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Giuliani sought $500,00 worth of deals in Ukraine. TRANSCRIPT: 11/27/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Rosalind Helderman, Gregory Meeks, Viola Gienger, Heather Vogell,Waleed Shahid, Betsey Stevenson, Mark Zandi

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST:  It`s a great way to catch up on the impeachment investigation as you travel to your holiday destination.  And speaking of that, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP:  I have no financial interest in the Ukraine.  I`m not going to financially profit from anything that I know of in the Ukraine.

HAYES:  more trouble for Rudy Giuliani.


BILL O`REILLY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL:  What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Well, you have to ask that to Rudy.

HAYES:  New reports that the President`s lawyer was trying to get paid by Ukrainians while he was pushing Trump`s extortion effort.

GIULIANI:  You know, I have no business interest in Ukraine.

HAYES:  Tonight, the growing evidence of Rudy Giuliani`s flagrant corruption.

GIULIANI:  Oh, wow.

HAYES:  Then, new evidence that Trump kept two sets of books on his business assets.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP:  It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it serves his purposes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

HAYES:  Plus, disturbing new details on just how many kids were separated at the border, what could explain the shift at the top of the 2020 polls, and why the economy isn`t as great as Trump says it is.

TRUMP:  Everybody is getting rich, and I`m working my ass off.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  We continue to learn more and more about Rudy Giuliani`s entanglements with foreign interests and the corruption that surrounds them.  Thanks two weeks of testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, we already know the Giuliani ran a rogue foreign policy operation at the request of Donald Trump, in which the two men attempted to extort the president of Ukraine in order to further Trump`s political interests.

That`s not the whole story.  Because what has emerged of late is a fuller portrait of what Giuliani`s business model has been in the era of Donald Trump.  Giuliani is extensively Trump`s personal lawyer, but remember, even though Rudy says Donald Trump is his only client, he is not being paid by the President.

Giuliani says he`s working pro bono, which raises the question, why would Giuliani take on Trump as a charity case?  I mean, we know he needs money.  Last month Giuliani butt-dialed an NBC News reporter and can be heard saying the problem is we need some money and we need a few hundred thousand.

Here`s the crucial thing to understand.  The fact that Giuliani isn`t getting paid by Trump does not mean that he isn`t profiting off of him.  Today, the Washington Post and the New York Times followed by the Wall Street Journal reported that while he was doing Trump`s bidding in Ukraine, trying to drum up dirt on the Biden`s, Giuliani was also pursuing deals that were worth in total, least half a million dollars.

This is the business model writ large.  Giuliani exploits his connection to the President of the United States to then go to people and say I`m close to the President.  Pay me and maybe I`ll put in a good word for you.  It`s not a completely novel tactic.  Trump`s former campaign manager Paul Manafort also you might remember worked for free, also sought to profit from his proximity to Trump.  He`s in jail now, by the way.

As for Giuliani, he has sought to leverage his relationship with Trump again and again and again.  In 2017, Giuliani was hired by a Turkish gold trader named Reza Zarrab who had been arrested for evading U.S. sanctions.  He`s hired to help with Zarrab`s legal defense.

Giuliani then went to the Oval Office and during a meeting with Trump pressure for help and securing the release of his jailed client.  Just yesterday, the Post reported that after a Venezuelan energy executive hired Giuliani and hosted him and his historic estate in Spain, Giuliani lobbied the Justice Department not to file money laundering and bribery charges against the executive.

This is how Rudy Giuliani gets paid.  In Ukraine, we now know he was trying to work out a deal with the former chief prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, the guy who worked with Giuliani and his indicted associates to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  Was Mr. Lutsenko among others who coordinated with Mr. Giuliani to peddle false accusations against you as well as the Biden`s?



HAYES:  The post and other outlets revealed today that around the same time that Giuliani and Lutsenko were smearing Yovanovitch in order to clear the way in part at least for Trump`s extortion scheme, legal agreements were drafted under which Giuliani`s company would have received more than $200,000 to represent Lutsenko.

In addition, another retainer agreement called for Giuliani partners to receive another $300,000 from the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice.  Now, those deals reportedly did not go through though federal prosecutors are reportedly now scrutinizing Giuliani`s Ukraine business dealings and finances as part of their broader probe into Giuliani`s alleged corruption.

Today, Giuliani claimed that he did not pursue a business opportunity in Ukraine.  And on Sunday after the Wall Street Journal reported he had been set to personally profit from a natural gas pipeline in Ukraine, another side project, he denied having a financial interest in the country.


GIULIANI:  I have no financial interest in the Ukraine.  I`m not going to financially profit from anything that I know of in the Ukraine.  If they know of it, I would probably have to disclose it to my hopefully soon to be ex-wife because should get half of it.  So look, you know, I have no business in Ukraine.  It is untrue.  It is false.


HAYES:  A lot going on in that clip.  I`m joined now by Rosalind Helderman Political Enterprise Investigations Reporter at the Washington Post who co- authored that new piece about Giuliani being in talks to be paid by Ukraine`s top prosecutor.

So first, I guess the context.  Before we get to the documents and negotiations about possibly being paid, what is the back and forth that Giuliani and Lutsenko are having around other issues before we get to what he was being possibly contemplating being paid for?

ROSALIND HELDERMAN, POLITICAL ENTERPRISE INVESTIGATIONS REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST:  Sure.  Well, we know that Rudy Giuliani and Mr. Lutsenko have a meeting in New York in January where they are talking about these issues that Giuliani says he is pursuing on behalf of his client, the President of the United States, everything having to do with Joe Biden, in Ukraine, as well as these unproven allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 elections.

They have that meeting in January, and then they meet once again in Warsaw in February.  Our understanding is the first draft contract for Lutsenko to represent Giuliani comes in February.  So it`s right exactly in the same timeframe.

And that, as you mentioned, our understanding is that these contracts sort of go through various iterations as there`s a contemplation of how this financial arrangement might work, who might be the formal client who might be the formal recipient of the money, how much will be paid, and that continues from February through April.

But ultimately, we`ve been told, none of them were fully executed and Mr. Giuliani did not ultimately receive payment.

HAYES:  What that makes us think, however, if this reporting is accurate, and I believe it is, is that while he`s having these interactions, there`s this thing dangling over the interactions with the possibility that Lutsenko might be a client, right?  That he may pay him a hefty amount of money, and it`s sort of part -- interaction part sales job at that point.

I mean, you don`t explicitly say that, but the implication here is whatever he`s doing with Lutsenko, he`s talking to a guy that might, you know, pay him a hefty sum of money.

HELDERMAN:  Yes.  And Lutsenko gave an interview, a lengthy interview recently in Kiev, in which he sort of provided his account of this.  And basically, he says that he went to Giuliani because he wanted to talk about this thing, he ended up almost hiring Giuliani to help him with asset recovery.

And he sort of makes it sound like Giuliani is obsessed with this Biden issue and he`s sort of surprised by it.  And then Lutsenko telling the reason why the contracts are never executed is because he is offended by the idea that he, the top prosecutor of Ukraine should have to pay money to get meetings with U.S. officials which is what he claims he wanted.  Now, I`m not vouching for that account.

HAYES:  But that`s what he said.

HELDERMAN:  But it is the interesting difference from the Giuliani account which is that he decided it was ultimately too complicated and decided not to pursue this.  Lutsenko says it was his side that decided he shouldn`t pay money for this.

HAYES:  Yes.  Lutsenko -- this is -- I`m quoting from your story.  Lutsenko said Giuliani told him he would have to hire a lobbyist to get the meeting with the Attorney General William Barr.  He said he was told it would be impossible for him to get the meeting without paying, like literally pay for play.  And he continued to refuse I will not pay money for any meeting.

The other issue here to me is that, you know, this is not independent of the criminal increase right now.  I mean, Lutsenko is actually -- he`s not -- he`s mentioned in the indictment of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two business associates of Rudy Giuliani, he`s not mentioned by name, but he is mentioned in as part of this scheme that Parnas and Fruman are in part indicted for.

And our understanding, is it this is the kind of activity the federal prosecutors are looking at.  Is that correct?

HELDERMAN:  Yes.  We`ve reported that the interactions with Lutsenko and another prosecutor, former prosecutor Viktor Shokin, as well as the former president of Ukraine Poroshenko had been specifically among the areas of interest for the -- for the prosecutors as they`ve been out gathering documents.  Another topic that they`re interested in and have been gathering documents about, Rudy Giuliani.

HAYES:  All right, Rosalind Helderman, great reporting.  Thank you for taking us through that.  I want to now turn to Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks in New York who was a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, which is one of the committees that is part of the sort of oversight committees that are involved in the impeachment inquiry.

Sort of 30,000-foot view here for a second, Rudy Giuliani in his role.  I mean, obviously, the impeachment testimony has focused on Israel in Ukraine.  But if you look at Venezuela, particularly if you look at Turkey, it does seem like this is an individual who was essentially peddling access to the President for profit on behalf of foreign interests.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY):  Well, absolutely.  He`s not a lobbyist.  And that`s why the Southern District Attorney`s Office is looking at his transactions.  You know, Giuliani is basically -- his role basically in this is he is the attorney to the mob boss.  And as a result, he`s trying to benefit from being associated with the mob boss.

HAYES:  By the mob boss, you mean the President of the United States.

MEEKS:  That`s what I mean.  And so, therefore, he wants to peddle that for his own personal wealth, as well as then get the dirt that the mob boss has sent him to Ukraine to retrieve.

HAYES:  Right.  He`s trying to get his beak wet.

MEEKS:  That`s exactly right.

HAYES:  Well, but here`s my question for you as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  It doesn`t seem to me like there`s some role here for congressional oversight on this.  I mean, obviously, in the context of the impeachment inquiry, we know a few things.  One, the president attempting to abuse his office for personal gain in the context of foreign policy and a rogue channel of foreign policy.

But we know that there are essentially backdoor rogue channels in other places as well, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to name two.  Like, easy your job and your committee to get to whether Ukraine is one point in a pattern.

MEEKS:  He`s a liar because this is a cesspool.  I mean, if you look at every angle of this administration, from the day that they took office, actually, you can see -- I can tell you how you can see it because everybody is going to jail.

HAYES:  Right.

MEEKS:  Everybody that`s around them has been indicted and going to jail.  And I predict that some more will.  Sondland decided that he had to change his testimony because he didn`t want to go to jail.  And I think you`ll hear other folks that will be stepping up as we move forward in these regards because they -- you know, you see what the mob boss is doing now.  He`s throwing Giuliani under the bus.

HAYES:  OK, but here`s my more concrete question.  There`s going to be a report sent from Intel to Judiciary Committee.  They`re obviously the sort of committee jurisdiction on impeachment as a kind of legal matter.  I guess my question is, do you foresee oversight on a broader set of issues relating to the President`s use an abuse of foreign policy as pertains to the impeachment inquiry?

MEEKS:  That`s good.  I think that the Oversight Committee, as well as the Intelligence Committee, will continue to investigate.  Adams Schiff has said clearly.  Even while we are moving the case to the Judiciary Committee for the impeachment inquiry, the impeachment hearings, investigations will not cease. That is the exact job of the Oversight Committee.

And so now, our new chair Carolyn Maloney will be continuing those investigations and oversight of what is taking place with the administration and those that are surrounding him.  We will continue to do our responsibility.

HAYES:  You`ve been a New York politician for a minute.  You`ve known Rudy Giuliani, I`m sure in different capacities.  It`s not that big a world in New York politics.  I mean, what is going on?  What goes through your mind when you see him in the roles that he has set himself and the T.V. appearances he`s been making?

MEEKS:  Well, look, I wish I could say that it would shock me.  But if you really knew Giuliani, he was on his way out.  And the unfortunate tragedy that took place in 9/11 is the only thing that saved him and made his, you know, image a little different. HAYES:  His reputations.

MEEKS:  His reputation.  But he is who he`s always been.

HAYES:  You think this is the Rudy that you`ve known in your whole life?

MEEKS:  Absolutely.  The president is who he has always been.  They are the same individuals.  They have never changed.

HAYES:  New Yorkers to the bone both of them, aren`t they?

MEEKS:  Well, we know them.  We`ve seen them.  You know, I know -- you know, look, when you talk about the President, for example, the Republicans know who he is.  All you got to do go back to the videotape.

HAYES:  Yes.

MEEKS:  And you`ll see that Lindsey Graham, you`ll see that Ted Cruz, and Mitt Romney --

HAYES:  Rick Perry.

MEEKS:  -- and Rick Perry, they all told you who he was.  And he`s proven to be just that.  Now, what`s shocking when the videotape shows up, and you see how these folks are trying to defend them.  It`s as far as history is concerned, they`re going to look foolish because there`s one thing that is going on, the camera of history is rolling and people will be looking at this.

And that`s why I wanted to make sure that I`m on this show and many other shows, so that the camera of history roll and know what my position is and what we take.  And when you look at Lindsey Graham who apparently has now become the biggest hypocrite that there is, because if you listen to his words -- I mean, you can just put up the videotape of his words about Trump and his words about Biden, and then look what he`s doing now.  If it wasn`t so you know, serious, it would be laughable.  You think this was a comedian.

HAYES:  Yes, it is -- it is crazy the turnabout we`re seeing.  Congressman Gregory Meeks, thank you for your time tonight.  Have a great Thanksgiving.

MEEKS:  Good to be with you.  For more on Giuliani and Trump, I want to bring into Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent at Politico and MSNBC Contributor, and Viola Gienger who`s a Washington Editor at Just Security, a Research Scholar at the NYU Law School.

Natasha, let me start with you. So this -- there`s a sort of interesting thing happening with Rudy.  I want to play a clip of the President talking about his previous attorney, Michael Cohen, who of course ended up going to jail and his current attorney Rudy Giuliani and see if you can spot the similarity.  Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

TRUMP:  No.  What else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Then why did Michael -- why did Michael Cohen make it if there was no truth to her allegations?

TRUMP:  Well, you`ll have to ask Michael Cohen.  Michael is my attorney.  Then you`ll have to ask Michael.

O`REILLY:  What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?

TRUMP:  Well, you have to ask that to Rudy.  But Rudy, I don`t even know -- I know he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled the trip.  But you know, Rudy has other clients other than me.


HAYES:  Some real similarities there, Natasha.

NATASHA BERTRAND, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Chris, it`s so funny that you just played that clip, because all that I`ve been thinking about all day is how much deja vu this is all giving me with regard to Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani, the President`s two personal lawyers who have really become and ultimately became his fixers.

There really is no lawyer-client relationship between Giuliani and the president anymore if there ever was one.  And I get the sense, you know, from speaking to sources and just having reported on this story for so long, that it`s more about having the attorney-client privilege and kind of shielding their communications and allowing Giuliani to go forward and do all of this dirty work in the shady, you know, backchannel with regard to Ukraine, for the president.

Because what we can`t forget here, is that Giuliani was ultimately doing this backchannel for Trump.  Trump said in the phone call to Zelensky that he wanted to investigate -- he wanted him to investigate Biden, that he wanted him to speak to Rudy Giuliani, and that he wanted to get the Attorney General involved.

So whether or not Giuliani was pursuing these deals on the side which is surprising given Giuliani`s reputation for pursuing work on behalf of, you know, particularly shady foreign clients, he was also helping the president pursue this dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for the military aid and the White House meeting.

HAYES:  Viola, there`s another crazy irony here, which is, of course, the sort of the pretext for all of this according to Giuliani and the president, right, is like a concern with corruption, corruption in Ukraine specifically, an appearance of conflict for impropriety vis-a-vis Hunter Biden, while his business associates are like trying to push their natural gas scheme and he appears to be trying to land work there as well, like they are actually fomenting corruption in Ukraine.

VIOLA GIENGER, WASHINGTON EDITOR, JUST SECURITY:  Yes.  This is -- this is one of the more insidious parts of this whole story.  And that is that Ukraine finally was about to get -- at least when we`re talking about late winter, early spring of this year.  Ukraine was in the middle of a campaign -- presidential campaign.  And they were about to get a President who might actually combat corruption.

And there was a lot of activity within Ukraine agitating by anti-corruption activists to stop corruption there.  And this whole scenario seems to turn all of that on its head.  And that`s particularly disturbing, especially for the United States to have done anything like this, or anyone to have done this in the name of the U.S.

HAYES:  In the name of the President.  I mean, that`s part of what`s so wild about the business model, Natasha, that Rudy seems to set up.  But, you know, I think about Tim Miller who had a piece of the Bulwark the other day and says Trump`s Turkey corruption is way worse than you realize.  And I think on its face, there`s a real question about the financial conflicts on the way that the President has acted towards Turkey, and Rudy Giuliani.

And I guess my question is like, it seems like there`s a portfolio of potential abuses here.  And if you listen to Gregory Meeks, Congressman Meeks, it sounds like the understanding of Congress is that that`s what SDNY is looking into and they`re going to kind of let SDNY do that.

BERTRAND:  It seems that way.  And Giuliani obviously has some exposure there with regard to lobbying and foreign register -- Foreign Agent Registration Act that, you know, the federal prosecutors are probably looking at.  But I think it is right to say that there is a lot more worth examining here about the President`s interactions with foreign leaders and the -- his inherently transactional nature and whether that has begun to personify itself as you know, bribery, extortion.

HAYES:  Right.

BERTRAND:  You know, what is the line between him asking for personal favors in exchange for helping countries and him asking for, you know, quid pro quos that might be in the national interest, which is what his allies have always said was his main goal, which, you know, given everything that`s come out seems pretty unbelievable at this point.

So he has already said in the past that he had asked China to look into the Biden`s.  And with regard to Turkey, there does seem to be a little bit of potential exchange going on there with regard to the case of Reza Zarrab who, of course, was the Turkish gold trader that Giuliani was representing that Trump got involved with, and With regard to the statement that he refused to put out about the Armenian Genocide, which of course would have infuriated the Turkish President.

So there`s definitely a lot there worth investigating but the House Democrats don`t seem particularly interested in those incidents right now, because they really want to keep it focused squarely on Ukraine.

  HAYES:  Viola, have final question for you is about the nature of the legal representation.  I mean, there`s this, you know, saying on the internet, that if you`re not paying for the service, you`re the product, right?  Like Facebook and things like that, they are selling you.

I mean, there is something weird about this man running around saying I`m the President`s attorney and not being paid by him when he`s like a wealthy and powerful individual that makes you wonder about the actual nature of what this relationship amounts to.

GIENGER:  Well, exactly.  And there are so many instances now that have come to light, especially over the last few days in some of this great reporting about the many ways in which Giuliani while representing the president as his personal attorney supposedly for free, apparently for free, but also at the same time negotiating with other people in what really appear to be conflicts of interest to say the least.

And, you know, he has been already shown to have considered contracts for legal representation or lobbying for a number of figures including Dmitry Firtash who is trying to defend an extradition warrant from the United States.

There was brief talk apparently of Giuliani representing him, but then it turned out that that went also to Toensing and diGenova.  So there`s all of these -- all of these intertwined deals that are really disturbing.  And I think we have a lot more that we still don`t know about all of this.

HAYES:  Natasha Bertrand and Viola Gienger, thank you both for your time tonight.  Next, new documents reveal a new look into how President Trump`s businesses were managed include keeping sets of books.  The reporter who tracked down the documents on Trump Tower joins me in two minutes.



COHEN:  It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.


HAYES:  We`ve known him for a while that Trump uses different valuations for different purposes.  But a new ProPublica expose shows in black and white just how that worked with Trump Tower.  Heather Vogell got her hands- on business documents that show essentially two sets of books to the property, and she joins me to explain her reporting now.  All right, what are the documents you got your hands on?

HEATHER VOGELL, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA:  All right.  Well, the documents I got, there`s two sets.  One of them is property tax records that I got from a New York City agency that handles appeals for property tax valuations.  The other are documents that were disclosures that were made. When Trump`s debt became part of commercial mortgage-backed securities.

And so there are disclosures in both of those and some of them you know, there can -- there is some differences in how they are put together, but there`s some numbers that should be very close.  And what I found was some really key numbers that weren`t.  They were very far off.

HAYES:  Yes.  You say that is December 2011 and June 2012, respectively.  Trump`s business told the lender, this is what they want to like, inflate the value, right?  It`s in their interest for the value to be as high as possible, that 99 percent and 98.7 percent of the tower`s commercial space was occupied in tax filings.  However, Trump`s businesses said the building`s occupancy was 83 percent in January 2012 the same year later, right?

VOGELL:  Exactly.

HAYES:  So they`re telling two different people, two different occupancy rates that should be the same?

VOGELL:  Yes, yes.  And the follow-up occupancy was also 83 percent for the property tax.  So it wasn`t like, you know, that possibly they landed a new tenant or something.  There was maybe some explanation for this huge jump.  They were consistent in reporting the gaps.

HAYES:  OK.  So I guess question is like, can you do that?

VOGELL:  Well, you know, there`s nobody that looks at both.  But each of them are supposed to be prepared accurately.  They`re supposed to be drawn from financial statements.  They`re supposed to be vetted by both the lender, by the credit rating agencies, and -- you know, and also by the property tax officials who are both putting together his original valuation and then also looking at his appeals.  So there`s a lot of eyes on each set, and they`re supposed to be right in both cases.

HAYES:  Is this the only time that we have of evidence of this sort of -- this sort of approach or are there other examples as well?

VOGELL:  Yes.  This is a follow up story that I did to another that I did in October that was basically the same sorts of discrepancies in two other buildings that belong to Trump, and one is 40 Wall Street, which is his skyscraper, historic skyscraper in the Financial District, and the other is the Trump International Hotel and Tower, and he doesn`t own most of that building anymore, but he does own some commercial space there that he has a loan out on.

And all of these discrepancies occurred during refinances that he was taking out, refinancings.  And they were all with the same lender.

HAYES:  So I guess my question is like -- this is the question of the error in some ways, how common is this?  Like if you scratched a whole bunch of real estate developers in New York, would you see these discrepancies which are essentially to me seemed like kind of like gray area fraud, if not outright illegal.  Or the people you talk to who looked at this, do they say like, this is pretty -- this is skating pretty close to line.  You don`t see this a lot.

VOGELL:  You know, the expert -- I mean, obviously, nobody is doing this, you know, on a wide kind of scale where we could get an idea of exactly how right and how wrong these numbers often were.

But what I`m, you know, talking to professionals who work in this area and see this stuff a lot.  What I was told was that these numbers should be closer, that folks would expect them to be closer, that folks are relying on these numbers to make all kinds of financial decisions that they`re important numbers.  And that these are, you know, it`s not OK that they`re not more similar is what experts told me.

HAYES:  Yes, not OK they`re not more similar is a good takeaway, and also makes you wonder about if you did get his tax returns fully what you would find there.  Heather Vogell, thanks for joining us.

VOGELL:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Next, new national polling shows a pretty big drop for Elizabeth Warren.  What could be causing a shift at the top of the race, after this.


HAYES:  National polling average in the Democratic 2020 primary shows Elizabeth Warren on a slight downward trajectory from last month.  The Daily  Beast reports that some of her fellow Democrats think her handling of Medicare for All is the cause, quote, "one senior  Democratic Party member, who is philosophically supportive of Warren`s candidacy, said he was quote dumbfounded by her decision to align herself so closely with the proposal.  She`s completely boxed herself in, the member said."

One thing seems clear, Democratic politicians turning on Medicare for All and criticizing it as taking away health care has had a pretty big effect in how it is polling among Democrats.

The question is what that means for the policy of health care in this primary debate going forward.  And to talk it through, I`m joined by Waleed Shahid, spokesperson for Justice Democrats, a group that very much supports Medicare for All.

So, there`s sort of two issues here.  There`s the sort of candidate- centered issue about has Warren`s handling of Medicare for All been part of what has led to her drop in the polls a bit and then the sort of separate issue of how Medicare for All is polling.

Let`s just talk about your reading of the first -- whether that`s persuasive to you that there`s a relationship between those two.

WALEED SHAHID, JUSTIC DEMOCRATS:  I don`t think so.  I mean, I think the major reason she`s gone down in the polls is because she was the frontrunner for awhile.  And, you know, when you become the frontrunner you become attacked for a variety of things.  She faced billionaires crying on TV almost every week combating her.  There was issues around many other issues beyond Medicare for All that were just about her being the frontrunner in the same way Joe Biden went down in the polls, in the same way Pete Buttigieg is facing lots of attacks.

So, I don`t think you can point it to one issue in particular, because Bernie Sanders continues to go up in the polls despite the fact that he continues to support Medicare for All.

HAYES:  Yeah, I mean, that`s -- during the same time Sanders has gained a few points in the polling average while obviously supporting Medicare for All, so I sort of agree with you there.  What does seem clear to me, however, is there has been a change.  I mean, for awhile a bunch of different candidates were saying I support Medicare for All and leaving it ambiguous about what that meant.  Do is that mean single-payer a la Sanders and Warren, or does it mean essentially Medicare for All who want it a la Biden and Buttigieg and others.

Now that that`s been clarified and delineated you`re seeing a tax on the Sanders-Warren vision of it from other Democrats, and that does seem to be pushing down support among Democratic voters across a bunch of polls for the last say month or so.

SHAHID:  I don`t think it`s just, because of the issue around whether it`s a single payer system or a public option, I think it`s also the war over public opinion in America and how American democracy works where there is a multi-million dollar propaganda campaign against Medicare for All that has certain politicians, like Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden, aligned with it.  They spend -- Politico just did a story on this -- they spend millions of dollars running Facebook ads, TV ads, sending out talking points, briefings, pitching stories to the media, and that is the war that we`re in on Medicare for All. 

It`s not just that public opinion is static, it`s that public opinion is being organized and for the past four months there`s been major effort by health care corporations to scare and put fear in the hearts of democrats around this issue.

HAYES:  I totally agree with that, but for a very long time Medicare for All, say four or five months ago, Medicare for All proponents will say, look, it`s polling so well, it`s popular.  American people like it.  And it`s true, its popularity when it was not under attack was higher.

And I always say to them, well that`s true, but it`s not in the crucible of a fight over it being implemented.  Once it`s in the crucible, believe me that polling will go down.  Like, the problem Medicare for All is facing when you talk about that onslaught is literally the same problem it will have to face down in defeat were it ever to become the law, right?

SHAHID:  I think that`s a very good point, but it`s precisely the point why progressives should continue to fight for Medicare for All and fight more aggressively than they have before.

Obamacare was polling less -- 50 percent of people opposed Obamacare  the day it was passed.  It had approval ratings around  40 -- 39, 40 percent the day it was passed.

HAYES:  Yes, it was unpopular.

SHAHID:  It was unpopular.  And the argument for Medicare for All from a pragmatic, political perspective, is that what happens in Washington is often you end up legislating in a way that compromises and gives concessions to these health insurance corporations, or corporate interests in America, in general, so why would you start already compromising on what you think is the best policy that delivers the best solution for Americans who are currently facing a GoFundMe for all health care system.

I think progressives need to do a much better job explaining what Medicare for All is.  Often, the polling ends with a question around eliminating private insurance and then that`s the last question that a voter is asked about the issue, rather than any of the other benefits of Medicare for All.

HAYES:  We should just be clear in terms of the facts, like we spent 17 percent of our GDP on health care.  Other countries average 9 percent.  Like, we just spend way, way more because we have this -- we basically have a public system and a private system, almost equally sized on top of each other, so we`re spending more than anyone else.

But, again, the Obamacare example to me cuts both ways, right, like it was unpopular.  It did cost Democrats seats.  People really didn`t like it.  And then it became the status quo and now people really like it.  They don`t want it changed.  And in some ways the status quo bias and loss aversion in the years that I`ve covered health care is more powerful than almost any other, like ideological force.

SHAHID:  Right, that`s why I don`t think it`s just like a left versus right, or left versus center issue, I think it`s an issue a round just fighting for the right policy and explaining it to as many voters as possible, especially in the onslaught of the backlash from the insurance industry.

Now, the fear of loss and loss aversion and that stuff is very real, but that doesn`t mean that you just end the question.  There`s been polling where when you ask voters if they support single payer they will -- a majority of Americans will support it.  When you say it`s going to eliminate private insurance, that drops a couple of points.  And then when you say again, it eliminates co-pays, premiums and deductibles and expands access to long-term care, vision, dental, all this stuff, it goes back up to a majority of Americans supporting.

So, it`s basically around -- the framing of the question and how you defeat the health care lobby  around this stuff.

HAYES:  Final point I`ll make is the health insurance lobby makes no distinction between Buttigieg, Biden, and Warren and Sanders, to them it`s all anathema to their spending...

SHAHID:  Whatever the Democratic plan is on health care will be under vociferous attack  by the industry and Republicans.

HAYES:  Whaleed Shahid, thanks for joining us.

SHAHID:  Thank you.

HAYES:  All right, still to come, a Thanksgiving eve news dump for the Department of Homeland Security.  Trump`s DHS is now admitting tonight they were planning many, many, many thousands more family separations than anyone ever knew.  And that story is next.


HAYES:  A shocking new report from the Department of Homeland Security inspector-general today shows that the Customs and Border Protection originally projected they would separate -- get  this -- 26,000 migrant children from their parents, take them away from their parents, even though they knew at the time that they had no internal abilities to track the children and to eventually reunite them with their parents.

And to this day, we do not know definitively how many children were separated.  As the department`s own report put it, quote, "we could not confirm the total number of families DHS separated during the zero- tolerance period."

NBC national security and justice correspondent Julia Ainsley read the report.  She wrote about it today.  And she joins me now from Washington, D.C. 

What`s the report say about the preparation and the scale of what DHS was contemplating, which, let`s remember, everyone in the administration swore up and down didn`t exist, that they never planned for it and they weren`t actually doing as they were doing it?

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  That`s right, Chris.  So, basically large scale very little preparation.  And yes we knew of reports -- you and I were reporting in the early weeks and months of the administration that this was under consideration.  We know that this is something that people like Chad Wolf, who is now the acting secretary of DHS had planned for.  But even still, Cris, what this report found is that in May of 2018, right as this policy was about to launch, officials at Customs and Border Protection looked at their technology infrastructure and realized they had no way of tracking children who were separated from their parents, no way to know that they were separated when they showed up in the system, where they were, where their parents were, or how to bring the two back together.  And they went ahead and did it anyway.  I think that was the most shocking thing.

That and that 26,000 number.  The Customs and Border Protection officials told the Office of Management at the White House, the Office of Management and Budget, the office you tell about how much money you`re going to spend for things, they estimated 26,000 children would be separated by September.  Of course we know the president did put an end to that by June 20 of 2018, but only under public pressure.  They were only to go much bigger and without any infrastructure in place to help those families be reunited.

HAYES:  I want to be clear on this point, first of all to visit the gaslighting that we were all subjecting to from Kirstjen Nielsen among others, who said there is no such policy, it doesn`t exist.  We know it was a policy.  It was in writing.  It was evaluated.  Their own documents show that, first of all.

And second of all, there was an idea I think at the time was kind of a cluster, that it was pushed on them by DOJ, and everyone was trying to run around and figure it out, what this report says is, no, they knew what they were doing.  They knew they had insufficient ability to track children and they went ahead and did the thing anyway knowing that they were risking children being permanently essentially kidnapped from their parents.

AINSLEY:  Yeah, that`s right.  And at the time, and what we heard even afterwards from Kirstjen Nielsen was that this was just DHS carrying out a policy from DOJ that said they were just going to start prosecuting every parent who crossed the border illegally and that prosecution would mean separation.  It was an unfortunate by- product.  But as you and I both reported, this was part of the plan.  It was a plan to deter people from crossing the border. 

But there was no plan underneath this.  And Jacob Soboroff in May of this year reported about these technological issues.  Today, though, we see in black and white that they knew about this in advance and they knew it was a problem.  There was finally a fix where they created a platform where you could drop down and say whether or not someone was a mother or a father or where the child was going, but that wasn`t until August.  That was long after the policy ended.

And as we`re hearing from the ACLU tonight, because of those big flaws, that could mean that of the 5,500 children that were separated under the Trump administration that we know of, there could be even more children who have not bee reunited and they would be very difficult to identify them or to reunited them.

HAYES:  Julia Ainsley, thanks for sharing that fantastic and  enraging reporting.

Still to come, why the Trump economy may not be all that it seems and what they could mean for 2020 ahead.


HAYES:  Something we`ve done a lot this year is taking directly what we do and shearing it directly with you, our audience.  Sometimes we get to go out on the road, I have a chance to meet you in person.  There is something so unique about getting to do that show in that type of format.  It`s one of the reasons that we started doing the Friday audience shows in 6A, which we love. 

And it`s why we decided to take our podcast on the road.  We`ve done three live shows across the country this fall, each one has its own amazing and unique energy.  And our last stop will be no exception, because New York City, the vibrant and  heart of the theater world, I will be joined by two people who I think are geniuses in the field, the legendary Pulitzer Prize- winning playwrite Tony Kushner, the mind behind Angels in America, and newcomer Jeremy O. Harris, whose debut show Slave Play seems to be all anyone can talk about right now in the theater world.  It will be a night of theater and spectacle and storytelling and politics with two people of distinctly unique approaches to each, and hopefully you`ll be there with us.

Tickets are available on our web site, you can find them on Ticketmaster by searching Chris Hayes.  So please come join us and be a part of the show.



TRUMP:  We just had another stock  rocket.  You saw that right?  The stock market just hit another all-time in history high.


HAYES:  Trump never misses an opportunity to tout the economy as one of his biggest achievements.  And it makes sense, he has consistently strong approval ratings for his handling of the economy amid the longest economic expansion in U.S. history and a series of  record low unemployment figures.

But if you scratch the surface, both in the polling and the data, the economy actually doesn`t look so great.  In a poll released earlier this month, most people said they are not better off financially under the Trump economy.  Inequality keeps growing with census figures showing the highest levels of inequality in more than 50 years.  And working people,even in what`s meant to be a really hot economy, are struggling to buy the basics of a middle class life.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that even buying a car, a necessity for daily life in almost all of the country, is now out of reach for many.

Here to dig through what`s really happening in the economy for Trump and what that could mean for 2020, I`m joined by Betsey Stevenson, a former member of the President`s Counsel of Economic Advisors, a former chief economist for the Department of Labor, and Mark Zandi, former economic advisor to public and presidential candidate John McCain and the chief economist of Moody`s Analytics.

Betsey, it seems to me that there`s sort of these two questions, right, cyclical questions and structural ones.  And for awhile, we`ve had the worst financial crisis in 60 years and this long period to climb out of the problem cyclically.  And now we`re in this economy that should be running very hot, right, with very low unemployment, low inflation as well, and it seems to me we`re up against some structural boundaries about whether like working people and middle class families are seeing real tangible gains even in this kind of economy.

What do you see?

BETSEY STEVENSON, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST:  Right, so I think what we`ve seen is we`ve recovered from the Great Recession, but we`ve got the same kind of problems we`ve for a while, which is rising inequality in the United States.  And that rising inequality means that as the economy improves, as incomes grow, they primarily go to the top end of the income distribution.

So, we`ve been watching this happen for awhile, but I think that on top of that what we  just saw in 2018 was a slowdown in wage growth compared to what we had since in the 2013 to 2017 period.  And that wage growth -- median wages in some parts of the country didn`t move at all last year, and that particularly means that families at the bottom are struggling.  And while wages aren`t growing, we`re also seeing in the uninsured rate going up, so the last couple of years the number of people without insurance has been increasing, child care costs are rising, and people don`t have access to paid leave.

And I just want to put this together for you and say what do we see?  We see a strong economy where people aren`t having children.  It`s very unusual to see the birthrate decline, and that`s what we`re seeing.

HAYES:  Mark, you were just -- it`s interesting, I know you`ve been advisor for several Republican candidates through the years, and to oversimplify I think that Republicans often sort of talk about grow, they talk about supply side issues, and the flow of capital, and Democrats tend to talk about these distributional questions a lot, oversimplifying, but you were nodding your head a lot as Betsey was telling that sort of distributional story about where income is going.

MARK ZANDI, :  Yeah, no, absolutely true.  Federal Reserve did a really great survey earlier in the year.  And what they found was that 40 percent of American households don`t have enough cash to cover an emergency.  And they defined an emergency as something that would cost $400.  So, 40 percent of Americans didn`t have that cash in the bank.  They`d either have to borrow it from a friend, through a credit card, or they couldn`t pay it at all.  So I mean, I think that makes the point very strongly that despite the headline good economic news, it really has not filtered down yet to many, many working class Americans.

HAYES:  So Betsey`s point about the median income, which is unchanged between 2017 and 2018, like for me Betsey, and I want to get your response too, Mark, there`s a question here about what`s wrong with the models, right.  Because it should be the case that when you run an economy at full employment for a few years in a row like you should see wage gains, right.  When you have a high demand for labor and when the labor supply has sort of all come online as far as we know, a lot of it has come online, that like wages should be going up.  They`re not going up.  Something is wrong here.

STEVENSON:  I think that that`s right, something is wrong.  And I don`t think there`s one simple answer to what`s wrong, but what we are seeing an increasing demand for workers, but that isn`t translating to workers being able to demand better conditions on the job, including higher wages.  And that link, that link that gives workers more bargaining power just seems to be broken.

HAYES:  What do you think, Mark?

ZANDI:  Yeah, I don`t think the models are broken.  I mean, I think if you roll this back a year ago, you know, we were on track to seeing a very strong economy, lower unemployment, wage growth was picking up, particularly at the low end.  Of course, minimum wage hikes really did help there.  But then we had the trade war.  And the trade war has done very serious damage to the economy.  And in fact if the president decides to continue to pursue the trade war, the recession risks will rise.  And in fact that -- I think he`s connecting the dots between the trade war, the economy and his re-election and he`ll probably figure out some way to settle, come to some kind of face saving arrangement with the Chinese, but if he doesn`t then the economy is really going to struggle and recession risks are going to be very high.

So, I don`t think the models are broken.  We were nearly there, we just got sidetracked by really bad economic policy.

HAYES:  What do you think about that.  I`ve heard that from a lot of folks about the trade war sort of coming in and knocking us off course.  What do you think about that, Betsey?

STEVENSON:  That certainly explains why we`ve seen wage growth slow, and I think that that`s a real risk to the economy, but the rising inequality is a deeper, longer phenomenon in the United States, and that`s -- I don`t think we were nearly there in terms of fixing that problem.

You know, what we`ve seen is an era in which we`ve cut tax rates enormously to the top, and the only thing that`s done is redistribute income back towards the top.  So I do think we need to rethink what is this society that`s going to deliver more equality look like, and what are the policies we need to have that happen, because we don`t have those right now.  So, I don`t think that`s just going to turn around tomorrow.

HAYES:  That was great.  Both of you, Betsey Stevenson and Mark Zandi.  Come back, let`s do this again soon.  I really, really like that.

STEVENSON:  Great, thank you.

HAYES:  That is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with the one and only Ali Velshi in for Rachel. 

Good evening,  Ali, and have a great Thanksgiving.