Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 6, 2017 Guest: Michael Schmidt, Ned Price, Ezra Klein
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that's HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: I was probably pressing because the pretext of the meeting was hey, I have information about your opponent.
HAYES: The President's son heads back to Congress.
TRUMP JR.: For me, this was opposition research.
HAYES: As a whistleblower comes forward revealed Michael Flynn's plan to rip up Russian sanctions.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we could get along with Russia, that's positive thing.
HAYES: Then Democrats break the glass on impeachment.
AL GREEN (D), TEXAS: Donald John Trump by causing such harm to society warrants impeachment, trial, and removal from office.
HAYES: Plus --
TRUMP: Today, I am delivering.
HAYES: The Middle East backlash to the President's decision on Jerusalem.
And as Democrats call for Al Franken to step down, the growing divide on what each party will abide.
STEVE BANNON, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST, WHITE HOUSE: This whole thing was a set-up.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I'm Chris Hayes. Tonight we're getting a better picture of the one major theme connecting so many of the meetings between Trump associates and Russian nationals. The strict U.S. sanctions regime against Russia. That's what the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the campaign wanted to talk about. It's what Michael Flynn discussed with the Russian Ambassador and lied about to the FBI. And we learned today, it's what Flynn allegedly pledged to eliminate once he got to the White House.
Today, Donald Trump Jr. spent eight full hours testifying before a closed- door session of the House Intelligence Committee where you can bet he was grilled about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 among other subjects. We already knew Don Jr. took that meeting on the promise of the dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. And now we know what kind of dirt he was hoping to get thanks to reporting from NBC News.
According to the Russian lawyer, Don Jr. specifically asked for evidence of illegal donations from the Clinton Foundation, the lawyer said she didn't have it. What the lawyer wanted was never in doubt. She was there to lobby the most senior officials in the Trump Campaign on repealing the Magnitsky Act which imposes tough U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarchs accused of corruption, many of them, close allies of Vladimir Putin. It was, to her mind, that meeting, it was all about sanctions and getting them removed. And that seems to have confused Don Jr.
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TRUMP JR.: It just was sort of nonsensical and garbled and then quickly went on to you know, a story about Russian adoption and how we could possibly help. And really that's where we shut it down which is wait a second, what does this have to do with --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you even know what the Magnitsky Act was?
TRUMP: I never even heard of it before you know, that day.
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HAYES: Magnitsky -- Magnitsky Act. We may eventually get to learn what the President's son told the House Intelligence Committee because today they released a testimony from a previous Trump-related witness, Erik Prince, the infamous Founder of Blackwater, brother to Education Secretary Betsy Devos and one time unofficial Trump advisor. It was recently revealed that during the transition, Prince met with a well-connected Russian financier and according to his testimony, they too discussed -- you'll never guess -- ending the sanctions regime against Russia. That, of course, comes just days after Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor of the President of the United States pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador.
In that case, Flynn and Kislyak were specifically talking about the new sanctions that were meant to punish Russia for interfering in the election on Donald Trump's behalf. But that turns out was not Flynn's only conversation about the future of Russian sanctions. According to an as yet unidentified whistleblower, Flynn told a former business associate, get this, on inauguration day that sanctions against Russia would be, "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business inside the White House. Flynn had been working on a plan to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interests.
And according to the whistleblower whose account is laid out in a letter from Congressional Democrats, a former business associate said he just got this text message from Flynn, saying the project was good to go and directing the associate to contact their business colleagues to let them know to put things in place. Now Flynn allegedly sent those texts during the inaugural ceremony. Like several minutes into Donald Trump officially being president. While the president, the new President, was addressing the nation about putting America first. That account suggests Flynn had personal, financial incentives for trying to improve relations with Russia, something he advocated throughout the campaign, even after he knew about Russia's electoral sabotage.
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MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: We cannot make Russia an enemy. Russia is a nation that is deeply involved in the Middle East right now. The Middle East is totally unstable. We have over 5,000 of our own troops there in Iraq trying to fight, you know, the rise of ISIS --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then General --
FLYNN: -- and Russia's right involved. So we have to figure out ways to work with them instead of making them an antagonist.
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HAYES: What it became crystal clear is what the Russians most wanted from the administration of the man they would end up helping to elect was sanctions relief. That's what they wanted. They wanted sanctions relief. And we know that that is what his administration moved towards delivering once it took office. What we still do not know is this, was sanctions relief part of a quid pro quo deal between the Trump camp and the Russian government? For more on Michael Flynn's plan to lift Russia sanctions, I'm joined by New York Times Reporter Michael Schmidt. Even by the standards of the Russia story which is a bizarre story in many ways, this is really something. I mean, we have a whistleblower saying that Michael Flynn -- that he ran into a former business associate of Flynn who's texting him during the inauguration saying the project is good to go. Who is this associate?
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, the whistleblower who came forward, we don't know. The associate was someone that was associated with the project that Flynn had been working on. And as you pointed out, this went on right after the President had been sworn in. There's actually a picture of Flynn that was released today where he's looking down at his phone, around the period of time when this text message would have been sent. The interesting thing about all of this that we found was that Mueller knew about this back several months ago over the summer, but had asked Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee not to do anything with this, which means to us that Mueller looked into this. This was one of the things that he looked at as he tried to understand. He's been doing a lot of looking at Flynn obviously in the past year.
HAYES: So just -- set the context here, there's this deal, this idea for the Russian and U.S. business interests to get together to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East that Flynn was working on in his capacity as a sort of private consultant during the election year, is that right?
SCHMIDT: Correct. Flynn had severed ties with them, sometime before the election. But, clearly was still in contact with them. And was telling them at that point that the sanctions would be ripped up and this would be an opening, a way for this deal to go forward. And this is something -- there've been other reports about him pushing this deal when he was the National Security Advisor for the short period of time that he was the 24 days that he was in office.
HAYES: Right. So there's reports that he pushed the deal as National Security Advisor. There's now reports that he's texting on the day of the inauguration with his business associate and there are also been numerous reports including from State Department whistleblowers, one of whom I've interviewed on air that as soon as this administration took power, the word went out that they were going to roll back the sanctions, right?
SCHMIDT: Yes, this is obviously something that they thought was key from e-mails we got over the weekend that were from inside the Trump transition team. We saw what, what this meant. The Trump camp thought if they could improve the relationship with Russia if they could get the sanctions removed, that Russia would help unlock all of these foreign policy problems that the United States have. Whether it be Syria or North Korea. They thought that that was going to be the path for them and that Russia was going to be the key. And they really pushed as hard as they could on that.
HAYES: I want to share that picture that you referenced of Michael Flynn on his phone during the inauguration, there he is, looking down, that comes from the House Democrats in the House Oversight Committee and there's a time stamp, the whistleblower's account, the letter by Elijah Cummings which you should check out is sort of a remarkable tale. To come back to the Mueller point because the timing here is important. This whistleblower comes to Cummings who's in the House Government Oversight Committee and the Ranking Member, and Mueller tells him specifically not to go public with it, right?
SCHMIDT: Correct. And, you know, what -- because you had Flynn taking a plea agreement last Friday, and what Mueller wants to know is there's no other things that Flynn has done wrong. He's not going to find something else out that Flynn, you know, oh Flynn has done this or not done this and find out about that after he takes a plea agreement. So Mueller is going to run all the leads about Flynn to ground, so he has an idea of what the criminal exposure he has and he can use that as leverage against Flynn as he has here and gotten him to corporate.
HAYES: All right, Michael Schmidt, always great to have you.
SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Let's bring in former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, someone who knows a thing or two about investigating the White House. Let's start with this story which again this is the word of one anonymous, essentially unidentified whistleblower at this point. It's possible that this, the tale he tells is not true or it's garbled, but if that's validity to it, it's pretty remarkable.
JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It is very remarkable. It is quite interesting. And I am sure that Mueller did investigate it and that it's one of the things that if Flynn does not completely cooperate if Flynn doesn't live up to his side of the bargain, he can be charged with that crime as well as many other crimes. I mean, it's a clear conflict of interest for him to have a financial interest in building nuclear plants and getting the sanctions lifted so that he can do that to make a profit. That's so obvious. And it is quite unlikely that he didn't share that with the President with whom he had a very close relationship and spent so much time. So, it could take us even closer to the President, but that's really speculative. We don't know any of that. And all of this is based on just an anonymous whistleblower who could be correct or not.
HAYES: And we should be very clear, Elijah Cummings in that letter that he wrote to Trey Gowdy who is the Chair now of that committee after Jason Chaffetz left for his T.V. gig, he says, look, maybe this person's lying. We knew he would like to run this to ground and just you know, make sure that this didn't happen if it didn't happen. I want to talk about Don Jr. as well today who's on the Hill for eight hours and there's a few things happening, the reports we're getting of that testimony, the early reports. First, that he claims that he did not talk directly to his father when his father was crafting the statement about the e-mails in which Don Jr. agrees to meet with the representative of the Russian government because they had dirt on Hillary Clinton and the government wants Trump to win. He says he went through Hope Hicks. What do you make of that?
BANKS: It's very hard to know. But then again, you'd have to ask Hope Hicks. Was she in direct contact with the President? And that's quite likely given their relationship. It certainly was a false statement, and Don Jr. knew it was a false statement. So, he's responsible for that part of it, whether he told his father or not. I mean, let's just be human beings and say, do you think that Don Jr. didn't tell his father about the meeting and didn't report to him? I just find it hard to believe that he didn't.
HAYES: You've identified -- you've identified something here. I mean, both these cases of Flynn and Don Jr. which is the reporting has brought us up to the level as established fact of all these various principles, the President's son, the President's National Security Adviser, other folks. What is not done is shown us given any lightning to the interactions between the President himself, his communications and these people.
BANKS: That is absolutely true. Now circumstantial evidence is often more persuasive than direct evidence. And there are some circumstantial facts that we could look at here that would make you believe that the President knew about all of these things that were going on. But, we don't know that. I'm hoping that Mueller has that kind of information and can present a very compelling circumstantial case. If he can't, then maybe the President is innocent. It's possible, but I just have trouble believing that he hasn't been fully informed. And the defenses that they're putting forward are really complicated because it's basically, I didn't do it, but if I did, it was legal.
BANKS: And juries don't like that kind of defense. They really don't.
HAYES: Yes, arguing in the alternative, which you're allowed to do as one (INAUDIBLE) learn, but is a tough sell to juries. Let me ask you this final question about what Don Jr. refused to answer today. Adam Schiff expressing some frustration that he wouldn't discuss what he did speak with his father about which again begin brings us into this sort of innermost part of this story, he just refused to do, Schiff saying there is no attorney-client privilege that protects the discussion between father and son, is that correct?
BANKS: That is correct. And there's no marital privilege that might exist. As I understand it, he said there was a lawyer in the room. Well, a lawyer in the room does not give you attorney-client privilege. If the lawyer is representing one of the parties and a third person is in the room, the waiver has happened. There is no privilege if a third person is in the room unless you have a joint defense agreement and then you can have the expanded attorney-client privilege, but this does not sound like there's even, by any stretch, and he's not saying -- I wonder if he meant to say executive privilege. I was talking to the chief executive. But, he's not an administration employee.
BANKS: So how could he have executive privilege? This is just total ridiculousness.
HAYES: At some point, people are going to have to answer under oath about what they told the President and when. And that's -- there are a lot of questions that hang over that. Jill Wine-Banks, thanks for being here tonight.
BANKS: Thank you.
HAYES: Ned Price is an MSNBC National Security Analyst who was serving on the National Security Council under President Obama when the President -- then President Obama warned President-Elect Trump not to hire Mike Flynn as his National Security Advisor. That seems like a pretty prescient warning.
NED PRICE, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it certainly does. And Chris, I think it seems more prescient by the day given everything that we have learned of Mike Flynn since then. Let me be clear though, this -- that warning was not predicated on all of the wrongdoing, all of the lying, all of the obfuscating, all of the receiving of dark money from the Russians and Turks, all of the hiding of his lobbying engagements. No, that was based on, you know, rhetoric from the campaign trail. What this - - what this individual had said, his comportments on the campaign trail. And let me also add that look, Mike Flynn served admirably in uniform for decades. But at some point, he decided that he would stop protecting and defending the constitution and that he would seek out the highest bidder and time and again, that's what we've seen.
HAYES: You know, one of the things about this story today with Flynn and all that we've learned is that even when you just put aside a lot of context of Russia and Russians involved in the election and the possibility of collusion, just what he has already admitted to, is it -- would be an administration-shaking scandal. I mean, the man was put in charge of the - - of the national security apparatus, while essentially being an unregistered foreign agent of perhaps more than one foreign government.
PRICE: Well Chris, when it comes to today's news, I could not conceive of a better or more active metaphor than the picture that was painted by this story. You have the newly inaugurated President speaking to the dozens of people in his inaugural crowd claiming that he's going to fight for working-class Americans, that he's going to put America first on the world stage. Meanwhile, his key aids including his National Security Advisor are working on get rich quick schemes. And this is what we've seen play out over the course of this administration. This is but one anecdote, but I think in a (INAUDIBLE) one, this is not an administration that has put America first. This was not a short-lived, 24-day long National Security Adviser that put his country first. It seems that throughout the campaign and during his three weeks with the transition, Mike Flynn was most concerned about Mike Flynn.
HAYES: It also seems that the people that are very close to the orbit of Flynn and therefore the President, we got Erik Prince going to meet in the save shells island, you've got this business associate of Flynn who according to the whistleblower, said the following. This is Mr. Copson, this is the man who is former business associate of Flynn who is talking to the whistleblower on inauguration day. Mr. Copson explained the U.S. would provide military support to defend these installations that being the newly built nuclear reactors built with Russia. He explained this would provide a pretext for placing U.S. military forces in the countries. He explained this view, they will be better when we recolonize the Middle East.
PRICE: Well, look, this is not an isolated incident. Erik Prince whom you mentioned is part of this was also contracted out unofficially speaking by Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon this summer to have a private plan to send U.S. contractors to Afghanistan so that we would essentially privatize the war in Afghanistan. A couple news outlets over the past few days have again referenced Erik Prince as pitching a private intelligence service that would report to President Trump and CIA Director Mike Pompeo and it would bypass that would go right through the so-called deep state so we would again privatize this function. So you just can't help but think, they're not doing this out of the national interests. This is not America first, this is them putting their pocketbooks first in every which way we turn, including when it comes to these important foreign policy decisions.
HAYES: Yes, on that last story about Erik pitching what would essentially be a private intelligence service for the President, reporting in BuzzFeed that suggested that, a really great detailed report in the Intercept. The White House basically saying it wasn't true yesterday and then admitting it was true. The reporting that this was pitched to the White House and if it didn't make it to the President. Ned Price, great to have you.
PRICE: Thanks so much.
HAYES: Coming up, Democrats defy their own leadership and break the glass on impeachment. We'll tell you how today's first impeachment vote in the era of Donald Trump went in two minutes.
HAYES: -- discussing impeachment. That's the argument Vox Founder Ezra Klein made last week writing, "we have grown too afraid of the consequences of impeachment and too complacent of the consequences of leaving an unfit President in office. If the worst happens and Trump's Presidency resulted in calamity, we will have no excuse to make, no answer to give. This is an emergency, we should break the glass." And today, for the first time in the House floor, 58 Democrats voted basically to do just that including Jim Clyburn, the number three Democrat in the House and Keith Ellison, the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
And that is despite warnings not to support impeachment from House Democratic Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer who wrote, congressional committees continue to be deeply engaged in investigation into the President's actions. The Special Counsel's investigation is moving forward as well. And those increased should be allowed to continue. Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment. But for Democratic Representative Al Green who introduced today's resolution to impeach, there's no time like the present.
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GREEN: Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States, and the name of itself and of the people of the United States against Donald John Trump, President of the United States in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high misdemeanors, committed as president, constituting harm to American society, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
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HAYES: With me now, Ezra Klein, Founder and Editor at Large at Vox, Host of the excellent podcast the Ezra Klein Show, has been making the case for normalizing impeachment. It's great to have you, Ezra. All right, so 58 Democratic votes which I think in my mind was a little higher than I expected given that leadership said do not do this. What's your reaction to the vote?
EZRA KLEIN, FOUNDER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, VOX: So we should say that it was a sort of a weird parliamentary thing that happened. So it's 58 against a motion to table. I agree with you, I think those votes are basically for the -- for the resolution, but it's we should be --
KLEIN: -- we should let them explain it. That said, this is bigger than I thought it would be too. Representative Green's impeachment articles are pretty interesting actually. They're not what I would have expected they are if you actually read what he put forward. There's -- resolutions like this from Representative Sherman is about obstruction of justice, criminality, that kind of thing. Green is arguing that Trump should be impeached really because he's divisive. His impeachment articles bring up what Trump has said about the NFL, the Muslim ban. He talks about the tweets against different people, what Trump said after Charlottesville. This is a pretty unusual theory of impeachment which is part of why I'm actually surprised it got as far as it did. When Democrats begin to unite around an impeachment vehicle, if they ever do, this isn't the one I would have expected.
HAYES: So that's a great point about what the Green point is, the Sherman point. What do you make of the case, the sort of Pelosi case, which pertains I think to sort of a notion of criminality, right? High crimes and misdemeanors is the phrase everyone is familiar with which is that essentially let the investigations run their course, let Mueller run its course and then if they find something, "impeach them."
KLEIN: How long do you have? So there are a couple different things here that I think are important. One is that high crimes and misdemeanors is not a legal term. And it isn't when the founders were putting it into the constitution. It did not mean only legal infractions, you have -- we have a lot of records of founders at that time talking about things that were not violations of any kind of criminal code or even violations of law that they would consider a high crime or misdemeanor. James Madison, for instance, saying a President could be impeached just for capriciously firing executive branch officials. That's one piece of it.
On the other side, one thing that's interesting here, I do believe that President Trump should be impeached. I think that we should have a basic standard of competence for somebody running a nuclear hyperpower. I think we need to think seriously enough the dangers of having the wrong president to think seriously about this. And that should be Democrats and Republicans by way. Republicans don't benefit from an unwise nuclear war either. But there is a different question that is political, which is one that Pelosi and Hoyer are worrying about. Which is that if the country's not ready for impeachment and currently plurality actually say they support Trump's impeachment but I think there's a good reason to think that would be a tough sell and given the Democrats don't have the votes, isn't a good idea for Democrats who see a path back to power right now that they're looking good at the 2018 elections and to want win in Alabama in a couple of days. Is this a good fight for them to pick?
And so there, there's a question, fully separate from whether impeachment normally is a good idea, is it politically a good idea? And I think what Hoyer and Pelosi are trying to do is walk a pretty fine line in their statement between not saying that he shouldn't be impeached, but saying this is not a thing that we should be talking about right now. There are more politically effective things for Democrats to be talking about.
HAYES: Right. That's a great point. So the difference between a sort of substantive case for it and a tactical one, and I have to say that the substantive case and the sort of originalist case that Al Green actually mixes as do you, right? The idea that this was not seen as a criminal item in the constitution, this could be used as sort of politically or just malfeasance, and I thought -- I thought of the argument you made today when I saw this tweet from a Texas representative in response to the President's announcement of Jerusalem. It turns out all along, we've been watching in slow motion the process of Trump starting World War III. Now obviously hyperbolic but of course that's the kind of tale risk cataclysm that you talk about in the article is the thing that you fear most in thinking about removing him.
KLEIN: It is not -- it is not even hyperbolic, right? This is the thing, I think it is actually very hard for us living through this period not to normalize what is going on but Donald Trump is destabilizing the Middle East. He has no idea what to do in the aftermath. Nobody believes he has any idea what to do in the aftermath. This is the guy who said his son-in- law was going to solve the Middle East crisis.
Meanwhile, he's sending tweets to Kim Jong-un calling him short and fat, saying he's going to destroy little rocketman. We are a country that has enough nuclear power to destroy the world over and over and over again. We're provoking a country that has enough nuclear power to lever Seoul, to caused the deaths of millions of people. The risk that is here, it's not a joke. It's not something that is outside the realm, but we are watching it. And I keep imagining if this all goes wrong and historians are looking back and looking -- watching Trump do and doing nothing about it. And they say why didn't you stop him? I don't think we are going to have any answer as a country. Impeachment seemed like a big deal. Nuclear holocaust seems like a big deal.
HAYES: Yes, for the record, that was my -- considering nuclear holocaust, nuclear laughter as opposed to oh, this is all very funny nuclear laughter which are different kinds. Ezra Klein, thanks for joining us.
KLEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, Republicans find out what happens when they rush to piece together a tax bill behind closed doors. We'll show you what a $300 billion mistake looks like ahead.
HAYES: Coming up, the President made the controversial announcement today about his new position on Israel and its capital but first there was something else from the event that sent the internet a buzz. Trump's apparent slurred speech towards the ends of his remarks.
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TRUMP: Let us rethink all the assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region, political or religious, Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Christian and Muslim to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace. Thank you. God bless you, God bless Israel, God bless the Palestinians, and God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.
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HAYES: OK. So that was -- that was pretty weird what happened there and the internet, of course, as it is one to do went into full speculation mode. But the White House which always tells the truth insists there's no cause for alarm. It is not a medical condition or lose dentures they say, but "dry mouth." What truly, however, has people worrying, is the actual substance of that very same speech which one Middle East leader called foolishness and madness. Rula Jebreal is here next, don't go away.
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STEVE BANNON, BREITBART: This week he's going to announce that -- as everybody in Alabama already knows -- the capital of Israel is Jerusalem.
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HAYES: That's Steve Bannon applause line last night from a Roy Moore rally. That is now the official U.S. position as Donald Trump announced today.
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TRUMP: It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.
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HAYES: That delivering breaks with seven decades of U.S. foreign policy, not to mention the warnings of everyone from cabinet members in his own administration to leaders of major allies across the world. And criticism, and fears quickly piled up. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the U.S. actions, quote, serve the extremist groups that are trying to transform the conflict in a region into a religious war.
The office of Egypt's President el-Sisi said his country, quote, rejects this decision and any affects that may result from it. And Turkey's deputy prime minister called Trump's decision foolishness and madness, it is plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight.
Even America's oldest, strongest ally, publicly rebuked our second strongest -- second oldest, strongest ally publicly rebuked the move. British Prime Minister Theresa May saying the UK disagrees with the U.S. and believes it is unhelpful to the peace process.
Joining me now, author and journalist Rula Jebreal who was born in Haifa, grew up in Jerusalem, now visiting professor at the University of Miami and she's covered Middle East extensively.
So I guess first, Rula, this is a very basic question, but I feel like people that don't follow the region closely, like why is this such a big deal, this designation by the U.S. that officially Jerusalem is the capital?
RULA JEBREAL, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Good evening, Chris.
It's a big deal for the world basically. This looks like a declaration of war on 1.6 million Muslims, basically. They consider Jerusalem, not only Jerusalem, they consider the holy site, the Aqsa mosque, the Dome of the Rock, as the most important, the third basically most important holy site for all of them.
But it's also a holy site for Christians and not only Christians, Palestinians who are Christian internationally. That's why Jerusalem is a hot spot. And this act by President Trump looks like a diplomatic arson as if this kind of vandalism strategy that has no sense when it comes to geopolitics. It has no consideration. The only sense that it makes might be for some evangelicals and Roy Moore who is trying to basically he's trying to pander to his base.
But my fear, and this is the message that we are seeing with his foreign policy, that is very transactional, this is actually a payback for Sheldon Adelson gave him $35 billion. So, what we are seeing is American foreign policy bent towards the checkbooks of certain individuals who want to promote their kind of views of the world that are detached from reality.
20 percent of Americans shows only 20 percent consider this a good move. 80 percent of American Jews and overwhelming majority of Israeli thinks that this is -- this kind of policy unilateral decision will basically wreck the Middle East and it will transform the conflict to a political one to a religious one.
And if you think Benghazi and what happened in the embassy there was a low point and a violent act, imagine this, with a bigger magnitude. And Jerusalem, once you touch that, this is the kind of reaction you will have.
I want to remind our audience that in 2000, the -- he was not prime minister at that time, he was the leader of the opposition, Ariel Sharon, took hundreds of soldiers and walked around the mosque triggering the second most violent intifada ever.
Once you touch these religious sites, it basically are playing with fire.
HAYES: So, so I should say Sheldon Adelson, there's reporting indicating obviously he's a very - he donates a lot to Republicans. He donated to Donald Trump, super PACs. He was one of the people lobbying the president. There were others as well, Steve Bannon.
And one of the things here that is strange about this particular issue, is there's been a lot of double speak from Republicans and Democrats on Jerusalem forever. So you have all of these symbolic votes, the Democrats will vote to move the capital and the embassy to Jerusalem to declare the unified, the unified capital.
You even have, here's Chuck Schumer said that -- he told the weekly standard that he had advised Trump to declare Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.
I guess the question is, what -- what does it matter if the U.S. says this in terms of what is left of the peace process?
JEBREAL: Well, there is no peace process anymore because Trump destroyed it de facto and I think also the Israelis and the settlements. However, let's be clear, if Chuck Schumer and the Democrats and the Republicans agree that we are in a one-state reality, then the battleground -- basically what the battle for the Palestinians and the move is to consider one country as a country with a binational state.
I am fine, honestly, as an Israeli citizen who's ethnically Palestinian who looked at the conflict, if this is where we are moving, if the idea that Israel is a ethno religious project of exclusion and purity, which is what Bannon would like to have in America, what Charlottesville basically we saw the kind of sympathy towards these white supremacists, if that's the kind of project for Israel, then, we need to declare that this is not the democracy anymore, basically we control the lives of millions of Palestinians, but if they want to keep the whole country, and it seems this is where we are heading, then you have to grant full and equal rights for all Palestinians. And this is where we're heading.
HAYES: The standard -- and this is I think why this is impossible -- this is important just to highlight this, right -- so what you're saying is that the standard U.S. policy is that we support two states for two different peoples and a big part of that is that Jerusalem is a final status issue. We're going to run our peace process. Eventually both peoples will have their own independent states living in peace, and we will figure out Jerusalem.
What I hear from you saying is that the declaration of Jerusalem is being read by Palestinians as a declaration that essentially the U.S. has given up on that project and now we have entered a new era and people should reconcile with that.
Rula Jebreal, thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.
JEBREAL: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: All right, still to come, another Democrat accused of sexual misconduct faces mounting calls for his resignation as leading Republicans prepare to welcome an accused child predator to the Senate. The markedly opposing responses ahead.
And did Republicans make a $300 billion mistake in their tax bill? That's Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the GOP tax bill is now in the mixer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think we're going to make it so it comes out beautifully. I call it the mixer. It's a conference where everyone gets together, and they pick all the good things and get rid of the things they don't like. We could have gone directly for a vote, and we decided let's put it into the conference and let'scome out with something where everything is perfecto.
I called the mixer. It's in conference right now, but I call it the mixer. I think when it comes out, it's going to be a beautiful mix.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just mixed right up.
But we now know the crucial reasons Republicans had to bring their tax bill to the mixer instead of just having the House pass the Senate version and getting it to President Trump's desk for signing, the $300 billion mistake they made.
That's Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Senate Republicans made a massive mistake this their tax bill. The short explanation is this, they wanted to repeal what's called alternative minimum tax for corporations, then they realized they needed to keep it a reduced rate because they needed that revenue.
But in their rush to keep part of it, they accidentally kept all of it. And as a tax expert noted, it appears corporate AMT provision probably raises more than $300 billion, not $40 billion, and corporate AMT provision does a lot more than this. So even $300 billion is probably low-balling.
So, about a $300 billion mistake. Hilariously, screwing over the corporations Republicans were bending over backwards to help causing publications like the Wall Street Journal to write, business interests are in revolt.
Whereas Greg Jenner, a former Bush Treasury official said, the more you read the more you go holy crap, what's this? We will be dealing with unintended consequences for months to come because the bill is moving too fast.
So now, because Republicans had to slam this bill through the Senate, handwriting chicken scratch in the margins, they now have to slow down and go through committee to fix an unintended disaster.
But four days ago, after the Senate passed it's version at 2:00 in the morning, the victorious Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was clear that there were no legitimate complaints about the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: Multiple hearings, mark-ups, open amendment process, everybody had plenty of opportunity to see the measure. You complain about process when you're losing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: 29 Senate Democrats today called on their colleague Al Franken to resign from congress following a seventh accusation of sexual misconduct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, (D) NEW YORK: There were new allegations today. And enough is enough. I mean, this is a conversation we've been having for a very long time, and it's a conversation that this country needs to have. And I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you're having the wrong conversation, you need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is OK, none of it is acceptable, and we as elected leaders should absolutely be held to a higher standard, not a lower standard, and we should fundamentally be valuing women. And that is where this debate has to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The latest allegation from an unnamed former Democratic congressional aid is that in 2006, before he became a senator, Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after taping his radio show and told her it's my right as an entertainer.
Now, we should say that Franken apologized in the wake of earlier allegations, but called this latest claim, and I quote here, categorically not true.
He plans to make a formal announcement tomorrow about whether he will resign. Late this afternoon, a message on Franken's twitter feed said that no final decision has been made, and the senator is still talking with his family.
As Democrats take a very clear stance against various kinds of sexual misconduct in their ranks, Republicans have gone in the, well, opposite direction, rallying around a senate candidate credibly accused of molesting and sexual assaulting teenagers and a president accused of unwanted physical contact by more than a dozen women.
But there are now clear signs that this is galvanizing a reaction and that a reckoning may be on the horizon.
The must-see stats right after this.
HAYES: A week ago, you could argue there was no real difference between how Democrats and Republicans were handling men in their ranks being accused of inappropriate sexual touching, sexual harassment and outright sexual assault.
That has changed. The House Democratic leadership successfully pressured Representative John Conyers, a legitimate icon, to resign his seat after multiple allegations. Nancy Pelosi has called for the resignation of Democratic Ruben Kihuen, accused of sexually harassing a campaign staffer, that before he was elected. And today, 29 Senate Democrats called on Al Franken to step down following a seventh allegation of sexual misconduct. That is where the Democrats are.
By contraxt, Republicans have been nearly silent when it comes to Blake Farenthold, who paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment case.
With a few notable exceptions, they've fully embraced a man accused of most monstrous acts. Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, who is credibly accused of preying on teenaged girls, including molesting a 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old.
Moore denies the claims.
President Trump, who himself has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, all of whom he says are liars, has offered Moore his wholehearted endorsement, and has reportedly told confidantes privately that Moore's accusers are liars as well.
As the president dismisses female accusers, Democratic women are galvanized to act. In late October, Emily's List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates, announced that over 20,000 women have reached out to the organization since election day about running for office.
By contrast, they said it spoke with just 900 women in all of 2016.
With me now, former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile, author of "Hacks" about the 2016 election; New York Times op-ed columnist Michelle Goldberg.
Michelle, I'll start with you, you were sitting in that seat on the day that the first allegation against Franken happened. You wrote a column saying he should resign. You were sort of questioning at that point.
There are those who argue if Democrats do this and Republicans don't, the Democrats are just being suckers and getting played. What do you make of that argument?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEW YORK TIMES: Well I think that that's a danger because you have so much bad faith on the right, which is why I went back and forth, because on the one hand, this is my fear on how it would play out. That you would have one allegation, then you would have a trickle of more allegations, you would put all these female democratic senators in this really impossible position of trying to draw these fine grain distinctions between different kinds of harassment. Although I don't think what Franken has been accused of is anywhere in the universe of Roy Moore has been accused of, it's still something that democratic senators don't want to have to defend.
And so on the other side, it's well this is a dirty trick, what if he's just being set up. Other people have been set up by the right including, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say this, but Sam Seder, who used to be on this network. So there is a danger. At the same time, you can't expect Democrats to keep defending this at the same time as they want to come out and say that sexual harassment is disqualifying for political office.
HAYES: You know, Donna, one of the notable things today, was you had all the democratic women senators in the caucus tweeting one after other and calling that. I'm not sure what the backstory was but it was very clear you've got a difference in the two party, also in gender representation. Among Democrats, 15 percent of the voting members in Congress are women, which is astonishingly a small number, let's just be clear. Among Republicans, 5 percent. How big of a difference does that make?
DONNA BRAZILE, FMR DNC CHAIR: It makes a huge difference when they're not just female lawmakers, but they're leaders, they're champions for democracy. They've also been champions for women's rights in this country. Soon after Senator Gillibrand issued her statement, we also saw a tweet from Chairman Tom Perez. He put out a statement tonight that said the democratic party will have zero tolerance to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault. It has no place in the democratic party, no place in Congress, no place in the White House or anywhere else. I'm proud that my party will take that firm stance.
But I have to add one more thing. This is something that concerns members of the black caucus. We have to have one standard, not two different standards. One standard for all lawmakers to ensure whether John Conyers or Blake Fairenthold we call for them to step down. And taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for these lawmakers who have to settle for sexual harassment charges.
HAYES: On this point about Faerenthold, that seems like a very fair point. I mean he is in a very similar situation as Conyers which is that there was an actual settlement, actual public money was used, and The Dallas Morning News says so far only one GOP lawmaker has called for Faerenthold's resignation. This is the issue in high relief.
GOLDBERG: Well, when people talk about this #metoo thing as being a revolution, it's a totally one-sided revolution that's limited not just to Democrats, but to kind of liberal leaning industries. And the reason for that is not because they have more sexual harassment but because people in those industries are capable of being shamed. Constituencies there believe that sexual harassment is a big problem. There is hypocrisy, there's at least a nominal commitment to gender equality that can be used to leverage, to get people to live up to purported ideals.
The Republican party you don't have anything comparable, right? They don't believe in woman's equality and they don't act like they believe in woman's equality.
HAYES: Do you think, Donna, there's a connection ultimately in terms of this being politically channeled. Is this moment, as we saw the partisan sides lock into place today in a high relief fashion. Does that carry forward as something that is essentially on the ballot in the next election?
BRAZILE: I was down in Alabama last week Chris, I have to tell you, for Donald Trump to accuse Doug Jones of being soft on crime, he needs to go back and talk to the family of the four little girls who were bombed in that church in Birmingham. This is a man of integrity, a man who has stood up for sanctity of little girls. Just a few weeks ago Ivanka Trump said there is a special place in Hell. Well yes, there is a special place in Hell for those who prey on little children. There shouldn't be a special seat in the United States Senate because Republicans would like to hold power.
Donald Trump cannot lead by example, therefore I think women and men in our society should reject Roy Moore, make sure that Congress has one standard so that we're not just pointing out liberal law makers and progressive lawmakers, but we're pointing out all those who violate the sanctity of women and men too when they harass and assault and force people to go silent because they fear for their own safety and losing their jobs.
HAYES: 15 percent of those Democratic caucus are women, 5 percent Republican. I think it would be good for everyone if those numbers came dramatically up.
Donna Brazile and Michele Goldberg, thank you both for being with me tonight.
That is ALL IN for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW begins right now.
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