IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Review of the new tax plans Transcript 11/27/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Michael Schmidt, Gyasi Ross, Sherrod Brown, David Cay Johnston, Stephanie Kelton

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 27, 2017 Guest: Michael Schmidt, Gyasi Ross, Sherrod Brown, David Cay Johnston, Stephanie Kelton




HAYES: Is Michael Flynn cutting a deal?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: General Flynn is a wonderful man.

HAYES: Tonight, as Flynn`s lawyers meet with the Special Prosecutor, the mounting evidence that President Trump`s Former National Security Adviser could be cooperating with Robert Mueller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s something the White House should be very concerned about.

HAYES: Plus --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it appropriate for the President to use a racial slur in any context?

HAYES: The White House defends the President`s racial slur during an event honoring native Americans.

TRUMP: They call her Pocahontas.

HAYES: Then why two different people today claim they`re running the Consumer Protection Bureau and why one of them wants it shut down.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: It turns up being a joke. And that`s what the CFPB really has been.

HAYES: And as the President memory holds the Access Hollywood tapes --

TRUMP: I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.

HAYES: Why Republicans are thrilled to talk about anything but their tax plan.

TRUMP: I think the tax bill is going very well.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight more evidence that Michael Flynn may be negotiating a plea deal with the Special Counsel conducting the Russia probe. ABC News reports that the former National Security Adviser`s lawyer met earlier today with members of Robert Mueller`s team at their offices in Washington. It`s the latest indication Flynn may be cooperating with the Special Counsel. After the New York Times broke the news that Flynn`s legal team ended an agreement it had to share information with lawyers for President. Defense attorneys often share information during investigations, but they are compelled to stop if it becomes a conflict of interest, which would certainly be the case if Flynn moved to testify against his old boss. Flynn is arguably the most central figure in the Russia investigation. A close campaign adviser to the President who once led calls to prosecute Hillary Clinton.


FLYNN: That`s right, lock her up! If I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today.


HAYES: Flynn`s deception about his Russia ties cost him a job at the White House just three weeks into the administration. An incident that was in many ways the first domino to fall in the ongoing Russia related revelation, recalled he was revealed to have talked on the phone during the Trump transition with the Russian Ambassador -- that`s that man there, Sergey Kislyak -- at the same time that the Obama administration, still in power at the moment, was announcing new sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Flynn denied discussing the sanctions with Kislyak in his multiple contacts, but he turned out to have been lying. And not just to senior White House officials, including the Vice President, as the V.P. himself claims, but to FBI agents who questioned Flynn four days after the President`s inauguration. To this very day, we do not know exactly what Flynn discussed with Kislyak, only that Russia opted not to retaliate with sanctions of its own. Flynn`s deceit was alarming enough to the Justice Department that it prompted then acting Attorney General Sally Yates to warn the White House Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail. Not only did that incident force Flynn to resign after just 24 days of National Security Adviser, a record for the shortest tenure in that job, it ultimately led to what is now by all accounts an obstruction of justice probe involving the President of the United States himself. It was the investigation of Flynn after all, the President allegedly urged former FBI Director James Comey to drop in that private meeting last February. Comey testified under oath about that meeting after he was fired months later.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I took it as a direction. This is the President of the United States with me alone saying I hope this. I took it as this is what he wants me to do. Now, I didn`t obey that but that`s the way I took it.


HAYES: When it comes to Flynn`s potential legal exposure, we`re only scratching the surface. We know he has been under scrutiny according to the Wall Street Journal for playing a possible role in efforts by a Republican operative to obtain Hillary Clinton`s e-mails from Russian hackers. We know Flynn initially failed to disclose payments received in connection with a 2015 trip to Moscow where he dined at the elbow of Vladimir Putin. We also know he failed to disclose his involvement in a nuclear project in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interest. Then there`s Flynn`s work as a paid agent for the government of Turkey which he neglected to report until months after signing a contract (INAUDIBLE) to the campaign.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Flynn and his son were at one point offered $15 million to kidnap a Turkish cleric living legally in the U.S. whose a political foe of the Turkish President and deliver him into Turkish hands. Flynn`s lawyer denied that report but according to former CIA Director James Woolsey, a Trump campaign adviser who sat on the board of Flynn`s consulting firm, "It became clear to me they were seriously considering a kidnapping operation and I told them then it was a bad idea. It was illegal." Just this past weekend, that same man, former CIA Director James Woolsey was spotted in the dining room at none other than in Mar-a-Lago having a lengthy conversation with the President. Michael Schmidt is a Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, one of the reporters who broke the story on Flynn`s possible cooperation with Mueller. What has changed in the legal posture of Michael Flynn?

MICHAEL SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, his lawyers had been cooperating with Trump, sharing different types of information. But the day before Thanksgiving, his lawyers called up Trump`s lawyers and said we can no longer do that. We can no longer talk about the Special Counsel`s investigation. For legal experts, this is a sign of either one of two things that Flynn is cooperating or he plans to take a plea. It was a pretty significant development considering the fact that you know, Flynn had sort of been on the same side as Trump but there was a real break here, and that they were no longer going to be working together.

HAYES: Now, you -- I mean, there is a kind of unexplained loyalty or interest the President has in Flynn`s case going back to obviously talking to Comey, right? You know, taking extraordinary step to appear to intervene in an ongoing investigation.

SCHMIDT: So Flynn was fired on February 13th and the following day is when Comey`s in the Oval Office and Trump asks him to end the investigation. So this was clearly something on the President`s mind and clearly something that concerned him. And you know, it`s sort of hard to believe why would the President go to such great lengths to interfere in an investigation. The other thing that is interesting is that Flynn was interviewed at the White House in the first week of the presidency, and it was that Friday that the President had Comey over to the White House and asked him to pledge his loyalty to him. So there are these different sort of weird coincidences around Flynn and Trump`s interaction was Comey.

HAYES: There has been some question about whether Flynn will cooperate for a long time. And in fact, the Wall Street Journal reported back in March that Flynn was actively seeking cooperation. What are we to make of the fact that he essentially put this flag out back then, it appears that it is only now that that may have happened?

SCHMIDT: I`m not sure if he was -- that was his posture back in April. I think this is something more recent. And I think that one of the largest motivating factors here is the fact that Flynn`s son was essentially involved in the same things that he was, and that they did everything together and his son faces the same criminal exposure, and that at this point, Flynn`s lawyers understand and Flynn Jr.`s lawyers understand the amount of evidence the government has, the type of case that they have, and they understand the severity of it. And I think that`s why we`re seeing the things moving in place at this point in time.

HAYES: Michael Schmidt of the New York Times, thanks for your great reporting.

SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Nick Akerman is a former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor and an MSNBC Legal Analyst. Let`s start with Michael`s point there about their exposure. One of the things you noted to me is that the Manafort indictment depends on a lot of stuff that you don`t have to go to witnesses for, lots of documents.

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Right. It`s a documents case.

HAYES: Is there a similar situation with Flynn?

AKERMAN: Pretty close. I mean, you`ve got him lying to the FBI. It`s his word against two FBI agents. You`ve got him lying on his national security form. There`s tons of documents that make out that lie. People he dealt with, places he went, individuals he was doing business for, these are easy to prove lies.

HAYES: And those are all criminal -- there`s criminal exposure for all?

AKERMAN: Yes. They`re all at least five-year felonies. So, and then you take on top of it what he was doing without disclosing being an agent for the government of Turkey, without disclosing what he was doing going in cahoots with the Russians to try and sell nuclear plants in the Mid-East. There are a whole series of things that he has put himself out there for that he did not disclose, he did not file the proper forms, and he lied about them. So all of those add up to a lot of years in prison.

HAYES: What did you make? It`s funny. I had never encountered this idea of sort of information sharing between different attorneys and then the kind of pivot away from that at a crucial moment. As someone who has a lot more experience in this area, what did you make of that?

AKERMAN: I do this all the time. These are joint defense agreements. I mean, normally what you do is you get all the lawyers and all the clients in one room and you discuss what the facts are and what your defense is going to be. I mean, you can imagine this situation. Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Jr. and Michael Flynn sitting in the same room discussing the facts of the case. That`s what lawyers and clients normally do in these situations.

HAYES: So they will do that. They`ll get everyone together and say -- I mean, it sounds a little suspect, I have to say, right? It sounds a little like you`re saying, well, let`s -- well, gentlemen, let`s get our stories straight here.

AKERMAN: Well, it`s kind of a legal obstruction of justice. I guess that`s one way to put it. But it is a way that you can share information and fashion your defense, whatever that might be.

HAYES: And then the requirements from a sort of ethical standpoint are what?

AKERMAN: Well, it really comes down to this. It`s usually a written agreement. I know there are reports out there that say this agreement is - - joint defense agreement that Flynn was involved in not in writing. Knowing Donald Trump, it probably wasn`t because he doesn`t want to be a party to something --

HAYES: Right.

AKERMAN: -- where he`s in a defense but it be done informally, as long as everybody says the right words at the beginning of each meeting and during each discussion. Because what you`re trying to do is to preserve the attorney-client privilege in the course of these discussions.

HAYES: While also sharing information.

AKERMAN: While sharing information. But the moment that your interests become adverse to everybody else is the moment that you have to leave that joint defense agreement. In fact, if you look at a standard joint defense agreement, there is a provision in there that once that happens, you leave, you to notify people. But the conversations that occurred during the course of that joint defense agreement still remain privileged.

HAYES: Oh, that`s interesting. They`re locked in a box.

AKERMAN: They`re locked in the box but it doesn`t mean that Flynn can`t testify to the facts of what happened.

HAYES: Right because you can`t lock away the facts.

AKERMAN: You can`t lock away the facts but you can lock away the strategy and what people said during the course of that joint defense agreement.

HAYES: So seeing the news that Michael Schmidt reported in the New York Times and others now have appeared to confirm, do you have the same inference that between that and the meeting today between Mueller`s attorneys and Flynn`s attorneys that there`s a -- there`s new phase that`s been entered here?

AKERMAN: Yes, I wouldn`t make too much of the meeting here today. I think he already decided to cooperate a while ago. There`s usually a ritual that goes through here. It`s not something that Michael Flynn just doesn`t walk into the prosecutor`s office and says I`m ready to cooperate. What normally happens is the lawyers go in, they make what is called the proffer. They basically let the prosecutor know what it is their client can testify to. The prosecutors size that up. They look at the evidence they have. They look at what kind of information this person is providing, and then they decide whether the person is telling the truth. Because the last thing you want is a witness who`s going to be a liar. And then based on that, you have the client or the defendant, in this case, Flynn come in and they let him give a proffer himself, usually under a proffer agreement, which is also known a queen for a day.

HAYES: Right. Basically, I`m telling you, but this goes back into the vault after I`m done telling you so you can make your evaluation.

AKERMAN: Right. But it`s not -- it doesn`t necessarily totally go back totally in the vault. They can`t use what he says against directly --

HAYES: Right. That`s what I mean.

AKERMAN: -- but they can take leads from that and pursue those leads. So once you sign a queen for a day, you`re basically --

HAYES: You`re in.

AKERMAN: You`re in. You`re in for the full course.

HAYES: Thank you, Nick Akerman. Michael Flynn is not the only member of the Trump inner circle to face legal exposure. The President`s son-in-law Jared Kushner is under scrutiny from the Special Counsel appears to be affecting his work at the White House. Ashley Parker is an MSNBC Contributor and a White House Reporter for the Washington Post where she`s got the story on Kushner`s shrinking profile. First, start with that. What has happened to Jared Kushner`s role in the White House?

ASHLEY PARKER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So Jared Kushner`s role in the White House has been deeply minimized down to its original scope. And you have to understand this in the context of General Kelly, the newish now Chief of Staff. Basically, when this White House started, it was sort of chaos. And anyone could do anything. They could walk into the Oval Office. And Jared Kushner was first among equals and he had utter free rein. In his portfolio sort of even became a punch line on Capitol Hill.

He was solving peace in the Middle East. He had China, he had Mexico, he had Canada. He had this American innovation group. General Kelly came in and he imposed discipline and order and basically said to Jared, one of the terms of my working here is that you work through me, you report through me. So Jared still has his original portfolio but he can`t just call the President, his father-in-law to do something that has nothing to do with his area of expertise. You may recall at the beginning he was even sort of functioning as a shadow secretary of state. That is all largely over under General Kelly.

HAYES: So there`s also -- so you have this sort of diminished role and a kind of organizational story there. But there`s also the fact that a lot of things you can say about Michael Flynn, you can say about Jared Kushner which is there seems to be a fair amount of exposure, particularly in the sort of sense of forms and the SF-86, what he has told Congress lining up with the facts. How much is that weighing on this White House, the degree to which Jared Kushner himself is exposed?

PARKER: Sure. So as I said at the outset that Jared`s people and his lawyers maintain that he did nothing wrong and he is cooperating with Congress, cooperating with the probe. But there are people inside the White House and outside of the White House in the President`s inner orbit who are very worried about this. And they say that Jared Kushner there, he does have this exposure. At the very best, he`s sort of a distraction to the President. And in a very worst case, quite frankly, he`s dangerous.

HAYES: What do you mean by dangerous?

PARKER: Well, I think the concern of people, and again, these are people who are more speculating. But the concern is that if Jared gets embroiled in this, and we`ve seen that Mueller`s probe is not necessarily looking at actions inside the White House, but it will go to people`s financial dealings or with Jared in particular understanding Mueller is interested in contacts he had with Russians during the transition and also in his role in firing Comey. Basically, that if Jared gets in trouble, he is very close to the President. At the beginning, he was walking in and out of the Oval Office sort of unfettered, that it might come back and hurt the President.

HAYES: All right, Ashley Parker, thanks for your time tonight.

PARKER: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, the White House defending the President`s use of a racial slur during an event honoring Native Americans. The fallout from the President`s latest cheap shot at Senator Elizabeth Warren in just two minutes.


TRUMP: -- honoring Native American code talkers during National American Indian Heritage Month is just something that Presidents do. President Obama honored these men in 2010. President George W. Bush did the same back in 2001. And today it was President Trump`s turn to honor the men who risked their lives during World War II, who used their indigenous language to create a secret code to help the U.S. Marine Corps transmit messages that could not be intercepted. The ceremony took place in the Oval Office under the watchful eye. The portrait of President Andrew Jackson whose forcible removal of Indians from their land became a death march for thousands known infamously as the trail of tears. And then our current President opened his mouth.


TRUMP: I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a Representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas but you know what? I like you.


HAYES: The President was once again derisively referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren who has cited her Oklahoma family lore to claim partial native American ancestry, even though investigations have never turned up definitive proof one way or the other on the matter nor has it ever been proven she gained anything professionally from those ancestral claims. But that has not stopped the President from obsessively attacking her. Senator Warren responded earlier on MSNBC.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur.


HAYES: And just in case you thought this was just Trump alone, a short time later Sarah Huckabee Sanders made it clear the official position of the White House is one of nastiness and cheap shots.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the event that the President just did with the Navajo Code Talkers, he referred to Pocahontas being in the Senate. Why did he feel the need to say something that is offensive to many people while honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, these genuine American heroes?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career. Steven?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said it was a racial slur. She said it was a racial slur. What is your response to that?

SANDERS: I think that`s a ridiculous response.


HAYES: With me now Gyasi Ross who is an Attorney as well as a member of the Black Feet Nation. Your response to that scene in the White House today.

GYASI ROSS, MEMBER, BLACK FEET NATION: Well, you know, I want to push back just a little bit that this wasn`t an insult to Elizabeth Warren. This was an insult to the descendants of Pocahontas. This was an insult to native people generally. This was an insult to native women. I would like to paraphrase my elder, my esteemed elder Faith Spotted Eagle by saying Donald Trump, his filthy, nasty, lying deceitful lips do not deserve to utter Pocahontas` name. And moreover, he certainly doesn`t deserve to do it while he is honoring these men who fought and were willing to use their heritage, use every single resource that they had to leverage to bring victory to the United States. He certainly doesn`t deserve to utter those words at that time.

HAYES: I want to play for you, and I take your point about the object of the insult here is not Elizabeth Warren. He is obsessed with this idea, this particular slur, particularly attached to her. It is an ongoing theme. I`m going to play what he said about her in the past and ask you to -- what you make of this obsession. Take a listen.


TRUMP: You`ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over, and you`re going to say no, sir, no thank you. No, ma`am, perhaps ma`am. It may be Pocahontas. Remember that.

Crooked Hillary wants far-left activist judges forced over there by Bernie and by Pocahontas.

And Massachusetts is represented by Pocahontas.

So now we`ll only have Pocahontas to think about because I think, you know -- I think maybe it could be Pocahontas. I hope so. I hope it`s Pocahontas.


HAYES: What do you make of this?

ROSS: I think that he has a very long history that far precedes Elizabeth Warren of being derisive toward native people going to 1993 when he was trying to protect his own interests and keep the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe from gaming and using any sort of competitive edge, including alleging that there would be more Mafioso than since John Gotti or something like that. And so it goes back long ways, specifically in regards to Elizabeth Warren. I think he found something that plays to his largely insensitive and base that doesn`t really seem to, you know, play well with niceties and/or with a lot of people refer to as political correctness. So he finds a group that has a pretty small voting base and just picks on it.

HAYES: Do you think -- are you surprised -- well, the reaction to it, it does seem to me that this is a slur. People understand that. Do you think that this sort of way in which this plays throughout the public conversation recognizes this sort of offensiveness of it?

ROSS: Yes, you know, the thing is that the word Pocahontas is not a slur. That`s a person`s name. And it was absolutely -- I`m not suggesting that you said that. But you know, it was a historical person. But obviously, he`s using this to play -- to be entertained and to entertain other people who find our community, native people to be funny or to be novel. And Chris, let me just tell you really quick, you know, for our community, for native people, if you go to a Pow wow, a Pow wow is a Native American celebration where there`s dancing and where there`s -- where there`s music.

And if you go there, the two groups that we absolutely revere, just like anybody else, there is no unanimity of native thought. But the two groups that we revere are veterans and elders. And somehow this dimwitted completely mush-mouthed fool managed to offend the two groups with which he said he was honoring at this time in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who as you pointed out, signed the Indian Removal Act and killed thousands of native people.

HAYES: Yes, that was -- that was a particularly incredible cherry on top of this entire scene that we got to see today.

ROSS: It`s horrible.

HAYES: Gyasi Ross, thank you for joining us.

ROSS: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Next you might recognize the Trump appointee now leading an agency he calls a sick, sad joke. And on top of that, there is a person claiming the job is already theirs that incredible story after this quick break.


HAYES: OK. If you sell a toaster or you`re a company that sells a toaster, and 50 out of the 100 those toasters you sell catch fire, something has gone wrong. And luckily there is something called the Consumer Product Safety Commission that will very likely recall the toaster and prevent future sales of it. And it makes sense because you do not want companies selling unsafe products. But until recently, there was nothing like that for financial products like say credit cards or mortgages which as we have learned candidate do way more damage than a toaster. So lawmakers led by Democrats under President Obama created an agency to do just that, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Wall Street and Republicans have absolutely hated it from the start.

At one point Republicans hated it so much they said they would refuse to confirm anyone to run it, whoever it was, despite the fact the agency`s very existence had been you know, made into law. So there was always this question about what a Republican President might do with that agency the Republicans have hated so much. And what President Trump did today was install an acting director of the CFPB who said he wanted to destroy the bureau when he was still a Congressman.


MULVANEY: It`s a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody. It turns up being a joke. And that`s what the CFPB really has been in a -- in a sick, sad kind of way. Because you have an institution that has tremendous authority over what you all do for a living. Some of us would like to get rid of it.


HAYES: Talking to a representative of the banking industry there. And now that man, that guy who wants to get rid of it is running that very agency. Or is he? Because today another person claimed to be the director of that agency. And she is suing President Trump. And that`s next.



MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT: My opinion of the structure of the CFPB has not changed. I still think it`s an awful example of a bureaucracy that has gone wrong. And I told him look, I`m not here to shut the place down because the law doesn`t allow me to do that. That being said, we`re going run it differently than the previous administration did.


HAYES: President Trump`s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, who already has a job on his first day of his new second job as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with emphasis on acting because it is still not entirely clear if Mulvaney is actually the acting director.

You see when CFPB Director Richard Cordray resigned Friday, he named Leandra English as the acting deputy director, which according to the law that established the bureau, would indeed make Leandra English, upon Cordray`s resignation, the acting director. It means she gets to run the place temporarily, which is why she sent an email to the CFPB staff this morning thanking for them for their service and signing it Leandra English, acting director.

But about the same time this morning, Mick Mulvaney did her one better and showed up to work with a bag of donuts. And his communication`s director tweeted a picture of Mulvaney, quote, sitting in director`s office already hard at work as acting director at CFPB.

And Mulvaney sent his own to the staff, instructing them to please disregard Ms. English. Mulvaney imposed a temporary freeze on all new hiring and regulations. And he said the vacancies reform act, another piece of legislation, actually gives President Trump the power to name him as acting director.

So Acting Director English, anticipating the standoff with Actor Director Mulvaney, filed a lawsuit yesterday against both the president and Mulvaney claiming that the position he is currently occupying is legally hers.

Mulvaney, as you might imagine disagrees.


MULVANEY: It`s the president`s right. So my guess is the court will hear the same arguments from capable folks. If the court decides to issue a temporary restraining order, order me not to come in the building, I will absolutely follow the law. I want to make that perfectly clear. We follow the law.

I`m going forward tonight and tomorrow assuming that I`m here, and I`ll be here until either the court or the president tells me otherwise.


HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is a member of the finance committee and he joins me now.

All right, senator, what the heck is going on down there?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Good question. The swamp is not being drained to start with. I mean, you see the president putting one of his most trusted far right special interest hates consumer protections in Wall Street`s pocket cabinet members over at the consumer bureau like it`s a coup d`etat telling Ms. English, the new director that she can`t do anything and nobody should respond to anything she said.

I mean, it really is a case where in the end politics is whose on your side, and clearly this administration over and over when it comes to financial rules, they`re always on Wall Street`s side every single time.

HAYES: All right, so I understand substantively you are on one side, the president and Mick Mulvaney, most of the Republicans and most of Wall Street are on the other about this bureau and what it does.

But in a sort of process question in terms of government, it does not seem crazy to me that the president can direct who is going to run essentially a federal agency.

BROWN: Well, play it out, though. If the president can put somebody in as an interim director or an interim cabinet member, as an interim anybody like they did at the office of the comptroller of the currency, you bring a total special interest person in whose interests are Wall Street, never main street`s, that main street centrist, that person stays in six or eight months. No senate confirmation. No advise -- I`m not a lawyer, but I know the constitution talks about advise and consent.

So you can put the special interest people in like Mick Mulvaney. There are no ethics rules around them because they`re interim. So that`s what the president can start doing over and over. It`s a total violation of what we used to do or what we stand for. But these guys play hardball.

Look at how he did this today. And that`s the way they are going to behave on agency after agency. It`s clear.

If they win this one, it`s Katie bar the door. That`s what they`re going to do.

HAYES: So you met -- am I correct you met with Ms. English today?

BROWN: I did.

HAYES: What was that meeting like? And what is her game plan going forward?

BROWN: Well, I really can`t talk about the meeting per se, because it was private meeting. But I can say she is clearly qualified. She believes that the consumer bureau should actually look out for consumers. I can see that she is troubled by the Trump administration`s actions. She is troubled that they brought a guy in.

One of the first things Mulvaney did was stop the payments that were due to consumers, to veterans, to service members, to consumers who were wronged by any number of financial institutions. I mean, they were going to have to pay out, pay these consumers. They stopped payment. You can see whose side he is on.

HAYES: Wait. They did that today?

BROWN: They did -- that`s one of the first things Mulvaney did today.

So you can see that`s who they are. That`s what -- that`s what Trump wanted there. That`s what the White House wanted there. That`s who Wall Street wanted there. You can see on case after cas , that`s what they`re doing.

The same of the office of the comptroller of the currency that regulates the big national banks. I mean, that`s what they are set to do by allowing -- you`ve heard me say before on this show that the White House now looks like a retreat for Goldman Sachs executives. And now so does the consumer bureau even, not just the comptroller of the currency or the Fed, but the consumer bureau?

HAYES: Are you concerned that they are in the process of recreating the conditions that precipitated one of the worst global financial crisis in 70 years?

BROWN: Well, I am concerned in this way. I think Dodd-Frank was a huge success. I think the financial system is a lot stronger. I think we`ve had some pretty good -- not all of them, pretty good regulators in over the last decade. I`m concerned, though, that there is a bill about to move through congress that weakens some of these rules and rolls back some consumer protections and weakens some of the stress tests and some of those very successful tools that Dodd-Frank called for. I`m concerned that the regulate terse president has put in that they could undermine and undercut this stability.

So I don`t expect there to be terrible problems in the next year or two. But, you know, Connie and I live in Cleveland. We live in zip code 44105. My zip code had more foreclosures than any zip code in the United States of America in 2007. I still see the blight from that. I know what it means to families. That`s why I urge people on this consumer bureau to come to,, my website, and sign a petition saying don`t undermine the consumer bureau. Stand up for consumers in telling the administration to do the right thing there.

HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thank you.

BROWN: Thanks, as always.

HAYES: Still to come, why Republicans are desperately rushing to pass tax increases for middle class this week.

Plus, the greatest cell phone of 2017. Trust me you do not want to miss tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, since accusations broke of sexual misconduct and abuse by Roy Moore, there have been attempts to discredit the accusers and the journalists. The original Washington Post report was a result of extensive fact checking, interviews with 30 sources and four on-the-record accusers. And those reporting standards are part of what makes the story credible, methods designed to verify facts and prevent false stories from being printed.

Case in point, a woman approached the post with a dramatic and false tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of an undercover sting operation. While fact checking the woman`s story, The Post found several inaccuracies so they interviewed her again and told her it was being recorded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still do mortgage work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, a little bit of an issue there. And I just want to ask you to explain it, because when we called the company that you said you worked for, they said they didn`t have -- that you didn`t work there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you talk to the corporate office?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beth made the phone call. And I know she said that you -- they didn`t have an employee your name there.



HAYES: That was one of several inaccuracies and big red flags, including a GoFundMe page bearing the woman`s name claiming I`ve accept a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceit of the liberal MSM.

It now appears this is part of a James O`Keefe scam. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Remember James O`Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, which attempts to discredit liberal groups and news publications by using selectively edited covert video recordings. Videos are normally posted on Breitbart.

He has received funding from none other than the Trump organization. And back in 2010 O`Keefe was convicted of a misdemeanor for a scheme that involved entering a Democratic Senator`s office while posing as a telephone repairman and wearing hidden cameras.

Well, now he has been busted yet again. It appears the woman who contacted The Washington Post with a false Roy Moore accusation works for O`Keefe. This morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas. Afterward, the post approached O`Keefe for comment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Jamie Phillips work for Project Veritas? Did you guys send her to pose as a victim of Roy Moore to The Washington Post?

JAMES O`KEEFE, FOUNDER, PROJECT VERITAS: I`m 15 minutes late for this.


O`KEEFE: So I got to run. But I will -- we will get in touch with you, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamie Phillips, does she work for The Washington Post? Does she work for Project Veritas?

O`KEEFE: I`m not getting into...




TRUMP: doing very well. And I think Republicans are going to be very proud. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you decide to not go to Alabama? Alabama?

Mr. President will you go to Alabama?

Will you go to Alabama, Mr. President.


HAYES: That was President Trump, who is not normally at a loss for words, once again ignoring shouted questions about Alabama senate candidate and accused child molester, Roy Moore.

The situation has gotten increasingly awkward. The White House told the Associated Press today that Trump will not travel to Alabama to campaign for Moore. The president has made clear he is backing the man accused of molesting a child he met outside her custody hearing. Stressing to reporters last week that Moore has been accused of misconduct by nine women, quote, totally denies it. And yesterday tweeting a long attack on Moore`s opponent Doug Jones that ended with the claim, quote, Jones would be a disaster.

The president himself of course has been accused of unwanted physical contact by 15 women, all of whom he says are liars. He has reportedly told multiple people he also doubts Moore`s accusers, and this weekend Times reporting that Trump sees parallels between the calls for Moore to step aside and the reaction to the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about sexual assault.

Trump apologized for those comments in October, but now he is amazingly suggesting he never said them in the first place. The Times reporting that Trump suggested to a senator earlier this year the Access Hollywood tape was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism for her comments about Congressman John Conyers, who has been accused of sexually harassing staffers.


NANCY PELOSI, MAJORITY LEADER: John Conyers is an icon in our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe John Conyers` attackers?

PELOSI: I don`t know who they are. They have not come forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don`t know if you believe the accusations?

PELOSI: That`s for ethics committee to review.


HAYES: Conyers, who denies the allegations, has announced he would step down from his leadership position in the judiciary committee as the ethics investigation plays out.

It`s pretty clear at this point that almost nobody in Washington wants to talk about sexual misconduct allegations against members of their own party. But for Republicans, the scandals do have a big upside. They have shifted focus away from the massive, wildly unpopular tax bill they`re trying to get through the Senate this week. A bill that takes from the poor and gives to the rich, and explodes eight long years of yelping about the deficit. A huge news about the tax bill you might have missed this weekend, right after this.


HAYES: Over the Thanksgiving weekend the news broke that the tax plan being pushed by Senate Republicans is somehow even worse than we knew. Congressional budget office finding the bill hurts the poor more than originally thought. By 2027 most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off, while millionaires and those earning $100,000 to $500,000 would be big beneficiaries.

It almost defies logic. In order to satisfy their donors and be able to say they did something this year, Senate Republicans hope to raise taxes on tens of millions of Americans and add $1.4 trillion to the deficit. That may sound like political suicide but Republicans say they have no choice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to get this accomplishment. This is a goal that we`ve had for a long time. The tax code in this country needs to be changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll get there because failure is not an option when it comes to the Republican party and cutting taxes to every Republican senator. The fate of the party is in our hands.


HAYES: Assuming no Democrats work for the bill, Republicans can only lose two votes and still get a pass and at least nine Republican senators have expressed some level of skepticism.

Mitch McConnell is rushing ahead anyway and plans to hold a vote by the end of the week. The reason is next week Congress has to focus on averting a looming government shut down, and Republicans are absolutely desperate to avoid having to explain to their wealthy donors why they haven`t gotten the tax cut they were promised.

I`m joined now by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Cay Johnston, author of the forthcoming book, It`s Even Worse Than You Think, What the Trump Administration is doing to America. Also joining me is Stephanie Kelton, professor at Stony Brook University and former Chief Economist for the Democrats who are on the Senate budget committee.

David, I`ll start with you. It`s amazing they will push this thing through that`s a $1.4 trillion tax cut that looks like it`s going to raise people`s taxes at the end of a ten-year window. My question to you is, are people going to notice next year if they pass this?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, JOURNALIST: Well, they won`t notice in the first year, but they will over time. If the Republicans pass this however, you know, we should start calling this the his and her jets act of 2017 or the idiots` tax act because one of the things we`re going to do is tax graduate students and the children of people who have jobs at universities like cafeteria workers who get free tuition. We`re going to tax that, because, you know, the real problem here is clear, rich -- sorry, Chris. The rich don`t have enough money and the Republicans are determined to make sure they have more.

HAYES: To get this straight, they have this phase and what you`re saying is the way it works next year is, people could see a tax cut. They pushed all this stuff to the out years but it could work in the short term?

JOHNSTON: Well, yes, however, let`s assume you make $100 a day, $36,500 a year. Your income is going to, after tax, go up by 20 cents a day. On the other hand, if you make 12 million a year, your after tax income will go up by $1,000 a day. That`s what this bill is about. The rich don`t have enough and we`ve really got to get them more.

HAYES: All right. You`re very -- Stephanie, you`re very outspoken on deficit politics and the ways in which people talk about deficit in Washington, and the ways they get it wrong in your view.

One of the sort of hopes right now and people trying to stop this is that the deficit hawks and Republican party stop it because it blows up the budget deficit, and as someone who has watched Republicans be extremely sanctimonious about budget deficits, what do you make of watching them push this through?

STEPHANIE KELTON, STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY: It`s a complete 180. As you said, for the last eight years we`ve heard Republicans do little but complain about government spending, the size of the deficit, the looming debt crisis and all of the other stuff they like to talk about, and now that they are in control and run the table, the first thing they want to do is put through a massive tax cut that will explode the size of the deficit.

So you`re looking at a party that now says, you know what? Actually, we think it`s okay to add $1.5 trillion to deficits over the next ten years provided that it does some good to the broader economy. That`s what they are telling us, right? That`s why they need to do this and as Mick Mulvaney said, you know, these are his words, he said, we need bigger deficits. If we`re going to get the kind of growth that we promise - -

HAYES: Through the looking glass --

KELTON: We have to have deficits to achieve the broad job creation and the growth that this economy really needs. Now that`s where they are. We`ve laid down a marker. We`re the party that says we need deficits in order to achieve growth, and in order to create jobs, and in order to build a better economy. This is our plan to do it.

HAYES: And part of what they`re doing, too, is they are pushing this through before they can model out what they think the effects are.

Binyamin Applebaum made this point, he said, "Republicans and Democrats have long touted opposing analysis of the economics of taxation. People could look and judge the difference. It cannot be overstated how radical it is for Republicans to simply refuse to present an analysis."

They are trying to get this voted on before the joint committee on taxation sort of issues it`s full report about what it thinks will happen.

JOHNSTON: Well, and this fits a larger pattern. This is a bill crafted by Republicans with the lobbyists they let into their offices. No Democrats were involved in this whatsoever. There were no public hearings before it was written and the minimal public hearings we`ve seen were for show.

This is not the way we should be doing business. Taxes are the first power we grant our Congress because taxes are central to our democracy.

HAYES: You sort of lived through some intense austerity years. There was this push by Republicans successful, to impose austerity and there was the sequester and the Budget Control Act. There`s a lot of people who worry that should this happen on this side, right, it`s like okay, you either get tax cuts, that that`s the next move. As someone that worked on that committee, is that what you see happening?

KELTON: I think it`s the likely outcome. You see the likelihood of these tax cuts not doing what it is the Republicans have promised they would do, which is ultimately create so much prosperity that there is so much new revenue they they essentially pay for themselves.

When that doesn`t happen because the tax cut are so heavily skewed to the people who are less likely to spend the wind fall, the economy isn`t going to improve. The deficits will be there and Republicans are going to say we got to do something to deal with deficits.

HAYES: So as soon as you get a recession they`re going to be like, oh, no, the debt crisis is back.

KELTON: Yeah. They aren`t going to say we got to reverse the tax cuts. They are going to say, what do we have to do? We have to cut spending in order to deal with the deficits.

And so, here likely, I think, to see that scenario play out where Republicans go after things like entitlements and other public programs that help primary middle class and poor Americans.

HAYES: And Mick Mulvaney has already sort of been signaling that and Paul Ryan has been signaling that.

David Cay Johnston and Stephanie Kelton, thank you both.

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


Copy: Content and programming copyright 2017 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.