CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: -- for such a constitutional explosion and act now upon the lethal accumulation of public evidence Mr. Trump has already piled high. That`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do we like Tucker? I like Tucker.
HAYES: A full-blown scandal at Trump T.V.
TRUMP: She`s my friend and she`s your friend Justice Jeanine.
HAYES: Tonight why Fox News is condemning one of its own.
JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law?
HAYES: As the President keeps lowering the bar.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the President truly believe that Democrats hate Jews?
HAYES: Then David Corn on new reporting about Mar-a-Lago and the massage parlor magnate selling access to the president. Plus Mehdi Hasan on the fallout from his stunning Erik Prince interview.
MEHDI HASAN, BRITISH JOURNALIST: We just went through the testimony. There`s no mention of the Trump Tower Meeting in August 2016. Why not?
ERIK PRINCE, AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN: I don`t know if they got the transcript wrong.
HAYES: And Senator Sherrod Brown on how he decided not to run for president when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. There`s breaking news right now on the scandal that is engulfing Fox News. More audio has been unearthed which we have here exclusively of one of the channels primetime host using a homophobic slur, also calling the people of Iraq and I quote here semi-literate primitive monkeys where whom he had "zero sympathy" because they "don`t use toilet paper or forks."
It`s also some pretty racially gross things said about Barack and Michelle Obama. The audio just broke. We`ll play that for you shortly. There`s never been in modern American life a single media outlet more important to a presidency than Fox News is for Donald Trump. Trump literally watches it all day. He live tweets Fox and Friends or sometimes on delay because he DVRs it.
He sends advertisements for it. It forms his ideas and they run interference for him. And it is impossible to know really where one ends and the other begins. Less than a week ago, disgraced Fox News executive Bill Shine was the White House Communications Director before he got turfed out. So if the President sits down at Mar-a-Lago on a Saturday night for an opinion on what`s going on in the world, this is the kind of thing he might see.
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PIRRO: Omar wears a hijab which according to the Koran 33:59 tells women to cover so they won`t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Is her religious devotion antithetical the U.S. Constitution? Great question. The on its face bigoted comment it is not at all out of step for the rest of the rhetoric at Fox News where anti-Muslim bigotry is a part of the routine programming. The network said in the statement "we strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro`s comments about representative Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.
Pirro for her part said "I did not call Representative Omar un-American my intention was to ask a question and start a debate but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don`t support the Constitution.
She`s just asking question, people, just putting forward ideas to discuss like for instance Tucker Carlson does. He`s always really just asking questions, not defending anything, just asking questions.
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TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Look, I`m not defending Trump. I just read what he did today.
President Trump said what he said on the tape. I`m not defending it.
I`m not defending white supremacy. I don`t believe in it, I don`t approve of it.
You`re not going to put me in the position to defend the ugliness of a lot of the things online.
I`m not defending the creepiness on the internet, I hate it just like you do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He hates it. He does not defending the thing that he`s defending. Of course, everyone knows what Tucker is doing when he says this including white supremacists who recently leaked chats are praising Carlson for how he injects ideals of white nationalism into the discourse through this sort of cowardly disassociation with his own views.
But Carlson has been doing this stick forever. Media Matters has unearthed comments that Carlson made on shock-jock radio program between 2006 and 2011 about among many other things when child rape is OK, indefensible? You can tell from listening that they are not made in jest.
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CARLSON: Well, actually he`s not in prison for that. He didn`t -- Warren Jeff didn`t marry underage girls, actually.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he`s in prison for facilitation of child rape.
CARLSON: Whatever the hell that means.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That means that --
CARLSON: He`s in prison because he`s weird and unpopular and he has a different lifestyle that other people find creepy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he`s an accessory to the rape of children. That is a felony and serious one at that.
CARLSON: What do you mean an accessory? He`s like got some weird religious cult where he thinks it`s OK to you know, marry underage girls, but he didn`t do it. Why wouldn`t the guy who actually did it, who sex with an underage girl, he should be the one who`s doing life.
I`m not defending underage marriage at all. I just don`t think it`s the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting a child. The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it`s a little different. I mean, let`s be honest about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Let`s be honest about the distinctions between raping a child once and then raping a child and forcibly maintaining your control over them to rape them again. Carlson went to Twitter and did not apologize saying Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago, refused to express the "usual ritual contrition."
Here with me now, the President of the group that uncovered that audio of Tucker Carlson, Angelo Carusone of Media Matters for America. You have new audio you have just published this evening.
ANGELO CARUSONE, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Yes.
HAYES: Where should we start? There`s one clip in which he uses a homophobic slur. I think that we have that which you`ve just published. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuck, do you like coming on with us because I like you. I mean, I`m not trying to (BLEEP) on you or nothing, but I like -- I like you.
CARLSON: Well, I like you too. And I mean that you always say, "I mean, that in a non-(BLEEP), way," but I actually mean it in a completely (BLEEP) way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARUSONE: I mean, I mean, I think what struck me about a lot of these clips was not just that fact that they`re so consistent with the things that he says now, but the comfort in which he says that. It sounds like you`re actually getting to see the real Tucker Carlson.
And all these profiles, they talk about how private he is. How he lives behind this really deep veneer, how detached he is, right? It`s a strange thing. I feel like that`s the real Tucker. And that`s the part that struck me is there`s a casualness to it. That just feels that that`s not the only time he said that.
HAYES: Yes. I mean -- let me just say that my position on this is like the more information the better. People should hear it and Tucker obviously couldn`t defend himself and he can own the things he says like, for instance, I hate the war. You know, I`m not defending the war in any way but just at zero sympathy for them as a culture. Meaning Iraq is a culture where people don`t use toilet paper or forks.
This is him in 2008. This is after hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed. If I didn`t like Canada, I wouldn`t consider it worth invading. I mean, Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of you know, semi-literate primitive monkeys that`s why it wasn`t worth invading.
I just want to say that like this stuff is just you know, honestly what his views are and they shine through generally today ten years later.
CARUSONE: They are. And there was this point where he said that he fantasized about a candidate running for president who basically promises to eradicate all of the Muslims. I`m almost literally forecasting the appeal that Donald Trump would actually present an audience.
HAYES: He has a long rift about how much a candidate would catch fire if he said I`m sick of P.C. culture. I`m just going to basically kill a lot of Muslims.
CARUSONE: Exactly. And I think that if you tie that with Tucker`s programming today and I think that`s why you see so much of a winking and nodding. Before his show even launched, we actually found his new producers going into these chat rooms and posting on the Donald subreddit announcing that their program was there, saying that they wanted to be a part of it, inviting ideas and very consistently there`s always this segment that is a -- that is a top story that`s on the chance or one of these communities because he`s elevating it and giving out oxygen and air time.
HAYES: This is a sort of argument, the devil`s advocate argument here. This was said 12, 13 years ago, during -- I will note he`s employment at this network, not at Fox News.
CARUSONE: Yes, correct.
HAYES: This was said a long time ago and you know, you`re digging this up because you don`t like him anyway.
CARUSONE: That`s -- I understand why that`s the case. If that was the case, we just wanted a bombard with everything that I would have taken a lot of the 100 plus hours that we listened to a Bubba the Love Sponge in Tucker Carlson. I would have played a lot of random other clips because he said a lot of awful things that are objectionable. The reason why --
HAYES: Wait, so he said something you not -- you`ve chosen not to publish?
CARUSONE: Tons, tons of it. The reason why we didn`t though is precisely because of that. Not because I`m trying to be some nice guy or give him a favor but because I think the argument for pulling this out now is one, because of his relationship to the President and the consumption too that I think it gives some context and insight into what he does nightly on his programming.
And to the extent that they enrich that understanding, I think it is worthwhile. So that`s why we focused on things that he said repeatedly and thematically and that also echo his programming today. And I think that makes it much more relevant.
HAYES: There`s a -- there`s a riff at one point about Barack Obama as well. Michelle Obama acting like a "sister" excessively black in the estimation of both the co-host and Tucker Carlson at one point.
CARUSONE: I think he used the characterization ghetto, what he was referring to that.
HAYES: And there is also the idea that a Barack Obama would still be a state senator if you were white which is one thing that he said at a certain point. So a lot of this sort of racial themes are a lot of railing against the Congressional Black Caucus and political correctness. The Congressional Black Caucus exists to blame the white man for everything. I`m happy to say that in public is it`s true. Everyone knows it`s true. That`s the kind of thing that would be said on his you know, program.
HAYES: These are public and consistent views. This is not revealing a thing about the man`s character of views.
CARUSONE: That`s right.
HAYES: Angelo Carusone, of course, all that could be found at Media Matters Web site so you can listen, the full clips, get the full context as all there. Here talk about the pipeline between Fox News and the White House, Karina Jean-Pierre, Spokesperson and chief public affairs officer from moveon.org and Waleed Shahid who is the Spokesperson for Justice Democrats.
I thought this was interesting. So when this broke over weekend -- again, this is not necessarily surprising stuff although the quotes about the Iraqis make me like viscerally enrage because it`s disgusting bigotry. The -- Don Jr. says, I think that @realDonaldTrump was willing to pave the way in response to the refusal to apologize, the ritual acts of contrition.
He taught Conservatives just because the mob wants to take the law doesn`t mean you have to. He show conservative how to fight and win for the first time in a long time. Do you think something`s changed fundamentally in the -- in the discourse?
KARINA JEAN-PIERRE, SPOKESPERSON AND CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, MOVEON.ORG: No, I think this is when you`re looking at Fox -- let me just step back for a second. There`s something that Angelo said that I thought -- that really rings true to me which is when you listen or you hear Tucker Carlson on that radio show, he`s -- it`s casual. This is -- this is something that he`s totally comfortable. When you see him on T.V., some people might say oh, it`s an act. That`s not really who he is.
HAYES: No, it`s not an act.
JEAN-PIERRE: And now you know it is not an act. Anybody who thought it was, it isn`t. He says these things casually as if he`s comfortable.
HAYES: Those are his views.
JEAN-PIERRE: Those are his views. This is who believes -- who what he believes. Now, when it comes to Fox News, this is Fox News, right? They repeatedly we hear hosts, analysts, we hear reporters, are saying things that are racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and misogynist. And this is who they are. And the reason why they do this it`s because it sells, because they`re marketing to the people who are watching.
HAYES: And because -- I think also because it`s part of the political process. I mean, it`s both, right?
JEAN-PIERRE: Right, right. You`re right. You`re right.
WALEED SHAHID, SPOKESPERSON, JUSTICE DEMOCRATS: I mean, the political project is what`s interesting to me. Obviously, I mean, hate crimes have gone for the third time this year in this country. The FBI has reported that and anti-Muslim sentiment this country in 2017 in terms of hate crimes was matched that right after 9/11. So there` obviously like this dehumanizing rhetoric does impact Muslims on a regular daily life aspect.
In terms of the marriage between Fox News in the Republican Party, the Republican Party is a coalition of kind of white nationalism and corporate greed. And the thing that makes me sick about it is the fraudsters who work at Fox News at the top -- the highest levels of Fox News are the people sitting at the top of America`s oligarchy.
And they`re the people who keep peddling out these conspiracy theories about Muslims and black people being the ones to blame for our country`s problems and they genuinely believe it. And at the same time they`re making millions of dollars of this --
HAYES: One of the key things to understand about the Trump presidency in this moment and this -- the reason this tape I think is -- actually I thought, I was glad that Pirro said what she said insofar as she just said what is the belief of many people at that networking in the conservative movement which is that this woman with a job is obviously antithetical the American Constitution. Like just come out and say it. Own your views. don`t pretend they`re otherwise.
But let me just say one thing about your point. The -- all that misogyny and bigotry, it`s not an act. Like the oligarchs and the president who sit there getting their brain rotted by it, like that`s their belief system.
JEAN-PIERRE: That their belief. That is their true core if you will. And Pirro, the thing that`s interesting about Pirro is she didn`t ad-libbed that.
HAYES: No, they got loaded in the prompter.
JEAN-PIERRE: And she read it. Somebody wrote that for her and presumably an executive producer, a producer approve that language. Look, this is what Fox has done and they have been doing this before Donald Trump. Let`s be very, very clear, all the hatred that they spewed during the Obama administration.
And this is just who they are. Even Rupert Murdoch back in 2015 was tweeting things that was Islamophobic and hateful and disgusting. The thing is they package this thing and they do it 24/7. Lies, hate, and it`s really just awful and disgusting.
HAYES: They also -- there`s a sort of vanguard part of it too, right? So they`re appealing to the base but we`ve seen like with the Green New Deal for instance right? This just full assault. I mean, just --
HAYES: Doesn`t really know about that angle of it. But just you know, the degree to which the White House and they are intertwined. It`s sort of indistinguishable. There`s also a useful propagandistic role on these very specific political elements.
SHAHID: I mean, Trump introduced today billions of dollars of cuts to Medicare. Most of Fox News` viewers, I assume, are on Medicare and they`re not going to be covering that because what they want you to see is the idea of this new browning America, the AOCs, the Ilhan Omar`s of the world that they`re the ones who want to -- at the end of the day this is where the Fox News executives come into play because at the end of the day, the reason they`re peddling these conspiracy theories is just because they don`t want people to vote to raise taxes on them to make sure that everyone in this country has health care.
And that`s what`s so sad and sickening about Fox News is at the end of the day the reason we can`t have nice things in America is because of the people in the Republican Party and Fox News who are colluding to destroy the social fabric of this country.
HAYES: I saw someone note over the weekend that if you look at the intro politics of Australia, England, in the U.S., they`re all a basket case in sort of similar ways of this sort of like revanchist right-wing and that`s where Rupert Murdoch made his bones in all three plays.
JEAN-PIERRE: Exactly. You would say that it is shameful but they have no shame. They feel no shame because like you said, it is their core. This is what they believe. Look, and there`s also this really bizarre relationship too, the sick relationship. Like Donald Trump needs Fox and Fox needs Donald Trump.
And the thing about it too is it`s yes, it`s a propaganda state T.V., Fox News, and the problem is Donald Trump is only getting his information from Fox News and that`s clearly the most powerful man, right?
HAYES: He literally -- that is literally how the president learns in the world and it is like a classic example of they are using what they`re dealing. They all are, right? There`s -- like there`s no distinction between the two, and the president is a consumer, an avid consumer. His view of the world as he`s proud to tell you is formed in real time by the information that comes into him from folks who say that Iraqis for instance are semi-illiterate primitive monkeys. That`s their belief about the world. This is the man making American foreign policy.
SHAHID: And Tucker Carlson was going to be this kind of rising intellectual star of the Republican Party just ten or 15 years ago. And that tells you where the Republican Party is at in terms of the genuine intellectualism of their ideas of kind of free-market economics and social conservatism. It`s all -- it`s all a scam.
HAYES: Yes. It`s not an act. They believe what they believe which the important takeaway from this. Karina Jean-Pierre and Waleed Shahid, thank you both. Next the Mar-a-Lago member, Trump donor, and massage parlor magnate who is reportedly selling access to the president. Who is Cindy Yang and what in the name of God is happening as the President`s Golf Resort next?
HAYES: By now you probably seen photos of a certain Republican donor with Donald Trump. Her name is Cindy Yang. And last week the Miami Herald reported that she founded though no longer owns the Day Spa in Florida where the owner of the New England Patriots football team Robert Kraft was arrested for soliciting prostitution. And that in a really bizarre twist, she had attended a Super Bowl party this year with Kraft and his buddy President Donald Trump at the President`s West Palm Beach Country Club.
The gang faces no charges in connection with Kraft`s arrest or the trafficking probe, but more pictures of Yang soon surfaced with a variety of notable Republicans. And now Mother Jones reports that Yang might have been selling access to the President to Chinese executives at Mar-a-Lago. The reporter who helped break that story David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief from Mother Jones joins me now.
All right, I should correct that. She wasn`t at the party with Kraft himself who was obviously at the Super Bowl but she was there with Donald Trump. And then there`s all these photos of proliferate of her with everyone in Republican politics. What is your reporting say about what her latest gig has been?
DAVID CORN, MSNBC ANALYST: Well, in addition to owning a chain of massage parlors, she had what she called an investment company which was geared towards Chinese clients. Its main Web site was in Chinese and he talked about giving advice to U.S. businesses that want to invest in China.
But the real thing it seemed to be doing was telling Chinese executives that if you come to the United States, I can get you in to see people in the Trump circle that the President himself, Trump`s family members, his sister Elizabeth Trump Grau and also Elaine Chao the you know, transportation secretary, Wilbur Ross the Commerce Secretary, and the Web site is full of pictures of presumably her clients having meetings with these people.
And you said in Mar-a-Lago that`s true but not just in Mar-a-Lago but in events in Washington with cabinet members in fact, it says we can arrange for you White House dinners and Capitol Hill dinners. I mean, it`s basically selling access to the Chinese and she has given over $50,000, she and her family members to various Trump political groups. So she paying, you know, to get access. It really smells like pay to play.
HAYES: Well, so -- and there`s pictures also like clients of hers, of people actually having White House meetings. Like substantive meetings in the White House about issues.
CORN: Well, with meeting with Elaine Chao and talks about going to an event with Wilbur Ross. We don`t know what happened at these meetings where these just sort of meet and greets where they paid thousands of dollars they get a picture. They go back to China say hey, look who were buddies with and that you should do business with us.
And then we reported yesterday and I should say I`m doing these stories with my colleagues Dan Friedman and Dan Schulman, that she also has connections to two groups that are directly linked to the Chinese government and the Communist Party there. So that raises all sorts of other questions about what`s going on here.
HAYES: Is she -- I mean, part of -- part of -- one of the things we`ve learned about the sort of swampiness of Mar-a-Lago is it basically like anyone can kind of hit up the President with their favorite idea next to the omelet bar and you know, you know, plant a bug in his ear. We`ve got this crazy -- I mean in terms of like the efficacy of selling access to this president, it`s not a crazy idea.
The ProPublica published this insane note from just some guy at Mar-a-Lago, the dress dear king. We had some idea about like dental reimbursement and Trump is like send it on to the V.A. Like you can get pretty close to this guy if you pony up to be in this circle of cronies.
CORN: And you can do it by getting a membership in the club and we don`t have a lot of vetting of people who go there. And it seems that you know, you can pay this woman who owns these massage parlors and who makes donations, sizable donations to the Republican Party and she`s somehow able to exploit that and bring you right into Mar-a-Lago and get you photos with the Trump kids, Donald and Eric, with Trump sister.
And on the Web site itself, again, in Chinese she markets, we can get you in there on the next New Year`s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago. We have an elite forum that`s going on at Mar-a-Lago where you can meet Trump family members. It`s very, very brazen. It`s nothing subtle at all about this. But it was done you know, catering to Chinese businesses that we know of at least one that made a trip there and had this meeting and probably did so through her services.
HAYES: I want to bring in the reporter help break the Super Bowl party story who`s Caitlin Ostroff of the Miami Herald who`s been doing great reporting on her. What do you learned about how how this woman has managed to be so remarkably omnipresent in certain circles down in Florida?
CAITLIN OSTROFF, DATA REPORTER, THE MIAMI HERALD: Right. And that`s the million-dollar question. So she went from being this massage parlor founder and doing that for many years to all of a sudden having an investment company and doing all sorts of other practices outside of being a business owner.
And so the question is in a span of you know, a couple years, how did she go from a relatively small donor to the Republican Party and to Republican candidates to all of a sudden taking selfies with President Trump and taking photos with Governor DeSantis and other high-ranking Republican officials.
And so that`s not something we completely know the answer to. There`s a lot of ambiguity as to how she got those connections to get there. But we do know that she`s increasingly been giving money to candidates in the last year or so. And so that`s the question I think us and Mother Jones as well are seeking the answer is you know, how did she go from that zero to 100.
HAYES: Yes, I`ll follow up on that and I`ll come back to you, David. Something of the reporting of the Miami Herald also suggests and I don`t think this is the biggest part of story at all, but since the original sort of woe factor was that she founded the spa that Bob Kraft was busted at and she was at a Super Bowl party watching Bob Kraft Patriots.
Your reporting suggested the spa`s that she was running back then when she ran them were offering the kinds of services they are alleged to be offering today.
OSTROFF: Right. And she was not brought up on any charges in the best of Kraft. But there`s been people who used to work there who alerted local law enforcement agencies that did not press charges but there have been you know, questions raised as to whether illicit activities, whether sexual services have been offered at some of her parlors.
Former employee suffice questions there have been comments on Yelp of people saying that you know, there -- you have people been sent there and they`ve been offered you know, sex or other sexual related services. And so that is certainly within question but she hasn`t been brought up on any charges related to that.
HAYES: David, there`s probably some sort of at this point some part of the intelligence apparatus scrambling to kind of nail down what is known about this individual given the fact that she`s hanging around Mar-a-Lago with the president and selling access to him.
CORN: Yes. We go from sex, to pop, to national security implications. If she`s bringing in Chinese executives to meet the president or meet people in his circle and this is known to the Chinese government or authorities, you think they would want to piggyback on this. And we know there`s very little vetting when these sort of sessions happen at Mar-a-Largo.
And as we reported yesterday, we know that she works with two groups that are out there promoting China`s top foreign policy priorities including the reabsorption of Taiwan. So there`s a lot to dig into here. I mean, I hate to say -- I really hate to say this, Chris, but this is another congressional investigation. I mean, there`s so many already, it`s like airplanes you know, on the runway. You can`t get them all up into the air.
But if this had happened under the Obama administration, you know what would be going on right now.
HAYES: Yes, David Corn, it`s very true. David Corn and Caitlin Ostroff, great reporting both of you. Thank you for being here. Just ahead, a surprise decision in the Democratic presidential field that Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio announces he will not run for president. I`m going to ask him why he decided to stay out next.
HAYES: There are still a number of potential presidential candidates who are considering entering the Democratic race, including, perhaps move famously, Joe Biden, who is reportedly still mulling over his decision, and Beto O`Rourke, who says he`ll have an announcement soon, and today Stacey Abrams said that a 2020 presidential run is on the table.
When I hear that, I always wonder what exactly the period of contemplation looks like and how someone makes the decision, one way or the other, to run for president, because not everyone decides to do it, like, for instance, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown who toured the country on a dignity of work tour while considering a run, and then announced he would not run last week.
How did he make that decision? Well, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio joins me now.
Senator, I`m really curious about this. What goes into the calculation, because you constantly hear reports about people, oh, they are talking to their advisers and they`re talking to fundraisers and they`re going out and talking to people. What is in your head? What did you come to believe through the process that led to your decision?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Well as you know, Chris, I haven`t had a life long dream to be president. I`ve known you a long time, you`ve never heard me -- nobody that I know has heard me talk about it as something I wanted to do at some point in my life, and that began to change in November or December when I saw that just -- I just thought Democrats weren`t talking to workers enough. And we don`t win -- I don`t think we win in the south, I don`t think we win in the Mountain West or the Midwest if we don`t talk to workers better and listen to workers better, and workers of all races.
And I announced on this show, on the Chris Hayes show, a couple of months ago our dignity of work listening tour, and I underline listening because we really spend time in each of the four early states -- New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada listening to people, and this whole idea of the dignity of work, we wanted this to become the narrative for other candidates, and I consider it a victory in the sense that so many other candidates now are talking about work, talking about the dignity of work -- if you love for your country, you fight for the people that make it work. And I`ve chosen to DO that in the senate.
HAYES: but why?
BROWN: I think that I could have a loud voice there.
HAYES: But at some point you were considering not doing that. I mean, I guess the question is like do you draw up a spreadsheet, do you make a like pros and cons list? Like what is the thing that tips one over when making such a monumental decision.
BROWN: I think it is the question of what are willing to go through, what are you willing to put your family through. I think that -- I mean, sort of the joyful way I try to do my job in the Senate, I didn`t feel that I could do the presidential race quite the same way and be effective. And so the decision was -- I know everybody gets to it differently.
I think it is i don`t long to have the long to this huge desire to be president of the United States. I love my job in the Senate. I think I`m effective. I think that our dignity of work narrative, partly because we started on this show, has become a much bigger thing than it would have been. So I -- I just think I`m ready to continue to do this in the Senate.
HAYES: When you talk about that, I wonder, was there pressure -- I mean, you won this race -- you were just re-elected in Ohio. I think part of the reason people talked about you as a possible presidential candidate was because you have this record where you have been a fairly liberal senator, if you look at voting records and things like that, in a state that has gone increasingly -- trended increasingly conservative and red. You just got re-elected. You clearly have a connection with that state. You are able to sort of message your politics and connect to voters there. Were you getting any push-back from Chuck Schumer, anyone else, about if you were to win this thing, we would be down a seat in Ohio that we would have a real hard time replacing, because the Republican governor would appoint your successor?
BROWN: No. I heard that literally from nobody. I was questioned about it by media but I -- nobody said, hey -- including people in Ohio, and including Senate Democratic leadership, nobody said to me you can`t do this I think partly because we would be glad in this time to trade a senate seat for the presidency. And I think that there is a recognition that if I were the nominee, I would have perhaps the best chance to beat Trump.
But I think that if this dignity of work theme, if people learn to talk -- I want people to start -- I want our candidates to start think about the general election and how you`re going to win the general election, and if they start talking to workers -- of course we play to a progressive base. I take a back seat to nobody on my vote against the Iraq war and for marriage equality and against NAFTA and against the bankruptcy bill and a whole bunch of those issues as a progressive, but we have to talk to workers. If we do that, I predict if we do that right, I predict that whoever raises her hand or his on January 20th, 2020 -- what year it would be, 2021, that they will talk about the dignity of work in her his inaugural speech.
HAYES: Sharpen that, though, because it sounds to me like what you are trying to say is you`re saying like, look, Democrats need to be thinking about a way to talk to voters broadly and appeal broadly and you have an experience where you are running in a place like Ohio where there is a bunch of different constituencies and people of different political leanings, and as opposed to what, like, what is the thing you are worried the field has been doing or is going to do that you`re trying to provide an antidote to that is bad?
BROWN: I don`t say it is bad yet. It might become that. I don`t think that our candidates are thinking of the general election, I think that there is a bit of one bird flies off the telephone wire and five more birds fly off the wire. I just there is a little bit of that.
I just want candidates to think for themselves and to move the country forward and think about the general election, and realize that even though I have a lifetime F from the NRA, I get gun owners` votes in some significant number in Zanesville and Nanceville (ph) and Lyme, Ohio, because I talk about education and I talk about keeping their health care costs down and going after the drug companies and how do you send your kid to community colleges, to Zane State or to Rhode State (ph) in Lyme (ph), how do you do that.
And it really is -- it is actually -- this tour we did really was a listening tour. I wasn`t trying to get the biggest crowd. I was listening to people and I learned stuff. One woman in Laconia, New Hampshire, said you have got -- who had run a childcare facility for years, said you have got to think about childcare as a public good. We invest in transportation. We invest in public parks. We need to invest in childcare. And the irony of childcare is people can`t afford it and then the workers that provide can`t make a living wage, so something is wrong there.
HAYES: All right, Sherrod Brown, it`s always a pleasure to have you on. Thanks for taking the time.
A witness in the Mueller investigation is caught in an apparent lie about a 2016 meeting in Trump Tower. That incredible interview and the man who exposed him ahead.
Plus, a special forensic investigation in Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the Tim Apple moment just won`t go away for Donald Trump, and that is because he will not let it go. In case you`re out of the country, let us refresh your memory about Trump`s moment with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have so many companies coming in. People like Tim, you`re expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted to do right from the beginning. I used to say, Tim, you got to start doing it over here and you really have. I mean, you`ve really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much Tim Apple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ah, yes, Tim Apple.
This is the thing Trump has been known to do. Everyone was in his -- maybe because everyone in his family is named for the company they work for. Last march, he appeared with the CEO of Lockheed Martin Marilyn Hewson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Marilyn Lockheed, the leading woman`s business executive in this country, according to many.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: No, her name is not Marilyn Lockheed, she doesn`t have the last name of the company she runs, that is not the way it works.
But the coverage of Tim Apple has apparently gotten under Trump`s skin. At Mar-a-Lago on Friday night with no cameras present Trump reportedly explained to a group of donors what really happened in what the donors described as one of Trump`s weirdest lies ever.
That is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So after Donald Trump called Tim Cook, Tim Apple, and everybody has a little chuckle over it, the president told a group of donors at Mar-a- Lago this weekend, it never happened. Axios reports Trump told the donors that he actually said Tim Cook Apple, like, really fast and the Cook part of the sentence was soft, but all you heard from the fake news he said was Tim Apple.
Well, that makes perfect sense. It is possible this lie worked on the audience at Trump`s house of fancy golf and omelets, so just to be sure, Thing One, Thing Two has done a forensic analysis of the video tape. Christian, enhance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We appreciate it very much Tim Apple. Tim Apple. Tim Apple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yeah, he said Tim Apple.
So the lie was so blatant that he came up with a new story this morning, quote, at a recent round table meeting of business executive and long after formally introducing Tim Cook of Apple, I referred to Tim plus Apple as Tim Apple as an easy way to save time in words. How is he still writing about this? What is -- this is why we elected him, to save time and words. And no president has ever saved so many words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, I`m totally off script, right?
Darling is the wind blowing today? I would like to watch television, darling.
He asked Russia to go get the emails.
He`s bad. He`s a bad, bad -- he`s a bad, bad guy.
Hey, Don, how are you doing? Hey, Donnie, I love you Donnie.
White hair? See, I don`t have white hair.
Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia -- Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: One of the stranger plot twists in the Trump era is the return of Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy Devos and notorious founder of the mercenary company once called Blackwater. After Blackwater`s involvement in killings of Iraqi civilians brought public scrutiny, prince re-branded the company under different names and finally sold it off relocating to the United Arab Emirates where he got close to the ruling family and began a new venture, Frontier Services Group, which marketed its security services to foreign states.
Then in 2016, he pops up hanging around Trump world. During the transition, after Trump was elected, Prince was part of an effort to set up a meeting, meeting that actually happened, with the a Russian fund manager in the Seychelles, which he has testified about to the House Intelligence Committee, what the meeting was for kind of unclear.
There was also a strange meeting during the campaign at trump Tower that seems to have been forgotten about. As The New York Times first reported three months before the election, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Gulf State emissary who was offering to help Donald Trump win the election.
Erik Prince, the private security contractor, former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place August 3, 2016 in Trump Tower. Now, apparently Prince didn`t tell the House Intel Committee about that meeting in Trump Tower during the campaign. And he was asked about his omission by Mehdi Hassan on al Jazeera`s English show Head to Head.
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MEHDI HASSAN, AL JAZEERA: In November 2017, you told congress under oath that you played, quote, no official or really unofficial role in the Trump campaign, what you didn`t tell congress is that on August 3, 2016 you were at a meeting during the campaign at Trump Tower with Don Jr., Trump`s son, with Steven Miller, then a campaign adviser to Trump, with George Nader, a Backwater colleague of yours, who acts as a back channel to the Saudis, Emirates, does happen to be a convicted pedophile, and also Joel Zemel (ph) an Israeli expert on social media manipulation, how come you didn`t mention that meeting to congress given it is so relevant to their investigation?
PRINCE: I did. As part of the investigations, I certainly disclosed any meetings, the very, very few I had.
HASSAN: Not in the congressional testimony you gave to the House. We went through it, you didn`t mention anything about August 2016 meeting in Trump Tower.
They specifically ask you what context you have, and you didn`t answer that.
PRINCE: I don`t believe I was ask that question.
HASSAN: You were asked whether any form of communications or contact with the campaign. You said apart from writing papers, putting up yard signs, no, that`s what you said. I have got the transcript to the conversation here.
PRINCE: Sure, I might have been -- I think I was at Trump headquarters or the campaign headquarters.
HASSAN: Trump Tower, August 3, 2016. You, an Israeli dude, a back channel to the Emiratis and the Saudis, Don Jr., Steven Miller.
PRINCE: We were there to talk about Iran policy.
HASSAN: You were there to talk about Iran policy? Don`t you think that`s important to disclose to the House Intelligence Committee while you are under oath?
PRINCE: I did.
HASSAN: You didn`t. We just went through the testimony. There is no mention of the Trump Tower in August 2016, why not?
PRINCE: I don`t know if they got the transcript wrong.
HASSAN: They got the transcript wrong?
PRINCE: I don`t know. I remember -- I remember -- certainly...
HASSAN: I mean, this is a problem for you because we know that Robert Mueller, he hasn`t been able to establish collusion yet, but he has got a lot of guys for lying to the authorities and not telling the whole truth, is that a problem now even if you accidentally didn`t tell them that could come back and haunt you?
PRINCE: I fully co-operated. I haven`t heard from anybody in more than nine months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: House Intel Chair Adam Schiff responds to that. And I`ll talk with Mehdi Hassan himself right after the break. Don`t go anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE: I think I was at Trump headquarters, or the campaign headquarters...
HASSAN: Trump Tower, August 3, 2016. You, an Israeli dude, a back channel to the Emiratis and the Saudis, Don Junior, Steven Miller.
PRINCE: We were there to talk about Iran policy.
HASSAN: You were there to talk about Iran policy? Don`t you think that`s something important to disclose to the House Intelligence Committee while you`re under oath.
PRINCE: I did.
HASSAN: You didn`t. We just went through the testimony, there`s no mention of the Trump tower meeting on August 2016, why not?
PRINCE: I don`t know if they got the transcript wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, Erik Prince is suggesting he didn`t lie to congress, House Intel Chair Adam Schiff suggests otherwise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Is Mr. Prince telling the truth, is your transcript wrong?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, he is certainly not telling the truth in that interview. There`s nothing wrong with our transcript. There was nothing wrong with the reporter who transcribed his testimony.
Bob Mueller has that testimony already. And Bob Mueller will have to make the decision about whether that rises to the level of deliberate falsehood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Mehdi Hassan, host of Al Jazeera English and columnist with The Intercept.
It was a great interview, Mehdi, it`s getting appropriately lots of kudos. It`s very rare to find someone that caught as Erik Prince was. How did you notice that omission?
HASSAN: I have a great team of producers and researchers who went through every single page of that. I wish I could say I went through every single page of the House Intelligence Committee testimony, but, you know, it`s something we wanted to talk to him about. He hadn`t really been pressed about his role in the meetings both in the Seychelles and in 2017, and this Trump Tower meeting in 2016. We really wanted to get him in the record talking publicly about it, because he`s not comfortable talking about it. You saw his body language there, Chris. He wasn`t happy talking about it.
What is absurd is he has had all of this time to think of a defense and came up with they got the transcript wrong. I mean, come on.
HAYES: Well, what`s also striking is just how weird this meeting is. I mean, sit back for a second. That`s what I was really glad you -- so, it`s August. Trump is the nominee. You`re meeting with the candidate`s son at Trump Tower with this very sketchy dude George Nader who is a back channel to the Emiratis, like you said he`s been convicted of child molestation, with this Israeli sort of social media guru dude. Like what do we know what that meeting was all about?
HASSAN: Well, what was interesting is I didn`t get around to asking him what it was about. He volunteered that it was about Iran policy thinking that that would be some sort of good answer. That makes everything much worse for him, because that`s a pretty consequential issue.
Why is Steven Miller and Donald Trump Junior, neither of whom last time I checked, were experts on the Middle East or national security having a private meeting with these emissary from the Emirati and Saudi governments, George Nader, and this Israeli social media expert who runs firm full of ex-Mossad types, and Erik Prince, a notorious former mercenary company guy.
It`s just a weird group of people talking about Iran. And we know that the Trump administration is very, very hawkish on Iran. We know that the Emiratis and the Saudis have wanted a conflict with Iran for a long time.
And here is what is interesting, Chris, we talk about collusion with Russia as if that was the only foreign government that wanted to see Trump elected and got involved. We know that the Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, like the Emirates, we know that Netanyahu were keen to see a Donald Trump presidency not a Hillary Clinton presidency, and that`s why the Mueller investigation is so interesting, because he has looked at other issues, not just Russia. And this meeting is a classic example of that.
Why is an emissary from the Saudi and UAE government coming to the Trump Tower with a plan. The New York Times has also reported, I believe -- or was it The Washington Post, I can`t remember which one, that Nader actually brought a plan about destabilizing Iran using private contractors, which was Prince`s specialism, of course.
HAYES: And then there is a nexus, right. So, you have this meeting and then after the transition you have got a nexus, because Nader is again involved in this crazy meeting that gets set up in the Seychelles that has the security dude for the Emiratis who goes to the island with the Russian hedge fund guy and Erik Prince.
HASSAN: He`s not just a hedge fund guy, Chris, he`s the head of the Russian Direct Investment Authority, very close to Putin, the Emiratis and leaked emails referred him as the messenger to President Putin. And I ask Erik Prince why did you go to this meeting in the Seychelles? He he goes, oh, it was just an accident. I had a beer with the guy, that`s it.
So, you flew half way around the world to a secret meeting in the Seychelles with a close ally of Vladimir Putin at the behest of the Emiratis to drink a beer? Really? Come on. These lies are absurd.
HAYES: And there are many indications that meeting -- so there is the August 3 meeting.
HASSAN: That`s nine days before the inauguration.
HAYES: Nine days before the inauguration, then George Nader, who again -- this Nader figure has been pulled off a plane when it landed in the U.S. to be questioned by Robert Mueller.
HASSAN: Also a convicted pedophile, Chris. Remember, Trump surrounds himself with the best people.
HAYES: So this guy, George Nader, like you said, Erik Prince, the Seychelles meeting. There is lots of evidence when you look at Michael Flynn and trying to build a nuclear plant for the Saudis, there is lots of evidence that foreign influence wasn`t just routing -- that there was some kind of weird triangulation, including the Saudis, the Emiratis, and the Russians, who are all working various different angles.
HASSAN: Yes. And Flynn and Kushner meet with Kislyak, don`t forget, in December 2016, and it`s reported that Flynn wants to go to the Seychelles, or wherever it is, to have this meeting. And he`s told you`re too high profile, so that`s why Prince is now seen as the back channel. Of course, Prince denies this. He says I just went for the beer, because apparently you can only get beer with Russian oligarchs in the Seychelles, and Flynn didn`t go. But that is where the Mueller investigation is looking, was Prince this -- trying to be this back channel? Was Kirill Dmitriev, the Russian oligarch, was he the Putin guy, and was Prince the Trump guy? That`s the big question.
And, you know, somebody -- I can`t remember which member of the House Intelligence Committee told the press over the weekend that if he`s lied about stuff like the transcript, how could you believe anything he said in that intelligence committee testimony that he gave? And I`ve talked to members of the House Intelligence Committee who say reading that transcript, that`s just half of it. He body language, his demeanor, was very defensive and not willing to, you know, even be honest in their view from his body language.
HAYES: Mehdi Hassan, thank you so much for joining us.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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