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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 4/13/22

Guests: Luke Broadwater, Sam Shamansky, Justin Miller, Paul Krugman


The New York Times reports of a recording of Jason Sullivan plotting the storming of the Capitol back in December 2020. The Trump White House Lawyers met with the January 6 Committee investigators. A January 6 defendant, Dustin Thompson, argues that Donald Trump authorized the Capitol riot. 28 hours after that shocking bloody mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway during rush hour, New York police arrested their main suspect, 62- year-old Frank James.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, thanks guys. And yet, like Tucker, she is still around. And still the absolute worst. And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.

JASON SULLIVAN, ASSOCIATE OF ROGER STONE: When President Trump wants to get things done, he creates public pressure. Descend on the Capitol, without question. Make those people feel it inside, OK?

HAYES: Explosive reporting from the New York Times a one-time Roger Stone associate on tape executing the Trump playbook. The reporter who broke the story joins me live.

Then, the attorney arguing Donald Trump made his client stormed the Capitol joins me as well. Plus --

ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: To my fellow New Yorkers, we got him.

HAYES: What we`re now learning about the man arrested for the shooting spree inside a Brooklyn subway car. And Paul Krugman on the latest inflation numbers, and whether they can possibly come back down before Election Day, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. For about 15 months now, the bulk of the Department of Justice investigation into the January 6 insurrection has of course focused on the people who actually stormed the Capitol. And there are still hundreds yet to go, we should be clear. It is mostly been the insurrectionist foot soldiers themselves generally pleading guilty to low-level charges, a few trials, a few convictions, one acquittal. Or in some cases, they`ve actually blamed Donald Trump for inciting their criminal behavior. We`re gonna have more on that later in the show with a defense attorney for one of those individuals.

But a lot of that low-hanging fruit, the people who were nabbed on video cameras and who were there is now gone. And as we`ve mentioned before, the DOJ is expanding the scope of its investigation to look at the people who plotted the insurrection. And that could include a man named Jason Sullivan.

Now, Jason Sullivan is QAnon supporter and a right-wing social media consultant, perhaps best known for his work with far-right political hatchet man and longtime Trump friend Roger Stone, where he apparently instructed Stone to use so-called swarms of supporters on Twitter to amplify a political message.

Now, Sullivan is a busy man. He was also subpoenaed as part of Robert Mueller`s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But today, he`s coming into focus as part of the investigation into the insurrection itself. According to a new report in The New York Times, Sullivan was plotting the storming of the Capitol back in December 2020. And we know that because there is recording of him doing precisely that.


SULLIVAN: There`s got to be a multiple-front strategy. And that multiple press strategy, I do think, is descend on the Capitol without question. Make those people eel it inside, OK, so they understand that people are breathing down their neck, and we`ve had it. And they`ve got to be -- we`ve got to be perfectly clear about it. No, I`m not inciting violence or any kind of riots or anything like that. But we need to be loud. It needs to be like Jericho, OK.


HAYES: You can kind of see what he`s doing there, right? He calls for people to descend on the Capitol expressly to intimidate lawmakers, right? So that the idea is that their presence and the possibility of them doing something threatening, people breathing down their necks, makes them essentially steal the election for Donald Trump. He says he need to make Congress feel it.

Of course, he says, oh, well, I`m not inciting violence or riots or anything like that. I just need to be loud. Generally, when you find yourself having to clarify you`re not inciting violence, you`re in a weird place. Now, the Times reports that the bipartisan House committee investigating insurrection has a copy of that recording we just played you. And it was provided to them by this woman you see here named Stacey Burke.

Now, it`s possible you might remember her name. You might not. She was one of those figures that cropped up during that crazy period between the Election Day and the insurrection, one of the most vocal proponents of Donald Trump`s bogus claims of a stolen election.

Burke pushed this bizarre conspiracy theory about phony ballots being trucked across the country to stuff boxes, completely, obviously not true. She even sued to overturn the results the election, although that lawsuit was thrown out when a judge ruled she did not have standing to bring it because she was not registered to vote.

Now, that led Brooke to one of Trump`s lawyers, Sidney Powell. It`s crowded field with perhaps the most ridiculous figure in this whole thing.


SIDNEY POWELL, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: What we are really dealing with here and uncovering more by the day is the massive influence of communists money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States.

The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software, and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems here as well, not just Dominion were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out.



HAYES: Now keep in mind, that was at the actual RNC. Everything she said there is not true. And also I mean, Powell`s theory of the case was that Hugo Chavez, who of course been dead for years, was kind of from beyond the grave rigging voting machines from Venezuela to switch the election.

Powell also believe that CIA director Gina Haspel had been kidnapped in Germany trying to steal a clandestine computer server. Just real, you know, 200 proof conspiracy, brain poisoning kind of thing. Again, she was one of Trump`s lawyers. She was in the White House during this period. There`s Rudy Giuliani. She`s there at the RNC.

Well, Sidney Powell introduced Stacey Burke to a right-wing military- themed gang called the First Amendment Praetorian. Interesting name. First Amendment Praetorian, they often served as hired security for Powell`s friend, disgraced National Security official Michael Flynn.

Apparently, First Amendment Praetorian were going to serve as security for Ms. Stacey Burke as well. And to do so, the men -- and I`m not making this up, this is the reporting -- moved into her home under the guise of protecting her from the deep state, a rotating group of middle aged men invading this woman`s home and staying there rent free.

Of course, the militiamen painted this as a favor to Stacey Burke. Burke told a local Arizona reporter the men would say, "You`re going to get killed. All this stuff, you`re going to save the country, cupcake." That was their name for her cupcake. Burke says she found it demeaning. I can see why.

She was also rightfully terrified of the group who had taken over her home, just like moved it and kind of occupied it. Again, they say they`re associate of Michael Flynn. They`re this kind of weird gray -- like gray space militia. She says the men kept trying to take her cell phone which contained her alleged dirt on the deep state.

According to that same report, "When she repeatedly refused to hand over the phone saying she had protected medical information on it from her previous nursing patients, her security details stole the phone.

Now, eventually they left her with her phone, but not before Burke managed to record the call you just heard with Roger Stone`s one-time aide, that guy Jason Sullivan where we started with. That`s the one where you hear Sullivan plotting the insurrection. Burke says she was recording everything because she was essentially living under occupation by this ersatz militia which had moved in and had taken over her house.

This is far from the first time we have heard of the far-right gangs` involvement with the plotting of January 6, of course. They`re all over the place. Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, the head of the far-right group the Oath Keepers has been charged with seditious conspiracy, fairly rare federal charge, for his role in planning the insurrection including a so-called quick response team which was prepared to bring guns to the occupied Capitol.

We also know another far-right group, the Proud Boys were involved in the planning with investigators also reportedly probing their connection to none other than Roger Stone in the days before the attack. And according to one report, the January 6 committee even believes those two groups were coordinating on the planning. There`s some evidence two of those leaders met in a garage, at least according to one report from The Guardian.

So, that`s just one of the many threads committee is following. Today, it interviewed former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, one of the guys who stood up and defended Trump in his first impeachment. He`s one of the latest high-profile former Trump allies to testify.

According to the Senate`s report on the attempted coup, Cipollone was one of the aides who told Trump there`ll be a mass exodus of government officials if Trump tried to interfere the Department of Justice to get it to investigate his fake claims of fraud.

Luke Broadwater covers Congress from the New York Times. He contributed to two new articles, one of them, Sullivan call, one of the Pat Cipollone`s testimony, and he joins me now. Luke, the Sullivan call is -- I mean, there`s the call and then there`s the context. And the context is bonkers. But let`s just talk about the call, because here`s what I found so striking about it.

There`s this question about what happened on that day, how thought out was it, how planned was it, how spontaneous was it? We have testimony, I`ve even had people on the show who are organizers of the Ellipse rally who told me on this program there was a debate about whether people should marched to the capitol and they argued they shouldn`t because it wouldn`t be safe. They couldn`t secure them. And they were shocked when Trump invited them down.

That phone calls from Jacob Sullivan suggests to me that`s the first and earliest indication of an active plot to do essentially precisely what happened on January 6, which is to use the mob as a tool of intimidation for the people inside.

LUKE BROADWATER, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES:Yes, it`s really a key piece of evidence. And credit to my colleague Alan Feuer who obtained this trove of recordings, which has also been turned over to the January 6 Committee. And I understand just today the January 6 Committee has taken a great interest in this after the publication of this article.

Jason Sullivan on the call, it`s pretty clear what he`s asking. This is a week before the riot at the capitol and the storming of the building. And he is telling people in pretty explicit terms that they need to put pressure on Congress. He`s talking to a group of what he describes as anti- vaccine activists were supposed to be at the capitol that day, we do not know any of the people who talked to him that call actually did stormed the building. But this was the message that we have on recording that was going out to activists who are going to be there that day.

There`s talk on the call of Donald Trump potentially imposing some sort of martial law. And there`s also talk of potential armed clash -- a potential armed clash with police. So, you can see that even though he decries the violence in his statement to us, this type of rhetoric being told to people who are going to be there that day could only serve the heighten tensions not defuse them.

HAYES: Yes, the martial law part is also interesting, because again, this is one of these details that`s kind of floated around in various aspects of the reporting and what we know that there was maybe a sort of half-bait plan to declare it. There was -- we know folks from the DOD were really worried about this. They were worried about deploying troops for precisely that reason.

But this is another indicator of, again, someone reasonably well connected, an associate of Roger Stone, not some just like complete random person, you know, explicitly at some point someone told him this was the plan, that martial law was also possibly in the offing.

BROADWATER: Right, and it`s a step up from the rioters, right? Like, you know, we`ve had 770 rioters arrested. But there were political people that got people to go to the Capitol that day, that got them interested in planning an attack on the Capitol, and got them to want to intimidate lawmakers.

And so, every new stone we have overturned as a paper, we`re seeing more and more examples of people who weren`t connected to political figures, who were political actors themselves who were encouraging the heightened tensions that resulted in January 6.

So, even if you say after the fact, or even one that call you say explicitly, you know, I don`t -- I don`t endorse violence, if you`re telling people to march on the Capitol and intimidate lawmakers, you know, where`s that inevitably going to lead people?

HAYES: Yes. And I mean, we say it on the show. Sometime we hear just sort of three categories, right? The people -- the foot soldiers who went in, the president and his inner circle who didn`t want to relinquish power and were plotting, and then this sort of middle category of the -- you know, whoever`s in that sort of middle space, Mr. Sullivan who was hanging around at the time, Alex Jones, a whole bunch of other people who sort of had connections in each direction.

In terms of Pat Cipollone, he does strike me as a pretty important witness for the January 6 Committee. He was there in the room. Reporting what seemed to indicate he was not on board with the coup, despite the fact that he was a loyal foot soldier for Donald Trump up then. What can we glean from Cipollone`s testimony and the fact that he cooperated with the committee?

BROADWATER: Well, a couple of things. One, this was just a preliminary meeting between Cipollone and the team investigating the attack. He may come back later for a sworn deposition which will be recorded and transcribed, but he is very -- he was in in the in the Oval Office in the White House for several very key meetings with Donald Trump.

One, in particular, was the meeting with Sidney Powell and Mike Flynn where they encourage the seizure of voting machines. Another was the meeting with Bill Barr where he tendered his resignation after he told Donald Trump there was not widespread voting fraud in the election.

He was there for when a rogue lawyer named Jeffrey Clark added this road plan that Donald Trump was going to buy in to fire the attorney general. So, he`s a first-hand witness to some of the biggest, most pivotal events in the lead up to January 6. And so, his testimony is, I would think, very important for this committee. And I would think that they would definitely want to have him back for a transcribed interview under oath.

HAYES: All right, Luke Broadwater of The New York Times, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

BROADWATER: Thank you.

HAYES: When we come back, the blame Trump defense goes in front of a jury. My interview with a lawyer for January 6 rioter who says Donald Trump authorized the attack on the Capitol. And later, why Paul Krugman says this inflation spike is about to start coming down. But will it stay down? He`ll lay out what we can expect just ahead.



HAYES: At approximately 6:00 p.m. on January 6, 2021 just after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, U.S. Capitol police agents approached two men sitting on the sidewalk just south of the capitol. One was wearing a Trump 2020 winter cap and a bulletproof vest. He was later identified as Dustin Thompson of Ohio.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice, the agents stop Thompson and his associate when Thompson picked up a coat rack, that quote appeared to have been taken from inside of the Capitol building, but Thompson fled on foot and got away.

Thompson`s associate, a man named Robert Lyon cooperated with law enforcement. He turned over this photo of Thompson posing with the coat rack. And a video from the same day where Thompson recorded himself passing in front of a mirror seen here in the screen grab where he reportedly went on to yell, "America, hey, this is our house."


Security footage from the day shows what appears to be Thompson entering the Capitol at 2:48 p.m. not long after the building was first breached. Excuse me for one second. You can see him here in that same Trump winter hat before eventually walking into an office on his right. Here he is about three minutes later apparently leaving the office with a bottle of bourbon.

Thompson then left the building and returned about four minutes later with associate, the guy who was cooperating, and the two of them had in that same room before leaving a few minutes later. And then you can see what appears to be Thompson holding that coat rack, nice souvenir, from the other photo.

Thompson was charged with several crimes including obstruction of an official proceeding and the theft of government property. His associate, Robert Lyon, pleaded -- pled guilty to two charges last month. But Dustin Thompson says he is not guilty despite all but admitting to breaking these laws because he says he only did what he did because ex-President Donald Trump told them to.

Sam Shamansky is the attorney for Dustin Thompson, and he joins me now. Good to have you on the program. I guess I shouldn`t start with asking for your theory of the case legally here for your -- for your client why he is not guilty if in fact, he was inside that building in an unauthorized fashion and maybe took a coat rack as a souvenir?

SAM SHAMANSKY, ATTORNEY FOR DUSTIN THOMPSON: Chris, you`ve defined it correctly. Without commenting on the facts of a case in which I`m currently trying, you`ve hit the nail on the head, right? You`ve got this president, this gangster imploring a crowd of people whom he`s groomed over the last year with his associates to help him with his desperate last ditch effort to overturn the results of a lawful election.

HAYES: Does -- wait, does your client agree with that characterization?

SHAMANSKY: Chris, again, you understand what it`s like to be a lawyer in trial, but let`s talk about it in the abstract. Imagine that you`ve been used and abused and left out to dry. What are the conclusion would you embrace, right? I mean, it`s sickening what`s happened to these people who would have otherwise had no business coming to Washington D.C. and certainly wouldn`t have stormed the capitol in this fashion and behaved in such unlawful and disgusting manner.

HAYES: I think that that`s -- I have to say, I`m sympathetic to as a psychological account, even sort of novelistic one, if I were doing a character study or whatever. But I guess the legal question is, at a legal level, why should that remove the culpability for a set of actions that your client appears to have taken here, again, without getting into the facts, or anyone appears to have taken, which they had to know at some level what was wrong, or even if they didn`t, they still did.

SHAMANSKY: Chris, again, you`ve analyzed it correctly. When you have the president of the United States is grooming you to believe that the election was stolen, our democracy -- our democracy is at stake, fight like hell, we`re never going to concede, it`s either you get down to the Capitol and I`ll be right there with you or else an illegitimate president is going to take office.

So, it`s not hard, at least from my perspective, to understand how vulnerable unsophisticated, politically speaking, people who`ve been fed this diet of BS would behave in accordance with their president`s wishes. And that clearly impacts one`s mental state, which as you will know, is an issue with this trial and every trial.

HAYES: Has this defense -- I mean, there are multiple -- obviously, there are many defense attorneys representing many different clients. This is the largest investigation the Department of Justice done. There`s been hundreds of them. There`s only been a few trials so far, few bench trials, few jury trials. Has this line of defense, which I think other attorneys have adopted, have any outcomes been produced by it as of yet?

SHAMANSKY: Chris, I can`t see because I don`t pay any attention to what anybody else is doing. I have enough problem paying attention to what I`m doing. But I said a year ago when my client was arrested, this can be the only explanation for otherwise law abiding citizens with no record to convene in Washington D.C. and storm the holiest of holy spots in our -- in our fair Capitol. There`s no other explanation, zero. They were cajoled, groomed, and directed, period.

HAYES: Does your client regret going to Washington?

SHAMANSKY: Of course, who wouldn`t regret being in this jackpot? Can you imagine having your whole life turned upside down because you believed in this -- in this B.S. that was spewed from the highest levels of government, this concerted effort day after day where you`re fed this crap, and you come to believe it, and then all of a sudden, your poor beleaguered President claims that the election is illegitimate and there`s only one way to stop it, and that`s fight like hell?\


HAYES: What is he facing?

SHAMANSKY: You say, what is he facing if he`s convicted?

HAYES: Yes, exactly. Like, the --

SHAMANSKY: Well, regrettably they`re all facing -- I didn`t mean to talk over you. They`re all facing felony charges and the potential for years in prison. I mean, you know, it`s just unspeakable the horror that`s been inflicted upon these folks. They didn`t know better.

If you look at the footage, as I know, you have, you know, it`s not the -- it`s not the journalists of the world, it`s not the IBM board members of the world, right? It`s people who were alone, disenfranchised, looking for something or someone to embrace. Those are the folks that get suckered into this. It`s just -- it`s despicable.

HAYES: I mean, I will say, as a demographic factors, it`s a sort of interesting cross-section you`ve got. You know, there are CEOs who are in the crowd. There was people who flew there on private jets. There`s up and down the class scale of America. So, I don`t think there`s any inoculation against the seduction of doing it along on class or education lines.

I guess, I wonder, do you -- how do you mount this defense and can you like, call the ex-president? Can you like -- what is -- what is the defense look like if it hinges on him being fundamentally the culpable actor here?

SHAMANSKY: Well, you know, I follow the rules as set forth by the judge. And although we made every effort to bring Trump into court, we were at least so far unsuccessful. But that`s OK because we still have his entire statement videotaped talking about build the wall and spewing hatred and talking about poor, poor me and how I`ve been ripped off in our democracy hangs in the balance.

Every single dog whistle and buzzword were utilized by Trump and his co- conspirators in order to have the Capitol stormed in this desperate sickening effort to overturn the results of a lawful election.

HAYES: Is this a jury trial or bench trial?

SHAMANSKY: It`s a jury trial, Chris.

HAYES: In Washington D.C.

SHAMANSKY: In our capital, correct.

HAYES: And is that where you`re usually practicing?

SHAMANSKY: I usually practice in Columbus, Ohio. I`m a local hillbilly lawyer.

HAYES: And showing up in -- you will be in Washington. When is this trial set?

SHAMANSKY: We`re in the middle of it.

HAYES: Well, I`m curious to see how this all goes down. Sam Shamansky who is representing a client who is there on the day of the Capitol. Thank you so much for coming on the program.

SHAMANSKY: It`s a pleasure, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Tonight, the suspect in yesterday`s Brooklyn subway attack is now in police custody. The bizarre story of his arrest after this.



HAYES: 28 hours after that shocking bloody mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway during rush hour, New York police arrested their main suspect. That`s him, 62-year-old Frank James. He was taken into custody in downtown Manhattan around 1:40 this afternoon.

Justin Miller is a news director in New York Magazine`s Intelligencer. He`s been reporting on the subway shooting and he joins me now. All right, let`s talk about first how he was apprehended obviously, by -- when I was on here last night, he was a person of interest. People start, you know, looking through his social media. We have pictures of him. But he was on the lam until today. How they -- how did they actually apprehended him?

JUSTIN MILLER, NEWS DIRECTOR, INTELLIGENCER: Right. So, the NYPD detectives turned him from person of interest to a suspect by linking the gun that was discarded at the train to a federally licensed firearms dealer in Ohio. So, Mr. James bought this gun legally 11 years ago.

HAYES: Ah, got you. So, they -- so that was what moved from person of interest to suspect. It`s his gun it appears.

MILLER: Right, that he fired allegedly 33 times.

HAYES: Right. And then he`s walking around New York City for 24 hours. I mean, this is wild. I had seen some reports that he got in the subway in Park Slope but -- on Ninth Street and Seventh Avenue.

MILLER: More or less, his final known whereabouts before he was apprehended today were at a subway stop immediately one stop after the last stop of the attack. From that point forward, it`s not really known where he was, which is incredible, right, given this manhunt. Apparently, he was using a cell phone that seemingly belonged to him. And then he showed up in this village in Manhattan several miles away from the attack, and reportedly called police and told them you`re looking for me.

HAYES: And then someone else saw him, this guy, Zach. He is the --

MILLER: The local celebrity.

HAYES: A local celebrity, a guy who`s here from Syria who was interviewed and said he saw him alive. But this is -- this is John Dienst -- our own John Dienst said. Police officers say, they believe Frank James called the tip line himself saying he was at a McDonald`s in lower east side. This is Frank, you guys are looking for me. My phone is about to die, this caller said.

Three sources familiar with the arrest say -- they asked, are you Frank? Yes, I`ve been waiting for you all day. There`s a whole lot of video of this guy that gives some indication of what possible motivation could be. Although all this stuff always remains opaque. Like, what can we conclude about his worldview to the extent it`s relevant?

MILLER: I think the only thing we can safely conclude is that he`s very angry. He said that he had been through New York City`s mental health system. His sister told The New York Times she wasn`t aware of that, although they were sort of on the outs or a little bit strange. But he was angry. And what he did with that anger was he picked up a firearm, drove to New York, and allegedly shot 10 people, and in the course of that, injured dozen or two more.

HAYES: Yes. And I mean, it`s one of these things where I`ve seen people sort of posting various videos from various different worldviews, everything from sort of like white supremacist, to black nationalists, basically, across a long gamut. It doesn`t seem that whatever politics you could talk about him having coherent or something that maps on to like normal politics. He just seems like a person who was pretty disturbed and angry.


MILLER: You know, over the past 10 years that I`ve covered stories like this, these alleged perpetrators have issued or have been said have been motivated by any conceivable number of reasons and some inconceivable. But the critical fact for all of these is that they had a gun. Without that gun, we wouldn`t be talking about -- he couldn`t have stabbed 10 people and, you know, a dozen more. That`s the critical aspect. And we pay so little attention to that because the gun doesn`t make YouTube videos.

HAYES: Right.

MILLER: But that is the thing that distinguishes these perpetrators from angry people all over the world who don`t have readily easy access to firearms.

HAYES: And he is now being charged -- it looks like they`re going to charge him in federal court, right? This would be Federal case?

MILLER: Right. The Brooklyn or the Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are charging him with a terrorism statute because he attacked a mass transit system.

HAYES: Right. I forget what the sort of official felonies are, but it`s not -- it`s not an act of terrorism, but there`s a Federal law that makes it a crime to commit an act, including the use of a dangerous weapon with intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person whose property of mass transit system. I imagine he will -- this will not be a particularly complicated case for them to make after all this.

Justin Miller, thank you very much.

MILLER: Thank you.

HAYES: Earlier today, President Biden announced another wave of military assistance to Ukraine to fight what he now calls a genocide. The new strategic hurdle facing Ukrainian forces trying to retake land after this.



HAYES: As Russia`s battle with Ukraine shifts to the country`s east, the U.S. is stepping up its commitment to Ukraine. Today, President Joe Biden announced another $800 million in military assistance, weapons, including heavy artillery and armored personnel carriers. The announcement came after an hour-long call between Biden and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In the announcement, Biden said the Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbass region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself.

Courtney Kube is NBC News Pentagon Correspondent, and she joins me now. Courtney, first, the scope of this assistance, how it compares to what we`ve given the Ukrainians before. This seems like an escalation in some ways or an increase in the level of capabilities that we`re providing them.

COURTNEY KUBE, NBC NEWS PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, if you just look at sort of the money that`s involved here, it`s comparable to what the U.S. has been providing. In fact, it`s about $800 million. The U.S. is literally just about to finish an $800 million couple of packages in the next couple of -- several days that will be complete. But you`re right, Chris, to say that there is something different here.

And that is these are the kinds of weapons that are much more offensive in nature as opposed to some more of the defensive ones that we`ve been seeing the United States and other allies provide to Ukraine. So, a couple of things that are really, really critical here. One is artillery. The U.S. is providing the Ukrainians with not only the system to launch artillery, but a lot of artillery to launch.

This is a kind of thing that`s been really devastating that the Russians have been providing with devastating effect in Ukraine. Not just that, the U.S. is providing some counter artillery radar. That`s to stop, to be able to hopefully, identify and stop incoming Russian artillery. The U.S. is providing hundreds more of the Switchblades. We`ve talked about those in the past.

These are these loitering munitions. What it basically means it`s an explosive that can fly in. Its unmanned. It can loiter or hover over a target and then -- and then literally fall down on it or target it, the munition explodes. These things are so powerful. In some cases, they can even take out tanks.

Speaking of tanks, the U.S. is providing even more of the Javelin anti-tank missiles. So, you`re right. These are the kinds of weapons and sort of defensive capabilities like the radars that the Ukrainians are really going to need for the coming fight in the Donbass. Officials believe that that could make begin literally in a matter of days. So, there`s a real effort on the part of the Biden administration to get this equipment to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible, Chris.

HAYES: Yes. And if we can show -- I don`t know if we have the map of where occupation has, but there`s a switch here, right? And this is the sort of second act of this war. The first was this invasion, in which Russian forces were offensively attempting to gain ground as they marched into hopefully, they wanted to take Kyiv and other places and the Ukrainians were repelling them.

Now, as you can see on your screen there throughout the south eastern part of the country from Crimea up through Luhansk, Donetsk, to Kharkiv, you have the Russians essentially have a swath of the country occupied the Ukrainians hope to retake. Which means they are now going to be offensively are trying to take back territory, which is -- which is a harder task than what they faced before.

KUBE: That`s right. So, because -- and for a couple of reasons. Number one, exactly as you point out, the Russians already have -- not only just been there since the invasion, but in some cases, like in the Donbass area, they`ve been there for eight years. They know the territory. They know the terrain. It`s not as heavily populated. There`s not major population centers there. So, it`s kind of easier for fighting in some ways when you - - from a Russian perspective. So, it is -- has the potential to be, frankly, more advantages to the Russians that we`ve seen.


HAYES: Right.

KUBE: In addition to that, as opposed to after the invasion where they had these three major axes, it`s going to be a much more concentrated effort on that southeastern part of the country. They`re also -- they have -- because they have an established presence there in many cases, they have a much easier logistical capability. So, they have a better ability to resupply themselves, the Russian military. So, yes, absolutely.

The concern is, you know, we`ve talked a lot about this new Russia in general who`s going to be sort of the new ground commander there. But not just that, there is a concern, because the Russians have already shown so many brutal tactics in that area in the last eight years, not just since the invasion, that the coming weeks of this new sort of offensive could be really brutal for the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian people.

And the reality, Chris, even though this next sort of phase of this offensive hasn`t begun, the shaping operations already have. So, the Russians have started taking strikes into a city called Izium, which is sort of in the more central-east part of the country. And in that region, there isn`t -- they`re already beginning sort of the initial, very, very early phases of this next offensive that we haven`t yet seen the ground operation begin, but again, that could begin literally in a matter of days.

HAYES: Finally, some news today the Moskva missile cruiser, which is one of the most formidable and impressive ships in the Russian Navy. It was the ship that landed at Snake Island in the infamous Russians go after yourself. It was that ship that was radioing with the Ukrainians there. That has been struck by two Neptune missiles, the Ukrainian Army is claiming. And the Russians have admitted that there`s they sent an ammunition fire on board. If in fact it was a subject of Ukrainian strike, that seems like a pretty big deal.

KUBE: It is. So -- and this could be indicative of sort of the next part of this offensive as well. It has not really been in the maritime environment, right? So, the Russians have minesweepers and frigates in the Sea of Azov, which is up closer to the Donetsk area. And then they have a number of landing ships in the Black Sea.

Those have not been very active. There have literally been just a handful of missiles that have flown off of those. They haven`t brought any Russian troops off of any of these ships yet. There has been some resupply efforts from the frigates in the Sea of Azov, but there hasn`t been much of a maritime fight here.

What U.S. officials are watching very closely is, is that going to change in the coming days and weeks. Now, one thing that might be indicative of the fact that the U.S. believes that could happen is one of the pieces of this major foreign assistance package that the U.S. announced today. And that is what some people call see drones. But they`re basically unmanned sea crafts that can be used for coastal defense, in some cases. We don`t know a lot about what exactly the U.S. is providing, but in some cases, they can even be used to find mines.

There`s some concern that there could be some mining of the northern Black Sea. So, it`s something we`ve been watching for weeks now, but hasn`t yet materialized yet. This next offensive could involve more of a maritime battle.

HAYES: All right, Courtney Kube, thank you so much for making time for us tonight. I appreciate it.

KUBE: Thanks.

HAYES: Still to come, has the inflation surge already peaked? Nobel Prize- winning economist Paul Krugman says inflation is about to come down. But there`s more to the story, and he joins me next.



HAYES: The news on inflation this week is again that it is high, over eight percent in the U.S., the highest headline numbers since early 1980s. And predictably, the right-wing media and conservatives and Republicans are pounding the Democrats on it.

And thinking about historical precedents for this moment, I was looking back at 1946. Harry Truman was president. It was a midterm year. Democrats controlled Congress. The U.S. was still recovering from the enormous society-wide disruption of World War II that had touched every aspect of life. And as Americans adjusted to the new normal, inflation soared over eight percent just like what it`s doing now.

Guess what? Not a good year for Democrats. Truman and the Democrats lost big in the Midterms that year. Republicans control both the House and the Senate. It was sort of the end of the new deal reign. Now, the parallel here is imperfect. The economy in 1946 was actually shrinking as well as inflation. There`s a lot of other factors to consider. But the big question for Democrats now is can inflation turn around in time for them to avoid a 1946-style Election Day?

To help answer that question, I`m joined now by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, whose latest op-ed in New York Times is titled Inflation Is About To Come Down, But Don`t Get Too Excited. So Paul, let`s start on that. I mean, look, people don`t like inflation and understandably so. I think the politics of it are pretty uniform across the world.

Like, there`s nowhere where inflation is going up and the opposition party isn`t just absolutely hanging it around the neck of the incumbent party. Like, that happens in all kinds of places. So, the question is what do you see happening in the next six months?

PAUL KRUGMAN, ECONOMIST: OK, barring another war starting someplace else, inflation -- the inflation headlines are about to come down. You know, half of the March inflation was gasoline prices, which was very much driven by fears about the impact of the Ukraine war. That`s already -- prices at the pump were already down significantly.


Now, when you see the inflation number, that`s sort of the average for March, and gas prices have come down considerably since mid-March already. Wholesale gasoline prices are down $0.60 a gallon. So, that factor is going away.

A lot of the other stuff that has been pushing inflation really high is -- seems to be easy. There seems to be shipping rates are coming down. We were all talking about a shortage of truckers. All of a sudden, the trucking industry is worrying about a trucking recession, because there appears that inventory has been built up, there isn`t such a frantic urge to ship stuff.

So, we`re bound to get almost arithmetically necessary, we`re bound to get a series of monthly numbers that are below what we were seeing and the corresponding month last year, which means that the annual average rate of inflation is going to be dropping for the next several months.

HAYES: There`s of course, the distinction between what core CPI, Consumer Price Index and headline. And the distinction there is, there`s certain parts of what`s called the basket, right? These are the prices that are monitored that can be very, very volatile, energy, food, for instance. Core takes that out. And core was actually lower, which again, is encouraging along the lines of the story you`re telling. But politically, food and gas mean a lot to people.

KRUGMAN: Yes. And gas is going to look a lot better unless something, you know, unexpected happens. You get -- the wholesale gas prices are way down and that`s going to be or has already partly reflected the pump and will happen. Food is a different issue. Actually, food is -- Ukraine and Russia are a pretty big part of the world we supply, so that`s going to continue. But -- and then -- but there are other things. When the core takes food and energy, it turns out there are other things that are also very volatile, like used car prices, which are coming down.

So, you know, we`re -- now I have no idea whether this good news will be in time to make a big difference for the Midterm Elections, but the headlines on inflation for the next, you know, six months are probably going to be very different from the headlines we`ve been seeing for the past six months.

HAYES: I mean, I hope that`s -- I mean, I hope that`s right just on the -- on the merits. Like, I think it`d be better for everyone if they were, you know -- there`s also this interesting thing that happened and I`ve seen people write about this. So, one of the things that happened was, there`s a huge shift of American consumption habits from services to goods, right?

So, people couldn`t do a lot of the stuff they were doing, vacation and going into blah, blah. They were buying a lot of stuff. That created the supply bottlenecks. You saw it in prices spiking. We couldn`t produce enough used cars, for instance, because there`s just not enough circulation, it does seem like that is shifting back, which is another thing that`s going to maybe relieve that inflationary pressure.

KRUGMAN: Yes, so that`s an important part of what I think is about to happen. And there`s something that people call the bullwhip effect. You know, when you see an increase in demand for stuff, then people start panic buying a little bit because they`re worried about if they`ll able to get it. Retailers start stocking up in case of the panic buying, and it works down the chain.

And the bullwhip is starting to crack in the opposite direction now. All of a sudden, aside from cars, where there are special problems because of semiconductor chips, inventories are actually high.

HAYES: High, yes.

KRUGMAN: We`re actually looking at a situation where -- and all of that reduces the pressure. So, that`s why I`m saying the trucking recession, all of a sudden, it appears that people don`t want to ship nearly as much stuff. Freight rates are coming down. They`re still high by historical standards, but all of those things which contributed, you know, I would say that about two thirds of the rise with inflation from normal levels that we`ve seen, is the special factors, oil, supply chain stuff.

Now, there`s still a significant part that won`t go away, which is why I said don`t get too excited. We still have some underlying serious inflation issues. But the short-term stuff is likely to be -- well, we`ll see how the media treats it, but you know, when the inflation rate is coming down, will we be getting headlines that look like when the inflation rate was going up?

HAYES: Yes, that`s -- yes, both there`s the sort of actual fact and then the coverage of the fact and how that fact is perceived at all I think will affect the political outcomes. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next six months. I hope -- I hope the this sort of good scenario is on target. And hopefully, we can avoid a recession and too many Fed rate hikes hitting the brakes too hard on the growth we`ve had, which you`ve been writing about has been remarkable in many ways.


HAYES: Paul Krugman, as always, it`s wonderful to get a little bit of your expertise. Thank you.

KRUGMAN: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Wednesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris.