CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: destroying him as a person, anything to protect Trump from the truth. And this is the Trump way, of course, destroy anyone who questions him. It`s a level of ruthlessness we haven`t seen before. And what`s truly scary are the two out of five American voters who poll after poll sign off on this indecency, and not the answer for that.
And 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 MALE: Colonel, do you believe the President put national security at risk?
HAYES: The most damning witness to date meets the impeachment inquiry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should the President be impeached, sir?
HAYES: Democrats finally released their impeachment resolution.
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Every member will have to make a decision based on their conscience.
HAYES: Tonight, what we now know about impeachment plans as the first witness on the call between Donald Trump and Ukrainian President delivers extremely disturbing testimony, and Republicans move into attack mode.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people might call that espionage.
HAYES: Plus, new reporting on how the President is fleecing his own campaign and donors, and has deliberate blackouts and raging wildfires continue, trying to explain the climate nightmare in California.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): That cannot be the new normal.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. For just the fourth time in all of American history, the House of Representatives will formally proceed with an official open impeachment inquiry to the President of the United States.
The House Resolution introduced today to be voted on this Thursday reveals the scope of the inquiry as it proceeds into a public phase. This was a statement issued by the four House committee chairs leading the probe.
"The House Impeachment Inquiry has collected extensive evidence, and testimony, and soon the American people will hear from witnesses in an open setting. The resolution introduced today in the House Rules Committee will provide that pathway forward. The resolution provides rules for the format of open hearings in the House Intelligence Committee including staff lead questioning of witnesses, and it authorizes the public release of deposition transcripts."
"The resolution also establishes procedures for the transfer of evidence to the Judiciary Committee, as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and it sets forth due process rights for the president and his counsel and the Judiciary Committee proceedings. The evidence we have already collected paints the picture of a president who abused his power by using multiple levels of government to press a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 election."
"Following in the footsteps of previous impeachment inquiries, the next phase will move from closed depositions to open hearings where the American people will learn firsthand about the President`s misconduct."
That`s the statement. And that news comes on a day when lawmakers heard closed-door testimony from one of the most damning witnesses yet, if not the most damning. His name is Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman. He`s a top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council.
In fact, he still has that job, meaning he works for the White House. And one of the reasons why his testimony is so damning is because he has direct knowledge of what happened. He is the first person to testify before the committee who was listening in on that infamous phone call, in which the President after withholding much needed military aid press the Ukrainian president to manufacture dirt on the Biden`s and the DNC and provide ammunition for discredited conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
Vindman witnessed the crime that Donald Trump already admitted to with his own ears. In his opening statement, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman said he found Trump`s pressure campaign so concerning, so disconcerting that he reported it twice internally. "I did not think it was proper to demand the foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen."
I should tell you that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman`s hearing began this morning at 9:30. He is still in there now. That is more than ten hours of testimony. So if Trump`s allies are already trying to discredit him, an Army Lieutenant Colonel who served on multiple overseas tours, who was awarded a Purple Heart after he`s wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
And the reason they are attacking him as well as the process of the impeachment inquiry is that they cannot defend the President`s conduct at the heart of this matter. If Trump and his co-conspirators really did not do anything wrong, as the President claims it, if there really is nothing to see here, it would not be the case that virtually every single action they took was to try to conceal and cover up what they were doing and what they had done.
They would not have moved the record of the infamous Ukraine called a secure server. They would not have tried to quash the whistleblower complaint. They wouldn`t have strangled the criminal referral at the Department Justice, the U.N. Ambassador -- U.S. Ambassador the European Union, Trump appointee Gordon Sondland would not have been avoided putting anything to writing.
Remember when he infamously texted the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor "call me"? They knew what they were doing was wrong. They were trying to cover it up, to conceal it all because they were conscious that they were committing wrongdoing.
They tried again and again to cover their tracks. But now, despite their best efforts, the whole story is about to be told, right out in the open.
I`m joined now by a member of one of the committees running the impeachment process, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland who`s a member of the House Judiciary Committee. Let`s start, Congressman, with what does today`s resolution introduced and the vote on Thursday in the Rules Committee, what does it mean?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, it gives us the procedure for closing out the investigation by the Intelligence Committee by moving into the open hearing phase. So going from the closed-door sessions and the depositions that have been taken to calling witnesses to come forward to speak in open session for everyone to see.
And then it lays out the rules for that. We needed to make a change so that we could have questioning by the professional counsel, by the staff, and thereby to replace the five-minute rule, which is familiar to people.
HAYES: I see.
RASKIN: Which works in a lot of contexts, but it doesn`t really work here. It also sets forth the procedures that will govern the judiciary committee`s completion of the -- of its investigation. So essentially, the Intelligence Committee, Oversight, Foreign Affairs, Ways and Means, anyone else who believes that their fact investigation has produced evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors will turn it over to the Judiciary Committee.
It will be the Judiciary Committee`s job through hearings and analysis and so on, to develop the Articles of Impeachment if we find that there`s sufficient evidence to merit the writing of such articles. But it looks like everything is headed in that direction.
HAYES: Am I not -- am I correct that there is no limit on the scope of the matter that the resolution discusses the Ukraine matter? How -- what is your understanding of the scope as delineated by the rules resolution that the Democrats have introduced?
RASKIN: The HR 660, the Rules Resolution, just talks about high crimes and misdemeanors, impeachable offenses, and so obviously we`re still in the thick of the fact investigation in the phase that`s being run by the Intelligence Committee assisted by Oversight and Foreign Affairs. And so we`re still in middle of that.
So we`re still discovering things on a daily basis and there are more witnesses coming in. But we are getting ready to move to the open hearing phase, which I know the public is eager for and we`re all eager for, all of America to hear this story directly from people who were involved in it.
HAYES: Is there a timeline attached to this or this just happened when it happens in terms of the in House Intelligence Committee wrapping up what they feel they need to do?
RASKIN: There`s no timetable that`s built into the resolution or any of the rules. I think that a very clear picture has emerged of these events of the President`s shakedown of the Ukrainian government in order to extract damaging political information, whether true or false on domestic political opponents. He held up $391 million in a foreign military assistance that we voted for Ukraine, which is a besieged foreign ally resisting Russian aggression in order to make that happen.
And we saw the confession on T.V. by Chief of Staff Mulvaney, basically bragging about this kind of quid pro quo saying, that`s their motive doing business. But there`s lots of other objective corroborating evidence. We have the contemporaneous telephone records and memorandum that was produced by the White House. We have some ambassadorial text messages from the ambassador Volker, that confirmed also what was going on.
And now we have the witness of ten different witnesses who`ve come forward to testify about this. And amazingly, we have these remarkable public servants, both military and civilian who have devoted their lives to our country who are defying the obstructionism of the White House, as the President has everything in his power to try to sweep it under the rug, and to keep the evidence from coming to light. But we are intending and completely resolved to see that the public understand exactly what`s taking place.
HAYES: Final question. One of those individuals, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who is before the committee`s today, how would you characterize his testimony?
RASKIN: Completely credible, very strong witness, who was first-hand party to a lot of the critical events. This is a decorated war veteran who was injured by an IED when he was in Iraq. He has devoted his life to the service of our government and our country. And we keep meeting witnesses like this who are really the face of public service in America, not what we`re seeing out of the White House, which is all about, take the money and run and get rich quick.
This President has abused the office of the presidency, I believe. He`s converted the presidency into an instrument of self-enrichment and political self-advancement. That`s a complete thwarting of the design of the constitutional framers. You know, our founders wanted the president to be someone who had undivided zealous devotion to the common good and American people not to making money and not to getting reelected and certainly not to putting the government of United States to personal uses.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you so much for being with me.
RASKIN: Thanks so much for having me, Chris.
HAYES: For a perspective on how lawmakers are dealing with this in the Senate, I want to turn now to former Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and an MSNBC Political Analyst.
First, it was interesting today to me after Trump T.V. and a few others started going after the credibility of Vindman, suggesting that he has had two loyalties. Mitch McConnell and others, Senate Republicans, Mitt Romney, were unwilling to go there, which shows me in some ways that the incentives for the sort of hardest core of the President`s base and for senators, some who are sitting in states where they`re up for reelection are quite different. What do you make of it?
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there`s two things going on here. I think there are some Republicans that are beginning to see the writing on the wall. I mean, Chris, you have corroboration after corroboration after corroboration of a set of facts that are pretty damning. And you`ve got some Trump people whose conduct I described as lower than a snake`s belly, what they`re doing and what they`re saying. And then you have some Republicans that are beginning to realize that this could go badly.
If you can`t really make a legitimate argument, that process and the facts are what they are, then you`re stuck with having to defend that it`s OK to do what this president did, and they know it`s not. So I think we really when Fox went after this Lieutenant Colonel, I think that was a moment where a bunch of them began to get the hairs in the back of their neck and to stand up and go, we better be careful here. This could come back and really hurt us.
HAYES: Well, you serve two terms at the United States Senate in the state that was trending in a red and Republican conservative direction of the time that you serve there and had to straddle the structural polarization that defines the country with your own principles and the Democratic Party.
For folks like Corey Gardner, and Susan Collins, and Martha McSally in Arizona, and Thom Tillis, North Carolina, how do you think they`re thinking about what is a kind of inevitable date with destiny should this come to the Senate?
MCCASKILL: They feel a little bit like I felt when Kennedy resigned. They know --
HAYES: That`s a great comparison, yes.
MCCASKILL: They know that this vote and this debate is going to be brutal for them in their home states. And I would throw Joni Ernst in there too.
HAYES: Great point, yes.
MCCASKILL: I think she certainly is part of this mix, and even Cornyn in Texas. I think there are states that are going to be at play here and they are really torn because some of these guys have primaries, Chris. And so if they go after Trump, then they`re in a mess in their primary and Martha McSally is a good example.
On the other hand, if they criticize this active military man in his dress blues who only came before Congress today for one reason, he believed the national security of our country was at risk -- it had nothing to do with Donald Trump, it had nothing to do with helping Democrats, it had to do with his assessment about the danger to national security, and anybody who goes after this guy, I think, is in political trouble.
HAYES: You know, when I covered -- when I cover Capitol Hill as sort of full-time reporter, one thing I learned is, no one wants to take votes they don`t need to take. I mean, you want -- you want to take a vote as a politician get on the record, if there`s something that you want to pass that`s important to you, if there`s a genuine to say, if there`s money that needs to be appropriated, but no one in the Senate, I think is psyched that they`re going to have to vote on the President`s conduct. Is that fair?
MCCASKILL: I think it is fair. And I think there are probably a lot of people tugging on Mitch`s coat right now and saying, can`t we find a procedural vote we can make?
HAYES: Yes, interesting.
MCCASKILL: Instead of a substantive vote we have to make. Can`t we hide behind some kind of process? Well, I didn`t think there was sufficient evidence to proceed to a final vote. I think it`ll be all kinds of games that will try to be played, but the most important thing is that the House has now removed one of their major arguments. And it was phony. It was an argument that somehow the investigative phase should be in public.
MCCASKILL: Now we`re going to have public hearings, we`re going to have people with their hand in the air, taking the oath. We`re going to have the facts laid bare in front of the American people. And this is going to get worse for these guys, especially in these purple states. It`s not going to get better.
HAYES: All right, Claire McCaskill, thank you so much for your time tonight. That`s great.
MCCASKILL: You bet.
HAYES: I want to bring in now NBC News Correspondent Carol Lee, who co- wrote a new piece about the internal White House debate that has stifled the release of call notes of the phone call between Vice President Mike Pence and the Ukrainian president just last month.
Carol, let me start by playing what kick this off as I understand it, which was a sort of fascinating moment. Right after the President released his call notes, he dragged the vice president into it. Even the vice president has been intimately involved in bilateral relationships with Ukraine from the job. This is what he had to say. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you should ask for VP Pence`s conversation because he had a couple of conversations also. I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a month ago. Where do things stand inside the White House?
CAROL LEE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, in three -- almost three weeks ago, three weeks ago, tomorrow, the Vice President said he would have absolutely no problem with any transcript of his conversations with President Zelensky being made public.
And yet ever since then we`ve learned, my colleague and I have learned is that, you know, they`ve been going through a rigorous kind of debate where there are a bunch of people who see think that they should not release the transcript because of a number of reasons.
One, you know, there`s concern that it could backfire in the way that some people think that releasing the President`s transcript with Zelensky call backfired. They think it`s -- they believe it was a mistake, that it fueled the impeachment inquiry, as opposed to try sort of tamping it down.
And there`s concern, interestingly, that if you were to stack up the Vice President`s conversations with Zelensky and the President`s conversation, that it wouldn`t make the President look very good or as good. It wouldn`t be the perfect phone call that he says he had.
And so those are sort of the arguments against releasing it. And then there are people who are thinking that it should be released because they`re like, look, we`re getting a bunch of incoming, all of this negative testimony coming out of Capitol Hill, and we don`t have any real good tools to fight back, and this could be one of them. We could put this out there and show that there`s no there-there.
And people around the vice president are interested in keen to do it, because it could clear his name, so to speak.
HAYES: That is fascinating. I mean, obviously, the Vice President is intimately involved in this. We know he talked about corruption. We know from context that corruption and his conversation with Zelensky was likely understood on the Ukrainian side to pertain to the specific investigations of the Biden`s.
It seems to me reading your story that there`s a deeper indecision here, which is -- and you saw it, I think, manifested in Mick Mulvaney`s now- infamous performance. Isn`t the case they didn`t do this thing, right? Are they saying we didn`t -- there was no quid pro quo. We didn`t hold up aid in exchange for these investigations into our political opponents, or is it the case that yes, we did it and that`s fine? And it seems to me the White House can`t quite decide which it is.
LEE: Yes, you`re right. I mean, and you`ve seen that in their messaging. I mean, frankly, they can`t decide kind of really anything that they want to stick with in terms of messaging. I mean, we saw them shift to focus on the process and criticize that. And then the President said over the weekend, you know, I don`t want to talk about the process.
And so there, I think, what you just talked about, and the fact that they have not decided yet on this, and an official said that they`re still discussing whether or not, and the White House orders are still reviewing whether or not to released Pence`s transcripts, it just really underscores that there`s no overarching strategy and they`re still struggling to put something together that can defend the president against an impeachment inquiry that, frankly, is moving really fast.
And every time that you know, they talk about, we`re going to get a war room together, we`re going to bring in some new people, you know, the impeachment inquiry takes a new turn, and so they`re not ahead of this in any way.
HAYES: All right, Carol Lee, thank you so much for your time tonight.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, a key impeachment witness testifies saying he was on that call between Trump and the Ukrainian president and he raised concerns about it twice. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was in the room for the testimony Democrats are calling disturbing, and she joins me in two minutes.
HAYES: Democrats emerged from today`s deposition by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman saying it was extremely, extremely disturbing, that`s quote. Last night, after we got off air, journalists acquired Vindman`s opening statement, and is yet another damning account of the President`s actions towards Ukraine.
We`ve also learned a lot about the previously, I think, publicly unknown Lieutenant Colonel Vindman since last night, and his biography is absolutely fascinating. Vindman`s family immigrated to the United States from Ukraine when he was just three years old. If you`re wondering if he has an identical twin brother, he does.
Vindman also has a master`s degree from Harvard. He speaks fluent English, Ukrainian, and Russian. He served multiple overseas tours as an infantry officer, including a combat deployment to Iraq where he was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in an IED attack.
He is currently an active duty army officer serving on the National Security Council as a Ukraine expert. And Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was so disturbed by what he personally witnessed from the President and its flunkies that he twice reported his concerns to the National Security Council`s lead attorney.
He sums up the problem really well. "I did not think it was proper to demand a foreign government investigate the U.S. citizen." Vindman also raises serious questions about the testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Remember in his opening remarks, Sondland said, "I recall no discussions with any State Department or White House official about former Vice President Biden or his son, nor do I recall taking part in any effort to encourage investigation at the Biden`s.
OK. But on Vindman`s opening statement today, he describes a White House meeting with Ukrainian officials were "Ambassador Sondland, that`s the guy who said he didn`t do this, emphasize the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Biden`s and Burisma. Now, I stated to Ambassador Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, the request to investigate Biden`s son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push."
That testimony seems quite problematic for Trump E.U. ambassador. And remember, Vindman testified for more than ten hours. Joining me now is Congressperson who attended Lieutenant Colonel Vindman`s deposition today and called him a credible witness, was "filled in more of the puzzle pieces," Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
She`s a member of the House Oversight Committee.
I understand that Mr. Vindman, Lieutenant Colonel, just ended his testimony. How would you summarize what you learned from him today?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): Well, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman besides being an incredible patriot and really one of the really significant assets that our country obviously has defending us was really extremely credible. You could see his integrity really just came, you know, right through.
He was very earnest and committed to making sure that rules are followed, and he was clearly very deeply offended and disturbed by the events that he witnessed, the pressure that was clearly coming directly from the President through the -- you know, through the whole process to try to essentially get investigations of the President`s opponents and withholding foreign aid in order to make sure that he could benefit himself politically.
And so he was outraged and highly went -- followed his chain of command as he is supposed to do, and reported his concerns.
HAYES: You said earlier that House Republicans were trying to "backdoor" Lieutenant Colonel into revealing the whistleblower. There was reporting that they got very heated, that there was a number of heated exchanges between you and your Republican colleagues. Chairman Adam Schiff, I think, just came out to the cameras and talked about it. Take a listen to what he said and then I want to get your read on what happened in that room. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The President would love to punish the whistleblower. The President`s comments and actions have jeopardize the whistleblower`s safety. The President`s allies would like nothing better than to help the President out this whistleblower. Our committee will not be a part of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What happened in there today?
SCHULTZ: Well, you know, I think that with every passing witness, the walls continue to close in on the president. And we have more and more corroborating evidence that draws a direct line right through Mick Mulvaney up to the President himself, with repeated witnesses indicating that there was a direct, essentially pressure from the President`s -- the transcript of the President`s call with Zelensky from Mick Mulvaney`s own admission that they withheld foreign aid in order to insist on investigations taking place. You have the text messages from Ambassador Taylor with him was Ambassador Sondland. And today, the more corroborating testimony.
So I think the republicans are honestly beginning to panic. They, they are losing the on the substance and so they`re going after the process. And then today, they tried to do everything they could to really fill in the blanks through the backdoor by asking Lieutenant Colonel Vindman individual names, for him to name names of people that he had spoken to in the Intelligence Community.
Essentially, their goals seem to try to by process of elimination, try to figure out who the whistleblower is, even though he had said that he didn`t know who it was.
HAYES: Are you -- do you -- it seems to me that based on the reporting, the White House and the Republicans probably do know who it is. I mean, are you worried about the identity of this individual being kept a secret as is statutorily essentially guaranteed?
SCHULTZ: We have to keep this individual`s identity a secret. It is part of the whistleblower statute. We have a responsibility to protect that individual. We have a responsibility to make sure that we can get to the bottom of what is a massive abuse of power by the President in order to benefit himself politically and personally.
And quite frankly, you`re watching what the Republicans did to this patriot today repeatedly insisting -- trying to insist that he name names in the Intelligence Community to try to get to the bottom of who the whistleblower is, and out that person to satisfy their desire to please the President is appalling.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thank you very much.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
HAYES: Just ahead, Senator Chris Murphy says there`s a key detail missing when it comes to the Trump Ukraine scandal. He explains what it is after this.
HAYES: Republican senators have arrived at a talking point to give them shelter midst the brewing impeachment storm. Since the Senate will likely hold a trial on the removal of the president, they are like jurors and so cannot comment. That is it. And they`re all parroting it as if on cue. Senator James Rich of Idaho to The Washington Post, quote, "I`m a juror and I`m comfortable not speaking." That`s probably a rural juror, come to think of it.
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, same thing, "I`d be a juror so I have no comment." And Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said he does not need a strategy for impeachment because, quote, I may be a juror someday.
This line allowed senate Republicans not to have to undertake the ever more abasing ritual of House Republicans who are forced to either defend the president`s conduct or whine at length about process. But with the impeachment resolution moving forward in the House, the juror line only buys senators time not an out.
Here to talk about this is Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut. He`s been outspoken on the president`s conduct and has long been one of the senators most invested in the U.S.-Ukraine relationship.
Senator, let be start on that. One of the striking things about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman`s testimony, according to reports in the opening statement, is his concern that should Ukraine accede to the coercion from the president, it would create a kind of backlash in domestic politics that would vitiate what had been longstanding bipartisan support for Ukraine. What do you think about that?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: Well, this is sort of what`s missed in all of the details about the corruption scandal is that this was a moment when Ukraine needed American support the most. You had a new president, President Zelensky, who had run on trying to reconcile in some way, shape or form with Russia. And so he needed to reach out to Russia to try to do a deal to settle things on his eastern front. And he needed the United States to play bad cop at that moment. He needed us to be tough, and instead he signaled weakness. We had a president telling Zelensky to go work it out with Russia and suggesting that our relationship was all about American domestic politics.
And so this was a moment when America had to be the toughest with Russia. We ended up throwing Zelensky to the wolves. He likely got an agreement with Russia that was much weaker than the one he could have gotten if America had been with him unconditionally. And we`ve signaled to everybody around the world now that if you get in bed with United States you might ultimately be a pawn in our domestic politics.
HAYES: Lindsey Graham, your colleague in the U.S. Senate had circulated a resolution essentially condemning the House procedure for investigating the president. It seems like that`s fallen apart, didn`t get the entire Republican caucus. Do you think that`s now put to bed? What do you make of that effort?
MURPHY: Well, I frankly think it was a signal of how weak Trump`s support is in the Republican caucus in the Senate, that all he could get them to rally around was an objection to the process.
In fact, many of them are very disturbed by the facts of this case. They are always under pressure to do right by the president. But the best they could manage was some complaints about who was in the room and who was out of the room, because these Republican Senators really don`t want to have to actually address the fact there was now clearly a quid pro quo, an offer of U.S. support in exchange for political interference.
Now that Nancy Pelosi has taken off the table most of these complaints about process, it`ll be very interesting whether Republicans are willing to offer quarter to the president on the facts.
HAYES: Do you think Republicans have said, look, I`m a juror in this proceeding. I will be a sitting in judgment should there be a trial, which is likely before the Senate. Do you have confidence that all your colleagues are genuinely able to keep an open mind and sort of assess things in that role should and when it come to you?
MURPHY: I think it`s probably half and half. I`ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks talking to my Republican colleagues, because really wanted to get that answer for myself.
There`s a certain percentage of Republicans in the Senate who really are deep state conspiracy theorists, really do believe that Donald Trump is fighting a righteous battle against those that are trying to undermine him from within on behalf of the Bidens and Clintons, but there are probably another 25 Republican senators who are deeply disturbed at what`s happened here. And, you know, maybe in the end they don`t pull the trigger on an impeachment vote, but don`t want to signal right now that they condone or endorse this kind of behavior.
HAYES: I want to ask you about a few foreign policy topics in the news. One is news today that`s really quite remarkable. The House just passed by a 400 vote margin about a resolution acknowledging the Armenian genocide that was undertaken by the Turks 100 years ago against the Armenian population there.
It`s a historic vote. It has been the subject of tremendous controversy and consternation because the academic consensus on this is crystal clear. There`s really no doubt. Turkey absolutely hates this, views it as a red line. They`re an important ally, and have been, and so it`s been squelched year after year after year.
This happens now today, obviously because U.S. congress is mad at the Turkish government. What do you think about it? Would you like to see something similar in the Senate?
MURPHY: Well, I think you`re right that this is historic fact. There has always been sufficient support in the House and the Senate to pass this resolution naming this as a genocide, which it is. But the reason we haven`t moved forward is because there were equities that administrations told us they were trying to balance with the Turks. And if we passed this then the Turks ultimately wouldn`t do what we asked on other fronts.
Well, you really can`t make that argument any longer. The Turks are moving fast and furiously towards Russia and Iran. They aren`t listening to U.S. national security interests and so there really isn`t any reason any longer to deny reality, to deny history, and to deny some closure to the Armenians who know exactly what happens in that space years and years ago.
HAYES: Final question, after the death of al-Baghdadi in that raid in Idlib by American special forces with the aid of the Syrian -- the SDF and the Kurds and the Iraqis as well, what do you see right now as the kind of hinge point for where the region goes in the wake of that, particularly since the Turkish militias have come in and Russia and Turkey have kind of cut a deal, the U.S. is going to guard the oil fields? What happens now?
MURPHY: Well, I think the risk is always that we come under this belief that we can defeat terrorism with special operators and bombs and drones, right? In fact, we kill one and two more appear. This is a political movement first and foremost.
And what I worry about is that the further destabilization in the short run of Syria, and what`s happening in Iraq today as the central government is coming under serious protest as ISIS is regrouping may in the long run be a boon to ISIS.
And so I think we are always at risk of thinking that there`s a military solution to a terrorist group like ISIS and if you don`t build long-term stability in Baghdad, a place that we`ve emptied out of American diplomats under the Trump administration, then you`re ultimately going to have just a very short won victory here.
And we`ve got to reinvest in diplomacy, especially in Iraq right now. Trump is doing the absolute opposite.
HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, thank you so much for making time tonight.
MURPHY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead, campaign money is flowing into the president`s properties and pocket. We now know exactly how much. We`ll tell you ahead.
Plus tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s Halloween time and it`s get spookier around the White House. Yesterday was the annual White House Halloween party with the south portico fully decked out for the occasion -- pumpkins lining the steps and creepy trees climbing up the columns. Always with the creepy trees, these guys.
The president and First Lady spent more than half an hour handing out candy to kids, full-sized bars, which props, which Trump at one point inexplicably placed on the top of a minions head. Here you go little person, have some head candy. It fell off right away.
All in all I guess a successful spooky celebration. But it was a different kind of boo that really scared Trump and his friends this week.
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HAYES: You never saw Trump TV so afraid. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: The president got a brutal dose of reality this week when he showed up at a stadium filled with 40,000 Americans who were not, not on one of his carefully curated MAGA rally crowds.
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HAYES: Of course the folks over at Trump TV then had to go through comical links to try to explain away the giant crowd of people booing a wildly unpopular president. Last night Laura Ingraham over a banner reading "the swamp boos America," hilariously argued this was a good thing for Trump. Her guest, Frank Luntz, a conservative BS grifter, who apparently thinks we live in North Korea, wanted to punish the crowd.
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FRANK LUNTZ, CONSERVATIVE PUNDIT: The fact is they should hold those fans accountable. You don`t boo the president. You may disagree with him. You may think that he`s not what you wanted, but you don`t boo him, you show respect to him.
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HAYES: Hold them accountable? Just a small reminder that basically the whole point of America is that you can boo the president.
But at least Luntz was willing to acknowledge the booing actually occurred because the strategy over the morning show Trump TV and Friends was to pretend it never happened. Their coverage of the game started with a piece of video where the booing was magically inaudible, and then moved to what they thought was the real viral moment of the game.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president and First Lady were at the game last night. They got there right around the time that it started. And they stayed a pretty long time. They were greeted with mixed reaction, but they were out there smiling, waving to everybody as you can see in the crowd.
I do want to tell you there was a moment during the game last night that went pretty viral. It was a man, he was walking down the steps, carrying two beers, one in each hand and the ball, literally the home run ball, bounced off of his chest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has hit him right in the chest or the gut.
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HAYES: With just less than two weeks ago in the midst of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, the Trump White House announced a wildly corrupt decision to award Donald Trump a lucrative government contract to host the G7 Summit at his Florida golf resort Doral, South Florida in June, of course. It was a decision they were forced to reverse shortly thereafter.
And even with all that, the Trump grift does continue apace.
Tonight, the president hosted a House Republican fund-raiser at, guess where, yes you guessed it, his own Trump hotel in D.C. And that comes one day after he held another fund-raiser at another one of his properties in Chicago where he was greeted by sign carrying protesters.
This has become such a common occurrence it really hardly breaks through as news anymore. But as the Center for Responsive Politics puts it, since Trump launched his 2016 bid, quote, "Trump campaign affiliated committees have funneled about $16.8 million to Trump-owned businesses, the bulk of the spending at his properties." And citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reports just the basic costs for a room at Trump`s D.C. hotel is nearly triple its average rate on November 7, which just happens to be the night in the middle of a two-day Senate Republican retreat there.
Now, it`s true, none of this involves public money. It`s not the government that`s paying for all this, though it is also the case that the president constantly directs public money into his properties through the trips he takes to them with full Secret Service protection, and not to mention the odd Air Force crew stopovers at his Scotland property.
But, it is still pretty darned corrupt to have a party that raises money from donors and then deals in a piece of the action to the president of the United States` own bank account as part of the whole arrangement.
Now, the people getting soaked here are the donors themselves whose dollars are flowing directly to the president`s pockets. And they don`t seem to object. But just because they don`t mind pay directing payoffs to a sitting president does not mean it is all acceptable or appropriate. And that`s kind of the story of the presidency writ-large, isn`t it? Just because the president`s backers have no problem with his open, aggressive and egregious corruption, doesn`t mean we should.
HAYES: Both the images and the news out of California right now are downright dystopian. There are currently more than a dozen wildfires burning across the state consuming tens of thousands of acres, displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Pacific Gas And Electric, PG&E, the utility company that powers much of northern California, preemptively shut off power starting last week to more than 900,000 customers in an attempt to prevent new wildfires from sparking, which itself left millions of people without power.
But the state has now ended up with something that looks the worst of both worlds -- wildfires raging, mass power outages, and no real end in sight.
The situation is so bad that as The Washington Post reports, quote, "the weather service forecast office in Los Angeles issued an extreme red flag warning," which technically isn`t in the agency`s lexicon, only the red flag warning is but is intended to indicate the heightened risk.
And like all climate crises, the hardest hit are those with the least resources. The L.A. Times reporting on housekeepers and others who showed up to work anyway, as one gardener put it, what can I do, I need the money, I need the work.
In the era of permanent climate crisis, the question for policy makers and citizens is, is this unavoidable or is there something to be done so this does not become the permanent status quo?
Here with me now, Robinson Meyer, a staff writer at The Atlantic who covers climate change and who wrote about the California wildfires earlier this month noting that, quote, "the experience of Californians this week frustrated, needlessly inconvenienced, and saddled with aging infrastructure, built for the wrong century, will define the mass experience of climate change as much as any deluge or inferno."
So, Robinson, I want to start with the sort of causes here. I mean, obviously wildfires happen in California. You`ve got the dry months. You`ve got the winds. You`ve got exposure that isn`t the fault of climate change or even the utility company, but why is this so bad? And what is PG&E doing at the source of it all?
ROBINSON MEYER, THE ATLANTIC: So, there`s quite a bit happening. So, thank you so much for having me, by the way.
So, what we`re seeing now is the same thing we`ve seen the last few falls. I mean, it feels like every month ending in "r" you know we have these big wildfires in California at the end of the year.
What`s been happening now is that you have this -- the rains are delayed. So basically when the winter rains show up, that kind of ends the fire season in California. And the longer they wait to arrive, the kind of drier and drier things get. And it`s like the night is darkest just before dawn, like the atmosphere and the environment will continue to dry out as the rains wait longer and longer to arrive.
And then simultaneously you have the conditions that are producing the extreme red flag environment, the Santa Ana winds, that are kind of in record breaking territory and coming up over the mountains and going through the hills, and the combination of the late rains, which is just keeping everything really dry and the Santa Ana winds produce these, you know, fire starting -- kind of the conditions to start a fire. And what actually generates the ignition is almost always like people doing something even as simple as, like, chopping a piece of metal in two or having a one piece of metal sort of scrape against the other, or the infrastructure that people need to live in a place which is PG&E.
HAYES: So, PG&E has recently declared bankruptcy. They had to pay out billions because they were responsible, or acknowledged responsibility, for the camp fire last year, which you noted was one of the most deadly natural disasters that happened anywhere in the world last year, if I`m not mistaken.
MEYER: It was certainly the most destructive in terms of dollar amounts and it was among the most deadliest, yeah.
HAYES: So what is PG&E -- I guess my question is is there anything you could do, right, like is there some failure of PG&E here, or is it just the fact that this is what it looks like as California gets hotter and drier as we enter this era?
MEYER: Yeah, it`s a great question. And I would say after a day of reporting, it`s not entirely clear. So there are those technical things that they could do. So they could, for instance, like bury every big power line. You know, the Kinkade fire in northern California that`s still raging seems to have been started by this long distance transmission line, or at least there`s this hiccup in it at the same time the fire ignition started. It will take a long time to figure out if that`s actually what happened. But that seems to be what happened. So they could bury just a ton of electrical wires. And then you don`t have the kind of conditions for ignitions you`ve had recently where the winds that create -- you know, the wind blows over a power line basically and it hits a dry tree or grass and you get a fire.
But buried power lines are really expensive. So it costs $2.3 million for each mile of buried power lines as compared to like $800,000 for a mile of above ground line. So it`s quite a price difference. And infrastructure and just expensive in the U.S. period, but it`s very expensive if you bury it.
I think the second question is like could we be governing utilities better? Could we be doing something -- you know, should the regulators be exercising more power? Should they be forcing money to come -- you know, PG&E is a private utility, so should they be forcing, you know, shareholders to be spending more money on preparation and adaptation?
They -- I think they could be. Certainly more money needs to be sent. The question is like we -- people that do not have a wealth of ideas about how to improve utility governance right now. It is not a sexy idea.
HAYES: Yeah, and it`s going to be one of the most important challenges, actually, of the next 20 years.
Robinson Meyer, thank you very much.
MEYER: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
HAYES: In case you missed it we will be back this Friday with a brand new run of our special All In shows in front of a live studio audience. Great news, you can be in that audience. Tickets are available for this Friday, November 1, as well as t he following three Fridays. You can find all of the details on our website, AllIn.MSNBC.com.
Plus, if you`re in Chicago we just released some extra standing room only tickets for our live recording of our podcast Why is This Happening with Ibram Kendi and Nicole Hannah-Jones. It`s going to be amazing. You can get tickets for that at MSNBC.com/WITHpodtour.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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