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Plot to stop Mueller Transcript 12/7/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Vanita Gupta, Richard Blumenthal

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 7, 2017 Guest: Eric Swalwell, Vanita Gupta, Richard Blumenthal

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- and to have for years to come and it`s out there for you. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: This is the biggest corruption we have ever seen in terms of our justice system.

HAYES: From Trump T.V. to the halls of Congress.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: If he kicked everybody off Mueller`s team who was anti-Trump, I don`t think there would be anybody left.

HAYES: Tonight the mounting Republican offensive on the American justice system to try to stop Robert Mueller and save Donald Trump.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: Are you aware of him openly aligning themselves with political bias against the Trump administration?

HAYES: Then, more trouble for the President`s son.

DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP`S SON: There wasn`t really a follow-up because there`s nothing there to follow up.

HAYES: Reports tonight that there was follow-up to the infamous Trump Tower meeting. And a surprise Republican resignation from Congress, as Senator Al Franken takes his parting shot.

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving, while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. The closer Special Counsel Robert Mueller gets to the President of the United States. The harder the President and his allies are working to discredit not just Mueller`s investigation but the entire FBI and indeed the very notion of politically independent law enforcement. In the wake of Michael Flynn`s guilty plea requiring him to cooperate with the Russia investigation, and news that Mueller subpoenaed the President`s bank for financial records, Republicans appear to be laying the groundwork for a political purge at the FBI. They`re seizing on reports that an agent working on Mueller`s investigation was removed last summer after the Justice Department`s Inspector General began examining whether that agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views.

That agent, Peter Strzok also worked on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton`s private e-mail server, evidence according to Republicans and others that both probes were politically tainted. Now, never mind that we don`t actually know what was even in those text messages or whether they were in effect inappropriate, and never mind that Strzok was promptly removed from the Mueller probe once questions were raised internally. And never mind that all the charges in the Russia probe were brought after Strzok`s removal. Never mind that Flynn and George Papadopoulos both pleaded guilty to the charges against them, Peter Strzok had nothing to do with them admitting to having broken the law.

Never mind that Robert Mueller himself, the person running this investigation is, of course, a lifelong registered Republican. Never mind the person who proceeded him at the helm of that probe James Comey was likewise a registered Republican. And never mind the fact that the FBI agents, like all Americans, do hold private political views, which do not disqualify them from carrying out their duty in good faith. Never mind all of that. The President`s allies at Trump T.V. are now using the Peter Strzok story to launch an all-out assault on Mueller, his team, and the whole FBI.


HANNITY: Mueller`s probe is a total political sham. It`s a witch hunt. It needs to be shut down immediately if we believe in the rule of law and our Constitution.

GREGG JARRETT, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS: Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon, and the FBI has become America`s secret police, secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment, and threats. It`s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night banging through your door.

HANNITY: By the way, this is not a game. This is not hyperbole you`re using here.



HAYES: No. There is definitely no hyperbole in that statement. As he often does, the President took his own cues on this story straight from watching Trump T.V. tweeting over the weekend, the FBI`s "reputation is in tatters" and tagging Fox And Friends. But it does not stop there. This storyline has now migrated to the halls of Congress where lawmakers allied with the President are trying to wield it against the FBI and the Mueller investigation. Yesterday a group of right-wing Congressmen demanded a new review of the Clinton e-mail probe and the member of Mueller`s team.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: We`ll also investigate the unprecedented bias against President Trump that exists when we allow people who hate the President to participate in the investigations against him.


HAYES: Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, Chairman, respectively of the Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees sent a letter to the Justice Department`s Inspector General demanding more information on Peter Strzok. Today the Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray appear before the House Judiciary Committee where he defended the integrity of the organization he leads against the Republican onslaught.


JORDAN: If he kicked everybody off of Mueller`s team who was anti-Trump, I doubt think there would be anybody left.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R) IDAHO: I have begun to have serious doubts about some in the FBI about -- serious doubts about the integrity of some of the highest levels of the FBI.

REP. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: I think the problem that you have, I think you`re walking into a contemptive Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Bob Mueller recruit people to his probe that had a bias against the President?


HAYES: At one point Congressman Louis Gohmert actually went through individual officials` names one by one to check their opinions about the President focusing in particular on FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe whose wife has been active in Democratic politics.


GOHMERT: Are you aware of any of the following people openly aligning themselves with the political bias expressed by McCabe or openly speaking against this administration. First, Carl Ghattas.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: I`m going to quarrel a little bit with the premise of your question about Deputy Director McCabe. But as far -- as far as Executive Assistant Director Ghattas, as I`ve said, he`s been a complete professional. And by that, I mean, to include --

GOHMERT: Have you heard him openly align himself with political bias against the Trump administration?


GOHMERT: Josh Skule?


GOHMERT: Larisa Menser.

WRAY: I actually don`t know who that is.

GOHMERT: OK, all right, thank you, fair enough. Brian Parman.


GOHMERT: I thank you.


HAYES: Now, once Mueller releases his findings, it`s that same committee, the House Judiciary where impeachment proceedings would have to begin. Congressman Eric Swalwell is a Democrat in the House Judiciary Committee, also a Member of the Intelligence Committee. What did you make of that hearing today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Chris, I sat through that hearing and I can assure the American people that the impeachment proceedings against Hillary Clinton have begun. We`ve started today in the House Judiciary Committee.

HAYES: You say that jokingly, but I want to play this quote from your colleague, Congressman Farenthold from Texas, who is facing some calls to resign in the wake of sexual harassment allegations but he had this to say about the Clinton administration. Take a listen.


REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: I just want to reiterate something that I hear regularly from my constituents in South Texas, and that`s a concern we have a Special Counsel investigating the Trump administration but it seems like no one is addressing the Clinton administration.


HAYES: No one is addressing the Clinton administration. So is this just grandstanding or is this dangerous?

SWALWELL: It`s the land of misfit toys is what it is. But it`s dangerous for our democracy because you know, nothing gives our enemies I think more comfort an aid than to watch you know, my colleagues undermine the work that the FBI does, particularly as we know that Russia intends to attack us again as the intelligence community assessment reported. And so they see more divisiveness and discord in Congress and a, you know, real eagerness to look backward rather than forward. And that`s a problem for the job we have to do.

HAYES: It also seems to me there`s a pretty concerted effort to lay the groundwork to essentially remove Mueller or end his investigation. Is that a concern of yours?

SWALWELL: It`s a big concern of mine, and there`s bipartisan concern in Congress that there`s not enough guardrails in place to protect Bob Mueller as he continues to progress in his investigation. I think the best thing we can do to counter the President`s tweets and his undermining of the investigation is to assure the public that even if the President were to fire him, that he would stay in place. We could do that in Congress today.

HAYES: What do you say to someone who says, wait a second, though, if there are agents who are -- have it out for the President, if the shoe were on the other foot and we knew that there were agents who had it out for Democrat politician that we`re investigating, that`s a serious worry and the FBI has a lot of power and law enforcement has a lot of power and has to be wielded responsibly.

SWALWELL: They sure do. I`m the son of a police officer and brother of two police officers. They all have strong opinions, very strong conservative opinions. However, the question is do those opinions affect your work and your judgment and the decisions you made? I think Bob Mueller demonstrated good judgment by getting rid of this agent whether it was affecting his work or not, the perception of any impropriety would affect the investigation. And so I don`t understand the concern if he actually got rid of the agent. If the agent was still there, I would understand why so much concern was expressed.

HAYES: There`s also the House Intel Republicans are threatening to hold the FBI in contempt because they are also trying to essentially sift through records at the FBI and the DOJ. And I wonder like how far do you see your colleagues taking this?

SWALWELL: It is a very perverse theory that they have, which is that somehow the Hillary Clinton campaign concerned about Donald Trump`s ties to Russia hired the Steele Dossier folks who informed the FBI and then the FBI based their investigation on the Hillary Clinton opposition research and that`s how we are where we are today. It really is wild considering how many people as you pointed out have already pled guilty to lying about Russian contacts. But I think it`s just an effort to parrot the White House`s narrative that this is a Russian hoax and to not be upfront with the American people that we were attacked by Russia in this last election and that we have done really nothing to make sure it doesn`t happen again.

HAYES: Are they -- do you think that your colleagues that we saw up there, are these concerns honest or is this bad faith? Meaning do they actually believe this -- they believe this sort of -- this sort of increasingly conspiratorial thinking that`s spinning out from various media outlets the President likes to view or is this essentially just a cynical attempt to throw up dust in advance of whatever Mueller`s findings are?

SWALWELL: No, I think these are obstructive attempts to stop Bob Mueller and his team from finding out who was responsible and also from the House Intelligence Committee to put out its report as to what the vulnerabilities were and what -- how this (INAUDIBLE). And Chris, again, this could happen to the Republicans. Another country who doesn`t like Republicans can go after them and that`s what`s so maddening is that we would never want either party to benefit from another country`s preference and we should find unity.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thanks for your time tonight.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

HAYES: For on the Republican campaign against federal law enforcement, let`s bring in MSNBC Contributor Sam Seder, Host of the Majority Report and Vanita Gupta former Senior Justice Department Official under President Obama, now President CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. And Vanita, let me start with you. Having served in that building at DOJ, and you know, there`s sort of a fundamental principle here which is if you work at DOJ, you work with the FBI, you`re working with Republicans and Democrats and career people with all sorts of opinions. And the idea that you`re going to have, what would it mean to have a Congress essentially going through trying to veto out people whose political opinions they don`t like?

VANITA GUPTA, PRESIDENT AND CEO, LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ON CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS: Yes, I mean, look, when you go and you`re employed at the Justice Department, you obviously -- everyone has personal views. What the expectation is, is that you will put them aside to be able to independently investigate based on the law and the facts. And certainly, Special Counsel Bob Mueller, who has some of you know, the utmost integrity, was received with praise when he was first named to head up this investigation by Republicans and Democrats. He has a long reputation for that integrity, is you know, expected to put aside any personal views, his agents are as well. And so to see this kind of vindictive attack on the part of Republicans recently, some members of Congress, it just suggests that they`re in kind of a desperate panicked state and seeking to impugn the integrity of people conducting an investigation where they don`t like where they think the facts and the law may lead.

HAYES: There`s an irony here, Sam, which is, one of the things I think that should be commended about the Mueller investigation is it hasn`t leaked at all.


HAYES: Every journalist I`ve talked to, no one who knew who George Papadopoulos was until he pleaded guilty. That shows you how much there hasn`t leaks. You compare that to the FBI office, particularly field office in New York in the run-up to the election itself which really -- there was a lot of stuff coming out about Hillary Clinton that was very damaging and struck me as like fairly unprofessional. Here`s Rudy Giuliani on T.V. sort of talking about what`s coming from -- for Hillary Clinton. Take a look.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK: I had expected this for the last -- honestly to tell you the truth, I thought it was going to be about three or four weeks ago. I did nothing to get it out. I had no role in it. Did I hear about it? You`re darn right I heard about it. And I can`t even repeat the language.


HAYES: This is him reacting to the reopening of an investigation.

SEDER: Well, I mean, he also predicted things that were coming too in clips earlier than that. I mean, look, there may very well be or had been a problem in the New York FBI office. There were people who were associated with it in the past who had close associations with Donald Trump. Wayne Barrett the late Wayne Barrett came out with a piece that just days before the election, days before he passed away that talked about Jim (INAUDIBLE), I believe it was, who was the former Head of the New York FBI office who Giuliani had cited at various times. Also was one of the biggest recipients, his charity was one of the biggest recipients of Donald Trump skipping one of those debates in 2016.

HAYES: Right, when he gave him the money to it. Yes.

SEDER: But I mean, look, let me just broaden out for one second. The idea of the Republican party attacking an institution that they see as some type of threat to them electorally is completely modus operandi for the Republican Party. We can point to science, we can point to the media, we can point to studies at Treasury that disappear because they show trickle- down economics don`t work. I mean, on and on and on. The only difference at this point is just the lines that they`re willing to cross just keep getting further depending on what is necessary at that moment.

HAYES: Oh that`s -- Vanita, that`s like -- I think that`s the concern I have here is that it does feel sometimes like we`re hurtling towards some kind of constitutional crisis moment. Because all that holds all this together, an independent investigatory body of the Department of Justice and the rule of law sort of managing to win out, in the end, are a bunch of institutional norms that kind of hold it together. And do you worry as someone who worked in that building that we`re seeing those being degraded?

GUPTA: I worry as a resident of the United States who believes in our Constitution that these institutions are being degraded. Look, I think all of these actions, the attack on the press when he -- when the President doesn`t like what the press is putting out, the attack on federal judges when he doesn`t like opinions that federal judges are issuing. Now the attack on an investigation he is the subject of an investigation. And as President of the United States to be critiquing an institution like the Justice Department, like the FBI that has a strong history of independence, you know, all of this is deeply worrisome. It is pointing to a fundamental disrespect for the rule of law and for our Democratic institutions. And I agree, I think the line keeps getting further and further.

And if there is any move to try to fire Mueller, to try to pardon any of the subjects of this investigation should it lead to indictments, then we are absolutely at a point of a constitutional crisis. As a civil rights lawyer, all of the laws that we have on the books, those are -- those are germane to the well-being of our communities and our country. And all of this kind of moves and gestures, they are deeply troubling. And we`ve been experiencing them frankly since the campaign, but they are getting much more intensified and at this point doing this kind of vindictive campaign against Special Counsel Mueller, I think is getting so close to the line that I think it is time for members of Congress to step up and figure out are they going to protect the integrity of our democracy or are they not.

SEDER: Yes, I mean I think at one point the line has to be drawn and there needs to be continual pressure. I mean, look, there`s a lot of never Trumpers out there, with all due respect, who claim that they have problems with the President and they want certain issues to be sidelined and what not. Those people have one point of influence and that is with the Republican leadership. And you see the constant fallback just take what`s going on with Roy Moore. I mean, you know, this is all the same modus operandi, right? Like the line keeps getting pushed down. It just so happens in this area we`re talking about institutions that are fundamental to the rule of law in this country.

HAYES: To the way it functions.

SEDER: But it really is just a function of what is in their way at any given time.

HAYES: All right, Sam Seder, and Vanita Gupta, great to have you with me tonight.

SEDER: Thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

HAYES: Tonight, new e-mails raise big questions about what happened in the wake of this infamous Trump Tower meeting. Senator Richard Blumenthal on the latest trouble for Donald Trump Jr. in two minutes.


HAYES: Tonight there`s new information about a central issue in the Russia investigation, that now infamous June 9th, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. That was the meeting Donald Trump Jr. took after being promised dirt on Hillary Clinton courtesy of the Russian government. But Trump Junior insisted nothing came of the meeting. He never got the dirt he was promised and just kind of moved on.


TRUMP JR: There wasn`t really follow-up because there`s nothing there to follow up. As we were walking out, he said listen, I`m sorry for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever have any contact with Goldstone again?

TRUMP JR: Casual, hey, how`s it going? Emin is going to be in town performing. Something like that.


HAYES: But tonight we now know there were, in fact, follow-up e-mails uncovered by Congressional investigators. CNN reporting that an e-mail from Rob Goldstone to senior Trump aide Dan Scavino, now the White House Director for Social Media reveals a previously undisclosed topic that discussed at the meeting. Get this, it encourages Scavino to get candidate Trump to create a page on the Russian social networking site VK telling him that Don and Paul were onboard with the idea. Now, Donald Trump Jr.`s eight-hour session with the House Intel Committee yesterday, he was asked about these follow-up e-mails and he reportedly said he was either not aware of them or could not recall their contents. Other e-mails though not sent directly to Don Junior are eye-opening.

According to CNN, in one e-mail dated June 14, 2016, Goldstone forwarded a CNN story on a Russia`s hacking of DNC e-mails to Ike Kaveladze, a Russian who attended the June 9th meeting, describing the news of the hacking as eerily weird given what they had discussed at the Trump Tower five days earlier. And on the day the New York Times broke the story about the June 9th Trump Tower meeting and Don -- Trump Jr. posted the e-mails between him and Rob Goldstone, CNN reports that George Kaveladze e-mailed his father asking why Donald Trump Jr. was admitting, "collusion."

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is a Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has requested the Committee`s Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley subpoena Donald Trump Jr. to compel him to give testimony and documents on a number of unanswered questions. First, Senator, your reaction to the fact that we now know that there was some kind of follow-up after the meeting. That this big meeting happens that has all these participants that are very close to the candidate. It`s promising some big Christmas gift of dirt on Hillary Clinton and the idea that no one ever said anything afterwards is always a little hard to believe. What`s your reaction to this news?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: This news is profoundly important because it directly contradicts the interviews and the other statements made by Donald Trump Jr. that there was no follow-up, that these meetings were really only supposed to be about Russian adoption. Clearly, they were designed to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. And the other profoundly important question is why Donald Trump, the father, the President, also indicated in statements that were reported that his son should say it was only about Russian adoption, when in fact there were additional follow-up indications.

HAYES: I want to play for you Congressman Adam Schiff`s reaction to a moment that happened in that closed session yesterday in which Donald Trump Jr. appeared to attempt to invent a novel form of attorney/client privilege. Take a listen.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: He acknowledged having discussed the June 9th meeting and the e-mails that went into establishing that meeting after those e-mails became public. He acknowledged discussing that matter with his father but refused to answer questions about that discussion on the basis of a claim of attorney/client privilege. In my view, there is no attorney/client privilege that protects a discussion between father and son.


HAYES: You`re a lawyer yourself. Do you agree with your colleague, Adam Schiff?

BLUMENTHAL: I agree totally. This claim of attorney/client privilege is absolutely bogus and disingenuous. The attorney/client privilege is a serious one. It can be invoked and it`s designed to protect people seeking legal advice from their attorney. It is not designed to protect a son seeking advice from his father about how to mislead the American people. You and I are having a discussion right now. There may be some lawyers listening to us. Our conversation is not protected simply because there`s some lawyers listening to our conversation. And as much as we may sort of smile about this absolutely absurd claim, it is a profoundly serious defiance of both the rule of law and the purpose of Congress.

HAYES: Well, then what can you do about it?

BLUMENTHAL: What should be done about it and what I`ve asked Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Judiciary, to do is to subpoena Donald Trump Jr., along with Jared Kushner and others, including K.T. McFarland, who may have knowledge of this collusion with Russia, so that they will be compelled to tell the truth. And Donald Trump, if he`s subpoenaed, will have to testify before the Judiciary Committee in the open under oath. If he invokes this claim of privilege, he should be instructed to answer it, because there is no privilege. And if he continues to refuse, he should be held in contempt of Congress and there are penalties for being held in contempt, which can be done when there`s a vote of the committee and by the Senate.

HAYES: Given what we saw in the House Judiciary Committee today with Republican members going after FBI Director Wray, are you confident that your colleagues in the Senate, Republican colleagues, will hold the line if the President moves against the Mueller investigation?

BLUMENTHAL: That`s a great question, Chris. And I`m increasingly apprehensive about my colleagues in the Senate but they have assured me, and members of their leadership have assured me that they will protect the Special Counsel if he continues his investigation responsibly and diligently as he has done. But I also believe that the Judiciary Committee should move forward with legislation that will protect the Special Counsel by making any firing or any political interference impossible against him by providing court protection for him.

HAYES: All right, Senator Richard Blumenthal, thank you.

BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, a surprise resignation by a veteran Republican in the House today, and Senator Al Franken`s parting shot at the President and Roy Moore as he announced his resignation today as well.



BRUCE BARTLETT, AMERICAN HISTORIAN: All Republicans believe in something called starve the beast. They want to slash what are called entitlement programs, which are mostly Social Security and Medicare, and they don`t think they can get the political support to do it unless they have a deficit that is so large that they have no choice.


HAYES: That was Bruce Bartlett on this very program who worked under President George H.W. Bush in a senior economic policy position laying out the Republican game plan on cutting Social Security and Medicare. Now, Republicans have not even finished part one yet, that would be the passage of a tax plan that will balloon the deficit by at least $1 trillion mainly benefiting billionaire heirs and corporations. Like for instance the $47 billion benefit Apple could potentially reap. That`s right, this Republican bill could give one company a reduced tax liability that`s nearly the GDP of the entire country of Croatia. But while ramming through a huge tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, House Speaker Paul Ryan is already planning step two, and that is how to slash programs that benefit the poor and the middle class.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: We`re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit. Frankly, it`s the healthcare entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt so we spend more of our time on the health care entitlements because that`s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.


HAYES: Now, if there`s a way Donald Trump contrasted himself with his fellow Republicans on the trail on that crowded primary field, it was on his repeated promises not to cut Social Security and Medicare.


TRUMP: You`ve been paying into Social Security and Medicare, by the way, let`s put them into -- because Medicare does work. With both, you have tremendous waste, fraud, and abuse. We`re going to take care of that, OK. But we`re not going to cut your Social Security and we`re not cutting your Medicare.


HAYES: So all the American people need now is for Donald Trump to keep his word.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: congressman franks, can you confirm that you`re going to be resigning?

REP. TRENT FRANKS, (R) ARIZONA: I`m going to let you take a look at the statement that should be up if not now, it should be up very soon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us on camera?

FRANKS: I`m going to let the statement speak for itself, folks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t tell us off camera? We`ll put the cameras away.

FRANKS: I`m going to stick with the statement.


HAYES: Breaking news tonight, Republican Congressman Trent Franks, you just saw there, of Arizona will resign from congress at the end of January. Franks recently learned the House ethics committee was investigating, and I`m taking this from the statement here, conversations he had with female staffers. The congressman`s statement acknowledged, quote, discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, but included few other details of the conversations.

Speaker Paul Ryan said he urged Congressman Franks to resign after learning about what he described as, quote, credible claims of misconduct.

Presumably we`ll learn a little bit more.

Now, this comes on the same day that Democratic Senator Al Franken announced he would step down after accusations of groping and other sexual misconduct by over half a dozen women. Democratic Senators yesterday pressed Franken to resign with more than half the caucus saying he should resign. And Franken made clear today that he had some reluctance in departing, that he was keenly aware of our broader cultural moment.


SEN. AL FRANKEN, (D) MINNESOTA: Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate. I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the senate with the full support of his party.


HAYES: Jess McIntosh was Al Franken`s spokesperson from 2007 to 2010 on that first campaign, and then in the Senate office. When she left, Franken called her, quote, among my most trusted advisers. More recently, she was a senior adviser to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

You and I have been talking a lot through this whole thing. What was your reaction today?

JESS MCINTOSH, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I founding it interesting to watch other people`s reactions, because I`m watching people who I know agree with each other on 100 percent of everything be diametrically opposed here except for the fact that this is sad.

I come from a different perspective, obviously. I`ve known Al for more than a decade. I have spent more time with him than most of my blood relatives. He`s my friend. I`m proud of the work that we did together. I`m proud of the work he did in the senate. And I think he did the right thing.

HAYES: You do?

MCINTOSH: I do. He listened to women.


MCINTOSH: He listened to women. And that`s what has to happen in this moment right now, even if it doesn`t feel comfortable I think that was the right thing to do.

I was really heartened that he just assumed in his speech that he was going to be succeed by a woman. I think if we use this moment to not just talk about men and their conduct, but to make space for more women`s voices at the platforms that men have traditionally enjoyed, I think that`s how we make sure that this is not just a painful, traumatic, important watershed moment but something that actually changes the culture forever, like that`s how we`re going to get the systemic thing addressed.

HAYES: Can I ask you this. I mean, since you worked with him I want to ask you. You know, there`s -- one of the things that`s happened post Weinstein is this notion of the open secret.


HAYES: And it`s clear that there are certain men who have subsequently been outed with allegations who a lot of people know about.


HAYES: But no one reported it.


HAYES: Was AlFfranken one of those people?

MCINTOSH: No. No. You know, I had been working with him -- I`ve taken thousands of those photos of him with constituents. I`ve never seen any of the behavior described. He`s always been 100 percent respectful to me and the women I`ve seen him interact with.

HAYES: So this must have been really surprising to you?

MCINTOSH: Yeah, it really was. I think it was to him too. I mean, if you had asked him a month ago whether this was -- you know, we`ve had conversations about this cultural moment, the idea that he would somehow find himself at the center of one of those conversations I think never occurred to anyone who knew him.

HAYES: You said you thought he should resign ultimately. Is it a just outcome?

MCINTOSH: Yeah, so that`s -- I think that he made the right choice today, like he went to the Senate because he wanted to do good. But being a senator is not -- was not the be all, end all ambition for him, it was about doing good for people.

I think today he listened to the stories of the women who were talking about his conduct. He listened to his female colleagues calling for him to resign. And I think he made the calculation that it was better to do good by talking about this broader cultural context. It can`t just be about Harvey Weinsteins. Like, we cannot set the bar there. And I don`t want to say that I`m calling for a bright line for all kinds of punishment because I believe that this is a nuanced conversation that we have to have. But one side of the aisle is doing the work.

As uncomfortable as it is, one side of the aisle is having that conversation. And I thought it was really important in his speech that he talked about what`s going on on the other side of the aisle.

HAYES: A lot of -- there was a lot of -- Michael Tomasky (ph) wrote a piece about -- today sort of making this point, and others have, that just like the asymmetry that appeared to be developing, right, where just Democrats say we take this seriously and you had Conyers and Franken. I mean, these are two very large figures in the Democratic Party, both resigning in the same week, while Blake Farenthold who is accused of this hangs out in congress, Roy Moore runs, Donald Trump is president.

Trent Franks` resignation today seemed to complicate the picture a little bit, that it wasn`t going to just be that one party was going to deal with this and the other party was like, all right.

MCINTOSH: Well, I`m hopeful that that`s the case.

I mean, one thing that I want to say about today is that like Democrats need to make this count. Like if we are going to cull our ranks, if this is the principle that we are setting today, we need to replace these guys with bold, progressive women and we need to hold the other side to the same principle and we have to talk about the fact that it`s been 425 days since Donald Trump admitted to being a sexual predator, and he`s still there.

HAYES: Jess McIntosh, thank you.


HAYES: Still ahead, when does a Republican reckoning happen in the wake of the #metoo movement? The growing calls for accountability at the White House coming up.

And, a truly divine Thing One, Thing Two, next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, perhaps you remember this moment from a couple of years ago, a county clerk`s release from jail to the 1982 classic Eye of the Tiger.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you please help me welcome to the stage Kim Davis.


HAYES: That Kim Davis was arrested, you might remember, in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples who of course have the right to get married thanks to that Supreme Court decision that year.

For religious liberty folks, Kim Davis embodied the resistance by standing up to same-sex couples like David Ermold and his now husband, David Moore.


KIM DAVIS, COUNTY CLERK: I`m not being disrespectful to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You absolutely have disrespected us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re treating us like second class citizens is what you`re doing. You`re telling us that we don`t deserve the same rights that you have that you`ve enjoyed your entire life. Would you do this to an interracial couple?

DAVIS: A man and woman, no. And we are not issuing a marriage license today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Supreme Court denied your say.

DAVIS: We are you not issuing marriage licenses today?


DAVIS: I would ask you all to go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not issuing marriage licenses today?

DAVIS: Because I`m not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under whose authority are younot issuing licenses?

DAVIS: Under god`s authority.


HAYES: Two years later, one of those men returned to Kim Davis`s office. He already has his marriage license. This time he wants her job, and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: When Kim Davis decided to run for re-election for Rowan County clerk in Kentucky, she probably did not expect her opponent to be a man she denied a marriage license to two years ago to wed his partner and now his husband. And that`s David Ermold sitting across from Kim Davis yesterday. Since she`s the current clerk, she had to register Ermold as a candidate to take her job.

The Associated Press reported Davis made sure Ermold had all of his paperwork and signatures to file for office, softly humming the old hymn "Jesus Paid it All" as her fingers clacked across the keyboard. When it was over, she stood and shook hands with Ermold telling him, "may the best candidate win."

Which seems more cordial than she was two years ago.


DAVIS: I simply told you all I`m willing to face my consequences as you all will face your consequences when it comes time for judgment.



HAYES: Do you remember the humiliation visited upon James O`Keefe last week? O`Keefe deployed a woman to lie about having been impregnated as a teenager by Roy Moore in an apparent effort to discredit Moore`s very real accusers, but the scam was exposed by The Washington Post, which discovered inconsistencies in the woman` story and her ties to O`Keefe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Jamie Phillips work for Project Veritas? Are you going to answer that question?

JAMES O`KEEFE, JOURNALIST: I`m going to have a few things to say here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, second question.

O`KEEFE: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you working with Roy Moore?

O`KEEFE: Okay --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you working with Steve Bannon?

O`KEEFE: I`m going to ask --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you working with the Republican party? Your employee -- she`s your employee? If you`re not going to answer that, I`ll assume she`s your employee.


HAYES: Now, most people would probably be drummed out of their profession after such a public humiliation, or simply disappear in shame. But as Brian Beutler noted, "What looked to all decent people like an unforgivable disgrace actually increased O`Keefe`s standing in the conservative movement."

Last night at the Trump international hotel in Washington, O`Keefe was actually given an award. He was presented with the so-called Impact Award by Ginny Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, whose alleged treatment of Anita Hill essentially brought the phrase sexual harassment into the public sphere.

So you have the wife of an alleged sexual harasser at a hotel owned by an alleged sexual harasser giving an award to a guy who disgracefully schemed to discredit the alleged sexual assualt victims down in Alabama. You know, for conservatism, I guess.

When we come back, how the White House responds today when confronted with the fact that while Al Franken is stepping down for alleged sexual harassment, a president who bragged about sexual assault remains in office. That`s next.


HAYES: Tomorrow evening President Trump will hold a campaign style rally in Pensacola, Florida, just 20 miles from Roy Moore`s home state of Alabama. Pensacola is in the same media market as Mobile, which could allow Trump to reach Alabama voters without having to travel to the state and specifically rally for Moore. Of course, a man who faces credible allegations of molesting a 14-year-old girl and sexual assaulting a 16- year-old and who the president has non-the less endorsed.

Trump has reportedly privately decided the allegations against Moore are bunk. That Moore`s accusers are lying, which is the same thing Trump says about the dozen plus women that claim that Trump sexually harassed them. That`s not good enough for most Americans. A new poll finds 70% of Americans believe Congress should investigate Trump for sexual harassment, while just 25% do not.

At the White House today, Sarah Sanders was asked about Al Franken comments about Trump and Moore continuing their political careers even as Franken himself steps down for much less.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Franken today announced his resignation and said, quote, that he`s aware that there is some irony in the fact that I`m leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the oval office and a man that repeatedly prayed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party, end quote. What`s the White House response to that?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, the president addressed the comments back during the campaign. We feel strongly that the people of this country also address that when they elected Donald Trump to be president, and I`ve addressed it several times from here and don`t have anything new to add.

HAYES: Joining me now, Kjarine Jean-Pierre senior adviser and national spokesperson for MoveOn and MSNBC contributor, Josh Barro, senior editor at Business Insider. There was a lot of people today looking at how this is all shaking out and saying that there is a sort of partisan divide and that`s been complicated by Trent Frank`s announcement the he`s resigning. It looks like Paul Ryan asked him to resign. But what do you think -- the people that you work with for grass roots of the Democratic party, where are they on what is happening in this moment in terms of political reverberations?

KJARINE JEAN-PIERRE, MOVE ON: Look, I think women have a voice in this moment. We saw it starting with the Woman`s March until today that they`re standing up. Before this, women could speak out or wouldn`t speak out because there was no retribution for men who did these things, powerful men in particular. There has been a movement that has continued to what we`re seeing in the last couple weeks.

Look, you know, as we saw with Franken today, he did the right thing. It was clearly difficult for him to do that but you can`t deny the stark difference between Democrats and Republicans. You have Democrats who are trying, they threw their own under the bus who did something wrong, 33 Democrats came out and did that. We can`t find 33 Republicans to come out and do the same about Roy Moore and Donald Trump? But they are just not happening.

JOSH BARRO, MSNBC: But Republicans in the Senate have done that about Roy Moore, I mean there has been a remarkable collapse of support that the NRSC are still saying that they are not going to support him financially even though the RNC is controlled by the president is, and you saw, I mean, establishment Republicans try to keep Donald Trump away from the Republican nomination for months, and this is before the harassment allegations specifically.

You`ve seen efforts from the top down in both parties to impose certain behaviors and standards around it. As you saw Paul Ryan specifically announcing that he asked Trent Frank to resign, not just that he was doing it but that he was doing it at the request of the speaker. Similarly, Tim Murphy, this representative from Pennsylvania who resigned under a cloud a few months ago. There is a sex scandal, a harassment scandal. There`s not a sex harassment scandal there.

HAYES: There is also an abortion scandal, which is I think --

BARRO: But there was also misbehavior in the office which was a significant part of the complaint there. So I think inside the legislative branch, I think there are efforts by legislative leaders on the Republican side to control them. The problem is they don`t control the president. They have given up trying to control the president.

HAYES: Or the RNC. I want to bring in Republican strategist Tim Miller who last month donated to Roy Moore`s opponent Doug Jones, his first ever donation to a Democrat. Tim, I feel your a group of sort of never Trump Republicans who see Moore as this sort of profound moral line in the sand for the party.

TIM MILLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yeah, absolutely. And look, I hear Josh`s point that Paul Ryan did a nice job with Franks and some of the others. But when it comes to Donald Trump, there is this ceiling and Republicans refuse to rebuke him and it goes back to the convention, when it was leave Mike Lee alone and now it`s leave Jeff Flake alone as the only Republican who supported Doug Jones and it`s because they are scared of Donald Trump. They are scared of the voters, and that is a big difference between our party and Democrats, and my donation to Jones was an attempt to encourage more Republicans to say no, this is a line, there are times when you can support a Democrat. and when the candidate is a child molester that seems to be a clear one.

HAYES: This seems to where it comes down to --

BARRO: Alleged.

HAYES: The Alabama race as this sort of very stark moral test.

PIERRE: It is. We have a person who is essentially accused of being a pedophile and that will represent the Republican party if he wins next Tuesday. That`s a problem. Let`s not forget what`s his name, Blake Farenthold who spent 85,000 of taxpayers` money for sexual harassment issue and only one Republican asked him to resign.

HAYES: There is a second in the last hour. I actually do wonder whether you`re going -- the fact that it was Barbara Comstock was the first one and Blake Farenthold has been chilling. Like he --

PIERRE: Right. For awhile.

HAYES: Yeah.

BARRO: The weird thing with Farenthold is there was a ruling by the Office in Congressional Ethics clearing him in this case where they also paid out a settlement, which I find odd, but that ruling was issued and that`s something the Republicans have been pointing to, that there was a process here and that it cleared Farenthold. But I think still, if taxpayers have to pay an $85,000 settlement, I think people are reasonably skeptical even if there was a ruling.

HAYES: Tim, what does it mean sort of more broadly to have Roy Moore in the Senate? I think people are just thinking about Tuesday and not fully grasping what it means. This guy had in my opinion a lot of -- no business in the U.S. Senate before the allegations.

PIERRE: Exactly.

MILLER: Yeah, you know, John McCormick made this argument, too. If you look, you know, Donald Trump is not capable of looking past what his interests are at that moment, but if you look as conservatives out a year or two years, having this man whose an alleged child molester is the avatar for the pro-life cause is extremely damaging and the idea they will unseed him I think is just unbelievable when you look back at past examples of this.

HAYES: All right. Thanks to you-all.

PIERRE: Thank you.

HAYES: Before we go, some amazing news for all your audio files, there is now an All In with Chris Hayes pod cast. Listen to the full show on the go anytime for free wherever you get your pod cast.

That`s All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.


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