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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 5/11/22

Guests: Jackie Alemany, Eugene Robinson, Joyce Vance, Jeremy Bash, David Jolly, David Plouffe, Brian Chesky

Summary

Senate fails to pass abortion rights bill. A.G. Garlands orders more protection for justices. New developments in 2020 election probes. Judge lifts contempt order against Trump. Investigators work on identifying bodies of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces regain some territory. Trump attacks GOP governors backing Kemp. Airbnb institutes permanent work from home.

Transcript

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Tonight`s last word is precedent. The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the fate of federal abortion rights remains uncertain as a key vote fails in the Senate. So what`s next?

Plus, new details on the plot to overturn the 2020 election, reporting on the push to try to read tabulate Pennsylvania`s popular vote and toss out 1000s of absentee ballots.

Plus, our exclusive interview on the future of work. The bold new prediction from the CEO of Airbnb about what`s next for you, the worker. As the 11th Hour gets underway on this Wednesday night.

Good evening, once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle, 181 days to the midterm elections, and protecting the right to choose is quickly becoming a key strategy for Democrats ahead of those elections.

Today, all 50 Senate Republicans with a help from West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, blocked legislation that would have made Roe vs. Wade federal law. Now, Democrats are gearing up to take their case to the courts and to the voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAMALA HARRIS, (D) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The Senate failed to stand in defense of a woman`s right to make decisions about her own body. This vote clearly suggests that the Senate is not where the majority of Americans on this issue. It also makes clear that a priority for all who care about this issue, a priority should be to elect pro-choice leaders at the local, the state and the federal level.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK MAJORITY LEADER: We are going to continue to highlight this issue relentlessly and strongly between now and November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: Senate Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski say they are not giving up on the law to protect the rights upheld in Roe v. Wade. They`ve introduced their own bill. And Collins has been meeting with Democrat Tim Kaine to discuss it.

Meanwhile, Politico which published that leaked draft opinion by Justice Alito overturning Roe says it appears to be the only opinion circulated thus far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH GERSTEIN, POLITICO SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER: There is no other opinion in circulation. Most likely these justices have had a long time to think about this issue. They were already obviously questioned about it in their confirmation hearings. They said what they said about it, but they also know what they think about it, and I doubt that other justices or the public reaction is likely to sway them at this point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: Politico adds, the justices are meeting privately tomorrow for the first time since the leak.

Meanwhile, abortion rights supporters have been demonstrating in front of the homes of Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Alito. Attorney General Merrick Garland has now ordered the U.S. Marshal Service to provide additional security for all nine members of the court.

We`re also keeping an eye on the latest in key investigations into the 2020 elections. And of course, the January 6 riot. NBC News has learned the Atlanta area District Attorney looking into Trump`s alleged election tampering in Georgia, it`s now getting cooperation from people who served as fake GOP electors.

Politico also says the January 6 Committee has a trove of new emails from Trump ally John Eastman, which show he urged Pennsylvania lawmakers to just throw away absentee ballots to give Trump the lead. That panel is getting ready to reveal its findings to the public at next month`s hearings. And today, Congressman Adam Schiff offered up this preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: Without a doubt, there will be new information and new details. We expect in these, you know, multimedia presentations that include live testimony, video, audio documentary evidence to provide a kind of important texture to this nefarious effort for the first time in our history to overturn a presidential election interfere with a peaceful transfer of power, I think you`ll see really a clever integration of these different sources of information to tell the story and tell it in an easily digestible form.

RUHLE: The former president likely will still be fighting other legal battles as those hearings unfold. But today, a New York judge dropped a contempt order against Trump, as long as several conditions are met. That includes Trump paying 110 grand in fines for not turning over documents in a civil investigation.

We got a lot to cover. So with that, let`s bring in our experts. A trio of MSNBC Contributors and Analysts, Jackie Alemany, Congressional Investigations Reporter for The Washington Post, former U.S. Attorney, Joyce Vance, who spent 25 years as a federal prosecutor and Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Columnist for the Post.

All right let`s get started. Jackie, it`s official Roe is not going to become law at least not yet. So we`re seeing Democrats in Congress now focus on the midterms making abortion their key issue is that a winning strategy, given how many Americans are so concerned on pocketbook issues?

[23:05:15]

JACKIE ALEMANY, THE WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, Stephanie, that`s really a question that Democrats are grappling with. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer really said as much today that the vote that failed the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade, was essentially a move about mobilizing voters and not about actually passing legislation, as it`s been clear for quite some time now that, despite the slight Democratic majority for Democrats have not had the votes to neither codify this nor defeat Republican filibusters and change the Senate rules.

You heard Vice President Kamala Harris, who came down and visited the Senate today. Also say that, you know, this was a tipping point and electorally, now up to Americans to vote more prochoice Democrats into government. But it is still something that remains to be seen about whether or not this is ultimately going to galvanize and mobilize and sustain a public backlash to pushing abortions, abortion rights, come November and motivate -- motivating Americans.

I mean, you saw Congresswoman Katie Porter today give a very passionate speech about inflation and pocketbook issues. This is not something that you see frontline Democrats talking about, at least not in this very moment. But of course, there`s quite a bit of time between now and November.

RUHLE: The issue is the President can talk and be empathetic about inflation. But the reality is, he cannot do that much about it.

Eugene, you have been writing all about Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell himself. You call him the person most responsible for the expected end of Roe, you think he likes that title?

EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: He certainly doesn`t mind and he doesn`t seem to mind anything I write about him because Mitch don`t care, right? Mitch is going to do what Mitch is going to do what Mitch is going to do. And look, he shaped today`s Supreme Court. He kept Merrick Garland off the court. He rushed into Coney Barrett on the court, as well as President Trump`s other two nominees. And that`s what provides the majority for getting rid of woman`s constitutionally protected right to choose. It`s been recognized for 49 years in this country. It`s about the vanishing.

And so yeah, I think -- I mean, Mitch McConnell, more than any one person is responsible for this moment. And I think Democrats have, I think they have to walk and chew gum. They have to talk about pocketbook issues, they better because people are focused on those. But this is this is important. This is intrinsically important to millions and millions of Americans. What is about to happen to Roe v. Wade, and they would not be doing their jobs just as representatives, as politicians as people. I think if they didn`t make this a big issue too, because of the -- because of the impact, because of what it`s about to do.

RUHLE: Well, 130 women will be eligible to vote in the midterms, 70% support a woman`s individual choice. That`s 91 million voters out there.

Joyce, I mentioned it before, the one Democrat who did not vote with the rest of his party, West Virginia`s Joe Manchin, in an interview today he explained why. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D) WEST VIRGINIA: The bill we have today to vote on, Women`s Health Protection Act, and I respect people who support but don`t make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification, is an expansion. It wipes 500, 500 state laws off the books, it expands abortion. It`s just disappointing that we`re going to be voting on a piece of legislation which I will not vote for today. But I would vote for Roe v. Wade codification if it was today, I was hopeful for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: Joyce, fact check this for us, because lots of us are sitting here thinking this was all about codifying Roe vs. Wade?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: So his criticism might be true in some sort of a hyper technical sense, but it`s really disingenuous. What he`s talking about are provisions in this bill that make it impermissible for states to engage in some of the restrictions on access to abortions that make it very difficult for women to fulfill the promise that Roe offers them. For instance, these waiting periods, these delays where you have to go in for an appointment and then come back later, or other sorts of provisions that make it very difficult for clinics to operate in certain areas and curtail access by severely restricting the number of clinics that might be in a given state. The bill makes it impossible for states to keep those sorts of laws in place. And that`s really critical when you think about restrictions like the ones for instance, in Texas, in a case called Whole Woman`s Health v. Hellerstedt, which would have essentially ended abortion in Texas.

[23:10:22]

Without this provision in the bill, those sorts of restrictions could be enacted by states. Clearly that would mean that Roe versus Wade would not be the law of the land. And so Senator Manchin`s objections here, really speak more to a desire to permit states to restrict abortion than to permit women to make their own decisions about these important matters concerning their own bodies.

RUHLE: And that`s what we call a fact check.

Eugene, Ketanji Brown Jackson is now waiting to take her seat on the bench. A few days ago, I saw you -- you said, is she wondering what she`s gotten herself into? What is she walking into on the Supreme Court?

ROBINSON: Boy, well, she`s walking into, but must be a fairly toxic atmosphere right now. I imagine the liberal wing of the court now in the minority 63, has become increasingly frustrated at the way the conservative majority is behaving. You read the tone of Justice Alito, his draft opinion. And in places it`s just -- it`s just plain nasty, and sort of gratuitously, so.

And that doesn`t -- you know, that doesn`t tend to be like it`s a great atmosphere, the justices historically have gotten along. Well, congenial to one another famous friendship between Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg, on the far right and far left, and they got along well together and went to opera together. I wonder if that`s the kind of court it`s going to be for the next few years. I think it`s -- I think it`s going to be a tougher place to be.

Now, that said, justice to be Ketanji Brown Jackson has a reputation as a reconciler, as someone who can speak to the other side. The question is, can she change any minds on that other side, and I`m very skeptical about that.

RUHLE: Let`s turn to January 6, and those emails from pro-Trump lawyer, John Eastman, who really is the architect of the big lie, I want to share what we heard earlier from January 6, committee member Elaine Luria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: The things that we have seen come from the January 6 committee, the things that I expect, we will see come from the January 6 committee, I think all of the things that --

REP. ELAINE LURIA, (D) VIRGINIA: She was clearly a central figure in this plot, just the volume of emails that we know exist and the types of people he was reaching out to, for in this case of a legislator in Pennsylvania. In the volume, the content that we`re aware of from the previous discussion shows that you know, he`s a key cog in this machine that was trying to, you know, piece together a different election result than what the voters had decided.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: That, of course, was Eric Holder before Luria, but let`s get back to what she was saying. John Eastman, he wrote in these emails about tossing out absentee ballots, he actually asked one Republican state lawmaker about the need for cover. OK, I`m a mere civilian, Joyce, when I look at this, I think this is hugely damaging. But is it because this far, nothing seems to stick?

VANCE: We don`t usually see people map out a criminal conspiracy in the form of innocuous legal letters and requests among well-heeled lawyers and people working in elections and working on behalf of political parties. But this is absolutely a roadmap for a conspiracy. It`s clear that Eastman is doing this after he knows that Trump has lost the election. And he`s sort of playing the game with math. Well, how many ballots do we have to throw out in order to win? It`s really very reminiscent of what went on in Georgia. When Trump made his infamous phone call the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asked for just one more vote than the total that Joe Biden had won that state by, said this is the number of votes I need you to find for me, 11,780 votes, so I can be the winner.

You know, it`s math games. It`s laughable on one hand, but it is a conspiracy on the other. And if the justice department decides to mount this as a case, at this point, that evidence is so compelling that it`s not a question of whether there was a conspiracy, it`s a question of who joined that conspiracy, who is a member, who intended to overthrow the results of this election and interfere with the transfer of power, you know, who gets indicted? Was it a solicitation by Eastman and nobody else joined? Or was there really a fulsome group engaged in this conduct, which is increasingly what the evidence looks like.

[23:15:20]

RUHLE: Just in case you weren`t listening, or you wanted to hear it again, I`m going to repeat what we just heard from former Attorney General Eric Holder, where he said, I think all of these things are pushing me towards the very distinct possibility of an indictment of a former president, people around him, cabinet members, people who served at the Justice Department have to be seriously considered. Jackie, what`s your reaction to that?

ALEMANY: Yeah, I mean, look, a federal judge has already read all of John Eastman`s emails in their totality and found that they amounted to, "a coup in search of a legal theory." I think regardless of whether or not the Select Committee ultimately decides to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice based on what they find in the course of their investigation. Prosecutors are going to be watching what they put forth, regardless, pretty closely.

In Georgia, for example, you already have district attorney Fani Willis`s office trying to determine whether or not the pro-Trump electors had any knowledge that their actions may have been a component of a broader illegal plot that is a criminal investigation that`s been opened up.

And, you know, I think John Eastman as much as Mark Meadows now is panning out to be a central and a connective tissue of a lot of these plots that were, you know, flowing up and down the org chart in Trump`s orbit and at different times. Between the November election and January 6, John Eastman was propagating various different constitutional schemes, many of which he expressed hesitation about himself. If you read those emails, which are worth read, he even admits that he wasn`t even tuned into some of the key hearings that were going on where he would be basing some of his constitutional arguments off of.

RUHLE: All right, thank you all for starting us off tonight. Jackie Alemany, Joyce Vance and Eugene Robinson.

Coming up, as Ukraine begins to take back what Russia tried to steal, criminal investigations are getting underway.

And later, the future of the workplace. My exclusive interview with the CEO and Founder of Airbnb who says the office as we know it is over. The 11th Hour just getting underway on a very busy Wednesday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:22:23]

RUHLE: As Vladimir Putin`s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine enters its 78th Day Ukrainian forces are slowly taking back some of its territory that was seized by Russia. And that is letting some civilians and criminal investigators to return and assess the aftermath of the battle. We begin our coverage with our own Cal Perry live for us again tonight from Kyiv. Cal, it is so good to see you. I know you`ve got some new reporting on what those forensic investigators are finding. What do you learn?

CAL PERRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: So we spent the day with a civilian military unit part of whose job is to scour the country looking for the bodies of Russian soldiers to find them, identify them, exhume them, store them and then if possible, repatriate them to Russia. We were there this morning, we should warn our viewers some of this video is graphic and this is a graphic story. We were there this morning when the body of a young Russian soldier was dug up just outside of the Capitol here where I am in Kyiv. There`s over 200 bodies being held in the Kyiv area, Stephanie. Again, this group is trying to piece together where the soldiers came from, what units they are with, but they`re dealing with very limited information. Take a listen to what the colonel who runs the unit had to say to us today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Most of the occupiers` bodies do not have documents. We have confirmation that the documents were collected centrally. There are many cases when whole packs with documents from the soldiers are found in plastic bags tied with laces and captured inside enemy equipment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Now, according to Ukrainian officials, this is part of a concerted effort by the Russian army to take all identification off of soldiers, to take the patches of the units, they`re from a way to make it difficult to carry out the jobs exactly the ones that we are describing.

The other thing that we were told is that Russia is not engaging with the Ukrainians about getting these bodies back that they`re simply just not interested in receiving these bodies back. So there are 200 families in Russia, Stephanie, who will never see where their loved ones are, because these bodies, if they`re not identified, will likely be buried here in Ukraine.

RUHLE: Well, I hope those Russian mother and fathers know that it`s Vladimir Putin who`s saying, nope, no need to send them home. I know you`ve also spoken to a number of Ukrainians who have made their way back to their homes, what are they telling you?

PERRY: So I think part of the effort with the bodies and there`s a war crimes trial that was announced today by the prosecutor is people who are returning to their homes trying to understand why and it`s such a difficult question, obviously to answer in a war, but why their relatives died, and they want this to be on the record. They want Russians to see if they can, these bodies in these coolers. They want people to see the bodies buried in the garden.

But I think more than anything else, Stephanie, you have a real desire here to document what`s happened and to do so thoroughly even if it is a difficult story and certainly that is something that we believe in but people here in Ukraine want this documented. They want war crimes tribunals to take place, and they want the world to know what happened here.

[23:25:13]

RUHLE: Well, luckily, you are there and we appreciate your reporting. Cal Perry, thank you.

I want to bring in, Jeremy Bash, former Chief of Staff at the CIA and the Pentagon. Jeremy, Defense Department officials confirm today that Russia has used hypersonic missiles in this invasion that to a civilian like me sounds really bad. But they`re saying it`s not a game changer. Can you explain this?

JEREMY BASH, FORMER, CIA CHIEF OF STAFF: Yes, Stephanie, hypersonic weapons are those weapons that travel faster than MAC5 or five times the speed of sound about 3800 miles per hour, so they`re very fast. And unlike ballistic missiles, like a bullet fired from a gun, you can change the trajectory of a hypersonic weapons. So in theory, Stephanie, a hypersonic weapon is much faster and much more capable, except in the crowded terrain, that is Ukraine, the way the Russians have used them, they`ve used them kind of in a conventional format. In other words, they`ve used them to target buildings and other parts of the Ukrainian state that they could have just as well targeted with other weapons.

And so, while we in the United States worry a lot about hypersonic weapons because our missile defense systems can pick them up early enough, if for example, the Russians were to fire them trans-continentally against the United States in the context of the battlefield that Ukraine, they are not a game changer. And I agree with Chairman Milley and Secretary Austin`s assessment, that though the Russians have wielded this weapon to try to intimidate the Ukrainians, it`s not resulting in significant advances on the battlefield for the Kremlin.

RUHLE: There has been this very big push to try to get more and more European countries to agree to an embargo of Russian oil, stop using it, but Hungary not willing to go along is this the first major crack and Western unity against Russia?

BASH: Well, Hungary has been an outlier all along. And obviously, they`ve got a little bit of a sort of simpatico alignment with the Russian Federation. And so I think, as we go along here, and we navigate a variety of sanctions, we`re always going to have to manage or bonds Hungary. But, you know, senior German official, with whom I spoke tonight said that this is a strategic game change for the Germans, and for other NATO countries in which they have decided, fundamentally, to get themselves off Russian energy, to get themselves off Russian coal, to get themselves off Russian gas, and to get themselves off Russian oil. And that I think, together with the accession of Sweden and Finland, into the NATO Alliance, which I think will happen very quickly, showcases just how strong the NATO alliance is, and how determined the West is to fundamentally deprive Putin over the long term of his strategic energy weapon.

RUHLE: Then how much of the money that Russia makes on selling their oil and gas is going to finance this war, if they really do get cut off. What happens to their ability to keep the war going?

BASH: Well, it deprives them. Of course, they do have other customers, they`ve got other countries in the Indo-Pacific, who will buy Russian energy resources. But over time, I think the sanctions combined with the export control restrictions that will deny Russia the ability to innovate, the ability to modernize our defense and aerospace sector, the ability to modernize the tech sector that will continue to squeeze the Russian economy.

Now, you know, Putin so isolated, he gave this kind of strange speech in Red Square during this May 9, celebration earlier this week. He`s obviously only talking to a small circle of people. We don`t know, Stephanie, whether fundamentally his calculus will be changed by any of these economic issues. But he is continuously isolated. And Russia has been dealt a strategic defeat, their planning has failed. Their Plan B to bomb the cities into submission has failed, and now they`re fighting for any inch of territory they can gain in the Donbass. But I think up to now, you have to agree that Russia has fundamentally failed in its strategic mission to deprive Ukraine of its independence and to split the NATO alliance.

RUHLE: I need you to explain this one to us. Ukrainian prosecutors have announced the first official war crimes trial in this conflict. It`s against a young Russian soldier who`s accused of killing civilians. Can you explain to us how the process works here?

BASH: Well, this Russian soldier is in custody, this Russian soldier was essentially caught firing his Kalashnikov rifle at a Ukrainian civilian. And so essentially, this Russian soldier has committed war crimes. And the Ukrainians have a robust rule of law effort to try to investigate these cases and prosecute these war crimes and this individual will stand trial and this individual will be held accountable if in fact, he`s found guilty.

So in a sense, Stephanie, this system is working despite the fact that this is a warzone, the Ukrainian justice system is grinding along and these Russians service members will ultimately be held, I think, accountable.

[23:30:07]

RUHLE: All right, Jeremy Bash, thank you. You definitely made us smarter tonight as you always do.

BASH: Thanks.

RUHLE: Coming up, after the former guys first primary loss of 2022 battle lines within the GOP are becoming clearer by the day. More on Republican infighting and what Democrats might do about it when the 11th Hour continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:35:09]

RUHLE: Boy, do I have something for you. We learned today a trio of Republican governors is planning to campaign for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Nebraska Governor, Pete Ricketts and former NJ Governor Chris Christie all expected to rally for Kemp before Georgia`s Republican primary.

Well, former President Trump had something not so nice to say about that. He called Kemp, the worst election integrity governor in the country, and labeled all of them rhinos. So let`s talk about it.

David Plouffe joins us, former Obama Campaign Manager and Senior Adviser to the former President and David Jolly, a former Republican and a former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He`s now the Chairman of the Serve America Movement and an MSNBC Political Contributor.

This seems vague to me, Mr. Jolly, to you first, are we seeing the first clear battle lines drawn between Republicans and Trump?

DAVID JOLLY, SERVE AMERICA MOVEMENT CHAIRMAN: At least in the state of Georgia, yes, Stephanie. I think you kind of have to go state by state to determine Trump`s real impact currently, but in Georgia, it`s fascinating because the approach that Donald Trump has taken is largely the approach, he took 16 months ago in the Senate runoff races in which Donald Trump`s imprints seem to lose those two Republican re-elections and hand control of the Senate to Democrats.

Most politicians learn from mistakes like that, Donald Trump`s doubling down on it. And that`s why you see Kemp with a 15 to 20 point lead over David Perdue. Georgia is -- has rejected and is continuing to reject this kind of whiny grievance Trumpism that that the president continues to throw into the Peach State and frankly, David Perdue reflects in his candidacy against Governor Kemp.

RUHLE: David Plouffe, as my colleague Vaughn Hilliard pointed out earlier today, this is one of the most notable and organized efforts of GOP office holders actively campaigning against Trump`s desired outcome since way back in 2016, how significant do you think this is?

DAVID PLOUFFE, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, we`ll see. So I`d say first of all, as it relates to the 2022 elections, and all these primaries, they`re Republicans, some are going to win, some are going to lose who drew very well in suburban areas, and let`s nerd out for a minute on voter data, Democratic candidates are going to know who those voters are. And if you can peel off even 10%, 15% of them from a general election it`s going to be incredibly important.

But I think, Stephanie, if you rewind back to 16, what was one of the lessons of that presidential primary, Trump bullied everybody? OK, and I think what`s clear is if Trump runs again, in 2024, the first I think question everybody has to ask themselves who`s thinking about running is, can I stand up to this guy, and I think you`re starting to see more Republicans willing to do that.

I also think they think that Kemp is going to be a stronger general election candidate, these three governors, and he`s also got a healthy primarily. So this isn`t necessarily a profile and courage moment. But every week, we see Republicans being a little more willing to stand up to him a little bit. And I think you`re going to see more of that, because there`s going to be a big field, I don`t think Trump is going to clear the field. And I don`t think he`s going to like that race very much. Because I think people are going to punch him in the face. And when he punches back, they`ll punch back. And in 16, he just bullied the field. So I think there`s really interesting lessons here, not just for `22 but in terms of what this may mean for the `23, `24 presidential election cycle.

RUHLE: Well, Trump`s influence really depends on where you`re going in the country, West Virginia, for example, 50th, it ranks 50th in terms of infrastructure across the whole country. Yet the Republican congressman who voted to pass the infrastructure bill, that`s West Virginians didn`t like it. They voted him out in favor of another one who just continues to push Trump`s election fraud lies, and of course, was endorsed by Trump. So David Jolly, what does that tell you about Republicans per se, in the State of West Virginia, what matters to them?

JOLLY: Well, I think what it tells us something very important about Donald Trump`s imprint on the party, sometimes I think, when we just analyzed whether or not his endorsement mattered, we missed the bigger theme here, which is Donald Trump has crushed traditional Republican orthodoxy and reshaped the party in his image. And so what you saw in that race was a candidate that reflects where today`s Republican Party is, particularly in West Virginia, and it is around these themes of populism, not of infrastructure investment and a state that might need it or policies that reflect the state. I think that`s probably the most important takeaway of where the Republican Party is today. It is a party that reflects Trumpism regardless of whether a candidate has Donald Trump`s support or not, the candidates that are winning are ones that reflect today`s new GOP orthodoxy.

RUHLE: I want to share with our friend Matt Dowd, former George W. Bush Strategist. He earlier today had some advice for Democrats. Watch this.

[23:40:04]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW DOWD, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST TO BUSH-CHENEY CAMPAIGN: I think Democrats ought to run a campaign based upon rights and freedom. They actually could run a campaign that says we`re the only one standing for all your rights, including Republicans, Democrats and independents. That`s the campaign. If I were the Democrats, I would run wringing their hands and bedwetting over inflation and the economy, obviously an issue have to deal with, but that`s not where they should be spending their energy and time. When they do that, they feed right into the Republicans hands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: Mr. Plouffe, do you agree?

PLOUFFE: Well, I think in part. So I do think, listen, right now, this is a very, very challenging political environment. So an issue with like rights, generally, abortion rights specifically. You don`t have a chance to alter that a little bit. I think, Stephanie, particular, let`s talk about Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. These are massive battleground states. They have Senate and governor`s races, very open question. If Republicans were to do very well there, will abortion be outlawed in the States? So I think at some stage, you`ll see that.

So yes, and of course with data and with research, we understand the voters that that will be most persuasive. But that being said, you know, the economy is the central issue in every campaign I`ve ever been part of. So you have to have a message there. And it has to be an offensive message. So I think on rights, whether they be voting rights, civil rights, abortion rights, I think Democrats can play very offensively.

I think on the economy, it`s a little more defensive, but there`s a case to be made against the this brand of Republicans, to David Jolly`s point, so not going to invest in jobs. They`re not going to invest in infrastructure, they`re going to shower the wealthy with tax cuts, they`re going to cut education, they`re going to cut health care. So that`s going to be worse for you. We`re three economy generally. And bottom line specifically, but Democrats can`t ignore the economy. Because that`s all -- that`s going to drive a lot of vote. But there`s no question that Matthew is right, which is Democrats have to be a little bit more forceful about making the case and also like, they want to ban books. Most people don`t want to ban books. Most people want history to be taught. You know, we`ve got the public support on this side. And I think sometimes we get into turtle shell and are afraid to make our case.

RUHLE: Democrats need to be more forceful, appears to be the takeaway from this segment. I watched you get energized saying it and that`s where we saw David Jolly, give a yeah, pretty much. David Plouffe, David Jolly, thank you both for joining us tonight.

Coming up, our 11th Hour one-on-one, my exclusive interview with the CEO of Airbnb on the future of remote work, why he thinks the business world can`t go back to 2019, when the 11th Hour continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:47:17]

RUHLE: Airbnb got crushed at the start of the pandemic with no one traveling and people quarantined at home, 80% of its business disappeared overnight. But as homework and travel blurred together over the last two years, the company recovered, went public and is thriving big time.

Today, Airbnb released a major relaunch of its website to match how people travel and look for places where they can live and work remotely. And the company is all in on remote work. They`ve recently announced their own employees can live and work from anywhere, forever.

And our 11th Hour one-on-one, I sat down with CEO Brian Chesky. And, of course, an Airbnb and asked how the company envisioned what the future of work could look like not just for their employees, but for millions of us. No surprise, there reevaluation of work started during the pandemic.

BRIAN CHESKY, AIRBNB CEO: Well, what happened was, people weren`t traveling for business. They weren`t crossing borders, and they weren`t there and visiting tourist attractions. But they were locked in their house sequestered and some people are like I need to get out of my house. So they`re getting in their cars. And they were traveling, say within a tank of gas, and getting with friends and families to Airbnb`s where they were living and working. And something remarkable happened. Suddenly, we weren`t just a travel company, because a fifth of our business was now longer than a month is not travel. Half our business was longer than a week. So suddenly, this whole new, like once in a century travel shift occurred and a wind kind of wind from to our face to our back.

RUHLE: So you transformed your company because we were forced into work from home because of COVID?

CHESKY: Yes.

RUHLE: And now here we are at the next phase.

CHESKY: Yes.

RUHLE: And you`re one of the first to say we`re not working from home for COVID anymore, we are working from home for good.

CHESKY: We`re working from home. You can go to an office if you`d like, you can work in the United States. And if you`re in New York City, and you want to move to upstate New York, we`re not going to lower your pay, we`re not going to adjust it to the standard of living. And the reason why is I do think eventually within countries wages for people working on laptops are going to start to converge, and people are going to be moving around a lot more. And so we want to just leave what I thought was an inevitable trend.

My prediction is this is where the world`s going to be 10 years from now. And all the CEOs hauling their employees back to the office. That`s their prerogative. But here`s what I would say. The companies with the best talent will usually win, and if you are limiting your talent to a commuting radius, you`re not going to have the best people because the best people will live everywhere.

RUHLE: Why? Why do you think so many other CEOs are saying yes, our company has learned to function with all these people remote but we`re not optimizing productivity? Why did they see something different from what you see?

[23:50:10]

CHESKY: Well, the world has completely changed since 2019. And I don`t think we can go back to 2019. Any easier than go back to 1950, A lot of people are looking at the big old companies to establish. What are they doing? I like to look at the young companies, because if you want to predict the future, you look at the next generation, and 20 years ago, tech companies popularized open floor plans, they popularized like onsite perks. And then what happened, older companies eventually started looking like younger companies, because they want to compete for that talent. Young companies are embracing remote work. They`re embracing flexibility. This is where the world is going. Or the company chooses not to embrace it, that`s fine. But this is where the world`s going to be 10 years from now.

RUHLE: Is it in some sort of bizarro way self-serving, because if people can work remote, there`s a chance they go and try and stay at Airbnb for months and months at a time?

CHESKY: Yeah, of course it is. But to be clear, even if it wasn`t self- serving, I still would have gone with the policy. Now, why would I have done it even if it didn`t benefit Airbnb? Because like everyone else, I want my employees to be happy. I want them to stay at the company. And I want the best talent to work here. And the best talent isn`t in New York, the best talent isn`t in San Francisco. The best talent is everywhere. I often ask myself, if the office didn`t exist today, would we invent it? And if we invented it, what would it look like and what it looked like it did before the pandemic? My instinct is the answer is probably no.

RUHLE: But innovation, connection, you really see that happening while you`re sitting in a living room in New York and somebody else`s in Chicago?

CHESKY: I think the proof is in the pudding. We haven`t been in the same room for two years. And last year, we made 150 upgrades to our app while being distributed and remote, we made the biggest change to our product in 10 years. And the biggest change our custom serves to 10 years. We did this all remote. And so that tells me something, it tells me that the world has changed. The way we work has changed. The way we`ve traveled changed. Airbnb changed with it.

RUHLE: Let`s talk Ukraine for just a moment when the war broke out, you made a lot of serious moves and announcement in the region. Talk to us about what you`ve done and what`s happening now?

CHESKY: Well, when this crisis broke out, I think our first instinct was what I think a lot of people probably thought how can I help? And I think everyone probably like a lot of people want to help in the way they can. We just happen to have a lot of resources. So we announced the Airbnb in partnership with our host, Airbnb.org would house 100,000 Ukraine refugees. To date, we`ve housed over 20,000 refugees, and we`re just getting started.

The only other things, Stephanie, I will just say is something even more remarkable happen. People in our own community, on their own volition started booking Airbnb in Ukraine, with hosts they never intend to stay with just to give them relief aid. And over the course of a few weeks, I believe more than $20 million were sent to Ukraine, we didn`t take any commission. And this just speaks to something, in a world of darkness, in a world that destruction, I think kindness still exists in this world. And if you don`t believe that, all you`d have to do is look at our own data.

RUHLE: It sure does. Love is always the answer. Brian Chesky, thank you so much.

CHESKY: Thank you.

RUHLE: Brian Chesky, basically saying 2019 is no different from 1950s and kind of saying, OK, Boomer to all those CEOs out there pushing to get their employees back to the office, some of them may want to take note, Airbnb since they made this announcement, the company that only employs 6000 people has gotten a million hits on their jobs website. Who knows, this could be the way of the future.

When we come back, you don`t want to go anywhere, we`re going to set the record straight, little fact checking before we go on the gender pay gap after an Arizona Republican disputed its existence, little teaser is lying when the 11th Hour continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:58:43]

RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight, a little fact check on the gender pay gap. A new video obtained by NBC News shows Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters protege of Peter Thiel, disputing the existence of the gender pay gap. The video we are showing you is from a February candidates forum in Scottsdale.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLAKE MASTERS: Women are not paid less in America than men. It`s a left- wing narrative, this gender pay gap. When you control for the occupations, when you control for people taking time out to, you know, birth children, things are actually pretty equal. And men do the most dangerous jobs. Men are the ones who are the police officers. Not all of it, but you know, 80% of it in this country. Men are the ones who are doing risky, you know, fishing -- fishing crab in Alaska. And sometimes those jobs pay more. Sometimes those jobs pay more, and so I think we got to push back on the fake left-wing narrative that women don`t have equal rights in this country.

I want women to have equal rights. But we don`t need an equal rights amendment that would actually just be a Trojan horse to give the government more power to implement Kamala Harris`s national gender strategy, right? This is what the left does and we have to resist it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RUHLE: OK, there`s a lot to unpack there. But for facts sake let`s give it a shot. According to the Pew Research Center in 2020 women earned 84% of what men earned. According to analysis of median hourly earnings of both full and part time workers. Based on this estimate, it would take an extra 42 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2020.

The Masters campaign did not immediately respond to NBC News when asked for further comment. But don`t worry, Blake, you can call me tomorrow, we`ll be here and still factchecking.

On that note, we wish you a very good night for all our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thanks for staying up late with us. I`ll see you at the end of tomorrow.