So you`re saying, you had Trump voters at the rally? STABENOW: Yes. HAYES: Really? STABENOW: We -- and what was interesting to me is that we were in Warren, Michigan, and outside, as I said, and we not only didn`t have one protester, which we thought we might -- HAYES: Yes. STABENOW: But we had people that came out to me and said I`m in a minimum wage job, I finally have health insurance. You know, I thought Donald Trump was going to make things better but I didn`t think he was going to take away my ability to see my doctor. So this is really personal. It`s not political for people. And I think the republicans are in a very dangerous spot right now. HAYES: Senator, how do you understand -- I want to get to Donald Trump`s comments in a second. But to follow up on this, how do you understand the fact this law has been so complicated, it has been so battle -- embattled from the beginning, suddenly now on the precipice of it probably -- possibly going away, there`s a constituency that we haven`t seen over the last eight years. STABENOW: Yes. Well, first of all, you know, republicans wanted to make sure there were no republican votes when they passed it. Chris, I was in the room. I was involved with this on the finance committee extensively and worked and worked and worked, and they wanted to make sure they could have a talking point that it was not supported by republicans, and then they`ve done everything to confuse people and rip it down. But the truth of the matter is now, folks are seeing a difference. I`ve talk to folks who can now get minimal healthcare without having high co-pays or a breast cancer survivor, who spoke yesterday, pre-existing condition now, no caps on the amount of services that she can get treatments. I`ve talked to a doctor treating children, literally saving their lives because he can really treat them and give them the care they need and people are finally saying, "Oh, wait a minute. That`s not what we meant. We didn`t realize that was part of the Affordable Care Act." HAYES: So then, my question to you is, do you hold Donald Trump to his stated goals of essentially which sounds like universal coverage, lower deductibles, like, are those the promises that you, the democrats, are going to hold the President-elect to? STABENOW: Well, I think the people are going to hold him to that. I mean, what`s interesting, and you said it, that his nominee for health and human services put forward a plan to rip apart Medicare, cut a trillion dollars from Medicare over 10 years, rip apart Medicaid and the most conservative replacement for the Affordable Care Act so Donald Trump is going to be held accountable by people. Are we going to make sure that we are explaining that to people? You bet. But he`s going to be held accountable by people when they lose the help that they`re getting right now. HAYE: Tom Price, of course, the nominee for HSS, and you, senator, will be in that hearing room on that committee that will be looking into him some interesting reporting on him that we`ll be getting to I think on tomorrow`s show. Thanks for your time tonight, senator. Appreciate it. STABENOW: Absolutely. HAYES: Coming up, Donald Trump once again on the side of Vladimir Putin. His shocking statements that left American allies reeling, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: An important update tonight on the odd story of the back and forth over incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn`s phone contact with Russia`s Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. Initially ,the Washington Post`s David Ignatius wrote a column, citing senior U.S. officials that said Flynn had spoken on the phone with the Russian ambassador on December 29th. That was the day that President Obama announced a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia in response the Intelligence Community`s finding that Russia hacked the DNC. Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer had an explanation with the call that he said happened on the 28th. And that was strange because at the time, no one had been talking about the call on the 28th, they were talking about a call on the 29th, the day that the sanctions were announced in several diplomats were kicked out of the country. Spicer then had to come out again and revise his dates and it turns out the call did take place on the day sanctions were announced, but according to Spicer, they didn`t talk about sanctions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHTIE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That call took place on the 29th of December in which time General Flynn was asked whether or not he would help set up a call after the inauguration with President Putin and then President Trump. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: So the message from the Trump transition was essentially nothing to see here, this is just pleasantries and logistics not a flurry of calls about the U.S. government`s contemporaneous decision to punish Russia over what appeared to be a pretty blatant violation of international norms. That was where we left it on Friday. But shortly after we discussed that story on air, another report came out. This one saying that there had actually been not one, not two but five calls, five calls between Flynn and the Ambassador all on the same day that the sanctions were announced. Now, we don`t know what was discussed in those five separate calls, but the least charitable view of the situation does not look good for the Trump administration or the country. And a new interview with the President-elect this week gives you every reason to take the least charitable view and that is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: I don`t think he has a full and appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russian`s intentions and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world. I think he has to be mindful that he does not yet, I think, have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road as well as making sure he understands what Russia is doing. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: One of the reasons CIA Director John Brennan may think that Donald Trump doesn`t appreciate or understand the current threat posed by Russia is that when you look at Trump`s foreign policy stances, many of them align perfectly with Russian interests, particularly Vladimir Putin`s interests. That was on full display this weekend in an interview Trump gave to the Times of London and the German publication Bild. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Do you stand up there among Eastern Europeans, there is a lot of fear of Putin in his Russia? TRUMP: Sure. And I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one, it was obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago. Number two, the country`s weren`t paying what they were supposed to pay. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The president-elect response to Eastern European fears about Russia was to label the very organization that now is expected to protect those countries from Russia as obsolete, a position the Kremlin was very happy to support, releasing an official statement reading, quote, "NATO is, indeed, a vestige of the past and we agree with that." Trump also appeared to support Putin`s goal of undermining the European Union, praising Britain`s decision to leave the EU, saying that countries want their own identity and directly criticizing Germany`s leader Angela Merkel, calling her refugee policy a, quote catastrophic mistake. Her response was swift. Europe`s fate is in, quote, "their own hands." Joining me now, Ilan Goldenberg at the Center for a New American Security. And Ilan, these -- put into context what it means to have the president-elect say this about the EU and about NATO particularly in this context. ILAN GOLDENBERG, CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: Thanks, Chris, for having me. Yeah, I think these are some relatively terrifying statements. What Trump is doing is essentially starting to question the basic international western-led order that`s existed since 1945. I mean, NATO and this whole western alliance system is absolutely essential. We learned what happens when these things don`t exist. That was the first half of the 20th Century and we had two world wars. The problem is, he says, well, I want these countries to spend more money on their own defense. They used to spend a lot of money on their own defense and we didn`t spend anything. And what happened? They all build up arms against each other and the end result is they go to war. It`s terrifying. So, if you look at a situation, such as the Germans. I can see the Germans or some of the other Eastern European states that are perfectly capable of building their own nuclear weapons if they didn`t believe the U.S. would be there to protect them from Russia. Well, now they start to take steps to think that way and maybe one of them builds nuclear weapons and another and before you know it you`re just in a different world that`s a lot scarier than the world we have today. You know, I know Trump thinks NATO is obsolete, but I would argue I don`t want the experiment of finding out what happens when we don`t have NATO, because we`ve seen that show before. HAYES: You know, the point you`re making here also -- I mean, what -- you know, whatever you believe about Trump`s campaign and the Russians and the Russian`s hacking of the DNC server, what is very clear and sort of transparent is, Trump`s views on these things do align perfectly with whatPutin`s views are. Putin thinks the NATO is obsolete. He thinks the EU is essentially a bad idea. He would like to undermine a whole set of these institutions that he believes, from the perspective of Russia, threaten Russian interests, or create kind of western hegemony. So they are on the same page. I mean, whether through good faith or bad faith. GOLDENBERG: Yeah, that`s true. They are on the same page. I will say, the one thing that gives me some hope, but also some trepidation is that it`s not clear that any of Trump`s nominees are necessarily on the same page with him. You saw last week, we had Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis, Mike Pompeo all testifying, all of them came out with very strong anti-Russian position, reaffirming, though,the importance of NATO and things like that. So, they are not necessarily all on the same page. What that does sort of tell you is that we have an incoherence in the foreign policy team that`s coming in. It`s OK to have different positions and views and to have different actors with those positions, but then you need a strong president who can actually take the time to sit down and give direction and move a vision. And it doesn`t seem like he`s going to have that patience to do that at all. HAYES: What does that incoherent -- the U.S. is the cornerstone of this sort of post-World War II international order for good or bad. And there`s lots of things to critique about it, we should be very clear. What does it mean to have incoherence at the highest levels in the government that is essentially that cornerstone? GOLDENBERG: Well, I think what we`re going to see is essentially an NSC working on its own, sort of White House staff, really very ideological right wing, as we saw with some of these calls that Mike Flynn was making to the Russian ambassador. Then you`re going to see at the same time, a Pentagon that`s probably acting very independently. A State Department that`s incredibly weak. And an intelligence community that`s trying to leak things to essentially halt the craziness of the NSC, and it`s going to be chaos. I think that that`s what we are most likely going to see. I think if you look at the track record at the White House, Trump`s team has put a whole bunch of people around who are very ideological. Obviously Flynn and some of the things he`s tweeted on. Mattis, he`s got a lot of ability to do things on his own as a secretary of defense. He can move a lot of assets around. So, unless Trump tells him differently, I think what you`re going to have with Mattis is somebody who`s essentially at the same time we`re pulling away from NATO via Trump, maybe pulling closer via our defense commitments. HAYES: All right, Ilan Goldenberg, thank you for you time tonight. Appreciate it. Coming up, why finding out something so simple as the president-elect`s plans for the holiday turned out to be a trail of confusion. That`s coming up. Plus, performer anxiety, a key update on the inauguration lineup. That`s tonight`s Thing One, thing Two starting right after this break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Thing One tonight, days away from not only the peaceful transfer of power, but also the biggest show in Washington, D.C. Much like the opening ceremony`s of the Olympics, inauguration festivities come just once every four years and planning has been underway for months. Tom Barrack, Donald Trump`s good friend and the man in charge of the inauguration committee has repeatedly promised a sensual affair. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM BARRACK, INAUGURATION COMMITTEE: You don`t need celebrities. You don`t need a dialogue. You just need to sit and inhale it. So, I encourage everybody show up and inhale it. I promise you, it`s spiritual and it`s sensual. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Inhale. That`s quite a preview. And while I`m not quite sure what he means by inhaling the sensual, I do know what he means when he says you don`t need celebrities. It means, they`re having a really hard time getting any. Today, an announcement from a band that looks like Bruce Springsteen, sounds like Bruce Springsteen, and just like Bruce Springsteen won`t be playing the inauguration. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: A Bruce Springsteen tribute group, the B Street Band, are the latest musicians to cancel their performance at Trump`s inauguration celebrations. They were scheduled to play at the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala this Thursday, a gig, we should be clear, they booked back in 2013. But today, three days before the party, they canceled out of respect for Bruce Springsteen. And the E Street Band, that`s the real one, that decision coming just days after singer Jennifer Holiday apologized to the LGBT community and dropped out of the big Trump inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday, which leaves just a few notable celebrities still performing is at the Make America Great Against welcome celebration. Actor Jon Voight, singer Toby Keith, Country musician Lee Greenwood, whose big hit "God Bless the USA," proceeded Trump at his campaign rallies, and the rock band 3 Doors Down, whose big hit was Kryptonite, and whose tour schedule has this week`s inaugural concert listed at the very top, January 19, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., right before March 4, Strawberry Festival, Plant City, Florida. The Strawberry Festival that right now boasts considerably more recognizable names in the lineup than Donald Trump`s big D.C. concert, but will it be sensual? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: OK. A small story from this weekend that highlighted one of the problems of covering the Trump administration. As a reporter, you should be skeptical always of anyone in power, but there are basic logistical facts, like scheduling, for instance, when and where will the president be tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. you generally come to trust. That is not the case with the Trump administration. Story one in wake of Trump`s Twitter attacks on Congressman and civil rights legend John Lewis on Saturday, ABC News reported, citing multiple senior sources in the Trump transition team the president-elect would visit the African-American History and Cultural Museum at the Smithsonian D.C., today in observance of Martin Luther King Day. And that, you know, would make sense, some good PR. But here`s story two, Buzzfeed then reaches out to the Smithsonian Museum later that day, who said there was no plans for Trump to visit the museum. The Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas told Buzzfeed News Saturday that "while someone from Trump`s office had been in touch with the museum, at one point, I just know that there isn`t a visit. Other spokespeople for the museum also told BuzzFeed News there was no scheduled visit said there was no scheduled visit by the president-elect as of Saturday evening." Then on Sunday, ABC amended its report on Trump`s schedule saying, "senior sources initially said Trump would visit the museum, but ABC has learned the visit was removed from his calendar due to scheduling issues and was not fully planned out." Now, it may just be that a few senior level members of the Trump team got out ahead of their skis, but as BuzzFeed found here, just relying on basic scheduling details is not a given. And that`s just a microcosm of the challenge of discerning the most basic, even mundane facts in the Trump administration. Those difficulties, though, are just the beginning. Now, Team Trump is floating the possibility of kicking reporters out of the White House. We`ll talk more about that, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Whether you want to go 50 feet to the EOB and have for the first few weeks or the first month or so the press conferences where you can fit three to four times the amount of people, it`s about more access. CHUCK TODD, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: So this is not about the office space or any of that business? PRIEBUS: This is about quadrupling the amount of reporters that can cover our press conferences. TODD: But there will still be reporters every day going to work in the White House? PRIEBUS: Well, that hasn`t been determined, Chuck. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Well, interesting, there. Trump`s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus could not say if the press would retain office space in the White House, as has been customary for decades. That exchange was sparked by a report by Esquire that according to three senior officials on the transition team, again, who knows, as I`ve just cited, a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration, quote, "they are the opposition party," a senior official says. "I want them out of the building. We are taking back the press room." We`ll wait and see what the Trump White House announces, but last week, at Trump`s first newsconference in nearly six months, we did get a preview of the upcoming dynamic between the president-elect and the press, giving access to friendly organizations like Breitbart over publications who print an unfavorable story. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIM ACOSTA, CNN: Since you`re attacking us, can you give us a question? Mr. President-elect... TRUMP: Go ahead. ACOSTA: Since you are attacking our news organization. TRUMP: Not you. Not you. Your organization is terrible. I`m not going to give you a question. ACOSTA: Can you state categorically... TRUMP: You are fake news. Go ahead. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With CNN`s decision to publish fake news all of the problems that we`ve seen throughout the media over the course of the election, what reforms do you recommend for this industry here? TRUMP: Well, I don`t recommend reforms, I recommend people that are -- have some moral compass. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait who is author of the brand-new book out tomorrow, I believe, "Audacity," how Barack Obama defied his critics and created a legacy that will prevail, which we`ll talk about that in a moment. I want to get to the book. First, this idea of this sort of war on the press. JONATHAN CHAIT, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Right. HAYES: I think it sort of psychs some people in the press out. And I thought Josh Marshall wrote a good piece about this, just basically like, what you do is you do your job and you just keep doing your job on a first order level and let the chips may fall where they may. CHAIT: Trump keeps doing things that you don`t know how it`s going to play out. You don`t know if we`re going to look back at this in three or four years, say this was the first step towards some Putin-esque strong man move where the world is totally transformed, or if it`s just an incremental update on the old Nixonian war on the press that the Republicans have been doing for decades. My guess is the latter, because they need the mainstream press. They are at or under 40 percent now. They can`t just talk to people who like Breitbart and Fox News and get anything like the support that they need. That`s my guess. But it`s creepy enough that you have to be on your toes, too. HAYES: Well, and what you saw there -- I mean, so one of the phenomena that existed before Trump and that has intensified, and I think he`s intensified, which is a big sort of subtext of the book "Audacity" is the sort of polarization, right, the sort of deep structure of American politics at this moment. So you write this book. And here`s my own feeling. I`ve gone through periods of feeling different ways about Barack Obama, but I think over the course of the past year a lot of Americans were like, you know, this guy is pretty good. Approval rating is up. You look back and you start listing out all of the things that he got done -- the Affordable Care Act, the Iran deal, you know, whetheryou like them or not, very consequential. And then Trump happens and then there`s this sort of like well was that all -- were the critics right all along about the politics of Barack Obama? Is this all going to be undone? Is he going to be this historical footnote because Donald Trump is going to come and erase it all? You don`t think that`s the case. Why not? CHAIT: I don`t think that`s the case. So, the argument of this book is that Barack Obama did much more than most people think, but the flip side of that is most people don`t know much he did. So people think he did much less than he did. So Trump wins. And the response is it`s all going to be gone. And I think the reason they think that is because they don`t know how much he did, how broad and how deep it is and how hard it will be to reverse. And I go through every issue and say this is what`s going to happen I think going forward. Some will be easy to reverse. But a lot of them of them will be really hard. The taxes on the rich, he raised taxes on the rich. People forget that. But he did more than Bill Clinton. He mostly canceled out the Reagan effect and I admit in the book that`s going to swing back the other way. HAYES: They will get their taxes. CHAIT: They are going to get that done. Obamacare, they are finding out already, very, very hard to undo. I mean, we don`t know what`s going to happen. If they do undo it, they are going to face a huge backlash. But I don`t think they are going to be able to do that. HAYES: So there`s an interesting argument you make in the book that I hadn`t quite thought of in these terms, which is basically you say he rises to prominence and people say he`s all flash and style over substance. CHAIT: right. HAYES: He`s young. He`s this sort of meteoric rise, very good at giving speeches, and you basically said that in some ways the eight years of his presidency has been the reverse, that it`s actually been sort of like grinding and workmanlike and very good on the substance on not as good on the style. CHAIT: I`m glad you pointed that out, that`s one of the biggest ironies is that everyone accused him about being about flash and appearance and communication and inspiration, but it was really the opposite. He was the substance guy. He was in there working on the issues and often getting no credit for leveraging huge political change. He was -- there was so much going on behind the scenes and out of sight than you realize. And that`s the case I try to make. HAYES: What do you stay to people -- there are critics both the right and left that say, you know, the election of Trump and particularly the idea that there are places in the country, huge swaths of the country that really haven`t seen the recovery up close, that have -- that even when the recovery happened, these vast inequities, the annihilation of home wealth through the foreclosure process, which I think was sort of poorly managed, that this was ultimately was a kind of verdict on some core part of the president`s ability to sort of recreate middle class prosperity. CHAIT: I couldn`t disagree with you more. First of all, the economy was worse four years ago, a lot worse four years ago. HAYES: In 2012 you`re saying? CHAIT: In 2012, and Obama wins clearly. His approval ratings are higher than they were then. This was a personal verdict on Hillary Clinton. She lost despite, not because of her association. It was all about -- it was the damage she had from the Clinton post-presidency, the damage she had from the campaign against Bernie Sanders, her own mistakes. and people out there just thinking she was a crook. I mean, I don`t think it was about Obama at all. HAYES: Do you think -- do you think Democrats -- I talked to someone the other day who made this really interesting point to me. Actually it was my colleague Chris Matthews made this point. He said the Reagan legacy project started after Reagan. CHAIT: right. HAYES: So during the years of Reagan, people were, like, yeah, Reagan was good -- you know, Republicans thought he was a good president, but people were frustrated about a bunch of different things. It was afterwards they decided we needed to name every last structure in America after Reagan and talk about how he`s the greatest thing since, you know, in the 20th Century. Do you think Democrats will do the same with Barack Obama? CHAIT: The Reagan cult is creepy and dangerous. And you had years and years and years in which Republicans settled every question by saying what would Reagan do? Let`s find some minor writing that Reagan might have said in some off-hand conversation. HAYES: Reagan hadith. CHAIT: Right, what was right in 1980 is right forever. That`s bad. But they should value Obama`s presidency. They should see it as a model to emulate and defend. HAYES: Jonathan Chait, the book is called Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied his Critics and Created a Legacy that Will Prevail. And whether you agree or disagree with the argument, it really is a fascinating and provocative. You should check it out. Thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it. CHAIT: Thank you so much, Chris. HAYES: All right, that is All In for this evening. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.END