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Omarosa removed from WH Transcript 12/13/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Keith Ellison, Mickey Edwards, Mona Charen, Francesca Chambers

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 13, 2017 Guest: Keith Ellison, Mickey Edwards, Mona Charen, Francesca Chambers

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- just a little bit better in the last 24 hours. That`s HARDBALL for now, thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.




HAYES: Upset in Alabama.

TRUMP: As the leader of the party, I would have liked to have had the seat.

HAYES: Tonight, inside the Republican collapse.

TRUMP: A lot of Republicans feel differently. They`re very happy with the way it turned out.

HAYES: The anger at Steve Bannon.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: He looked like some disheveled drunk that wandered off the street.

HAYES: And how the Democrats pulled off an absolute stunner in a deep red state.

DOUG JONES (D-AL), SENATE-ELECT: Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you took the right road.

HAYES: Then as Alabama slipped away --

ROY MOORE, GOP SENATE CANDIDATE: I did not molest anyone.

HAYES: New reporting that Omarosa was literally dragged out of the White House.

OMAROSA MANIGAULT, FORMER POLITICAL AIDE, WHITE HOUSE: Every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump.

HAYES: All that and the Justice Department faces the plot to stop Mueller.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: You`re the guy in charge. You could disband the Mueller Special Prosecutor.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening, from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Today Republicans all around the country, from Alabama, to the halls of Congress, to the White House, to K Street, stopped to survey the smoking wreckage of their party. Now, the GOP is still the dominant power in the country. It is unified control of Washington and holds 34 governorships, a record high. But the party as of this morning is now staring into a kind of existential abyss after Democrat Doug Jones stunning upset victory last night in Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the nation. In the race to fill Jeff Sessions` old Senate Seat Jones defeated Roy Moore, an evangelical ideologue who`s credibly accused of molesting teenage girls and who nevertheless enjoyed the full backing of both the Republican National Committee and the President of the United States.

The President has now achieved the near impossible. In a state he personally won by almost 30 points, voters have rejected Trump not once but twice. First, after he endorsed Roy Moore`s Republican primary opponent Luther Strange in the primary and then again last night. While most of the National Republican Party abandoned Moore after the allegations against him went public, the President decided against the advice of senior aides reportedly, to throw all his political capital behind Moore and make the race of referendum on his own Presidency. That was the message from both the President and his one-time political guru Steve Bannon framing the election as a moment of truth for Trumpism.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST, WHITE HOUSE: It`s an up or down vote tomorrow, right? Between the Trump miracle and the nullification project.

TRUMP: We need somebody in that Senate seat who will vote for our Make America Great Again Agenda. So get out and vote for Roy Moore.


HAYES: The resounding failure last night reveals the President`s hold on Republican voters is not what it used to be. In Alabama, his approval rating, in Alabama, has sunk below 50 percent according to Exit Polls. And in terms of enthusiasm, he`s underwater remarkably with 41 percent strongly disapproving versus just 32 percent who`s strongly approved. And it`s not just in Alabama. When you zoom out to look at the whole country, it is almost and it`s not an understatement to say, impossible to find a single data point of light for Republicans anywhere on the horizon. This President is the least popular president at this point in his term in the history of polling. Just 32 percent approve of his job performance according to a new poll out today. That`s a record low since he took office. The Republican Party as a whole trails by 15 percent in what`s called the generic ballot matchup, almost unheard of at this point before midterm election.

A plurality of voters in this country now supports impeaching the president, 49 to 41 percent. 70 percent say Congress should investigate the President over his own sexual misconduct allegations. Meanwhile, four of the President`s campaign aides including the who is his National Security Adviser in the White House have been charged with felonies. Two of whom including that former National Security Adviser, already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with a criminal investigation that now reaches all the way into the heart of the White House. Atop all this, the final salvation, the great hope that Republicans are counting on, the President as well as Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, the rest of their governing coalition is a massive tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. In the wake of last night`s debacle, they are now racing to ram that bill through before Doug Jones takes office and scramble Senate map.


TRUMP: I think it`s very important for the country to get a vote next week not because we lost a seat, which we would have gotten to see. A lot of Republicans feel differently. They`re very happy with the way it turned out. But I would have -- as the leader of the party, I would have liked to have had the seat. I want to endorse the people that are running but I will tell you that it`s-- to me it`s very, very -- just important to get this vote.


HAYES: OK, but that bill, the one that the President and his allies and his party are counting on to turn their political fortunes around, it is now more unpopular than any tax bill passed in the last four decades. It`s somehow remarkably even more unpopular than past tax hikes. Yet another example of what you might call this President`s reverse Midas touch. In just ten shorts months he`s managed to do to the Republican Party exactly what he did to his Atlantic City casinos. Turning the GOP from a successful enterprise with a governing majority into a morally and politically bankrupt shell of its former self.

For more on Republican`s day of reckoning, I`m joined now by Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota, the Deputy Chair of the DNC. Let me read a tweet that caught my eye that you tweeted last night. "Trump backed Luther Strange and then he went down and backed his birth of a feathered friend of Roy Moore. He just went down. Don`t fear thesis people. They are beatable." What do you mean?

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, I mean that if we organize, that if we tap the local talent as we did in Alabama, then what will happen is we`re going to win elections. The Democratic Party cannot lay on its laurels. We have to actually be active, engaged in local community organizing. You know, we`ve knocked over on 300,000 doors in Alabama. We put about a million dollars into that red state, and we worked really hard. And as a result of Moore and Trump`s unpopularity and our hard work we pulled off a pretty remarkable situation.

HAYES: So you, you know, you say don`t fear these people. And I think by and large the way the Democrats on Capitol Hill particularly have behaved is not afraid of the President. I mean, there`s -- you could have imagined the scenario in which you`ve got Democratic votes for the ACA repeal. I don`t think he`s going to get any Democratic votes on the tax bill even coming out of conference, right? So the people who seem scared of the President, Republicans frankly, does that change now.

ELLISON: You know, I think that it does. I think that one of the things that many people, even some Democrats have been reluctant to really criticize Trump. They didn`t want to so-called resist. They wanted to just talk about an affirmative positive program, which I think is good. But the point is Trump now really is not to be feared by anyone. And if Trump tries to fire Mueller, if Trump to -- fails on his promise to do something about DACA, if he goes in there and passes this horrendous tax bill, I think that Republicans should not walk over the cliff with him. They should say, look, man, this is bad thing for me and my district. I`ve got to face my own voters. I`m not walking over the cliff with you.

HAYES: So far, though, the thinking has been in the words of Ben Franklin, we must hang together or surely we will hang separately. They have been united essentially with this agenda.


HAYES: Do you think that continues now seeing -- I mean, I was in -- I was in that city that you`re in right now, the day after Scott Brown won, and I remember talking to Democratic members of Congress I ran into on the street who looked like they got hit on the head with a frying pan and ready to pack it in. But that`s not my sense of how Republicans are today in the Capitol and maybe I`m wrong.

ELLISON: Well, you know, if you saw the House Judiciary Committee and the way that Republicans raked Rob Rosenstein over the coals, you`re right they seem pretty emboldened even though their numbers are pretty bad and they just took a big loss in Alabama. They don`t seem to be catching the drift of the American people. But you know -- but we do. We get where the American people are. And I will say this, Chris. You know, Alabama has an average income that`s about $11,000 a year lower than the national average. You go into that state and talk to people about raising their pay, cutting their costs, building a retirement, making a future for their kids and you can win. If you bring that message to people, to their doorsteps you can win. That`s why, you know, I`m so kind of excited about it. I know that, you know, this -- Alabama was somewhat of an anomaly because Moore was so bad. But you know what, we put a blueprint on the ground that I think we can carry to a lot of places.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Keith Ellison, thanks for joining me.

ELLISON: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Mickey Edwards, a former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, a Co-Founder of the Heritage Foundation, Mona Charen the Conservative Author and Columnist, former White House Aide under President Ronald Reagan. And Mickey, let me start with you. There is a lot of blame-gaming this morning. This is -- McConnell`s Deputy said this. If you take the five best consultants in politics and tell them to lose the Alabama Senate Race, I`m not sure they could do it. And this is what Peter King had to say about Steve Bannon. Take a listen.


KING: I don`t think Steve Bannon is anything positive at all to the dialogue in the country. I don`t know who to identify with him. And to see him on the stage this week with a big American flag behind him, he looked like some disheveled drunk that wandered off the street. To have him become the face of politics and have a major voice in politics, I think is wrong. I think we should shut him, I think we should cut him off and I`d say this as a Democrat or Republican.

HAYES: So who`s to blame, Mickey, for what`s happened to your party?

MICKEY EDWARDS, FORMER OKLAHOMA CONGRESSMAN: The party. You know, for one thing, you said Chris, you know, that the President is sort of leading them off. No, I mean, they`re jumping off the cliff. And it was the Republican National Committee that went into Alabama and inexplicably put money into the race to help elect somebody who has been credibly accused of child molestation. And even before that, had said that his personal religious beliefs trumped the constitution. So the party is doing it to itself. And it`s more suicide. Trump is not killing it. Trump is symptom, there`s a lot wrong in the party. And you know, back in the day when I was getting started, when we have people like Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan would have gagged at the idea of having a Steve Bannon or a Roy Moore representing the Republican Party or a Donald Trump.

HAYES: Name, do you agree with that idea that this is -- that this Trump is symptom rather than a cause here?

MONA CHAREN, AMERICAN COLUMNIST: Well, it`s both. There are feedback mechanisms so that Trump is terrible and then he makes the existing problems worse. But, look, I can remember the days when you could take seriously people who called themselves the Christian coalition or the moral majority and know that they had legitimate points of view and that they were really truly trying to stand up for character and integrity in public life. And now they have covered themselves in disgrace. They have Jerry Falwell Jr. and Tim Wildman and a number of others got behind Roy Moore. I think it`s only fair to say that there were a number of Republicans who didn`t.

So let`s make sure we give credit to Cory Gardener and Mit Romney and Mitch McConnell and many others who did treat him as toxic and radioactive. But no, I do agree that the problems run very deep in this party. The movement, you know, Eric Hoffer said every movement eventually becomes a business and finally a racket. And among too many conservative interest groups, that`s what happened. It`s become about money.

HAYES: You know, Mickey, the point on Moore to me and you referenced this as Mona did. I mean, even before the allegations this is the person who`s twice removed from the State Supreme Court of Alabama by Republicans. I mean, the other Republican Justices who sit on that body who say this guy is lawless and unfit, so even before the Washington Post story. My feel is if you vote for Roy Moore, you`ll vote for anyone. And that kind of feels like the problem in the Republican Party right now.

EDWARDS: Well, it is the problem. And it`s basically if you have an R after your name, and in the case of Roy Moore he won the nomination, became the only Republican allowed to be on the ballot with the votes of eight percent of the population of the state. So that`s -- part of it is our political system that allows people like that to ascend and become the only nominee of their party that`s allowed to be on the ballot. But the fact that somebody like Roy Moore could come forward, be the Republican nominee and except for a few people -- except for a few, most of the Republicans in the House and the Senate remained quiet. They didn`t support him, but you couldn`t hear them, you couldn`t hear a peep. And, you know, you have some reason why you are called upon when you take an office like being a Member of the House, Member of the Senate in public life to take a moral stand and say this is not right. And the Republican seat absolutely unwilling to do that.

HAYES: Mona, do you -- do you think that the Republicans in Washington understand the political peril they`re currently in?

CHAREN: Up until quite recently -- I haven`t talked to them this morning, but up until quite recently they`ve been pretty smug and saying, look, you know, we have two-thirds of the legislators and we have the Presidency, we have the House, we have the Senate. We`re doing great, you know. And they would say, well, you know, Trump may have bad table manners and you may find him a little distasteful but hard to argue with success. And -- but to lose a seat in the reddest of red states in Alabama partly because of energized black turnout and partly because Republicans did not show up. They are discouraged and demoralized by that kind of a candidate, by that kind of politics. And that should be sending chills down the spines of many Republicans in Congress. It is -- it does not bode well for their fortunes in 2018 at all.

HAYES: All right, Mickey Edwards and Mona Charen, I appreciate your time tonight.

EDWARDS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Still to come, much more on the shocking win in Alabama and what it means to the Democratic Party in 2018. And next reports of a dramatic exit of yet another White House staffer who allegedly tried to force her way into the White House residence after being fired. Omarosa`s West Wing departure is everything you thought it might be in two minutes.



MANIGAULT: Every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump. It`s everyone who`s ever doubted Donald, whoever disagreed, whoever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.


HAYES: Well, last night as voters dealt President Trump an astonishing rebuke to Alabama, his longtime supporter Omarosa Manigault was reportedly trying to barge into the White House residence to plead for her job. April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks reporting that Chief of Staff John Kelly told Manigault it was time for her to go. Wall Street Journal reported that Manigault`s departure was abrupt according to White House official who said that Manigault was physically dragged and escorted off the campus. There are conflicting stories around the former Apprentice star`s departure. The White House put out a brief statement saying that she resigned and her last day will be January 20th. One administration official told the Daily Mail that Manigault left because of the failed Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore who said America was last great when it enslaved black people. Tonight CBS News is reporting that Omarosa took her last-ditch appeal to reverse her dismissal all the way to the first family.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even went so far as to appeal to Ivanka Trump, the President Daughter to ask to keep her job. She didn`t get the answer she wants. She then tried going into the White House residence at which point she tricked the alarms. Now, presumably, she was going to try to speak to the President. What we know, though is that in tripping the alarms, it did anger Chief of Staff John Kelly who had her escorted out of the premises.


HAYES: Regardless of who you believe, the list of White House departures was already long before today, very long. And now, it`s -- imagine -- amazingly one name longer. Francesca Chambers is the reporter behind the Daily Mail story, MSNBC Contributor Eli Stokols reported on that (INAUDIBLE) in part for the Wall Street Journal. I`ll go to each of you in turn. Francesca, what have you heard about this departure?

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY MAIL: Well, Chris you were saying that it was everything you expected and more. Much like a whole season of The Apprentice playing out in one day at the White House here. And so the difference between the two reports from what was earlier reported and now what you`re quoting on CBS and what we`re hearing now is it seemed like the White House started the day letting her leave gracefully, saying look it was a resignation, she`ll stay until January 20th.

But then as it started to unfold a little bit more, we started to get some of these details about how she was allegedly escorted off the premises and all this other stuff. And now you have the Secret Service saying on Twitter by the way that they were not involved in escorting her out suggesting that she was, and they were also not involved in her termination. All they had to do with it was taking away her pass that grants her access to the complex. So confirming a lot there with this tweet that denied they were involved in the escort.

HAYES: OK, that is a great point because normally a Secret Service doesn`t get involved in this sort of thing but they did took this extraordinary step to tweet this today saying that, "Reporting regarding Secret Service personnel physically removing Omarosa Manigault is incorrect. It was not involved in the termination process or the escort off the complex which to your point Francesca is kind of a confirmation that did happen. Eli, why did it happen now?

ELI STOKOLS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don`t know what brought this to a head. John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff ever since taking over, our reporting is that he had her in his sights. That he felt that she was disruptive, didn`t really understand why she was there making $180,000 a year, thought that she was one of the people who would walk into the Oval Office and say something to the President and he`d wind up down a rabbit hole. So John Kelly wanted to curtail that. He has done so. She`s complained we understand about limiting -- the limited access that she`s had since Kelly has been there. And this came to a head. He decided I guess her last day was going to be January 20th.

And our reporting is that that wasn`t good enough for her. She was upset about that, tried to go talk to the President himself in the residence. Generally, somebody who`s happy to leaving a job doesn`t try to storm the White House residence and, you know, convince the President to give that job back. And as Francesca pointed out, the Secret Service does in that tweet confirm that somebody who the White House is telling us who`s supposed to be working there until January 20th no longer has access to the facility.

HAYES: You know, Omarosa is one of the people who have left early, if we could put that graphic back up. I mean, Francesca, this is remarkable amount of turnover for a White House at this point. Some of the highest profile people, the Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, of course, and Michael Flynn who has subsequently pleaded guilty to a felony. You have just this wide array of people, Anthony Scaramucci`s of course, is very, very, very, very short tenure and you have Sean Spicer, you have Seb Gorka, on and on it goes. It has a real impact in the functioning of the nerve center of a nuclear power that`s also the most powerful government on earth.

CHAMBER: Well, and also we`ve now learned that Dina Powell will be leaving at the beginning of the year, and she`s the President`s Deputy National Security Advisor. But I was also told today by a senior official that there will be an exodus at the beginning of the year that extends beyond that. In addition to Omarosa Manigault and Dina Powell, at least four other officials are expected to leave, I was told, at the beginning of the year. And that really confirms other reporting that we`ve heard that there would be a max exodus of Tump administration officials. And as you`re saying, we`re only one year in -- we`re not even one year in but we`re only be one year in. Look at all the people that have departed and now there`s reporting that there will be more.

HAYES: I generally, Eli, wonder how that place functions.

STOKOLS: Well, you know, you cover it every day and you see that sometimes it functions and sometimes it doesn`t function all that well .and part of that is the fact that these people came into office, a lot of them were not anticipating that they would win the transition. They basically flatfooted. They threw out the work Chris Christie did on the transition and they brought all the people who were involved on the campaign into the administration. Many of whom did not really have the baseline level of experience that you would expect for a lot of these positions, and so that the reason for a lot of the chaos and a lot of the turnover.

And you know, a lot of positions especially at the agencies have just remained unfilled for the first year. We talk about the State Department. We`ve seen people leaving the EPA. A lot of these agencies, they are not staffed the way they normally are. So what you see on the whole is an administration and President a little more indifferent to government and less trusting of the federal bureaucracy and not really interested in populating it. And, you know, they sometimes, you know, may turn out that they`ve done that at their peril.

HAYES: We should note that one place that`s been very successful is the federal judiciary. Although there`s some news on that tonight which is Brett Talley, someone we covered here unanimously rated not qualified to the ABA. It looks like he will be withdrawing his nomination. Another loss from a gentleman from Alabama, two in one-24-hour period of time. Francesca Chambers and Eli Stokols thanks for your time.

STOKOLS: Thank you.

CHAMBERS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, Republicans today showed the lengths they will go in attempting to delegitimize Robert Mueller and his investigation. You have to hear it yourself. Do not go away.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel that the outcome means that the voters believed you and the other accusers?

BEVERLY YOUNG NELSON, ACCUSER OF ROY MOORE: I do feel like it helps. I really do. I`m very excited over that because, you know, there`s no reason for me to go and lie on television when this was, you know, the truth from day one.


HAYES: Roy Moore`s stunning defeat last night was in part among other things a referendum on how voters respond to evidence of sexually predatory behavior in the #METOO era. And Roy Moore is far from alone. Earlier today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez made a point of entering into evidence of predatory behavior by an even more prominent politician into the Congressional record.


REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: At least 16 women have come forward to say that the President of the United States felt them up, kissed them without permission, put his hands under their clothing without permission, groped them, touched their genitalia, walked into dressing rooms unannounced to see them naked and made other unwanted sexual advances that to everyone are clear violations of the law.


HAYES: Gutierrez noted that the President had admitted to some of his behavior himself with Howard Stern and in the infamous Access Hollywood tape. And that other lawmakers had resigned for less.


GUTIERREZ: We have women who were made to feel powerless and insignificant, who at great personal cost and risk have come forward, and I believe them. I do. Al Franken is resigning from the Senate and it goes no further than this committee where two senior members resign because women came forward and made credible claims. That just happened last week.


HAYES: That was one thing that happened at today`s Judiciary Committee Hearing. Another was an astonishing display on Republicans desperate to delegitimize Special Consul Robert Mueller. That remarkable scene right after this.


HAYES: For weeks Fox News and conservative media have been making the case that it doesn`t matter what special counsel Robert Mueller finds because the investigation is biased, illegitimate and corrupt.

Now, it`s a pretty flimsy case that they`re making, the denizens of rump TV tend not to mention for one thing that Mueller is a Republican, but that hasn`t slowed them down.

Lately, they`ve seized on the fact that Mueller reassigned a top FBI agent in the Russia probe named Peter Strzok over anti-Trump texts. Mueller removed Strzok from the investigation months ago back in the summer as soon as he learned of the texts, but Strzok has nonetheless become a central figure in the Trump TV fever swamps. And today brought a highly orchestrated attempt to further the narrative. In what one source called a highly unusual move, the Department of Justice secretly invited reporters to view the texts, and then at an oversight hearing with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, House Republicans used the texts to further their attack on Mueller.


REP. STEVE CHABOT, (R) OHIO: How these people, the group he put together is considered unbiased, I don`t know how anyone can possibly reach that conclusion.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, (R) TEXAS: This is disgusting unaccountable bias. And there`s no way that could not affect a person`s work.

REP. JIM JORDAN, (R) OHIO: This is unbelievable. And I`m here to tell you Mr. Rosenstein, I think the public trust in this whole thing is gone.

You`re the guy in charge. You could disband the Mueller special prosecutor and you can do what we`ve all called for, appoint a second special counsel to look into this.


HAYES: Rosenstein responded that a person`s political beliefs do not render him or her incapable of doing unbiased work.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: We recognize we have employs with political opinions and it`s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions -- pardon me. And so I believe that Director Mueller understands that, and that is he is running that office appropriately.


HAYES: Joining me now MSNBC analyst Josh Earnest, who served as White House press secretary under President Obama.

Well, let`s start with the texts. So, you`ve got these text between two different agents, Strzok and another FBI agent. And some of them are pretty negative about Donald Trump, some of them about him actually warming to Hillary Clinton, liking Hillary Clinton. If the shoe were on the other foot, you were on this program and there was an FBI text about Hillary Clinton in the midst of that investigation wouldn`t you be saying the same thing that Jim Jordan is saying?

JOSH EARNEST, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Chris, I wouldn`t. And there`s a couple of important facts here that are important for this context. And to believe this Republican hallucination requires you to forget a whole lot of basic facts about the 2016 election. And the most important of those is simply this Chris. In 2015 and 2016 there are hours of archival footage of me on camera standing at the White House podium being asked by journalists questions about the news reports about the ongoing investigation of Hillary Clinton. Many of those news reports were based on anonymous sources at the Department of Justice. And news flash, those news stories were not helpful to Secretary Clinton`s campaign.

So the idea that somehow there is this deep-rooted conspiracy inside the Department of Justice that was pulling for Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign is -- is astonishingly dumb. It doesn`t make any sense.

And here`s other the key factor to this, Chris, that we only know now when we didn`t know at the time, it also turns out that at some point during the presidential campaign the Department of Justice actually did initiate an investigation into Donald Trump. Somehow that didn`t leak. You would think that if there were this grand conspiracy inside the Department of Justice to benefit Hillary Clinton, somehow that might have leaked out but it did not.

And so this whole thing is just -- look, you described it as sort of the fever swamp. It is. This is Republican fever dream. They are desperate to try to undermine what is a by the book investigation that Robert Mueller is conducting and is apparently progressing.

HAYES: You know, there`s part -- the deeper thing, too, about just this sort of notion about ideological purge of the security apparatus, which is the kind of thing you read about in countries going through a very shaky period democratically. I thought Congressman Nadler had a kind of funny thing about the Strzok text today. Take a listen.


REP. JERROD NADLER, (D) NEW YORK: I`ve reviewed those text messages and I`m left with two thoughts. First, peter struck did not say anything about Donald Trump that the majority of Americans weren`t also thinking at the same time.


HAYES: I mean if you disqualify people for the kind of opinions he express from the FBI or members of congress or people who work on congressional committees, even on the Republican side you`d lose a lot of people.

EARNEST: That`s exactly right, Chris. And, you know, look I think Rosenstein said this correctly, which is we`re not asking FBI agents to not have an opinion. In fact that would probably be an unwise thing for us to do. We want people in positions of authority to follow the news and to be aware of what`s happening. What we`re asking them to do is demonstrate discipline and to have the integrity to ensure that those personal opinions don`t interfere with their ability to conduct their official duties. And, you know, look Chris, what is a little scary about this is if there is sort of this purge of the security services, there are other people who have critical functions in the U.S. government that also have their own informed opinions that they are required to set aside in order to fulfill their official duties: prosecutors, judges, other enforcement officials at the SEC, these are people that have an important role in our democracy and we don`t ask them to not have opinions, we just ask them to make sure that their opinions, their personal opinions, don`t affect their ability to be an impartial arbiter and judgment about the law.

HAYES: What are they doing? What are the Republicans up to in this, in the judiciary committee? Because they`re all in on this. I mean, you even see people like Lindsey Graham tweeting in the vein of this. What are they up to?

EARNETS: Well, I don`t know what Lindsey Graham is up to. For a long time he is somebody who did try to take a principled position on all this stuff. And it seems to be every time he plays a round of golf with President Trump, that seems to be further eroded away, his principled stance.

The House Judiciary Committee is on the Republican side has long been the den of right wing Republicans, many of them who are conspiracy theorists. And what they are clearly trying to delegitimize a Mueller investigation into President Trump that is having a significant impact on the president`s political standing and on the political standing of Republicans all across the country as we saw in the election last night.

So they are trying to undermine what they perceive as a significant political threat to Republicans all across the country. The problem is, is to try to get people to go along with it requires them to suspend a remarkable amount of disbelief.

HAYES: Josh Earnest, thanks for being with me tonight.

EARNEST: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, how President Trump kicked off a series of events that resulted in one of the most Republican states in the country electing a Democrat to the Senate.

Plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on February 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to even consider President Obama`s nominee to replace him on the Supreme Court. The message was no nominee until after the next election.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: Our view is this, give the people a voice in filling this vacancy. So let`s give them a voice. Let`s let the American people decide.


HAYES: Give them a voice. Let them vote.

Now, there were 341 days left in President Obama`s term at that point, but Republicans wouldn`t even hold a single hearing on that president`s nominee Judge Merrick Garland. You had to let the American people decide.

Well, now the day after Alabama decided to send Doug Jones to the senate McConnell should probably delay a vote on a huge tax bill until Jones is sworn into his senate seat, right?


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving the newly elected senator from Alabama the opportunity to cast his vote.


HAYES: Nope. McConnell says the senate will vote on the final tax bill before Doug Jones is sworn in.

But, OK, let`s be fair, Supreme Court justice lifetime appointment versus changing the U.S. tax code, it isn`t exactly apples to apples. It`s not like there`s not another example of a party surprise victory in a special election during a major legislative battle in which Mitch McConnell said the Senate should delay a vote, right? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: Today, protesters filled the Hart Senate Building demanding that newly elected Doug Jones be sworn in before the final vote on the GOP tax bill.


CROWD: No Jones, no votes. No Jones, no votes. No Jones, no votes.


HAYES: But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the huge tax bill vote will go forward before Jones actually takes office, which is the exact opposite of the stance Mitch McConnell took in 2010 as senate minority leader. After the surprise victory of Republican Scott Brown in the very blue state of Massachusetts in a special election amid the 2010 health care debate, that Mitch McConnell called on the Democratic majority to delay further votes on major legislation until after Scott Brown was seated.


MCCONNELL: It`s been a long time, a very long time since the people of Massachusetts sent a Republican to the senate. The voters have spoken. They want a course correction. We should listen to them.

We need to move in a new direction, a dramatically new direction. That`s the message of Virginia. That`s the message of New Jersey, and that`s the message of Massachusetts.


HAYES: We know how Democrats responded. We`ll see what republicans do.


BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF HTE UNITED STATES: Here`s what thing I know, and I just want to make sure that this is off the table. The Senate certainly shouldn`t try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated. The people of Massachusetts spoke. He`s got to be part of that process.




DOUG JONES, SENATOR-ELECT, ALABAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Oh my. Folks, I`ve got to tell you I think that I have been waiting all my life and now I just don`t know what the hell to say.


HAYES: Even after Doug Jones was declared the winner of last night`s special election, it still seemed almost impossible to imagine that a Democrat had won a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama for the first time in 25 years.

So how did the Democrats prevail in one of the reddest states in America? Well, for starters, get this, they ran a Democratic candidate. That seems obvious on its face until you remember that former Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions was re-elected after running unopposed in 2014.

It also helps when the Republican Party is led by a historically unpopular president and then there is the fact that Republican Senate candidate himself Roy Moore was accused of having molested a 14-year-old girl he met outside a child custody hearing when he was a district attorney. And who, while in his 30s, according to a report in The New Yorker, had been banned from the Gadsden Mall because he repeatedly badgered teen-aged girls.

Last night, the people who live in that precinct where the Gadsden Mall is located, well they voted 74 percent to 24 percent for Democrat Doug Jones.

And finally, Democrats turned out. Alabama secretary of state had estimated turnout would be about 25 percent, but according to unofficial results voter turnout was more than 40 percent. With the biggest splash made by black voters. We`ll talk about and the prospects of a gathering blue wave in 2018 next.



JONES: I think we had a lot of support from the leadership in the African- American community. Those leaders knew me. We`ve been -- this is -- I`ve been around for a while. I mean, look, I may look young and pretty, but I`m really not. I -- I`ve been around for a long time. And those leaders knew me and they knew my background and they knew that they would have a partner in the United States Senate.


HAYES: With me now, Cornell Belcher, MSNBC political analyst and Democratic pollster; and Amanda Litman, Hillary Clinton`s former email director and co-founder of the organization Run for Something, whose book "Don`t Just March Run for Something" is a guide for young people progressives to run for local office.

Cornell, let me start with you on two of the most striking takeaways, I think. One of the cross tabs of how white voters and black voters voted in this race, Roy Moore won white voters by quite a bit. He won them going away by 38 points. He lost black voters by 92 points and black voters made up crucially around 29 percent of the electorate, far exceeding what the models or some models have projected. What do you make of it?

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: I make this. You know, this has been the formula that we`ve been looking for, for a while is you get increased African-American turnout. But also, you have the ability to sort of to win. Chris, when I look at those numbers, when you look at how Doug Jones won the moderate swath of the electorate, right, and this is sort of how Obama won nationally. Is not, you win sort of overwhelmingly the moderate swath of the electorate, and he did that, which also includes sort of those suburbs, right? That`s how you win and you`re doing well among young voters.

The African-American sort of piece in Alabama is important, because typically, they don`t turn out at this race, especially for a special election. But what I see, and I`m seeing this across the country, is Donald Trump represents an existential threat to African-Americans and people of color around this country that has nothing to do with the Democratic Party. And when you look at what -- so what they`re saying in polls is that they literally think that their communities are in danger, because of what`s happening in this country. And they`re using and flexing their political muscle to give voice to that and to protect their community.

HAYES: Self-preservation.

BELCHER: It is self-preservation to sort of fight against what`s happening here. And god bless the African-American woman who, again, a lot of headlines today, Chris, about the women vote, but even college-educated white women in Alabama, a majority of them broke for the guy who was a child molester. But African-American women overwhelmingly stood up and said no.

HAYES: We should say, you mentioned the sort of age gap. Jones winning 18-44-year-olds by 23 points, which is also astounding to me.

Moore winning 45 and over by 10.

Amanda, your cause is getting people to run for office. And it struck me watching this race that even if everything happens, and this crazy story comes out in The Washington Post, if it`s 2014, you don`t have a candidate, you can`t even take advantage of it.

AMANDA LITMAN, CO-FOUNDER, RUN FOR SOMETHING: It seems so obvious. You can`t win if you`re not on the field in the first place. We are so lucky that Doug Jones was there, that he was a really good candidate, regardless of what was happening with Moore, that he was authentically rooted in his community, had deep connections, especially to the African-American voters in Alabama. We`re lucky he was there.

HAYES: I mean, he was a credible guy who could be a U.S. Senator...

LITMAN: Incredibly so.

HAYES: And then when the -- but the kind of dynamic we saw with Roy Moore, that kind of stuff does happen down-ballot. State-senator four weeks before the election gets indicted for corruption. A state rep...

LITMAN: You never know what`s going to happen. You know, 40 percent of state legislative races in 2016 were uncontested, on both sides of the aisle. I`ve been telling folks since we launched, Republicans get indicted all the time! You never know what`s going to happen. You can`t assume that there`s a safe bet. You`ve got to get on the field, run a good campaign, connect with voters. You could win.

HAYES: What you -- yeah, Cornell?

BELCHER: But this is why you need, again -- I`m a Dean guy, but the 50- state strategy. You have to put in place the structure and infrastructure and the people and the resources to take advantage of these opportunities. And I think Democrats are being caught flat-footed.

Look, without sort of these eruptions around Moore, Democrats aren`t spending money in Alabama, but if we`re going to see -- if we`re going to realize a blue wave in the next midterm, Democrats have to spread the resources across the states. And they have to put in the infrastructure right now. And when you look at the south right now, Bannon is giving us more opportunity in red states than we`ve ever had before.

HAYES: Well, and one of the things that happened in 2010 and the story of this political era were the state house races that gave control of these states in a place like Wisconsin, which then set about passing these laws going after labor and voter ID and sort of entrenching state power. What does it look like from your organizational vantage point of how interested people are in running for something like state rep?

LITMAN: People are excited. We`ve had more than 15,000 young people sign up with us since we launched on inauguration day to say, they want to run. They`re excited. And they want to run for something local.

We invest in people, not geography, which is why we have candidates I`m so excited about in places like Oklahoma and Kansas and Texas and Florida and Pennsylvania and Ohio. We`ve got red states and blue states in places where Democrats haven`t fielded a candidate in decades. They`re talking to voters who have told them, I`ve never met a Democrat asking for my vote before.

HAYES: Right, no -- it`s like a real thing that happens in huge swaths of the country.

LITMAN: And this is the definition of party building. These candidates, whether they win or lose, will make a difference in the long-term strength of what we`re trying to do.

HAYES: You know, Cornell, there was a sort of mystery for a while, in the Obama era, it was Barack Obama is very good at turning up the Obama coalition when he`s on the ballot, but not so much when`s not, 2010 and 2014. And I wonder if what we`re seeing now in Virginia and we saw last night it`s this kind of pendulum thing, where Donald Trump seems to have the same problem. Like, Donald Trump is not getting Donald Trump voters out and his base out in the elections he`s not on the ballot.

BELCHER: But here`s where I would disagree with you, Chris. Donald Trump is getting his base out, but they`re not a majority, right? Donald Trump is not a majority president, right? Donald Trump is an accidental president. And when you look at Wisconsin, when you look at Pennsylvania, when you look at Michigan, he didn`t win a majority, he didn`t come close to a majority. In fact, he performed -- you know, Barack Obama would have beat him in all of those places. What`d he get in Florida? He got 49 percent. Mitt Romney got 49 percent and lost in Florida.

This is about realizing the Obama coalition, which are those young people that we`re talking about right now, who were so turned off about the process. You know, the Democratic Party, I think, needs to do a better job, but also give some credit to the third-party organizations on the ground in Virginia, as well as Alabama, who did a lot of work on the ground there.

HAYES: NAACP did some work in Alabama...


HAYES: Black PAC, which is a really fascinating organization also on the ground. Cornell Belcher and Amanda Litman, thank you for joining me tonight.

That is All In for this evening.


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