All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 6/28/2017 "A Great Health Care"; Not This Time

Guests: Jennifer Rubin, Rick Wilson, Tim Kaine, Maxine Waters, Bob Garfield, Naveed Jamali, Evan McMullin

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: June 28, 2017 Guest: Jennifer Rubin, Rick Wilson, Tim Kaine, Maxine Waters, Bob Garfield, Naveed Jamali, Evan McMullin

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now, thank you for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL INN.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Healthcare is working on very well.

HAYES: With public support nearing rock bottom, Republicans race to find votes for the health care plan.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think if we can`t reach an agreement by the end of the week, you`ll probably not going get one.

HAYES: Is pressure from the President helping? And just how much does he know about the bill?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENSYLVANIA: I get the sense that -- you know, this issue is maybe not the president`s wheelhouse. Healthcare.

TRUMP: I think this has a chance to be a great health care.

HAYES: Senator Tim Kane joins me on the resistance and the healthcare spin from the White House. Then, the Russia connection.

SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Do you have any doubt that Russian interference is driven by Putin himself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No doubt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The same answer, no doubt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No doubt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None

HAYES: What the White House still won`t admit about Russia.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The President doesn`t accept what happened.

HAYES: And why?

TRUMP: No puppet, no puppet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s pretty clear --

TRUMP: You`re the puppet.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. With Senate Republican Leadership clinging to their plan to ram through a deeply unpopular health care bill, the one person who would be expected to seal the deal with reluctant members of his party, the President of the United States, is only making matters worse. After delaying a key procedural vote yesterday when it failed to earn enough Republican support, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still has not abandoned his strategy of negotiating the bill in secret and enforcing a vote as quickly as possible. Now he`s planning on finishing revisions to the bill this Friday two days from now when lawmakers leave town for the July 4th recess. That would give the Congressional Budget Office about a week to analyze the changes setting up another vote shortly after Senators return. The holdout Senator Republicans, at least eight or nine of them, don`t appear to be much closer to consensus. Maine Senator Susan Collins said today that tinkering won`t do it, according to the Huffington Post (INAUDIBLE).

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SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: It is hard for me to see how we get there. I think a better approach would be to try to involve some moderate Democrats in the process.

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HAYES: That approach is unlikely to please folks like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who wants to move the bill in the opposite direction.

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SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Right now the bill has everything the moderates want which is keeping ObamaCare subsidies, keeping ObamaCare regulations and creating a new big federal bailout of insurance companies. Conservatives don`t like any of those ideas and so the bill has to become more conservative. It has to be more of a repeal bill if they want conservatives on board.

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HAYES: Making matters worse for GOP Leadership, new polls show the bill has almost no public support. As polarized as this country is right now, an overwhelming number of Americans actually agree on something which is that they do not like this bill at all. It has 17 percent approval in one poll,16 percent in another, and in a third, an astonishing 12 percent. At this point, Senators don`t sound optimistic about the Friday deadline.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is a deal on this possible by Friday?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: What`s that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is a deal on healthcare possible by Friday?

MCCAIN: Pigs can fly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you work with Democrats, if not?

MCCAIN: Sure.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAYES: Today while Republican Senators were busy meeting in private chambers behind closed doors, protesters were out in full force on Capitol Hill, camping out in hallways and Senator`s offices. Many getting arrested including once again, at least one activist in a wheelchair. This evening, Demonstrators and Democratic Lawmakers have been marching around the capital to voice their opposition to the healthcare bill. Given the many hurdles in its way, the Senate bill could use a high profile advocate to (INAUDIBLE) public and lean on Republican Senators to take a deal. But attempts by the President of the United States to play that role so far seem to have backfired badly because he appears to have nowhere near the grasp of policy required to make an affirmative case for the bill. According to the weekly standard, several Senators who have spoken with the President about the legislation describe an executive with little apparent understanding of the basic principles of the reforms and virtually no understanding of the details.

The Washington Post reports that in private conversations on Capitol Hill, the President is often not taken seriously. And after a meeting at the White House yesterday with the whole Republican conference, one Senator who supports the bill departed with a sense, and I quote here, "that the President did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan and seemed especially confused when moderate Republicans claimed that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy," according to an aid. The President said he planned to tackle tax reform later ignoring the repeal`s tax implications. Early this morning, the President himself responded to that report in a statement on Twitter, "some of the fake news media likes to say I am not totally engaged in health care, wrong. I know the subject well and want victory for the U.S." His knowledge of the subject was on full display in comments later in the day.

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TRUMP: We are looking at a healthcare that would a fantastic tribute to our country, healthcare that will take care of people finally for the right reasons and also at the right cost. What also came out is that fact that this health care would be so good, it would be far better than ObamaCare and would be much less expensive for the people and actually, much less expensive also for the country. I think this has a chance to be a great healthcare. All of the bad parts of ObamaCare are gone. Essentially, it`s a repeal and replace.

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HAYES: Joining me now, Jennifer Rubin, Conservative Columnist for the Washington Post and Rick Wilson, Republican Strategist, and Media Consultant. And you`re both shaking your heads. I mean, he doesn`t -- he doesn`t know what`s in the bill Jennifer at all. And you know, I get that it didn`t matter when they were negotiating secret in the Senate, it does seem like it probably is going to matter at some point.

JENNIFER RUBIN, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I suppose so. I mean, this is what we warn the country about. We told them, he`s an ignoramus; he has neither the intellect nor the temperament to be President. He doesn`t know anything. And I`m reminded of that scene in Blazing Saddles when the Governor is saying they were with little paddle ball bouncing it up and down saying, work, work, work. You know, that kind of what the President of United States is doing these days. So I think he is foolish and I think actually what is happening is there is now more than just chatter. I think there`s actually some motion by some of the Democrats, some of the Republicans. Maybe they can do a kind of a deal. Put tax cuts off to those side, put Medicaid cuts off to those side, maybe they can actually work on the exchanges.

HAYES: Well, that`s really interesting, the idea Rick that there would be a kind of jailbreak. Like I don`t -- I personally don`t buy, I want to play devil`s advocate here. Maybe it doesn`t matter. The country is so polarized. Mitch McConnell kind of knows what he`s doing. He`s supremely confident individual in his own way. The President obviously has no grasp of this but everyone knows that so they can basically just ignore him and let McConnell do it. The risk though is that there is some kind of jailbreak, right?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Right. And you can`t ignore him unfortunately because he eats up every bit of scenery in the room. And although the fact that Mitch McConnell, you know -- with an ordinary president, with a normal president, Mitch McConnell have somebody who could advocate for this bill and push it. And unfortunately, what he`s got is a guy who is dumber than a sack of hair and has no grasp whatsoever as we`ve all, you know, agreed upon of anything about the issues of healthcare, including the words health and care. This is not a man who can help Mitch McConnell push this through and all he`s done so far is divide the Republican caucus. For instance, he made an enemy for life of Dean Heller when his pet Super PAC put a million dollars of worth of TV up to attack a Republican Senator who wasn`t towing (INAUDIBLE) what Trump wanted. And Trump doesn`t know what he really wants. He wants to win, he wants a ceremony, he wants a piece of cake and a pat on the head at the end of this thing. You know, to say I won, I`m the winner who wins. But you know, McConnell can`t count on Trump. As skilled as McConnell is as (INAUDIBLE) tactician, Trump is going to always be there as the guy who`s got the potential to set the whole building on fire at any moment.

HAYES: Well, to the point that you made the day sort Heller announced that he was opposed. He sort of tied himself to (INAUDIBLE), he seemed like pretty hard no. The America first PACs said they`re going to take on ads against him. This is reporting for the times that McConnell being furious about this. Majority Leader called the White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to complain the tax work beyond stupid according to Republicans with knowledge of the (INAUDIBLE) exchange. But here`s what I`ll say, Jennifer, to Rick`s point about he made an enemy for life. The one thing about Donald Trump is no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. I mean, that is the thing that I do think that in a weird way, the fact there is literally no substantive agenda here, no goal, it does give them ability to be eminently flexible about whatever comes before him because he doesn`t have and he actually -- you know, in a negotiation, usually the White House has some things they want. He doesn`t have anything. He doesn`t care. He just wants a deal.

RUBIN: Yes. I mean, you could tell that he doesn`t know anything when he says a healthcare. What does that mean, a healthcare for the American people? You know, it is beyond absurd. But listen, we don`t have a parliamentary system. It is very hard to try the substance outside the White House, and that`s the problem. You have two factions within the Republican party, you have Democrats sitting on the side line. So who`s going to pick up (INAUDIBLE) and say OK, this is what we`re going to do? The only way we can make a deal is X, Y, and Z. And right now, they`re kind of paralyzed because you can`t have 100 people doing that or 435 people doing that.

HAYES: Right. So -- but I also don`t want to leave the Republican caucus out of this because -- I want to read you something. Bob Corker is seen generally as a serious Senator. He`s you know, I think the never Trump conservatives respect him. you Know, this is a remarkable change Rick, because doing this is actually bigger than the President. I want to make sure -- this is Corker, talking to Bloomberg Politics, "I want to make sure they were not in the situation where we`re cutting taxes for the wealthy and at the same time basically, for lower income citizens, passing a larger burden on to them." OK, good point about the distribution one. Told that what he described is what the CBO projects would happen, he responded, "So that needs to be overcome then, doesn`t it?" Which either he is derelict in his duties as United States Senator and doesn`t know the basics of what the bill does, or he literally is lying about it. But either way, the United States Senators at issue here also have to show some concern, grasp, and command fundamentally. Don`t you agree, Rick?

WILSON: Well, look. I think that this is an enormously complex and consequential bill. And I think Senator Corker, who is a bright guy and I like him a lot, these are guys who ended up seeing this thing roll out after a group of insurance and hospital and formal lobbyist crafted in secret just like it happened during ObamaCare version 1.0. This thing is a huge crony capitalists mess and as conservative, you know, as conservatives, you should oppose this particular bill because it doesn`t do anything to unspool some of the things that made ObamaCare problematic in the first place.

HAYES: I would note, just to point out that the health industry lobbyist were absolutely involved in every step of the way the ACA but that process played out over 14 months and not for three weeks.

RUBIN: And in public.

HAYES: And part of the reason Corker doesn`t know what was going on is, I really think they honestly did just craft it without even talking to the other Senators and then sprung it on them the way they sprung it on us.

WILSON: Absolutely.

RUBIN: I think the reality is also sadly that Republicans don`t care enough about policy. You have Republicans who are voting on this who do not know that Medicaid serves more than unemployed poor people. So --

HAYES: Yes. Jennifer Rubin and Rick Wilson, thank you, both.

WILSON: Thanks as always Chris.

HAYES: I`m joined now by Democratic Senator and former Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia. Senator, one of the -- one of the lines of attack during your campaign against the President and his running-mate was that the President had no experience and no actual command of policy. He didn`t really know what he was doing when it came to governing. How does that match with what you`re seeing now in terms of how much command you feel he has over this healthcare bill?

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: Well, it`s a big mystery Chris, I tell you. You know, we`re very, very worried about that but we`re really focused on what the President promised. Nobody is going to lose coverage, nobody is going to pay more, nobody is going to get kicked around with the pre- existing condition. And he also promised, I`m not going to cut Medicaid and I`m not going to give a tax break to the wealthiest. So our whole thing is, whatever you do if you give us a solution that meets those promises, you know, we`re going to be all for you but we`re not going to vote for something that shatters the promises you made. And thus far, the House version that have been put on the table and the Senate version on the table, it doesn`t just you know, falls short of the Trump Promises, it absolutely shatters them.

HAYES: Genuine question, do you think -- and I`m asking you this honestly giving your honest opinion -- do you think the President understands that these bills break promises he made?

KAINE: I think he must because when you say nobody`s going to lose coverage and the CBO says how about 22 million people? I mean, the evidence is right in his face. So you know, I sort of conclude that well, maybe the promises aren`t that important to him but I sort of felt that all along the way during the campaign too.

HAYES: I want you to respond to something that advocates of Senate Bill, in particular about both Senate and House have said, that President tweeting himself which says in nominal real-dollar terms, the amounts been on Medicaid goes up every year, therefore, there is no cut and therefore the promise has not been violated. What do you say to that?

KAINE: I think that`s completely wrong. Look, if Medicaid is growing because the numbers of beneficiaries in the country on Medicaid are growing and Medicaid cost are growing, and then you ratchet the growth down so that it doesn`t keep up with the number people and it doesn`t keep up with Medicaid cost. That`s why the CBO says you`re cutting $800 billion out of the Medicaid program. So he`s trying on spin it his way but it`s just wrong and that`s why the parents of kids who get services through Medicaid are so frightened of this bill or seniors in nursing homes are so frightened of it.

HAYES: I want to play something that Lindsey Graham said because there`s an interesting conversation happening right now. It seems like a real inflection moment. I don`t know what choice it`s going to go but there does seem to be some interest among some Republican Senators saying look, why don`t we just bracket the tax cuts and the Medicaid cuts, talk about how to fix the exchanges and work from there. Here`s Lindsey Graham talking about a bipartisan solution.

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GRAHAM: If we don`t reach agreement by Friday, it`s probably the end of a sole party effort for healthcare.

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R), WEST VIRGINIA: If for some reason it fails, I think we then -- the floodgates would probably open to reach a bipartisan compromise.

COLLINS: I think a better approach would be to try to involve some moderate Democrats in the process and see if we can come up with a bipartisan bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: what do you think about that?

KAINE: Well, look, here`s what I think Chris, they`re talking the right way but there`s such a simple solution. Let the Senate be the Senate. Take the Republicans` best version, put it in the Health Committee that I sit on, health, education, labor and pension and the Finance Committee and let`s hear from the public, from doctors from hospitals and propose amendments and improve it. I`m on the Health Committee. I`ve been on it since January 3rd. We`ve had hearings (INAUDIBLE), we`ve had hearings about FDA, there`s only one taboo topic on the Health Committee right now. We can`t have hearing about healthcare. It`s ridiculous.

HAYES: Wait, wait. Is that genuinely true that you have not had a health care hearing in the Health Committee?

KAINE: We had one hearing in late February or early March and it was about instability in the individual marketplace. And we have four witnesses who gave us some great ideas. But since the House first bill was put on the table, we`ve had no hearing about the House bill, we`ve no hearing about the Senate bill. And normally, Chris, as you know, what do these hearings do? The hearings are so you can hear from witnesses, hospitals, patients, doctors, pharmaceutical execs who will tell you, here`s what they like, here`s what we don`t like, here`s what you should do to fix it.

HAYES: But wait --

KAINES: By trying to rush this to the floor, what McConnell is doing -- Leader McConnell, he says I want to bypass the committee so there can be no public hearings and bypass a meaningful amendment process where Democrats can participate as Republican did in 2010.

HAYES: Bottom line, are they going on get a deal in the next two days that they`re going to be able to work on?

KAINE: I think it`s going to be very hard for them Chris because bad process means bad product. This slashing of taxes in some ways, and you followed this, there were two different versions in the House before they got it out. And now we`re looking for version three in the Senate and many details have been changing. What`s the one detail that hadn`t changed? The massive tax cut. I think that`s really the core of this bill for these guys. But if they insist on the tax cut, they`re going to have no other option than to do massive harm to American`s health care and break all of President Trump`s promises. There`s no way they can find a deal just with Republicans that`s won`t shatter President Trump`s promises. That`s why they ought to open this up to the public and let Democrats around the table working in a bipartisan way to fix this.

HAYES: Senator Tim Kaine, thank you for your time.

KAINE: You bet. Absolutely.

HAYES: Coming up, the important detail that seems to be missing from any arguments trying to sell the Republican health care bill that what they are proposing is actually any good. Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the bad sales job after this two-minute break.

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SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: I personally think we`ll get everybody together and be able to do this. We have to. If we don`t do it, I mean, we`re going to have centralized medicine and that`s all there is to it.

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HAYES: Republicans are eager to talk about problems of ObamaCare or even a single pair system but they`re having a hard time talking about the merits of their own bill. How, for instance, would the Senate bill actually improve the nation`s healthcare system? When the Congressional Budget Office says it would quote, "increase the number people who are uninsured by 22 million in ten years compared to what would happen under the current law." With me now, Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, welcome Congresswoman. Sean Spicer tweeted this today. "28.2 million Americans are still waiting under ObamaCare and remain uninsured. They need relief now. #repealandreplace." I would imagine that except for the hashtag, you would agree with that, right?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: No, let me just say this. We have to be clear about the difference between ObamaCare, that is the ACA and Trumpcare. Clearly, the estimation is that 22 million people will lose health care coverage under Trumpcare. As you know, ObamaCare provided comprehensive healthcare coverage for Americans in ways that we never have before. And just think about the fact that under ObamaCare, pre-existing conditions were now covered. What are we talking about? We`re talking about people with diabetes, health problems, cancer, people who have been turned down by insurance companies, who had no hope of getting health care. All of a sudden under ObamaCare, because of ObamaCare, now these pre- existing conditions were covered. There`s nothing in Trumpcare that can actually match that. Basically what they were going to do was leave it up to the states literally to decide whether or not they were going to cover pre-existing conditions. And there are other aspects of Trumpcare that would be detrimental really to the citizens of this country.

HAYES: I should note that what you`re describing, which is the ability to price differentiate is in the House bill. It`s a little unclear how much that`s in the Senate bill which is now being considered. But I wonder if you think it is interesting that they seemed, the White House and the advocates, don`t seem to be defending the bill on its own terms but rather in these terms of it doesn`t cut Medicaid and will cover more people.

WATERS: Well, that`s absolutely not true. Take, for example, the State of Kentucky. Almost one-third of those people in that state are covered by Medicaid. And so they`re talking about eliminating well, 700 billion in Trumpcare bill. And so that`s no way they could say that they`re going to do more coverage than ObamaCare. And so I don`t really know what they`re talking about.

HAYES: Yes. Do you feel like, I mean, I guess I`ll ask the question that I asked Senator Kaine before which is, is there any common ground here between Republicans and Democrats or has the process been so fundamentally dishonest that there is nothing to sort of talk about?

WATERS: I don`t know. As a matter of fact, long time ago, Democrats said that they recognized despite the fact that ObamaCare was extraordinary in the way that it offered insurance to so many millions who had not been able to get insurance, that they realized that it was not a perfect bill and they would be willing to talk with Republicans about it. But no, this new President guaranteed in the campaign that he was going to undo ObamaCare on the first day of his Presidency. And he talked you know, loud about how it was no good, and that it was -- they were going to destroy it. And you know, what they`ve discovered is that many Republicans know that ObamaCare is good for their district. And they`re not about to go home in this break having voted for it. You take Senator Capito, for example. I understand that in West Virginia, that they have the largest coverage of Medicaid patients in the country.

And so I think -- of course, we know now that not enough Senators were willing to vote for Trumpcare and that`s why they could not pass it. They could not get it on the floor and off the floor. And so, I`m very pleased that it was stopped, not by us so much as it was stopped by Republican who`s would not support it. Of course, we`ve been working very hard in our town hall meetings and everything that we`ve been doing to educate people about the advantages of ObamaCare and how bad Trumpcare would be for this country. And of course, if you paid attention to the town halls, you will see that there were some Republican who comes to town halls, who agreed once they learned exactly how it all worked.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thanks for being here today.

WATERS: Well, you`re absolutely welcome and we`re just delighted that they were not able to pass it, they were not able to get it off the floor. And we hope that they will understand now that the people know now the difference between ObamaCare and Trumpcare.

HAYES: Up next, the Trump administration`s new strategy the Russian investigation blamed President Obama, that`s after this quick break.

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JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S ATTORNEY: Why do we have a Special Counsel dealing with the Russia hacking when they had that evidence and did nothing? Why don`t we have a Special Counsel reviewing why President Obama did nothing after he assured the American people, he gets intelligence briefings, but then assures the American people that Russia did not interfere with the election.

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HAYES: That was Trump attorney Jay Sekulow today offering up the Trump administration`s newest piece of spin to downplay the Trump-Russian investigation that the true scandal was President Obama not doing enough on stop Russian interference in the election. A claim they`re making even though, and this is crucial, the President, President Trump still maintains, as he did in the campaign that Russia may not be to blame.

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TRUMP: She`s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don`t -- maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, it could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Oh, yes, the elusive 400-pound hacker. The President tweeted this week quote, "real story is that President Obama did nothing after being informed in August about Russian meddling," and interesting stance seeing as his own advisers are reportedly struggling to convince him that Russia still poses a threat. His allies were saying President Obama, not President Trump, should be called to testify before Congress about Russia.

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NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Why did he do nothing? Who was in the meetings when he decided to do nothing? It`s going to turn out, yes, there`s a big Russian story. It`s Barack Obama, not Donald Trump. And you cannot make those stuff up.

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HAYES: You sure can`t. Indeed, it has become clear the Trump administration would say or do just about anything to be free of the Russia story. With Sarah Huckabee Sanders yesterday maintaining the administration`s position that the entire story is in elaborate hoax being perpetrated by press corps held bent on lying to the American people. The problem with that argument, of course, is that there are facts that the administration cannot dispute that do not back that up. For one thing, two separate high-ranking members of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn have now been revealed to have been literal undisclosed foreign agents and their speculation; they may have turned on President Trump, the latest on the Russia probe right after this break.

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BURR: Any doubt that Russian interference is, or has happened, in the U.S. and European elections?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has happened systematically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s happened, it happens and it is going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little difficult to vary on this, but yes.

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HAYES: That was the scene at the Senate intelligence committee today where Republican Chair Richard Burr said he would like the finish the Russia investigation by the end of this year, adding it can be done. We now know there were two undisclosed foreign agents at the highest levels of the Trump campaign, one is former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was fired for lying about secret conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition, and who admitted lobbying for the Turkish government last year while working on the campaign, but not disclosing that.

Now, Flynn has offered to discuss the Trump campaign`s possible ties to Russia in exchange for immunity. His lawyer saying Flynn, quote, "certainly has a story to tell."

The other foreign agent is former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, whose firm disclosed late last night before -- that before Manafort joined the campaign, the firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.

Manafort maintains the disclosure is unrelated to the Russia investigation, but the timing is impossible to ignore. Officials say that like Flynn he has emerged as a key figure in the FBI`s Russia probe.

Joining me now, former CIA operative, House Republican Conference policy director Evan McMullin, who ran for president last year as an independent. And MSNBC contributor Naveed Jamali, former FBI double agent, who is now a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Evan, let me start with you. I mean, the one thing that there does seem to be basic consensus on, and it has taken awhile to come into view, because these things are often obscured, is that this was done by Russian Intelligence, it was directed by Vladimir Putin for a very clear aim, and yet reporting indicates that Trump`s own aides are struggling to get him to just acknowledge that basic fact.

EVAN MCMULLIN, FORMER FBI AGENT: Absolutely. And he appears to have a problem, based on that same reporting, between differentiating an investigation into the Russian attack and an investigation into him and potential collusion.

Look, I think Donald Trump is smart enough to understand the implications of both of those things. And he, beyond any -- better than anyone else understands how those two things might be related. So, I actually think the reason he doesn`t want to hear about it, doesn`t want to talk about it, is doing everything he can to undermine the investigations, calling them hoaxes and what not, is because he understands, and this is just my opinion, but he understands how those two things are connected, and why they leave him vulnerable.

HAYES: Well, one thing I would say that`s indisputable here, is Donald Trump is the only person who knows for certain what Donald Trump did or did not do during campaign. And we don`t. There`s an investigation to find that out.

But Naveed, even if -- let`s say that there was -- this idea of collusion and the idea of the sort of associations get thrown around a lot and there`s been a lot of reporting and some of that has been attempted to be picked apart by the White House, calling it a hoax, but I what to zero in on just things that are confirmed, right.

The Manafort confirmation -- I mean, what do you make of the fact that this was filed yesterday that two years, 2014, $17 million from a party politically aligned with the Kremlin?

NAVEED JAMALI, FORMER FBI DOUBLE AGENT: I think that the coincidences are not coincidences.

Look, at the end of the day, Chris, when we talk about this, we talked about this in the past, the idea that one can make a mistake on their SF86, one could even conceivably say, oh, I forgot to register as a FARA, Foreign Agent under the act.

Now, what we`re seeing here is not so much a question of was this an omission by just negligence or just by sheer mistake, but rather something sinister, something I think that`s kind of painting a picture towards the right here, which is were these people not just -- again, if you are an agent of a foreign government, there`s illegal about that if you register. You can be a lobbyist.

Now, I think what we`re seeing here, though, is a pattern that shows continued deception, that shows that these are people that, whether it`s their SF86es, whether it`s registering under the FAR -- you know, disclosing funds, disclosing meetings. We`re seeing sort of a pattern of deception, and that would lead me to say, look, from a counterintelligence perspective one has to ask were these people, in fact, acting under the direction of a foreign agency, not as a lobbyist, but something much more sinister, much more on the counterintelligence side.

So, not this question of collusion, but rather a directed asset. And I think that`s really at the heart of the counterintelligence investigation.

HAYES: Naveed makes mention of an SF86, and Evan I`ve been wanting to ask you this. This this is one fact that I keep returning to is that Jared Kushner, who is reporting indicates part of the investigation is looking at him, at least. He is not a target of the investigation. Senior aide, probably the most trusted aide in the white house, brother-in-law (sic) of the president of the United States, he omitted on his form, security clearance form under penalty of perjury, a secret meeting with the ambassador of Russia. He did not put that on the form. He continues to have security clearance.

As someone who worked in the CIA and had a high level of security clearance, what do you think about that?

MCMULLIN: I think it`s unacceptable. I mean, as Naveed mentioned, there is a pattern of deceit or failure to disclose key meetings, key interactions.

Look, i filled out more SF86 forms than I can remember, literally, through my career. And I can tell that you each time your life flashes before your eyes, you understand how damn serious that is, and that you have got to get every detail on there and you just don`t mess around with that.

Now, Jared Kushner, being a neophyte to government, it is possible that maybe he wouldn`t have understood that. I don`t think that`s the case, but he is not the only one that failed to make these disclosures. Jeff Sessions also failed to make disclosures. There`s some debate about what the FBI told him, and whether he needed to or not.

But with regard to the FARA (ph) reporting, look, I know plenty of people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments here in the United STates. They provide a service. There`s value there. It can be legitimate. It`s find. And if there`s nothing untoward going on, you disclose it and there`s no big deal.

The problem here is that Paul Manafort and General Flynn, so you`ve got the National Security Advisor of Trump, former, and also his former campaign chairman, both of them just failed to disclose major FARA Act (ph) activities. And I don`t think it`s benign.

HAYES: Yeah, I mean, the failure to disclose here again is the sort of hard concrete fact.

Naveed, finally on, this question of collusion, which is a word I think you`ve shied away from for very clear reasons about the ideat that there`s some sort of symmetrical partnership, having had an interaction in counterintelligence investigations with Russian spies, basically, you just think -- collusion and the idea of like two equals meeting over dinner deciding what to do doesn`t fit the model of what you have observed firsthand.

JAMALI: Absolutely. Look, I spent three plus years with -- when I say the Russian, with a Russian GRU military officer sitting across the table from him, having had an interaction with russian spies, basically.

And what I can tell you, Chris, is that the Russians started this endeavor to destabilize the United States. They were not looking for a partner. When they look at human assets, when they look at people, their goal is to target them, then recruit them, and then direct them. There`s no partnering.

So, this idea of collusion -- and I understand there`s a legal precedence for this, but the idea of collusion, it insinuates this partnership. And I think frankly that`s where Donald Trump is kind of getting some traction. This is not a partnership, this is something very, very different.

HAYES: And maybe a partnership -- it`s not a partnership, and also a relationship you don`t realize you`re in while it is happening, which seems to me a distinct possibility.

Evan McMullin and Naveed Jamali, thank you both.

Still to come, Sarah Huckabee Sanders retreats to an off-camera briefing after yesterday`s tense exchange. And President Trump escalates his attack on the media in a whole new way.

Plus, a progressive liberal steps into the ring literally. An amazing Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight. If there`s one thing pro wrestling gets, it`s that every good story needs a hero and a villain, or in wrestling parlance a face and a heel.

Most heels are self-promoting, incorrigible blowhards, who often do whatever it takes to win. It`s the kind of showmanship that only works when it`s able to play on what the audience hates.

Interestingly enough, when Donald Trump himself stepped into the ring in 2007 against WWE owner Vince McMahan, it was Trump, a self0promotor who would do almost anything to win, who actually played the good guy.

Now, pro wrestling has always drawn from real life, including whatever the political climate is at the time, which is why during the Cold War, wrestling villains often looked like this.

And so in the Trump era, this is the newest heel, the progressive liberal is Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We don`t do a ton of wrestling news on All In but when the folks at Deadspin highlighted the newest villain on the Kentucky Appalachian Mountain Circuit, oh, we took notice.

Professional Wrestler Daniel Richards is the progressive liberal, that`s his wrestling name: the progressive liberal.

His act is he wears a shirt with Hillary Clinton`s face all over it and says stuff like, I want to help you get jobs with clean energy.

His finishing move is called, the liberal agenda.

At first, we thought this is a conservative guy playing the role of a stereotypical annoying, condescending liberal villain, but the more we watched the more becomes it becomes clear that he is more likely an actual liberal pretending to be a conservative pretending to be a liberal villain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL RICHARDS, WRESTLER: I understand now why you all identify with country music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t.

RICHARDS: It`s slow and it`s simple and it`s boring just like each and every one of you. I`m just here to deliver the truth. No need to get hostile.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So how do red state wrestling fans respond to the progressive liberal? Suffice it to say not wall. Richards told Sports Illustrated that in one town someone said, if that effing liberal comes here, I`m going to bring a gun.

He says his schtick is not much of a stretch from his own politics. It`s not like I`m pretending to be something I`m not. I`m just turning it up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARDS: I`m from D.C. I want you to pay attention to the announcer. That`s not my problem, use some Obamacare and get a hearing aid, moron.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN KAREM, THE SENTINEL NEWSPAPERS: You`re here to provide the answers. And what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, see, once again, the president is right and everybody else out here is fake media.

And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And after yesterday`s fireworks, precipitated by the White House attacks on just about all news media, the White House returned once again to off camera, audio only briefings today. And it was sedate by comparison.

But President Trump himself escalated the war on the press today, taking it to a whole new level in a way that is genuinely dangerous. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The president of the United States` gleeful attack on the media goes on unabated. Today, he tweeted the hashtag #amazonwashingtonpost, sometimes referred to as the Guardian of Amazon, not paying internet taxes, which they should, is fake news. OK. Just to break that down for a moment.

First, Amazon does not own The Washington Post. Amazon`s CEO Jeff Bezos does. Second, there are no internet taxes. Amazon is now, however, collecting state sales tax nationwide.

But President Trump`s tweet goes beyond attacking The Washington Post as fake news, something he did as recently as yesterday. The president is very explicitly linking a complaint about a media entity to a threat, or at least implied threat, against the corporation associated with it. He did this as a candidate, too. During an October speech, he followed up a string of complaints about the media with this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Amazon, which through its ownership, controls The Washington Post, should be paying massive taxes, but it`s not paying. And it`s a very unfair playing field. And you see what`s happening and what that`s doing to the department stores all over the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: But now he`s the president and his attacks come with the potential force of the state. It`s reminiscent of how things worked in Mubarak`s Egypt and Putin`s Russia and Erdogan`s Turkey. The president has not actually taken action against Amazon, but the language is chilling.

And joining me now, Bob Garfield, host of WMIC`s On the Meida. And it`s not new what the president said today, because as we showed you he did it on the campaign, but it does strike me as a distinct and new thing for him to do as the sitting president of the United States. What do you think?

BOB GARFIELD, HOST, ON THE MEDIA: Well, yeah, I guess if you frame it that way. He hasn`t done it before as president. He didn`t make any explicit threats. And we now know that he will make -- he will imply threats and not follow through on them, or he will bluff, and as he did with Comey and the what if there were tapes tweet.

But, you know, I don`t even think that`s the point. The larger point is not whether he`s going to abuse his authority to go after a private corporation that doesn`t even in fact own the business -- The Washington Post, and the point isn`t even that this guy`s lecturing us on not paying taxes, he is? He is? And this guy, who has who knows how many corporations and LLCs to have assets going every which way. He doesn`t understand that The Washington Post is not owned by Amazon? It is not any of that, it is that this administration is once again going after the press, going after the legitimacy of the press, and lying, lying, lying repeatedly about the honesty of the press.

It`s a president who`s been caught in, I don`t know what The New York Times list has, what the tally is right now, it`s something in the order of more than a hundred certified lies. The press covering the catastrophe that is this administration, has been caught in no lies, certainly nothing dishonest. There have been a couple of mistakes. Those have been retracted and corrected and apologized for.

But not one of the stories that they`re claiming are fake news or dishonest has been shown to be dishonest, has been shown to be dishonest and they`ve been covering him now for, whatever it is, since January.

So it is an administration whose first, middle and last move is to lie, and I at this point cease to understand the rationale for going there every day to pass the lies on. I think they should clear the room.

HAYES: You think -- so this is interesting. I mean, there`s two ways I think you can think about these attacks on the press. One is as a kind of -- essentially a kind of rhetorical device, right, that the president needs an enemy, he needs a heel to his face in the wrestling terminology we were just discussing. He doesn`t have Hillary Clinton. He doesn`t have Barack Obama. Democrats don`t have any actual power in either House or congress, they`re in the minority, so the press has become that stand-in and he beats up on them, but it`s essentially symbolic.

The other is that he`s doing something very deeply insidious to the kind of institutions of civil society and liberal democracy in his attacks on the press. And I wonder which of those two you think it is?

GARFIELD: A ha! B. The answer is b.

Look, politicians have run against -- especially Republican politicians, but not exclusively -- have been running against the press since time immemorial. It`s an easy target.

However, what the Trump administration is doing is daily trying to undermine the credibility of the press, and therefore, put public -- not only public doubt, but public animus at one of the major institutions of the society.

We have a constitutionally guaranteed right to a free press with all the mess that that comes with. And the White House continues, because it has nothing else to say in the face of this reporting, it continues to cast doubt on the press` honesty and legitimacy. And that is just unAmerican. It is just un-American, and childish, and authoritarian and repulsive. I mean, that`s some of the things.

HAYES: I should note there is an enormous audience for it, and it is very receptively taken by what you would call the conservative press. So, I`ve noticed that during this week of health care debate, they`ve been focused on media stories, because this is filling some need narratively for them.

GARFIELD: It`s filling several needs. First, it enables them in these press briefings, in these ludicrous press briefings at the White House to not answer the question, but to change the subject. So, in the limited time, given to press questions, some significant portion of the day has been turned over to badmouthing and badgering reporters. So that`s one thing.

Secondly, it creates an explanation for all their travails. And their travails are many.

So, it`s a, don`t look at us, look at these people who are disserving the public, and have the worst of motives for our country. Ist`s sick.

HAYES: Bob Garfield, thank you.

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

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