Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 31, 2019 Guest: Sherrod Brown, Carol Lam, Angus King, Bonnie Watson Coleman
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
MATT WHITAKER, ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES: Right now, you know, the investigation is I think close to being completed.
HAYES: New filings from Robert Mueller on the evidence against Roger Stone suggest the probe is not slowing down.
ROGER STONE, FORMER CAMPAIGN ADVISER, DONALD TRUMP: It`s so voluminous and complex that a speedy trial is literally impossible.
HAYES: Plus, new reporting on the blocked calls made by Donald Trump Jr. as he was arranging his meetings with Russians. Then, an undocumented worker employed in the Trump golf course will be a guest at the State of the Union. I`ll talk to the congresswoman who invited her.
Plus, Sherrod Brown live from Iowa and Trymaine Lee investigates election fraud in that still-vacant House seat in North Carolina.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether or not you cheated me for five votes or 1,000 votes, a cheat is a cheat.
HAYES: when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Three days after a stammering Attorney General indicated the Special Counsel`s investigation was wrapping up, Robert Mueller`s own court filings seem to be saying not so fast. Matthew Whitaker was not the first. There`s been wish casting for years from the people who represent the president. Perhaps most notably by former White House lawyer Ty Cobb who in August of 2017 said the following: I`d be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it`s still haunting him by year end.
17 whole months after that prediction, Special Counsel`s prosecutors asked for an extension past the usual 70 days to prepare for Roger Stones trial. In a court filing, they say the following: This discovery in both voluminous and complex. It is composed of multiple hard drives containing several terabytes of information consisting of among other things FBI case reports, search warrant applications and results, e.g. Apple iCloud accounts and e-mail accounts, bank, and financial records, and the contents of numerous physical devices, e.g. cellular phones, computers, and hard drives.
The communications contained in the iCloud accounts, e-mail accounts, and physical devices span several years. OK. But here`s the thing. It is not just Stone in that filing. Shrouded in secrecy behind redactions, the Special Counsel has also been going to the mattress to fight a company whose name we don`t know -- do not know owned by a foreign government we do not know, to get them to comply with a subpoena.
It has already gone up to the Supreme Court and back down. And there`s the fact that just a few days ago, we learned that one of Stone`s associates who has been fighting Mueller`s attempts to get him to testify basically tried to save the Special Counsel`s Office, OK, hey, look, you`ve got Stone, am I off the hook? And they more or less said, no you are very much not. This is not over.
Joining me now, Julia Ainsley MSNBC National Security and Justice Reporter. Julia, what can you tell us about that Mueller filing in the case of Roger Stone today?
JULIA AINSLEY, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So it was interesting, Chris. I mean, two big things that jump out is yes the voluminous and complex piece, the amount of information that they seized from Roger Stone`s house goes on top of all this information that they already had from him. They already had e-mails and text that he had exchanged with his intermediaries to WikiLeaks. Now they have bank accounts, they have terabytes of information, and it spans several years. So they have even more than they had before. That is what is going to make this lengthy.
And then of course, it`s just a timepiece in and of itself that the Special Counsel`s office and not to be refuted by Stone`s team, they`re not pushing back against this, they say the normal 70 day window for a speedy trial is out -- is out of the options this time. I mean, this has happened in other cases with other defendants because this is such a complex, high-profile case, it`s going to take longer. And so they say that the right to a speedy trial should be wave for Stone in the interest of justice.
HAYES: I`m going to go back to something you said about the two sort of buckets of information. So there`s a bunch of stuff they seized in the search that they have to go to -- go through now but they already as indicated the filing, they have year -- going years back digital information from Stone, is that right?
AINSLEY: Yes. I mean, if you read through that indictment from Friday, it`s amazing everything they can lay out. It again begs the question of if defendant after defendant has seen how much information Robert Mueller`s team can have on them, their travel, their bank accounts, their text messages, why do they continue to lie?
But some of the things that he gathered were correspondence that he had with members of the Trump campaign during 2016 summer and fall, that key period when WikiLeaks was releasing dumps of information from hacked DNC e- mails, they were damaging to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate at the time. And they had all of that really lined up so that you could see who it came from.
The one piece they didn`t have Chris and I think this could speak to possibly a window that could exist where the Acting Attorney General could be right that is wrapping soon but the Stone thing keeps going and that is that they could say that there`s not a connection from Stone that looks like conspiracy with a foreign government and therefore they can answer the question of whether or not the Trump campaign conspired with the foreign government because that piece, that conspiracy piece is not in the indictment even from all the information they have.
HAYES: Right. Julia Ainsley, thank you very much. Joining me now, Carol Lam a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, she also served as a Superior Court judge in San Diego, and Maya Wiley Senior Vice President for Social Justice at the New School and MSNBC Legal Analyst. I want to start with you, Maya, in terms of what you make of the filing and these three data points. We know they`re fighting about this subpoena with the secret company owned by the secret nation, they`ve told Andrew Miller who`s a Stone associate you`re not off the hook because we might -- we still need your testimony, and the filing today. What does it add up to you?
MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: That this isn`t rapping fast. And I say that not because -- to the point of what not wrapping means, you know, we don`t know. But if you look at the indictment itself, one of the things that`s interesting is if you`re only looking -- if you`re prosecutor really only looking at perjury, witness tampering, obstruction, you don`t actually have to make reference to contact with the Trump Organization or with the Trump campaign right?
HAYES: That`s a good point.
WILEY: To make the claims -- now, so they`re signaling something there because it`s not necessary for those indictments, it doesn`t mean that they`re saying they`re going to charge something but it`s a signal. Now we know they have all these records, we -- I mean we had the all the swirl around this FBI raid which you know from my vantage point looks like they want to make sure there was an evidence that was destroyed and that they`re going to take their time going through that evidence.
Remember we have Rick Gates who`s sentencing was postponed because they were not done with him.
HAYES: That is another -- you`re right. That`s another data point in the delay category.
WILEY: And remember that Roger Stone is connected at least in relationship to Manafort and Rick Gates, particularly Manfort because of their forming a lobbying firm together. So what this does tell me is I would expect that we may see superseded indictments when it comes to Rogers Stone.
HAYES: That is big question particularly with Andrew Miller. I want to -- Carol, I want to play you as someone who served as a judge and also as a U.S. attorney herself. An argument that I`ve seen Roger Stone and his allies make -- Roger Stone saying this today at a bizarre press conference. They`re all bizarre where he`s concerned. Take a listen to what stone had to say about the process crimes he`s accused of.
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STONE: I stressed that these are all after the fact process crimes and I am Not accused of a Russian collusion, I`m not accused of collaboration with WikiLeaks, I am not accused of conspiracy. There is no evidence or accusation that I knew in advance about the source or content of the WikiLeaks materials, be that allegedly hacked material or allegedly stolen material.
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HAYES: What do you think about this term process crimes?
CAROL LAM, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, there`s no really such thing as a process crime, Chris. A crime is a crime. And what he`s trying to say is that oh, well, I just -- I just lied during the investigation and that`s just -- that`s just a crime committed during the process of an investigation. It`s really a meaningless phrase. It`s a crime. But what I think it does signify is that the Mueller team kept the indictment very narrow. It means they can continue using the grand jury to investigate other crimes.
And I think what`s really interesting about the execution of the search warrants is that we don`t know what was in Appendix A of the search warrant which lists what the -- what the prospective crimes are or what they`re looking for. And so whether they were -- you know, there`s no need for them to get additional evidence as to the obstruction of justice or the witness tampering. They already have that.
And so they might be looking for -- in fact, I would lay bets that they -- that the search warrant was more expansive and dealt with the larger investigation.
HAYES: That`s a great point. Let me follow up on one thing, Carol, and then I`ll come back to you, Maya. In your career, you were U.S. Attorney and then you were judge. Have you encountered cases in which a variety of people around a possible criminal enterprise were engaged in lying to investigators under oath, penalty of perjury, tampering with witnesses, trying to get their story straight, like weren`t actually guilty of a thing. It was just their weird habit or their fetish to lie. Like, have you encountered that kind of behavior before?
LAM: I think there are really two possibilities to what you`re talking about. I mean, there`s the possibility that people just love to lie and they can`t help it. It`s in their nature and so they lie. I think that`s actually fairly unusual when you`re looking at you know, the threat of a federal prosecution.
I think sometimes what happens though is that people lie and there really is something that there`s a crime they`re lying about. Now whether the prosecution and the agents can actually build a case beyond a reasonable doubt that you know, 12 jurors will find with unanimity, that`s a separate question. I think that`s what the -- that`s what the special counsel`s team, that`s the hurdle they have to meet.
HAYES: What do you think, Maya?
WILEY: I think that`s -- I think Carol is dead-on. And I think that -- you know, the thing, if we step back from this, is Rogers Stone has -- there`s no question he has a long career as a dirty trickster and so he`s used to manipulation, he`s used to lying. He himself has said never admit anything which is a really bad strategy when you`re being asked something under oath, under penalty of perjury and there`s a record, a written record that will show that you`re lying.
But at the same time, you know, there`s a certain point at which you`re staring down the barrel that the prosecutor is pointing at you where you just go whoa, OK, I`m out of the spin machine, I`m out of the spin cycle, I`m going through the washer now get clean, and you know he didn`t come clean and you have to wonder why.
HAYES: That`s a great way of putting it. We will find out more as this goes on. Maya Wiley and Carol Lam, thank you both. It has been just over two days since President Trump`s intelligence chiefs publicly refuted him in a public hearing on Capitol Hill saying North Korea is unlikely to denuclearize, Iran is not breaching its nuclear agreement, and ISIS has not been defeated.
The President fought back on Twitter, of course, writing, the intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran and perhaps intelligence should go back to school. Today, the President argued the intelligence chiefs` testimony which was again broadcast in full on live T.V. didn`t actually happen.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you talk to your intelligence chiefs today about the displeasure you had with --
TRUMP: I did, and they said that they were totally misquoted and they were totally -- it was taken out of context. And what I do is I`d suggest that you call them. They said it was fake news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we just ran exactly what they said to Congress.
TRUMP: Excuse me, it didn`t surprise me at all.
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HAYES: Joining me now, one of the senators who was in that Intelligence Committee hearing the president says is fake news, Senator Angus King, Independent from Maine. The President posed today for a photo. A kind of I guess kiss and make up photo. Just concluded a great meeting with my intel team in the Oval Office, they told me what they said on Tuesday at the Senate hearings was mischaracterized by the media and we`re very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea. Their testimony was distorted. Is that true?
SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: Well, this reminds me of the old country song, Chris, who you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes? I mean, the testimony is there. I was there. I asked Gina Haspel very directly, is Iran in compliance with the nuclear agreement and she hemmed around a little bit but then she said yes it is. And that`s what their findings are.
As far as North Korea, I just looked up. By the way, you don`t have to read the transcript. They filed a 42-page report as part of their testimony and it says the same thing. You quoted it, it says we continue to assess that North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities. And what bothered me, Chris, was the President coming after them and today he says well, they didn`t say that.
Well, maybe he should have figured that out before he issued a tweet telling him the whole intelligence community should go back to school.
HAYES: Shouldn`t they -- shouldn`t they resign?
KING: Oh, I don`t think so. I hope not. I have a great deal of respect for those people and they are great public servants. And that`s why I just got really burned today because I`ve been to a number of these stations of our intelligence folks around the world, they are patriotic people, they are taking their lives in their hands every day on behalf of the country, and to just say they ought to go back to school, I mean, that`s -- it wasn`t just Dan Coats or Gina Haspel, it was thousands of people that contributed to that analysis.
HAYES: Here`s my point. I mean Jim Mattis basically said at a certain point the distance between my own views strongly-held and the president`s are too much and I cannot abide working for the man. I mean, when the President says you should go back to school and contradicts your own intelligence assessments, there`s a real question about at what sense this could ever be a functioning relationship?
KING: Well, I think you know, I think that`s what each one of those individuals has to make that decision. But in the meantime, they`re doing exactly what they`re supposed to do. Dan Coats at the beginning of the hearing summarized it in as neatly as I`ve ever heard. He said our job is to seek the truth and speak the truth and that`s exactly what they did.
Now, the President doesn`t have to pay attention to them. He should. But, Chris, there`s another piece of this that really bothers me. If the President sends this signal which essentially is don`t tell me what I don`t want to hear, that could end up skewing and corrupting the intelligence process altogether because people are going to say, well, we`re not going to tell him this because he doesn`t -- you know, he`s not going to -- he`s going to be mad at us. He`s going to tweet at us and we end up with not getting good information up the line and that could be disastrous for this country.
HAYES: I`m old enough to remember Dick Cheney driving over to the CIA to look over their shoulders to make sure they gave him the Intel that he wanted so as to justify the Iraq war so we have very recent examples of how dangerous that can be.
KING: And that`s exactly what I`m talking about. I`m on the Intelligence Committee as you know and every time one of these people comes up for confirmation, I beat on them about will you tell the President what he doesn`t want to hear because that`s your job. Your job is the facts. The president -- whoever it is their job is to make policy based upon those facts. But you -- if you`re -- if you`re trying to sort of cook the data in order to meet the policy preferences of the executive, that`s how you get things like the Iraq war.
HAYES: Final question. This is some news that broke this evening. There is a question when Don Junior was making the arrangements for what is now the infamous Trump Tower meeting in which he was promised dirt on behalf of the Russian government which was supporting his father, after a phone call with Emin Agalarov, the pop singer and son of the oligarch who he had made the arrangements with, there were two blocked calls, the identity which were unknown and which no one seemed particularly that interested in finding out at least Republicans the majority.
News tonight that Senate investigators have found those calls and they are not with his father, they`re with two different business associates of Don Jr. and the family. Can you confirm that reporting since you`re on the committee?
KING: I hate to make you ask such a long question and then say no but I am not going to either confirm or deny the report because I am on the committee and the work that we`re doing is at this point confidential or classified, committee sensitive. So you`ll find out when we issue our final report. I`m sorry but that`s the way we`re trying to run our committee.
HAYES: Fair enough. I had to ask. Senator Angus King, thank you.
KING: Thank you, Chris. Good to talk to you.
HAYES: Next, as the President eyeballs a second shutdown over border wall funding, one of the undocumented workers who worked at our Trump golf club just earned an invite at the State of the Union. The congresswoman who invited her joins me in two minutes.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Nancy Pelosi said this morning that there not going to be a wall in this deal but she did say she`s open to other kinds of physical barriers. Would you accept that?
TRUMP: No because if there`s no wall, it doesn`t work. She`s just playing games. So if there`s no wall, it doesn`t work. I`m not saying this as a Republican, I`m not saying as anything other than a fact stated. Without a wall, it just doesn`t work.
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HAYES: Once again the President has thrown a grenade into negotiations over border security by demanding money for a wall. Yes, wall, W-A-L-L in all caps numerous times today that he promised time and time again Mexico would pay for. And since Democrats and Republicans came together yesterday in good faith to work things out over a spending deal that would keep the government open pass February 15th, Trump accused Republicans of "wasting their time."
He accused Nancy Pelosi of playing games with wall funding, complained to the Daily Caller that Paul Ryan reneged on the deal to fund wall in exchange for his signing of a 2018 spending bill. Trump seems to be blaming anyone he can to the fact that he and he alone promised that Mexico would pay for a wall that it`s not going to pay for.
The fundamental problem here which we keep hitting our heads against over and over is that the wall was a con always. It was an applause line he`s trying to make real. And it`s not just the wall that`s a con, the whole stick in all of its lurid bigotry and grossness about how undocumented immigrants are a threat is a con. The way you know this is that at his own Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the Trump Organization hired dozens of undocumented workers, employed them for years and then fired them amid the border wall fight.
At least one undocumented employee said that Trump even shielded her from The Secret Service. Next week, two undocumented immigrants who worked at the President`s own Golf Club will be at the State of the Union Address.
Joining me now is the person who invited one of them, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, a Democrat from New Jersey. She represents a district where undocumented immigrant Victorina Morales lives. Congresswoman, good to have you here.
REP. BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN (D), NEW JERSEY: Thank you.
HAYES: How did you connect with Miss Morales?
COLEMAN: My chief of staff reached out to some activists that we had been working within New Jersey and inquired about whether or not there was someone who fit this description, was available and lived in our district. And just so happens that Ms. Morales actually lives in my district.
HAYES: What is the message here in inviting her? What do you think this says about the President and immigration at this moment?
COLEMAN: I think a couple of things. Number one is that she really is the face of undocumented immigrants. She`s here too for a better life. She`s a decent person, creates no problems, helps the economy, works. This is a real face of immigration. She`s also the face of Donald Trump hypocrisy. What he demonized immigrants of going to shut down and actually since he`s been president but the businessman has exploited them, use them --
COLEMAN: -- happily, made money off of them, and in fact, facilitated they`re getting illegal documents in order to be able to work. And so it just highlights his hypocrisy.
HAYES: Which is the real one in your mind, the bigot who says they`re killers and they`re rapists and all this stuff or the businessman who wants them to you know, iron his own towels?
COLEMAN: I think the businessman is the real Donald Trump. The one who`s been a failed businessman, who doesn`t pay his bills who keeps people out there on the lam, who was discriminating -- has family discriminating against minorities in their apartment buildings and things of that ilk. I think that`s the real Donald Trump. I think that as a president the real Donald Trump is a bigot.
HAYES: What -- do you have concerns or fears about exposing Ms. Morales to law enforcement of any kind given the President`s rhetoric, given the fact that ICE has been upping their arrests, and the effect she will be in a very high-profile position.
COLEMAN: Well, her face is already known. Her -- she`s been very courageous, very brave to even be a voice for those who otherwise wouldn`t have a voice. We did make some enquiries. She has filed for asylum. She is a witness to possible illegal actions and employee violations of an employer. If ICE were to try to do something like that, it would be nothing more than retaliation and I think that there would just be uproar. I just don`t see that happening in this case. But of course we had concerns and we did make some enquiries.
But since she is an asylum applicant and since she`s also a potential witness to a very important employment case and violations of other laws, I think she`s pretty much going to be safe.
HAYES: I should note, the Trump Organization said earlier this week it will now begin implementing e-verify which is the system to verify the documentation of employees.
COLEMAN: The folks got caught.
HAYES: Yes. It certainly looks that way. Final question. Kirstjen Nielsen, my understanding is you`re on the Homeland Security Committee, you`re not the chair, but your committee is attempting to bring her before her committee to talk about some of the things. It appears she gave misleading deceptive route by false testimony about child separation and she is avoiding your committee is that right?
COLEMAN: Yes. But my bet is on Bennie Thompson who`s the chairman of our committee and getting her to come before the committee.
HAYES: You`re confident --
COLEMAN: She`s never been a good witness with a few times she`s been before the committee. I mean, that is not -- this is not an administration with whom you can take their word. So you know, splitting hairs and falsifying information and saying their facts is not uncommon. But it`s different now. Democrats are in charge of the House of Representatives and we`re going to deal with the facts.
HAYES: Congressman Bonnie Watson Coleman, thank you so much for coming and making time.
COLEMAN: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Next, month`s after election day and there`s one race that still has not been called over the question of Republican election fraud. ALL IN Correspondent Trymaine Lee has a special report on what the heck is happening down in North Carolina right after this.
HAYES: We are now four weeks into the new Congress but there are only 434 members in the House of Representatives. That is because there is still no winner in the Ninth Congressional District in North Carolina. The Republican in that race Mark Harris appeared to win by 905 votes. But when glaring voting irregularities popped up, the State Board of Elections twice refused to certify those results. And that state board was dissolved by a separate court order. Only today has a new board come together.
They could now hold hearings on those voting irregularities which center around one man in particular, an aide to that Republican Mark Harris. One that Mark Harris deliberately sought out and hired despite warnings and despite a criminal record that included convictions for felony fraud and felony perjury. That man, Leslie McCrae Dowless appears to have paid people to pick up absentee ballots around Bladen County in the Ninth District.
Now, here`s the thing about that, that is illegal on its face in North Carolina. You cannot do it. And questions remain about whether the ballots picked up by Dowless and his network were ever counted at all.
And here is the other thing, this is not the first time McCrae Dowless he`s been linked to election issues in Bladen County. There have been rumors and suspicions about him for years.
All In correspondent Trymaine Lee went down to North Carolina to try to figure out what has been going on, starting with the head of the state Republican Party.
DALLAS WOODHOUSE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY: It is likely that there was some mishandling of some ballots, but there is absolutely no evidence that Mark Harris`s victory is anything other than a legitimate victory. There is no evidence that outcome of this race is in question. Mark Harris will be certified, one way or another, and he will be the next congressman from the ninth congressional district.
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC: What about McCrae Dallas? Have you had concern, any questions about him?
WOODHOUSE: I am not familiar with McCrae before all of this happened.
LEE: You never heard of him?
WOODHOUSE: I personally had no knowledge of him, or I mean, you know, it all kind of runs together. We deal with a lot of things. We didn`t hire him. We didn`t engage him. We don`t know what he did. And if he broke the law, he should be held accountable.
LEE: What about those who hired McCrae Dowless, should they be held accountable as well?
WOODHOUSE: We believe in Mark Harris. He is a man of honor and integrity. There is no reason to believe he ever did anything wrong.
LEE: Do you buy that, that the Republican leaders had no idea who this guy was?
MARSHALL TUTOR, FORMER NORTH CAROLINA ELECTIONS BOARD INVESTIGATOR: I certainly do not under any circumstance would I buy that. They knew who -- they knew him just as well as they knew their next door neighbor.
I was lead investigator at the State Board of Elections for 15 years.
LEE: 15 years. And you were tasked with doing what exactly?
TUTOR: Investigating any and all complaints, inquiries, anything related to potential wrongdoing by voters, by campaign, candidates.
LEE: Apparently down in Bladen County, there`s talk of a lot of that going on. What did you find?
TUTOR: Well, what I found was vote buying at like $5 a vote.
LEE: $5 will get you a vote in Bladen County?
TUTOR: And maybe a beer. And this was mainly McCrae Dowless, the rumors and the vote buying was coming from.
And we were not talking as far as McCrae Dowless picking up absentee ballots back then. Moving on, McCrae Dowless got much more brazen as the years have gone on.
LEE: With what you found, did anyone ever face any criminal charges?
HAKEEM BROWN, FORMER CANDIDATE BLADEN COUNTY SHERRIF: It should not be that we have to cheat to win. It should not be that we have to rig someone`s ballot to win.
It took a lot to run for office -- a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of time away from spending time with my wife, spending time with my family, doing things that I like to do.
LEE: You ran for Sheriff and you lost. With everything swirling around the election, do you think that maybe something might have happened in your race?
BROWN: When you look at the ninth district, it covers nine counties with Bladen County being involved. If one race in that county is tarnished, to me it tarnished the whole race.
LEE: Your opponent worked with McCrae Dowless, didn`t he?
BROWN: Based on record.
LEE: Based on record.
BROWN: All I can say, based on what`s on record.
LEE: So the election is over, you lose, but you are feeling good because you ran a fair, clean race, but then things changed.
BROWN: It`s one thing to lose when you -- everything was fair on both sides, but it`s another thing to lose when you`ve been cheated.
LEE: Do you feel cheated?
BROWN: Oh, absolutely. I do.
LEE: What part makes you feel cheated?
BROWN: The more and more -- the more and more I hear that ballots were not returned, the more and more I hear that people requested ballots that were never sent to their home, mocks me say -- and whether or not you cheated me for five votes or 1,000 votes, a cheat is a cheat.
HAYES: Trymaine Lee joins us now live from North Carolina.
It`s wild, wild reporting down there. All of those interviews are pretty remarkable. What are people saying down there about the fact that they don`t have a member of congress and it`s really unclear what happens now.
LEE: Chris, I`ll tell you what, the wild part is that it should be fiction, right, small town conman becomes the center of the political universe, not just here in North Carolina, but nationally with this federal election.
Folks on one hand say that this is par for the course, this part of the state it`s been going on a long time, Democrats and Republicans, and the only reason people care now is that it effected a federal election.
And also it`s small rural America, right. When you come to town, everyone knew who McCrae Dowless was. You talk to Republicans, though, and they say, you know, we never heard of the guy. We didn`t work with the guy. But this guy been working with Republican and Democrats for a very long time, and everyone appears to know what he`s up to.
HAYES: So now the question is, you`ve got the state board. You`ve got -- there are people already on the record saying that McCrae Dowless paid me to pick up absentee ballots on its face a federal crime. There is a U.S. attorney`s investigation. What is the plan to get a congressperson to represent these people in the near future?
LEE: So just by terrible stroke of circumstance, the State Board of Elections had been disbanded for another unrelated case. They just were reestablished today. There was a call today with the new members. Next week they will plan a meeting to actually figure out when they`re going to have an investigation, a hearing, into what`s going on in the North Carolina`s ninth district.
Now, in order to either to certify Mark Harris or call for another election, you`ll need four of the five members of the state board to agree. So, it`s still early. The investigations had been ongoing. But in the meantime, there`s still rumors and innuendo and this kind of wild yarn being spun.
HAYES: Wait, last question. So you need four of five to certify, or four of five to get a new election, but you can imagine a scenario in which you can`t get a super majority to agree to either of those, and you just continue not having a member of congress. Is that right?
LEE: Well, then it goes to the House of Representatives, and they`ll determine whether they call for another election. So, right now the makeup of the board it`s three Democrats, three appointed by the governor, and also two Republicans. So you`ll either need one on either side to agree one way or another, whether to certify Mark Harris or to have another election.
HAYES: All right, Trymaine Lee, thanks for the great reporting.
Still to come, Senator Sherrod Brown joins me live from Iowa.
Plus, Groundhog Day came early this year that`s Thing one, Thing Two tonight next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, if you`re ever looking for a list of Donald Trump`s accomplishments, all you have to do is ask him. He`s got a list. And he`s more than happy to run it down for you. It doesn`t mean any of its true, but he`s got it.
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TRUMP: I have a list, and the list goes on and on, it`s four pages. Each dot is a thing. And some of those things are very big things.
I accomplished so much. The economy is the number one economy in the world.
We really accomplished a lot, more than anybody knows.
We have accomplished more than anyone could have ever imagined.
Nobody has done anything close.
The tax cuts, the regulations, nobody has done what we`ve done -- what I`ve done.
More than 4 million jobs created since the election.
Companies are pouring into our country. I have accomplished so much.
Today, right now, we have more people working than have ever worked.
If you look at regulations and the big tax cuts and Judge Gorsuch.
Nobody ever would have believed in a million years that we would have accomplished what we`ve accomplished.
We`ve accomplished practically everything else. Look, I accomplished the military.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m sorry, he accomplished the military?
We`re not entirely sure what that means. He certainly didn`t serve in the military or win some war. He has jacked up how much money we spent on the military, and he`s very proud of that. But there`s nothing that this president loves to take credit for more than the numbers in the stock market even if he has basically no idea how it works. And thats Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Just like in the business world, Donald Trump`s success for the economy is mostly thanks to his inheritance. Take a look at this chart of the Dow Jones over the last decade. Of course, over the course of President Obama`s two terms it went up and up and up, and then Donald Trump became president and started taking credit for the whole darned thing.
Now, the thing about the stock market is day to day it goes up and it goes down. And while you really don`t here from Donald Trump when it`s on the way down, you definitely hear from him when it`s on the way up.
Here he is just yesterday tweeting "Dow just broke 25,000. Tremendous news."
Whoa, and yes, that might be the most tremendous news since January last year when Trump tweeted, "Dow just crashes through 25,000. Congrats."
Then, just six months later in July 2018, "stock market hit 25,000 yesterday. It is all happening."
See, here is the thing. Memento. It goes up and it goes down every day, fluctuates. In fact, it has crossed 25,000 going up or down about 20 times since he became president. For some reason, every and now then he notices and it`s like a brand new thing right in front of his face.
If you`re wondering how the market did today, you`ll love this, the Dow closed at 24,999. Tune in tomorrow, Mr. President, it is all happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP AIDE; To storm my house with a greater force than was used to take down bin Laden or El Chapo or Pablo Escobar, to terrorize my wife and my dogs it`s unconscionable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Irvin Crystal (ph) famously quipped a neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. But for Roger Stone and Trump TV, it seems that a liberal is a conservative who just got raided by the FBI.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Why did the Justice Department stage what was, in effect, a military assault on Roger Stone`s house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an abusive, ridiculous, and embarrassing excessive use of force by the FBI.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like Elian Gonzales times 29 or times 28. It was absurd.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Why is he being treated like Pablo Escobar?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Jack boots in America and it has no place in American life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, so that`s a bit much.
But let`s be clear, they do have a point, it is pretty wild that FBI agents in body armor wielding large weapons conducted a pre-dawn raid at the home of a 66-year-old nonviolent offender, but also welcome to America, Sean Hannity.
First off, the FBI was trying to keep Stone from destroying evidence, they say. And as Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote, under those circumstances a pre-dawn raid is entirely in keeping with standard protocol.
But also as Radley Balko, who is a phenomenal journalist has documented in his essential book about the militarization of America`s police force, "Rise of the Warrior Cop," SWAT raids in this country are an epidemic. They are used for even minor alleged crimes like selling marijuana. SWAT teams have been known to invade the wrong house, to kill pets, even to throw a flash bang grenade into a 2-year-old`s crib and leave a hole in his chest.
The central question of this era in Trump`s America, it seems to me, is who does the law protect and who does it hold to account? What Roger Stones defenders are objecting to is that he got a small taste of the treatment that is routine for people who are less wealthy and less white and less well connected. Trump himself criticized the arrest of Stone and says he may ask the FBI to review its tactics, but so long as you aren`t his friend, it sure does sound like the president likes rough policing just fine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you guys put somebody in the car and you protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over -- like don`t hit their head and they`ve just killed somebody, don`t hit their head. I said you can take the hand away, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Democratic presidential primary is now in full swing with at least seven candidates having officially declared they are running in 2020, and another handful seriously testing the waters. There is probably no one testing those waters quite as aggressively than Senator Sherrod Brown who has been touring around his home state of Ohio, a key 2020 battleground, and who is right this moment on the ground in Iowa on when he`s calling his Dignity of Work Tour.
Brown is trying to reclaim the mantle of populism from Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: If you love your country, you fight for the people that make it work. And when you talk about work -- I mean, if you swipe a badge or punch a clock, if you work for tips, if you`re working a salary, if you are raising kids, if you are caring for an again parent, if you shower before work or after work, it`s not just the middle class, it`s the broad spectrum of people that work hard and just simply don`t get a break these days.
I mean, this administration, the White House, looks like a retreat for Wall Street executives and they have betrayed workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown joins me live from Cresco (ph), Iowa. Senator, it`s good to have you. I wanted to start on something I thought would have some...
BROWN: Wait, wait, wait, Chris, one second, this was the home of Norman Barlog (ph) who saved hundreds of millions of peoples` lives from starvation, and he grew up in Cresco (ph), Iowa, so...
HAYES: Wait, what did he do?
BROWN: ...right outside this door from me.
Well, he`s the one that taught agriculture all over the world.
HAYES: Oh, right.
BROWN: And found ways that by breeding that could, they need to live to be 95, something like that, died only a few years ago and was revolutionary, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work combating hunger around the world.
HAYES: You know, since you started with that, let me ask you this question, you`re from an industrial state, Ohio. The entirety of your career, you fought against the trade deals, NAFTA, China`s admittance and most favorite nation status, and you were supportive, you know, not completely, but somewhat supportive of the president`s tariffs.
The folks in Iowa and other agricultural states have been hit on the other side in terms of exporting things like soy and other American products. What do you hear, what are your conversations like with people in a very different part of the trade imbalance in Iowa about the president`s trade policy?
BROWN: Well, you hear it both ways. You hear from industrial Iowa and there are a lot, particularly along the Mississippi River, where I`m going tomorrow. There are a lot of plants that have been lost because of bad trade policy and bad tax policy. The president`s tax bill that passed a year ago actually gives a 50 percent off coupon for a company that shuts down production in Cresco (ph), Iowa and moves overseas. They get 50 percent off their taxes.
So, clearly, that`s part of it. But the part about tariffs, I said to the president, candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, whom I had never met at that point, I wrote him a letter and said don`t pick, don`t choose sides. Don`t play off agriculture against industrial America, and he`s done that. And he`s done it, he could have avoided that by working with our allies in Canada and western Europe and the EU countries and Japan and focused his tariffs on those countries that cheat. It would have been more efficient, it would have worked faster, it would have put more pressure on them to do the right thing and deal with some of the trade cheating that China, South Korea and Turkey have done consistently for decades.
HAYES: So do you think -- I mean, there is a line yesterday about Harley Davidson saying their profit got wiped out by the tariffs. There`s the Counsel on Foreign Relations saying that the tariffs are killing American steel now. Do you think they basically have been a mistake the way that they have been implemented?
BROWN: Oh, I think is no question -- I support -- tariffs -- start with this, Chris, that tariffs are a temporary trade tool, not a long-term trade policy. And this president, I`ve had conversations with him about trade, this president fund mentally doesn`t understand that. And he`s made tariffs a longer-term policy and when you do that, you displace things, you end up with soybean farmers getting hurt, you end up with down the line steel consumers getting hurt.
This could have been done in a very different way and the president just had neither the strength nor the understanding, the depth of understanding to do it that way.
HAYES: There has been a variety of pretty new policies put forward by folks who are either considering running for president or in the sort of mix. Bernie Sanders with a big hike to the estate taxes that were announced, Elizabeth Warren with a wealth tax, and then you have someone like Howard Schultz and others who are warning the Democrats are going too far to the left, or too aggressive on redistribution, what do you think about going after -- whether it`s wealth, estate, top income marginal rates, is that something that you think the parties should be pursuing?
BROWN: Well, sure, the party -- the 1 percent, Howard, whatever his last name is, the coffee guy.
BROWN: He should be paying -- the 1 percent, of course, should be paying more, but it`s also what do you do to put money in the pockets of the middle class? I mean, you pass my Patriot Corporation Act which simply says if a company does the right thing, it pays decent wages and benefits, does its production in this country they get a lower tax rate, but those companies, those large companies who are the CEOs making millions that pay low wages and as a result taxpayers basically subsidize their workers through Medicaid or Earned Income Tax Credit or Food Stamps or a Section Eight housing vouchers, those companies should pay a corporate free loader fee.
So, you focus our systems for sure should be more progressive, but you also rewrite the corporate taxes so that those companies that actually are patriotic benefit from the Patriotic Corporation Act and those companies that aren`t pay a penalty.
HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown in Iowa on the dignity of work tour, I hope you`re enjoying your time on the road. Tell Connie I said hi and thanks for taking the time.
BROWN: For sure. Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I have some important information for listeners of our podcast, Why is This Happening about our second ever live recording with special guest Stacey Abrams. Our pre-sale tickets sold out in about 15 minutes, which is amazing. Thank you.
If you missed the pre-sale and still want to come, don`t worry. We are releasing more tickets tonight. No special code needed this time. You can find the link on our Facebook page or got to livenation.com and you can search Chris Hayes. They will go on sale starting at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. Like I said, pre-sale went fast, so don`t be late. Get in there. Fire up your web browsers.
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