Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: November 15, 2017 Guest: Beth Reinhard, Elizabeth Warren, Anna Langthorn
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: -- especially with a nominee who has said three days after Sandy Hook tragedy that his solution, he said exactly his solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up. I lived through that Sandy Hook tragedy with those families and it is such a profound lack of judgment, maturity, basic humanity. And I hope that perhaps the White House will heed that defect in character as well as lack of merit.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN: All right. Senator Richard Blumenthal, thanks for making time.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
HAYES: That`s "ALL IN".
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
And thanks at home for joining us this hour.
We`ve got Senator Elizabeth Warren here tonight.
And we`ve got an interview tonight with a young woman who is the sleeper story of successful Democratic politics this year thus far, electoral politics. She has no national profile at all. But success is following her like night follows day right now.
So, we`re going to introduce you tonight to that sleeper Democratic political success story and we`re going to speak with Senator Warren.
We`ve got a big show tonight. Really looking forward to this.
But we begin with some breaking news about the Alabama Senate race and the Republican candidate in that race. This breaking news tonight, Chris Hayes just started covering it in the last hour as this story broke in the "Washington Post." This is a new story from the remarkable team of reporters from the "Washington Post" who broke this story open in the first place last week.
Last week on Thursday, four named women told "The Washington Post" that Roy Moore, who was then a local deputy district attorney, had approached them for sexual or romantic encounters when they were teenagers and when he was in his 30s. One of the women says she was 14 when Roy Moore approached her and she described what to her was a scary and unwanted sexual encounter with him.
A fifth woman after those four named women came forward in "The Post," on Thursday, a fifth woman came forward on Monday, and a press conference with her attorney. She said Roy Moore had assaulted her violently in a locked car when she was 16 years old, left her bruised and laying on the ground in a cold parking lot as he drove away.
Since then, two more women have described encounters they had with Roy Moore, one as an adult and one in 12th grade. Those accounts were in "The Birmingham News" today. And now, tonight, two more women have come forward with their accounts of Roy Moore. One of them was 22 at the time. She said she ended up complaining to her manager about Roy Moore. She said he kept lingering in her section of the store or by the bathroom and asking her out to a point where she became a new sense and needed help.
The other woman says she was in 12th grade when Roy Moore approached her at her job, at the mall, at the Sears Store at the local mall. And then in a remarkable anecdote, he reportedly according to her, called her on the phone, the main phone line at her high school to ask her out. She was summoned out of math class because she was told that she had a call.
She remembers him saying when she picked up the phone, quote, Gena, this is Roy Moore. I was like what? He said, what are you doing? And I said, I`m in trig class.
As these claims have piled up, Judge Moore has called all of these allegations of wrongdoing absolutely false. "The Washington Post" tonight says that his campaign did not address these newest allegations but instead is calling the allegations broadly politically motivated.
Joining us now is Beth Reinhard from "The Washington Post", who along with her fellow reporters, Alice Crites and Stephanie McCrummen, broke this story today after initially breaking the news on Thursday.
I have to tell you, I just heard Beth Reinhard talking with Chris Hayes about this and we called her right after she got off the phone with Chris because I have some additional questions I want to ask her about this reporting.
Ms. Reinhard, thanks very much for joining us. I appreciate you getting back on the phone with us.
BETH REINHARD, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST (via telephone): Thank you.
MADDOW: So, the detail that jumps off the page from this latest report for me is that after one of the young women was approached by Mr. Moore in the mall, she was in high school, he was a grown man. He approached her in the mall, she said no. Then, he called her at school while she was in trig class.
And it`s just -- it`s just a remarkable anecdote. I have to -- I have to ask, in terms of doing that reporting, talking to this woman about what she says happened, does that -- did that stand out to her as strange as it seems to us looking back all of these years later and looking from this distance?
REINHARD: Absolutely. When she got called in class, she thought it was her dad calling her and she was nervous. She went to the office and picked up the phone and when she realized it was Roy Moore, she felt like everyone in the office`s eyes were on her.
She was very self-conscious about it and, you know, she said I can`t talk to you right now, I`m in trig class.
So, you know, it definitely stood out to her at the time and, you know, she has thought about it over the years.
MADDOW: Another woman who you spoke to for this report tonight describes a sort of general atmosphere and general understanding about him at the time. One of the quotes that you have in your report tonight is, I can remember him walking in -- walking into the mall and the whole mood would change with us girls. It would be like we were on guard. I would find something else to do. I remember being creeped out.
You also write in this report tonight, in all, "The Post" spoke to more than a dozen people who worked at that mall or hung out there as teenagers in the late `70s and early `80s, and recall Roy Moore as a frequent presence, a well-dressed man walking around alone, leaning on counters, spending enough time in the stores, especially on weekend nights that some of the young women who worked there said they became uncomfortable.
We`ve had increasing reports about this alleged habit of his from this time. Beth, were you able to discover in any of this reporting, this extensive reporting that you`ve done, if he was the only dude who was doing that or was this the thing that like lots of 30-something-year-old guys in Gadsden regularly did when they were looking for dates?
REINHARD: Well, I would say, you know, this is, you know, a small town -- maybe a small to medium size town. And when the mall opened in 1974, this was a gathering place and definitely people spent time at the mall. But the way it`s been described to us, you know, was that Roy Moore, who was at the time in his early 30s, an assistant district attorney, you know, was sort of seen as a regular and, you know, asked out many girls who were in their teens or early 20s.
Some of whom were sort of flattered at the time, but retrospectively feel that it was inappropriate. Others just flat turned him down.
MADDOW: Beth, this story, like your initial story, is obviously deeply sourced. I just quoted the part of the article where you say you spoke to a dozen people who worked at mall or hung out there as teenagers. The initial report not only had those four named accusers but an additional 30 interviews. So, you`ve clearly been doing the leg work there, you and your reporting team, talking to a lot of people.
Have you discovered any evidence that Roy Moore ever dated someone age appropriate? That he ever dated somebody his own age? I mean, the discrepancy between the age of these teenage girls and the fact that he was 30 and older does seem remarkable. It`s the source of all this controversy. He`s defended it himself by saying he denies dating girls who were below the legal age of consent.
That -- if that denial is accurate, that may leave open the possibility he was still a 30-something man pursuing girls in tenth grade. Did you find any evidence of him dating women his own age?
REINHARD: We haven`t.
MADDOW: Beth Reinhard, part of this remarkable team has broken this story over. Thank you for joining us on very short notice tonight, Beth. Appreciate it.
REINHARD: Thank you.
MADDOW: Again, this breaking news tonight from the "Washington Post." Two more women describe unwanted overtures by Roy Moore at an Alabama mall. The standout anecdote here -- I mean, all the anecdotes stand out for their own reasons.
But this young woman saying that she was in high school, she was in math class. She had been approached by Roy Moore at her job at the mall. He asked to her phone number, she had said no. She did let him know she was going to Gadsden High. He then called Gadsden High School, called the main number and had them get her out of class so that he could ask her out again.
She did ultimately go out with him. She says it ended badly. She said she met Moore at the movie theater. She says she can`t remember what they saw but she remembers clearly what happened after. She said it was cold and Moore offered to drive her to her car, which is more than a football field`s distance away.
She says he parked by her car and begun chatting with her and she says she told him about her dad. I just explained to him my dad is a minister and, you know, I just can`t sneak around because that`s wrong. So, I thanked him and started to get out. He grabbed me and pulled me in and that`s when he kissed me.
It was a man kiss, like really deep tongue, like very forceful tongue. It was a surprise. I had never been kissed like that.
And the minute that happened, I got scared, I really did. Something came over me that scared me and so, I said, I`ve got to go because my curfew is now. She got out of the car.
If there was one news outlet you never thought would leave Roy Moore`s side, who would be with him through all of these unfolding allegations no matter what, it would be a news outlet that a lot of people haven`t heard of outside of Alabama, that`s called Yellow Hammer News.
Yellowhammer News is a very conservative news site that covers Alabama politics. It describes its mission as being able to, quote, tell stories that connect to our state`s conservatives together. Since "The Washington Post" initially broke this story last week, Yellowhammer News has taken the line that all of this reporting about Roy Moore was politically motivated, that "The Washington Post" owed answers about this reporting to the voters of Alabama, that Alabama voters definitely wouldn`t believe these stories about Roy Moore.
As of tonight, Roy Moore can no longer rely on Yellowhammer News. In a post published at the top of the site earlier this evening, the lead author of Yellowhammer, J. Pepper Bryars, writes that he has come to the, quote, uncomfortable but firm conclusion the judge is lying, and the accusers are telling the truth.
Quote: What man wouldn`t remember if while in his 30s, he dated a tenth grader? That`s not something that slips one`s mind. I will not, cannot vote for Roy Moore.
It`s not clear how any of this will affect Roy Moore or the Republican chances of holding on to that Senate seat. He`s still in this race. He`s not dropping out.
We got much more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: In 2002, the first full year of the George W. Bush administration, Senator Susan Collins of Maine got a small but significant thing passed into law. If you`re a schoolteacher and you buy supplies for the kids in your classes, if before school starts you`re out there yourself buying pens and pencils and crayons and craft paper and Kleenex and chalk, whatever, to be used by your kids in your classroom. You as a teacher can take a deduction on your taxes for up to $250 for those supplies.
That was not always the case, but starting in 2002, Susan Collins of Maine made that happen. I mean, it`s still weird that we as a country pay teachers very little in terms of salary and then on top of that very low pay, we require them to take money out of their own pockets to outfit their classrooms with basic school supplies for kids, right? That`s still weird.
But thanks to Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, after our beleaguered underpaid teachers have to pay for that stuff themselves, they at least can make a note of it when they file their taxes on April 15th and they can get up to $250 back as a credit. That`s not a world-changing thing, right? That`s not life or death, but it is helpful, right?
It`s a small, sober, constructive discreet thing. It helps make sure that our classrooms are better supplied. It also recognizes teachers for their dedication. It legally and financially acknowledges that our teachers sometimes do have to do this and it helps them out when they do.
So, Susan Collins got that very practical thing done in 2002. Then in 2016, last year, Susan Collins went to bat for it again. And that tax credit for teachers buying school supplies, it didn`t get increased, it didn`t get morphed or combined in any more complicated thing, but it had been set to sunset and Susan Collins fought last year to make that little credit for teachers permanent.
And she was successful. So that $250 credit to help teachers buy school supplies for their students, Susan Collins fought for it in the first place, she got it enacted into law and then she fought for it again and she got it made permanent as of last year.
And in the new Republican tax bill they are voting on tomorrow, they are killing that tax credit for teachers buying school supplies for their students. And, again, this is a discreet, small, very specific thing in the tax code. You have to go out of your way to zoom in on something like that and kill it, especially just a year after it was made permanent, but that`s what Republicans did.
And you know who Republicans really, really need if they`re going to pass their tax bill? They really, really need Senator Susan Collins of Maine. It`s almost like they didn`t think this thing through.
The big picture story of what it`s been like in Washington since the end of the Obama administration, since Trump and the Republican Party took full control of Congress and the White House, big picture in terms of Capitol Hill under this Republican regime is that despite their unified control of the House and the Senate and the White House, they have passed nothing. Nothing.
They have voted for some judges. They have blocked some administrative rules from the Obama era, but in terms of substantive legislation that they have written and voted on and passed and had Trump sign into law, goose egg, nothing, zippo. And I know a lot of things about this era in American politics get called remarkable now. That`s a very overused word this year. But that`s freaking remarkable. That is unprecedented in modern American political history that you`ve got a president who has his own party in control of both houses of Congress and that president is in office for his first year and they pass nothing. It just doesn`t work that way.
But that`s how it`s worked this year. Now mostly what it`s looked like when they`ve tried to pass something, we`ve been able to see that because of the kinetic activity of their repeated failures to kill Obamacare, to kill the Affordable Care Act.
When Donald Trump was sworn in as president on January 20th, the Congress, the new Republican-led Congress had already been sworn in for two and a half weeks. He got sworn in January 20th, they all came back two and a half weeks before that, got sworn in January 3rd. And their original plan was to use that time before Trump got sworn in, getting Obamacare repeal ready so it would be ready by the time he got there. They wanted to get that legislation shined up, introduced, through the rules process, voted on and ready to receive the brand-new president`s signature, maybe even on the afternoon of inauguration day.
Republicans for years had been saying without dissent that they were going to kill Obamacare the minute they got a chance to. Not a single Republican was elected to Congress last year by saying, you know, I`m not with my party on this one. I think Obamacare has something to say for it. No, they were 100 percent unanimous for seven years that this was the first thing they were going to do. There was no question they would do it.
But despite their two and a half week early running start at that goal that they all agreed on, they didn`t have that bill ready for inauguration day. It would be two months -- it would be March before the Republican- controlled House had a bill to repeal Obamacare. They got ready to vote on it in March and then at the last minute, nope, yanked it off the floor because it`s turns out they didn`t have the votes. They have a 46-seat majority in the House but they couldn`t come up with the votes.
Then they sat on it for another two months, brought it up again in May. This time they did pass it despite the 46-seat majority the Republicans had, they were able to pass that bill by a margin of only four votes. And maybe they should have taken that as a sign.
When the Republican-controlled House barely passed that bill, the response of the Republican-controlled Senate was it ball it up and throw it away. The Senate refused to even consider what the House had just passed. They started working on their own bill to kill Obamacare.
As of June, they were ready to vote on their own bill to kill Obamacare and they, too, had to yank it because it turns out they didn`t have the votes in their own party.
Then the following month in July, they tried again. A different version of how to repeal Obamacare. They put the bill out there for a vote. This time they put it out on the floor. They thought for sure they would pass it, and then John McCain walked out into the middle of the Senate floor and with a melodramatic flourish gave his big, slow, thumbs down and killed that one, too.
Republicans in the Senate then tried again in September to repeal Obamacare, and, nope, again, they had to yank that one before they even tried to vote on it.
Remember, this was the thing they were going to get done the day that Trump was sworn into office, and, honestly, they`ve done nothing else other than trying to do that. It`s not like they didn`t do Obamacare but they did all of this other stuff. They haven`t passed any other legislation either. This is the only thing they`ve tried.
The day they yanked their last effort to try to kill Obamacare was September 26th. That day, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate went out before the cameras and said Republicans would essentially stop trying now to repeal Obamacare. They`d be moving on and try to pass something else instead.
And then the very next day they introduced their tax bill. And once again, the universe provided a sign. That tax bill that they unveiled is -- at the end of September, it`s aggressively tilted towards benefitting the wealthiest people in the country and corporations.
That`s exactly what the Republicans intended to do with their tax bill. They wrote it. They could have written it any way they wanted, but they wrote it to benefit the wealthy.
That, however, is kind of a PR problem in terms of that legislation. And that was the issue on which the universe provided Republicans with a sign about how something could maybe go wrong with this next legislative effort, too. As the Republicans introduced their tax bill, when they wanted everybody in the country to be talking about the Republicans` big new tax cuts. Please don`t say they benefit the wealthy. That was when Americans were actually talking about was this guy, the first Trump cabinet secretary to be forced out of his position in the administration, in his case because of a private jet scandal.
As Republicans introduced their tax plan to massively benefit the wealthy, there was Tom Price on TV apologizing for the dozens of private jet flights he had had taxpayers buy him. In an interview on Fox News that still gives me great pleasure today, FOX Anchor Bret Baier patiently explained to the Secretary Tom Price, even if he was offering to reimburse taxpayers for his seat on all of that private jet flights that taxpayers had to pay for. Bret Baier had to gently assure the secretary that because he was flying in private jets and not just buying a seat on an airplane with other people paying for other seats, the American taxpayers would still end up paying for all of the other seats on his airplane, even the ones that Tom Price`s butt had not been in.
That`s the whole private jet idea means. There is no other riffraff, the whole plane is for you. So, he paid us back for his seat, we paid for all the other seats.
So that was the day they introduced their tax bill and hoped nobody would talk about how it benefitted the wealthy. Private jet day was the day they introduced the tax bill. The following day, Tom Price was gone from the administration, but that was their introduction of their "don`t talk about the wealthy tax" bill.
Well, now tomorrow they`re going to have the vote on the tax bill in the House. So, again, tonight Republicans want everybody in the country to be talking about their tax cuts, but please don`t say they`re mostly for the wealthy. Please, let`s not talk about rich people. Don`t think about -- let`s proclaim this don`t think about rich people day.
And on this day, the eve of the vote, on don`t think about rich people day, the Trump administration dispatched multimillionaire Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to pose for this picture. We`re just going to leave this up for a second. We`re just going to -- we`re not -- we`re just going to leave this here for a second.
This is Steve Mnuchin on the right, fund-raiser for the Donald Trump campaign, no record of public service, got fabulously wealthy foreclosing on poor people in California during the financial collapse. On the eve of don`t think about rich people Republican tax vote tomorrow, Secretary Mnuchin elected to pose for publicity photos holding a sheet of money because he`s proud his name is on the money now.
For the purposes of this picture, he brought along with him, his wife, and she helped hold the money while wearing ankle length black opera gloves.
Now I know I`ve had this picture up for a long time, it`s partly because I can`t help it. But there is one other angle "The Associated Press" photographer has provided from today. This one I think is maybe even better, because this is the one where the guy in the back who looks like Doug Stamper from "House of Cards", he`s peering around the woman in the opera gloves and leather maxi dress to be like, seriously, dude, are you holding up your pinky while displaying your sheet of money? Do you know there are photographers here?
The look on Doug Stamper guys face here is all you need to know how about well the Trump administration is managing the rollout of their big, don`t think about rich people tax plan, which is being voted on tomorrow. Dude, your pinky.
Polling on the Republican tax plan is exactly what you think it is. Quinnipiac just posted these new poll results today showing that Americans are against the Republican tax plan by a margin of more than two to one, and that polling was actually done through Monday. So, it doesn`t even reflect the fact that yesterday, Republicans made it even better. They chose to add to their tax bill the repeal of Obamacare.
So, in addition to adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit and giving a giant financial boost to corporations in the wealthiest Americans and costing something like half of middle class families to have their taxes go up, in addition to all of those very popular benefits from this bill, what they`re now additionally proposing would result in 13 million Americans losing all health insurance coverage.
And if you`re lucky enough to keep your health insurance coverage, what they proposed for their tax bill as of yesterday will also jack rates up for everybody who keeps their insurance. And theoretically that is the bouquet of roses they are trying to sell the American public right now as the first thing they want to pass in the Trump era.
Theoretically, they`re trying to sell that to the public. Realistically, that`s what they are selling right now to Susan Collins and John McCain and Bob Corker and Ron Johnson and Lisa Murkowski and any Republican senator who might conceivably peel off from what they`re trying to do here.
So, tonight is Steve Mnuchin and bride hold money night, which means the vote on the Republican tax bill is tomorrow in the House. Don`t think about rich people.
Outside of Republicans in Congress and the donors that are most important to them, this bill doesn`t have a lot of friends. Lots of different types of people have reasons to be very strongly against this. For example, anybody with health insurance. Anybody who only got health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. All middle class people. All stakeholders from one side of the spectrum to the other in the health care field, including doctors and hospitals and patient groups, everybody -- even teachers who have to buy school supplies for their classrooms and any American who likes teachers for doing that.
I know Democrats are all against it. I know Republicans are largely for it. I don`t know what the battle plan is to try to beat it or what`s really expected to happen next here when this vote comes up tomorrow. But Senator Elizabeth Warren joins us live next.
MADDOW: -- Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Senator Warren, it`s great to have you here tonight. Thanks so much for being with us.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good to be with you.
MADDOW: I could hear via my control room that you were laughing at the photo showing the secretary of the treasury touching the money. Is that a photo you had not seen before being on TV tonight?
WARREN: I had not.
MADDOW: I`m sorry to have sprung that on you. I hope it did not hurt.
WARREN: Yes, I`m fine. I`ll get over it. I mean, you can`t make this stuff up.
MADDOW: Yes, well --
WARREN: There it is.
MADDOW: There is a strategic question as to why the Trump administration decided to pursue that photo-op on the day -- on the eve of them voting on their tax bill.
WARREN: Look, there is a strategic question about why they would continue to pursue a tax plan that just socks millions of American families. Why they would continue to try to knock millions of people off health care coverage. This is just -- the Republicans just keep barreling ahead and the more other people all around this country say, stop, don`t do that, man, they just keep right on going.
It just kind of sounds like they aren`t listening to the American people, maybe they`re listening to their donors, the Koch brothers, the Mercer family. That`s what seems to be going on here.
MADDOW: The polling for this tax bill, each before they added the Obamacare repeal positions to it was dismal. More than two to one Americans opposed to it. If you ask Americans if they believe the Republican spin on this, that this bill will reduce their taxes, it`s down in something like 16 percent or 15 percent of Americans believe that would be true about this bill. It`s very, very unpopular.
How does that translate to its likelihood of passing?
WARREN: Well, you know, the thing is you would think that they would hear the voices of the American people, but it`s hard because when your ears are stuffed with money from your donors who want to see those tax breaks for the giant multinational corporations, it`s kind of hard to hear what it is that people are saying. But the way I see this, our plan is the same plan it was during health care.
You know, I remember, gosh, a day or two after the election when it just suddenly hit me that with the Republicans in the control of the House, the Republicans in control of the Senate and the Republicans about to be in control of the White House that millions of Americans in this country were going to lose health care coverage. I remember it.
And we didn`t have the votes to stop them. The votes just weren`t there. The Democrats could not stop them. And yet we got in there, we fought back and people across this country got in the fight. Democracy started rewiring itself.
People showed up at rallies. People showed up at protests. They showed up in offices. People sent e-mails. People made posts, they tweeted, they Facebooked, they did everything they could to make themselves heard.
They magnified each other`s voices. They told stories. They got in there and when it came around to that final vote in August in the Senate, enough people had raised their voices that there were enough votes to hold on to health care for millions of American families.
I see that as a moment that signaled the transformation of democracy. That is really was a moment when people said, we are not going to let this Republican Congress and we are not going do let this president just roll over us.
And now, we need exactly the same thing on taxes. These guys are ready to say, hey, have we got a deal for you. Long-term permanent tax giveaways in the trillions for giant corporations and long-term permanent tax increases for middle class families.
It`s time for folks to speak out again and say, no, no, no, this is our government, and it has to work for the people, not just for the giant corporations, and their donors and executives.
MADDOW: I think one of the -- the way that you`re describing that, I think one of the strategic miscalculations here on the part of the Republicans may have been a failure to recognize that including the health care repeal provisions in the tax bill will be like striking a tuning fork in terms of reactivating the kind of opposition they had when it was just health care repeal, and it wasn`t combined with this larger tax measure.
WARREN: Yes, I think you`re exactly right on that and I think you`re right, because it really is the double punch to hard working families. That the bill as now they`ve constructed it does two things simultaneously, raises taxes for millions of middle class families at the same time while knocking about 13 million people off their health care coverage, increases the cost of health insurance.
You know, families are already squeezed hard enough. When you raise their taxes and increase the cost of their health insurance, they`re not going to be happy about that. They`re going to be ready to fight back, to fight back for their own economic survival and to fight back for a country that works for them, not just for a thin slice at the top.
MADDOW: Senator Warren, there is another matter that I want to ask you about tonight.
MADDOW: I`m hoping you can stick with me for a second. It`s about a resignation that happened in Washington today --
MADDOW: -- that was a big deal and a surprise. We`ll be right back with Senator Elizabeth Warren right after this. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Joining us once again is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Senator, thank you for sticking with us. Much appreciated.
WARREN: Good to be here.
MADDOW: You helped to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You conceived it, president Obama tasked you with get it up and running and then he installed Richard Cordray to run that agency. It`s been there since 2011.
Richard Cordray resigned today after spending a year working at that bureau during the Trump administration. I wanted to get your reaction to that overall.
WARREN: So, you know, it was exactly seven years ago this week that I first called Rich Cordray and I was trying to put together this baby agency and I said, will you come be a part of this? And he said, yes, and was only go to do this temporarily.
And he came. He was terrific. He built it. He was the first director.
And in the time that Rich helped run that agency, the agency managed to force big corporations in this country, big banks to return more than $12 billion to families that they cheated and its handled more than a million complaints. It`s government that works for the people and I`m deeply grateful for all of the things that Rich has done.
MADDOW: Now he`s leaving. There`s been political discussion he may be leaving because he wants to run for governor in Ohio. I have to ask what your hopes for that agency are now that President Trump will be appointing its leadership?
WARREN: So, you know, this is a real test for Donald Trump. In the financial area is the biggest one so far. He ran saying over and over and over, he was going to be there for the little guy. He was going to be there for the forgotten man and he was the one who could stand up to Wall Street.
Well, that is the very job of that agency, is to be there for the American consumer and to stand up to the giant Wall Street banks. That means they need a director who has a proven track record in both the ability to stand up to Wall Street and the commitment to try to level the playing field for hardworking families. That`s the kind of person if Donald Trump puts him in, this agency will continue to do its work on behalf of the American people.
MADDOW: Remarkably constructive and optimistic. I will say given this situation, but that`s your job is to make stuff happen even when it seems hard.
WARREN: Well, and to say that has to be the standard.
WARREN: The standard is not what is the creepiest guy that Donald Trump has put into his administration and is this person a little bit better than that? The standard is this agency was built to work for the American people and it does work for the American people. It needs a director that is committed to that and right now, that`s up to Donald Trump. Make it happen.
MADDOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, thank you for joining us tonight, Senator. I really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
WARREN: Thank you.
MADDOW: All right.
Still ahead, coming up next, we`re going to be speaking with a young woman who you have never heard of who is the sleeper story in successful Democratic electoral politics this year thus far. She is not an elected official. Like I said, you`ve never heard of her but you will want to see this. She joins us next.
MADDOW: In the 2016 presidential race, this is what Oklahoma`s county by county results map looked like. It`s the red/blue map. See? Not in Oklahoma. Just a sea of red across the board.
Usually in red states, you see a little blue dot here and there, a few specks here and there, maybe one or two counties, not in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is not friendly territory for Democrats.
Earlier this year, the "Washington Post" listed Oklahoma among its top ten states where the Democratic Party was, quote, on life support, which is when one 24-year-old political operative named Anna Langthorn decided she`d like to do something about that. Rather than gripe about her party`s repeated failures in her state, she decided that she would run to be chair of the Oklahoma Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA LANGTHORN, OKLAHOMA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: I`m running because over the last seven years, I`ve watched over and over and over again as really great candidates and really great local party activists stepped up to the plate, said I want to help, I want to participate, or I want to run for office and the state party repeatedly through disorganization and dysfunction let those candidates and organizations and activists down, right?
When candidates filed, we said best of luck. Hope it works for you. We don`t provide any guidance, we don`t provide any training, we don`t provide any resources. And I think personally that`s why we continue to lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And then she won. In May, she became the youngest person to ever run a state party, at the age of 24. Since Anna Langthorn took over the state Democratic Party in Oklahoma, Democrats in Oklahoma have flipped four seats in the state legislature from red to blue.
Last night, a week after Democrats won the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and it looks like they really may have flipped the Virginia House as well by flipping more than a dozen seats there red to blue, last night, there was another special election in Oklahoma, and honestly, it was really a hopeless case for Democrats.
The district where the special election was for the Senate seat last night in Oklahoma, it was a district that Trump won by 40 points. Not he got 40 points. He won by a 40-point margin there.
It`s a district where the Republican in this special election outspent the Democrat three to one. Last night, Oklahoma Democrats flipped that seat, too. That state Senate seat last night was won by a Democrat who is a woman, she is 26 years old, she`s openly gay and she just flipped a Republican Oklahoma Senate seat to the Democratic Party.
Did I mention that the district she won went for Trump by a 40-point margin?
I mean, overall, Democrats have been having a good year in this off-year of elections. All over the country, they`ve flipped more than 30 state legislature seats from red to blue, but statistically, politically, in a country with 50 states, it is a freaking story that out of all of those 30- something seats that Democrats have flipped across the country, four of them have been in the great deep red state of Oklahoma.
Joining us now is Anna Langthorn. She is the chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
Ms. Langthorn, thank you very much for joining us. It`s a real pleasure to have you on the show.
LANGTHORN: Thank you so much for having me. I`m happy to be here.
MADDOW: So, let me start by asking you if I got that right, four legislative seats this year have flipped from red to blue in your state?
LANGTHORN: Yes, that is correct.
MADDOW: What`s your secret?
LANGTHORN: I don`t know that we have a secret, except for eight years of failed Republican leadership and a supermajority in both houses that has really let voters down and they`ve woken up to that fact.
MADDOW: Do you have different decisions to make about ideological stands in the Democratic Party and litmus tests for candidates and things like that than -- are your decisions about that different than might be true in states that are more politically heterogeneous? Because you`re in such a deep red state, because you got unilateral party control, the way that you just described, do you have harder or different decisions to make than Democratic chairs might have to make in other states?
LANGTHORN: Yes, that is certainly a debate that happens a lot within our internal party works, but at the end of the day, Oklahoma voters are concerned with what`s happening in their day-to-day lives with infrastructure and education and health care. And those are the things we`re talking about because our schools are going four days a week, our retirement centers are closing, our hospitals are closing. Our roads and bridges are crumbling.
And so, we have to focus on those issues because people are literally dying in our state because of failed Republican leadership.
MADDOW: And when you describe those kinds of urgent issues that are specific to Oklahoma, does that mean your candidates are really focusing on that local stuff, on state level stuff, and it`s not these elections that you`ve been winning are a referendum on the Trump administration or other things going on in national politics?
LANGTHORN: I don`t -- I don`t think they necessarily are a referendum on Trump, unfortunately. They are largely a referendum on the local politics that is happening in the state of Oklahoma which is dire.
MADDOW: In terms of -- I mean, the overall state of the Democratic Party, I have to ask you as -- are you 24 still, are you 25?
LANGTHORN: I`m 25. I turned 25 last month.
MADDOW: Well, happy birthday, belatedly.
LANGTHORN: Thank you.
MADDOW: As the youngest person to run a state party, someone who has risen to a leadership position and shown results at a very young age and someone gotten involved in politics relatively recently, only because everything in your life is relatively recent, do you feel like you have anything that the rest of the country should know in terms of engaging younger people and encouraging people who approach things the way you do, to not only get involved but to take leadership roles?
LANGTHORN: Well, I definitely absolutely believe that more young people need to be taking on leadership roles. It`s an interesting perspective to be in because, typically, people my age are not only apolitical, they also don`t necessarily believe in a bipartisan system. They don`t believe that two parties are working for us and there is some merit to that argument. So, getting young people involved politically, but into the party structure itself is almost impossible.
But I hope that more young people do because I don`t think things are going to get better until people my age are more involved.
MADDOW: Do you have support front national Democratic Party?
LANGTHORN: Absolutely. Absolutely. I will say we did not get quite the investment that Virginia and New Jersey got, but the DNC has invested in our party structure and our local candidates.
MADDOW: Anna Langthorn, chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, the youngest person to ever chair a state party and one who`s had remarkable success on a place that a lot of Democrats from the outside wouldn`t have thought possible. Congratulations on your big year this year.
LANGTHORN: Thank you. Thank you.
MADDOW: We will continue to expect big things from you. Keep us apprise as things go forward.
LANGTHORN: We`ll do our best.
MADDOW: All right. Thanks a lot. We`ll be right back.
And actually, speaking of deep red states. I`m told we have more breaking news from the Alabama Senate race that has just happened in the last couple of minutes. So, we`ll be back with that right after the break.
MADDOW: So we have yet more breaking news from the Alabama Senate race. Tonight, just before we got on the air, "The Washington Post" broke yet another story of yet another woman who says she was a teenager when Roy Moore aggressively pursued her sexually to the point where she was frightened. The election in the Alabama Senate race is scheduled for December 12th.
That is legally too late for Alabama Republicans to take Moore`s name off the ballot even if they wanted to. But that wanted to part of it ends up being important. The Alabama Republican Party, even though they can`t take his name off the ballot, they could decide to decertify him as a candidate so votes for him wouldn`t count.
That would open the door for a write-in candidate to have a meaningful shot at that race. That possibility was on the agenda for Alabama Republicans at a party meeting they held tonight in state. Well, as of right now, we know what they have decided.
Alabama conservative news site Yellowhammer News, which we talked about earlier this hour, they`re reporting right now, quote, Alabama GOP takes no action against Roy Moore.
NBC News further reports that the question of abandoning Roy Moore was not even taken up for a vote. Alabama Republicans are sticking with Roy Moore after all of the allegations of the past week, after four more women came forward just today, two in "The Washington Post," two in "The Birmingham News", after calls from members of Congress and the U.S. Senate for him to drop out of the race.
He has stuck with his absolute denial of wrongdoing and Alabama Republicans are sticking with him.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD". The great Ari Melber is sitting in for Lawrence O`Donnell tonight.
Good evening, Ari.
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