Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 13, 2017 Guest: Rebecca Traister, Reza Aslan, Julia Ioffe
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- for our country, for our ability to live together, for leaders with a capacity for empathy, for unity and for moral authority. Bobby`s spirit survived the 60s. Had he lived, Bobby would turn 92 next week. And so much of America`s recent history would have been so different. For one thing, the American war in Vietnam would have been much shorter. My book on Robert Kennedy offers more than resistance to today`s direction, it offers defiance. That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
BEVERLY NELSON, VICTIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: He said you`re just a child.
HAYES: New accusations in Alabama.
NELSON: If you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.
HAYES: Another woman comes forward saying Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
NELSON: Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child. I did nothing to deserve this sexual attack.
HAYES: Tonight the harrowing story of Roy Moore`s latest accuser. Republicans run for the exits as they scheme to save his Senate seat.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I believe the women, yes.
HAYES: And the White House floats A Jeff Sessions appointment after Roy Moore wins.
ROY MOORE, ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: This article is a prime example of fake news.
HAYES: Then, as the President defends Putin.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that President Putin really feels, and he feels strongly that he did not meddle in our election.
HAYES: Explosive new reporting from the Atlantic`s Julia Ioffe on Donald Trump Jr.`s secret campaign connection with WikiLeaks.
TRUMP: I love WikiLeaks.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes, and we are now witnessing in real time one of the most spectacular political and moral implosions in recent political memory. Not just of a single politician, but of an entire political party. Today a fifth woman came forward to accuse Roy Moore, the Republican Senate Candidate in Alabama`s Special Election next month of pursuing her when she was a teenager and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. At a press conference today, Beverly Young Nelson said she was inspired by the four women who told the Washington Post on the record last week about their own run-ins with Moore as teenagers decades ago to recount her story of being violently sexually assaulted at age 16 by the man who could still be Alabama`s next U.S. Senator.
According to Nelson, Moore was a regular at the restaurant where she worked in high school. And after flirting with her over a period of time and signing her yearbook, one night he offered her a ride home. A warning, Nelson`s account is disturbing.
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NELSON: He stopped the car, and he parked his car in between the dumpster and the back of the restaurant, where there were no lights. The area was dark and it was deserted. I was alarmed, and I Immediately asked him what he was doing. Instead of answering my questions, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me and putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and he locked it so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off while yelling at him to stop. But instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head on to his crotch. I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me.
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HAYES: According to Nelson, Moore eventually allowed her to open the car door and escape, calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate Moore`s conduct and offering to testify under oath. Nelson said politics played no part in her decision to come forward.
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NELSON: My husband and I supported Donald Trump for President. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats. It has everything to do with Mr. Moore`s sexual assault when I was a teenager.
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HAYES: Nelson brought with her a copy of that yearbook that she says Moore signed. The inscription reads to a sweeter, more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas, Christmas 1977, love Roy Moore, D.A. According to Nelson, the incident in Moore`s car, he explicitly invoked his job as district attorney to emphasize his power over her.
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NELSON: He said you`re just a child and he said I am the district attorney of Etowah County. And if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.
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HAYES: That press conference took place this afternoon, but it was first announced this morning sometime around 10:30 a.m. By noon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was suddenly ready to cut Roy Moore loose, going way past his earlier statement that Moore should withdraw from the race if the allegations are true.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe these allegations to be true?
MCCONNELL: I believe the women, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you calling for him to step down from that Senate race?
MCCONNELL: I do. I think he should step aside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After the press conference, the Campaign Arm of the Senate Republican Conference went even further. Chairman Cory Gardner, Senator from Colorado calling for the full Senate to expel Moore if he should win the Special Election on December 12th. But Moore and his allies remain defiant, copying the same playbook used by another candidate accused of serial sexual misconduct who went on to win the election just over a year ago. In a statement tonight, Moore called the new allegations "absolutely false."
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MOORE: I never did what she said I did. I don`t even know the woman. I don`t know anything about her. I don`t even know where the restaurant is or was. If this is a political maneuver, it has nothing to do with reality. It`s all about politics.
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HAYES: He doesn`t know where the restaurant is but we should note here that the name of the restaurant, Old Hickory House was included in the inscription in Nelson`s yearbook from Roy Moore, D.A. Responding to McConnell`s comments this morning, the Moore campaign tweeted, "the person who should step aside is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced, #drain the swamp." Moore has threatened to sue the Washington Post for its reporting last week and hinted he has some kind of exculpatory information to reveal.
According to Axios, Moore`s allies at Breitbart News have sent two reporters to Alabama in an effort to discredit Moore`s accusers. The one person we have yet to hear from, the President of the United States, whose spokesperson told NBC News the President will look at this issue after he returns from his trip overseas. Rebecca Traister, Writer at Large for New York Magazine is without a new piece on the post-Harvey Weinstein reckoning. That is a fantastic read. Your reaction to that press conference today.
REBECCA TRAISTER, WRITER AT LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, it was a stunning press conference. It was incredibly painful to watch. It was clear -- one of the things that was hard to think about as you`re listening to her tell this story. It has been 40 years. She hasn`t talked about this. She didn`t talk about it when he won the primary. The man -- she didn`t -- it`s taken all of this time to get her to be able to tell the story that you -- that is obviously incredibly painful for her, that must have been formative and life-altering. And this man has become a candidate for the U.S. Senate and that didn`t prompt her to come forward. And here she was finally telling this story. I think it`s symptomatic of the way in which our view of the world is being shifted very radically and very uncomfortable for everybody.
And I think the points about politics that she comes from a Republican -- she is a Republican. Her husband voted for Trump, that she made clear this is not born out of politics that was true for the other three women. The Washington Post was very clear last week in saying these were Trump voters. These are Republicans. They did not come forth with any kind of ideological cudgel. The point is new things are being revealed and understood about how power has been wielded, especially sexually. It is part of a conversation that obviously has exploded over the past six weeks. And here it is in that incredibly painful story.
HAYES: And also, what I was struck by was that line you`re a child, I`m district attorney, no one will believe you. And here she is telling us with the expectation that she -- that now 40 years later she will be believed and I think the effect.
TRAISTER: It is a gamble, though. Let me say --
HAYES: Usually, yes.
TRAISTER: It`s a huge gamble. So we are at this moment where maybe she has been persuaded by the tenor of the conversation, by the fact that for the first time in decades, in generations, we are taking these kinds of power abuses and sexual abuses seriously and putting them on the front pages of newspapers, and talking about what they mean structurally as far as gender imparity and inequities And yes, we`re taking it seriously for the first time. But let me tell you, we took this seriously a year ago. We talked about this 20 women, more than 20 women accused Donald Trump of assault or harassment.
Donald Trump was caught confessing to be able to -- about being able to grab any women, you know, if he wanted to. It didn`t matter. He was still elected. Arnold -- there`s this piece about the women who covered Arnold Schwarzenegger who was accused by multiple women of being groped. He was elected governor of California. There is a long history in the United States of women coming forward with stories like this not being believed. He has promised 40 years ago being made manifest in the fact that, and he is trying this right now, Roy Moore is saying this is false news.
HAYES: It is literally the Trump playbook.
HAYES: Discredit, fake news, attempt to discredit the women, threaten a lawsuit. I mean --
TRAISTER: It is all Trump.
HAYES: It is literally Trump`s playbook.
TRAISTER: And Donald Trump won a year ago. And he now controls the courts and the agencies that determine how these kinds of crimes are going to be dealt with in workplaces and in criminal courts for lifetime appointments.
HAYES: There`s two pieces across today that I want to get your feedback on because they really remind me of the pre-Weinstein reporting, which is that once Weinstein -- other allegations came out -- there was all this back reporting saying -- and you wrote a great piece about this -- this (INAUDIBLE). Here`s first the New Yorker saying, locals were troubled by Roy Moore`s interactions with teen girls at the Gadsden Mall. And then I think crucially, al.com, local outlet with locally sourced quotes from folks in Gadsden basically saying, Moore`s predatory behavior at mall restaurants, not a secret. This guy has been a public guy for 40 years. And 40 years later, you have folks in his hometown in small town of Alabama saying oh, yeah, people knew that Roy Moore used to cruise the mall.
TRAISTER: This is symptomatic across the board. This is why these stories haven`t come out until now. This is what women and in some cases men have been living with for all of our lifetimes and for our parents and our grandparents and great-grandparents lifetimes that these power imbalances meant these rumors could exist. These -- the whisper networks could exist. We could all sort of know that these guys were doing these things but whenever people talked about it, it was laughed off, it was ignored. Sometimes it could be reported, it could exist as a rumor everybody could nudge each other, but it didn`t matter. They kept on getting the jobs. They kept on getting elected. Again, that just happened. So there`s been -- that is symptomatic of why when this explosion is happening, it feels like it`s happening in all these different directions and oh my God, there are so many stories. It`s because there are thousands of stories that have been smothered and suffocated for our lifetimes.
HAYES: Rebecca Traister who has a fantastic piece in the New York Magazine. I really recommend. Thank you for being here.
TRAISTER: Thank you.
HAYES: Reza Aslan is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside, Author of God: A Human History which is just out, and Michael Steele former Chairman of the RNC and MSNBC Political Analyst. Michael, I`ll start with you. It seems pretty clear that this sort of institutional level a lot of Republicans decided to cut off Roy Moore today. I should note the RNC still has a joint fundraising agreement with Moore. They`ve not backed out of it. It also has 11 field operatives on the ground in Alabama. Should they be pulling out of that?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think they should immediately. I think the senatorial committee has begun to do that as well. And it`s appropriate. I think Beverly`s comment today, her testimony if you will today not only important and riveting but definitive. And I think for anyone -- and you saw this, Chris, with the number of Republicans making very clear now where they stand on this. To not be clear as to where they should stand on this will have some real problems down the road. Setting that aside, I think the Party right now needs to distance itself. It`s not even distancing, it is total Heisman. It is like a rejection, a push-off from this campaign which is a national embarrassment to the country and to the party.
HAYES: Reza, you wrote in the New York Times about sort of the people that were still supporting Roy Moore, particularly among evangelical Christians. There`s been some amazing data about the percentages of evangelicals who feel it`s fine for a candidate, they support to have personal moral failings. 50 pastors signed letter support for Roy Moore. I should say that was before today`s allegation. What do you make of that?
REZA ASLAN, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE: Yes, so what you`re talking about is that in the span of a single election cycle, evangelicals in this country, white evangelicals went from being the group that was most likely to say that a politician`s public morality matters to now being the group that is least likely to say that. And, again, this is partly the Trump effect. I mean, I think the same where Trump has transformed the Republican Party, he`s turned a large swath of American evangelicalism into kind of his own personal cult if you will. And I think that these people really see, and you can hear it in the rhetoric when they say I would rather have a child molester than a Democrat.
HAYES: Which are like literal quotes.
ASLAN: The literal quotes that we`re hearing. You can see how this mentality is starting to just affect the very core of American evangelicalism.
HAYES: Well, and that`s -- and Michael, that`s what is sort of remarkable about the situation that the Republican Party finds itself in. You have man who`s now been credibly accused of molesting a child, of attempting to rape a 16-year-old who is now the party`s nominee. It`s too late for his name to come off the ballot. So there is that problem but there`s also the fact that a big chunk of Alabama Republicans think that he`s either they`re lying about him or they still support him anyway. And if you come tell him that you know, Mitch McConnell pulled his support, they don`t care. And Donald Trump has yet to weigh in because there`s stuff I think to his mind on both sides of the ledger.
STEELE: Yes. And I think when the President does weigh in, and there`s already some indications tonight about how the President, at least some of his team are looking at this, that they`re looking for solution that is going to be the least disruptive to the process, if you will. And that would include you know, the President sort of making it very clear that maybe we`ll point the Attorney General back to his seat should Roy Moore get elected. But, yes, there`s a new reality coming to bear here for Republicans, the White House, the President in particular when he gets back here to the United States that will have to be addressed.
There is no hiding from this. There is no play indicating it. There is no more excuse-making if, but, when, then. This is you`re either definitively clear that Roy Moore should not be seated as a UNITED STATES Senator, as I am and many other Republicans are, or you`re going to backslide your way in making excuses and to be honest with you, we have no use for that in the Republican Party.
ASLAN: I think Mr. Steele is right in the sense that the GOP is trying to put a Band-Aid on this problem. But this is a systemic issue that is rotting the very core of the GOP and it`s a problem that they created on their own by marrying -- this was Steve Bannon`s entire purpose, right, by marrying --
HAYES: This is the Bannon guy who called Roy Moore a righteous -- a righteous man.
ASLAN: Steve Bannon has said publicly that he wants to manipulate the Christian right in this country to marry it with the alt-right and to create this group whose anxieties and whose fears about being left behind by the progress of society can be used to further Trump`s agenda. And the GOP has fallen for it and this is the reckoning.
STEELE: Hey, Chris?
STEELE: Can I adjust that point really quick that Reza just raised?
HAYES: Please do.
STEELE: The backstory on where the Evangelical Christians are on this is really straightforward. This is all about the supreme court. This is all about the President and staying strong with the President so that appointments can be made that can reverse the roe versus wade decisions, that can push back on the gay marriage decisions and the other social agendas that have found some credence with the current supreme court. So that`s what holds a lot of these evangelicals in place --
STEELE: -- which in my view, well, I won`t get into that. I just think that --
HAYES: Well, no, I want your view. I mean, what do you think of that?
STEELE: I just think that it`s just -- it`s stupid! I mean, you cannot forsake morality if you have been preaching and judging the country for the last 40 years on their behavior, their lifestyles who they love, who they don`t love, what they do, what they don`t say, and then all of the sudden because you want a supreme court appointment, you`re going to throw all of that away? To me is just the height of hypocrisy.
ASLAN: There`s one thing that is very important in this conversation that we are primarily talking about white evangelicals. 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. That`s a record, as you know but 67 percent of evangelicals of color supported Hillary Clinton. These are people who believe the same thing, who hold the same theology --
HAYES: Right, same faith tradition.
ALSAN: -- but have a different skin tone. Let`s not forget the racial element.
HAYES: Well, and Michael, I mean, here`s the last thing on this. I`m watching now, you know, I`m watching Republicans attempt to kind of solve a Rubik`s cube of like, well we have Roy Moore and he`s accused of this, but we want the Senate seat. And it`s almost getting ridiculous. It`s getting this like more and more outlandish like, you vote for him but then we`ll expel him from the Senate, but then you know, Kay Ivey will be able to appoint a Republican so we still get the seat. And at some point, it seems like the Republican Party nominated this guy and the Republican Party is going to have to stand or fall by -- they might have to lose a seat. I mean, I guess I feel like the punishment here is you lose the seat if you nominate Roy Moore.
STEELE: And here`s the truth of it. You lose the seat in 2018. You get it back in 2024.
HAYES: Or -- exactly, when it goes back on cycle. That`s right. Yes.
STEELE: Yes, the Democrat (INAUDIBLE) the special election. That`s right. The Democrat is not going to hold that seat but for a hot minute.
HAYES: Yes. That democratic by the way --
STEELE: So (INAUDIBLE) all of this grief for you.
HAYES: Democrat Doug Jones, a career Prosecutor, prosecuted the KKK that murdered those four girls in the Birmingham Church. A very credible person who now stands against someone who`s now been accused credibly twice of molesting a child and attempted rape on a 16-year-old. Reza Aslan and Michael Steele, great to have you both.
Tonight shocking new revelations about a secret correspondence between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks during the Presidential Campaign. Julia Ioffe broke the story and she joins me exclusively in just two minutes.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight. Another incredible report about Trump campaign communications and once again Donald Trump Jr. is at the center of it all. The Atlantic`s Julia Ioffe reports for the first time tonight that Trump Jr. and the WikiLeaks Twitter account secretly traded direct messages during the election. The messages including WikiLeaks sending Trump Jr. the password for a new anti-Trump website, trying to get Donald Trump`s tax returns. Not because the returns would be newsworthy, but because, listen to this, this is WikiLeaks talking, "if we publish them, it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality," WikiLeaks explained. "That means that the vast amount of stuff that we`re publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact because it won`t be perceived as coming from a pro-Trump, pro-Russia source."
The messages continued even on election day when WikiLeaks (INAUDIBLE) "Hi, Don, if your father loses, we think it is much more interesting if he does not concede and spends time challenging the media and other types of rigging that occurred, as he has implied he might do." The Reporter who broke that story, Julia Ioffe, joins me now. Well, this is a heck of a scoop. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. What`s your sort of top line take away between -- about these exchanges?
JULIA IOFFE, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, so there is two things. The first thing is how the exchanges make Donald Trump Jr. look. He has since posted the screenshots that he has turned over, or that he had turned over to congressional investigators. He has now posted them on his twitter feed, which seems to be his kind of go-to method. And, you know, he trade -- he responded to some of these messages. And he says, look, you know, here is my whopping three responses. But if you look at the correspondence, and if you look at how they match up with both his Twitter feed and his father`s Twitter feed who is now the President of the United States of America, you can you see that at least initially both he and his father were acting on requests from WikiLeaks.
HAYES: So, I want to show that because I think that`s important. So here`s one response when they say when -- on October 3rd, WikiLeaks tweet again, "haya, it would be great if you guys could comment on, push the story, WikiLeaks suggested attaching a quote from then-Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton about just wanting to just drone WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange." I should be clear that that quote is unsourced. It comes from a slightly random outlet. It`s unclear whether she ever said that and then Don Jr., already did that earlier today. It`s amazing what she can get away with.
And then there`s this one which I want you to -- that strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentioned us. WikiLeaks went on pointing Trump Jr. to the link wikileak.tk or (INAUDIBLE) said it would help trump followers dig through the trove of stolen documents by messages. Trump Jr. did not respond for the message 15 minutes after it was sent. The Wall Street Journal`s Byron Tau pointed out Donald Trump himself tweeted very little pickup by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks, so dishonest, rigged system. What do you make of that?
IOFFE: So he -- so two different things. There`s first October 12th, WikiLeaks sends Donald Trump this link -- Donald Trump Jr. this link and two delays later on October 24th, 2016, he tweets it out. But then they mention -- then they go on to mention, hey, by the way, we`ve released part four of the Podesta e-mails which were gotten by Russian hackers illegally and passed on to WikiLeaks. Then 15 minutes later, Donald Trump, the Republican nominee at this point, tweets out, hey, by the way, here are the Podesta e-mails. So that`s very troubling.
The other part of all of this is WikiLeaks` behavior. You know, WikiLeaks has continued to insist that it`s just a radical transparency organization, that it has no dog in this fight, that it`s just about transparency. And if you look at these messages, they -- I mean, not only are they looking out for number one, they asked -- my favorite part of the exchange is when they asked Donald Trump after he is elected to put pressure on Australia to name Julian Assange the Australian Ambassador to D.C.
HAYES: They actually say this in a DM. Like, hey, you know, great your dad won. You know what would be cool? Put a little pressure. And they even -- like they proposed a script in a sort of like pseudo-Trumpian voice, Julian Assange, tough guy, one of the famous Australians, like that`s what you should use the float the idea of Julian Assange as ambassador to the U.S. from Australia.
IOFFE: Right. But then, I mean, I think the most troubling thing of this exchange by far is when on election night at 6:35 p.m. on election night, when all the prognosis had Hillary Clinton winning by a landslide, WikiLeaks is reaching out to the oldest son of the Republican nominee who`s at that point seems to be losing, and says do not concede this election. Challenge it. Which aligns with what we saw Russian intelligence -- like the game plan that Russian intelligence was putting out. We saw that in the DNI report that came out in -- last January. So they`re pushing this extremely harmful, dangerous tactic. I mean, we should say Donald Trump Jr. did not respond to that. But I mean, to tell the, you know, the Republican nominee to not accept the election results is -- I mean, that`s jaw-dropping.
HAYES: It is. I mean, I agree. That is the most jaw-dropping moment in the exchange, and for the two reasons, you note. One is a huge part of the sort of Russia propaganda efforts as we know of was talking about the election is rigged, as illegitimate and Donald Trump played into that of course when he famously said he wouldn`t -- he wouldn`t necessarily pledge to accept the results of the election, number one. Number two, WikiLeaks, what the heck does a radical transparency organization care one way or the other about that? Like it is extremely incriminating for WikiLeaks.
IOFFE: That`s right. That`s right. I mean, it looks -- it looks horrible. At this point I think that you know, the jig is up for WikiLeaks. You know, I don`t know what leg they have to stand on after these revelations.
HAYES: We should say the WikiLeaks calls itself you know, an independent publishing house. It has been accused by the U.S. intelligence agencies and the community as essentially being a front for Russian intelligence. In the sort of polls between those two interpretations, this bit of data doesn`t help the WikiLeaks case.
IOFFE: So I remember actually as I`m sitting here and talking to you, I remembered sitting with you on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philly right after WikiLeaks released the first batch of DNC e-mails, which threw the DNC into turmoil. It cast -- you know, for a while it was unclear if Hillary Clinton would actually be you know, nominated. And I remember sitting with you and telling you everybody who has followed Russia knows that WikiLeaks and the Kremlin are like this. And we had -- and we had this long back and forth well, do we know?
HAYES: I sort of remember -- I remember that. I remember that back and forth.
IOFFE: Now we know. Now we know.
HAYES: Julia Ioffe, thanks for joining me. Ahead, much more on Donald Trump Jr.`s secret correspondence with WikiLeaks during the campaign. What this means legally for the President`s son. And after yet another instance of conveniently forgotten offer for help during the campaign, what else is out there? We`ll talk about that ahead.
HAYES: Don Jr. isn`t the only one whose campaign communications are raising eyebrows tonight. Stephen Miller, a key Trump adviser has largely managed to keep his name out of talk about Russian election interference and possible collusion, until now. New York Times on Friday identified Miller as the, quote, unquote, "senior policy adviser mentioned in the George Padopoulos court documents."
Remember, Padopoulos is the Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Russians during the election.
The New York Times now reports that, quote, "Mr. Papadopoulos was in regular contact that spring with top campaign officials including Stephen Miller, now a senior adviser to President Trump."
Court documents identified two emails between Papadopoulos and the senior policy adviser we now know to be Miller. In late April, Papadopoulos emailed Miller to say the Russian government has an open invitation by Putin for Mr. Trump to meet with him when he is ready.
The next day Papadopoulos met with a London professor who said the Russians had, quote, dirt on Hillary Clinton, including saying specifically the Russians had emails of Clinton. They have thousands of emails.
Keep in mind, this is more than a month before the DNC and Podesta email hacks are public.
A day after that meeting, Padopoulos again emailed Miller, writing "have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right."
What these newly uncovered communications by Stephen Miller and Don Jr. tells about the core of the Trump Russia investigation. What did they know? When did they know it? We`ll discuss that next.
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TRUMP: As I was getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks. And I wanted to stay there, but I didn`t want to keep you waiting. I didn`t want to keep you waiting.
Let me run back into the plane and find out.
Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks.
This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart. You got to read it.
It just came out. WikiLeaks.
It`s been amazing what`s coming out on WikiLeaks.
Did you see another one? Another one came in today. This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.
This just came out. This just came out. WikiLeaks. I love WikiLeaks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The admiration was apparently mutual. Just two days after Donald Trump first started publicly declaring that he loved WikiLeaks, the group`s Twitter account direct messaged John Jr. and said, quote, "hey, Donald. Great to see you and your dad talking on our publications."
Carrie Cordero is a former attorney in the national security division of the Justice Department; Renato Marrioti, a former federal prosecutor who has litigated multiple cases of public corruption.
Carrie, let me start with you, what are the legal ramifications of the revelations today of these direct messages?
CARRIE CORDERO, FRM. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ATTORNEY NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION: Well, I think the legal ramifications are the same that are true of anybody who is in the Trump administration or was part of the campaign, which is the risk they face if they lie to investigators, because Donald Trump Jr. obviously is having to provide documents, is going to be interviewed by all the different investigations that are taking place. And so if he is not truthful in those interviews, we`ve seen already that the special counsel`s office is willing to prosecute somebody for making false statements, as they have with Papadopoulos.
So I think as far as legal jeopardy, that`s still probably a big one for him in particular and for others in the inner circle, but I think politically, and what these -- what this story by Julia shows with respect to the timeline of communications between the Trump campaign and Russian surrogates, it`s just one more avenue to fill in that timeline.
CORDERO: And show that there wasn`t just a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016, there wasn`t just communications between Carter Page, there wasn`t just communications or emails that Padopoulos was having. There also were direct messages between Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks, who director of the CIA Pompeo said last spring he acknowledged their connection as a surrogate or having a relationship with Russian intelligence.
HAYES: Renato, the other thing that strikes me here is this pattern where someone approaches the campaign and says want to do something sketchy possibly on behalf of a Russian agent or cutout, whether that`s a London professor going after George Papadopoulos, whether it`s the intermediary emailing Don Jr., whether it`s Assange`s Twitter account saying hey, want to spread this around or hack this website? Here is the password? And no one ever puts up a stop sign.
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yeah, that`s right. I mean, it`s certainly very telling. Obviously, those messages are pretty shocking. All of us just heard a minute ago what The Atlantic reporter described. You know, and some of them could potentially create additional legal jeopardy. You know, I do think when you receive, for example, a password to someone`s website, if you enter that website without their authorization, that`s potentially a crime.
HAYES: It`s true.
MARIOTTI: There is other things as well there. You know, for instance -- you know, for example, you know they obviously those hacked emails, I think the real question is obviously hacking is a crime. The question is did they take part in, was there some agreement with somebody in the campaign about the distribution? Or did they just happen? Is it essentially like somebody robs a bank and tells you the money from the bank robbery is hiding behind the bushes for you to take.
So we`ll have to see, you know -- sorry.
HAYES: I just want to say there is a direct message in there from Don Jr. on October 3, four days before the Podesta email starts saying basically, what is this I`m hearing about a leak coming Wednesday. So, there`s something -- whether that`s a reference to Roger Stone who tipped them off, but there`s some kind of something in the air. We don`t know deeper than that if he has some special information. But that`s a pretty good place for investigators to look.
MARIOTTI: Well, right. And there seems to be, frankly, a lot of familiarity there. Notice that they don`t start the conversation by saying hi, you know, whatever, great to meet you. They get down to business. And then at the very end, there is a suggestion about lawyer-to-lawyer communication. I`ll tell you, as a lawyer myself, what that essentially means is they did not -- if you want to have lawyer-to-lawyer communication, that means this ways the words are not coming out of your mouth.
MARIOTTI: You can -- they can`t be used against you, it`s essentially a way of saying things that might be problematic.
HAYES: Yeah, that`s from the WikiLeaks side.
Carrie, also -- I mean, presumably, just to strike out this possibility, I mean, the actual direct messages would be able to be able to be acquired by Mueller`s team, right, so they`re not just relying on screen shots being provided by Don Jr.
CORDERO: Well, they have a variety of tools of investigative tools available to them. Investigators can either serve warrants or court orders on third parties that have information in order to provide the contents of messages. In this case, according to the article, the Trump provided the actual messages to congressional investigators.
CORDERO: But that demonstrates, there -- these messages are one channel that he was communicating with them in. And so I think that`s important to focus on, because this was one channel, one subset of messages.
HAYES: Yeah. The question is were there other channels that we haven`t seen in the reply chain.
CORDERO: So, that`s the question. And that`s what investigators, the special counsel`s team, will be able to get to.
HAYES: Carrie Cordero and Renato Mariotti, thanks for your time.
Still ahead, Senator Sherrod Brown on Roy Moore, the latest fight over the Republican tax plan.
Plus, friends in high places. Tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Thing One tonight, last week we told you about one of President Trump`s judicial nominees, this guy, 36-year-old Brett J. Talley has a unanimous rating from the ABA, American Bar Association, of not qualified, has just three years experience practicing law, has never tried a case in his life, and yet Trump`s White House nominated Talley for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge.
Among the rabidly partisan views he has expressed, Buzzfeed reports tonight on undisclosed comments Talley appears to have made on a sports blog as a commentor. Days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting writing that the gun regulation will do nothing. My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up.
So how does a guy this astonishingly unqualified get a shot at serving a lifetime appointment on the federal bench? I mean, I don`t know, does his wife work at the White House or something? Actually, that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRETT J. TALLEY, FEDERAL JUDICIAL NOMINEE: I also don`t have an opening statement, but I would like to take a moment just to introduce a few people who are here today. I`ll start with my wife, Annie Donaldson Talley. She is not only the love of my life, she is the best lawyer in the family. If it wasn`t for the sacrifices she made both professionally and personally, there is no way that I could be here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yeah, true. Brett J. Talley nominated for a lifetime point as federal judge despite only having three years of experience practicing law told the judiciary committee there is no way he could be there if it weren`t for his wife. And that is almost certainly spot-on. Since The New York Times reported today Brett Talley did not disclose he is married to a White House lawyer, and not just any lawyer, he is married to Ann Donaldson, the chief of staff to the White House counsel Don F. McGahn II.
Brett Talley was asked directly on his public senate questionnaire to identify the family members or other persons that are likely to present potential conflicts of interest. But Talley made no mention of his wife working at the White House, nor that she is chief of staff to Don McGahn who has led the White House effort to rapidly fill federal court vacancies with young, staunchly conservative judges.
The White House says Ann Donaldson Talley was not involved in the selection of her husband as nominee, but there is more. Ms. Donaldson has emerged in recent weeks as a witness in the special counsel`s investigation into whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice. She was interviewed by investigators recently.
So, there is a 36-year-old judicial nominee who has never tried a case, who did not disclose his wife is a senior White House lawyer, and whose said wife is potentially implicated in Mueller`s obstruction of justice investigation. And Senate Republicans may confirm him to a lifetime position as a federal judge as early as this week.
HAYES: Today jurors in the federal corruption trial of Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, failed to reach a verdict on all 12 counts against him. The judge advised jurors to keep deliberating. Menendez stands accused of various corruption charges, including using his office to provide favors to wealthy eye doctor in exchange for gifts, private plane travel and political contributions.
Now, if the jury officially deadlocks in a mistrial, Democrats will breath a sigh of relief as they will hold on to that Senate seat. A guilty verdict on the other hand would allow New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie before he leaves offices to possibly appoint his successor should Menendez have to step down. And that would give Republicans another likely yes vote on their tax bill.
While the Senate began its form markup of the bill today, the president decided to lob a grenade in the proceedings. We`ll talk about that with Senator Sherrod Brown next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HAYES: Just as the Senate finance committee was due to begin debating the Republicans` $1.5 trillion tax cut, the president, who is in the Philippines right now, tweeted, "I am proud of the Republican House and Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes and reform. We`re getting close. Now how about ending the unfair and highly unpopular individual mandate in Obamacare and reducing taxes even further? Cut top rate to 35% with all the rest going to middle income tax cuts."
Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio, sits on the finance committee that`s marking up the tax reform plan joins me now. Let`s start with the president, two proposals at the last second here in this very sort of delicate negotiation. Repeal the individual mandate, how do you think that will sell over on Capitol Hill?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Well, they can`t give up. I look around that committee and I see all these senators, well-dressed, good pay, good titles. All of us have insurance paid for by taxpayers, and they`re trying now a new way to take insurance from 900,000 Ohioans.
I stand with Governor Kasich, a Republican. I`m a Democrat. I stand with him to say, no, stop it on trying to go after people`s insurance, because if they repeal the individual mandate, they`ll take away the subsidies and people will lose their insurance because they won`t be able to afford it.
HAYES: Yeah, it seems to me that they tried to appeal the ACA and they failed. They`ve got a very complicated tax deal. Is there any appetite on Capitol Hill among Republicans to shove this in as well? Or won`t that destroy it?
BROWN: Well, the appetite is all a function of the calls that billionaires are making, Adelson and Mercer and the Koch brothers. So much of their agenda is all about that. That`s why the tax cuts are structured the way they are. That`s why their environmental policy is the way it is. That`s why their health care policy is the way it is. That`s why, it`s billionaires giving those three families what they want. You can see it all over Capitol Hill.
We`ve never seen our government so -- and special interests always have too much influence here. I`m dealing with a bank issue where banks have way too much influence around here. We know that. But never have we seen pretty much three families of billionaires during what they`re doing.
HAYES: So, the other thing I thought was interesting about the president`s tweet, and it dovetails with the distributional nature of the cuts, he is basically saying they`re not cutting it for the rich and up. If you read that tweet he`s saying cut the 39% rate down to 35, very explicitly advocating for even further cuts to the wealthiest Americans and he says maybe the rest can go to the middle class.
BROWN: Not to try to one up that, or you, Chris, but I was in the meeting when the president from I don`t know how many thousand miles away, at 4:00 in the afternoon, we were at the Library of Congress with the president`s top economic adviser. The president called in and said, my accountant says this bill has got nothing in here for me and we have to put the estate tax in there because there`s nothing else for rich people so we have to repeal the estate tax.
I don`t know if the president doesn`t understands. I know McConnell understands. I know Ryan understand that they want to load up as much in this bill as they can for the billionaires and for their biggest contributors and people funding their campaigns. That`s clearly what they`re doing. Whether the president knows it or not, is a bit puzzling.
These guys talk about a middle class tax cut. If they want to give a middle class tax cut, give a middle class tax cut. Don`t sort of give it to corporations and then say it will trickle down in higher wages. Let`s get rid of the middleman. Don`t give it to corporations and have a trickle down. Give the tax cuts to the middle class directly.
HAYES: Yead. They are reporting it -- it`s kind of remarkable that all the reporting indicates their are some middle class taxpayers who will see a tax hike. The New York Times found that a quarter of families in the middle class will see their taxes increase in 2018 by about a thousand dollars on average, the share going up to 2026, one-third average, it would rise to $1,600.
What does that do for you as you talk to your constituents?
BROWN: Well, there`s so much wrong with this. So many families in Mansfield and Lyme and Toledo, Ohio will see their taxes go up. They`ll hear this Congress say, over and over, middle class, middle class, middle class tax cut. But again, if they really want to do a middle class tax cut, cut out the middleman. Do the tax cut for middle class.
My Working Family Tax Relief Act will put money in the pockets of people making 25, 50, $75,000. That`s how you grow the economy, not giving tax cuts and hope it trickles down.
HAYES: While I have you here, and this pertains to how whether this thing will pass into this year, I want to ask you about two members of the United States Senate. One you have served with and one who you might serve with in the near future.
One is Roy Moore, who a lot of your colleagues have called on to drop out even on the Republican side. Do you think he should drop out?
BROWN: Yeah, of course he should. Yeah. He had all kind of ethical issues before, anyway. John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio said -- I hate to keep quoting Kasich, but Kasich is right. Mitch McConnell said he should drop out. Clearly he should drop out.
HAYES: The other is your colleague, Senator Menendez in New Jersey, who is being tried on corruption charges, 12 counts, that jury is deadlocked. There is a question about were he to be convicted, do you think he should resign?
BROWN: I think that he will appeal if he`s convicted. I don`t really want to do what-ifs about him, because I don`t know what this jury is going to do. I`ll be very willing to answer it after he`s either exonerated or convicted, and we can have that discussion.
HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thanks for joining us.
BROWN: Always, thanks.
HAYES: That`s All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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