IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Maxine Waters calls for open hearings. TRANSCRIPT: 1/28/2019, All In w. Chris Hayes.

Guests: Katherine Clark, Sam Seder, Christina Greer, Maxine Waters, Sam Nunberg

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 28, 2019 Guest: Katherine Clark, Sam Seder, Christina Greer, Maxine Waters, Sam Nunberg

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now. And tonight, be sure to tune in at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Senator Elizabeth Warren joins Lawrence O`Donnell. And "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes, of course, starts right now.



MATTHEW WHITAKER, ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: I`ve been fully briefed on the investigation.

HAYES: Rare comments on the Mueller probe from Donald Trump`s acting Attorney General.

WHITAKER: The investigation is I think close to being completed and I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible.

HAYES: Tonight, why Matt Whitaker is commenting on an active investigation. What it means for the Special Counsel with Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Then, Michael Cohen agrees to appear privately before Congress as Roger Stone heads to court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to cut a deal with Mueller to avoid the case going to trial?

HAYES: Sam Nunberg on the chances his former mentor will flip. And as the damage from the Trump shutdown comes into focus --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think the President cares way too much about people in the media.

HAYES: Why the people he listens to are itching for another one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the President really prepared to shut down the government again in three weeks?


HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. As the world waits for the next shoe to drop after Roger Stone`s indictment on Friday, the President`s Acting Attorney General says we don`t have much longer to wait. In what appears to have been a pretty flagrant breach of Justice Department protocol, Acting A.G. Matt Whitaker said today that Robert Mueller`s work is almost done.


WHITAKER: Right now you know, the investigation is I think close to being completed and I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as we -- as possible.


HAYES: OK. After speaking up to contradict that BuzzFeed report a couple weeks ago, the Special Counsel is now declining to comment. But keep in mind that for months the President`s allies and I think we can count Whitaker as one of them have been insisting Mueller`s investigation is about to wrap up, though Whitaker appears to be the first one who`s actually read in on the probe.

We also know that FBI agents just executed search warrants on two of Roger Stone`s residences on Friday suggesting they haven`t quite finished examining his conduct. And in the wake of Stone`s pre-dawn arrest and the seven criminal counts on which he`s set to be arraigned tomorrow, it`s hard not to think of this report from last month. But the president lashed out directly at Whitaker after being implicated in the proceedings against his former warrior Michael Cohen.

So you can only imagine just think for a moment how the President might react to the apprehension and indictment of a close associate going back almost four decades. Did he reach out to Whitaker over the weekend, give him an earphone? It`s not clear that Whitaker meant to make a big revelation about the Mueller Pro today. His comments came in response to a somewhat unrelated question during an entirely unrelated press conference his first ever we should note as Attorney General so here`s his full answer in context.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before you came into your current role, you are publicly critical of the Special Counsel investigation. Now, since you have received your briefings, is there anything that you`ve seen or read that gives you concern about Special Counsel Robert Mueller or his investigation?

WHITAKER: You know, I`ve been fully briefed on the investigation and you know, I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report and I really am Not going to talk about open and ongoing investigation otherwise but you know, sort of the statements that I made whereas a private citizen only with publicly available information.

And you know I am -- I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed you know, either through the various means we have. But right now you don`t the investigation is I think close to being completed and I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as we -- as possible.


HAYES: To help make sense of those comments by the Acting Attorney General, I`m joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Jill Wine-Banks a former Watergate Prosecutor and MSNBC Justice and National Security Analyst Matt Miller who`s a former Chief Spokesperson for the Justice Department during the Obama administration. Jill, the propriety of those comments, what do you think?

JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I think he should not have reached out to say that particularly since he wasn`t directly asked a question. It must have been something that was on his mind that he did for a reason. And we know the danger of commenting on ongoing investigations and raising the hope that the report will be coming out soon maybe as you have just suggested a response to something that Donald Trump called upon him over the weekend saying how did you let Roger Stone get indicted. And so he`s being defensive now.

His body language, his tone, his phrasing was certainly uncomfortable. It was not a professional -- he used a lot of ohms and pauses and repeats. So there was something wrong with his answering in that way.

HAYES: Yes. You can watch -- there`s a whole Shakespearean drama playing out in his eyes and forehead as he was going through that, Matt. It was is about as sure-footed as a toddler on ice skates. I mean, it was -- he was trying to figure out what to do. I guess one question is do you take him at his word or was this him speculating, kind of unclear?

MATT MILLER, MSNBC JUSTICE AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I do take him at his word. I think he made clear that he was briefed on it. And look, usually -- look, you can tell he was very nervous. You mentioned -- look at his head, I mean, he was he was sweating, he was stammering. And usually, in those moments when you let something slip like that, you let something slip that`s true. I`ve seen previous attorneys general let`s stuff slip that they didn`t mean to.

And so I think that probably does mean that we`re close to the end of the investigation. That would track with the reporting from Pete Williams and Ken Dilanian who said that we were likely to see something in February/March. It would track with some of the reporting about Rod Rosenstein`s departure and what he expects to be done before he finishes up.

And so, I think that he likely let slip something unintentionally that he didn`t mean to. And now the big question is what other shoes dropped before the end of it. Was Roger stone the last thing to drop other than a report to the Attorney General that may get turned over to Congress, that may be released publicly or is there still one big indictment to come? And I don`t think we know the answer is that, obviously.

HAYES: Jill, William Barr today also submitted his questions to the committee, the written answers to questions, and there`s something important in there about the report should it become public and whether will become public. I want to read you one of the things he says in these written answers submitted today. Again, he`s being nominated succeed Whitaker who is the acting right now.

The justice manual cautions prosecutors to be sensitive to privacy and reputational interests of uncharged third parties. Hillary Clinton reads that solemnly and nods. It is also my understanding that is the department policy and practice not to criticize individuals for conduct that does not warrant prosecution. It seems to say we won`t be including any public hearing of people who aren`t indicted but when it comes to present United States he can`t be indicted by the Justice Department`s own policy that seems to be a little circular. Am I wrong?

BANKS: No, you are absolutely correct. I think that Mr. Barr`s answers were very carefully crafted and were intended to allay a lot of the fears about his past public statements. They contradict some of what he has said in the past and give some hope that he would allow public information. But when you read it carefully, I`m not confident of that and I think that we may need to rely on Congress both in terms of the Grassley-Blumenthal legislation that`s pending and hopefully could pass to protect Robert Mueller, but also just in terms of the public`s right to know.

I`m not saying impeachment and I don`t want anyone to misinterpret what I`m saying, but I think public hearings where witnesses are forward in front of the people so that voters can assess for themselves. We now have Michael Cohen testifying not in public anymore but in private, and that`s not a way that we are going to ever really feel comfortable that we know. If there is no action taken against the President, it could be because they don`t want to indict a sitting president or it could be because there`s nothing there and we need to know that.

HAYES: We should note, you just mentioned this that Michael Cohen now has agreed to closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee but the February 7th public testimony was going to give to the Oversight Committee, that remains in limbo. We`ll see if they come to an arrangement or he ends up being subpoenaed for that.

I want to read you what Adam Schiff was the head of House Intel had to say about Whitaker`s comments, Matt, and get your response. An Acting Attorney General who refuses to follow the advice of Ethics lawyers and recuse himself from an investigation in which he has shown a clear bias is the last person who should speak for the Special Counsel. While the probe is ongoing Mueller can speak for himself although he declined to do so. Do you make anything of that and given what they did with BuzzFeed?

MILLER: No. I think that`s back to standard operating procedure where he`s not going to decline unless it`s a really extraordinary circumstance. Look, I don`t, in theory, have anything --any real objection to what Matt Whittaker said today. Attorneys general will often say something like this investigation is close to an end. That`s -- that in itself is not that uncommon. The problem is the attorney general who is delivering those remarks.

And because he`s so hopefully compromised both because of his public comments before he took office, the -- his actions and meetings with the president when he was chief of staff and then his refusal to follow the career ethics advice, it has made it impossible for him to deliver remarks about this investigation that the public can trust which by the way is why the recusal system is set up in the first place so you don`t find yourself with an A.G. who the public can`t trust out delivering remarks that just lead people to question whether justice is actually being done at the department or not.

HAYES: Well, we also have a situation which the President himself has been flagrantly essentially threatening witnesses in front of everyone in public and we also have reporting that he called and berated Whitaker once before when he didn`t like what happened at the lower levels of his Justice Department. It`s fair to ask whether there were any calls or contact made this weekend although I should say Whittaker will before the Judiciary Committee chair by Jerry Nadler I think also on for parades so we may get some answers there.

MILLER: Maybe, Chris. I predict that the Republicans in the Senate are going to rush as fast as they can to get Bill Barr confirmed before that hearing so Whitaker can try to back gracefully out. If you watch that performance today, they do not want to see him sitting taking questions. That was exactly what I thought as I watched him up on that day. Jill Wine-banks and Matt Miller, great to have you both.

BANKS: Thank you.

HAYES: For more on the Acting A.G. and the status in the Mueller investigation, I`m joined by Democratic congressman Maxine Waters of California, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, a member of the Democratic leadership team. Congressman, first your reaction to the Acting Attorney General making that pronouncement the first time an official has said anything like that in the history of this probe.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA), CHAIR, HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICE COMMITTEE: Well, let me just say that there`s been a lot of speculation about when Mueller is going to complete the investigation. I consider it just speculation. They don`t know. Mueller has not shared that kind of information I don`t think with anyone. He has held this investigation closely to the chest. And so I just take it as speculation. I don`t --

HAYES: Wait, you don`t think he`s shared that -- you don`t think he`s shared that with the -- with the Attorney General of the United States, the Acting Attorney General.

WATERS: No, not necessarily. I don`t think so.

HAYES: That`s very interesting.


HAYES: There`s also the question about public hearings in all this. Michael Cohen agreed to public testimony on February 7th. He then backed out citing threats from the President. He`s now agreed to closed-door testimony in February. Do you think it`s important that he give open public testimony?

WATERS: Absolutely. I am adamantly opposed to all of these close testimony hearings with various people who are involved with this whole question whether or not the president was involved with collusion are obstructed justice etcetera, etcetera. No, I don`t like the fact that Cohen will be in a closed hearing with members testifying on anything that he said, he`s not said. I think you should be out in the public.

The public wants to know this investigation has been going on for a considerable amount of time and not only should we hear from all of those who are continuing to be called but when this report, this investigative report is completed, I want it to be public and I`m starting right now saying that I and many others do not agree that it should be so redacted, that you can`t understand it, that it won`t be released, that only members of Congress can get it. The public needs to know what is going on. I demanded it. And I`m trying to organize everybody that I can to call for this republic -- this report to be released to the public.

HAYES: There`s Senate legislation if I`m not mistaken introduced today by Chuck Grassley and Richard Blumenthal that would essentially require a public version of the report I think with exceptions made for redacting classified information. Do you foresee something like that passing out of the House in short order?

HAYES: Well, I think it could pass out of the House. Let me just say this. The public has been very patient. They have been waiting. We have heard bits and pieces here and there and we want to know and the public deserves to know. And so I support the legislation that it should be made public. And if there`s classified information that has to be redacted, so be it, but make this report public.

HAYES: Steve Mnuchin was one of the people who`s been making the case about these sanctions for Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch who of course also employed Paul Manafort, had a contact since indicted intermediary name Konstantin Kilimnik who would go back and forth between them. Deripaska businesses have essentially escaped now the sanctions acts from the Department of Treasury because they reorganized in ways the Treasury Department says they`re happy with. A lot of people unhappy on Capitol Hill. What`s your response to the administration`s actions?

WATERS: I`m not happy with it at all. I think that the -- you know, at the center of this question about whether or not the President colluded with Russia, with Putin, or the oligarchs etcetera, is the question of sanctions. We know that Putin wants these sanctions lifted and I`ve said from the beginning that I believe and I don`t have the proof but I believe that Manafort was sent to the campaign to be there to ensure that they get Trump reflected in every way that they possibly could and this is in exchange for him lifting the sanctions.

And don`t forget, our president has said that he believes the sanctions should be listed one way or the other. So I just believe that Mnuchin is of course guided by the President. They`re all a part of you know this relationship that they have with Russia, and with Putin, and with oligarchs. I mean, when you take a look at all of the allies of this president that`s involved in this whole question, you cannot help but ask yourself what`s at the bottom of this.

And I think it has been asked more than one time why they are lying. I think it`s about sanctions and I think it`s very important for us to continue to pressure to get those sanctions continued and enforced and not to do what we`ve just witnessed they`re trying to do, and that is be involved with delisting on these sanctions.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you for your time tonight.

WATERS: You`re welcome. Thank you.

HAYES: Next, will Roger Stone testify against President Trump. I`ll talk to someone who once considered Roger Stone his mentor. Sam Nunberg on what angle he thinks tone is playing in two minutes.


HAYES: There are lots of people in Trump world that like to talk like they`re extras in Goodfellas when it comes to law enforcement. And then before you know it they`re all cooperating. Here`s Roger Stone on Friday after his arrest.


ROGER STONE, FORMER CAMPAIGN ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I have made it clear I will not testify against the President because I would have to bear false witness against the President.


HAYES: And here`s Roger stone earlier today appearing to walk that back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a line you wouldn`t cross to protect the President?

STONE: I`m not going to lie. I`m never going to say anything that`s not truthful under oath or otherwise. That`s the line.


HAYES: There`s also President Trump`s former lawyer Michael Cohen who famously told Vanity Fair I`m the guy who would take a bullet for the president. This was Cohen last month after pleading guilty to lying to Congress.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was a run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments. He directed me to become involved in these matters.


HAYES: You might remember this guy Sam Nunberg on this network saying basically I`ll never roll on Roger Stone.


SAM NUNBERG, FORMER AIDE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: They`re trying to set up a perjury case against Roger Stone and I`m not going to have that. Roger is my mentor. Roger is like family to me and I`m not going to do it.


HAYES: This picture is from a few days later when Nunberg did indeed comply with Robert Mueller`s subpoena to go and talk about Roger. Sam Nunberg joins me now. He`s a former aide to Donald Trump and work with him for four years. Good to have you here.

NUNBERG: Thank you very much, Chris.

HAYES: What do you think Roger`s calculation is?

NUNBERG: Rogers calculation I think at this point is the same calculation that Michael probably had. Remember, early on, the President and his team said that Michael was a good man. They -- the President said it was very wrong that they raid in Michael`s office. They were extremely loyal. They kept him within the loop. I don`t know what happened behind the scenes but at that point, that`s similar to what we`ve seen now.

So this whole idea of while the President and his team have given mild statements, they`ve basically just said so far. They said well, Roger, this has nothing to do with the campaign. My God, this is just another process crime. Let`s see what happens a month or so from now.

Roger -- just to finished very quickly, Roger and Donald Trump have a very complicated love-hate relationship.

HAYES: What do you mean -- elaborate on that.

NUNBERG: Well, they`ve been -- they`ve known each other for over forty years. They`re very close -- I mean, at least since the `80s. And these are people that they`ve not spoken for three years, they`ve fought they -- fought publicly. They`ve fought behind the scenes. There was litigation involved between them just like litigation between --

HAYES: I think they`re kind of similar. That`s probably an issue. Don`t you agree?

NUNBERG: Yes. They are they are very similar personalities. Look, I said last night, I mean, I`ve said -- I consider Roger in terms of media and things like that more of a sophisticated Donald Trump piece.

HAYES: You knew Roger you have tremendous loyalty to him. You know him. You cooperated ultimately. Does the -- does the weight of making that calculation for all the same on everyone ultimately?

NUNBERG: Well, that was -- that was the issue I never understood what Roger was doing throughout this process in terms of giving out these statements where he was saying negative things about people like Randy Credico which is now in the indictment about me which I didn`t mind.

I consider witness tampering the same as Randy did apparently, and I don`t understand taking such an adversarial -- but here`s the problem when you go in. Let me just explain. When you go in, for me as someone who was on the campaign all the six weeks, I don`t believe Donald Trump treated as fairly and they`re just looking right into Roger as a target in terms of the entire relationship between Roger and Donald Trump.

Roger is in this position because of the Special Counsel because Trump hosted the Russians after he fired Comey.

HAYES: Well, let me ask you this. You talk about Credico -- so this is a big question. Rachel I thought did a great job of this on Friday night. When you read the full complaint, basically this the extent of the cover-up is that Roger Stone used one guy Jerome Corsi to get to WikiLeaks but told people he used another guy Randy Credico.


HAYES: That`s basically the some of the plot. Who cares? Who cares? Why go through all this rigmarole? Why suborn perjury, tampering with witnesses, intimidate people, go to private chat messaging service, get people to lie to Congress to cover up this one fact?

NUNBERG: It doesn`t make any sense to me. I think there could be one or two reasons. Reading the indictment, I think the government`s case will be because Roger started talking to Corsi after he was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials. The other argument could be --

HAYES: I see.

NUNBERG: -- possibly -- and this is just conjecture by me but at that point, they were both working at Infowars so perhaps Roger didn`t want a lot of you know, for oversight into Infowars.

HAYES: What Infowars is up to.

NUNBERG: Correct. That could be another reason. I don`t -- I don`t know. But here`s -- but here`s the issue. If Roger had simply told the truth, nothing would -- nothing would have happened. He will not be indicted. So I don`t understand what the problem was about saying if it was Corsi --

HAYES: Well, he`s -- is it -- am I wrong that it`s not credible for him to be like I won`t lie. I mean, the guy has hosted for 40 years about what a liar he is.

NUNBERG: Well, I think that there`s a difference under oath. I would say --

HAYES: He`s just got charged for lying under oath.

NUNBERG: He certainly did so I would -- I would say that -- look, I think he was asked a hypothetical question about Mueller, the same way I would say that I saw on chyron of cable stations, Chris, that they were saying that the White House doesn`t rule out a pardon for Roger Stone. That`s not exactly the way I saw it when Sarah Huckabee took the question either. I think I looked at that more of a hypothetical.

But I also don`t think Robert Mueller really needs to wants to talk to Roger Stone because he could have already spoken to him.

HAYES: Let me ask you a final question.


HAYES: What is the deal with the culture of these people around the current President of the United States that everybody is like a wannabe wise guy? I`m serious. It`s a weird culture. Everyone is rolling around and it`s like -- why is everyone constantly acting like they`re in the mob or up to shady stuff or criminals if they`re not?

NUNBERG: I think that there was a lot of -- particularly with this on other networks, there was a lot of testosterone being pushed out that this was a witch-hunt, that Donald Trump was not with -- that there was a plot against him. And frankly I didn`t really look into it until I was --

HAYES: No, no, I`m not asking for that. I`m asking you about the general culture of the people the President keeps around him.

NUNBERG: It`s a New York --

HAYES: You, Cohen, and Roger Stone, there`s like this mentality that just makes me think, honestly, like these are not trustworthy people who tell the truth.

NUNBERG: It`s I think that -- It`s a New York construction different type of -- look, I don`t think it was more of a mafia. I looked at Donald Trump as he like to be called the boss. He used to hang around with Steinbrenner. I don`t look at it like La Cosa Nostra, I looked at it more of we were all in--fighting a lot and this was something that he had learned from Roy Cohn`s other client, George Steinbrenner. He loved to manipulate people and have people fight with each other.

HAYES: But do people -- but when you were working for him, do people lying to each other all the time?

NUNBERG: I think people were certainly going after each other all the time and lying about each other to Donald Trump. Sure. That`s what I think.

HAYES: Final prediction. You do think Roger Stone ends up talking?

NUNBERG: I don`t know. I don`t know if Mueller wants him, Chris. That`s the issue because what does Mueller at this point need from Roger that he wouldn`t have after -- especially after seizing unless he find something in those materials that he seized from his house.

HAYES: Right.

NUNBERG: And he`s never called him in as of yet for questioning then I don`t remember -- they called Gates in first. They --

HAYES: They never called Roger.

NUNBERG: They`ve never called Roger and they`ve had over at least I know of, eight, eight of his associates including me.

HAYES: When was the last time you and him talked, you and Roger Stone?

NUNBERG: The Saturday before my grand jury testimony, I talked to him on the phone. I`ve had one or two e-mails with him but not since May.

HAYES: Anything substantive?

NUNBERG: Its substantive on when I spoke to before the grand jury.

HAYES: No, is he telling you -- what is he telling you in the e-mail?

NUNBERG: No. The e-mails were thank you for these nice statements or Roger I like -- I liked your new book. Look, what I said was -- but what I said --

HAYES: That`s a lie. See, that`s what I`m getting at.

NUNBERG: No it isn`t.

HAYES: No, I`m just kidding.

NUNBERG: No it isn`t. What I said was Roger was insulted because I said after leaving that grand jury, I can`t talk to Roger anymore. Look, Roger should not have been speaking to Credico during the (INAUDIBLE) testimony. So I think he was up - he -- that`s when he started cursing me out publicly. No, I have not had any substantive conversations with him.

HAYES: All right, Sam Nunberg, thank you for coming by.

NUNBERG: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: I really appreciate it. Coming up, the Trump shutdown is over but another one is looming. There`s fresh evidence the President has not learned a thing. That`s next.


HAYES: The Trump shutdown is over for now, but another Trump shutdown is now looming in less than three weeks and it appears the President has learned absolutely nothing. Today, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the shutdown cost the U.S. economy $11 billion, including $3 billion that will never be recovered. In other words, the president effectively lit that money on fire in a fruitless effort to get funding for a wall he famously promised Mexico would pay for.

In the briefing room today, the White House simply refused to acknowledge the finding.


LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC COUNCIL: No, I won`t acknowledge any of that right now. Now that the government is reopened, the switch goes right back on. There`s certainly no permanent damage to the economy.


HAYES: No, no, everything is swell, just tell that to the federal contractors who lost their health insurance during the shutdown and remain in limbo, or the federal employees who still cannot afford diapers as they await their paychecks.

All of this suffering came in pursuit of a transparent con by the president who never really cared about the wall. As you might remember, the promise to build the wall reportedly began as a memory trick for an undisciplined candidate, a mnemonic device to get Trump to remember to talk about getting tough on immigration.

And if you think he truly cares about the supposed scourge of undocumented immigrants flooding into the country, well, we now know that at least a dozen were quietly working at the president`s own Westchester Golf Club until last month, when the club fired the undocumented workers amid the showdown over the border wall.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (subtitles): For them to tell you, from one day to another "You know what? This is over and that is it." They change your life from one day to another without thinking. How can they be so cruel to us to simply say that it is over after so many years of employment?


HAYES: Without a new deal, the government will shut down again on February 15. Trump said yesterday that he doesn`t believe congressional negotiators will strike a deal over border wall funding that he could accept. And despite a string of polls showing his approval rating falling dramatically during the shutdown, Politico reports that his campaign is now telling Trump that he was actually bolstered by the shutdown. So after all this, we seem to be right back where we started.

You would think Trump might have learned something from his failed shutdown, but if his career is a testament to one thing, it is never, ever learning a lesson.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the president really prepared to shut down the government again in three weeks?

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Yeah, I think he actually is.


HAYES: Joining me now, a member House Democratic Leadership, which is now negotiating to try to avoid another shutdown, Democratic Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.

Do you think Mulvaney and the White House are bluffing on this?

REP. KATHERINE CLARK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I certainly hope so. I wish they could have been in the room with me with federal workers as we watched the president address the country from the Rose Garden. They were just sickened. Happy the government was going to open, but just filled with dread that in three weeks we`d be right back in this same situation.

It`s the problem when we`re negotiating with a political applause line. Nobody knows what the president wants, and he is clearly completely disconnected from the true suffering that he caused with this shutdown.

HAYES: You know, part of the problem it seems to me is the way forward now is there`s a conference committee, which is a standard part of the legislative process. When the House and Senate differ, they put together a conference committee. They try to hammer something out. There`s Democrats and Republicans who are going to be in that conference committee from the two sides, but there`s no guarantee the president just doesn`t rip up the deal. Am I missing something here?

CLARK: There is no guarantee. But I think one thing really speaks to this president, and that`s his poll numbers. And he saw those decline. So even though he has no feeling or empathy for what he did to our economy, the $11 billion figure that the CBO cited today, and to what he did to families, hopefully his own numbers, and that steep decline that this shutdown caused, will speak to him and get him to come to reason.

HAYES: Although I should note there is reporting today he got a briefing today from campaign folks that it actually helped his numbers.

CLARK: Well, we`ve seen no sign of that.

HAYES: I don`t think you`re wrong. I`m just telling you what information he`s getting.

CLARK: And I think that he only needs to speak to his Republican counterparts in the Senate. They understand this is very much now about their elections in 2020. And that, I think, is going to be the pressure point on this president.

And you know, we in the House, we`re anxious to have this discussion around border security, and we`re just as anxious to get to those things that the American people told us loudly and clearly in the midterms they want us to work on: make sure we`re getting corruption out of politics, investing in America with our infrastructure, tackling health care costs, specifically prescription medication, these are the issues that Americans want congress to come together and work on, not send our front line of national security to work without pay and take $3 billion permanently out of this economy with the shutdown.

HAYES: Final question, the president has dangled the idea of declaring some kind of national emergency for a while now. He`s still dangling it. There`s a piece in The Atlantic that says he`s destroying his own case for national emergency, because he keeps delaying it, and it sort of vitiates the idea it`s an emergency if you can delay it. What is your position on the declaration of a national emergency?

CLARK: Well, I think the president is desperately looking for an exit ramp. You know, he did a 180 on congress back in December, decided to listen to "President" Coulter and let her make the decisions for him. And so I think the emergency is something that he is trying to use as a possible way to get out of the jam he put himself in.

We will let the courts decide, but as you noted for the last two years when there has been a Republican majority in the House and the Senate and a Republican in the White House, this emergency for the wall did not exist. If so, it would have been funded.

They waited until the verge of Democrats taking over in the House. And I think the president got into this on false information, from what you just said, using the wall as a mnemonic to remember to talk about immigration. And it really is an emperor has no clothes situation. And we need the court jesters to remind him that this is real people, real lives, real national security, and to come together and have a serious negotiation about how we strengthen our borders.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, thank you for your time tonight.

Still to come, Kamala Harris launched her campaign in Oakland to rave reviews. And then there was Howard Schultz. We`ll judge just what`s happening with our new 2020 contenders ahead. Plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES: We know that Thing One tonight, we know that conservative pundit/insult comic Ann Coulter was one of the driving forces directing the president throughout the government shutdown. Back when the shutdown was in its infancy a mere 24 days old, Coulter went on Vice TV to brag about how she influenced the president.


ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE PUNDIT: He reads my stuff, as everyone should. I`ve been advising the president whether on Twitter, columns or in private conversations that you`re not allowed to know about, since election day.


HAYES: Now that idea that the president was taking direction from Coulter and her peer and the right wing did not sit well with most people.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: What started the shutdown was Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh saying we have to shut down the government or -- or, you know, we`re going to abandon the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His only goal is to appeal to Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should go listen to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter because they`re running this government.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans overwhelmingly voted to keep the government open and then Rush Limbaugh and the conservative blonde woman says he`s losing his base, and so he`s changed his mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So Ann Coulter calling the president a fraud and a wienie is what is stopping this.


HAYES: Nice, I don`t know her touch there by Joe Biden. But as the shutdown came to a close, the cozy relationship between the president and Ann Coulter seriously soured.

On Friday afternoon, she tweeted "good news for George Herbert Walker Bush. As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as president of the United States."

Trump responded coldly to The Wall Street Journal, "I hear she`s become very hostile. Maybe I didn`t return her phone call or something."

Man, in a fight between Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, it`s just so hard to pick who to root for. What if we throw in Newt Gingrich? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So while Ann Coulter has been attacking her former friend advisee, Donald Trump, pretty much everybody else has been busy attacking her, including Trump sycophant Newt Gingrich who went on Trump TV this morning to speak directly to the commander-in-chief.


NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: He should not pay any attention to Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter has never run for office. She doesn`t know anything about how you put a majority together. She`s off here in some fantasyland where she gets to be noisy, which helps her sell books.


HAYES: Oh, helps her sell books. A pity. Ouch.

Good news for everyone else is Coulter versus Gingrich is now the fight to watch. Quote, "riddle the day, how do you break Newt Gingrich`s nose? Answer, kick Donald Trump in the ass."

Wait, that`s -- oh, wow.

Poor Newt.

At least Rudy got a job. And little known literary fact, the emperor`s new clothes had to be edited for space, lost was the scene where court haberdasher Newt Gingrich said, "sir, you look splendid." That one is a little overwrought, I think.

But don`t you just hate to see people you love fighting like this?


HAYES: The trillion dollars in tax cuts for rich people and corporations just turned one year old, and it is unquestionably the single biggest domestic accomplishment of the Trump administration, congressional Republicans and their allies and enablers.

Now at the time it was being debated many people, such as myself, argued it would amount to a vast redistribution of wealth upwards, towards shareholders, CEOs and other rich people. One of the arguments by Trump and his fellow Republicans was that, no, this was not just handing cash to rich corporations so they could give it to their shareholders and make them even richer, instead it was going to unlock a brand new era of capital investment in America.

The argument was that our, quote unquote, "uncompetitive tax policy" was forcing these poor companies to hoard cash rather than invest in America and expand hiring.


PAUL RYAN, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: But we also say to corporations not only are we going to let you bring your money back from overseas, which is trapped overseas, we`re going to tax you at a rate that is on par with the rest of the world but we`re going to give you an incentive to invest in American jobs and American businesses. You can write off your investments if you do it in America by hiring more people when you purchase new plants and equipment. So we are convinced, and the studies are really clear, workers benefit, wages go up, more jobs occur, but most importantly we need to put the American economy in a better competitive position so that we can compete and win jobs and get faster economic growth."


HAYES: The studies are clear, accepts the wonk prince. At the time, many of us pointed out this was preposterous, corporate America was swimming in capital with ultra low interest rates and no obstacles to investing more.

Far likelier, critics argued, was that the extra trillion plus dollars just would be plowed back into what are called share buybacks, which is an effort to boost stock prices and reward shareholders.

Well, it`s been a full year since the tax law went into effect and the results are in, drum roll, please, the $1.5 trillion tax cut had no major impact on business spending, according to a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics. Only 10 percent, I`m not misstating that, 10 percent of business economists said their companies had sped up investments because of the tax law, and a mere 4 percent said they had redirected hiring and investment to the U.S. because of the tax law.

In other words, the critics were right and Trump and the Republicans were wrong, which doesn`t really matter for the wealthy people and corporations who cashed in. And you would be forgiven for taken the cynical that that was the whole point anyway no matter the terrible arguments. I would just urge you to keep that in mind the next time the same people come around selling their latest round of tax cuts.



SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D) CALIFORNIA: Let`s never forget that on the fundamental issues, we all have so much more in common than what separates us. And you know, some will say we need to search to find that common ground. Here is what I say, I think we need to recognize we are already standing on common ground.


HAYES: Senator Kamala Harris officially launched her presidential bid yesterday in her hometown of Oakland, California in front of more than 20,000 people. It is way early but Harris is already making a big showing. She raised $1.5 million in just 24 hours after announcing her candidacy, which along with yesterday`s rather impressive crowd, clearly demonstrates there is a constituency for Kamala Harris in the 2020 presidential race.

It`s really unclear, however, if there`s a constituency for this guy, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.


HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER STARBUCKS CEO: I am seriously thinking of running for president. I will run as a centrist independent outside of the two party system.


HAYES: Fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg agreed to that announcement with a thinly veiled tweet basically asking what the heck are you doing? In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up reelecting the president. To talk more about the ever growing 2020 field, I`m joined by Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University; Sam Seder, MSNBC contributor and host of The Majority Report.

You know, I have to say, in these decisive times, one thing that I did think was interesting was Howard Schultz really did bring them together. Like it was sort of amazing, he accomplished his goal of everybody was dunking on Howard Schultz today.

CHRISTINE GREER, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: Right. First of all, if anyone has ever stood in a 12-minute Starbucks line you know it`s not the most efficiently run organization right there. But also, we don`t need this, right. With the exception of 1992 Ross Perot, we know that when you have incumbent Republicans, when you have someone as a third party, they end up helping to reelect the Republican president and this is, for many Democrats, not the time where we need someone who is inexperienced, who is a millionaire/billionaire who just says, you know what, I want to be in it too.

Now granted, the constitution says he is more than welcome to. He`s over 35 years old. He`s a citizen, I get it. But this is -- we have bigger fish to fry. And there are a lot of qualified Democrats who will come through, and I really don`t think a lot of citizens want to see a repeat of 2016.

HAYES: Right, so that`s the political argument. There is also the substantive argument which it that like who does Howard Schultz represent?

SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: No one. I mean, he represents -- let me put it this way, you can fit those people in this room.

HAYES: There is a bigger constituency for the wall in America far larger than a constituency for Howard Schultz`s centrist independent...

HAYES: He, though, I think put a very fine point on one of the problems that we have in our political system. The idea that people were clambering to hear his potential announcement. I mean, I understand that he`s a wealthy man. I understand that he built a big coffee company. The idea that he`s on "60 minute" as if there is legions of people just waiting to find out if he`s going to run for president is just bizarre.

HAYES: The seriously considering is kind of funny. Like, OK. Do you thing.

GREER: We have a conflation in this country of just because you have money, people assume that you are brilliant, smart, interesting, and have intelligence. That`s not always the case.

HAYES: What you would think the last two years -- I mean, that`s what is so ironic. You would think the last two years -- I mean, in Schultz` defense, part of the reason -- American ballot access laws are such that you only can really plausibly run as a centrist independent if you are a billionaire who can self-fund, because it`s impossible so basically impossible to go and get on the ballot in every state, which is not his fault, but it also means that that`s who the job selects for.

GREER: Right.

SEDER: Honestly, the Michael Bloomberg response was the most fascinating thing today.

HAYES: I totally agree.

SEDER: Because he was basically like.

HAYES: I thought of this.

SEDER: I`m going to be the billionaire who runs and I found that this would be incredibly irresponsible, and so you`re not going to jump to the front of the line. I`m already there. I`ve already said it`s irresponsible.

It is fascinating to watch these guys argue with each other in this respect.

But there is no constituency and it`s a fascinating look into the self- aggrandizement of the oligarchs in this country.

HAYES: Kamala Harris, I have to say -- you know, of everyone that has come out so far just in terms of like descriptively, where people are at, not like substantively -- I mean, it is a formidable thing, like getting 20,000 people to come out is a -- that`s...

GREER: Well, here is the thing, I`m not even talking about Oakland. I`m still on MLK Day and the first roll-out that lasted three days and then the successful roll-out in Oakland.

I mean, I was talking to my students about it today when we were saying it`s like, well, you also want to go where the media is. You want to go where you have support and energy, and you think about someone like Elizabeth Warren who goes on television, awkward commercial, and asks her husband do you want to have a beer and he says no thank you, OK.

And then you have Kirsten Gillibrand who goes to Troy, New York, because when you think about metropolis, you think about Troy, New York.

HAYES: Yeah, although that`s also her talking about reaching out.

GREER: We get it. But that`s a governance type.

HAYES: Oh, I see.

GREER: That`s a political statement, that`s not a roll-out.

HAYES: You`re saying there is a statement being made in the choice to do it in Oakland.

GREER: Exactly. And so I think the way that Senator Harris has been able to capture not just the media`s attention, but clearly she`s proven, unlike Schultz, there are people who want to be here, right? I mean, not just the Shirley Chisholm colors, but you see the people who are in the audience, it`s like this is a very, when I say diverse in the true sense of the word, we`re seeing Americans who are saying she`s actually for us and we want her.

SEDER: Yeah, I mean, it`s hard to argue seeing that if this race comes down to three or four people at one point, that she won`t be one of them.

HAYES: It feels that way this early.

SEDER: It feels this early -- I mean, things can change, of course. And I think, you know, she, as far as you can tell, she has yet to really express a programmatic vision. And this very early, obviously...

HAYES: Yeah, a very thematic speech.

SEDER: But I -- it`s hard for me to point to what he two years in the Senate have been about. She was very good on the Judiciary Committee, but she doesn`t have a brand per se that -- like Gillibrand to a certain extent has a brand in some issues...

GREER: That`s going to protect her to a certain extent. She`s still introducing herself.

SEDER: That`s my point, there will be a lot of people in those debates, and that`s a great way of avoiding it.

HAYES: Yeah. Christina Greer and Sam Seder, thank you both for joining us.

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