STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need help. We need help.
HAYES: Rescues continue in the Bahamas as major East Coast cities evacuate and the president shows off a sharpie altered hurricane map.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That map that you showed today lead looked like it almost had a sharpie.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t know.
HAYES: Tonight, what we know about where Dorian is headed and the President`s latest action that will exacerbate the climate crisis. Then, are Democrats about to pull off a special election stunner in North Carolina, my interview with a Florida Congresswoman who is tired of keeping secrets about Russian election interference in her State, and making sense of the latest explosive developments in the Brexit crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When will the prime minister finally apologize for his derogatory and racist remarks>
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. At this hour Hurricane Dorian is moving out the southeastern coast after having devastated and leveled parts of the Bahamas. By the latest count, there are now 20 confirmed deaths and the Health Minister says they expect the number to rise.
The National Hurricane Center saying the category two storm has gained some strength and issuing warnings of a potential life-threatening storm surge for hundreds of miles from Florida, to North Carolina, to the very border of Virginia. There`s one place that definitively will not be hit by this hurricane and that is the state of Alabama.
Today, President Trump did one of the things that he clearly loves the most about the job he has which is to play weatherman. Here he`s in the Oval Office with his weather maps. And if you look at that right there, did you notice something odd about that map?
It turns out the hurricane advisory that he`s showing right there today is from last week which is weird. Why would he use an old map from last week that the storm changes its tracking? Well, because that`s the one that came closest on the map to Alabama which the President famously said was at risk and that was famously smacked down by the National Weather Service.
And oh, by the way, let`s zoom in on Trump`s hurricane track, shall we, where it appears that someone, gosh who knows who, drew with the hand a sharpie bubble on this dated official hurricane advisory map to save the face of a president who wrongly said Alabama was in its path.
Today, people are actually having to evacuate, and flee, and prepare, and board up for up and down the East Coast and the president refused to back down on his Alabama claim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The original path that most people thought it was going to be taken as you know was right through Florida where on the right would have been Georgia, Alabama, etcetera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that map that you showed today looked like, almost like a sharpie --
TRUMP: I don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He doesn`t know. As for the most current non-altered maps here back in the real world, there are hurricane watches and warnings issued for hundreds of miles on the southeastern coastline with Dorian predictions to tracked closely to Charleston, South Carolina. The governor issuing a mandatory evacuation of Charleston County which has a population of 400,000.
Joining me now, I`d like to bring in Ali Velshi, MSNBC Anchor who is in Charleston South Carolina at the moment. It`s empty there, Ali. My sense is that city is completely evacuated at this point.
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: There are some people around here. There`s actually one bar where people are having a bit of a party. It doesn`t feel that serious here at the moment. You can see there`s clearly wind blowing but there`s some vehicles out here. They tend to be work vehicles and official vehicles. The problem here is that it`s going to be a lot of flooding, right.
It`s going to be a category two hurricane by the time it gets as close to Charleston as it`s going to get which will be tens of miles off the shore. Right now the hurricane is 120, 130 miles south of where we are. It`s going to be east of where we are. But this place floods at the best of times.
I`m right here on Market Street in the historic center of the city, and you can see (INAUDIBLE) here. It`s boarded up and you see the sandbags. Well, the city ran out of sandbags at some point today. They`ve opened up the garages in downtown so that people who have you know, they`ve got multi- story garages, people can bring their cars in and park them here.
Flooding is going to be the danger. And by the way, flooding is always the danger in these things, right? Most people can have figured out building code to prevent the wind from blowing their places apart if they can when the winds are not relatively as high as they were in the Bahamas. There`s very little you can do about that kind of winds. But the flooding is going to be the issue and that`s what we`re expecting to happen.
We should actually hit our peak floods by about 11:00 or noon tomorrow here in Charleston, Chris.
HAYES: You know, you`re standing in Charleston which is a city that is sort of right at the confluence of these different trends. It`s a city that has grown remarkably. It has become a kind of tourist destination, a pop-cultural destination, of food destination. It is also in a peninsula extremely exposed to this.
And my understanding is that they are flooding more and more often and now working out how even without hurricanes, how to deal with the fact that they`ve brought all these people to a city that is as climate exposed as this one is.
VELSHI: Which by the way is the story of America, it`s the story of much of the settled world, right? We settled to these places that nature might tell us aren`t the best places to settle. They`ve had five serious flood type emergencies in the last five years here in Charleston. It`s a serious, serious matter.
They have a couple of lakes here. They`ve actually been working over the last couple of days the lower the level of the lakes because as we saw in Hurricane Florence which is in the same vicinity last year, these places flood and then there`s even nowhere for the water to go.
VELSHI: But when you keep building places up -- in fairness, Charleston has been here for a long time, but when you build up and build up and you have more concrete, you`ve got less place for the water to drain. So a problem that`s becoming more serious because of climate is exacerbated by our development.
I will say the one good thing in the last few years, Chris, because you and I whenever there`s a hurricane talk about climate and there used to be people who said this isn`t the time to talk about climate, it`s actually exactly the time to talk about climate.
HAYES: And that is I think increasingly the case. In terms of the evacuation, there`s an evacuation for that entire county for folks able so far to get out of there and into early fashion. I mean, it`s one advantage of a storm moving as slowly as it is.
VELSHI: Totally right. Yes, the one advantage of a slow-moving storm is you have lots of time to get out. The disadvantage of a slow-moving storm is if you get a fatigue in hearing about it, you`re not really sure it`s coming, you stop believing authorities.
VELSHI: Which is why that whole thing about maybe somebody drawing in a map of where the storm is going to go that it`s not going to, it just contributes to this fatigue and this lack of trust people have both in authority and the media.
You know, reporters get in trouble when they -- when they make us further look more serious than it is, and they should because we have to be as accurate as we can be. And the accuracy says, if they say evacuate, maybe it`s good to evacuate. If it doesn`t, things don`t go too badly, at least you evacuated.
When the other way -- when the other thing happens where you don`t trust the reports and you don`t go and then this flooding which happens sometimes a day after or two days, think about Jacksonville, think about Houston, and then you can`t get out.
HAYES: All right, Ali Velshi who is down there in Charleston. It`s great to have you down there. And you and I are in a few weeks are going to be hosting a climate forum that I`m really looking forward to. Thank you for your reporting and all your work on this, Ali. Stay safe.
It`s not enough the president`s leadership is comically narcissistic and factually incorrect in these moments of climate crisis. It`s not enough that his absent from the need to lead on the issue. It increasingly appears that the Trump administration just has a list of ways to make the climate crisis worse.
And that they are just ticking off down their way through that list no matter how insane the idea is, no matter how little actual public support it has, or even support from the industry. And when we talk about the fact, they`re trying to block clean power plant rules that would reduce carbon emissions. They`re trying to override the auto industry, not the greenest of folks in the world, to make cars pollute more.
They`re trying to override the major oil industry companies in order to release more methane in the air. They`re trying to open up the biggest national forests to logging and mining. And now, get this, they`re coming for the light bulbs. The Trump administration is trying to weaken federal rules that have forced Americans to use more energy-efficient light bulbs.
The George W. Bush administration introduced and passed legislation for more energy-efficient light bulbs with broad bipartisan support back in 2007 12 years ago. And it is true. Compact fluorescent light bulbs were kind of crappy back then, but then they got better.
And by the time of the Obama administration, some of the right we`re really getting themselves worked up about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELE BACHMANN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- what light bulbs you`re supposed to use. That`s why I introduced the light bulb freedom of choice act. President Bachmann will allow you to buy any light bulb you won in the United States of America.
You just can`t be trusted to make decisions for yourself. Not about your health insurance, not about your gas mileage, not even about your light bulbs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. You can`t go around your house without being told what to buy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. So all that was like seven or eight years ago, and then we`ve all just moved on with our lives. We`ve just gone on to think about other things. Light bulbs are now much more energy-efficient, they save people lots of money, the definition of a win-win. There is no movement in America to go back to crappy light bulbs.
I buy light bulbs all the time and they`re awesome now. You can get all different kinds of light bulbs. You can get light bulbs you don`t have to replace for ten years. And now the Trump Administration is saying no, we need the energy-wasting crappy old light bulbs back because it will make the climate crisis worse.
For more on the perils posed by an administration in denial, I`m joined by Gina McCarthy who served as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama. She`s now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. All right, I would like to just think that I`m missing something here. There is some reason -- honestly, this one is of all of them.
Someone described this that I saw online today as eco-nihilism. And it seems almost nihilistic to me. Like what possible rationale is there for walking away from the light bulb standards?
GINA MCCARTHY, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: Boy, you`re asking me this, Chris? It`s good to be here with you. I`m not sure I can answer that question. It`s certainly not an enlightened idea, pun intended. Look, they are just doing everything in the world first to deny that climate change is real. They`re trying to stop real science from happening and being discussed.
They`re trying to stop every rule and regulation of the Obama administration even though the industries themselves want to keep those rules. It`s just an amazing intent to roll back the world and recreate it like it used to be in the 80s. I can`t figure it out.
HAYES: So what are the stakes of that? I mean, what is that all add up to in terms of what it does to America at this very perilous moment, in terms of global leadership on climate. We`ve obviously withdrawn Paris and from the fact that like we`ve got a window here where we need to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions.
MCCARTHY: Yes. That`s the biggest problem is the time we`re losing. You know, we need -- know we need to get down to zero by 2050 and we need to make tremendous progress if we`re going to make that trajectory. And if they deny the science and continue to sow doubt, then we`re not going to make that happen.
If they continue to roll back rules that are about moving us forward in a reasonable and cost-effective way, about shifting markets like light bulbs to ones that are not only saving us billions of dollars but millions of carbon tons every single year, then we`re going to have to do much more later and it`s -- the struggle is going to be worse.
Look, you`re seeing what`s happening along the coastline. Right now this administration is telling scientists, our scientists not to worry about what happens after 2040. Let`s just look at before 2040 because after that it looks way too scary.
Well, what are we going to do with infrastructure investments? Are we going to keep building homes that we know in 2040 won`t be inundated but are very likely to be in 2050 or 2060? Are we going to spend all our road and bridge money to be resilient when that resiliency gets us to 2040 and not beyond?
The whole thing is ridiculous. We used to lead on this issue. We`re not just holding ourselves back, we`re making the world look at us like we are an absolute laughingstock.
HAYES: That -- just to be clear for folks who don`t know, there`s the political appointees -- I don`t know it was across agencies or in the EPA, made a directive, right, that they should shorten the window of analysis to cut off at 2040 as opposed to going past that. Is that right?
MCCARTHY: That`s right. It was actually across the entire federal government who has been actually having our scientist come together every year and create a national climate assessment. And they just said don`t worry about 2040, that`s too far away, it`s too uncertain.
Now, I understand that the farther you go the more uncertain it is. But do you really want to not look at it? Do you not want to use the best scientists from NASA and from NOAA and from EPA? Do you really want to close your eyes to it and pretend that doesn`t exist? Is that how the United States operates now? Is that what we define as leadership?
HAYES: Of these various -- I think the New York Times has been tracking. I think there`s 84 environmental rules that they have pledged to roll back. It might be 85 today after the light bulbs if I`m not mistaken. What stands out to you as the -- as the highest stakes?
I mean, you were -- you were one of the people who sort of oversaw the clean power plant rule. Like which one matters the most of what they`ve done here?
MCCARTHY: You know, maybe it`s more the tenor of the whole thing, the instability it`s bringing to -- not just to the agencies but to the regulated industry. You know, the clean car rule was one of the ones they wanted to attack right out of the gate.
The interesting thing is that this is the first time in my recollection that California is the place where the car industry`s want to go for relief as opposed to stick with this administration is trying to tear it all down.
And then you have a mercury and air toxic standards which to me is a really personal issue because it`s about toxics that are really damaging to our children and to fetuses. And that rule has already been done and the industry itself said don`t look at this rule. It`s fine. It`s done. You`ll make us have stranded assets. We want to do this. We`re fine. And they all -- they just went ahead and did it anyways.
Don`t they care about any human lives? Don`t they care about our future and our kids future? What is going on in their mind that makes them think that we`re moving in the future towards coal instead of understanding that there are wonderful innovations now, lots of solutions we can embrace, if they just embrace those that move us ahead, and they can embrace it just because it protects health? They don`t have to worry so much about embracing climate, but we all know that they go hand in hand.
HAYES: I guess the final question is what does it do to the trajectory and your own sense of pessimism versus optimism about the era of crisis were now in and going to enter into even more intensely?
MCCARTHY: Well, you know, I think it`s hard to remain optimistic but I`ll tell you when you look at what`s going on in states and in cities across this country, they are stepping up big time. When you look at individuals across the United States which Ali mentioned in his coverage.
People get that climate change is real. So I think I`m discouraged about time lost, but I am not at all going to rule out the ability of this country to step up and do what it needs to do for our children, for a health, for their future, and our ability to innovate to make good things happen.
HAYES: All right, Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama. Thanks very much.
MCCARTHY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next up, the Florida congresswoman who says she`s tired of keeping the details of Russian interference in her state a secret because the same tactics could work in 2020. She joins me in two minutes.
HAYES: Do you remember this weird thing that happened back in May when the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis came out and said that the FBI and the Department Homeland Security told him that to county voting systems in his state of Florida have been compromised by Russian hackers in the 2016 presidential election.
He came out and announced this but then said he could not tell the public which two counties were hit because he made a promise to the FBI. "I`m not allowed to name the counties. I signed a nondisclosure agreement. They asked me to sign it so I`m going to respect their wishes."
That was weird and a lot of people thought the secrecy was odd including Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy who represents parts of Orlando. She also requested a briefing along with Republican colleague Congressman Michael Waltz on those attacks on Florida back in May.
And today she has an op-ed in the Washington Post about -- written about what she learned and how there is much she is still not allowed to tell us. Joining me now is Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida.
Let`s start with what was your reaction to being told that two counties have been penetrated by Russian hackers but you couldn`t know which? Like how did that scan to you?
REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): Well, they did tell me which counties they were once we asked for a briefing. But it took us three years from the moment that the Russian packed our elections in 2016 to the briefing that we had to request in order for the FBI and the Department of Justice to reveal to us that in fact two counties had been hacked in Florida.
And now just as of a month or two ago with the Senate Intelligence Committee report, it appears that Florida might be state two. And in that report, it indicates that the number might be up to four counties that were hacked. You know, the drips and drabs of information that are coming out about this very serious attack on our democracy is not helpful in helping us prepare to respond to it.
HAYES: OK. So do we not know if it was two counties or four counties or someone knows and we just don`t know as the public? Is that right?
MURPHY: I, as an elected official still not certain based on the information I received from the briefing compared to the information that appears to be in the Senate report. But Chris, let me tell you why it`s so important that not only do we as officials know but also that the public knows.
We are engaged in a different type of conflict. I used to work at the Pentagon under a Republican administration. And at that time, we were worried about kinetic warfare. But what we`re dealing with today is cyber aggression. It is information operations, information warfare.
And the way that you combat information warfare is to be able to have a whole of society approach and that involves inoculating the public, giving them the tools so that they can discern what has happened, and then protect themselves against future attacks.
HAYES: Well, this is -- this is sort of gets to the nub of the issue, right? I mean, I`ve now read multiple reports and an official pronouncements that say something along the following, that Russian hackers probed all of the different systems, they were able to sort of penetrate and gain entrance into them and even possibly achieve the ability to change data but did not do any changing.
And I guess my question is like are we a hundred percent sure about that last point? Is that a definitive thing that we know established? And even if it is how can you convince people that that`s the case if we don`t get more information?
MURPHY: The way you could probably convince people that their information wasn`t changed is to let the voters know which counties were affected and allow voters to go verify for themselves that their information wasn`t changed. We are watching the lack of information, the shroud of secrecy undermine our -- the voters confidence in our systems.
HAYES: What is the justification? What is your understanding of this somewhat strange arrangement that`s coming from the Trump administration vis-a-vis their protectiveness around this information that seems to me like it should be in the public domain?
MURPHY: The two reasons they give is one, to protect sources and methods, and then the other is that they view the victims to be the election officials. And let me just say that on the first reason. Sources and methods, the Russians know that we know which counties they hacked. So I`m not sure that releasing the name of those two counties to the voters would be revealing anything that our adversaries don`t already know.
And then secondly on the issue about who is the victim. I think it`s wrong to see the election officials as the victims. The voters are the victim in this case. They`re the ones whose information has been accessed. And you know when it comes to their credit card information or their social media information, if their information has been breached there is a responsibility to notify.
And yet here, in this case, there seems to be no accountability or a sense of responsibility to notify voters.
HAYES: So it`s -- on the final point here. The counties themselves know if they have been penetrated, correct?
MURPHY: That`s correct.
HAYES: OK. Are you confident that all counties that have been penetrated across the country or all systems know A, and B that the necessary steps have been taken on election security grounds or cybersecurity grounds to make sure that can`t happen again?
MURPHY: I think we need greater transparency and oversight -- congressional oversight to ensure that we are -- we know that everybody -- the full extent of the interference in 2016, what defenses have been put up by those local election officials to prevent this from happening in the future.
And then also there needs be -- to be a broader public understanding that we are under constant attack, that we are engaged in an information war with aggressors like Russia and that what there are things that as individuals we can do to protect ourselves against these attacks.
HAYES: All right, Congressman is Stephanie Murphy from the State of Florida, thank you so much for making time.
MURPHY: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Ahead, judges throw out North Carolina voting maps so gerrymander they say violated the state constitution. Ari Berman on the massive implications right after this.
HAYES: The North Carolina Republican Party has really gained quite a reputation for itself in voting rights circles. Republican state legislators drew some of the nation`s most aggressively gerrymandered maps along racial and partisan lines. And in 2017, the Supreme Court struck down the Republican-drawn Congressional Maps because they were racially biased.
Then last year, during the midterm elections, a Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris hired a campaign worker who allegedly committed widespread election fraud. And that man Leslie McCrae Dowless has since been indicted along with several others for what they did.
The situation was so bad the apparent fraud so egregious and widespread the state had to take the remarkable step of just throwing the election out and calling a new one which is happening Tuesday. And then on top of all that, yesterday, the Republican-drawn state legislative district maps were also thrown out by a state court for being an extreme partisan gerrymander.
Here with me now someone who`s been following what Republicans have been up to in North Carolina, Ari Berman, Senior Reporter of Mother Jones, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.
So there`s a lot to go through here. Let`s start with the significance of a state court in North Carolina throwing out the assembly in Senate maps for the state? What was the justification and what was behind this fight?
ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: It`s a huge deal, Chris, because you remember back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court said, we`re not going to review gerrymandering on a federal level. Not only are we not going to review it but the federal courts can`t review partisan gerrymandering at all.
HAYES: Right. So the Supreme Court jurisprudence is you cannot racially gerrymander, I mean, you know, to diminish the power of voters of color, right. That`s not constitutional and the court can look into those maps and strike them down and in fact has. Then they had a test case being like what about partisan gerrymanders?
Wisconsin was one of the tests, right. And in federal courts, 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court said, nope, we can`t do anything about that. So it looked like these maps are good to go, and then...
BERMAN: And that kicks the ball to state court. And so this is the first major opinion in state court to strike down partisan gerrymandering.
HAYES: Ah, I see.
BERMAN: And it did it in a very thorough bipartisan, 357-page opinion with a lot of smoking gun evidence.
And so now what we see is even if the federal courts aren`t going to act to strike down partisan gerrymandering, the state courts can still act. And now the states are really the battleground when it comes to gerrymandering going forward.
HAYES: Let`s take a step back.
I mean, this North Carolina GOP, when they got control of the government I think it was post 2010 election, right, where they got the sort of triumvirate. Would you say they have they been the most aggressive in the entire country in terms of the way they have drawn maps?
BERMAN: Probably. I mean, I think they have to be in the Republican gerrymandering hall of fame at this point.
I mean, they`re the only state where federal courts have thrown out both the congressional and the state legislative maps, first for racial gerrymandering and then for partisan gerrymandering. Remember...
HAYES: So these are -- I just want to be sure, because I`ve lost track of all the court cases. These are the replacement maps that got thrown out?
BERMAN: These are the replacement maps, exactly.
HAYES: Wait a second...
BERMAN: The scabs got fired basically.
HAYES: OK, so they had one set of maps and the court threw them out and said these are racially gerrymandered, even at the state level.
BERMAN: Yes, exactly.
HAYES: And now the state has said no, these are also too aggressively partisan gerrymandered.
BERMAN: Yeah, so they basically told -- the courts told the North Carolina Republican Party you had drawn maps that were clearly aimed to disenfranchise and diminish the voting power of African-Americans, so you need to redraw the maps. Then they redrew the maps and then they said what you clearly did was draw maps to diminish the power of Democrats, and that`s also unconstitutional. The Supreme Court might not review it, but state courts can still do it.
And they found very clear evidence that basically no matter what happens in North Carolina, Republicans will be in control of the legislature because of gerrymandering.
HAYES: And this is not that dissimilar from the Wisconsin map that was also tested, right, which a federal court said was fine in which you`ve got these crazy situations where a statewide election in which Democrats get 55, 56 percent of the vote don`t get a majority in like say the state assembly.
BERMAN: Well, the federal courts in Wisconsin didn`t say it was fine, they said it was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court said it was fine.
And I think what it underscores is the fact that in North Carolina you have a better state court system where Democrats and liberals have actually made gains. In Wisconsin, Republicans have taken over the local courts.
And so I think this underscores, to me, the need for the Democrats and for progressives to pay more attention to the states and to pay more attention to state legislative races and to pay more attention to state courts, which we never talk about absent a decision like this.
HAYES: All right. So now you have this race -- this is distinctly related in some ways, right. You have covered this sort of great voting fraud myth that has been perpetuated from the president to Kris Kobach to others. Here you have got one election tainted by fraud in 2018, as far as I can tell, one federal election, so badly tainted by fraud because the Republican candidate hired a guy who went around allegedly and apparently paying people to go collect absentee ballots and stuff -- essentially stuff the ballot box on behalf of his candidate.
They`re now having to rerun that race, and it is polling 50-50.
BERMAN: Yeah, the election is next week. I mean, it`s incredibly ironic that Republicans have been running around talking about voter fraud, voter fraud, voter fraud for over a decade now and the only clear case of election fraud in the past election was by Republicans in North Carolina.
And it had nothing to do with voter ID or early voting or foreigners voting illegally, all of those bogeymen had nothing to do with that. What they did was illegal under North Carolina law. And the only reason they didn`t catch it was because Republicans told prosecutors look away, look away here.
So -- and then their response to this was let`s enact a new voter ID bill, which of course had nothing to do with the fraud that was committed and will do nothing to stop it from happening again.
HAYES: You have got Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate, running against Dan Bishop, who is a Republican who replaced Mark Harris who at first we should be very clear the state GOP and the state GOP spokesperson who came on this program were like how dare you question the integrity of our election? How dare you say that we hired someone, and then of course they all had to walk that back and kind with their tail between their legs say, well, actually yes, that does look like what has happened.
But this is the sort of marquee special election of this cycle right now.
BERMAN: It is. I mean, the election is next week.
This is also, by the way, a very heavily gerrymandered district. So, that just underscores the fact that...
HAYES: This is part of -- this is a district that was drawn by the same North Carolina state Republicans to be a Republican district?
BERMAN: Exactly. And this was the same district that would have been struck down had the Supreme Court said we can`t review the congressional maps.
So, there is probably going to be a new lawsuit now challenging the congressional maps in North Carolina in state court, and so no matter what happens.
HAYES: Oh, I see. So, the federal government says we can`t touch these state maps -- the Supreme Court says we can`t touch them. Partisan gerrymandering doesn`t violate the U.S. constitution or it`s not a matter for us, the judiciary, to look into.
HAYES: And now there might be a suit on the congressional maps, which would have huge implications.
So, no matter who wins...
HAYES: Oh, my goodness, that`s hilarious.
BERMAN: ...next week there could be another lawsuit about this district and the other congressional districts in North Carolina coming soon.
HAYES: Wait, so they run this election. They have to throw out the election. They have to call a new one. They`re now having a special like nine months into the new year. They haven`t had a congressperson in this district the entire time. What you`re saying is the person could win only to find out that the very boundaries of his district, along with everyone`s else, is challenged in court.
BERMAN: Yeah, it`s going to take a while. But remember in Pennsylvania where they struck down the congressional maps, that happened in state court as well.
HAYES: Right. I forgot about that.
BERMAN: So you very likely could have a challenge brought to strike down the congressional maps not just in North Carolina, but in other states in state courts now. So, I think a lot of people are going to be looking at arcane parts of state constitutions to figure out what lawsuits they could file next based on this North Carolina decision.
HAYES: But just to keep people`s eyes on the prize here, I mean, this is the power -- this is the power to control the government or not, right? I mean, these lines end up being the lever by which partisan power is wielded, and sometimes counter-majoritarian partisan power, which is it`s a means by which you can create a situation which your party has less votes in the state and you still run the state.
BERMAN: That happened in North Carolina in the last elect, state legislative candidates in North Carolina got 49 percent of the votes, but 54 percent of the seats in the house, 58 seats in the senate, and that`s so undemocratic.
But, you`re right. The state legislatures in most states draw the districts, not just for themselves but for congress as well, for the U.S. House as well. And elections in 2020 are going to determine who draws the maps for the next decade.
That`s a story I don`t think is getting nearly enough coverage, so I`m glad we`re talking about it now.
HAYES: All right. Ari Berman, thanks so much for being here. Great to see you.
Coming up, what Boris Johnson`s failures in parliament mean for Brexit. We`ll talk about tonight`s head spinning developments ahead.
Plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, even just a brief stint working for Donald Trump can do wonders for one`s career trajectory. And since more people were fired or quit his administration in his first year than in any other in modern history, it`s a virtual post-Trump career fair of things you can do, like joining the cast of Dancing With the Stars, become a Trump TV contributor, write a tell-all book blasting your former boss, join the board of a company that detains migrant children, cooperate with the feds, go to federal prison -- that`s a popular one -- or you can make a few bucks hawking fish pills on TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN GORKA, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: Sebastian Gorka here for Relief Factor. And first of all, let me say that I have never before endorsed a pain reliever. But when Pete and Seth Talbot, the father and son owners of Relief Factor, asked me to endorse their 100 percent drug-free product, I absolutely couldn`t say no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, how could you say no?
The real money to be made after leaving Trump world is right back in the Trump swamp, and that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: There is a swift moving revolving door from the Trump administration right back into the Trump swamp. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 37 former members of the administration now work as lobbyists. Today The Washington Post revealed a new swamp jumper, former Interior Department Assistant Secretary Joe Balash.
Balash just resigned from his position where he oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands on Friday -- oh, you`re never guess what he is doing now -- and confirmed to The Post last night he`ll be joining a foreign oil company that is expanding operations on Alaska`s North Slope.
Balash says he will abide by the Trump ethics pledge barring appointees from lobbying their former agencies for five years, although Senator Udall isn`t taking any chances, he sent a letter to Interior`s ethics officials asking the department to provide copies of all ethics filings made by Balash.
But even if he was to deal with some conflict of interest accusations, I`ve got to say it does beat hawking fish pills.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORKA: And of course, I only said yes, because after years of my personal lower back pain, I am now pain-free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The courts are now deciding the legality of the president`s attempt to redirect funds that congress explicitly did not allocate to build a wall on the southern border that, remember, Mexico was going to pay for.
In the meantime, the Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to take $3.6 billion in Pentagon funding to fund construction of a portion of the wall. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he is moving the $3.6 billion out of over planned projects, meaning one of two things, either those projects were truly necessary and are now not going to be funded, or there was $3.6 million of extra money lying around the Pentagon they didn`t really need, which means they had $3.6 billion too much.
But the projects are real projects. There are 127 of them. As The Daily Beast reports, the money was meant for the construction of elementary schools, hazardous waste warehouse facilities and fire stations, among other Department of Defense initiatives.
Igor Bobic notes that in Mitch McConnell`s Kentucky, $62 million was supposed to go toward building a middle school at Ft. Campbell. Whoops, too bad, now it`s headed to build the wall.
One of the projects is in Arizona where Republican Senator Martha McSally at first told people, don`t worry, it`s just $30,000 being diverted. Her spokesman then said the president will actually divert $30 million, not $30,000, quote, "army provided documents listing it in thousands. We didn`t catch the shorthand." Whoops. Sorry, it was off by a factor of a thousand.
Now, the Pentagon is saying everything will be fine so long as, get this, congress agrees to, quote, backfill the funds. Wait a second, wait a second, but that just means that congress is going to fund the wall, because if you take the money out of the accounts and put into it the wall and fund those accounts, viola, you have funded the wall.
Now the courts are working this out. The ACLU said it would seek a court order blocking use of the funds as part of its lawsuit challenging the president`s abuse of emergency powers. But remember, congress has power of the purse, Article I power, under the constitution. If they want to retain Article I power, they can stop this, which is to say they can pass a one- sentence piece of legislation out of both houses and explicitly say you cannot build new wall, and they can override Trump`s veto.
Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee have joined with Democrats to raise red flags about Trump`s attempt to circumvent congress, as they should, because he is trying to take their most powerful important job away from them. If congress, both parties, is serious about protecting its constitutional role, lawmakers need to come together across-party lines and pass legislation that says you can`t do this. They have that power. It`s their power to use, and you use it or you lose it.
HAYES: Well, it`s been a rough few weeks for the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He is the guy came in to save the Tory Party from former Prime Minister Theresa May`s indecision.
And he has in a matter of just a few days, lost the Conservative majority in parliament when a Conservative member switched parties while Johnson was speaking. You can see him literally walking across Parliament to go sit with another party.
Johnson then saw 21 members of his own party defy him in a critical vote, undermining his Brexit plans. All that stuff happened yesterday. Boris Johnson is facing a parliament in revolt that he is nominally the head of, but no longer controls, a parliament who is yanking his hard Brexit agenda out from under him and responds, he then tried to turn the tables on the opposition by calling for a snap election. He was overwhelmingly defeated on that score today.
That makes Boris Johnson the first Prime Minister in the history of the UK to lose his first three votes in the House of Commons. Yikes.
But it`s confusing to everyone what happens next. Joining me now to help make sense of all this, BBC North America editor John Sopel.
John, we are having trouble tracking this. So, here is my understanding of the way your system works, I would like you to tell me why this is done. You know, the prime minister, by definition, has a majority of parliament, that`s what makes said person the prime minister. They don`t lose votes by definition because it is their party that`s running the place. I don`t -- like what is going on now?
JOHN SOPEL, NORTH AMERICAN EDITOR, BBC: Yeah, he has been rather careless in losing his majority rather quickly. The one MP, the member of parliament that you spoke about who crossed the floor and sat with the centrist Liberal Democrats, and then the 21 who voted against him, he is booted out of the party all together, which means there are more people to vote against him.
Now, he`s -- as you say, he`s lost successive votes. He lost his majority. He lost a lot of credibility. Are they weeping in 10 Downing Street tonight, which is of course where the prime minister lives? I suspect not.
I think they have gone in for this kind of masochism strategy of shock and awe. They want to show the people that Boris Johnson different from dithering Theresa May. He`s the tough guy. He`s not going to -- he doesn`t care if he is defeated. He is going forward. He is marching to the sound of gunfire and let anyone try to step in his way. That is the plan.
Whether it works or not is another question.
HAYES: OK, so here is my understanding the strategy as articulated by Boris Johnson, so there is this idea that there`s a no-deal Brexit, which is just the UK just vanishes out of the European Union with no sort of side agreements made to figure out a whole bunch of other things about how trade relations and the passage of people who work, and that Johnson wants to bluff that he is willing to do that in order to get a better deal for how Brexit would be managed, is that right?
SOPEL: Yes, that`s sort of right. But, you know, shock horror, spoiler alert, in politics what people say is not always what they mean.
There are very much people who think that Boris Johnson actually wants a no-deal Brexit. And just let me detain that for 30 seconds.
HAYES: Yes, please.
SOPEL: No-deal Brexit means that food stuffs that would be coming into the UK from France, from Belgium, will not be cleared. It will get held up at customs because suddenly there is no longer free movement. It`s like a state in the middle of the U.S., Nebraska, suddenly decides it wants to secede, it`s got no agreements whatsoever, for any goods to move in one direction or another, and suddenly pharmaceutical products, food stuff -- they were talking about food shortages in supermarkets.
And now that is why you`ve got a lot of members in Parliament saying we must do everything we can to stop this. Boris Johnson says I need to have that threat in my back pocket if I`m going to get the European Union to move.
But there are those who think he would like a no-deal Brexit, because that will solidify support among all the people who want Brexit and who feel frustrated that three years on, the pain continues. And no fish oil tablets will end the pain.
HAYES: Oh, that`s a nice callback.
So, OK, that actually is clarifying to me. So, the things that he is losing these Tory members and votes on is the basically he wants to keep the party behind him saying, we`re going to get a no-deal Brexit. and that`s what they are losing votes on, right. I mean, they are losing that because people are like, that`s insane, we`re not going to have toilet paper and pharmaceuticals and all these food stuff, but you think he actually might -- I mean, that sounds nuts to me, like everyone says that`s going to be a disaster. Why would Boris Johnson want to invite that catastrophe?
SOPEL: Because there are those people -- because he says, look, there are free trade deals to be had. And also, let me put this in a slightly U.S. context, if I can, Chris, I mean, you have got Boris Johnson who thinks that actually Westminster Parliament is the swamp. I am the envoy of the people. Sound familiar? He has got a special adviser, let`s call Dominic Cummings, who is bit Bannon-esque, who wants to kind of fight this as hard as you can go. And, yes, there may be pain. But he believes he is the person to sort it out. And with free trade deals, with a free trade deal with America, that you may have a few months of turbulence but you will be better off in the long run, and that`s the argument that Donald Trump would make and that`s the argument that Boris Johnson is making, and that is what is dividing the British people as painfully as they were three years ago when they voted narrowly for Brexit.
HAYES: But here is the problem, he is the prime minister without a majority in parliament. So, he can`t do any of these things. And he also can`t get a new election. Like, I don`t understand how the government is running right now.
SOPEL: Yeah, I`m sorry, this is kind -- it`s head spinning and eye rolling and stomach churning all at the same time. I think what the strategy is -- I think what the strategy is, that Boris Johnson will get his general election. The constitutional crisis comes if parliament votes to say there must be a no-deal Brexit, which is what happened today and will go through it`s final stages in the next couple of days and will become law.
Now, just as in the U.S., a law passed by congress has to go to the president to be signed. Now, that is less of a formality -- in the U.S., you have got discretion. What happens in the UK, because we`re Britain and archaic, is it goes to the queen for what is called royal assent. Any bill passed by parliament should go to the Queen for royal assent. What happens if Boris Johnson doesn`t present the bill to her majesty to sign? It doesn`t become law. And then you have a full-scale constitutional crisis.
And the other way this gets resolved is Boris Johnson somehow gets a narrow majority in Commons for a general election and then this is the dividing line. Do you want Brexit? Do you want more dither? Vote Boris Johnson, you get decision.
HAYES: This is perfect. I love the fact that the House of Windsor is like Chekhov`s gun in the first act, that`s been sitting there the whole time in your constitutional monarchy. Oh, yeah, we have gotten rid of that. She`s just symbolic. Don`t you worry about it. We are essentially a republic. I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, symbolic. That like that ends up being the thing that comes back for a constitutional crisis, that is really wild if that happens.
SOPEL: And that is what people are terrified about, that the queen, who has got this unimpeachable record of this...
HAYES: ...is getting drawn into this.
SOPEL: ...is going to be drawn into a political process where there are no winners. And I think that there are very many people who think that must be avoided at every single cost.
But, as I say to you, it`s shock and awe. It`s the blitzkrieg strategy.
HAYES: It`s going to be very hard to avoid that.
John Sopel, thanks you so much for your time tonight. Appreciate it.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END