Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 9, 2019 Guest: Franklin Foer, Jerry Nadler, Neal Katyal, Barbara Boxer, Amy Klobuchar
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: We saw a temper tantrum because he couldn`t get his way and he just walked out of the meeting.
HAYES: A cornered President storms out --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bye, bye!
HAYES: As the Mueller probe closes in.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: This appears as the closest we`ve seen yet to real live actual collusion.
HAYES: Tonight, what looks like the end of the collusion debate as the Manafort bombshell lands on Capitol Hill.
WARNER: The question is what did the President know? What did Donald Trump know?
HAYES: Plus, what we learned today about the fate of Rod Rosenstein. And as the Trump shutdown continues --
TRUMP: This is not a fight I wanted. I am proud to shut down the government.
HAYES: Senator Amy Klobuchar on the government workers held hostage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop playing chicken with our lives.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. It`s been just one full day since the President`s very first Oval Office addressed to the nation and I defy you to quote a single line from it. Trump`s transparently desperate attempt to talk his way out of the bind he has put himself in did manage to squeeze out one new cycle, but now here we are on day 19 of the shutdown. The president is in the same bind as before. Republican unity is showing some severe signs of strain and the ability to suck the attention away from other matters has waned in the harsh light of day.
Today, the revelations from Paul Manafort`s accidentally unredacted court filing and the New York Times report expanding on that are sinking in. We are seeing for the first time just how implicated Paul Manafort is in colluding, colluding with foreign Russian allied interests while running Donald Trump`s presidential campaign.
Here`s what we know from the filing and the New York Times. In the spring of 2016, Paul Manafort wrangled himself onto the Trump campaign somewhat out of nowhere. He`d been out of American politics for a while. Manafort said he would work for free despite being massively in debt to Kremlin allied interests. Weird enough but OK.
Now, at this point, Donald Trump is sewing up the nomination heading towards the Republican National Convention. This is -- let`s keep in mind, this is before Russia`s hacking becomes public. It`s before the Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr., and Manafort, and Kushner, and a bunch of Russians supposedly bringing dirt from Hillary direct from Russian government. It`s before Trump`s Russia if you`re listening comment. It`s before all that.
And what we now know is that during that period of time, in that period in the spring when Manafort comes on board that Paul Manafort is sharing internal proprietary polling and election data that they have inside the campaign with a guy who the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence. Those are the facts. And just to take a step back, all campaigns run an internal polling. They all have access to trove of internal data they use to make decisions that they don`t make public.
And it`s not just like the top lines of who`s winning Hillary or Donald Trump, it`s how is the candidate doing with say white women in Michigan? How our certain message is working? And that stuff is very closely held. It`s not shared with anyone. It`s only shared with the political party or other people who are trying to get your guy elected. One of the people Manafort shared that data with was a man whose name you might have heard before. His name is Konstantin Kilimnik.
He was trained by Russia`s military intelligence. He was Manafort`s deputy in Ukraine. He`s Ukrainian ethnically but was allied with the pro-Kremlin party and pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine working for the benefit of Kremlin`s interests. Kilimnik has also quite revealingly I would note been indicted by Robert Mueller and immediately fled back to Russia just to give you a sense of where he thought the safest place in the world for him to be was.
And he was told -- we learned for New York Times -- to share this internal data with two other people, two Ukrainian oligarchs, again allied with the pro-Russian party that Paul Manafort has worked for. And just for context, here`s what Manafort was saying in July of 2016.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So to be clear, Mr. Trump has no financial relationships with any Russian oligarchs?
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: That`s what he said, that`s what I said, that`s obviously what our position is.
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HAYES: OK. So Paul Manafort was running the Trump campaign and he was taking their secret campaign information and giving it to a man assessed to be a Russian intelligence asset and then telling him to give it to some oligarchs who were allied with the Kremlin. Just ask yourself, why on earth was he doing that? What in the world do Ukrainian oligarchs do with information about how Trump`s message is testing among college-educated women? What does anyone do with it?
And secondly if there`s an innocent explanation or excuse for him doing this deeply bizarre thing, why on earth would Paul Manafort risk going to prison for the rest of his life by lying about that to Robert Mueller`s team especially when they have him over a barrel having already convicted him on eight counts of tax and bank fraud? Why?
Now, the simplest explanation maybe not the real one but the simplest one, the most straightforward answer these questions is that Paul Manafort was colluding with the Russians and sharing the data with them to help get Trump elected. And then he lied about it to Robert Mueller because he doesn`t want everyone to know he colluded with the Russians to get Trump elected.
If there`s one man you want to talk to in order to make sense of all this, it`s Franklin Foer, Natural Correspondent for the Atlantic. His profile Konstantin Kilimnik is still the definitive description of the man. He also had an incredible profile of Manafort himself. All right, Frank, how big a deal are these revelations?
FRANKLIN FOER, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTIC: I think it`s a big deal but I think it`s maybe more suggestive of what the broader narrative is than conclusive on its own. To just paint -- step back and give the bigger picture. Paul Manafort was deeply in debt to a Russian oligarch called Oleg Deripaska who he owed $20 million to at least. And we know from other Robert Mueller filings and from the rest of our reporting that he was willing to -- from e-mails that the Atlantic obtained that he was looking to trade access to the Trump campaign in order to erase this debt.
And we have something similar happening here with these Ukrainian oligarchs. That these Ukrainian oligarchs Manafort believe owed him money. That he`d worked for them in Ukraine. He was their consultant and he thought that they out of money and he thought hey I can trade this access to the Trump campaign this sensitive information in order to make this debt disappeared.
So in effect yes, this is collusion but I think we don`t even know the scope and the broad -- broadest contours of that collusion.
HAYES: But here`s the thing that`s strange. And we should note there`s also this infamous e-mail that Manafort almost as soon as he gets in the campaign, he sends it to Kilimnik and he says it`s Oleg seen it basically, and does he want a private briefing on the campaign. It`s like why does Oleg Deripaska or these Ukrainian oligarchs care about a briefing from the soon-to-be Republican nominee? What good is that to them? What good is private polling data?
FOER: Right. As you said, Paul Manafort spent the last ten years of his career before he joined the Trump campaign working in Ukraine, working for pro-Russian interest. His sidekick who you`ve talked about Konstantin Kilimnik, the guy that -- who was his closest advisor, was somebody who was trained by Russian intelligence. He called him my Russian brains. And so he`s coming into this American context having been steeped in Ukrainian and Russian political culture. He doesn`t really know where the boundaries are when he enters this thing.
HAYES: And you got to also wonder about this part of it which is that Manafort -- we have some reporting back in 2017 that indicates that the whole internal FBI investigation, the crossfire hurricane that would later become the Mueller investigation, that it starts because there`s some four intercepts of some Russian intelligence people talking about Manafort colluding with Russians over the campaign.
FOER: Yes. And again, this was obvious at the time. In -- you know in in the spring of 2016 when Manafort came on the campaign, it was pretty clear that he owed some Russians a lot of money and it was clear that he was doing things at the time even in public that seemed to suggest that he was cozying up to pro-Russian interest. And so you know, I think that -- there`s really good reason to think that you know, the scandal has several beating hearts it looks like, but one of the beating hearts of the scandal has obviously always been Paul Manafort.
HAYES: And Kilimnik just to sort of refresh people on him. You said he was his deputy. He was sort of a political operative. He was trained by the GRU he was ultimately indicted by Mueller. What does it say that he went to Russia upon being indicted?
FOER: Right. He was -- he was Manafort`s -- he was Manafort`s alter-ego. He was his sidekick. Manafort, when he was working in Ukraine, needed a translator and this guy Kilimnik stepped up to be his translator and he would go with Manafort everywhere. With -- Manafort would travel to Moscow to meet with a Russian oligarch, Kilimnik would be the only guy in the room because Manafort didn`t speak any of these foreign languages.
And so Kilimnik was there for everything. And so Manafort joins the campaign. He immediately turns to Kilimnik despite all the suggestions that he has this past with Russian intelligence, despite everything we know about how once people get into Russian intelligence. They tend not to leave. And Manafort overlooked all of this.
HAYES: All right, Franklin Foer, thank you very much.
FOER: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor Nick Akerman and Natasha Bertrand, Staffer at the Atlantic covering national security of the Mueller investigation. Natasha, I`ve seen you sort of reporting this out, writing about it, tweeting about it. What do you make of these revelations?
NATASHA BERTRAND, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. So it`s really hard to tell at this point because obviously, the New York Times had originally reported that this information went to Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch. And now we`re learning that it actually went to two Ukrainian oligarchs who are of course very pro-Russian. But I don`t think it diminishes the fact that there was really no reason why Paul Manafort should have been sharing internal campaign polling data with anybody outside of the campaigns.
Whether or not he was just freelancing and this was an effort to shore up his own his own deaths with the people that he owed millions of dollars to by the time that he entered the Trump campaign or whether or not this was a concerted effort but to collude essentially with the Russians or pro- Russian Ukrainians. We just don`t know yet. But the fact that he took that internal campaign polling data which is essentially used to target voters, right?
I mean, it`s information about what messages are going to be most persuadable to certain segments of the population. It is very, very valuable and every polling expert that I spoke to today said that if this did wind up in the hands of the Russians and it would be extremely useful for them especially in targeting their ads which of course we know that they did throughout 2016. So I think that we need to take a step back. We need to think about you know, the connections between these Ukrainians and Russians and then from there figure out you know what the Russians actually did with that data if anything.
HAYES: The reason that we know about this in the filing, of course, is that Manafort -- Mueller`s team says Manafort lied about all this stuff. He lied about meeting Kilimnik in Madrid. He lied about Kilimnik and him talking about a deal that would lift the sanctions on Russia that was crippling them after the co-optation and invasion of Crimea, and he lied about this sharing of the data. As a former prosecutor, like that, itself seems to me to speak volumes about the motive is.
NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Of course. I mean, this is not some coincidence. They weren`t gathering data in order to send Christmas cards out to people in the Midwest.
HAYES: Yes, like what the heck do they need it for?
AKERMAN: Right. They needed it --
HAYES: There`s no answer to it.
AKERMAN: There is an answer to it. A number of Russians have already been indicted for this for micro-targeting voters through Facebook, through other social media to suppress the Hillary Clinton vote. That`s what this was all about. This wasn`t to pay back --
HAYES: We don`t know that yet. This is your -- this is your theory.
AKERMAN: Well, it`s only a theory. You`ve got people indicted for this already.
HAYES: Right. Who are doing the -- doing the ads and the targeting of the Internet users.
AKERMAN: That`s right. And where did they get this information? Where did they get the data? It came from this polling data. That`s why this stuff is so valuable.
HAYES: That would be if that were -- I mean, when you talk about smoking guns, right, what the line is they`re smoking gun, were it the case to establish that that was what the data was right? That would be the smoking gun. Like he passes the data and use the data for the target.
AKERMAN: Rick Gates knows about this he was involved in the passing. He`s cooperating with Mueller and he`s going to testify which is why she hasn`t been sentenced yet.
HAYES: This is the key point. Rick Gates shows up here because he`s Manafort`s deputy if you`ll recall --
HAYES: -- charged, pled, is cooperating, and was also involved apparently according to New York Times story in this passing of the data.
AKERMAN: That`s right. And there`s no other reason to pass it other than to be part of that conspiracy with the Russians to target micro-target voters around the country to keep the Hillary Clinton voters from going out and voting for.
HAYES: What -- the part of this, Natasha, about this the other part that he lied about which also strikes me as important is that the idea of some deal that lists sanctions on Russia, and this is something that Nick has said and others have said that it`s very clear that the quo here, the acceptance of quid pro quo to the extent the Russians have a tangible asking demand that they want from getting this guy elected, it`s the lifting of sanctions. That`s very clear. This seems to be yet another data point supporting that.
BERTRAND: Right. Absolutely. And Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik were apparently discussing this plan for Ukraine that would lift sanctions on Russia in exchange for Russia essentially withdrawing from Ukraine. What I really want to know, what we`ve been trying to report out is whether or not this was the same peace plan that Michael Flynn was delivered by Michael Cohen in January of 2017.
It seems like there were a lot of peace plans that involve lifting sanctions on Russia towards the end of the election.
HAYES: It`s also -- just remember these people. These are -- this is not the world`s biggest like battery of policy ideas. These are not folks sitting around being like what can we do on -- what can we do on universal daycare? What can we do on marginal tax rates, peace plans for Ukraine? Like they`ve got no policy whatsoever. They got to the wall basically and yet seem really invested in this.
AKERMAN: Well, this all comes back to the Russian lawyer who was indicted yesterday which all relates to sanctions, right? I mean, first of all --
HAYES: Veselnitskaya who`s indicted in the Southern District --
AKERMAN: Southern District for obstruction of justice for creating a phony document that they could use in a lawsuit in the Southern District. What`s really significant about that case is that Mueller has laid out e-mails, that he has from her back from 2014, two years before the Trump Tower meeting.
AKERMAN: And if he`s got those, he`s got a hell of a lot more and --
HAYES: Right. They`ve got her e-mail communication from lawyers before. It means the she or people around her on the radars scale.
AKERMAN: Exactly. And then if you look at the June 3rd e-mail from Goldstone to Don Jr. talking about the Crown prosecutor, well in fact, the person that Natalia was cooking up this phony document with was the head prosecutor that person for the Russian Federation and so all of a sudden who shows up when Goldstone says that somebody`s going to show up with all of this dirt, the stolen e-mails and documents --
AKERMAN: -- it`s Natalia.
HAYES: And she is now under indictment. Nick Akerman, Natasha Bertrand, thank you both. Joining me now a Democratic Congressman from New York`s Jerry Nadler. He`s the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. What do you make of these revelations from your perch chairing that committee, Congressman?
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, I listened very carefully to Nick Akerman and it certainly seems very indicative. I think the wall -- the walls are closing in on the president. The truth is beginning to be assembled of a best conspiracy to defraud the American people with several different aspects whether it was the hush money to the women that the -- that the President seems to be personally involved in or this collusion with Russians in which they`re given data in which the people gave it to them from the Trump campaign, knew had no value to them other than to help them micro-target social media into illegal social media interventions in the American election. And of course the Trump Tower meeting relating to the hacks from the DNC.
This is why it is so important to protect the Mueller investigation and to make sure that report that may or may not be coming out soon becomes public and is not pocketed by Mr. Whitaker or Mr. Barr and that`s what we have to make sure of. It`s one of the things we have to make sure of on the Judiciary Committee that that report is public so the American people know the results of this investigation.
And of course, we have work to do also. We don`t -- we now have enough leads to do our own investigation on some of the things that Mueller probably knows already but hasn`t said yet.
HAYES: So on the publicness, this is something I`ve been asking a lot of folks. The regulations at issue do not require that it be made public. You`re saying if you view it as your job to make it public, do you have that power as the committee chair to do so?
NADLER: Well, the committee certainly has the power to subpoena the report and if necessary we have the power to certainly -- to invite former prosecutor Mueller to testify in front of the committee and ask him about it.
HAYES: You`re saying once he -- once he were to finish, if the executive attempted to essentially keep it under wraps, those are two avenues you have the power to pursue?
NADLER: That`s exactly right.
HAYES: Now, there`s reporting about Steve Mnuchin who`s someone that I know that various committees have oversight have been pursuing particularly as relates to the decision to lift sort of walk back sanctions on Oleg Deripaska, man at the sort of center of all this, and he has now agreed to give a classified briefing tomorrow, is that correct?
HAYES: And what`s the nature of that?
NADLER: Well, I don`t know what the nature is. It`s a classified briefing to all members of the House as to why he is proposing to remove the or removing these sanctions. Now, these sanctions were imposed on Deripaska and other Russian oligarchs close to Putin because of the invasion of Ukraine -- of Crimea, the occupation of Crimea, the invasion of Ukraine.
And of course, we know from everything you`ve talked about, we know from the testimony about the Trump Tower meeting that the chief quid pro quo for all of this help to the Trump campaign from the Russians is the lifting of sanctions. They wanted to do that from day one. And now we see -- now the President, of course, tried to -- you know, tried to delay the imposition of sanctions that Congress voted and Congress forced them to impose them.
And now he`s trying to lift sanctions without the Russians doing anything to remove themselves from the Crimea or stopping their aggressions in Ukraine. So why you would lift the sanctions except as a quid pro quo for illegal help in the election by the Russians I wouldn`t know.
HAYES: And presumably the Treasury Secretary will speak to that in classified briefing tomorrow. Another item that just broke in last hours is stores in Washington Post about the beefed-up legal team inside the White House and their strategies sort of aggressively to assert executive privilege in matters having to do with the investigations of Robert Mueller. Is your committee staff prepared for what can be some extremely high stakes legal battles between these two branches of government?
NADLER: Our committee staff and the House Counsel who was just hired last week are very much prepared for whatever legal battles may be necessary. And the fact of the matter is you know, Richard Nixon tried to assert executive privilege in the Supreme Court very sharply slapped him down. There is no reasonable case for executive privilege. The executive privilege is always pierced by any reasonable necessity in a criminal or congressional investigation, and the Nixon case which was the unanimous Supreme Court made that point very clear.
HAYES: All right, Congressman and Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler, thank you very much. Coming up, NBC News now reporting Rob Rosenstein plans to leave the Justice Department once the Mueller report is finished. And we now have a better idea of when that`s going to happen we think. That story in two minutes.
HAYES: We now have a better idea of when we may get a report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. NBC News has learned the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the number two at the Department of Justice who appointed Mueller special counsel 20 months ago and who`s overseeing the investigation amid President Trump`s repeated attacks intends to stay in his position until Mueller completes the bulk of his investigative and courtroom work according to a source close to Rosenstein.
The source said Rosenstein does not intend to leave Mueller high and dry the source told NBC News. That means Rosenstein would remain until mid to late February, the Mueller`s report could arrive several weeks later sometime in March.
Now in Prior reporting, administrator officials indicated Rosenstein plan to leave once Trump`s nominee to be Attorney General William Barr is confirmed. If Bar to be confirmed, he would presumably decide how much a Mueller`s report will be made public. For the full implications, let`s bring in Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration.
One way of receiving this news I think from some people was we trust Rod Rosenstein as a sort of steward of the independence investigation and if he feels that things are wrapping up and he can go, then that`s a good sign. Is that the way you feel?
NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL, UNITED STATES: I don`t think so. And so the first thing to think about just taking a step back is like what are the stakes here. And if everything you`ve been talking about Chris for the last 20 minutes the Manafort revelations from yesterday that you know Flynn the National Security Adviser going to jail you know, or at least you know pleading to a federal felony, you`ve got you know, campaign finance violations ordered by the president, all this has come out because of these independent investigations by Mueller and by the Southern District of New York. All of that is potentially now at threat with rod Rosenstein leaving.
I mean, Rod started out I think on unsure footing you know with the Comey memorandum and stuff like that but has by all accounts protected the integrity of these investigations and let them proceed. And now there are threats to them.
HAYES: Well, what are the threats? I mean, I think that depends on how one views William Barr, the man who has now been nominated to succeed the Acting Attorney General of dubious constitutional footing Mr. Whitaker?
KATYAL: Right. So there`s two different branches of the investigation. One is the Special Counsel and the other are the Justice Department investigations in the Southern District and so on. Both will be controlled by the Attorney General. So the Mueller investigation under the Special Counsel regulations which I had the privilege of drafting 20 years ago put the Attorney General in charge.
And what that means is the Attorney General Whitaker now or Barr in the future should he be confirmed could stop any aspect of the investigation, could say to Mueller you can`t indict you know, Don Jr. or Jared or whomever the President, you know, or anything like that, and can also say that that report that, final report that Mueller will issue can`t be given to the Congress you know, in its full report or even any part of it or to the public.
So all of that I think Congress may have some mechanisms try and get at as Congressman Nadler have said, but we have to worry that the investigation can be stopped and the fruits of the investigation, what we`ll learn about from Mueller, the American people may not see because the attorney general that`s willful could block that.
HAYES: Well, you know, the feeling among the world of sort of elites law which is a small but powerful group of people. I think around the Attorney General now is that Mr. Whitaker is entirely unqualified and it`s preposterous that he is running the Justice Department of the United States. I think that`s basically a consensus view.
In the case of Barr, he`s a former attorney general, much more you know, inculcated into the norm of the profession and in sort of the world of elite law. And Lindsey Graham today basically saying that you know, he`s friends with Mueller, he is a very high opinion of Mueller, he`s committing to let Mueller finished his job basically. This guy`s a member of the club. Why would you be worried? What`s your response to that?
KATYAL: Right. So there`s no doubt that Attorney General -- former Attorney General Barr is very qualified, is smart, and all of those things. The question is does he have radical views on the President being above the law. We`re talking about a guy who essentially campaigned for the job of Attorney General for Trump, handing him a 20-page memo which makes ridiculous arguments like a criminal statute has to say the words the President is included in it in order to be encompassed within it.
So you know, like there`s a murder statute. It says murder is illegal. The statute doesn`t say murder is illegal when the president commits it. So under the Barr reading, it seems to me, Barr is saying well, you know, the President could commit murder and not face a federal felony charge. That just strikes me as entirely implausible. And look, I`ve seen all sorts of ridiculously talented people act ridiculously to try and get a position. And that memo you know, looks like that.
And so I do think we should all fear this Attorney General, a nominee, when it comes to the rule of law.
HAYES: And I`ll be the first time in the era of Trump. Neal Katyal, thank you very much. Next, after his big primetime address does nothing to change the shutdown fight, the President threw a temper tantrum perhaps staged in the Situation Room. Those details right after this.
HAYES: If there was one thing Trump was right about, it was that his wall speech last night wasn`t going to make any difference, and neither will his border visit tomorrow.
He apparently confessed as much yesterday afternoon. According to The New York Times, privately Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless in an off the record lunch with television anchors hours before the address. He made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisors, according to two people briefed in the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.
With enthusiasm like that, is it any wonder after a lackluster speech last night and a quick afternoon trip to the the Hill to visit increasingly fractious Republican Senators, that Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with Democrats after just 14 minutes, tweeting quote, "a meeting with Chuck and Nancy was a total waste of time. I said bye-bye."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: The president just got up and walked out. He asked Speaker Pelosi will you agree to my wall? She said no. And he just got up and said then we have nothing to discuss and he just walked out.
Again, we saw a temper tantrum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Which leaves us where we are tonight. Nearly 24 hours after the president`s big first Oval Office prime-time address on his wall and no closer to any kind of resolution on the government shutdown.
Joining me now, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat from Minnesota. Senator, what is your view of where we stand here tonight with the government shutdown?
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D) MINNESOTA: Well, first, when I hear that story I think that maybe he forgot Harry Truman`s famous words the buck stops here, and that he is accountable for this and has responsibility. And what I have seen missing from his speech, from his tweets, are the real people that are affected by this.
You look at the dairy farmers in Minnesota, just got the new farm bill passed, need help, may have to close down the dairy farms, but now the USDA is closed down.
You look at what`s happened with people who are going to have problems with their mortgages, who can`t pay the bills, those security officers in the airports who are now going to be working without pay, those are the real people affected by this shutdown.
And so I think we should just take those House-passed bills, and as you know a number of Republicans broke off and voted for them, because they want to end the shutdown and get a vote on them in the Senate. They`re very similar to what we already unanimously passed and send them over to his desk. That would end the shutdown.
HAYES: Right, so is there any break in the unity on your side? I mean, are you -- I mean, the strategy, as articulated by Schumer is end the shutdown and we`ll negotiate about what a border security package looks like? Is that the position?
KLOBUCHAR: You have seen us very strongly standing together, but I think the break has been on their side where you`ve seen people like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and Cory Gardner and Tillis, they have -- Thom Tillis -- they have started to say, look, let`s just end this shutdown. So, you`ve started to see that.
But I think for those workers who he is not talking about, American leadership where at the same time he`s shut down NASA, the Chinese landed a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon for the first time. This is just wrong for American leadership and for the people of our country.
HAYES: I want to shift gears slightly to talk about your role on Senate judiciary committee because you will be having these very important hearings on the man that we were just discussing, William Barr, the president`s nominee to be attorney general. Have you been able to meet with Mr. Barr so far in your role on that committee?
KLOBUCHAR: No, Chris. And this is a first for me, because we did request a meeting. Of course, it was called at the last minute, the hearing for next week. And I have always met with major cabinet members under both the Obama administration as well as the Trump administration. I mean, I have met with the head of the botanical garden who is not on the cabinet, of course. I have met with the nominee for the patent office, Chris. But we can`t have a meeting with the nominee for one of the most important cabinet positions while this Mueller investigation is going on before the hearing. And I just think that`s wrong.
And you add to that the fact that as a citizen he filed this 19-page memo. I don`t have citizens that do that. They might, you know, send me 19 characters in a tweet about an issue, but he filed suddenly a 19 page issue like a tryout for this job where he basically espoused this very expansive view of executive power that reminds me some of what we saw in the Kavanaugh hearings.
And it seems to me the president is gathering people, albeit a qualified person who has served as attorney general before, certainly more experience than Mr. Whitaker, who is sitting there now, the acting attorney general. But you have some real issues here that we`re going to have to question him about under oath.
HAYES: I just want to make sure I understand what you`re saying here, did they just tell you no, you can`t meet him?
KLOBUCHAR: They said that I could meet him after the hearing because of the shutdown that they weren`t able to do the meeting, which we know is pretty ironic given that we have TSA officers who are out there and FBI and other government workers who are out doing their job now without pay or are furloughed. They weren`t able to bring him over, because of the shutdown and their time and focus was on that as well as the holidays. That`s what we were told.
HAYES: He did meet with Republicans, right? I think I saw a picture of him and Lindsey Graham today.
KLOBUCHAR: He did. But was not able to meet with us until after the hearing, or at least with me and I think Senator Blumenthal had also made a request.
HAYES: All right, Senator Amy Klobuchar on the Judiciary -- Senate Judiciary Committee...
KLOBUCHAR: We`re ready to go next week, Chris, and I`ll have a lot of good questions.
HAYES: All right. Thanks for making time.
Still to come, I`ll talk to Joy Reid and Barbara Boxer about the cracks that are starting to show on the president`s shutdown fight, plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Thing One tonight, Chuck and Nancy`s response to the president`s Oval Office address last night got a lot of attention on the Internet, not so much the substance of what they said, but rather for the interesting stagecraft. Some people saw a striking resemblance to a famous work of art, American Gothic with Chuck and Nancy, others were perhaps reminded of real-life experiences. When you think you can sneak in the house after staying out too late, but mom and dad are up waiting for you in the living room. Or, we all know this one, your father and I aren`t angry with you, just disappointed.
Now, seeing as you`re watching cable news right now, these should also be familiar. Have you been in an accident with someone who didn`t have insurance? Our law firm can help. Call today.
And I`m Chuck and I`m Nancy and tonight, we`re here to talk about whether a reverse mortgage is right for your retirement security.
Mock them all you like, and the people of the internet sure did, but by the one solitary metric that Donald Trump cares about, Chuck and Nancy totally destroyed the competition. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Donald Trump is obsessed with ratings. And we know that because he talks about them all the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I like ratings. I have study ratings.
You know I`m a ratings person, you know this, I always...
I do get good ratings, you have admit that.
Nobody gets ratings like me.
I always got higher ratings than other people, so that was always good.
I`ve become like a ratings maven, OK. I`ve become the king of ratings.
So these rallies are very successful. They hate when I do them, although they do like the ratings, I must say.
They always put it on, because I get good ratings.
They get good ratings. It gives us power.
When you get good ratings, you can say anything, right? That`s what happens. Get good ratings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So you know he must be obsessed with how his first ever Oval Office address rated last night, and we`ve got the numbers. From 9:00 to 9:15 p.m. eastern, the quarter of the hour in which Trump`s speech aired, the combined rating of the major networks was 28.1. But then when Trump went away, a funny thing happened, Chuck and Nancy came on for their rebuttal and the numbers for that next quarter hour went up. The Democrats got a 29.3.
That`s got to hurt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I`ve become like a ratings maven, OK? I`ve become the king of ratings.
I do get good ratings, you have to admit that.
HAYES: Normally there are 435 members of the House of Representatives, but right now in this congress, there are 434, and that`s because of North Carolina`s 9th congressional district.
Remember the midterms there? Republican Mark Harris appeared to win by 905 votes, but voting irregularities soon came to light, irregularities and centered around one man, a Harris campaign contractor names Leslie McCrae Dowless, a twice convicted felon.
Now Dowless seems to have hired people to pick up absentee ballots from voters, against North Carolina law. And there are outstanding questions about what happened to those ballots. Here`s what one woman who says Dowless hired her, told local reporter Joe Bruno of WSOC TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BRUNO, WSOC TV: Should all the people who voted, did their votes count?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess. Like I said, I don`t know nothing what happened after I dropped them off.
BRUNO: So you don`t know for certainty whether they were sent to the elections office?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As all this came to light, the state elections board, with pretty good reason, refused to certify the election results form North Carolina`s 9th district, and yet Republican Mark Harris, the man who hired a felon on his campaign, a guy with a notorious reputation for these kinds of dirty tricks, Mark Harris still refuses to back down. He is demanding to be seated in congress and claiming that he has Trump`s support.
Strangely, he wasn`t too keen to talk to reporters on Monday, instead he fled through an emergency exit, tripping an alarm, in his rush to avoid the media and its questions. And subsequently did a round of interviews, apologizing, calling his escape, quote, "a rookie mistake."
And for all his efforts, Harris won`t be heading to congress any time soon. Investigations into those absentee ballots are still ongoing. But it is worth noting for all the Republican hand-wringing over wide-spread election fraud, there`s only one clear instance where it looks like it actually happened and that`s in North Carolina on behalf of the Republican candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: In a matter of hours, or just a few days, many federal workers will not be receiving their paychecks. And what that means in their lives is tragic in terms of their credit rating, paying their mortgage, paying their rent, paying their car payment, paying their children`s tuition and the rest. The president seems to be insensitive to that. He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money, but they can`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Cold. Cold. Government shutdown drags on after the president`s Oval Office address failed to miraculously transform the debate over his border wall. The longer the shutdown continues, the more its real world effects intensify, the greater the political threat to the president`s party and then to the president himself.
That`s already playing out in the Florida panhandle where The New York Times spoke this week to federal prison employees working without pay. One Trump supporter telling the paper I voted for him, and he`s the one who is doing this. I thought he was going to do good things. He is not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.
With few cards left to play, the president`s position just keeps getting worse. As of tonight, at least three Republican senators have called for the government to be reopened before negotiations continue Alaska`s Lisa Murkowski, Colorado`s Cory Gardner and Susan Collins of Maine.
For more on where things stand in the shutdown fight, I`m joined by Joy Reid, host of MSNBC`s AM Joy; and former Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California, current host of the Boxer podcast.
Senator Boxer, let me start with you. What do you think is going through the minds of your colleagues in the Senate tonight, particularly across the aisle, Republican members?
BARBARA BOXER, FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, CALIFORNIA: Well, I think they`re starting to panic. I well remember a long shutdown where I went out to see the people at Yosemite National Park who were suffering, and what this president did is he made a failed campaign promise, Mexico would build his wall. He got caught. And he nabbed these hostages.
So who are these people? They`re working families. And they`re also contractors. They`re people who run restaurants, small businesses. And I remember going out there. Chris, it was devastating for them, because their whole life was upended, and they had nothing to do with the argument then. And these workers have nothing to do with the argument now.
I guess the art of the deal is you grab hostages and you create chaos. And what`s happening in the minds of my colleagues, I believe, is they`re panicking now because they know the human face is going to be put on all of this. I saw a mother with an autistic child who said she couldn`t take care of the child because she was, you know, not -- she was locked out, essentially.
BOXER: And also, they`re going to start getting calls for them to not take their own pay, and that`s going to cut deep too. You`ll see, that`s the next thing.
HAYES: Well, that`s an interesting -- you`re right about that.
You know, what`s interesting here to me is that the political pressure will get to the Senate before it gets to Trump.
JOY REID, HOST, AM JOY: Absolutely.
HAYES: Trump doesn`t care. And the people that are with him, whatever that 35 percent base is, like they`re with him no matter what.
But that`s not true for the Senate. And so then it becomes this test of like, are they going speak up or not?
REID: Yeah. I mean, the quote you read is kind of the seminole quote for this, right, he is hurting the wrong people. I didn`t think he was going to hurt me.
And I think for a lot of Trump supporters, they`re finding out, just as he is, just what the federal government is. A lot of people hate it as this existential thing. But they don`t really about what is the federal government? Well, I grew up in Colorado. If you are in Colorado, you could be a civilian military employment. You might be on furlough. You could work for one of the many, many installations that have directly to do not only with the military, but with federal government things.
If you work for the forestry service, or you work in a national park, suddenly you`re discovering, oh, I`m the federal government, and I`m on furlough. And you know what, listen, what you`re doing right now, I used to work in local news. You know what their leading local news broadcast with all over this country tonight? Their local people in pain.
HAYES: And not just that, we should say, like, maybe you run a diner that`s near a place where -- that has a federal office building, right. There are a lot of knock-on effects, and no one is coming to work.
REID: It`s not these bean counters who are these invisible blue Democrats who you think of as these bad people who need to just get into the private sector, no. It`s you. It`s your friends. It`s your family.
HAYES: But Senator Boxer, here is the argument on the other side, which I keep bringing up, and as much as the dynamics I think are against the president because he has already claimed credit for the shutdown, people don`t like it, FiveThirtyEight saying that he is -- more people blame him now than when the shutdown began, so that`s not particularly good for him.
But I think the ace he has in his pocket is he doesn`t care. And I think the members of the Senate, Democrats do. Like there is a certain point at which all the things you`re saying, the real pain the people are facing, the missed paychecks and all this stuff matters enough that maybe he breaks the Democrats.
BOXER: I don`t see that at all because there is something called public opinion. We already see that people blame him, and they`re going to continue to see that.
Look, facts are stubborn things. He had $1.6 billion. He hasn`t spent it for a wall. He got that from the congress. He spent 40 percent of it I think on these ridiculous models of his gorgeous dream of these vanity walls, one was painted blue and one was painted pink, or whatever he had. It`s ridiculous.
So the facts are there. He has caught up in his mess. Innocent people who are ordinary Americans, not like him, he doesn`t know what it is to go without a paycheck, because all he had to do was ring daddy. And I`m so glad that Nancy, Speaker Pelosi, I might say, called him on it.
BOXER: Because most people can`t call daddy, you know.
REID: And you know, not for nothing, most the people demanding that he do this are rich. Rush Limbaugh is rich, Ann Coulter, all these people are wealthy. They don`t know what it`s like to struggle the way people are about to struggle are struggling.
So, it costs the Bannonite people nothing. They`re all wealthy, so they don`t care. And Donald Trump, as you said, clearly doesn`t care. It doesn`t bother him that people are suffering.
HAYES: They didn`t even know...
REID: ...he is punishing the people, because Democrats won`t just give him his way.
But ultimately, Democrats have done something very smart here. That`s why it matters whose running the Democratic House, right? It`s someone with experience. They`re going to keep passing bills saying reopen the government. We voted to reopen the government. We voted to reopen the government. They can say that every single day, because they did.
HAYES: And Pelosi today passing something to essentially fund the refunds.
HAYES: What`s needed for refunds, so they could say, OK, well, let`s do this. Let`s pass the refunds and do more of that.
I think the pressure continues to escalate. Joy Reid and Barbara Boxer, thank you both.
REID: Thank you.
HAYES: With everything going on yesterday, we didn`t have a chance to share some good news. Our podcast Why is This Happening is back with a regular fresh new episode. I honestly think it might be one of our best conversations yet.
This week it`s George Goehl, who has a gripping background, is going grassroots organizing in rural America and has some fascinating stories to tell, which you can hear on Apple podcasts or wherever you like to listen.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END