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Jerome Corsi abruptly cancels. TRANSCRIPT: 11/13/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.

Guests: Elliot Williams, Ron Klain, David Becker, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Duckworth, Eric Garcetti

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 13, 2018 Guest: Elliot Williams, Ron Klain, David Becker, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Duckworth, Eric Garcetti

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- what he wants to do and get away with it. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What a stupid question that is.

HAYES: The President will answer Robert Mueller`s questions.

TRUMP: That was a Democrat hoax.

HAYES: As potential indictments loom.

ROGER STONE, CAMPAIGN ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Look, perhaps they have squeezed poor Dr. Corsi to help frame me.

HAYES: Tonight, the latest movement in the Mueller probe. Then --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They wanted their voices to be heard and now I`m being arrested.

HAYES: Arrests in Georgia as a Republicans push to stop counting votes continues. Plus, why the First Lady is publicly calling for the firing of a Deputy National Security Adviser And climate protests on Capitol Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s about making sure that we are getting the job done.

HAYES: As California burns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s a tidal wave a fire like right over there. It`s like a wall of fire, a tidal wave.

HAYES: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joins me live when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. 19 months after the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel in the Russia investigation, the President of the United States is nearing completion on written answers to questions from the Special Counsel of a possible collusion and may submit those answers as early as this week. This during a post-election week which the Mueller team appears to be more focused than ever on links between the Trump campaign and the Russian-backed hacking of DNC e-mails.

A source familiar with the matter tells NBC News President Trump met with his legal team yesterday and was expected to do so again today. The questions and answers pertain only to Russian interference in the 2016 election, not obstruction of justice. The substance and timing of that presidential testimony is particularly intriguing since far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi an associate of Roger Stone announced that he expects to be indicted by the Special Counsel on perjury charges following previous assertions by Stone that he too expects to be indicted.

Mueller`s interest in Stone, Corsi, and others reportedly centers on what they may have known ahead of time about those WikiLeaks e-mail dumps. And if Mueller`s team is indeed trying to establish which Trump associates may have been apart the criminal conspiracy that the special counsel has already laid out in its indictments, it might explain why the special counsel is interested in Trump ally Nigel Farage and a London-based academic Ted Malloch who informally advised Trump during his campaign.

Jerome Corsi telling The Guardian "investigators asked about both Nigel and Ted Malloch, I can affirm that they did. The issue they went to over and over and over again was who was my source with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. So it appears the net could be closing and on top of that, there`s also now a real question about who exactly is supervising the Mueller investigation, meaning, who is running the Justice Department right now.

Today, the state of Maryland asked a court for an injunction to stop President Trump`s blatant attempt and put a crony in as Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker who in addition to his membership on the Advisory Board fraudulent enterprise being investigated the FBI may not even be legally empowered to be the Acting Attorney General. That`s according to the complaint "Whitaker`s appointment is unlawful." The complaint asks the court to issue a judgment declaring the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the Acting Attorney General of the United States.

I want to bring an Anna Schecter, Reporter and Producer of NBC News investigative unit whose interview with Jerome Corsi scheduled for day was abruptly canceled. So you`ve been talking to Mr. Corsi, what happened today?

ANNA SCHECTER, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: of He actually came to Rockefeller Center. I sent a car for him. He was out on 49th Street and his lawyer at the exact same time that he arrived got off the phone with Special Counsel and shut the entire thing down, said on an advice of counsel, Dr. Corsi is canceling this interview and I invited him to lunch, he declined and that`s the end of it. So something happened --

HAYES: Corsi`s lawyer was on the phone with Special Counsel Office?

SCHECTER: That`s right. 12:30 they have --

HAYES: That`s confirmed?

SCHECTER: That`s confirmed. They had a previously scheduled call.

HAYES: Do we know what happened in that phone call?

SCHECTER: We don`t but he jumped out. David Gray, the attorney jumped off the call with me to get back on the call with the investigators. So something is moving today. I don`t know what it is.

HAYES: So Corsi is in a strange case because we know that he`s turned over a lot of files and documents, right, to Special Counsel`s Office. He`s an associate of Roger Stone, he`s been in to talk to them a bunch of times. What is what is your sense of where he fits in this puzzle?

SCHECTER: What`s so interesting about him is that we`ve learned that there were communications between him and Roger Stone that appeared to show that Corsi had advanced knowledge of the John Podesta e-mail dump. So that`s the heart of it. Now did he transfer it to Stone and then Stone tell the Trump campaign, that`s the big question. We have not connected those dots.

HAYES: But that`s where you think investigators are looking with respect to Corsi?

SCHECTER: Absolutely and I think he has told me that he expects to be charged with perjury because he tripped up somewhere, there was some communication with WikiLeaks that he doesn`t recall and the investigators had evidence of that.

HAYES: So there`s an interesting precedent here. Michael Cohen gets in trouble. He gets raided and indicted to set -- you know, he said I`ll take a bullet for Mr. Trump, the next thing you know he`s cooperating. Paul Manafort raided, indicted, tried, convicted, awaiting a second trial, not going to roll, not going to roll, the next thing you know he`s cooperating. We`ve seen this time and time again. There`s a question about whether that`s a situation Corsi might reasonably find himself in.

SCHECTER: He might find himself in that position. What`s interesting also about him is he`s this bizarre character out of left field who is now front and center in the Mueller investigation. Investigators spent two months poring over all of his communications, texts, e-mails, really focused on what he was talking to Stone about but also potential communications with WikiLeaks.

HAYES: But in some ways, right, I mean, he`s both bizarre but also adjacent. I mean, he is the father of birtherism, the President made his political bones, got his startin American political life really in this iteration on that conspiracy theory.

SCHECTER: That`s right. And he has fueled a lot of the far-right theories, conspiracy theories, he`s written 20 books since 2004. He is always reminding people of that.

HAYES: 20 book since 2004.


HAYES: That`s a lot of books. So Corsi -- and the other thing about Corsi to me is that the linchpin in all of this. I mean, we think about you`ve got on one side a criminal conspiracy. There`s been established and indictments by Robert Mueller on the Russian side. You`ve got a question about did anyone the American side, were they a part of that criminal conspiracy? And the person that seems the most likely to end up in that nexus is Roger Stone.

SCHECTER: Absolutely. Well, he is the American who in that GRU indictment. They refer to an American who was in communication with WikiLeaks. So we know Roger Stone was tweeting at -- tweeting with WikiLeaks, we don`t know if he actually got advanced knowledge John Podesta`s e-mails are coming. Now, Stones defenses hey, Julian Assange went on television in June 2016 and told the world that he had damaging e- mails -- e-mails that would damage Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: And I just guessed right.


HAYES: Which is also the Jerome Corsi line, correct?

SCHECTER: Yes. What he says is that he --

HAYES: So they own two fellas over there.

SCHECTER: He looked at the July dump of DNC e-mails, noticed that there were very few Podesta e-mails and he figured out that`s got to be the October Surprise. That`s what he continues to tell me.

HAYES: Well, Dr. Corsi, author of 20 books, you know, don`t put anything past him. Anna Schecter, thank you very much. For the broader implications of today`s developments I`m joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah, former Federal Prosecutor in New York Southern District, Elliot Williams a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department in the Obama administration.

So let me start you, Mimi. So there`s all this kind of speculation that sort of swirling around about the Mueller team kind of roaring back to life, right? There was a sort of period where they were quiet because the election. There`s the Corsi stuff. What -- I guess the sort of procedural question is like when would they choose to indict people? Do they have to wait until certain dates? Could there be sealed indictments? Like what do we know about that?

MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: So the answer is there`s no formula really. I mean, they`re going to indict people one, when they have the necessary evidence. So one thing I think people have to keep in mind and it`s so easy to lose sight of in this environment is because of the great reporting that we get from all of you, we learn so much through the media, but what we learn in the media may not be provable evidence that someone can put in court.

And this is really important point because Mueller is not going to charge people -- you know, Trump is going to come out with his version of the facts, Giuliani has already said that. Mueller`s version of the facts is going to be as close to the truth as you can get because it`s going to be based on evidence admissible in court and that`s a very high standard. And I think people forget that well, we already know this that Roger Stone knew about you know, the Podesta thing, but how you prove that is a very different thing, and that`s something I hope people can keep in mind.

So I think one, when they have the evidence, and two, my hunch is that he`s not going to indict one person alone but he`s going to indict a group of people. And so it may be that he`s still working on building you know, assuming anyone`s going to be indicted but it seems that the signs point that way, that he`s working on indicting a group of people together for similar conduct.

HAYES: Yes, I mean, we can say, there are two people who have said on the record I expect to be indicted so this is not a crazy thing that we`re pulling out of thin air. Elliot, the reporting today the President was sitting with his legal team on these written questions, there was you know, we`ve gotten through six months back and forth, the President you know, once said oh I`d love to answer questions and of course, walk back by the lawyers. They keep kind of Lucy in the footballing. They keep kind of moving and moving and moving and now it seems he`s sitting down and writing it. What do you think the significance of that is?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, a couple things. One, it`s clear they do not want the President to sit down with Mueller or anyone from his team. He would be a truly disastrous witness. I know Mimi has dealt with witnesses like this through her career, I know I have as well. It`s you know, the President, the Mr. I Alone Can Fix It, you know, it might work well at a Republican convention but it just doesn`t work well as a witness. So that`s point one.

Point two is that they don`t -- you know he -- I`ve lost my train of thought --

HAYES: Well, let me cut -- hold on one second. I`m going to come back to you because I want to ask about that question. There`s also some thought that this is a kind of capstone right? That like that the Mueller report, whatever the final work product is can`t happen until there`s something from the President. What do you think of that thinking?

ROCAH: I absolutely think that. I think that you know, because of the way that Giuliani and Trump and company work, if Mueller doesn`t give Trump some opportunity to put his version out there on the record with him, there -- you know, you will never hear the end of that once the Mueller work comes out.

HAYES: Right. Almost a sort of political as much as a legal matter.

ROCAH: Yes, I mean -- I mean look, I think Mueller would like to interview them and I think he has good reason to want to and need to interview him. But if Trump isn`t going to do that, this may be a way to say OK fine, put your story on the record. It does lock him into a certain extent. I don`t think it`s valuable, it`s not nearly as valuable for all the reasons you know, I think people know at this point as an in-person interview but it does sort of cage -- you know, cage Trump in a little bit in terms of how much he can shift his story afterwards or at least his lawyers who care about that. But you know it`s a way to get things done so that he can`t later say, well, I didn`t get a chance to tell my version.

HAYES: Right. Elliot, can I ask you about that the Whitaker situation because there`s a real question about -- I mean, right now we`re in this interregnum, right? So you got this guy Whitaker who is now the Acting Attorney General who is supervising the Mueller investigation. He says he`s going to consult the ethics office of the DOJ about recusal, and then Maryland is suing him saying he`s not the real A.G. like a two Pope situation. What -- how serious a challenge is that?

WILLIAMS: It`s very Game of Thrones. He`s not the true king. Oh, it`s a very serious challenge because this is an incredibly difficult legal question and there`s merit to that lawsuit. Let`s be clear, he is in charge of the Justice Department. He is the Acting Attorney General now but he`s working and living under a cloud. He can really only be in the position for 210 days under the Vacancy Reform Act which you and I talked about in the past. The problem is that that`s not a lot of time and his entire period in the Justice Department is going to be characterized by litigation challenging his legitimacy.

A lot of very, very smart people who devote their lives of these constitutional questions are thinking long and hard about this and no one`s ever really established it and you know, odds are it may very well end up in the Supreme Court. But again, of all the attorneys in the United States, of all the Attorneys in the United States Department of Justice, why did they pick the one guy with a long chain of personal conflicts, a long chain of you know, of conflicts of interest with the President of the United States.

Well, we know why and we know what -- you know, what goal they were trying to effectuate but again, they`ve created a mess and it`s sort of leaving the Justice Department without leadership. It`s particularly striking today in the news as we`re hearing about the Secretary of Homeland Security about to be fired as well where Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and maybe the Department of Defense may not have Senate- confirmed leadership by the end of the month or whatever.

HAYES: That`s a good point.

WILLIAMS: So in the event of a major national security crisis, who`s in charge and who`s keeping us safe? And it`s really -- it`s really a shame what they`ve done to DOJ there.

HAYES: How much do you view Whitaker`s authority -- like if you`re thinking about how Mueller and the team and Rosenstein are managing this vis a vis Whitaker, what are your thoughts about how that works?

ROCAH: Look, I think there`s a lot that we don`t know going on. There was some reporting about Rosenstein and his deputy Ed O`Callaghan meeting with Sessions and trying to convince him to stay on. You know, so I think there`s probably a lot of things going on behind the scenes. You have that strange statement from Rosenstein where he said oh Whitaker is a superb choice. You know, maybe he had to say that, maybe he really believes it. But you know, a lot of people believe that Rosenstein is trying to hold the fort down. I think that you know, Mueller is -- look he`s been doing what he`s doing for a long time. It`s not like this is starting today. If Whitaker tries to you know stop it in some way, I do think we will hear about it. I don`t know that we`ll hear about it in real time.

And just the one thing the way in which these two stories are sort of connected, this idea of what Mueller is doing and Whitaker is you know, why doesn`t Trump want us to have faith, right, in what Mueller finds. If -- even if he finds no conspiracy, no collusion, how do we have faith in that now with Whitaker there?

HAYES: It`s a great point. Mimi Rocah and Elliot Williams, thank you both for joining me tonight. Next, the dangerous, really dangerous partisan fight over whether or not to count every vote in the Midterms. The lengths Republicans are going to undermine the democratic process right after this.


HAYES: In the weeks since the Midterms, we have seen a dangerous new partisan divide. The issue whether to count every vote cast in an election. Democrats have been on the side of counting every ballot even when it might not benefit them. Like for instance, in Utah`s Fourth Congressional District where new votes just counted have narrowed the lead of Democrat Ben McAdams over Republican incumbent Mia Love.

Now, even as Love might actually take the seat if that`s what the votes say, Democrats have not cried foul. They`ve not said there`s some great theft going on. In contrast, Republicans have been launching baseless accusations of fraud in close election after close election they might not win. It`s gone so far that a state senator in Georgia today was arrested and was taken away by police for demonstrating in favor of simply counting outstanding ballots in Georgia.

That`s also what Democrats want in Florida to count every vote and then to go through the recount as mandated by state law even as there has been a concerted Republican attempt to sow doubt about the legitimacy of the vote counting. It has gotten so bad that Arizona Senate Candidate Martha McSally is now reaping plaudits merely for graciously conceding her race instead of making up fraud allegations.

Here to talk about what this all means, Ron Klain former Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden and Al Gore and former Chief Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and David Becker a former Senior Voting Rights Attorney at Department Justice and the Executive Director the Center for Election Innovation and Research. Ron, I`ll start with you. Look, fights about recounts have been happening on the Florida recount that Norm Macdonald and Al Franken recount was you know, litigated. But it does seem to me there`s something new going on here. What do you think?

RON KLAIN, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF FOR JOE BIDEN AND AL GORE: Well, I think there`s something worse going on here. I mean, if I told you, Chris, that we had an election where someone was both the chief election officer and a candidate in the election and he knocked ten percent of the voters off the rolls, refused to process 50,000 applications to vote and urge the shutting of 200 polling places, you`d say let`s send in the U.N. observers. But that happened not in the Republic of Georgia, but in the State of Georgia right next to this recount in Florida.

So we are having more and more partisanship and how these elections are run and now the Republicans have this playbook of attacking merely the counting of votes as somehow election fraud, election theft. Governor Scott who is both the candidate and the chief law enforcement officer in Florida has made this allegation. It`s been disproven. It`s been knocked down by Republican-appointed judges. It`s been knocked down by Republican- appointed election officials. It`s just an effort to sow doubt and partisanship into a process that should be nonpartisan and professional.

HAYES: Richard Hasen has a piece in Slate yesterday, David, and he writes about -- he writes about the election rights, and voting rights, and voting -- and what he calls the voting wars. And he said what`s happening in Florida as a nightmare, 2020 could be so much worse. The new voting war is threatened to undermine the very foundation of American democracy. The election officials can fairly and accurately count ballots and they can declare a winner with whom the losers will accept as legitimate. Do you -- do you worry about that?

DAVID BECKER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ELECTION INNOVATION AND RESEARCH: I worry about it somewhat. As elections are getting closer especially in a place like Florida it`s razor-thin margins, we have -- the stakes are so high.

HAYES: Right.

BECKER: And we have to be careful not to delegitimize our democracy while we wait to determine the outcome. The most important thing in all of these elections is to get the outcome right. We want to find out who the voters chose, and we have to give election officials time to do that. There are millions of ballots still being counted nationwide and we have to let election officials do their jobs so we know who accurately won.

HAYES: But in a case, we`re on, like -- so in California, you`ve got -- this is really striking to me. Two Republican candidates, Young Kim who is in the 39th District to California and a Republican named Mimi Walters in the 45th district who just slipped behind her Democratic opponent Katie Porter in the latest round of votes. We all know votes come in late in California. We know that. In both cases, both of these individuals Young Kim and Mimi Walters are alleging fraud, alleging untoward activities simply because California takes a while to count votes.

KLAIN: Well, not only does California take a while to count votes, but we shouldn`t forget the day after veterans days that we have statutes that say that military voters, all voters overseas but most of them tend to be military voters get ten days after the election for their ballots to come back from overseas and be counted. And if we`re going to stand up for military rights and veterans rights, then taking the time to get their ballots in and to make sure they`re counted it seems like the very least we could do as a democracy for the men and women who are defending us overseas.

And so yes, I do think this new playbook that the Republicans have of trying to say that the normally, orderly process that I understand is frustratingly long, everyone wants to know how it`s going to end, that`s natural. But the process that makes the ending right, the process that makes that we`re counting the votes correctly, that that process is somehow fraudulent or contrary to democracy, that is a dangerous trend, and I think Rick Hasen is right. We are seeing a preview of the playbook Trump may run in 2020 if instead of narrowly winning Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, he nearly loses those three states with this kind of nonsense. What are coming out of the president now could be what we see in two years.

HAYES: David, how much does all of this rest on this kind of shared sense of legitimacy as opposed to the final say of courts?

BECKER: Well, I think we`ve become more divisive as a society and more and more partisans are only concerned with winning and not concerned with the long-term implications for our democracy. And it didn`t used to be this way. I still remember when Vice President Gore conceded in 2000, when Norm Coleman conceded after a long recount in the 2008 Minnesota Senate race. It used to be that we had more of a sense of long-term importance of trust in our institutions and democracy and to voice the voters.

HAYES: Although I will -- I will say that Norm Coleman, that litigation extended if I`m not mistaken, I think six months. It robbed the Democrats an opportunity to seat 60 senators to go to the filibuster which was crucially important for the legislative agenda. And Ron, you were down there in Florida in 2000. I mean, that was as much a (INAUDIBLE) and dogfight as anything I`ve ever seen. The Supreme Court ends up stopping the recount on a 5-4 decision that they themselves disavowed in the decision.

KLAIN: Yes, but I mean, to David`s point. Look, that is true and I think it`s -- the Supreme Court`s decision in Bush v Gore is an outrage. It`s a historic outrage. It`s one I think we have not from, never will in some ways. But to the point, Al Gore went on national T.V. that night and said the Supreme Court has spoken, I encourage all my supporters to accept that outcome as final.

And I think again, the danger we see particularly from President Trump is he is so little invested in democracy, he`s so little committed to our system that if he were to lose in 2020, what he would do about that, I think that`s somebody we should all be concerned about.

HAYES: It`s a great, great point. Ron Klain and David Becker, thank you both for your time. Coming up, the Midwest can be tough for Democratic candidates but Senator Sherrod Brown has managed to figure it out. He joins me to talk about whether he can turn that into a 20 run among other things, after this.


HAYES: For Democrats, some of the best news to come out of election night came from the Industrial Midwest. Democrats won seven out of eight Markey statewide races in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, all states, of course, the President won two years ago putting him in the White House. When Democratic loss came in Ohio, Richard Cordray fell about four points short and his run for governor against Mike DeWine.

Now, Ohio`s demographics make it a uniquely challenging state for Democrats, particularly in this era. Trump won there by eight points. So when Democrats do well in Ohio, people pay attention. And joining me now, the newly re-elected Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio who was reelected last week by more than six points. Senator, all right, you outperformed the Democratic presidential candidate two years ago by about 14 points generally in the state. What did you figure out? What did you do?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, I think it`s pretty simple. I mean, it`s not only whose side are you on? If you love your country you fight for people who make it work whether you punch a clock or whether you swipe a badge or work for tips or work on a salary, whether you`re raising kids or caring for an aging parent.

And I mean, to me it`s all about the dignity of work, it`s about whose side are you on and do you fight for workers. And I don`t look at white workers and black workers and Latino workers, I look for workers. And look out for workers and I think that shows at election time. It`s the way you should govern and the way you should run for office.

HAYES: You know, you were -- Richard Cordray, who you endorsed and is, you know, an ally of yours and I think has a -- you know, he was at CFPB. I think he`s got a kind of similar populist politics, vision of politics as you was not able to pull it out against Mike DeWine. Do you have thoughts about that?

I mean, it is a tough state for Democrats.

BROWN: It is a tough state. And it`s moving -- we`ve won a total of two state-wide elections in the last decade, these two races for the Senate in `12 and `18. And it`s -- I think it`s -- I mean, it`s a -- you know, we talked about -- we talked about Republican interest groups. We talked about -- made the contrast on health care and taxes. They talked my Patriot Corporation Act of companies pay decent wages and provide good benefits and make their products in the United States they get a lower tax rate. We talked about the Corporate Freeloader Act. If your company -- if you`re a large company and you pay -- you pay $8 or $10 or $12 an hour and you rely on -- your workers rely on Medicaid and rely on housing vouchers and earned income tax credit and food stamps then you pay a high -- you pay a corporate freeloader fee, you pay a higher rate.

And that -- I think that -- voters in the end think you`re on your side because I am on those kinds of issues. I think that matters.

HAYES: Yours was a state where Donald Trump came to rally for Jim Renacci, who was the congressman who was opposing you. And, you know, obviously he`s got a very specific tactic here. There was a lot of talk about the Honduran/Central American migrants who were 1,000 miles away. Did that stuff cash out? I mean, did that work? Did you see it work? Did it fall flat?

BROWN: I think it did. I think that voters turned out in huge numbers around Ohio on the Democratic side, particularly in the big urban areas. They turned out in huge numbers, in part, mostly motivated by 18 months of a very divisive president who engaged in racist demagogic rhetoric, who always tried to divide people and that`s how he`s been successful by turning people -- you know, he`s been the sort of faux populism, this sort of fake population where -- but populists, you know, real populism is not racist, it`s not anti-Semitic, it`s not pushing people down so others can do well, it`s not turning people against each other, populism is about work. And it`s about those who work hard and play by the rules ought to be able to get ahead. Those who have worked their whole lives ought to have a secure retirement where Medicare and Social Security, in spite of efforts in Washington to cut those programs or raise the eligibility age, where they`re -- they will be there. It`s a covenant between the public and their government.

HAYES: You have said -- I think Connie Schultz your wife said you guys are thinking about your possibility of running for president in 2020. Are you thinking about it? And what are you thinking about?

BROWN: We weren`t much before the election. I mean, people think comes from Ohio, is a progressive. But I -- as you know, Chris, from lots of conversations, I didn`t as a kid dream of being president. I dreamed about playing center field for the Cleveland Indians, that dream I`ve finally given up on.

But we`ve just heard from an overwhelming number of people who have said I should consider it in large part because of our message and my long-time commitment to the dignity of work. And I think if you stand for workers, it means never compromising on civil rights and women`s rights and LGBT rights, it means never caving to Wall Street or the gun lobby or Donald Trump. And I think that makes -- that`s, I think, why people of large numbers across the country have begun to approach me.

HAYES: Yeah, it`s interesting, because -- yeah, if you look at -- you know, you said two statewide races, they are both -- your 2012 race, your 2018 race. It`s a state that`s trending in a Republican direction, people think it`s going to be harder and harder to win. But do you want to be president of the United States?

BROWN: Well, I don`t know yet. I don`t know if I have the -- I mean, a lot of my colleagues have thought about wanting to be president for a long time. And I really haven`t until this election. I mean, people have asked me. I`ve thought a little bit about it. But it`s not been a lifelong dream. And I`ve -- Connie and I and Emily and Elizabeth and Caitlin and Andy have to sit down and figure that out, what we want to do. I`m not committed to doing it. But we`re having the conversation now.

Because -- like you are, Chris, I`m worried about my country. And I`m worried about long-time young federal judges he puts on the bench. I`m worried long-term about climate change. I`m worried about the hate speech coming out of the White House. And that`s given license for people to engage in racist or worse -- racist rhetoric or worse, or anti-Semitic rhetoric or worse.

I was at a meeting with a Jewish group today in Cleveland and talking to -- talking to them about the security they now -- they`ve always had good security in most of their synagogues in Cleveland, now they`re stepping it up at great expense, because they think they need to. And I don`t put that all at the feet of Donald Trump, but I`ve called at him -- I spoke to the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society right after Pittsburgh, a Columbus group, right after the Pittsburgh shooting and they -- they`re concerned about all this and we all called on the president to try to heal and unify.

Again, I don`t blame him for this stuff, but he has made -- he has emboldened far too many people to do things that are just awful.

HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown who will be entering his third term as the United States senator from Ohio, thanks for giving some time tonight.

BROWN: Thanks.

HAYES: Coming up, the mayor of Los Angeles on the deadly California fires and why the first lady publicly called for the firing of a top security official. That story next.


HAYES: We been expecting some personnel turnover in the West Wing following midterm elections. Today, there are reports of a particularly bizarre personnel situation in which the East Wing, the office of the first lady has become involved.

A senior National Security Council official, Mira Ricardel, pictured here with the president at a White House Diwali celebration today is expected to be fired, according to The Wall Street Journal, following this unbelievable statement, quote, "it is the position of the office of the first lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House."

The position of the office of the first lady.

That is a new one, publicly calling for someone to be fired.

NBC News reports that Ricardel has repeatedly angered the East Wing, the contradiction included Ricardel demanding NSC staff have seats on the first lady`s plane during her trip to Africa last month, people familiar with the disagreement said.

When asked for a response to the statement from the office of the first lady, a senior White House official told NBC News the East Wing speaks for the East Wing. Eesh (ph) -- #bebest everyone.


HAYES: Today, hundreds of protesters joined by Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gathered in Nancy Pelosi`s office to demand that Democrats create a concrete plan to combat climate change now. Chanting 12 years, they demanded Pelosi draft an action plan to cut carbon emissions by 45 percent over the next 12 years, that`s the goal set forth by the inter-government panel on climate change to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Now, cutting emissions almost in half in 12 years, if that seems crazily ambitious as a goal to do that, it is because it is. But if you want a sense of what the stakes are in this entire thing, well, then you look no further than the state of California.

Of course, California`s death toll now looking to be around 44, or wildfires continue to rage, and they continue to burn across the state tonight.

Joining me now for the latest is the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. Mayor, how are things out there this evening?

MAY. ERIC GARCETTI, (D) LOS ANGELES: Well, they`ve turned a pretty good corner thanks to the heroes that are out there, everybody from our firefighters on the line, mutual aid from throughout the state, and also of course all the volunteers, you know, even purveyors of divisive politics these days can`t kill off the fact that Americans still care for each other in times of need.

After a shooting that we saw in Thousand Oaks, then the fires have broken out here in Southern California, but a lot of really hard work and a lot of love has turned the corner. So, we`re optimistic. But then of course there`s going to be a long rebuilding.

And I appreciate what you said just in the lead-in, too, because cutting carbon emissions -- this isn`t about forest mismanagement, this is about earth mismanagement. And here in Southern California we`re showing you can cut emissions while growing an economy, while investing and facing reality. And we need that sort of leadership coming out of Washington, D.C. and around the country that we see at the local level right now.

HAYES: Even California, which is cutting emissions, and which is sort of one of the most ambitious states in the union isn`t cutting it enough to meet those IPCC goals. Is California prepared, is the country prepared, for what it needs to do so that what you`re seeing on the right of your screen does not become more common place?

GARCETTI: Absolutely. From those fires that we California, to my friend Mayor Sylvester Turner in Houston rebuilding a town devastated by Harvey, to what we saw in the Florida panhandle, local leaders, mayors, know this is real.

But in Los Angeles, we cut -- the last year we`ve been able to measure this, our emissions by 11 percent in a single year at the same time we cut our unemployment rate by 14 percent. We`re creating green jobs, a prosperous middle class economy that people can do from solar, to water, to other things at the same moment that we`re facing that reality. And quite honestly, Chris, we have no other choice.

I lead -- climate mayor is a group I co-founded of mayors across the country. And when Donald Trump said that he was going to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, we now have in 47 states 409 cities that have said if he`s out, we`re in. And we`re the only centralized country beginning to meet those goals, and some of us in some of our cities are surpassing that timeline.

We`ve got to accelerate. We`ve got to do it now. We doing it now. We`ve promised 100 percent renewable energy out here in California, and that is the pathway of the future to save this earth.

HAYES: Are you thinking there`s 44 people who are the mass majority of those are in Northern California, but there are many missing -- my understanding is down in Southern California, you have more control -- the firefighters have more control over that fire now than they did, say, just 48 hours ago. How are you thinking about the relief efforts, what people need, and how do you think about rebuilding?

GARCETTI: Well, we`re going to have to have help for people in their homes. We have to first find the dead throughout the state and anybody who has lost the places where they live.

But, you know, I think it`s a sobering message when you see this, that the last climate change deniers tell that to a firefighter who is on the line, tell that to somebody who has lost their loved one to a fire who has died, tell that to somebody who longer has a home.

But the nice thing is, despite what you might hear with national politics, our local officials and our federal officials at the departmental level, we deal with each other with incredibly good will. The federal money is coming. Some people want to distract us with the politics of this, or the crazy ideas that they have.

But we have work to do. We have people to feed. We have got people who have to get back into their homes. We`ve got firefighters on the line, we have people still living in shelters tonight here in Southern California, and obviously up north.

So, we will put all hands, not just for this fight, but for the months to come to make sure people can come back, can rebuild, and to make sure that these are resilient communities.

HAYES: I mean you`ve got -- there are thousands of units, thousands of home and thousands of units of residential housing that have been taken out. There`s going to be a tremendous cost here.

GARCETTI: No question, especially up in Northern California where we see thousands of structures that have probably been destroyed. But even down here in Southern California, we`re going to be working extremely hard to make sure that people can get back, can build new housing, that we get that federal money there, and that we really do everything we can to protect. We can`t keep denying this is happening. This is a new normal. And this drought that is here that causes these fires requires federal leadership that we hope will come soon.

HAYES: All right, Eric Garcetti is the major of Los Angeles. Many thanks.

GARCETTI: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: After the break, Iraq War Veteran Senator Tammy Duckworth says the president sent thousands of troops to the border without any real mission. That interview right after this.


HAYES: About 5,000 migrants from Central America are now heading to San Diego, where they plan to ask the U.S. government for asylum at the legal port of entry. And in anticipation of that, Customs and Border Protection officials have shut down several lanes from Tijuana into San Diego, one of the busiest border crossings in America.

Now they did that today, as you see from that traffic, even though, according to the San Diego Tribune, as of last night, most members of the largest caravan remain more than 1,500 miles from Tijuana.

And while those 5,000 plus troops the president sent to, quote, defend the border, well, most of them are also hundreds of miles away from Tijuana, stationed instead in Texas near the Rio Grande Valley.

It`s an absurd situation that Democratic Senator and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth pointed out to me is also a massive waste of resources.


SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, (D) ILLINOIS: There is no real mission for the troops there. And this is at the cost of I`m hearing figures as high as $200 million.

You know, this president has done everything he can to politicize our military, and that`s completely wrong. So we have got 5,000 troops under title 10, by the way, which means that under posse comitatus, they`re not allowed to do any law enforcement functions. So they`re basically sitting out in the desert building fences and latrines for each other, eating MREs with no real mission.

It is a waste of resources and it is a real misuse of our brave men and women in uniform. And they`re going to be there over Thanksgiving away from their families.

HAYES: You were tweeting yesterday, if I`m not mistaken, on the day that folks were observing Veteran`s Day about the anniversary of what you called your alive day, the day that you`re helicopter was shot down. Tell me about what it was like to sort of recollect about that day?

DUCKWORTH: Well, yesterday was the 14-year anniversary of my alive day. It`s a tradition taught to us by the Vietnam veterans. I could look at the day I was shot down as a very sad day or as a second birthday, and I choose to celebrate it.

And so for me every year, it`s my gut check. It`s my moral compass. I don`t ever want to live my life in a way in any day of my life that the men who saved me would ever be ashamed of what I do. And it`s really my moral compass here in congress. Every day that I`m in the Senate, I think, you know, I don`t want them to regret, ever, ever regret saving my life and try to do everything I can to support our troops, to support our veterans, to live by the ideals that they lived by when they saved me that day in that dusty field in Iraq.

HAYES: In terms of supporting veterans, there is this story that I really am still scratching my head about -- 82,000 beneficiaries of the VA GI Bill are waiting on delayed housing payments. And this appears to be the cause of a technical glitch that was known for quite some time. Why is this not fixed?

DUCKWORTH: Incompetence. Incompetence from this Trump administration.

There is still not a chief information officer for the VA. Two years in, the second largest agency in the United States government with 300,000 employees that are serving tens of millions of veterans, they do not have a CIO.

So their computer system crashed, basically, and now 80,000 young men and women who are going to school on the GI Bill that they earned thanks to their military service protecting and defending us are not going to get money for their housing allowance. Many of them have gotten too little money, some of them have been paid as little as $800 less than they should have been paid. They`re going to get kicked out of their apartments, their dormitories at a time when they`re trying to move on with their lives.

And this president can`t -- he is spending $200 million on sending 5,000 troops to the boarder where they have nothing to do, and yet he is going to leave 80,000 veterans who have already done their job, who have already performed their missions out there with no place to live because they`re not getting the housing allowance. It is shameful.

HAYES: You worked in the Veteran`s Administration. In some ways, it`s one of the most sprawling, complicated bureaucracies in the federal government, and also vital and important. I mean, the president hammered on the VA in his campaign. What grade do you give the performance of that agency under his stewardship?

DUCKWORTH: Well, you know, I think that he`s done an F. I give him an F rating when it comes to the VA. Many of the folks in the VA are trying as hard as they can, but when you don`t have a CIO, you can`t overhaul that computer system.

HAYES: Let me ask you -- one sec. So they just haven`t -- is that a senate confirmed position, or is that just a political appointment?

DUCKWORTH: It`s a senate confirmed political appointment.

HAYES: And so they just haven`t nominated someone?

DUCKWORTH: They haven`t nominated anyone.

HAYES: For two years?

DUCKWORTH: Yeah, yeah, to be the chief information officer for the VA at a time when they`re trying to integrate the VA and DOD`s electronic medical record system, and they`ve left these 80,000 veterans throughout with no forms of payment.

You know, something similar happened when we first put in the GI Bill, post- 9/11 GI Bill when I was at VA myself during the Obama administration under Secretary Shinseki, and the computer system, there was a glitch then. But Secretary Shinseki just basically blew up at the CIO at the time and said you know what I don`t care. We`re going fix it and we`re going to cut checks tomorrow.

And so he went out and we cut checks to all those veterans who were not getting their payments. This president is just leaving these guys to get thrown out on to the streets. They can fix this. They can do emergency payments to all these veterans to make sure that they get the money to pay their rent and their housing bills for their dormitories and they`re not doing it.

HAYES: Let me ask you, final question about the representation in this congress. You`re someone who comes from a different background than a lot of your fellow senators. Obviously, you`re a veteran. You`re a woman of color. You have a seven-month-old daughter who you are mothering right now as you are in the Capitol. There is a whole wave of new folks who are going to be taking office, two new women who will be joining you as Democratic colleagues in the Senate, dozens of women who have been elected in the house.

How does that change the atmosphere and the leadership structures and representation on Capitol Hill?

DUCKWORTH: Well, we need more women in leadership positions all across this nation, not just here in Capitol Hill, but in boardrooms as well, all across America.

Remember, we also lost two women. Well lost Claire McCaskill and Heidi Heitkamp. So, in the senate, at least on the Democratic side, we haven`t gained any more women.

And, you recall Afghanistan, their parliament has 25 percent female representation, and we`re sitting at 22 in the United States. So we`re not doing as well as Afghanistan is. And that says something about how much more we have to do and how much longer were have to go until we get 50 percent of the Senate occupied by women, we`re not at true and equal representation of the American people.

HAYES: All right. Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, thank you so much for making some time.

DUCKWORTH: Thank you.


HAYES: All right. I want to thank everyone that already bought tickets to our first ever live recording of Why is This Happening?, our weekly podcast which is out Tuesdays. That event is now sold out. But here`s the thing, hopefully it will not be our very last live show. We are thinking about maybe making this a thing. We don`t know if it`s going to be a thing, but we`re thinking about maybe making it a thing. We`ll see how this one goes. So you should keep your eyes out for more. Watch the space.

Now, if you are not able to make it out this Sunday, we have good news, because we have a brand-new episode up today, and that is about the lasting legacy of slavery on southern politics, and it`s way more complicated and way more enduring and fascinating than you might imagine. It`s also our first ever episode with two guests, Maya Sen and Matthew Blackwell. You can download it wherever you get your podcasts. Don`t forget to rate and review.

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


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