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Deputy AG won't commit to protecting independence. TRANSCRIPT: 4/10/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Carol Lam, Harry Litman, Richard Blumenthal, David Cay Johnston,Diana DeGette, Norm Ornstein, Wajahat Ali

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  I forgot to mention the second thing to remember about Trump`s visit to Mount Vernon, it was clear to those joining them that President Macron knew a lot more about the place`s history and the country`s than the guy hosting him.  And that`s HARDBALL for now.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



REP. CHRIS COONS (D-DE):  Has anyone in the White House seen any of the report?

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  As I say, I`m landing the plane right now.

HAYES:  The Attorney General throws gasoline on a Trump conspiracy theory as he keeps the Mueller report under wraps.

BARR:  I think there was -- a spying did occur.

HAYES:  Tonight, the start of a Trump world counter-offensive to investigate the investigators.


HAYES:  Plus --


HAYES:  Should anyone be able to rehab their image after implementing Trump`s cruelty agenda?  And what happened today when Democrats faced big pharma?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The system is broken.

HAYES:  When Democrats face big banks?

REP. AL GREEN (D), TEXAS:  If you believe that your likely successor will be a woman or a person of color, would you kindly extend a hand into the air?

HAYES:  And when Democrats took on climate deniers in Congress.

JOHN KERRY, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES:  Are you serious?  I mean, this is really a serious happening here?

REP. THOMAS MASSIE (R), KENTUCKY:  You know what, it is -- it is serious --

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  Attorney General William Barr is attempting what many before him have tried and failed to do.  He is attempting to serve two masters, the public interest and the President of the United States.  But when push comes to shove, there is at this point absolutely no question where Barr`s priorities lie.

Today Barr was back on Capitol Hill for the second day in a row appearing before a Senate Appropriations panel where he tried to restore faith amidst an information vacuum of his own creation in the Mueller report that no one has seen because he won`t let them see it.

Barr told Congress the report is being redacted with input from Mueller`s team and he`ll make a good-faith effort to give members the information they need.


BARR:  And I intend to take up with the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees, the chair and the ranking members of each what other areas you know, they feel they have a need to have access to the information and see if I can work to accommodate that.  As has been correctly said here, the fact that information is classified does not necessarily -- doesn`t mean that Congress can`t see it.


HAYES:  Of course, that was not the headline from the Attorney General`s appearance today.  No, no, no.  The big news was that Barr is now conducting his own review in addition to the one by the Department`s Inspector General already underway of how the probe into the Trump campaign got started.


BARR:  I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal.  It`s a big deal.

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH):  So you`re not -- you`re not suggesting though that spying occurred?

BARR:  I don`t -- well, I guess you could -- I think there was -- a spying did occur.  Yes, I think spying did occur.

SHAHEEN:  Well, let me --

BARR:  But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated.  And I`m not suggesting it wasn`t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.


HAYES:  OK.  It`s clear from the context that Barr meant spying in a sort of neutral sense as in surveillance.  You can see him sort of puzzle over that word for a while.  The question he says that whether was adequately predicated or whether it had a legitimate basis.  Did they undertake the surveillance because there was a reason to?  And there`s no evidence suggests it did not have a legitimate basis.

Of course, Barr just so happened to use the same sinister sounding word that`s used by the President and his allies as a shorthand for the conspiracy theory about so-called efforts to frame the Trump campaign, spy gate.  Remember the President`s tweet more than two years ago that President Obama supposedly had his "wires tapped in Trump Tower."

That entirely bogus and unfounded claim was the basis for an ever-expanding web of conspiracy theories collectively known as spy gate involving Carter Page and George Papadopoulos and others promoted by Devin Nunes and Trump TV and the President`s Twitter buddies to undermine the Mueller probe and attack the president`s political opponents.

And so, when the Attorney General, the country`s most senior law enforcement official used the word spying, well these were the resulting headlines.  This is what Barr did for his boss today.  Gave him ammunition for a pitch political battle with the stamp of approval of the U.S. Department of Justice.


TRUMP:  This was a an attempted coup.  This was an attempted takedown of a president and we beat them.  We beat them.  What I`m most interested in it`s getting started hopefully the Attorney General he mentioned it yesterday is doing a great job getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started.


HAYES:  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took time out of the Democratic retreat in Virginia to respond to Barr`s Congressional testimony.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  Let me just say how very, very dismaying and disappointing that the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails yesterday and today.  He is the Attorney General of the United States of America not the Attorney General of Donald Trump.


HAYES:  I`m joined now by two former federal prosecutors of the deep understanding of the Justice Department`s non-political role, Harry Litman former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Carol Lam.  She`s a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District California, also a former Superior Court Judge in San Diego.

Carol, I`ll start with you.  I mean, a lot of people heard that word and you can see Barr wrestling with himself in the moment.  But the idea that he is going to undertake a review of the origins of the probe which has been a point of partisan contention for a while, what does that say to you about the Independence of the Department of Justice under his watch?

CAROL LAM, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY:  I have to say that the one thing that did surprise me is that Attorney General Barr seemed sort of surprised that people were taken aback by the word spy.  It didn`t seem to register with him that that was a very hot button type of word to use, and he did eventually sort of change that into surveillance, and then he said his concern was whether this surveillance was adequately predicated.

But you know, I think that it doesn`t actually surprise me given what Barr has written in the past about the role of the president.  It doesn`t really surprise me that he would say well, if the president wants me to open an investigation or at least take a look into whether something improper happened, I will do that.

And the question then is whether he`ll you know call balls and strikes appropriately when he looks at what`s actually there.  So he did say I`m going to wait for the I.G., the Inspector General report to come out next week and see what it says and then we`ll take it from there.  None of that is really that unusual but he seemed not to appreciate what the word spy really suggested there.

HAYES:  Here is what it`s unusual to me, Harry.  It`s not necessarily the actions of the Department of Justice, it`s the contexts are embedded in which is the president berating, bullying, lobbying, and insulting his former attorney general because he didn`t do what he wanted both on Twitter and behind the scenes, and Barr knowing that this is one of several things the President wants.

The President wants to be exonerated in the public mind with respect with the Mueller report.  He gave him something that allowed him to say that.  The President wants to think -- people to think there`s a deep safe conspiracy out to get him.  He gave him that headline today.  It`s a question of whether you can trust Barr at this point as an independent arbor given the forces acting on him from 1600 Pennsylvania.

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY:  It really is.  Look, it is unusual and it is disconcerting.  You can take it from the point of view of what he said or what he`s doing.  In terms of what he said, there would have been 20 ways to put it better including how about this, nothing at all.  No comment other than perhaps I will look at it.  It`s a charged word.  He knows it`s a charged word it lobbed a grenade into a political minefield.

In terms of what he`s doing, I take Carol`s point.  There`s a way of seeing it as possibly bland and straightforward just looking at procedures, but that`s not what the Attorney General would normally do.  You would -- if he wants the I.G. report, that suggests he wants the facts.  It suggests a whole re-examination of the bogus charges involving McCabe and the like.

And that can only inflame a political squabble that the DOJ really has no business being in and it is out of -- it`s not in Barr`s interest to be in.

HAYES:  Well, and here`s the thing, Carol.  I mean, again there -- I think there are good-faith interpretations of Barr`s actions in bad faith ones.  Although the bad faith from the White House is a sort of given, right, in some ways, right?  I mean, the pressure from the White House is given.  We know what the White House wants.  We know the White House does not respect the independence of the department.

What -- I want to get your reaction what he said today again when asked whether the White House had seen the report which if it had would not necessarily be improper because privilege review is something that would be fairly standard but he gave a weird squirrely answer yesterday and another weird one today.  Take a listen.


COONS:  Has anyone in the White House seen any of the report?

BARR:  You know, I`m not going to -- I`m not going to -- you know, as I said, I`m landing the plane right now and you know, I`ve been willing to discuss my letters and the process going forward but the reports going to be out next week and I`m just not going to get into the details of the process until the planes on the ground.


HAYES:  What do you think, Carol?

LAM:  Yes, you know, one thing is perfectly clear here and that`s that politics and criminal law enforcement make really terrible bedfellows.  That`s always been true.  It`s true now.  It was really hard for me to tell whether Bill Barr was at that point just saying you know, I`m not going down this rabbit hole, I`m just going to stop this dialogue now or you know, it seems like it would have been easy to say no, they haven`t seen it particularly since he had said that he was not going to submit the report to them for executive privilege review.

He decided not just not to talk any further on it.  I don`t know what to conclude from that.  I don`t -- you know, if they`re not going to review it for executive privilege, then I don`t really know if it`s that much concern frankly because they`re not going to hold up the process anymore of getting what they can to Congress.

HAYES:  Oh it does seem to me, Harry, that you should just answer it.  I mean, again, like if you say yes, actually they decided they want a privilege review and that seems something they`re entitled to.  You could say that.

LITMAN:  You certainly could.  Now, it could be in the context of the hearing.  He had just come in with stage directions that at some point he was going to hold -- you know, stonewall them and that was the point as Carol says and it`s -- it isn`t necessarily sinister.  But all these questions will await -- will be so much more illuminated as soon as we have the report.

The bigger stuff about the Mueller report that came out to me though was the revelation that Mueller from the time he told Barr that he wasn`t going to bottom line has been completely out of the process.  Barr takes it on himself to do this and doesn`t even consult with him, says, and this was astonishing, he doesn`t know how Mueller feels about that.

HAYES:  Right.

LITMAN:  That makes it seem like a complete you know, sua sponte move to use the legal term by Barr.  That`s strange and I`m not sure that will be explained on Tuesday because it doesn`t look as if Barr is going to talk about his own decision.  We should know a lot about Mueller`s decision, however.

HAYES:  All right, Harry Litman and Carol Lam, thank you both for joining me.  My next guest sits on the Senate committee with direct oversight of the Justice Department, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You know, an e-mail went out today, Senator, that I thought was interesting after Barr`s comments.  The RNC sent an e-mail out that says the hunters become the hunted.  An RNC e-mail highlighting bar spying comment, the hunters become the hunted.  What do you -- what does that say do you think about what happened today?

SEN. BLUMENTHAL (D-CT):  What it says, Chris, very clearly is that the Barr initiative and it was his doing on his own using the word spying was a dog whistle.  In fact, it was a screaming shout out to the far right ecosystem to the false Trump narrative about his being the victim not the perpetrator and the Republican National Committee is going to use this clip in ads.

It`s hard to see how this could not have been a calculated step by William Barr because this term is so incendiary, so loaded.  No professional would ever use it.  Remember, the person who authorized those warrants sits down the hall from him, Rod Rosenstein.

And he depends on Rosenstein mentions him frequently as having concurred with his four-page summary of the Mueller report.  So this kind of feeding the narrative I think was a calculated decision.

HAYES:  You hadn`t exchanged today with a someone before your committee, Deputy Attorney General Nominee Jeffrey Rosen about sort of ensuring the independence of the Department of Justice even where he to be confirmed.  I want to play that and ask what you came away from that exchange with.  Take a listen.

BLUMENTHAL:  Will you commit to this committee and the United States Congress that you will protect the ongoing investigations in the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York from any and interference by the White House either to fire or discipline members of those United States Attorney`s offices.

JEFFREY ROSEN, NOMINEE, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  So I think what I would say about that is what I`ve said before which is I see and I think the chair -- Mr. -- Chairman Graham alluded to this.  There`s different functions in the department and the function with regard to law enforcement investigations and prosecutions is one that needs to be free of improper political influences, by the way from any source.  That includes Congress as well as any other source.

BLUMENTHAL:  I agree.  And will you commit that you will protect against any attempt to interfere in those ongoing investigations to fire a United States attorney, to discipline anyone in those offices, to remove anyone from those investigations, otherwise interfere with investigations of the President United States who has been named in fact as an unindicted co- conspirator Individual Number one?

ROSEN:  So I don`t think I can do better than what I just said before.  I think that what I said before is accurate.  You embedded some additional things that I`m not addressing.

BLUMENTHAL:  Well, I`m not inventing anything Mr. Rosen, I`m stating what the facts are and the need for the independence and integrity of the Department of Justice.


HAYES:  Was that lawyerly carefulness in Mr. Rosen`s part or something other than that?

BLUMENTHAL:  It left me with less than full confidence in his backbone, his determination to stand up to the President of the United States.  And as you said at the very outset of the show, the question here really is about law enforcement, the independence of our justice system.

And Mr. Rosen has a long and varied career, that`s what he has called it, representing corporate clients, some in public service but none of it as a prosecutor, none of it making decisions about how to defend his line prosecutors.  So I`m left with the impression that the Department of Justice is going to serve as the Roy Cohn for this administration and that the Attorney General and his deputy are consiglieres more than representative people of the United States.

HAYES:  Senator Richard Blumenthal of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thank you very much for your time.

BLUMENTHAL:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Breaking news tonight on House Democrats requests for the President`s tax returns.  Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin isn`t quite ready to comply with the law.  He informed just about an hour ago the House Ways and Means Committee tonight that the Treasury Department will not meet their deadline in turn over the last six years of the President`s tax returns by today`s deadline.

Mnuchin told Democrats he was still consulting the Justice Department on a request he called unprecedented adding that it raises serious issues concerning constitutional scope of congressional investigative authority, legitimacy of the asserted legislative purpose, and the constitutional rights of American citizens.

The legal implications of this request could affect protections for all Americans against politically motivated disclosures of personal tax information regardless of which power -- parties and power. 

Joining me now Pulitzer Prize Winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston who`s been reporting on Trump`s taxes for years and published part of the president`s 2005 federal tax return on, the new site he founded.  What do you make of the response from Mnuchin, David?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, FOUNDER, DCREPORT.ORG:  Well, this is totally what we expected and it`s completely false.  The law here is crystal clear and the reasons that Richie Neal has set forward for requesting the returns absolutely fall under the oversight functions of Congress.  And I think we should look at this as part of something Donald Trump said today.  He said there`s an attempted coup.  Well there isn`t attempted coup in this country and it`s by Donald Trump.

He has to bring in law enforcement to its heel.  He has to get people who have loyalty to him, the thing Jim Comey would not give him, so that he can run roughshod over the law and he can evade responsibility and impose his personal will everywhere in this government.

HAYES:  There`s a sort of interesting thing happening here which is that the president has been pretty clear he`s not going to give this over and he mentions an audit.  There is no mention of an audit in the Mnuchin letter.  What do you make of that?

JOHNSTON:  Well, first of all, there`s no evidence there`s an audit.  Trump won`t even provide an -- the anodyne audit notice, and an audit could be of a gift tax return that he`s gained a gift or one of his grandchildren.  So first of all, there`s no reason to think there`s anything there.

But the statute has nothing to do with audits.  And once you signed your tax return under penalty of perjury, you can`t change it.  You have to live with what you sign.  Donald Trump who you were twice lost civil tax fraud trials confessed to being a sales tax cheat and the New York Times showed engaged in a great deal tax cheating late in the last century knows that if his tax returns get examined outside of the IRS, he`s got serious problems.  That`s why he`s so desperate to cover up.

And part of his effort to extend his lawlessness to the government and all of us and our liberties are really seriously at risk here, Chris.

HAYES:  There was a very sort of diplomatic statement from -- by the chair or a Representative Neal concluding that I will consult with counsel determine the appropriate response commissioner in the coming days.  I think that`s because he`s preparing himself for a litigation.

There is something else that`s sort of preposterous about this whole thing.  Mulvaney already said you`re never going to see the taxes.  We all know that the position the government.  Mnuchin is effectively pretending to consult when we all know what the consultation is.

JOHNSTON:  Well, they`re trying to delay, delay, delay, and fabricate and mislead the public.  You know, millions of Americans out there believe that Donald Trump is under siege by all sorts of horrible people and they have good reasons to be upset and concerned because of the horrible things going on in our economy that we`re not giving nearly enough attention to people who have a high school education or work in factories and things like that.

But their policy here is to mislead and confuse the public about rather arcane, obtuse, subtle but critically important to our country issues and that`s all they`re trying to do here.  Ritchie Neal who knows economics is a former high school economics teacher is being very judicious and cautious because he wants to be able to go in front of the very first federal judge no matter who they get and not have any lint on his case.

HAYES:  David Cay Johnston, a legendary tax reporter, thank you very much.  Up next House Democrats confront drug company execs about the spike in insulin prices as Americans ration medicine to stay alive.  Don`t go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  26 year-olds are not supposed to die because they don`t have insulin, but without insurance Alex Smith couldn`t afford the $1,300 a month to control his diabetes so he tried rationing his insulin.  Empty vials found near his body.


HAYES:  Across the country, more than seven million people suffering from diabetes depend on insulin to survive, and many have been taking desperate measures to get the life-saving medicine as costs have skyrocketed.  Some even traveling to Mexico to buy insulin at a far lower cost than they can get here in the U.S.

U.S. insulin cost per patient nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016 to an average annual cost of more than $5,700.  Some pay far more and many who depend on the drug have reported a big price spike in just the last two years.  One in four patients say they`ve skimped on insulin because of high cost.  It`s an acute crisis one that Donald Trump has done a little about despite his lofty promises otherwise.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are actually warning drug companies not to cooperate with a House Democrat-led investigation into U.S. drug prices which are the highest in the world.  And it`s against this backdrop the Democrats on the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations convened a second hearing today on the rising cost of insulin with executives from the three U.S. manufacturers of insulin, the nation`s three largest pharmacy benefit managers.

The chair of the committee is Democrat Diana DeGette of Colorado and Congressman to get joins me now to share what she learned.  What did you learn at the hearing today?

REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D-CO), CHAIRWOMAN, HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS:  Well, what we learned is that insulin prices have been going up and everybody in the entire supply system is to blame.  The pharmaceutical companies are setting the list price is really high.  I mean it doubled in the last few years, but before -- in the ten years before that it tripled before that.  And so these list prices are going up higher and higher.

But everybody in the distribute -- in the distribution system takes a cut of the list price so the pharmacy benefit managers who are negotiating with the -- with the insurance companies take a cut, the insurance companies take a cut, the wholesalers take a cut.  Everybody takes a cut and that`s what`s pressuring the price of insulin to go up and up.

HAYES:  So I don`t really understand because this is not -- you know, sometimes you`ll see famously the Martin Shkreli who had an AIDS drug right that was -- it was under patent and only one manufacturer and so he could jack the prices up and there was no competitor.

Insulin is a fairly straightforward thing to make.  It`s been around since the 1920s.  I don`t understand what mechanism is failing here to constrain the prices.

DEGETTE:  Insulin has been around for almost 100 years.  And for example, one of the short-acting insulins Humalog that`s been around -- it`s been around for over 20 years, it costs $35 in 2001 and now it costs over $200, $270.  And the only reason for that is because of the pricing system that we have right now.

HAYES:  Well so -- I mean, whatever is doing this to insulin is probably doing the other drugs too.  Like shouldn`t there be some bigger solution here --

DEGETTE:  That`s right.

HAYES:  -- or do you just mandate drug caps like they do in basically every other OECD country?

DEGETTE:  Well, one of the reasons why we did this insulin investigation is because it really is a case study.  It`s a drug that many people like the person Alex that you -- that you focused on, they need it to live.  If they don`t have it they will die.  They need it every second, every minute, of every hour, of every day of their lives.  And so if it`s too expensive to pay for they will die.

And what`s happened is -- so what`s happened is there are so many pressures from the whole distribution system that the insulin price just keeps going up and up.  And if you`re on an insurance plan, maybe you`ll get a good copay, but if you don`t have insurance or if you`re in the doughnut hole, or if the insulin is not listed on your drug formulary, you`re out of luck.  So this is why we need --

HAYES:  So then, what`s the solution here?

DEGETTE:  There`s a lot of things.  Well, number one more transparency in the system.  Number two, we need to look at regulations that make essential drugs like insulin at a very low base price.  And there are a number of other things that we can do too but the industry is going to have to work with us.  And I think the first thing we need to do is transparency.

HAYES:  They`re not going to work with you though because they`re making a lot of money off it and they`re donating to everyone`s coffers on Capitol Hill.

DEGETTE:  Well, if they don`t work with us, then we`ll make him do it.  I mean, one of the things that struck me in the hearing today was we had tremendous bipartisan agreement about how serious this problem is and what we need to do.

I`m the co-chair of the diabetes caucus along with Congressman Tom Reed of New York, a Republican.  And last year we actually did our own investigation.  We came up with a study where we recommended a number of legislative fixes.  And I believe that the Republicans will work with us on this because it`s just -- you know, our constituents -- I had a woman come in Denver Colorado and she said, she`s working three jobs and she`s paying $760 a month in insulin.  She`s been in the hospital four times because she can`t manage her diabetes.

HAYES:  Well, a product that you need to buy to stay alive is not a normal market product in any way and I don`t think we should treat it as such.

DEGETTE:  That`s correct.

HAYES:  Congresswoman Diana DeGette, thank you for your time tonight.  Coming up the Republican Congressman who`s climate denialism leads John Kerry speechless.  We`ll play you that exchange next.


HAYES:  Less than two weeks ago, we did a special on the Green New Deal with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  And there is a roiling debate in the Democratic Party about how to deal with climate change.  But on the other side of the aisle, there is just astonishing levels of bad faith, trolling and outright idiocy.

The one exchange from yesterday`s House Oversight hearing that`s getting the most attention was between  former Secretary of State John Kerry and Congressman Thomas Massey of Kentucky who is, let me be clear, a smart guy.  He has a bachelor`s degree in electrical engineering and a masters degree in mechanical engineering, both from MIT.  According to his alma mater, quote, "the phantom, Massey`s most notable invention, is a haptic computer interface that enables users to feel physical objects in cyberspace."  Pretty cool.

He personally rebuilt a Tesla car battery to fuel his fully solar powered home.  And he is also an object lesson in what happens to smart people in the wrong informational environment.


REP. THOMAS MASSEY, (R) KENTUCKY:  Secretary Kerry, I want to read your statement back to you.  Instead of convening a kangaroo court, the president might want to talk with the educated adults he once trusted to fill his top national security positions."  It sounds like you are questioning the credentials of the president`s advisers currently.  But I don`t think we should question your credentials today.  Isn`t it true you have a science degree from Yale?

What`s that?

KERRY:  Bachelor of arts degree.

MASSEY:  Is it political science?

KERRY:  Yes, political science.

MASSEY:  How do you get the bachelor of arts in a science.

KERRY:  Well, it`s liberal arts education and degree.  It`s a bachelor.

MASSEY:  OK, so it`s not really science.  So, I think it`s somewhat appropriate that someone with a pseudoscience degree is here pushing pseudoscience in front of our committee today.  I want to ask you...

KERRY:  You serious?  I mean, this is really seriously happening here?

MASSEY:  You know what, it is serious you are calling the president`s cabinet a kangaroo court, is that serious? 

KERRY:  I`m not calling the calling his cabinet a kangaroo court, I`m calling this committee that he`s putting together a kangaroo committee.

MASSEY:  Are you saying he doesn`t have educated adults there now?

KERRY:  I don`t know who it has yet, because it`s secret.

MASSEY:  Well, you said it in your testimony.

KERRY:  Why would he have to have a secret analysis of climate change?  Why does...

MASSEY:  Let`s get back to the science of it. 

KERRY:  But it`s not science.  You are not quoting science.

MASSEY:  Well, you are the science expert.  You have got the political science degree.  Look, let me ask you this, what is the consensus on parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere.

KERRY:  406, 406 today.

MASSEY:  406.  Are you aware...

KERRY:  350 being the level that scientists have said is dangerous.

MASSEY:  OK, are you aware -- 350 is dangerous?  Wow, are you aware that since mammals have walked the planet, the average has been over 1,000 parts per million.

KERRY:  Yeah, but we were not walking the planet.  It`s -- let me just share with you that we now know that definitively at no point during the least 800,000 years has atmospheric C02 been as high as it is today.

MASSEY:  The reason you chose 800,000 years ago is because for 200 million years before that, it is greater than it is today.  And I`m going to -- for the record.

KERRY:  Yeah, but there were not human beings.  I mean, it was a different world, folks.  We didn`t have 7 billion people.

MASSEY:  So, how did it get to 2,000 parts per billion if we humans weren`t here?

KERRY:  Because there were all kinds of geological events happening on Earth, which spewed up...

MASSEY:  Did geology stop when we got on the planet?

KERRY:  Mr. Chairman, I -- this is just not a serious conversation.

MASSEY:  Your testimony is not serious.

I agree.


HAYES:  Oh, man.

I would love to talk to Congressman Thomas Massey on this show about why carbon of 1,000  parts per million is probably not great for humans on this planet.  Congressman, if you`d like to come on, this is an open invitational.  I`m no scientist, but I`ll give it a go.

Still to come, Kirstjen Nielsen is the face of the Trump administration`s child separation policy.  And now that she`s on her way out her allies are already trying to rehabilitate her reputation.  We`ll talk about that.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

And Thing One, Thing Two starts next

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) . HAYES:  Thing One tonight, it`s a new era in congress with the Democrats in control of the House, which means the hearings are getting a lot more interesting.  Today, the financial services committee, chaired by Maxine Waters, brought in the CEOs of seven of the country`s biggest banks for questioning.  And, well, take a listen at how that went.


REP. AL GREEN, (D) TEXAS:  I would perceive that the seven of you have something in common.  You appear to be white men.  I may be mistaken.  If among you happens to be something other than a white male, would you kindly extend a hand into the air. 

Kindly let the record reflect that there are no hands in the air and that the panel is made up of white men.

This is not a pejorative.  You`ve sermonized, to a certain extent, about diversity.  If you believe that your likely successor will be a woman or a person of color, would you kindly extend a hand into the air.


HAYES:  No hands raised.

And then the bankers had to face Congresswoman Katie Porter, the freshman from California who has proven herself unafraid to take Wall Street to task.  And let`s just say Jamie Dimon had some trouble with her questions, specifically about the ones about numbers.  And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  Freshman Congressman Katie Porter of California literally wrote the textbook on consumer law.  So it comes as no surprise that she was ready to school JPMorgan Chase`s CEO Jamie Dimon today on The Hill.

She used a real job listing for a teller at one of his own bank branches offering $16.50 an hour and asked Dimon how a single mom could make ends meet on that salary.


REP. KATIE PORTER, (D) CALIFORNIA:  She had $2,245 a month.  She rents out a one bedroom apartment.  She and her daughter sleep together in the same room in Irvine, California.  That average one bedroom apartment is going to be $1,600.  She spends $100 on utilities.  Take away the $1,700 and she has net $725.

She`s like me, she drives a 2008 minivan and has gas.  $400 for a car and expenses and gas, net $325.  The Department of Agriculture says a low cost food budget, that is Ramen noodles, a low  food budget is $400, that her $77 in the red.  She has a cricket cellphone, the cheapest cell phone she can get  for $40.  She is in the red $117 a month.  She has after school child care because the bank is open during normal business hours.  That`s $450 a month, that takes her down to negative $567 per month.

My question for you, Mr. Dimon, is how should she manage this budget shortfall while working full-time at your bank?

JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGANCHASE CEO:  I don`t know that all your numbers are accurate.  That number is a start, is a generally a starter job.

PORTER:  She is a starting employee.  She has a 6-year-old child.  This is her first job

DIMON:  And you get those jobs out of high school and she may have my job one day.

PORTER:  She may.  But Mr. Dimon, she doesn`t have the ability right now to spend your $31 million.  She is short $567, what would you suggest she do?

DIMON:  I don`t know, I`d have to think about that.

PORTER:  Would you recommend that she take out a JPMorgan Chase credit card and run a deficit?

DIMON:  I don`t know.  I would have to think about it.

PORTER:  Would you recommend that she overdraft at your bank and be charged overdraft fees?

DIMON:  I don`t know.  I would have to think about it.

PORTER:  So,  I know you have a lot...

DIMON:  I would love to call her up and have a conversation about her financial affairs and see if we can be helpful.

PORTER:  See if you can find a way for her to live on less than the minimum that I have described?

DIMON:  Just be helpful.

PORTER:  Well, I appreciate your desire to be helpful, but I would like you to provide a way for families to make ends meet.



HAYES:  Today is Kirstjen Nielsen`s last day as homeland security secretary.  And Nielsen and her defenders are already undertaking a reputational rehab project, as Politico puts it, one that casts her not as an enabler of the president`s most controversial immigration policies, but as a guardrail against even more extreme action.

Ah, yes, but for me, things would have gotten really bad.  Good thing I was there on the inside to restrain the president`s worst impulses, it is as risible as it is pathetic.  Nielsen not only signed off on child separation, but signed off on it knowing what it would do because she herself had reservations about it if the reporting is to be believed.

And then she is the who went went out and not only implemented, but lied to the American people over and over again.  She lied to us about what was happening in the first place.


KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY:  The children are not being used as a pawn.  We are trying to protect the children, which is why I am asking congress to act.


HAYES:  She lied about the rationale that it was a deterrent.  And she attempted to have us all believe what was plainly happening in front of our faces was not happening in front of our  faces.  And then she got snide and defensive and condescending and angry when anyone challenged her on it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you intending for this to play out as it is playing out?  Are you intending for parents to be separated from their children?  And are you intending to send a message?

NIELSEN:  I find that offensive.  No.  Because why would I ever create a policy that purposely does that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Perhaps as a deterrent?

NIELSEN:  No.  It`s -- the way that it works...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You said that it was a deterrent, didn`t you?

NIESEN:  That`s not the question that you asked me.


HAYES:  No one made her do that.  She could have walked away and resigned in protest, but she chose to stay and do all of that.

So, if her reputation is in tatters,well, that`s on her.  She made those choices.  She is a grown up, and now she has to go out into the world.  And the question is how will the world receive her? 

That`s really an open question.  Because we have lived through a George W. Bush administration in which someone like John Yoo wrote a legal memo that facilitated the U.S. implementing torture, which is a war crime.  John Yoo mote a memo saying that certain kinds of torture didn`t actually legally count as torture.  And he gave it to Jay Bybee who signed off on it and then our country tortured people.

According to the Senate`s CIA torture report, waterboarding as a series of near drownings, sleep deprivation for up to a week, unnecessary rectal feeding and death threats.

And Bybee and Yoo became infamous in the moment for their torture advocacy, but guess where they are now.  John Yoo has a nice tenured perch at Berkeley Law School, of all places.  John Yoo, torture architect, dodging through drum circles on his way to class.

And Jay Bybee?  What happened to him?  Oh, he`s a federal judge for life.  No recrimination.  They paid no price for their complicity in war crimes.  The question now becomes will Nielsen pay a reputational, social, professional price for ripping thousands of children from their parents` arms with no plan to track and reunite them, for imposing this cruelty and trauma on thousands of blameless children?  Or is everyone in polite society and establishment Washington just going to welcome her back with open arms because she was doing her best? 

Now, to be clear, I don`t think she should necessarily heckled in every Mexican restaurant she goes to for the rest of her life, but she should face some sanction, opprobrium, because if elite institutions and corporate America simply welcomes her back, then in the same way that I`m not so sure we won`t torture again, I`m not so sure we won`t rip children from their mother`s arms again.


HAYES:  There are people actively working to make sure that Kirstjen Nielsen does not get a chance to rehab her image.  For example, on the day she resigned, a professor at George Washington University drew up a petition of sort to ensure she would not benefit from some kind of soft landing among the intellectual circles in Washington, quote, "if she gets a position at a think tank, university center or similar, I will not participate nor will I associate myself in any way that reasonably be seen as providing active support for that institution."

A senior fellow at the libertarian CATO Institute, who signed on the letter said, quote, "if someone caged children as a hobby, they would rightly be treated as a goddamn pariah by everyone.  If you make it a vocation, you can look forward to a Kennedy School Chair.  It`s diseased and I don`t want the play along."

To talk more about what a possible Nielsen backlash would look like, I`m joined by Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, contributing editor for The Atlantic; and Wajahat Ali, contributor editor, op-ed writer for The New York Times.

Norm, you`ve been in Washington for a bit.  You move in the circles of think tanks and such.  What do you think about this idea, about some line for sort of moral conduct by public officials that should be over the line?

NORM ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE:  So, Chris, I believe in a  decent society.  You said corridors of acceptable behavior.  And when people go outside those corridors, there should be a sense broadly of shame and they should not be legitimized and made whole again.

And we`ve seen this happen over and over again in this administration.  The Cory Lewandowskis, the Sean Spicers, people who lie or the people who do really bad things -- the Steve  Bannons either get (inaudible) at the institute of politics at Harvard and/or get regular gigs on prime television shows. 

And when they get on these shows, and the excuse often is, well, they have a point of view, we deserve to hear it.  We need to hear from people with those perspectives, they are legitimized.  It`s like a wink and a nod.  Oh, they`re just like all the others who have been through here, only a little bit different.  And that, to me, is fundamentally morally reprehensible. 

HAYES:  Well, to play devil`s advocate against that argument, because I suspect you agree, Waj, I mean, there is an argument that says, look, civil society breaks down if everyone starts to sort of  hold everyone`s politics, particularly, or the administration they served in against them, and people don`t ever talk to each other and they don`t go to university events, and they don`t sit on panels, and all of that is sort of the glue that makes things operate.  What do you make of that argument?

WAJAHAT ALI, THE NEW YORK TIMES:  Yeah, society also break down if you celebrate an individual who put babies in cages.  If you let them fail up with a cushy six-figure salary in corporate America where they become a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government following in the foot steps of Sean Spicer and Corey Lewandowski -- let`s just call out Harvard Kennedy School of Government, for a second, like the lowest bar of any college on Earth.  It`s like the side entrance for all failed Trump administration members, right.

And you know, society also fails if you celebrate a person who put babies in cages and give them a speaking gig, a book deal, and have them replace Meghan McCain on The View in five years.

Society fails because it shows society that we don`t care if you put babies in cages, you will be rewarded because that`s a revolving door of D.C. politics.  So guys, come on now, I scratch my back, I scratch yours.

And instead, what should happen is she should be shamed, mocked, ridiculed and made uncomfortable for as long as possible until, Chris, she actually does apologize for it and engage in rehabilitation.  And that requires proactive work.

HAYES:  Yeah, I think that`s a good point, Norm, there, about the sort of, the idea here being that you have to sort of be called to account for what you did, right?  There has to be some public reckoning, and not just sort of slide past what happened.  It`s not a permanent idea.  But just the idea of social opprobrium extending until you say what you did and you`re forthright and honest, and also show some contrition about what you did.

ORNSTEIN:  And just as important is you don`t normalize abnormal behavior.  And as you pointed out, with Kirstjen Nielsen, it wasn`t just that she followed the policy of child separation, even if her friends and supporters argue that she didn`t do as much as they wanted her to do, she not only lied to the American public, she lied to congress and did it repeatedly.

HAYES:  Yep.

ORNSTEIN:  And she unleashed the ICE people and the others in Homeland Security to do things that were sadistic and put no boundaries around them. 

You know, I believe what Daniel Patrick Moynihan said so powerfully about defining deviancy down, if we let stuff like this slide and treat them like they`re normal, then the next time around, it gets worse and it gets worse after that.

HAYES:  And it`s interesting, too, this bit of reporting, Maggie Haberman said this, Waj, which I thought was interesting, because this was playing in her mind apparently, according to this reporting.  People close to her say one reason that she didn`t leave sooner, perhaps not only one, is that she was aware of how awful life will be for her on the outside after defending his policies for a long time.  Which is to say she knew what she was doing.

ALI:  Exactly.  And you know who`s life is awful, the kids who were kidnapped by the United States government.  I say that again, kidnapped.

HAYES:  Dozens of whom are still not reunited, I should note.

ALI:  Yeah, thousands of kids who are not reunited.  So, she is going to fail up and she`ll live in a gilded prison, if you will.  She is going to have a high cushy six-figure salary.  And, yes, she`ll be shamed, and yes, at some Mexican restaurant someone is going to go, hey, weren`t you the person who put Mexican babies in cages.  And then she is going to complain on Fox News and Tucker Carlson is going to say look at these politically incorrect vicious demons on the left who are mocking Kirstjen Nielsen.

I just want to say this, I want every date of Kirstjen Nielsen to be as uncomfortable as possible until she apologizes.  So, you know, she is not going to be awful.  Her life will be fine.  She`ll fail up. 

George W. Bush now, by the way, is known as an eccentric painter who gives candy to Michelle Obama, OK.  So that`s how D.C. works.  But that`s not how it should work, based on what Norm was saying, because there has to be a penalty, Chris.  There has to be some sort of social punishment so that there is good behavior moving forward. 

And some people left in the Trump administration might say you know what, I`m not going to compromise my ethics and my values.  I might do what Sally Yates did, acting attorney general, I`ll actually resist, or I`ll do with Chuck Rosenberg did and resist and I`ll fail up with dignity.

HAYES:  All right, Norm Ornstein, and Wajahat Ali, thanks for joining us. 

That is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.  Good evening, Rachel.