Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 17, 2017 Guest: Chris Lu, Josh Barro, Nick Ackerman, Joyce Vance , Catherine Rampell, Francesca Chambers, Jenna McLaughlin
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the President hasn`t. I think that`s a very clear distinction.
HAYES: From the glass house White House, the President is chucking rocks.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them.
HAYES: Tonight, how Trump got away with it.
TRUMP: These are all horrible lies. All fabrications.
HAYES: And the lawsuit still going on.
TRUMP: We can`t let them change the most important election in our lifetime.
HAYES: Then, new trouble for Jared.
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.
HAYES: The new reporting that contradicts what the son-in-law of the President said in his testimony to Congress.
KUSHNER: I`ve been fully transparent in providing all requested information.
HAYES: Plus, who could have predicted a major leak from the Keystone Pipeline? The story behind these insane photos and the reality of the tax cut bill hitting a nerve.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: I really resent anybody saying that I`m just doing this for the rich.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HATCH: Give me a break.
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HAYES: Good evening from Chicago, I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, the President of the United States stands accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women over a period of decades. That fact has loomed over his administration`s caution response to the flood of revelations about abuse by powerful men, including, of course, allegations the Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama sexually assaulted teenage girls as an adult in his 30s. Last night after Democratic Senator Al Franken apologized to a woman who says he groped and forcibly kissed her a decade ago, releasing a photo of Franken in a lewd pose while she was sleeping, the President could not resist taking a shot. "The Al Frankenstein picture is really bad, speaks 1,000 words. Where do his hands go in pictures two through six while she sleeps? And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women." The White House was asked about those comments today.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it`s fair to investigate Al Franken and the allegation made by his accuser, is it also fair to investigate this President and the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by more than a dozen women?
SANDERS: Look, I think that this was covered pretty extensively during the campaign. We addressed that then the American people I think spoke very loud and clear when they elected this President.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But how is this different?
SANDERS: I think in one case specifically Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the President hasn`t. I think that`s a very clear distinction.
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HAYES: Well, for one thing, more of the American people voted for the President`s opponent, but here`s the other thing, the President has admitted to wrongdoing. He has. We`ve all heard it. Because he bragged to Billy Bush about getting away with exactly, precisely the kind of behavior Franken is accused of and worse.
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TRUMP: You know, I`m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them, it`s like a magnet. I don`t even wait. And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, RADIO HOST: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (BLEEP)
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HAYES: Then Candidate Trump dismissed those comments as, "locker room talk" when that tape came out last year, insisting he never done the acts he so boasted about. But at least 15 women -- 15 women have accused him on the record with their names of unwanted physical contact, of kissing them, of groping them, and grabbing them by the you know what. Many of them spoke on camera about their experiences with this President.
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TEMPLE TAGGART MCDOWELL, FORMER MISS USA: It was at that time where he turned to me and embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips. And I remember being shocked and -- because I would have just thought to shake somebody`s hand.
JESSICA DRAKE, PORNOGRAPHIC ACTRESS: When we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission.
MINDY MCGILLIVRAY, ACCUSER OF DONALD TRUMP: I feel the little, you know, this little grab. It`s like, you know, you`re feeling like a little cheek -- like a little cheek lift almost. And I stand up really tall. I`m shocked in a moment. And I looked -- and I turn around and look at him and he doesn`t look at me, he doesn`t want to make eye contact with me.
KARENA VIRGINIA, YOGA INSTRUCTOR: He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm. Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast.
SUMMER ZERVOS, FORMER CONTESTANT, THE APPRENTICE: He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his -- placed his hand on my breast. I pushed his chest to put space between us and I said come on, man, get real. He repeated my words back to me, get real as he began thrusting his genitals.
KRISTIN ANDERSON, ASPIRING MODEL: The person on my right who unbeknownst to me at that time was Donald Trump put their hand up my skirt. He did touch my vagina through my underwear. Absolutely.
JESSICA LEEDS, ACCUSER OF DONALD TRUMP: Somehow or another, the armrest in the seat disappeared and it was a real shock when all of a sudden his hands were all over me. When he started putting his hand up my skirt and that`s was it.
JILL HARTH, ACCUSER OF DONALD TRUMP: He pushed me up against the wall and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again. And I had to physically say, what are you doing? Stop it! It was a shocking thing to have him do this.
TRUMP: You know, I`m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. You just kiss. I don`t even wait. And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BUSH: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (BLEEP).
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HAYES: Besides bragging about putting his hands on women without their consent, the President has also boasted about exploiting his former role as a beauty pageant owner to leer at women in their underwear.
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TRUMP: I`ll go backstage before a show and everyone`s getting dressed and ready and everything else and, you know, no men are anywhere. And I`m allowed to go in because I`m the owner of the pageant and therefore I`m inspecting it. You know, I`m inspecting. I want to make sure that everyone is good. You know, the dress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re like a doctor.
TRUMP: Is everyone OK? You know, they`re standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK? And you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.
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HAYES: I get away with things like that. Five former Ms. Teen USA Contestants, Teen USA told Buzzfeed that Trump did, in fact, walk in on them while they were changing. And competitors in that pageant, they are as young as 14 years old. Like Roy Moore, whose allies are pushing conspiracy theories to discredit his accusers, then Candidate Trump attacked the women who made those allegations against him, calling them liars and suggesting they were not attractive enough to assault.
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TRUMP: The stories are total fiction. They`re 100 percent made up. They never happened. I don`t know who these people are. I look on television. I think it`s a disgusting thing. Some are doing it for probably a little fame. They get some free fame. It`s a total setup. I was sitting with him on an airplane. And he went after me on the plane. Yes, I`m going to go after -- believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.
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HAYES: One of the President`s accusers, former Apprentice Contestant Summer Zervos has since sued President Trump for defamation because he called her a liar and the President`s lawyers have been fighting a subpoena filed in September for all documents related to allegations of assault or misconduct. A judge in New York could decide by the end of the year whether the case against the President can move forward. Joy Reid is my colleague here at MSNBC and my friend and the Host of "A.M. JOY." And -- well, Joy, were you surprised that the President decided to throw that stone from the glass house in which he sits?
REID: You know, Chris, I wish I could say I was surprised. I was kind of waiting for it. I had done a tweet in anticipation of it, just waiting for him to you know, weigh in on Al Franken because Donald Trump can`t help himself. He has no impulse control obviously. And because this is a Democrat and he always relishes the opportunity to be able to accuse the other side of what he, in fact, has done.
REID: I didn`t collude, you colluded. Russia didn`t want me to win, they wanted you to win. Whatever it is that he`s guilty of, maybe it`s something in his psychology, he cannot resist the opportunity to lash out at someone from the other side of the ideological aisle and say, no, no, no, you really did it. And the thing that is so incredible and I`m glad that you played the entire -- I literally was e-mailing my team saying what Chris Hayes just showed is so important in terms of showing all the women describing the behavior because the very thing that he`s attacking Al Franken for, you know, gross behavior towards a woman, kissing her without her consent and then the dumb sort of joke, you know, the photo afterwards, but the kissing part of it is exactly what Donald Trump was proud to tell another man that he gets to do. He actually was proud of the fact that he gets to abuse women physically and grab them, do more than just kiss them. He says I just kiss them. I don`t even wait. I just kiss them.
That`s what Al Franken is accused of doing. That`s what he`s accusing Al Franken of doing and saying that Al Franken should pay for it with his job. Donald Trump is accused 15 times of sexual assault. He`s being sued because he called one of those victims a liar. He is a proud sexual assaulter of women. He`s not ashamed and he`s proud of it. Why is he in a position to keep his job if he and his supporters think Al Franken should not? They cannot answer that question, all they can do is cry. I don`t know whatever. They think they`re crying hypocrisy but they are the hypocrites. At least Al Franken apologized.
HAYES: Well, one of the things that was so perverse this morning was Sarah Huckabee Sanders this afternoon saying well, he`s admitted and the President denies it which you know, flips everything around, right? Like lie and deny and say it never happened and attack the women, that is what you should do. If you admit it, then you`re inviting more scrutiny. But, of course, that is precisely, precisely the playbook that is happening in Alabama with Roy Moore to the last bit.
And I want to play this for you because what happened -- we all remember -- you and I were covering it together, right? We were -- we were there a year ago and all these Republicans rushed to the camera and saying, oh, I am just so upset about this. Congressman Chaffetz saying, you know, I can`t look my daughter in the eyes. I can`t look her in the eyes. I`m so upset about this. Of course, then voted for Donald Trump. And that`s exactly what they`re doing in Alabama. Here`s the governor of Alabama who said I believe the women, I believe what they`re saying is true, I`m going to vote for Roy Moore anyway. Take a listen.
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GOV. KAY IVEY (R), ALABAMA: I believe in the Republican Party and what we stand for, and most important, we need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on the things like supreme court justices, other appointments that the Senate has to confirm and make major decisions. And so that`s what I plan to do, is vote for the Republican Nominee, Roy Moore.
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HAYES: I mean, that`s saying -- if you say I believe the women --
HAYES: -- who have said this about Roy Moore and I`m voting for Roy Moore. What you`re saying is I want a child molester, seriously, that`s what you`re saying. I want a child molester to Represent Alabama in the Senate.
REID: Yes. This is what happens when party becomes almost a religion. When it`s child molester is -- having a child molester on the floor of the United States Senate is better than having a Democrat, that they would rather have someone like Donald Trump who is a braggadocios assaulter of women, somebody who isn`t even embarrassed about being a sexual assaulter, but better him than her. We have to have anything. We don`t care how wicked, we don`t care how much of a liar, we don`t care how corrupt, we don`t care what he is. This is what Republicans have essentially told us about Donald Trump from the beginning. We don`t care how low he take this country, how low he takes our party, what a scoundrel he is, a scam artist he is, the con man, and literally it can be a child molester as long as it`s a Republican.
We will accept anything. We don`t care how it damages the reputation of our party and country, nothing comes before party, nothing, ever. Now, the one thing you can`t say about Democrats is that Democrats threw Anthony Weiner over the side like they just met him. Democrats at least you`ll -- you have to give them the credit that they`re ready -- I mean, they`re ready to throw Bill Clinton over the side 17 years later. But Republicans essentially have created a religion out of their partisan affiliation and it literally doesn`t matter what a Republican has done as long as there is an R after his name and he`s willing to vote through those tax cuts for the rich, they don`t care who he is. That`s a sad thing to say about your party.
HAYES: All right, Joy Reid, always great to have you. Thank you.
REID: Thank you.
HAYES: Catherine Rampell is a Columnist with the Washington Post, Francesca Chambers is a White House Correspondent for the Daily Mail. And Catherine, you know, at one point, Kellyanne Conway today I think referred to the allegations against the President as old news. And I wanted to yell at my T.V. set like that doesn`t matter. It`s all old news. All of this is old news. That`s the whole point of what`s going on here. Nothing ever has been properly resolved. So it doesn`t -- you don`t get to say it`s old news.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Of course you don`t get to say it`s old news. Just because an election happened, just because, you know, Sarah Huckabee Sanders says, well, the people have spoken, we already had an election and they have ruled. That is not in any way similar to having a full investigation, to having an indictment. If you really want to go down that road, to having any sort of jury trial, right? I mean, there`s a reason why when there are criminal charges that are alleged, when there are victims who claim that they have been assaulted, the way we resolve those claims is not by having a political election, right, it`s by having an investigation. That`s how American jurisprudence works.
HAYES: Francesca, you cover the White House and you sit in that briefing room and I`m really curious to get your perspective on how much you think the White House sweats this. And the context here is that was it was interesting to me that Sarah Huckabee Sanders yesterday wanted to have nothing to do with the Franken story because I think the people around the President realized how exposed they are, even if the President doesn`t. What`s your sense sitting in that room?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY MAIL: Well, I think you make an interesting point, even if the President doesn`t because he obviously opened himself up to this comparison by tweeting about Al Franken when he did, which is seemingly why the White House didn`t want to get too involved in the Roy Moore situation because the President has also been accused of sexually harassing women. And what was problematic for the White House today was when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked what`s the difference between the two, she didn`t say the difference is that the President didn`t do it, and Al Franken has said he`s sorry because he did do it. She said the difference is that Al Franken has apologized and the President has not admitted to wrongdoing. And so I think that was a problematic --
HAYES: That`s a great point.
CHAMBERS: -- answer for this White House and that`s why you`re seeing that answer go around pretty aggressively.
RAMPELL: That`s also -- that`s also very consistent, by the way, with pretty much everything that Donald Trump has done wrong. His philosophy seems to be, if you admit no wrongdoing, no wrong has been done, right? If you admit no mistake, no mistake has been made, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence such adds being on tape. So this is not something we should be terribly surprised by Sanders saying in that press conference.
HAYE: Francesca, that`s a great point. I want to hang a lantern on that idea that Sarah Huckabee Sanders doesn`t say because he didn`t do these things. She says because --
CHAMBERS: She said that he hasn`t -- she has said in the past that these women aren`t telling the truth.
HAYES: Exactly. She called them liars, yes.
CHAMBERS: But today when she -- but today when she was asked about it, very first question, straight out of the gate in the briefing, it was we addressed this aggressively during the campaign. There was an election as Catherine pointed to and the American people decided. And also the difference is Senator Franken admitted to wrongdoing and the President did not. And that was where she took these allegations. And another point that I`d like to make, Chris, about today`s briefing along the same exact lines was she claimed that the President has weighed in on Roy Moore, but that is not accurate.
CHAMBERS: What happened during the trip -- because I was on this trip was that the President was asked about it and he said, look, I`m in Asia, I`m not watching television, I`m not looped into this sort of thing. He said Sarah has made a statement on this on my behalf and that, you know, if the things he says are true, then he`ll do the -- if the things about him and these women are saying are true, then he`ll do the right thing. That`s all the President said about this. So when Sarah said yesterday and today that the President has weighed in on this matter, the President has not weighed in on this matter. In fact, he`s dodged questions about this on Capitol Hill and at the White House the entire week since he got back from Asia.
HAYES: Catherine, do you think it matters still, these allegations against the President, in the way that our politics function and the perception of him and in the ways that I think women particularly but citizens, in general, think about how they relate to this White House and whether they want to see this President in power?
RAMPELL: God, I hope they still matter. You know who I would like to ask a question of? It`s not Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I don`t believe that she`s ever going to flip and say, you know, maybe we should believe those women. We should be asking people like Mitch McConnell. Why do you believe the accusers against Roy Moore and yet, you know, you don`t apparently believe the accusers against President Trump? You get those kinds of questions in front of influential people, you get them to respond and these questions will absolutely matter to the American public.
HAYES: Yeah. And we`re going to post -- we`ll post that montage that we played at the top of the show, which our -- the ALL IN production team did an incredible job on. That was not me, that was them. And people should watch that because one of the things happening I think in this moment is we are hearing a kind of pattern to allegations with men and there is an M.O. often. And we`ve seen that with the allegations against Roy Moore and you hear them in the allegations against Donald Trump. You should watch those and you should think to yourselves, does that sound credible that all of these people who don`t know each other report the same experience. Catherine Rampell and Francesca Chambers, thanks to you both.
CHAMBERS: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, breaking news in the Russian backdoor overture and the remarkable consistency with which Jared Kushner just forgets details crucial to the Russia investigation, even under penalty of perjury. What we`ve now learned in just two minutes.
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KUSNER: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses and I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.
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HAYES: Well, things are not looking good for Presidential Senior Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. As you may recall, Kushner has repeatedly had to update his security clearance forms because he did not disclose his foreign contacts before the inauguration. And they were hard contacts to forget, frankly. Under penalty of perjury, Kushner reportedly neglected to disclose a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak where he proposed a back channel between Trump`s transition team and the Kremlin. Also under penalty of perjury, Kushner reportedly declined to disclose a secret meeting with the head of a sanctioned Russian bank, one of more than 100 foreign contacts that Kushner, again, under penalty of perjury, did not initially disclose.
Tonight, we have breaking news about more undisclosed Kushner contacts with Russians. Two major developments tonight with the reporters who got the story. We begin with NBC News Investigative Reporter Ken Dilanian, who has just published a piece with Carol Lee reporting that Kushner failed to disclose what lawmakers call a Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite involving a banker who`s been accused of links to Russian organized crime. Ken, what can you tell us?
KEN DILANIAN, MSNBC INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Chris, as you know the letter went out yesterday from the Senate Judiciary Committee accusing Jared Kushner of withholding information about what they call this Russian backdoor overture. And as you can imagine, we immediately started about trying to figure out what that was. And Carol Lee and I have learned today that it involved an e-mail chain about a proposed meeting by a Russian official named Aleksander Torshin who is a Deputy central -- Head of the Russian Central Bank. He`s a former senator and he`s been accused by Spanish prosecutors of having Mafia ties which he denies. He`s repeatedly very close to Vladimir Putin.
He was proposing -- he was actually suggesting that he had a message he wanted to carry to Trump from Putin, and Jared Kushner`s lawyer just now put out a statement about this so we know that Kushner responded, according to his lawyer, pass on this. A lot of people come claiming to carry messages, very few were able to verify, for now, I think we decline such meetings. But, Chris, we know that this same man told Bloomberg News that he had dinner with Donald Trump Jr. around the same time at a meeting on the sidelines of a National Rifle Association conference. So this is another example of a senior high-level Russian seeking to infiltrate Donald Trump`s inner circle and an example of Kushner not coming clean about what he knew about it to congressional investigators.
HAYES: All right. So I should say Kushner`s lawyer says basically we didn`t think this was germane to the document production request and also we passed on it, so what`s the big deal?
HAYES: Just to zoom out here, I want to be clear about this. You`ve got someone coming to the campaign saying we`ve got a guy who wants to set up a meeting possibly between Trump and Putin or pass a message, or how can we get these people together? And he ends up, despite whatever happens in this e-mail chain, he ends up sitting next to Don Jr. at a dinner at an NRA conference later that year?
DILANIAN: According to him. Now Don Jr. has said he remembers it differently, that maybe the Russian was at a different table, but Don Jr. acknowledges he spoke to a Russian that evening. So, yes -- and Congressional investigators, Chris, know very little about how that meeting was actually set up. So I think that`s an active part of the investigation. Another really important thing here, Chris, is that Jared Kushner told both Congressional committees that he did not recall any contacts between the campaign and WikiLeaks. And we learned this week that in fact Kushner has forwarded an e-mail from Don Jr. about Don Jr.`s Twitter contacts with WikiLeaks and Jared Kushner forwarded that e-mail on to Hope Hicks. So he is under pressure to come back to Congress and explain that discrepancy, Chris.
HAYES: All right, Ken Dilanian, thanks for being with me tonight. On that WikiLeaks story, I want to -- this week we learned that Donald Trump Jr. had exchanged message during the campaign with WikiLeaks and then e-mailed senior campaign officials, as Ken was just saying, including Jared Kushner, about those exchanges, right? So there`s an e-mail saying oh, I`ve been talking to WikiLeaks.
We also learned that Don Jr. e-mail is among the e-mails that Kushner, again, did not disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kushner`s lawyer address that WikiLeaks e-mail tonight offering this explanation for not disclosing it. A communication which he was a copied recipient was not about Russia contacts by him or apparently anyone else, was not responsive to any request about Mr. Kushner`s own contacts. Here with more on that story is Jenna McLaughlin, Intelligence Reporter with Foreign Policy Magazine. What`s the significance of the fact that the contacts with WikiLeaks were forwarded to campaign folks including Jared Kushner?
JENNA MCLAUGHLIN, INTELLIGENCE REPORTER, FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE: Well, I mean, the significance of that is that Jared Kushner saw them, he was aware of them and he passed them onto Hope Hicks. I mean, we see with Kushner, he might be being selective with his words. He might be saying oh, well, I didn`t actually communicate. I was just aware of it and forward it on.
HAYES: Now, there is a really key part of this which is that your reporting suggests that during his Capitol Hill testimony, he was actually asked about contacts with WikiLeaks, is that correct?
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, that is correct. And in several different sessions, he denied that he or anyone else in the campaign had had any contact with WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.
HAYES: OK. That -- so I just want to be clear on that. So he repeatedly before Congress -- and I don`t know if he was under oath or not -- but before Congress repeatedly said no one in the campaign nor he had any contact with Julian Assange, is that right?
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, multiple times he said that.
HAYES: That`s not true.
HAYES: And not only is it not true, we know from the e-mail trail he would have cause to know that`s not true because he was on e-mails from Don Jr. saying, I`m talking to Julian, right?
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, absolutely. He was certainly aware of that. And I mean, maybe he has a different definition of communicating with WikiLeaks or communicating with Assange, but judging from these previous stories from this week, it sure seems like he may have been lying to Congress, which is against the law.
HAYES: Yes. I want to be clear on that, it is -- it is a federal crime to lie to Congress. It`s not often enforced or prosecuted. He wasn`t under oath but you`re not supposed to do that.
MCLAUGHLIN: Absolutely you`re not supposed to do that, whether it`s under oath or not, it is still against the law.
HAYES: It does seem to me he has racked up a lot of things that he forgot, am I wrong?
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. I mean, it seems like he has a very selective memory and no one has really asked him either about his ownership of the New York Observer, which was also as per my story this week, a pretty favorable outlet towards the WikiLeaks stories.
HAYES: That`s interesting. Jenna McLaughlin, thanks for making time tonight.
MCLAUGHLIN: Thanks so much.
HAYES: Up next, remember this guy who set up Don Jr.`s Trump Tower meeting with the Russians? He`s back.
HAYES: It was the first concrete revelation showing the Trump campaign sought to collude with Russia to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. And it came from an email exchange with Donald Trump Jr.
On June 3rd, 2016, Trump Jr. received an email that claimed the so-called Russian crowned prosecutor, an office that doesn`t exist, quote, offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information, but it`s part of Russia and its government`s support for Mr. Trump.
Trump Jr. jumped at the chance to get dirt on his dad`s political opponent from a foreign adversary, writing in part, if it`s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.
Those emails eventually led to a June 9 meeting with a Russian lawyer and others in Trump Tower. That meeting was attended by Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, now a White House senior adviser, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, recently indicted.
Much about that meeting remains unknown, but we soon could be learning more because the guy who set it all up, the guy who was on the other end of those emails with Trump Jr., he is apparently willing to speak to the Robert Mueller investigation.
NBC News reporting tonight that while nothing is officially on the calendar, a source close to the flamboyant publicist Rob Goldstone says he has been communicating with Robert Mueller`s office through his lawyer.
And now Goldstone who now lives in Bangkok is apparently ready to meet with the special counsel`s team. Sources telling NBC News, quote, expect he will travel to the United States at some point in the near future as one put it.
Joyce Vance, a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Nick Ackerman is a former Watergate prosecutor.
Nick, let`s start with Goldstone. Why is he an important witness for Mueller to talk to?
NICK ACKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Well, he`s extremely important because he was present at that meeting. He`s also the person who said that, one, the Russian government is backing Donald Trump and supporting his campaign, and, two, he`s the one that notified Don Jr. that the Russians had incriminating dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Now all of this really becomes to the forefront this week with all of these new revelations about WikiLeaks, about the fact that Don Jr. was having contact with WikiLeaks, that Kushner knew about it. The reason that WikiLeaks is so significant is because they are the organization that released the stolen Clinton emails.
The dirt, I am convinced that Ron Goldstone was talking about was those Clinton emails that were stolen. And I think as a prosecutor my theory is very simple -- Goldstone or somebody else brought those emails to that meeting on June 9. The Donald Trump campaign realized these were too hot to handle. They had to be released through another source and that source was WikiLeaks.
And if you look at what we know now, over the course of time after that meeting, two weeks later Roger Stone has contact with Gucifer 2.0, the Russian hacker, and then WikiLeaks, and then we know that during that campaign there was an ongoing campaign between Donald Jr. and WikiLeaks. And the -- in response to that, he was actually going out there, sending out a URL so people could look at those emails.
ACKERMAN: Donald Sr. was talking about those emails and, you know, what we`re seeing now is all of this allegation of conspiracy and collusion coming together among the WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
HAYES: I feel like I just got the Ackerman closing argument here.
The Goldstone point, Joyce -- I want to talk about a few things, but just to follow up on Nick`s point -- I mean, Goldstone -- the one line that has stuck with me of all of the different revelation as in some ways the most incriminating and the thing I think I would remember the most in real-time is Goldstone saying to Don Jr. the Russian government`s support for your father, that that was a thing that he put in an email on the record that had to just be very memorable to anyone that encountered that sentiment, particularly when it became clear the Russian government was hacking various people`s emails.
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It`s absolutely true, Chris, and it`s really important to remember that it`s a crime for a foreign government to make a contribution to a United States election. So it`s just remarkable that this didn`t send up all sorts of red flags in the campaign. There should have been an immediate full stop on any additional conversation. And instead we have this remarkable, you know, if it`s what you say, I love it communication back followed by the meeting.
So at this point we have what`s an important witness, a material witness. He provides Mueller certainly with fuller context for the meeting and its setup, but also perhaps with critically important information about Russian involvement because you have to remember that although we`re very focused on the Trump family and Trump associates, there is also potentially a crime here involving the Russians who were attempting to inappropriately interfere with the United States election.
HAYES: Yeah. Let me ask you this about Kushner. I`m going to ask you both this same question. If you`re on the other side from Jared Kushner`s lawyers after all of these failures to disclose, oversights, et cetera, Nick, what are you thinking about what they are up to?
ACKERMAN: I think it`s pretty obvious. Jared Kushner is up to obstructing the congressional committees. He`s not being forthcoming. He`s not telling the truth. He`s not providing the documents that are relevant. They all have to come out from some other source in order for anybody to learn about them. He`s lied multiple times on his national security clearance form. He hasn`t told the truth about all of the various Russian contacts that he`s had meetings with. That in and of itself is a crime.
The fact that they are hiding something about WikiLeaks and the fact of these stolen documents leads me to believe that we probably have violations of the federal computer crimes statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that makes it illegal and criminal to deal in passwords as Donald Trump Jr. received such a password that was stolen on a particular anti-Trump website.
They`re also dealing in stolen emails, which is a state felony in New York. So there are a whole series of criminal acts that may wind up being proven out of what is coming out just this week as we start to put it all together.
HAYES: Joyce, as a prosecutor when you`ve got someone across from you in your cross-hairs and you get this sort of incrementalism of revelation like we`ve seen, right, is that all there is? Yeah. Then they come back, that wasn`t all there is.
Is that all there is? Totally.
What are you thinking as a prosecutor?
VANCE: So, I`m expecting that as a prosecutor. In every case where I`ve sat across the table from a medium level drug dealer, a top level drug dealer, it`s always incremental truth telling. You never get it all at once. It`s the hallmark of the guilty.
And I agree with Nick there is a lot to look at here involving the hacks, but we also have Kushner`s false statements on his security forms. Those look pretty cut and dry.
VANCE: And now if the reporting that we`re hearing tonight is true, that he testified under oath or perhaps even not under oath in front of congressional committees and said there had been no contact between WikiLeaks and the campaign, when he not only received emails, but presumably read them, because we`re told he forwarded them onto Hope Hicks, he`s in a lot of trouble and those are pretty easy counts to make before we even get into Nick`s panoply of charges.
HAYES: All right, Joyce Vance, Nick Ackerman, thanks for your time.
ACKERMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, from a massive oil leak from the Keystone Pipeline to this photo shoot with the Treasury secretary and his wife, the week that was the Trump administration.
And next, challenge accepted in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two right after this.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, this week we played the video of CEOs directly refuting one of the central claims of the Trump tax plan. White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn has argued that giving huge permanent tax cuts to corporations actually benefits average Americans, arguing CEOs will eagerly use that extra cash to invest, create jobs, and raise wages.
But this week, the Wall Street Journal`s CEO council conference with Gary Cohn on stage, not many actual CEOs agree.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you plan to increase investment -- your company`s investment -- capital investment? Just a show of hands if tax reform goes through. OK.
GARY COHN, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVIISER: Why aren`t the other hands up?
Why aren`t more hands up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why aren`t more hands up? That`s a big deal because it`s one of the key selling points if not the key selling point of their tax plan. So today, chief White House economist Kevin Hassett was asked that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gary Cohn said why aren`t there more hands going up. Can you answer that?
KEVIN HASSETT, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIST: That`s a great question. And I went on a little bit after Gary Cohn. And when they asked that question it was kind of hard for me, because like here there are really bright lights, but even brighter there. And so I couldn`t quite see how many hands there were. But when I was there, it looked like maybe half the hands went up. And I think if you go back and look, it could be that people had time to think about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, we did look. Kevin Hasset`s audience estimation skills is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: When White House chief economist Kevin Hassett first sat down at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Conference, the moderator did a poll of the CEOs in the audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please put up your hand if you think the economy is going to sustain that pace of growth of 3 percent for the months ahead.
HASSETT: I`d say about half.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`d give it closer to a third, but we`ll say a third to a half.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. So a little disagreement there. Kevin Hassett says half, the moderator says a third, but they also redid a poll from earlier. Remember that, when Gary Cohn was on stage and just a smattering of CEOs said the extra money from the Trump corporate tax cut would encourage them to invest more, one of the central arguments for the tax plan in the first place.
So, surely this time the answer would be overwhelming, right?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, please raise their hand if you`re planning to pick up your own pace of investment in the next year.
About the same people, a third to a half...
HASSETT: At least 70 percent I`d say.
So, the lights are bright.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A third to a half or if you estimate with a folksy laugh, maybe 70 percent.
(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSETT: About the same people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another third to a half.
HASSETT: At least 70 percent, I`d say. The lights are bright.
HAYES: A contentious Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Republican tax cut bill wrapped up last night with a battle over what that tax cut is really all about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: I just think it would be nice just tonight before we go home to just acknowledge, well, this tax cut really is not for the middle class, it`s for the rich. And that whole thing about higher wages, well, it`s a good selling point, but we know companies don`t just gives away higher wages, they just don`t give away higher wages just because they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money now. They`re sitting on a lot of profits now. I don`t see wages going up. So, just spare us the bank shot, spare us the sarcasm and the satire.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: I`m going to spare it, but I`m just going to say to you that I come from the poor people and I`ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don`t have a chance and I really resent anybody saying that I`m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. I get kind of sick and tired of it.
True, it`s a nice political play.
BROWN: Well, Mr. chairman.
HATCH: But it`s not true.
SHERROD: With all due respect, I get sick and tired of the richest people in this country getting richer...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regular order, Mr. Chairman.
SHERROD: We do a tax cut over and over and over again. How many times do we do this before we learn this?
UNIDNETIFIED MALE: Regular order.
HATCH: Listen, I`ve honored you by allowing you to spout off here. If we work together, we can pull this country out of every mess its in. And we could do a lot of the things that you`re talking about, too.
And I think I`ve got a reputation of having worked together with...
BROWN: Let`s start with CHIP.
HATCH: I`m not starting with CHIP. I did it -- I`ve done it for years. I`ve got more...
BROWN: Start with CHIP today.
HATCH: I`ve got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together.
Now, all I can say is I like you personally very much, but I`m telling you, this bull crap that you guys throw out here really gets old after awhile. And to do it right at the end of this...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A reminder that Senator Sherrod Brown`s reference to CHIP is the Children`s Health Insurance Program and that 9 million children in low income families might lose that coverage because congress missed the September 30 deadline to renew it.
As for all those poor people Senator Hatch suggests he`s been fighting for, a non-partisan analysis says the Senate tax plan would raise taxes on the poor by 2021.
And just to boost the Republican control and government`s optics even further, here`s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife posing with newly minted money to commemorate the first batch of bills bearing Mnuchin`s signature.
The insane week that was in our new insane reality next.
HAYES: Donald Trump is the president, which means that in this crazy week we haven`t even had a chance to mention that the Keyston Pipeline leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota yesterday.
Quote, "just days before regulators in neighboring Nebraska decide whether to grant the final permit to begin construction of the Keystone XL, which would be operated by the same company, that is the same Keystone XL that Trump has always supported tweeting out two years ago, so sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline, thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside.
Chris Lu is the former deputy Labor Secretary under President Barack Obama and MSNBC contributor Josh Barro, senior editor at Business Insider.
And Chris, I want to start with you because Keystone, it was a very big controversial issue in that White House when you worked in it, when you were cabinet secretary, what does it say to you to watch this spill happen as XL sort of starts to move towards possible construction approval?
CHRIS LU, FORMER DEPUTY LABOR SECRETARY: Well, we were warned about this. Environmentalists warned about this for years and it`s one of the reasons why the Obama administration decided not to go forward with this.
And inexplicably during the campaign, Donald Trump said that approving the pipeline would be better for the environment. He clearly took no time to understand anything about tar sands oil and what happens when it spills near aquifers.
And, look, I was the deputy secretary of labor, so I like when we create jobs, but the number of permanent jobs created by Keystone is 35. And that simply doesn`t justify the environmental risk that we saw today over the last couple of days.
HAYES: Yeah, and we might see more as time goes on.
Josh, you`ve been -- I feel like in this week that, you know, between Roy Moore and Al Franken and the president. You know, this major piece of legislation passed out of the House, the tax bill, we saw that contentious mark-up in the Senate and the most remarkable thing to me is the distributional weight of this Senate bill. And you saw Orrin Hatch get so mad at Sherrod Brown. But it`s just weird to take umbridge at something that`s just manifestly the true thing about the bill that you`re passing.
JOSH BARRO, BUSINESS INSIDER: Yeah, the weird thing is here, they`re having a disagreement about a factual question about what`s in the bill, and it`s partly because the Republicans impute something that`s not written in there, which is to say some parts of this bill are permanent and some of them are temporary. They don`t run for the full ten-year budget window because they don`t have enough money to do all the middle income tax increases for the whole 10-year period.
And what Republicans say, and I think they believe this, is well congress will come back in the future and extend those things. We will take care of those middle income families and extend those tax cuts.
Because when you look at the distribution tables, they look a lot better in the first year than they do in the 10th year or the 11th year of this package. And Republicans say well we`ll come back, we`ll change the rules after the fact, so it looks more like that going forward.
Now, Democrats perfectly reasonably say well you didn`t write that into the law, and that`s going to depend on political and economic considerations at the time that those decisions have to be made, and sometimes temporary tax cuts are temporary.
There`s also sort of exploding stuff in this bill, changes in the way inflation adjustments are done that sound small and technical, but they amount to small tax increases on ordinary families every year forever.
So, I think Republicans are focused on that year one thing, not owning up to what`s coming in future years. Democrats are really focused on what`s in future years.
HAYES: So one thing that unites this tax bill, which a lot of people have pointed to the ways it would benefit the Trump family and the Trump heirs, as much as a billion dollars, is this other piece of news which flew a little under the radar which is the Trump administration to lift ban on trophy elephant imports which you think to yourself, well, that`s sort of a weird policy. The president tonight tweeting that he`s put it under review. They`re not going to implement the lifting of the ban right away, they`re going to review it. And the reason that that connects to the tax bill is because of course the president`s sons are big game hunters and we know how much they personally like to do trophy hunting.
It sometimes can look a little like the entire White House is being run for the benefit of the Trump family, Chris.
LU: Well, that`s exactly right. There`s not a lot of Americans clambering to do trophy hunting for elephants and lions, except for Donald Jr. and Eric.
And clearly, he did this for his sons. There was a widespread backlash, including by the chairman, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And he finally backtracked on this, which was a sensible thing.
That may be the only good piece of news that happened this week.
HAYES: Well, that -- Josh, I couldn`t believe they backtracked. My question is like on the tax bill, do the politics of this, which look terrible right now in the polling distribution, do they matter ultimately?
BARRO: Well, yeah, I think the politics are going to matter a lot in the election. I mean, the polling shows that both this bill is very unpopular and then when you ask people do you think you`re going to get a tax cut from it, only a very small fraction of hte public says that they believe they will personally benefit from this bill. And I think that`s toxic.
I mean, you can look in other countries. It was a tax reform that did in Margaret Thatcher in the UK. People notice these things when they affect their daily bottom line a lot -- almost everyone files an income tax return. It`s much larger than the number of people who buy insurance through the Obamacare individual market, and that was an enormous issue.
So, yeah, I think this -- I think Republicans still pressure from donors. But I think there`s likely to be very serious voter backlash to this.
HAYES: It`s a great point.
You`re going to notice whether you`re paying more taxes or not. You`re going to notice.
Chris Lu and Josh Barro, thank you both.
LU: Thank you.
HAYES; That is All In for this evening. Good night.
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