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White House/GOP off the rails Transcript 12/14/17 All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Jennifer Rubin, David Cay Johnston, Ady Barkan, Barbara Boxer, Eric Schneiderman

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 14, 2017 Guest: Jennifer Rubin, David Cay Johnston, Ady Barkan, Barbara Boxer, Eric Schneiderman

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.




HAYES: More calls for Trump to resign. Paul Ryan eyes the exits and a tax bill suddenly in trouble.

TRUMP: Don`t worry about it, little Marco.

HAYES: Tonight, the ongoing shock waves for Republican in the wake of Alabama.

The President`s daily briefings structured to avoid upsetting him with Russia news.

TRUMP: Russia, this is fake news.

HAYES: The disturbing new reporting from the Washington Post.

Plus the Blake Farenthold era is over.

REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts.

HAYES: And as the FCC guts net neutrality --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chair votes aye, the item is adopted --

HAYES: My interview with the Attorney General suing to stop it. When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. As the shock waves from Tuesday`s stunning upset in Alabama continue to ripple through Washington, a weakened President and his party are stumbling across a new political landscape facing for the first time the real possibility of losing their majority in under a year. Already it`s shifting the calculus for individual lawmakers and putting Republicans` long-awaited tax bill in jeopardy. Today the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, shut down reports that he`s already heading for the exits, planning to resign at the close of the current term.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Thank you very much, everybody, appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re not quitting anytime soon?

RYAN: I`m not.


HAYES: By denying it, Ryan avoids becoming a lame duck speaker almost a year ahead of the midterm elections. He also avoids upsetting the President. According to the Washington Post`s Josh Dawsey, Trump called Ryan after the Politico story broke and asked him if he was leaving. Ryan told Trump, he wasn`t going anywhere for an aide. It`s one more worry for the President following Tuesday`s humiliating defeat, rejected not once but twice by voters in Alabama, a state he won in 2016 by almost 30 points. The President desperate to save face is reportedly looking at anyone else to blame.

According to the Washington Post, he faulted his former Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon by selling him what one outside adviser described as "a bill of goods" in urging him to support Roy Moore. Bannon, of course, was one of the accused child molester`s most prominent backers sticking with him right through election night. Though according to the neutral arbiters at Breitbart, Bannon was the "least culpable" for Moore`s stunning loss. The White House, its tail between its legs is now trying to make nice with Alabama`s next Senator, Senator -- Democrat Doug Jones.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the President think that Roy Moore should concede, in other words, does he believe he lost the election fair and square, or does he think he was the victim of widespread illegal -- illegitimate voting?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the President`s position is pretty clear in his outreach to Doug Jones directly. He called and they spoke yesterday. They had a great conversation, a very positive conversation. He likes Doug Jones and looks forward to meeting him in person and hopes that he will come and follow through on his commitment to work with the President on some things that they agree on.


HAYES: Over on Capitol Hill, Jones` victory has already upended the politics of the Republican tax bill which is in more peril right now than it`s been in weeks. Facing protests in Congress, a diminished President, and legislation few Americans want, some Republican Lawmakers may be on the verge of a jailbreak. The party can only afford to lose two votes in the Senate where Bob Corker was a no in the first round of voting. Besides Corker, Jeff Flake only voted yes on the condition of starting talks on a permanent fix for DREAMers. That demands has not been met.

Susan Collins is holding out for new measures to stabilize the healthcare market which are currently excluded from the upcoming spending bill. John McCain and Thad Cochran are in both in poor health and may not be able to vote. And Marco Rubio now says he will not support the bill unless it includes an expanded child tax credit. Now as I`ve said before on this program, if your life depends on Marco Rubio having a spine, you`re already dead. But the guy tends to keep track of where the political winds are blowing.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Unless they figure out a way to increase the refundable part higher than $1,100, the way they figured out a way to give corporations an extra year of cuts, the way they figured out a way to lower the top rate for someone like a family making $1 million. Unless they can figure out a way to add to the $1,100 figure, I won`t support the bill.


HAYES: According to reporting from Bloomberg, Orrin Hatch, the Senate`s Chief Tax Writer, says he`s not sure Rubio`s demands can be met. I don`t know what they`re going to do to satisfy him. Hatch says they can probably pass the bill without Rubio. But it`s not at all clear how. Mike Lee, Rubio`s partner on the Child Tax Credit now says he too is undecided on the final vote. And in a sign of just how worried the White House has become about its final shot at passing major legislation this year, they just announced that Vice President Mike Pence is postponing a trip to the Middle East last week -- next week in case they need his vote in the Senate to get the bill over the finish line.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Journalist David Cay Johnston, Author of It`s Even Worse Than You Think: What The Trump Administration Is Doing To America, and Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post Columnist for the Right Turn column. And Jennifer, I`ll start with you. Has the Jones victory altered the calculations happening on Capitol Hill right now, particularly with regards to the tax bill?

JENNIFER RUBIN, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely. First of all, they have no margin for error if this thing drags into January because they`ll go down to 41 -- 51/49. And secondly, I think there is a realization that what are they doing sticking with this President? He is not going to help them. If he can`t help someone in Alabama, he`s not going to help them in other more highly more competitive states. And I think also a lot of these polls that are out recently. There`s a whole batch of them this week showing just how unpopular this bill is. People have figured out it`s a gift to the rich, it`s a gift to corporations. Who would have think.

So I think at this point there are more reasons to vote against it than are for it. And I would keep a very choice eye on Susan Collins, who is under tremendous pressure. Remember, she was sold a bill of goods, some of us thought, by Mitch McConnell in promising these two pieces of legislation that were supposed to ameliorate the effects of the repeal of the individual mandate. She`s got nothing. And the question is, does she go forward because she feels like she`d lose face if she doesn`t? Or does she say, wait a second, Marco Rubio`s holding out, why can`t I get what I was promised?

HAYES: David, you know, it`s striking to me that some of the most succinct, pithy, sort of characterizations of the distributional effects of this tax bill are now coming from Marco Rubio, who in 20 seconds sort of summarizes the chief beneficiaries. He says, if you can play around with the rates for people making$1 million a year, if you can play around the rates for corporations, you`re telling me you can`t give a refundable child tax credit to middle-class families with kids of more than $1,100? It`s a kind of a devastating argument against the bill that the Republicans are proposing.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, the Republicans have managed to do something Chris, none of us could have imagined. Tax cuts have been the Republican signature issue since Ronald Reagan. And they`ve managed to produce a tax cut bill that more than two-thirds of Americans are telling pollsters they oppose. I mean, you can`t make this stuff up. And Rubio, while I agree with you, he`s something of an empty suit and not a guy with a lot of backbone, is saying something I think other Senators are thinking. If I vote for this bill, if I raise taxes on even 1 in 6 middle-class families and give all these goodies away to the already richest people in the country, if I give a $2 million a year tax cut to the 143 highest-paid Americans whose jobs pay a little over $100 million a year, what are voters going to do to me? And he doesn`t have to run for election for a couple of cycles.

HAYES: Yes, I should say this about Marco Rubio, I think he genuinely believes in the policy he`s pushing, I think that`s true of Mike Lee, I think they really want to see this in here. I also think editorializing for a moment, it`s good policy. And in fact, if they structure the entire tax bill around it, they might have a piece of legislation that was polling two-third in the other direction. But Jennifer, to the point David just made, I mean, now they`re floating they`re considering letting the tax cuts on the family side expire sooner so they can get more money to bring down the top rate for millionaires. I mean, everything they do to this bill it strikes me, is making it less popular somehow.

RUBIN: It is amazing. It`s almost like there`s a contest. How do we make this the worst possible tax bill as David says, in history? It really is kind of amazing. I mean, lowering the top rate, like there weren`t enough gimmes for the rich in there. Now talking about an earlier expiration, wasn`t bad enough it was going to expire at the end of the ten years. So this really has become a free-for-all. And they have a real problem here. They have a couple real problems.

One is that they`re caught up in their own budget math. They can`t afford to start giving stuff back because they don`t have the revenue and they have this restriction under the budget. They only can spend $1.5 trillion, even though there`s funny math in there, and they can`t have a deficit that runs out beyond the ten-year window. So there`s only so much they can do here. And you know, they made this announcement on Tuesday that they had reached a deal in principle. This feels awful like there`s no deal in principle, or in detail. I think they were fudging it and no one told Marco Rubio and others to get on the script.

HAYES: Well, and what`s the risk David, that if one bolts, many bolt? I mean, if you`re trying to hold this together for McConnell, that`s got to be his fear, right?

JOHNSTON: Right. They can only lose two votes. And as you went through the list of people who may vote against this, or in the case of Thad Cochran and John McCain may not be able to vote, this can go down. One thing that`s important about this bill to keep in mind is we`re going to borrow money to give already-rich people a tax cut. We`re going to reduce investments in the future in the most valuable asset we have in America, young mines, and this really does prove something I`ve said repeatedly on your show that the Republicans believe America`s overwhelming economic problem is the rich don`t have enough and it`s their duty to get it to them. And you watch, if this passes, but it may not, they`re going to come for your Social Security and everything else because the children, the elderly, the disabled who can`t fight back, are going to end up paying the real bill.

HAYES: Well, and there`s already reporting about how Paul Ryan possibly headed to the exits. He`s knocked down that idea but -- you know, that`s going to be his big mission next year if they pass this. It`s to spend down his last bit of political capital going after social insurance programs. David Cay Johnson and Jennifer Rubin, thank you.

JOHNSTON: Thank you.

HAYES: Among the handful of Republican Senators who could revolt on this tax bill as we were saying, is Arizona`s Jeff Flake, who`s been a vocal critic of the President and stepping down after this term. But after holding out for a permanent fix for DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who arrived here as children, Flake went ahead and voted for the Senate version of the tax bill without securing any guarantees that his legislative priority would be taken care of. After that vote last week, on a flight to Phoenix, he ran into activist Ady Barkan who suffers from ALS or Lou Gehrig`s Disease. Barkan challenged Flake to rise to the occasion.


ADY BARKAN, AMERICAN ACTIVIST: Think about the legacy that you will have for my son and your grandchildren if you take your principles and turn them into votes. You can save my life. Please, please remember this conversation.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: You`re very --you`re very up on everything, aren`t you.

BARKAN: My life depends on it.


HAYES: Since then, Barkan has been busy lobbying Members of Congress against that Republican tax bill, meeting with Flake again last night and with Senator Susan Collins before being arrested at a demonstration inside the Capitol. Ady Barkan joins me now. He works on Economic and Racial Justice Issues at the Center for Popular Democracy. Ady, let me start with this. I think -- we saw people mobilizing against ACA repeal and the harm that they felt was going to happen was very tangible, Medicaid cuts, things like that. Corporate tax cuts feel more abstract to people. Why are you so intent on this bill? What harm do you fear it will do?

BARKAN: Chris, thanks for having me on. The most basic harm it would do is it would require immediate huge cuts to social spending, including Medicare disability, $400 billion over 10 years. As those cuts are going to affect as they will under the current law, I might not have access to the life-saving equipment and the drugs that could help buy me another year or two years or three years to see my little baby boy learn to read or shoot a basketball or go to first grade. And I`m desperate for that time. I`ve paid into Medicare just like all of us pay in you know, every two weeks. We make a commitment to one another and to our society that we`re going to protect each other in case tragedy strikes. And the Republicans are saying, ah, you don`t get that Medicare disability you paid for because Donald Trump Jr. needs a tax cut for his real estate developments, and my hedge fund buddies on Wall Street, they need a tax cut too. So I think that`s not OK and I`m trying to do what I can to fight it.

HAYES: You have had a lot of conversations with Members of the Senate. You met with Collins and Flake. What`s your assessment of where their heads are at and where the votes are at?

BARKAN: Well, I think that David and Jennifer and you had a really good conversation. It certainly seems to me like the script is repeating itself just like we`ve seen it all year long. McConnell and Ryan are lying and you know, they try to -- they try to front like they have the votes. But then it turns out maybe they don`t. And you know, the same thing happened with ACA, right? They said that they were going to pass the bill 15 times and every time disabled folks from ADAPT and young people and old people and doctors and nurses came here to raise their voices to say, no, we`re not going to accept a society that leaves vulnerable people without health care. And time and again we beat them. And we`re going to do the same thing with that tax bill because it does have enormous health consequences for tens of millions of people. Really, Chris, it will destroy the whole health insurance market. We can get into that if you want. You know it well.

HAYES: But, let me ask you this. Let me ask you this because I want to -- you know, the Republicans say, when you PAYGO -- so the idea is right now, in law, when you -- when you -- when revenue goes down, you`ve got to cut social spending, called PAYGO. And they say, don`t worry about that, we`re going to get that waved. All the cuts that you Ady, are concerned about, all the cuts people out there are concern about, trust us, it`s not going to happen. Do you not trust them?

BARKAN: Two points. You`re joking, Chris. Two points. One, who in their right mind would ever trust Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump? Because remember, Donald Trump has to sign that waiver of PAYGO. How many -- how many times a day does he lie for his own enrichment and advancement? So, no. Nobody trusts them, and nobody should. And two, Ryan is going around saying, next up on the chopping block is Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security.

So, how can they say we`re going to waive PAYGO, but we`re also going to cut the living daylights out of this thing? It makes no sense. But Chris, can I just make a request to the American people? Because this really is an opportunity for folks to step up and reclaim our democracy. This building belongs to us. This Congress is ours. We have to renew our faith in our ability as a people to stand up for what we believe in and to change the course of this country. We can`t allow Donald Trump and his lying son and selfish sons to rip families apart, to steal our money, to take our health care away. It`s up to us to stand up.

Look, it was hard for me to come here. I`m disabled. It`s been a really hard year. There are people here with me fighting by my side. Megan Anderson, she`s almost totally paralyzed, she flew here from Cincinnati by herself. I mean, the lengths she went to fight. So I`m asking tonight, all Americans who care about this, stand up with me on Monday. It`s my birthday. I don`t know how many birthdays I have left.

Stand up with me. Go to Chris, please have your producers put it up. Come to Washington, raise your voices. Be part of the great American experiment in Democracy. It`s up to us to make it work. If we don`t do it, (INAUDIBLE) wins. If we don`t raise our voices, the money wins. The only thing we have is people power. And if you can`t come to D.C., do it in your own districts. Go to and do it in your own district. Sorry I`m filibustering, Chris. It just matters so much.

HAYES: I know, and you`ve earned -- you`ve earned the right to do it if anyone has. I admire what you`re doing, Ady Barkan, thank you very much.

BARKAN: Thanks, Chris. Thank you, everybody.

HAYES: We`ll be right back.


HAYES: -- investigation tonight comes to us from The Washington Post which reports in July of 2015, July of 2015, about a month after Donald Trump launched his presidential bid in that escalator, British publicist Rod Goldstone -- remember him -- suggested his Russian pop star client could arrange for the new candidate to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Maybe he would welcome a meeting with President Putin, Goldstone wrote in an e-mail to Trump`s personal assistant Rhona Graff. Now, there`s no indication Trump or his assistant followed up on the offer, but this e- mail came a year before Goldstone successfully arranged and attended a 2016 Trump tower meeting with Trump`s eldest son, with a Russian lawyer, who said he had incriminating information about Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton.

This story comes on the same day the Washington Post also reported that Trump has always doubted Russian interference in the 2016 election. When Trump`s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, both tried to get the President-Elect Trump to accept the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies and publicly admit that Russia interfered in the election, quoting here, "Trump became agitated. He railed that the intelligence couldn`t be trusted and scoffed at the suggestion his candidacy had been propelled by forces other than his own strategy, message, and charisma." According to The Post, the President is so irritated by talk of Russia that officials avoid bringing it up during the President`s daily briefing. If you talk about Russia meddling, interference, that takes PDB off the rails.

In fact, current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update is often structured to avoid upsetting him. According to another former high-ranking Trump administration official, there`s an unspoken understanding within the National Security Council that to raise the matter is to acknowledge its validity, which the President would see as an affront. A couple of hours ago, the White House confirmed that President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin today and according to the Kremlin the White House initiated the call.

With me now, Evelyn Farkas, MSNBC National Security Analyst, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia and let`s start with this breaking news out of The Washington Post. You`ve got Rob Goldstone, who plays a key role intermediary between the Agalarovs who are close to President Putin, wealthy oligarchs in Russia, and the Trump camp saying the Russia government is supporting your dad. You want to meet this lawyer. That`s what happens in 2016. We now know that a month after he gets in the race, he got Goldstone asking if the President -- if Donald Trump wants to meet Vladimir Putin. What do you make of that?

EVELYN FARKAS, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: What I make of that is, Chris, it shows that the Trump family, they had these rich, deep connections with the Russians. We know, of course, because of the 2013 you know, Miss Universe contest which occurred in Moscow that also I think happened on the urging of Agalarov that Trump had this chummy relationships. We also know that there were some kind of Russian investments in Trump properties, certainly in the United States and Florida and elsewhere. So these connections were there. They were always there. And the Russians are very good at planting connections, you know, starting friendships, starting relationships, that they can use opportunistically in the future. So the minute Donald Trump entered the presidential campaign they thought, bingo, wow, we already know this guy, we`re chummy with him, and again, Agalarov, I mean, has access to Putin.

I don`t think that part was made up by Goldstone. I mean, Goldstone probably couldn`t guarantee they would get that meeting, but still, there is a relationship there. And remember Veselnitskaya, the lawyer, she`s also coming from Agalarov and Goldstone. So the Russians, they`re just very good at using the relationships they have. And they thought, OK, this is our guy. You know, we`re going to see how far we can go. Whether that you know, at that point, of course, they probably weren`t thinking that Donald Trump was going to be President, but they were going to use this to the hill, to the max.

HAYES: The other Washington Post report about how the President just will not sort of sort of accept or admit what is the consensus view of not just American intelligence agencies but I think everyone who sort of looked at it with any bit of rigor, the Russians pulled off this hack, they stole these documents, they attempted to interfere, did interfere in the election. As someone who worked in the government --

FARKAS: Yes, social media.

HAYES: -- what does it mean to have a President who -- I mean, this is -- part of his job is sort of dealing with this and he just wants -- he`s got his head in the sand.

FARKAS: Well, I think it`s really reckless, frankly. I mean, we can laugh about it all we want. Oh, Russia, you know, they can`t talk about Russia. It`s actually scary because Russia is our adversary. I mean, they`ve decided they`re in an adversarial relationship with us. They pose a direct threat to our NATO allies who are on their borders. They are obviously causing trouble for us still in Syria and the Middle East. We don`t have a resolution to the civil war there. And you know, I can go down the list. They`re violating all kinds of nuclear and conventional arms control agreements. And so to ignore them, I think is dangerous. And of course by ignoring the hack, by ignore is the information operation against our country, that means that our President is not paying attention to how to defend us against Russia the next time around, much less against Iran, North Korea, a whole host of other countries that might want to actually copy what the Russians did.

HAYES: What do you say to people that say, it is important for the U.S. to reconstruct a productive and reciprocal relationship with Russia, that there are areas where there are coincident interest, that they need to do that and that the Russia investigation and the political pressure brings to bear stands as an obstacle to doing that?

FARKAS: Well, I would agree with the first part. Meaning, yes, it would be great to have a constructive, cooperative relationship with Russia on any issue possible. But on the second part, I don`t believe that the investigation is the impediment. The impediment has to do with how Russia currently, under the existing leadership, sees its interests. They see their interests as counter to U.S. interests. So this is not a question of whether we want to be friends with them. We have interests and we need to sit down with Russia and talk and see where our interests align. Where they don`t align, we have to be firm, we have to say, you cannot have parts of Ukraine that you illegally seized, for example, and you can`t violate international law.

HAYES: All right, Evelyn Farkas, thanks for your time.

FARKAS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Next the odds seen in the White House today as the President did what he does best, create a spectacle. There are already very real consequences to this particular charade. I`ll explain ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After a historic meeting of showbiz and big biz, music`s magic man and the mightiest mogul ran the media gauntlet to open the world`s glitziest casino. Donald Trump gave Michael Jackson a personal tour of his $1.2 billion extravaganza.


HAYES: President Trump has long displayed far more enthusiasm for flashy photo ops than the actual work that`s supposed to come next, as the now- former employees of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino know too well. Today, instead of Michael Jackson, the President joined by Ryan Zinke and Elaine Chao in an event lauding his administration for rolling back the regulations that are designed at least to protect us. They made a big show of cutting a big literal piece of red tape.


TRUMP: Come on up here, Chris. Come on. You worked so hard. Elaine, are you OK? Come on are you OK?


TRUMP: She has a lot to do with it. She has things called roads and bridges, right?

CHAO: Yes.

TRUMP: OK. One, two, three. Thank you, everybody.


HAYES: He did it. It happened. He cut the red tape. Literally, cut it. That ribbon was taped between two stacks of paper meant to illustrate the increase in regulations since 1960 though it`s tough to assess the accuracy of the sacks as the sheets of paper were all blank. So who benefits from repealing all those regulations in the big stack on the right? Is the President looking out for the forgotten man like he so often claims? Well, today Trump`s FCC rolled back internet regulations meant to foster competition. And if you like the internet but wish it were more expensive, or if you want providers to charge you more to access certain Web sites and content or block you from visiting them? If you want that, the Trump administration has your back. Coming up, meet the Verizon lawyer turned FCC Commissioner who may have just ended the internet as we know it. That`s him in the middle. I`ll speak with the Attorney General suing to stop Ajit Pai next.


HAYES: Donald Trump`s FCC today voted along party lines to eliminate rules protecting a free and open internet despite a furious dissent from the two Democrats on the commission.


MIGNON CLYBURN, FCC COMMISSIONER: What saddens me the most today is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is actually abandoning you.


HAYES: The decision to eliminate the so-called net neutrality rules was a massive victory for internet service providers, including Comcast, the parent company of MSNBC. It means those providers can charge more to visit certain sites, slow down your internet speed when you visit, or simply cut off access to those sites altogether.

In the eyes of critics, like Bernie Sanders and others, it is nothing less than an end to the internet as we know it.


JESSICAL ROSENWORCEL, FCC COMMISSIONER: They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have a pay for play arrangement and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.


HAYES: The FCC`s decision has prompted a furious backlash, including from many corporate opponents like Netflix and Twitter, and elected officials who are vowing to fight back.


REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MINNESOTA: Doing this so that they can reap more monopoly profit, so they can buy more political influence, so they can give themselves more bonuses, so they can create more mergers, so they can get rid of more jobs. It is to screw the American people. And we are not going to stand by for it.


HAYES: The head of the FCC is Republican former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai who dismisses concerns a rollback will stifle competition. In a new video, Pai stressed that people will still be able to do things like post pictures of their food. He suggested today his critics are massively overreacting.


AJIT PAI, FCC COMMISSIONER: Returning to the legal framework that governed the internet from President Clinton`s pronouncement in 1996 until 2015 is not going to destroy the internet. It is not going to end the internet as we know it. It is not going to kill democracy. It is not going to stifle free expression online.


HAYES: Joining me now, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who is leading a multi-state lawsuit against the FCC to reverse today`s net neutrality rollback.

First tell me about the lawsuit. Why are you suing?

ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: we`re suing because the FCC today broke essentially all the rules of administrative procedure. Agencies aren`t just allowed to make any arbitrary decision. In fact, courts have held that if a decision is arbitrary and capricious, the terms they used, it has to be rejected.

The FCC for years has tried to enforce open internet rules. It`s been very important. In 2015, after a tremendous amount of work and lots of research and comments they issued an open internet order, nothing has changed since then that justifies this order repealing the open internet. They relied on facts that are not in the record.

They have to reach a reasoned decision based on facts. Here they didn`t either.

HAYES: So, what you`re saying, look, the facts haven`t changed since 2015, and just because there`s a new sheriff in town you can`t just reverse the order because that`s the desired policy of the people running the body?

SCHNEIDERMAN: Correct. You have to have a reasoned decision based on facts. They assert, for example, the chairman keeps saying, oh, the internet service providers aren`t investing, aren`t investing. Not true. Not supported by the facts. You can`t make this radical and administrative change based on facts that aren`t there.

HAYES: so, you`re saying they`re getting things wrong. When they make an argument and they say we have to do this because the ISPs aren`t building out their capacity because we`re limiting their profitability. You`re saying that`s just not true, they are?

SCHNEIDERMAN: Correct. And the fundamental rules of the open internet are what have -- that`s what`s enabled it to work so well, that`s enabled us all to grow. So for them to come back in and say, we`re going to take away these rules. We`re going to stop treating the internet service providers as just providing a connection point, even though all they do is provide a connection point. All the findings of fact in 2015 are still valid. You can`t do that under the administrative procedure.

HAYES: There`s another part to this, which is the commenting section, it`s a very strange story. When there`s a big regulatory change, there`s something called open comment, and citizens can say, hey, I like this change to regulation, I don`t like this change to regulation. Tell me about the commenting process here and why it`s part of your lawsuit.

SCHNEIDERMAN: It`s a very important part of the process because it`s actually an aspect of democracy. Under these rules, Americans are allowed to have input, and agencies are required to consider that input.

HAYES: Under law?

SCHNEIDERMAN: Under law. You have to -- the comment period is a part of the law. You are not going to be able to change a rule without it.

But here what they have is a corrupted comment period, because we -- starting in May we recognized that there were fake comments and people who appeared their identities were stolen issuing comments. We`ve contacted the FCC over and over again, more than half a dozen times, no response, and so we wrote them an open letter last month saying, you`ve got to deal with the fact that you are dealing with millions of fake comments. And they refused to cooperate.

So what we`ve got is the largest number of comments in history, over 23 million. But we think well in excess of 10 million either are fake or there are people who have their identities stolen.

HAYES: Wait a second. Wait a second. What you`re saying is that like someone under the name of Chris Hayes is commenting on the FCC`s proposal when it`s not actually me?

SCHNEIDERMAN: Yes. Worse than that. Chris Hayes, with your address is entered in there, because someone -- your identity was stolen.

HAYES: And you guys have evidence and proof of this?

SCHNEIDERMAN: Yeah, my assistant press secretary`s name and family legal address submitted a comment she never submitted. We have people in New York reporting their dead mother supposedly submitted comments. This is...

HAYES: That is bizarre.

SCHNEIDERMAN: Well, it`s obvious that there`s someone attempting to swing -- and there are comments going both ways, there may be multiple parties. But the FCC has refused to cooperate in our effort to investigate this. Identity theft, impersonating someone is a crime under New York law. We have to investigate that. They have refused.

So, we`re going to pursue that. And that`s another aspect of our claims here. But really this should go beyond the merits of this particular case. Republican or Democrat, you shouldn`t want people hacking into our rule and comment process. And we know a large number of the hacks came from outside the United States when it`s been documented that some of them came from Russia. We need to get to the bottom of this.

HAYES: So, the lawsuit, a bunch of states joining this.

SCHNEIDERMAN: Yes, we should have a lot.

HAYES: This -- what does this mean? What`s next, basically? I mean, they passed this today. Does it -- when does it get implemented if they`re victorious?

SCHNEIDERAMN: Well, we`ll go into court. I expect that a lot of other parties will file suits. And court will determine a venue. And then we`re going to challenge the rules and seek to stay their implementation, because this would hurt us a lot. Let`s not lose sight of what`s at stake here, under these new rules internet service providers will be able to censor content, they`ll be able to determine you can`t have access to some websites, they`ll be able to determine that you can`t have access to some websites, be able to slow down your internet service until you pay more money to get faster service, or they`ll slow down the service for content providers like Netflix or Amazon until they pay more money.

This would totally corrupt the internet. We`ve done very well. Startups have done well.

HAYES: We should say that...

SCHNEIDERMAN: Free speech flourishes through the open internet.

HAYES: The ISPs, including the company that owns this network, say we`re not going to change anything. Don`t worry.

SCHNEIDERMAN: Yes. Can you imagine us repealing environmental regulations because Exxon and Chevron say, hey, we promise not to pollute again? Not going to happen, Chris. It shouldn`t happen here.

HAYES: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, thanks for being here.


HAYES: Ahead, the growing drumbeat of calls for the president to resign as yet another congressman announces his retirement in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment.

Plus, Thing One, and importantly as many people are saying, Thing One, Thing Two start next.


HAYES: Thing One, President Trump when reading from prepared remarks sometimes misses the mark, as we all do. Like today when he appeared to mistake scrapping for scraping.


TRUMP: We`re scraping and really doing a job and getting rid of the job- killing regulations that threatened our auto-workers and have devastated their jobs over the years.


HAYES: He clearly meant to say scrapping job-killing regulations. But since he got it wrong he riffed until he could get back on track. Now, normally what the president does is follow the flub with a fix. He`ll get the word completely wrong, but then add the correction, and then act like he meant to do it, which gives us gems like the furniture of our children.


TRUMP: They work two jobs and sometimes three jobs. They sacrifice every day for the furniture and future of their children.


HAYES: The furniture and the future of the children. That was an instant classic. We`ve got new ones and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: President Trump is by no means the first to flub a teleprompter. We all do it. But the president has a signature trick, the mistake and the smooth correction, much like a blues guitarist who might improvise around a miss-played note.

Here are a few recent ones.


TRUMP: And has instead given unelected regulators and regulators. We will arrive at a piece and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation.

Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities.


HAYES: And from the man who once mocked President Barack Obama for using a teleprompter, there are, of course, the classics.


TRUMP: Prevent Iran from developing an internet -- this is so totally important -- an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Authority and authoritarian powers.

Through their lives and though their lives were cut short.

And very importantly air traffic controllers will highly -- and this will be highly valued, these are highly valued people, these are amazing people.

Our hope is a word and world of proud, interest nations.

What standard, and really if you think of it, when you talk about the great sailors and the great sailors of the world -- we have them, but what stranded sailor doesn`t feel relief?




REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D) ILLINOIS: Women who were meant 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 resigned because women came forward and made credible claims. That just happened last week.

And others on this dais right now are among the additional members of the body who are accused, credibly accused of misconduct.


HAYES: Congressman Luis Gutierrez used his time during yesterdays judiciary hearing to enter the #metoo moment into the congressional record. And the colleague on that dais he was referring to, of course, was Texas Republican Blake Farenthold, who we now know settled a sexual harassment claim with $84,000 of public money.

And today Congressman Blake Farenthold announced that he will not run for reelection after news broke about the Texas Republican calling staff members expletives, pitching screaming fits, and making sexually inappropriate comments.


REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD, (R) TEXAS: I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts, and too often a failure to treat people with the respect that they deserved. That was wrong. Therefore I`m announcing my decision not to run for reelection.


HAYES: And so the Blake Farenthold era of American politics will come to an end. And as the reckoning continues on Capitol Hill the pressure mounds on the White House. President Trump remains, of course, accused of sexual harassment and assault by no less than 19 different women. But while the president has so far avoided consequences, a growing number of Democrats are now calling for his resignation.

Tonight, Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland added his name to the list and California Senator Kamala Harris telling Politico I think we should -- he should resign in the best interest of the country.

More than 100 congressional Democrats are now calling for the House oversight committee to investigate the allegations. We`ll talk about what that means for the president and for Republicans with former Senator Barbara Boxer, next.



HAYES: I know we`re supposed to cheer for our side of the isle, if you will, but I`m really, really happy with what happened for all of us in our nation for people serving in the Senate to not have to deal with what likely we would have to deal with should the outcome have been the other way.


HAYES: Even Republicans are relieved that Roy Moore lost the Alabama Senate race on Tuesday, a sign of just how dire the GOP straits are. They have a deeply unpopular president with a rampant ego, a disinterest in governing and a manifest lack of self-control, a congress that`s about to raise middle class taxes to give tax cuts to corporations and billionaire heirs and a civil war led by fired White House strategist Steve Bannon who is threatening to primary Republicans across the country.

Democrat Barbara Boxer has spent more than 20 years as a United States senator from the state of California. And let me start with your reaction to Corker`s comments. I mean, it strikes me that the vast majority of Republican Senators, even though they wouldn`t say so publicly, were probably also rooting for Doug Jones to win.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER, (D) CALIFORNIA: I think many were because they knew what awaited. And I was on your show and I remember looking at the camera and saying people of Alabama just read that Washington Post story and vote your conscience and they did it.

What would have happened if Roy Moore showed up there, which he apparently is still trying to do, is that the ethics committee would launch a major investigation and they would have just turned over every stone and more things would have come out and it would have been a disaster and I predicted if it went that way, he could wind up behind bars.

So I think for him, he`s better off and certainly for the country and for Republicans and Democrats it`s better.

I mean, thank you, Alabama.

HAYES: Well, you talked about -- last time we were talking about the ethics committee and the role it played in Bob Packwood who had to leave for harassment allegations, a bunch of them. You were there for that.

BOXER: Yeah.

HAYES: What do you think of this idea that growing call to investigate in some formal way to use congressional oversight to investigate the allegations made against the president of the United States?

BOXER: Well, I gave it a lot of thought and I think it makes sense for the House to do it because, you know, the House impeached Bill Clinton for a lot less than what it looks like Trump did in his life, since he admitted it, basically, woman after woman after woman after woman and they are coming forward now.

So, you know, it would be a cause for impeachment so I think it does make sense for them to start some hearings on this subject.

HAYES: Do you think that the behavior before office would be able to make for an impeachable offense?

BOXER: Well, I think because he`s lying about it now and because he said it on the campaign trail, he said this is terrible. I`m going to sue all these women. So, you could argue that he got elected on false pretense, you know, that he lied about it.

So, yeah, I think it`s a whole different standard now.

You know, we in government should have a higher standard. And there is no question in my mind, it`s turned and this guy from Texas, if he thinks he`s going to last for a whole other year, he`s a creep. He needs to go. And he needs to go now.

HAYES: Blake Farenthold who tried to kind of I think sort of split the baby in the proverbial sense, you know, there are mounting pressure to resign and he instead is not going to seek reelection. But you don`t think he`s going to be able to make it through the year?

BOXER: Oh, forget about it. And all this garbage about how the pressures of the job -- really, I cry for you. You wanted this job. What kind of pressures is he talking about? I served in office for 40 years. If he`s going to crack up over pressure, he should leave tomorrow, you know?

He`s got to go.

HAYES: What situation in your assessment having served in the United States Senate for 20 years watching them, the end of the year`s bearing down on them. Doug Jones being sworn in is bearing down on them. They haven`t produced legislation. It`s all rushing towards this conclusion. What do you think of where the Republicans are at right now?

BOXER: They are just in a lose-lose like they were in Alabama. If they lose this tax bill, which I pray god for the American people and the middle class of this country and the poor people and the sick people that hope they lose this, they lose. If it passes, it`s such a terrible bill. They lose.

And their biggest problem is they decided not to work with Democrats. How dumb was that? You know, it`s the only way you can get things done. And even though they complain Obamacare was not really done with them, they had over 100 amendments in committee included in the bill.

HAYES: Barbara Boxer, thanks for your time tonight.

BOXER: Thanks.

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



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