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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 4/26/22

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Kyle Cheney, James Pogue, Charles Blow


According to leaked audio obtained by the New York Times, on a January 10 call just four days after the insurrection, McCarthy also expressed concerns that Republicans in his own conference might incite violence against their fellow party members. New details from the text messages to Mark Meadows underscore House GOP`s role in planning the January 6 insurrection. GOP candidates campaign on Donald Trump`s big election lie. The right-wing media cheers for Elon Musk`s takeover of Twitter. James Pogue, Charles Blow joins Hayes to talk about the right-wing war on mainstream culture.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Senate candidate Charles Booker, good luck -- of Kentucky, thank you very much. From -- author of From the Hood to the Holler. And that is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


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

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Tension is too high. The country is too crazy. I don`t want to look back and think we caused something or we missed something and someone got hurt.

HAYES: New recordings of Republican leadership after the insurrection worried their own members we`re going to get people hurt.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): It`s potentially illegal what he`s doing.

MCCARTHY: Well, he`s putting people in jeopardy.

HAYES: Tonight, the explosive new tapes and in McCarthy and Scalise went from fearing the Sedition caucus to running Liz Cheney out of power and trying to kill the January 6 investigation.

Then, more mind-bending election conspiracy theories in newly released texts to Trump`s chief of staff and how to explain the absurd conservative celebration of Elon Musk`s bid to buy Twitter.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS: Twitter, it`s in Elon Musk`s hands. Can you believe it?

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You know, there was a brief moment in the days after January 6, where it looked like the Republican Party, the leaders of it at least, not Donald Trump, might actually just do the right thing, right, the stark moral truth sitting in front of them.

Party leaders, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell were obviously correctly horrified by the violence of the insurrection. Both men publicly condemned Trump for his obvious involvement and citing the attack. They were even more damning of his conduct in private. We are now learning that McCarthy was not just concerned about Trump.

According to leaked audio obtained by the New York Times, on a January 10 call just four days after the insurrection, McCarthy also expressed concerns that Republicans in his own conference might incite violence against their fellow party members.


MCCARTHY: The other thing that we have to do is these members on either -- whatever position you`re on, calling out other members, that`s got to stop, especially of this nature. So, when I get off right here, I`m going to call Gaetz. But everything else we see, don`t assume I see everything, don`t assume I know everything. But we`ve got to have one central point.

So, I mean, if you can bring this stuff to ban (INAUDIBLE) Leganski, so you`d have it, but I mean, don`t sit back around. It`s going to be (INAUDIBLE) personally. Tension is too high. The country is too crazy. I don`t want to look back and think we caused something or we missed something and someone got hurt. I don`t want to play politics with any of that.


HAYES: That`s a remarkable moment of moral clarity. I don`t want to look back and think someone got hurt. I don`t want to play politics with any of it. McCarthy singled out Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida as someone whose inflammatory rhetoric might get people hurt. McCarthy was worried that Gaetz who frequently criticized fellow Republicans by name for being insufficiently loyal to Trump in his eyes was inflaming tensions at a time when the country was already in a volatile position.

It was a concern echoed by others on the call, including the number two Republican Caucus, a man who was shot, we should remember, Congressman Steve Scalise.


MCCARTHY: OK, the other thing I want to bring up, and I`m making some phone calls to some members, I just -- I just got something sent now about Newsmax of something Matt Gaetz said where he`s calling people names out saying an anti-Trump in this type of atmosphere than some of the other places. This is -- this is serious stuff people are doing that has to stop on making the video.

SCALISE: Also, Mo and Louie`s comments to a lot of members have said some real concerning things about.

MCCARTHY: Did they say -- did they say something today too?

SCALISE: Not -- Louie was at the -- I mean, Louie was at the rally. You know, there were -- the kicking ass and taking names thing at the Trump rally.


MCCARTHY: OK, what did Gaetz say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi! You know, Gaetz said (INAUDIBLE) specifically. I just saw that on Twitter.

MCCARTHY: Someone just mentioned -- DeVos just sent it to me, so I`m calling Gaetz. I`m explaining to have -- I don`t know what to say but I`m going to have some other people call him too. But the nature of what -- if I`m getting briefing -- I`m going to get another one from the FBI tomorrow, this is serious shit to cut this out.

SCALISE: Yes, that`s -- I mean, it`s potentially illegal what he`s doing.

MCCARTHY: Well, he`s putting people in jeopardy, and he doesn`t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know. At least we came prepared with everything else.



HAYES: As you heard a bit of there, McCarthy and his fellow Republicans also took issue with Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama. Of course, he was the one who wear body armor while he spoke at Trump`s rally at the Ellipse and told the soon-to-be insurrectionist about storming the Capitol that it was "The Day American patriots started taking down names and kicking ass."

As well, Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas who invoked violence in the streets on January 1 after a judge rejected a lawsuit trying to give Vice President Mike Pence the power to overturn the election. Just a warning, this next bit is a little long, but we think it`s important for you to hear this conversation in full as Kevin McCarthy talks with Republican congressional leaders. And there it is.


MCCARTHY: What is Mo Brooks say down at that rally though?

SCALISE: It`s the kicking ass and taking names thing is the one that I`ve seen the most from, from people. I didn`t watch his speech but that`s -- a number of members sent that to me. So, he used that term.

MCCARTHY: And Louie said like we need to fight or something, right? Didn`t he say something a couple of days out that was --

SCALISE: It was something like that, yes.

MCCARTHY: It`s incendiary.

SCALISE: I mean, you got the Maxine Waters and all that stuff too. So, I mean, I know the Dems are in a very strong position right now to drive a lot of things. But our members have got to start paying attention to what they say too. You can`t put up with that type of shit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brooks apparently said, today the American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass, which I would say is even a step further than kind of rhetorical to --

SCALISE: It`s like he`s thinking -- you think the President deserves to be impeached?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For his comment, that`s almost like (INAUDIBLE).

MACCALLUM: All right, let`s see. Someone gives you the info on what they said. Have either apologized for what they`ve said?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have not seen that anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gohmert -- so, Wasserman Schultz introduced the Gohmert censure and he did tweet out that, you know, I`m not advocating violence. He also said Martin Luther King, so I mean, it wasn`t exactly that caught our full (INAUDIBLE) but sure, I think there`s obviously a lot of comments people could circle and find reason to introduce things about.

MCCARTHY: How many members spoke at that rally?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was between eight and 10, but I don`t have a confirmation on that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can put together a list of the members that did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were eight to ten.


MCCARTHY: I`m sorry, Steve, what did you say?

SCALISE: Yes. I`ve also heard some members talking about bringing Mo up and steering committee to possibly strip him of committees, kind of in the vein of Steve King. So I`d imagine this would definitely come up at the steering committee.

MCCARTHY: What committees does he hold?

SCALISE: He has good ones but --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there`s an issue with Alabama. Barry Moore has said some things today even that we should look at honestly.

MCCARTHY: What did Barry say today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m pulling it up one second, so I`ll quote him correctly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, so he deleted his personal Twitter account, but Jamie Dupree with the Atlanta Journal got screenshots. He said about 22 hours ago, "While we have more arrests for stealing a podium on January 6 than we do for stealing an election on November 3, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit would be places I recommend you start. There`s video evidence of these crimes as well. Hashtag election integrity matters."

And then, Moore also made this tweet on Saturday night as the U.S. Capitol police officer who shot and killed a woman as he tried to get into the lobby. So, he tweeted @MarjorieGreene and (INAUDIBLE), I understand it was a Black police officers that shot the white female veteran. You know, that doesn`t fit the narrative.

MCCARTHY: Oh, man. So, this is what -- we have to confront with this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can`t they take their Twitter accounts today too?



HAYES: It`s -- yeah, I`m left speechless by that. There`s so much to say about that. They know, right? I mean, the moment, I guess at one level is sort of reassuring. Like, in the moment, there`s some semblance of a moral compass and instincts to understand that like, this is beyond the pale, but doesn`t last, right?

The day after that call on January 11, less than one week after the insurrection, McCarthy spoke to Republican lawmakers during a party meeting where he pleaded with them to respect each other`s views and not to incite further violence. The Times obtained audio of that meeting as well.


MCCARTHY: Later, after this call, I`m going to get another briefing from the FBI. And it doesn`t matter which side of the position you were. I respect it. I respect why you did what you did. But what we`re saying on television, when we say a member`s name, when we incite or we -- in our hearts, maybe we think we aren`t doing it, but you go back to the last four years, everybody has done something. This is not the moment in time to do it.

The briefings that are getting, you can incite something else. The country is very divided as we know this. Let`s not put any member, I don`t care who they are Republican, Democrat, or any person, not even in Congress, watch our words closely. I get these reports on a weekly basis. I`ve seen something I haven`t seen before. So, I`m asking all of you, I`ve called some of you personally. And I want you to know what I`m hearing.

Be careful. I know you want to defend your vote, you want to defend your position. And sometimes we get emotional about that. And part of our defense is that we explain where somebody else was at. That brings damage. Do not raise another member`s name on a television, even if they`re in a different position or not.

Let`s respect one another. And you probably won`t understand what you`re doing. And I`m just warning you right now, don`t do it. Don`t do it in this time. And let`s prepare for the future not to do it as well.


HAYES: So, Republicans obviously have a pretty good shot at retaking the house in November. Kevin McCarthy wants to become the next Speaker of the House. Of course, in order to do that, he needs those same members you just heard him condemn to support his bit. So, he spent the last year not working really to sort of stamp out that impulse in his party and the faction, but rather to appease the worst elements of the Republican Party.

In contrast to his comments on that tape, McCarthy`s opposed efforts to punish his fellow Republicans for frankly inciting violence in recent months when Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona tweeted out an animated video depicting him killing Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, McCarthy refused to support an effort to censure him.

In fact, the only House Republican to face any significant consequences for the response to the insurrection has been of course, Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming. She was kicked out of party leadership censured by the RNC for daring to speak out against Trump and investigating his role in inciting the attack on the Capitol.

Just listen to this exchange between McCarthy and Cheney just a little over one month after that meeting with these fellow Republicans after he had decided to embrace Trump once again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe President Trump should be speaking -- or former President Trump should be speaking at CPAC this weekend?

MCCARTHY: Yes, he should.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congresswoman Cheney"?

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): That`s up to CPAC. I`ve been clear my views about President Trump and the extent to which -- the extent to his role on January 6, I don`t -- I don`t believe that we should be playing the role of the party or the country.

MCCARTHY: On that high note --


HAYES: So, Cheney is now facing a primary challenge from Wyoming, none other than Matt Gaetzx, the same Congressman that McCarthy was worried might incite violence against his colleagues, even went down to Wyoming to rally against her. Just weeks after McCarthy explicitly warned his conference about singling out each other over their kind of differences.

In a statement today, Gaetz called McCarthy and Scalise "Weak men, not leaders. And the January 6 Committee says McCarthy will be invited for the second time to come speak. Because the Kevin McCarthy of January 2021, the one who at least briefly understood how dangerous the rhetoric is, is gone.

The Kevin McCarthy of 2022 has decided that appeasing extremists, punishing those who are willing to stand up for the basics of American self- representation and democracy is the best way to secure his future as the head of the Republican Party. Notably, McCarthy ignored questions about these recordings today, except when reporters asked him if he thought they would hurt his chances of becoming speaker. He said, "I think correctly, no."

Joining me now is Congressman Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California. First, just Congressman, as you know, a colleague of all these individuals, someone who was there in January 6, of course, your reaction to what you heard there.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Imagine how much safer America would be today if Kevin McCarthy`s tryst with the truth had lasted longer than a couple of days. But he`s gotten back together with the election lies, and he`s become exactly the person he described he didn`t want his colleagues becoming on those calls, which was someone who would enable or incite violence.

But instead of protecting Liz Cheney who stood up with integrity, Kevin McCarthy is supporting Liz Cheney`s opponent in the Republican primary. And when you listen to Kevin McCarthy, he was absolutely right about almost everything he said privately to his members.

And what has changed? What evidence came out to suggest he should have changed his position? He had put America first for a couple of hours and days after January 6, but now he`s putting Kevin first because he realizes he needs Donald Trump if he ever wants to be Speaker of the House. Which means for America, Donald Trump, essentially would be Speaker of the House if Kevin McCarthy were ever to get that close to the gavel.

HAYES: Does it? Does it make it worse or better in your mind that they know? I mean, there`s something -- in a weird way, there`s something reassuring about listening to them correctly respond to these things, even the response to the Barry Moore tweet, right, where Barry Moore days after this is saying, well, it looks like a black cop shot a white lady and, you know -- and they`re like, oh, my God. You know, that is like -- there`s something reassuring where it`s like, yes, correct, yes. I`m not crazy. You`re not crazy. People watching this aren`t crazy. That is the right reaction. Like what -- and -- but then that can`t be preserved in the gravitational pull of the propaganda that followed.

SWALWELL: Chris, when I was a prosecutor, and we had to prove a witness`s, you know, cognitive abilities, I had to demonstrate to a jury that they knew the difference between a truth and a lie or the difference between right and wrong. And this was often the case with child witnesses. And here, you can prove to America that Kevin McCarthy knew the difference between right and wrong.

He initially -- his instinct was to go the right way. But when it came to whether putting America first or Kevin first, he chose the wrong way. And so, I think it should be held even more strongly against him that the guy knew. And because his own self-interests were above America`s interest, he took a pledge of allegiance to himself rather than America. That I think is the worst possible outcome and the worst possible judgment, someone could make.

HAYES: Matt Gaetz, of course, this is you know, chump for him. He loves to be, you know -- you know, have things to talk about other than the fact that the Department of Justice appears to be investigating him for the possible crime of child sex trafficking. And he -- you know, he`s running around with a statement on Twitter saying these -- you know, they`re weak and sniffling and, you know, sort of denigrating all of them.

But what`s striking to me is that the power -- I don`t know. This is how it looks from the outside. So, I`m curious if you`re see the same way. The power balance has shifted to that part of the faction. So, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and the Paul Gosars, and the Matt Gaetz, they`re the kind of the avant garde of the Republican Party. They will be the avant garde of a Republican majority should it come to pass in the Midterms.

SWALWELL: That`s absolutely right. And they declare themselves, Chris, as they`re not the fringe. They proudly have said over and over, we are the base, and they are the base. And the question they have to ask themselves is, even if McCarthy is with you today, you have now heard what he thought about you when he was speaking privately.

So, he`s lost the trust not just of the American people. He`s not just proven himself to be a 24 karat liar. How could he lead this conference? And I think for the American people, though, who need a responsible Republican Party, what worries me is that there`s no backstop or insurance policy against Donald Trump if Kevin McCarthy was ever to lead Congress, if the Republicans were ever to be in charge, after the Midterms. There`s just no guardrails anymore.

He had a test. He started to go the right way. He started to give the right answer. And he has utterly shown us that he would fail a future test.

HAYES: Yes. And not just as a -- I know you know this, just for viewers point out, that McCarthy himself and Scalise as well, again, this is a person who is who has survived a horrific act of violence targeted at Republican members of Congress, right? Shot multiple times, had to come back and rehab. I mean, there`s a particularly pathos when he`s talking about how dangerous this all is.

Those individuals also voted to overturn the election right after the insurrection. So, you know, they were -- there was never like, there were real profiles encouraged, but at least privately, they understood what was going on. Congressman Eric Swalwell, I really appreciate you taking some time tonight. Thank you very much.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

HAYES: All right, don`t go anywhere. The latest revelations from the inbox of Mark Meadows where the current sitting members of Congress sending election conspiracy theories about Italian satellites, British spies to the White House Chief of Staff. Plus, the great new reporting on the January 6 bombshell hiding in plain sight. All that coming up.



HAYES: The fallout from the trove of leaked text messages from Trump`s chief of staff Mark Meadows continues. Today, we`re learning about previously unreported text to Meadows from Republicans Scott Perry of Pennsylvania who is currently in Congress.

In the text which NBC News has not independently verified, Perry is pushing the bonkers false conspiracy theory about the Chinese government hacking the Dominion voting machines. "From an Intel friend: The Director of National Intelligence, the guy who oversees all intelligence agencies, needs to task the National Security Agency to immediately cease and begin looking for international communications related to Dominion."


In another text, Perry went on to claim Trump`s CIA director Gina Haspel was working with the British government to steal the election. "And Gina is still running around the Hill covering for the Brits who helped quarterback this entire operation."

Perry also reportedly texted Meadows a link to a YouTube video about Italian satellites changing the results of the election which just I`m going to tell you is my personal favorite conspiracy theory among the many that were floating around.

And while these new revelations are shocking, as my next guest argues, the real January 6 bombshell is right in front of us. Kyle Cheney is a senior legal -- Senior Legal Affairs Reporter for Politico who focuses on the January -- investigations into January 6. He recently wrote an article the January 6, Bombshells Hiding in Plain Sight.

Kyle, great to have you. I thought your piece did a good job of sort of stepping back and ordering things because it is the nature of this that we cover revelations day by day. But as you note in the piece, a tremendous amount has been assembled.

KYLE CHENEY, SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER, POLITICO: Exactly. That was my point with that piece was there`s a lot of expectations I think that when the committee releases its findings, there`s going to be some new smoking gun, some new shoe that`s going to drop that`s just going to blow everyone`s mind when, in reality, the slow buildup of what we`ve learned over the last 15 months has really been that that bombshell.

It`s been remarkable how much we learned about what this mean then, the sitting president was doing to sort of use the tools of government to overturn the election. What happened when he was told by his own DOJ, his own White House counsel that he couldn`t and the conspiracy theories he turned to.

So, really what you`ve amassed already is sort of the shocking revelation that we`ve all read in theory you`ve been waiting for.

HAYES: Yes. And one thing that you see in these texts is -- and I again, I`m not in a position to judge whether people are passing along these texts because it`s advantageous to, because they want to ingratiate themselves to a powerful person like Mark Meadows or the president, or because they really believe it.

I`m inclined to think in a lot of cases is that the latter is just like a ride -- a widespread infection of nonsense in the brains of some of the most powerful people on planet Earth. I mean, these are members of Congress. These are people that are at the highest levels of the most powerful nation on earth who are saying that an Italian satellite, maybe it was the Italian satellites, and maybe it was the ghost Hugo Chavez. I don`t know, Gina Haspel is running around.

Like, the judgment -- the inability to distinguish truth from fiction, fact from fantasy, is really deeply concerning at a deep level as exhibited in so much of this evidence.

CHENEY: Well, I think you`re right. I think for the most part, a lot of these are fairly smart people who know better when they send this along. So, there`s some sense of ingratiating themselves knowing this is what the President wants to hear. And what you`re seeing is just how, you know, how much the guard rails just completely broke down around the White House as they got closer and closer to January 6 where information that any good gatekeeper would keep away from the Oval Office, were being welcomed and invited in and amplified to the president who wanted to hear them.

And when people started telling him that he didn`t want to hear, he`d get rid of them. He`d sideline them and bring in people like John Eastern who said, oh, yes, that legal theory is good. We can make Mike Pence overturn the election. Or things like seizing voting machines, that`s a good strategy. And you just push out the people who told you the responsible thing.

HAYES: Yes, you write this, and I think it relates to the sound we just heard which I think is a big part of what the goal of the January 6 Committee is. It`s a goal of the reporting and storytelling we`ve done the show. The panel`s goal isn`t necessarily about unloading new salacious details, although certainly there will be some. It`s about reminding Americans with vivid and bone-chilling granularity just how close American democracy came to the brink based on already -- what`s already been revealed.

And they have a real kind of synthesis narrative challenge ahead of them more than an excavation challenge since they appear to have excavated a lot.

CHENEY: They have an enormous amount of information, you know, hundreds and hundreds of transcripts. And it is going to be hard -- it`s difficult. Their challenge is presenting that to people in a way that they can understand, they can grapple with, and get a feel. They want -- the committee wants people to feel what they felt on January 7. Then, they woke up -- and when Kevin McCarthy was even feeling like wow, we came really close to losing the country and the Republic, he wants everyone to remember that feeling -- or sorry, the committee wants people to remember that feeling and respond to it the way they did it at that time.

HAYES: Kyle Cheney, a reporter for Politico, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

CHENEY: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, if you think the number of Republicans texting Mark Meadows about stealing the election for Donald Trump is concerning, just wait until you get to look at Republican candidates waiting in the wings. The Trump errs on the debate stage after this.



HAYES: So, watching Kevin McCarthy backtrack on censoring numbers of his caucus seen the active role many of them played in trying to steal the election for Donald Trump, it`s no surprise to see the price of admission for candidates in this year`s Republican primaries is not surprisingly advocating the Big Lie and embracing Trump.

Just take a look at Georgia where Trump endorsed former Senator David Perdue is running against incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp.



DAVID PERDUE (R-GA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: First off, folks, let me be very clear tonight. The election in 2020 was rigged and stolen. What you`re going to see tonight, unfortunately, is an embattled governor, a career politician, 20-year career politician who`s going to parent his political handlers to distract you away from the fact that he sold us out and cost us the majority of the United States Senate.


HAYES: That`s rich. Career politician Purdue was just in the Senate for multiple terms before he got turfed out because people thought they shouldn`t vote because Hugo Chavez`s ghost was counting the tally anyway.

Now, those big live talking points took over the first 20 minutes of the entire hour long primary debate.


PERDUE: The whole reason I`m not in the United States Senate is because you caved in and gave the elections to Stacey -- or to the Liberal Democrats in 2020. And we have a court case right now, civil court case where the judge ruled that the evidence was compelling, and actually ruled to unseal the ballots in Fulton County. And right now you`re telling the people of Georgia that not one person violated the law in voter fraud in 2020. Is that right?

GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): That`s not what I`m saying. What I`m saying is we got information, some from one of your friends that sent it to us and we actually did something about it. And we sent it to the Secretary of State.

PERDUE: And what`s been done about that?


HAYES: And they are just re-litigating the 2020 election in Georgia. In Pennsylvania, Republican Senate candidates went out of their way to tie themselves to Trump with Dr. Oz leading the way.


MEHMET OZ (R-PA), SENATE CANDIDATE: I have discussed with President Trump that we cannot move on. We have to be serious about what happened in 2020. And we won`t be able to address that until we can really look under the hood.

President Trump endorsed being quite clearly in the first point he made about why I`m a conservative, America-first Republican. He said that I am pro-life and I am pro-life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former President Trump endorsed you. He coined that phrase America first in 60 seconds. How do you define it exactly?

OZ: One word, respect. What President Trump did was respect people who had been othered, forgotten, canceled.


HAYES: Now, in Michigan, Trump`s chosen candidate for attorney general use the opportunity of Republican primary debate last month to tout, again, the Big Lie lawsuit that he filed for Trump in 2020.


MATTHEW DEPERNO (R-MI), ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATE: I stood up for America, I stood up for America first values. I stood up for Donald Trump when nobody else would. I went out, I set my law career aside, I stood up for every one of you when I filed that lawsuit in Antrim County.

Now, Tom Leonard went up to Mackinaw this year. And he stood up there and he said, I haven`t seen any evidence of election fraud. Let me tell you, people. 70 percent of Republicans in this state know that this last election was garbage.


HAYES: Now, that lawyer, Matthew Deperno, ended up winning the Republican nomination for state attorney general. That sets the stage for him to actually be possibly, if he wins, one of the most powerful statewide officeholders in that vital swing state.



HAYES: The most consistent tone of Trump-era conservatism is whining. Donald Trump is the biggest whiner, the biggest one I`ve ever encountered in life. It`s what he does, all he does, moan, complain about his media coverage, rigged the election, yadda, yadda, yadda.

The entire right-wing universe around him has taken up the same tone. I mean, just constantly whining, whining, whinging about all the fronts and the indignities that they, in some cases, some of literally the wealthiest, most powerful people in the world have endured. And that`s the reason they`re all extremely excited about the news, which I`m sure you`ve seen, that the world`s richest man, Elon Musk, has reached a deal to buy Twitter.


TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: A good news show -- we don`t get those too often. Elon Musk bought Twitter today.

INGRAHAM: Twitter, it`s an Elon Musk`s hands. Can you believe it?

CARLSON: Musk`s purchase of Twitter is the single biggest political developments since Donald Trump`s election in 2016.

JESSE WATTERS, HOST, FOX NEWS: Count this one as a victory for free speech.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: He`s going to take a private signaling a return hopefully to free speech principles.

GREG GUTFELD, HOST, FOX NEWS: And he may in fact, save the town square.


HAYES: OK. Let`s put aside the coded meaning of free speech. We can get to that later. But it`s a little weird how psyched they are. Like, calm down, guys. Like, it`s cool. Like, a rich guy bought a social media platform. You can sense the palpable feeling of excitement in those moments of celebration. And it might seem weird, but to understand that joy about this individual billionaire buying a social media company, you have to understand how this strange very windy worldview has come to dominate the right wing.

In that world, people on the right are now classifying every institution in American life as either our team or their team, as if there`s like a ledger, right? And the essence of modern MAGA era conservatism is bemoaning the fact that in their mind, every institution in American life has moved from our team to their team.


WATTERS: Yet another big American company going woke. Disney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The woke world of Disney exposed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Newly leaked videos showed just how woke Disney has gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NFL has become totally liberal. Everyone knows it.

JASON WHITLOCK, WRITER, FOX SPORTS: Look, the NFL is just going further and further woke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask the NFL. They`re exploitive. They`re anti-American. They`re 1,000 percent woke.

CARLSON: The Pentagon is now the Yale faculty lounge but with cruise missiles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, story after story of the woke Pentagon comes.

INGRAHAM: The Pentagon is under the spell of corporate America. And contrary to what Austin said in that hearing, it`s gone totally woke.



HAYES: I mean, Look at these cosseted millionaires with like the plumbers job you could possibly get which is like talking on television for a living. I mean, I get it, right? Like, whining about oh, my God, everyone is against us. And if you ask me to choose institutions, I would never describe as liberal or woke. I don`t know, the top three might be Disney, the NFL, and the Pentagon.

But the constant message coming from right-wing media, particularly Fox News, that everything has been taken away from you, every institution is no longer yours. It`s all being run by the Libs who have colonized your mind and your culture.

Now, if you view the world that way, one way to deal with that is through creating your own culture. You might even call it counterculture, right, when you feel alienated from the mainstream. In my youth, you know, in the aught, a lot of leftist felt that way about the establishment media rightly in the era of 9/11 and Iraq war.

But while there`s some notable successes on the right creating counterculture, when they have tried to build their own institutions, they have tended to flame out in spectacular fashion. Here`s an example. Nowhere is this more true than the great promised alternative to Twitter called Truth social.

You might remember, last October, Donald Trump announced he was creating the new platform, "to stand up to the tyranny of big tech after they kicked him off from all major social media for well, fomenting a violent coup. And because he`s a business genius, Trump tapped a former dairy farmer with zero tech experience to run the company, Republican Congressman Devin Nunez, who quit his job to turn Truth Social into what it is today, an unmitigated disaster.

After a terrible rollout with users unable to join and post their truths, which is what they`re calling the version of tweets, Trump himself has still not even formally joined the platform, although he says he will begin posting over the next week, and will not be going back to Twitter even if Elon Musk allows it. But of course, that`s the part of the value he`s trying to sell, right?

Here`s the thing. Ultimately, there is an inherent tension between the cultural environment and worldview that produces broadly successful and popular institutions, and the just like pathological grievance politics of the hard-right faction of the Republican Party which has come to dominate. And so, that`s why they`re so psyched. That`s why they celebrate the Elon Musk purchase of Twitter as this kind of hostile takeover by one of their own.

It`s their dream for the right kind of billionaire to pull off a hostile takeover in an institution of American culture and wrench it back, right, what they believe is taken from them. One of their institutions coming back to our corner, because they think Musk is one of them, like the pillow guy is. And he`ll allow freedom for all sorts of whatever people want to post to come back to Twitter.

But if he doesn`t, will they turn on him too? Will they declare Elon Musk too woke like the Pentagon is? At the heart of all of this is the fact that their catechism of victimization has gotten so long, so baroque, so impossible to retain in one brain. Their sense of grievance is so extreme and ever-expanding. They have managed to push themselves further and further from the center of American life while at the same time decrying their own marginalization and distance from it.

That is the perpetual grievance machine of right-wing politics, a never- ending supply of things to be angry and whine about, which makes some people a lot of money as long as your audience never gets wise in this game.



HAYES: The obsession with canceled culture epitomized by Donald Trump launching his own attempt to the social media company after he was turfed off Twitter is the perfect encapsulation of what`s been happening is the right move further or further away from mainstream American life. You wind up outside feeling persecuted, then turnaround and point the figure -- finger at the institution for being the problem, even though you are the ones who retreated from the kind of core and shared values that could possibly bind the country together.

James Pogue is a journalist and essayist who`s contributing editor to Harper`s Magazine. Charles Blow is an opinion columnist for the New York Times. And they both joins me now. James, I want to start with you. You wrote a great piece for Vanity Fair inside the new right where Peter Thiel is placing his biggest bets.

It`s -- you hung out with JD Vance and some other folks and sort of in this somewhat incoherent world. But the sort of grievance in the sense that Americans pillar -- America`s pillar institutions across the broad swath were sort of in enemy hands and had to be wrenched back through some kind of sort of takeover. I mean, JD Vance basically says that, is like one of the animating forces in that world right now.

JAMES POGUE, JOURNALIST AND ESSAYIST: Well, so, I think an easy way to understand a very difficult to understand world would be to say that people on this kind of new right epitomized a little bit by people like JD Vance, tend to view the institutions at this establishment as being sort of having core interests that are opposed to regular people.

You know, JD Vance is kind of Middletown, Ohio, kind of real economy factory worker type people. They view the institutions of America is controlled by a media, political academic class that has a great interest in globalization, in what -- you know, open borders, these sorts of terms that get thrown around.

And they do this media and culture as sort of attacking them for the reasons of preserving the interests of that economic establishment.


HAYES: Right, But I think -- like -- so, there`s a weird sort of inversion of a kind of left argument there which I find really interesting. And you see it even in the terminology, Charles. Like, you see Ron DeSantis railing against the corporate media, and it`s like, bro, you`re the -- you`re the governor of Florida. Like, you`re pursuing the Chamber of Commerce`s obvious regulatory interests in everything you`re doing.

There`s a certain kind of like, anti-corporate cost play that`s like a big part of this. But also, then you get -- you get in this weird position where like your -- you think the Pentagon and the NFL are out to get you as well?

CHARLES BLOW, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, you know, I think, Chris, we`re in the middle of a massive backlash against things like the summer protests after George Floyd which I think shocked conservative America, because there was a lot of white kids.

When you look at the polling data about who was protesting in the streets, the number of white people dwarfs the number of black people who were in those protests. And I think that was shocking. I think the taking down of those monuments was shocking because it was an assault on, in their minds, white power and the white power narrative.

I think that, you know, corporations and institutions stepping in to say we`re going to examine things and maybe take some action. They didn`t all take the actions that they put, but they said that they would. And that all was shocking, because in the in previous backlashes whether it be against reconstruction or against integration of schools, or the civil rights movement, the institutions were always on their side.

It was the white churches that help uphold Jim Crow. It was the institutions like the media that helped to uphold those movements against people who are minorities. And in this instance, those institutions are not playing ball in the same way. And yes, in that circumstance, of course, they feel betrayed because in every other wave of oppression, the institutions were on their side.

HAYES: Well, and there`s also this sort of cultural factor which I think emerges in your piece, James. Like, you know, JD Vance says this line to you in the piece saying the first thing I tell Trump is like fire all the bureaucrats and all the mid-level civil servants, right? And that`s -- by the way, that`s like an incredibly old -- that`s like 100 year old like right-wing tropes, so there`s nothing particularly new about that. Like, they`ve been railing against bureaucrats as long as there`s been like a coherent version of the American right.

But also the thought is like, well, then who are you going to replace them with? I saw Ben Shapiro today saying, like, fire all the woke employees at Twitter. And it`s like, OK, well, can you guys go stuff, Twitter. Produce people that -- like, there is a region -- reason that the cultural milieu that is producing the employees at Twitter and the civil servants who work at like the EPA, is like, not super simpatico with like the MAGA ethos, and there`s a failure to reckon with that, I think.

POGUE: Yes. I mean, the short answer and the answer that, you know, alarmed a lot of people in the piece that I wrote was that there`s a certain number of people on this side of things you actually do just on a dictator. The more complicated and perhaps more interesting intellectual conversation that`s forming that is that a lot of them really admire people like Roosevelt.

And a lot of them actually are, as you said before, taking ideas from the left, which is as a leftist, somewhat disillusioning to see sometimes. And they are describing things, you know, in terms of how Chomsky used to say, manufacturing consent, and how Bernie supporters viewed, you know, like, a lot of Bernie`s views is getting shoved out of the mainstream and called the extreme even though they were very popular.

And so, the thing that I think would people might want to take away from is that a lot of right-wing people have come up with an answer for why America has difficulty governing. And they say that, you know, our sort of so- called state capacity has been degraded by this administrative state, by this bureaucracy, right?

And if you clear it out, you have you know, what one theorists in this calls a constitutional revolution. That figure may be a dictator. That may -- figure may be a Roosevelt, but they`re looking for more authority, more centralized authority as an argument that this is the only way we can get stuff done.

HAYES: Yes, there`s -- and there`s this weird thing where it`s like, want - - being thirsty for the power of these cultural centers they don`t have which is, Charles, what you see in the like weird Elon Musk celebration.

BLOW: Absolutely. You know, and I think they`re perfectly OK with government as long as they control it, right?

HAYES: Yes, right, this is the question.

BLOW: So, it is -- the trick was when this election in particular turned a lot of minority voters in the right states handing the election over to Joe Biden and not to Donald Trump. And what people now is like, we always see these massive waves of voter suppression. Well, you`ve always had voter suppression. There`s a massive wave of voter suppression that led into the 2016 election. That was the first election in 50 years where we didn`t have the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. There was a massive wave.

What they realize, however, was that it wasn`t enough. That why they went back to the drawing board and became even more vicious in the way they wanted to suppress people`s votes. The problem is not institutions, and the problem is not how big government is, the problem is who do they believe is controlling government and whether or not the people who they want to control it are in control of the government of the United States of America.

HAYES: James Pogue and Charles Blow, thank you both. That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.