Today, Dr. Fauci was on Capitol Hill testifying on the federal government`s response to the Omicron variant. Dr. Fauci accused Sen. Rand Paul of raising campaign funds off false attacks on him that have encouraged threats on Fauci`s life. Earlier today, President Joe Biden gave a speech in Atlanta, Georgia where he made his most vocal call yet for filibuster reform, and throws some very thinly veiled criticism at the Democratic senators who are now standing in the way. Tonight, the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection m issued three new subpoenas asking for testimony and documents from two advisors to Donald Trump Jr. as well as a staffer who helped draft the speech that Donald Trump delivered on January 6 at the Ellipse.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Guantanamo is still open after 20 years, with not much to show for it, except for a legacy of torture and abuse is a national embarrassment. And that is why Guantanamo Bay and the politicians and officials that have kept it open are tonight`s absolute worst.
And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have life -- threats upon my life.
HAYES: Dr. Anthony Fauci unmasks Rand Paul.
FAUCI: Why would a Senator want to do this? So, go to Rand Paul website, and you see fire Dr. Fauci with a little box that says, contribute here.
HAYES: Tonight, my exclusive interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci. Then --
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do you want to be the side -- on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? This is the moment to decide.
HAYES: Senator Cory Booker on the President`s rousing call to protect democracy and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Adam McKay on the uncomfortable truth in his new hit Don`t Look Up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know how many the world is ending meetings we`ve had over the last two years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drought, famine, the ozone, so boring.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. During this pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci -- Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a strange point of fixation, even obsession on the right. And it`s among those who see him as a kind of stand in, a punching bag for the pointy-headed public health officials who want to tell you how to live your life. They`ve even gone so far as to compare him to a dictator and a murder.
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TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: After two years of nonstop media adulation, Tony Fauci has morphed into an even shorter version of Benito Mussolini.
LARA LOGAN, HOST, FOX NATION: This is what people say to me, that he doesn`t represent science to them. He represents Josef Mengele. Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Fauci`s NIH use hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to help fund deadly and inhumane experiments on puppies in Tunisia.
REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Well, we learned recently as Dr. Fauci is sending puppies to slaughter basically.
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HAYES: Well, today, Dr. Fauci was on Capitol Hill testifying on the federal government`s response to the Omicron variant as we see a massive spike in cases around the country, and I think, it`s fair to say, a profound sense of frustration and exhaustion with the ongoing pandemic.
Now, Dr. Fauci has testified in front of Congress many times. And by now, we all expect him to face hostile questions from Republicans. But there`s one Republican who seems to have a particular obsession with Dr. Fauci, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. It`s a bit weird and obsessive that every time Fauci comes to testify, Senator Paul tries to knock him down over and over again.
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SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I think Dr. Fauci routinely ignores the science and causes hysteria and creates fear. And this is the opposite of what you really want as far as someone leading your public health effort.
Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?
FAUCI: Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect.
PAUL: Dr. Fauci. I don`t expect you today to admit that you approved of NIH funding for gain of function research in Wuhan, but your repeated denials have worn thin and a majority of Americans frankly, don`t believe you. You won`t admit that it`s dangerous, and for that lack of judgment, I think it`s time that you resign.
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HAYES: Today, in the hearing before the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Rand Paul`s attacks took a new turn as he accused Dr. Fauci of trying to silence other scientists.
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PAUL: Do you really think it`s appropriate to use your $420,000 salary to attack scientists that disagree with you?
FAUCI: The e-mail you referring to was an email of Dr. Collins to me. If you look at the e-mail--
PAUL: That you responded to, and hurried up and said I can do it. I can do it. We got something in Wire Magazine.
FAUCI: No, no, no, I think in usual fashion, Senator, you are distorting everything about me.
PAUL: Did you ever object to Dr. Collins`s characterization of them as friends? Did you write back to Dr. Collins? They know they`re not friends they`re esteem scientists and it would be beneath me to do that.
FAUCI: I did not --
PAUL: You responded to him that you would do it. And you immediately got an article at Wire and you sent it back to him said hey, look, I`ve got them. I nailed them in Wire of all scientific publications.
FAUCI: That`s not what went on. There you go again. You just do the same thing every hearing.
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HAYES: OK, before we get into what happened after that, and again, Senator Paul comes up with all sorts of things he wants to go at Fauci on. A lot happened in today. We`re going to play you that but just take a step back for a second, all right. Let`s understand. Dr. Anthony Fauci has been on the receiving end of many attacks.
He has been around the block a few times. I mean, for nearly 40 years, he has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In fact, that salary that Rand Paul mentioned is because he has so much seniority he`s accrued in the federal government pay scale, OK. 40 years.
He was appointed to that role in 1984 in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. He was also then the target of some very angry public criticism at the time, because Dr. Fauci had become the public face of the federal government`s response to that crisis, to that deadly virus.
In October 1988, AIDS activists protested at the Food and Drug Administration headquarters and outside of Dr. Fauci`s office at the National Institutes of Health. The protesters chanted, F you, Fauci. That same year, Larry Kramer, one of the founders of two major activist groups, including Act Up, a legend himself, published this open letter to Dr. Fauci in the Village Voice, in which he called Fauci, "incompetent idiot," and "a murderer."
Kramer told the New Yorker "As far as I was concerned, he was the central focus of evil in the world." Kramer attacked Fauci relentlessly in the media. He called him a pill-pushing tool of the medical establishment, insulted his wife, even compared him to Adolf Eichmann.
Now, here`s the thing. Kramer and Fauci would eventually go on to become close friends with Fauci telling New York Times after Kramer`s death in 2020 that they "They loved each other." But nothing changed overnight. In May of 1990, hundreds of activists from Act Up descended on the National Institutes of Health. Again, they launch rainbow-colored smoke, wore skeleton masks, and carried signs saying red tape kills us. They even put a fake Dr. Fauci head on a spike, there.
So, all this to say, Anthony Fauci is no stranger to public criticism. He`s a big boy, OK. It`s something that comes with the territory, something he has had to live with as a public official that all public officials have to. That`s what life in a democracy is.
Two years ago, Dr. Fauci and his family started receiving security protection, an armed security detail, as a result of increasing online attacks. And those attacks have only gotten worse with the pandemic and the right`s obsession. But today on Capitol Hill, it took a different turn.
Dr. Fauci shared a specific and terrifying story about one of those very real threats after Senator Rand Paul relentlessly attacked him.
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FAUCI: What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have the life -- threats upon my life, harassment of my family, and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.
Now, you know, I guess you could say, well, that`s the way it goes, I can take the hit. Well, it makes a difference because as some of you may know, just about three or four weeks ago, in December 21, a person was arrested who was on the way from Sacramento to Washington D.C. at a speed stop in Iowa.
And they asked -- the police to ask him where he was going, and he was going to Washington D.C. to kill Dr. Fauci. And they found in his car an AR 15 and multiple magazines of ammunition because he thinks that may be I`m killing people.
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HAYES: So, as I mentioned before, this has been an ongoing pattern. And it`s not just Dr. Fauci, right? I mean, there`s lots of people that once they get into the scopes of the right-wing machine, they have a security problem. Dr. Fauci as you see chief among them.
Every time that Fauci comes before the Senate Health Committee, Rand Paul goes after him. And it`s often about a different thing each time. It does prompt the question, why is Senator Paul doing this over and over in such a sort of hostile and performative matter?
Well, Dr. Fauci has figured out. At least he has a theory. And he shared his answer with the committee today.
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FAUCI: So I asked myself, why would a senator want to do this? So, go to Rand Paul website, and you see fire Dr. Fauci with a little box that says, contribute here. You can do $5.00, $10.00, $20.00, $100. So, you have making a catastrophic epidemic for your political game.
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HAYES: Now, you might think that might instill some shame into Rand Paul, but no. Just hours after hearing concluded, all fired -- sent this e-mail literally fundraising off of Dr. Fauci calling him out at today`s hearing.
Joining me now the man who has been the receiving end of these attacks, it`s been undeterred, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Adviser to President Biden.
Dr. Fauci let`s take a step back and talk about your career in public life and your career at the locus of these difficult policy issues, having to do with deadly high stakes pandemics and epidemics and diseases. I was sort of amazed as we were going through the footage today to see your head on a spike outside a protest of at age. I didn`t know that it`s sort of gotten to that point.
Is this sort of how it goes or is there something different now in the nature of our politics and the nature of the attacks on you that are different than what you`ve experienced before in public life?
FAUCI: It`s entirely different, Chris. I mean, back in the activist days, the federal government was not early on, including activist, particularly gay activist, those who were at risk for or who had already been living with HIV, in the kinds of discussions for clinical trials and the rigidity of the regulatory process. They made a really good point.
They were fundamentally good people who were not lying. They were reacting. They were trying to gain attention. They were very theatrical about it. If you look at that film, most of those people, many of them now are my closest friends. They are fundamentally people of high integrity who don`t lie, who are trying to get the federal government to do things that quite frankly, the federal government was slow in doing.
And as the face of the federal government, the way they got attention, which was actually a pretty good activist ploy, it succeeded, was to be very iconoclastic, to be very provocative, and to be very theatrical. And that`s what you saw in that clip.
And they got my attention. And I sat down and listened to them because what they said made absolute sense. And we made major changes. They were dignified people. And like I said, many of them are my closest friends right now.
What we`re having now is outright lies that clearly are in the realm of politics. I mean, that thing I showed at the hearing is very, very true. We were having a hearing today, Chris, that was a tough hearing. There were tough questions that were asked on both sides of the aisle.
I mean, the Democrats clearly, that was not a piece of cake. They were asking very good questions about what the administration was doing. And the Republicans themselves led by Senator Burr were asking questions that were important. And Mitt Romney and Susan Collins and Tuberville, and others, including Senator Moran where they`re asking tough questions.
But what Senator Paul was doing was not even giving anyone a chance to make any explanation, nothing productive or constructive. It was totally ad hominem literally from the get go before you could get a word out of your mouth. That`s entirely different than the AIDS activist from the 1980s. It`s fundamentally, fundamentally different.
HAYES: I want -- you share the story and I had -- I had read reports about the individual who was arrested with weapons saying that they`re on their way towards you. You know, Senator Paul, I think gave an interview and said, well, that`s ridiculous, it has nothing to do with me. You can`t -- you can`t hold people accountable for what some, you know, violent, disordered person is doing. It`s irresponsible to paint me with that brush.
What -- have you experienced threats like this before or a security situation like this before in your public life given that you`ve had a career as long you have?
FAUCI: No, no, absolutely not, absolutely not. In all of the situations that we were in, it was trying to get attention, to sit down and be able to talk. There was no threat. I went down to the AIDS activist hub in Greenwich Village, in the gay and lesbian community senate, to talk about - - and with the same people that were putting my head on a stake just to get my attention. And they got my attention and I went and spoke to them.
I felt completely safe in that environment because there were fundamental people who are struggling to get the attention of the government. What you saw at the hearing today was pure ad hominem. And I called him out because that`s exactly what he`s doing. He`s raising money. Vote here, you know, paid for by Rand Paul. Fire Fauci, he`s killing you, he`s murdering people, he`s doing this. And by the way, donate here, click this box.
I mean, if that is an absolutely proof of what`s going on here, I mean you can`t miss that one, Chris.
HAYES: I want to play another moment today that happened with Senator Marshall who seemed very focused on your public financial disclosures which are required by law and filed. And there was an exchange over them where he seemed to think that you -- they weren`t accessible and they are. You can - - you can get them here. Here was that exchange. Take a listen.
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SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): Yes or No, would you be willing to submit to Congress and the public a financial disclosure that includes your past and current investments? After all, your colleague, Dr. Walensky and every member of Congress submits a financial disclosure that includes their investments.
FAUCI: I don`t understand why you`re asking me that question. My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so or 35 years. It is totally accessible to you if you want it.
MARSHALL: For the public, is it accessible to the public?
FAUCI: To the public. To the public.
MARSHALL: Great. We forward to reviewing it.
FAUCI: You are totally incorrect.
MARSHALL: Well, we look forward to reviewing it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Marshall, Dr. Fauci has answered you. It is public information. And he`s happy to give it to you if you were to ask. Senator Moran.
FAUCI: What a moron. Jesus Christ.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It did sound like you at the end there, Dr. Fauci. You seemed a little frustrated with that line of inquiry.
FAUCI: Well, you know, Chris, it just is an example, again, he was implying if you listen to the entire dialogue, that in my position responsible for drug trials, and having so-called inside knowledge of what drug works and drugs drug doesn`t work, that maybe I was making investments, sort of like, ahead of the game here. He was totally implying that.
And he made the statement that we can`t get your financial statement. It was stunning to me that the United States Senate doesn`t realize that my financial statement is public knowledge. It was just like, where have you been?
HAYES: I want to ask a final question here about where we find ourselves. I read your testimony. You talked about the Omicron wave today. There`s one big question -- worry I have, which is we looked at South Africa and we saw the curve. We saw a big -- a pretty big divergence between cases and hospitalizations. We saw that in Denmark which was sort of the frontline of Omicron. We saw it in the U.K.
Even in a very vaccinated place like New York City, we have seen hospitalizations go up, the country is in a record hospitalization. We`re not seeing that gap between hospitalization in cases here in the same way we saw in other places. And I wonder how much that worries you and what your theory for why that is, is?
FAUCI: Well, it`s complicated, Chris. If you look at our cases, there really is -- if you look at the difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, the charts are really, really, rather profound, particularly among vaccinated and boosted individuals where you see the overwhelming majority of the people who are in the hospital and the dying of people who are unvaccinated.
It is true that this virus has a phenomenal degree of transmissibility. And the transmissibility means a lot of people are going to get infected. And I believe you are going to see -- and we`re already starting to see that when you talk anecdotally to the hospitals, they`re seeing a lot of people who are getting infected, but it appears that the seriousness of it is less.
And I think, once we get through since it`s a big country, and there`s different regions with different levels of vaccination, different levels of what we call percentage of already infected individuals, that I believe you`re going to see exactly what we`ve seen in South Africa that you`re going to see a big, big gap where this virus, even though it`s highly effective, for the most part is not going to be as severe.
But when quantitatively, you get so many people infected, even if the relative proportion of people who are hospitalized is less than with Delta, when you have such a volume of people infected, you`re going to get a lot of serious disease which is the reason why we now have something like 145,000 hospitalizations, 1600 deaths, and over a quarter of -- three- quarters of a million cases in one day, so we can`t take this lightly.
HAYES: Right. Dr. Anthony Fauci, thank you so much for making time tonight.
FAUCI: Thank you for having me, Chris.
HAYES: All right, we got a big show for you tonight. As the fight of the Voting Rights bill comes to a head, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is here on President Biden`s ultimatum call to vote or change the filibuster. How soon until we see action.
Plus, he brought you the Big Short, Vice, Anchorman, and more. Tonight, filmmaker Adam McKay on his new breakthrough hit movie Don`t Look Up. He joins me live just ahead. Stick around. You don`t want to miss it.
HAYES: Earlier today, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, the day after Georgia had its big win in the College Football Championship as part of their big voting rights push.
They were there -- they attended a wreath-laying at the crypt of Dr. Martin Luther King, and his wife Coretta Scott King, along with two of the King`s children and their families. They visited the Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was pastor. And of course, that`s the same church where Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock whose election a year ago arguably helped spur the state`s new voting restrictions, has been senior pastor for almost 17 years.
The trip then culminated with a speech where Biden made his most vocal call yet for filibuster reform, a move that would allow two voting rights bills to pass the Senate by simple majority, throwing some very thinly veiled criticism at the Democratic senators who are now standing in the way.
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BIDEN: I support changing the Senate rules, whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights. When it comes to protecting majority role in America, the majority should roll in the United States Senate.
I ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered? A consequential moment in history, they present a choice. Do you want to be the side -- on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide to defend our elections, to defend our democracy.
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HAYES: After supporting the filibuster for many years, Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey came out against it last March saying, "For the sake of our vulnerable populations, for the sake of America doing big things again, the filibuster has to be reformed. He is a co-sponsor of the For The People Act as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the two pieces of legislation that Biden advocated for today.
And Senator Cory Booker joins me now. Senator, your reaction to today and the speech today and what kind of effect you think the President stepping into this has?
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Well, first and foremost, I think the President recognizes we`re at a fundamentally inflection point in our democracy. You have this wave of voter suppression laws that are being passed now really sourced by the big lie that somehow the election that Trump`s own highest administrative sort of officials were saying was free and fair, somehow we need to get these voting laws to fix something that`s not broken. And really what they`re doing is suppressing the votes of young people, Native Americans, minorities, disabled folks, and more.
And so, I think Joe Biden had to go out. I think he gave a tremendous full- throated endorsement. And does it have an effect? Look, you know this as well as I do. This is a personality issue. This is about a lot of individual senators and the decisions that they`re going to have to make. And I think, in many ways, Joe Biden is a respected guy here in the Senate. This is where he, where he came up from. So, I`m hoping it makes a difference.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, I guess I`m not -- look, everyone is trying the best they can on this and also Build Back Better, right? You got a very thin majority, you need all 50 votes to do anything whether it`s to change the rules to get voting rights legislation, or to pass Build Back Better, the math is the math.
I`m not missing something, right? Like, Sinema and Manchin say they won`t vote to change the filibuster rules. And that is currently the position unless something changes.
BOOKER: Well, an important distinction. Build Back Better, there`s arguments over the base bill. We`re talking about two voting bills that have 50 Democratic senators on board with them, and senators saying, yes, there are really problematic things with some of the laws that are being passed out there that will make it more difficult for some populations to vote.
So, we are all in agreement with that. The question now is what do we do with filibuster -- the filibuster? And I think that`s what really the grind of the conversations we`ve been having over these last weeks, many of which I`ve been in about can we figure out. Is it going to be a carve-out? Is there a way to modify the rule? But the idea for most of us is this is the sacrosanct most important right of a democracy, the voting of the people. And we need to make sure that we find a way to get this done.
HAYES: When you came out -- I mean, there has been progress on this or at least migration among Democratic senator. I mean, back when I was -- 12 years ago during the Obama administration, when I was covering U.S. senators, they tend to not want to change the filibuster. Part of the reason is, it does give each individual Senator more power, I mean, just in a certain mathematical sense. Like, there`s fewer of you that need to get together to block stuff.
What was your migration? And it does seem like, if you take a step back, there`s been a lot of movement into the column of we need to do something here.
BOOKER: Yes. Look, I got to be honest. I was one of these people that was really afraid. I saw Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump trifecta. If there was no filibuster, I can only imagine what they would have done. And I was very worried about the most vulnerable populations in America, really, so many Americans, what they would have done on the fundamental right of a woman to control her body, for example. So, I had a lot of those fears and a lot of those concerns.
Now, I migrated quickly. One, the history of the filibuster. It`s not a -- it`s not a part of our history. It`s not on the Constitution. This is something that really flared up in use to stop civil rights legislation, really, to stop the rights of minorities, and that fact that the law has been changed -- the filibuster rule, excuse me, has been changed in the 70s, in the 80s. It was changed in 2013. Mitch McConnell changed it to get the Supreme Court justices there.
And the other final thing that really pushed me was the fact of how many of the things we are not getting done in this body are the overwhelming majority of Americans believe in. Take common-sense background checks. Think Roe v. Wade, that somehow we are now in a nation where the things that we agree on aren`t getting done.
And voters knowing that if we get that alignment again of McConnell, Ryan, and Trump, they will be more aware that there`s even more consequences if we don`t engage. And so, I`ve moved a long way and I`m hoping -- and I`ve loved to see the wisdom of some of my colleagues who`ve moved as well.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, that was what was striking to me about watching Joe Biden give this speech today, right? This is a person who is very much a creature of the United State Senate.
HAYES: One -- you know, one of the longest-serving senators we`ve had recently. And I think, you know, if you asked him very recently, I mean, he is someone who is very molded and adapted to those norms. It is striking to see him making this call from the lectern as the president towards his former body.
BOOKER: Yes, well, look, the filibuster in a long period, early 1900s to the late 1970s, was used on average one time a year. It was a rarely invoked thing.
BOOKER: It wasn`t invoked in Supreme Court justices. It wasn`t invoked for a lot of major pieces of legislation. It began to be abused especially with Mitch McConnell, really taking the filibuster to a whole new level under Barack Obama. So to say that Joe Biden has changed, the real change you need to point to is the way the modern Republican Party picked up the filibuster and so abused it to the point now where many of us are saying this is ridiculous, we`re stopping some fundamental progress in our country that the majority of people agree with. We need to revisit this filibuster.
HAYES: Right. Senator Cory Booker, it`s been good to have you on tonight. Thanks a lot.
BOOKER: It`s great to be on. Thanks, man. And Happy New Year to you.
HAYES: You too, man.
And don`t go anywhere. My interview with award-winning filmmaker Adam McKay about his new Netflix phenomenon, Don`t Look Up is just ahead. You do not want to miss it.
HAYES: Tonight, the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection made a number of big moves. We learned that they issued three new subpoenas asking for testimony and documents from two advisors to Donald Trump Jr. as well as a staffer who helped draft the speech that Donald Trump delivered on January 6 at the Ellipse. That`s the one where he said we`re all going to go marched down to the Capitol.
Now today, the Committee Chair, Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, said they also want to hear from Rudy Giuliani not ruling out a subpoena to compel testimony about the events surrounding the Capitol riot.
Thompson also said the committee is examining their authority to issue subpoenas for fellow members of Congress and if those subpoenas would be enforceable after Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio said he would not cooperate with the request to sit for an interview.
As the committee contends with Republican resistance in Congress, they are also in contact with former Vice President Mike Pence. New York Times reports that the committee has been in touch with Pence`s lawyers since last summer, and has been gauging his willingness to speak with investigators. Reporting that in recent weeks, Pence has grown increasingly disillusioned with the idea of voluntarily cooperating seeing the committee`s consideration of criminal referrals for Donald Trump and others as designed to hurt Republican chances of winning control of Congress in November.
But even with all that obstruction, the Committee seems to be moving forward towards laying out the facts and building a case against the ex- president. In plain negotiations, federal prosecutors, of course, people working at the Department of Justice recently began asking defense lawyers for some of those charged in the insurrection who were pleaing out if their clients would admit in sworn statements that they stormed the Capitol believing that Trump wanted them to stop Pence from certifying the election.
Chairman Thompson told reporters the committee will meet tomorrow as the Committee continues to move forward in the investigation portion of their inquiry. We also know they are preparing for the possibility of televised primetime hearings. There`s a lot going on. And right now, they are of course working against the clock with the midterm elections and the very strong possibility of a Republican takeover in Congress looming large in less than 10 months.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not real. This is not real. This is not real.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn`t happening.
Kate, tell me this isn`t really happening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear there`s something you don`t like the looks of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We discovered a very large comet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, good for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s headed directly towards earth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This comment is what we call a planet killer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this exact moment, I say we sit tight and assess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit tight and assess?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sit tight --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then assess. The sit-tight part comes first and you got to digest it. That`s the assessment period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was part of the trailer from one of the most successful films in Netflix history. Since it debuted on that streaming platform on Christmas Eve, Don`t Look Up has been viewed tens of millions of times. And unlike most movies these days, it has become part of the cultural conversation.
And the movie is a satire. It`s a bang you on the head allegory for climate change. Here`s the premise. There`s a giant comet that is on course to destroy Earth, and in a few short weeks, it will impact the planet, ending all life as we know it.
When to astronomers played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence try to sound the alarm about the impending imminent Armageddon, they are met with a resounding shrug. Take this scene where they attempt to warn the president played by Meryl Streep about their discovery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be mild high tsunamis fanning out all across the globe. If this comet makes impact, it will have the power of a billion Hiroshima bombs. There will be magnitude 10 or 11 earthquakes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re breathing weird. It`s making me uncomfortable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry. I`m just trying to articulate the science.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know but it`s like so -- it`s like trying to like listen --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think you understand the gravity of the situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, the politicians are too worried about sounding like alarmists to do anything. And what`s worse, they`re lobbied by big business to not stop the comet because there`s a tech billionaire and big donor who is more interested in the economic opportunities that might present. He can mine the minerals on it. As one character puts it quite hilariously, were for the jobs the comet is going to provide. Sound familiar?
But it`s not just politicians that are incapable of dealing with the imminent catastrophe. When our heroes take their pitch the media, this is how that goes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sorry. Are we not being clear? We`re trying to tell you that the entire planet is about to be destroyed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it`s, you know, just something we do around here. You know, we just keep the bad news light.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. It helps the medicine go down. And speaking of medicine tomorrow, we`ve got --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, maybe the destruction of the entire planet isn`t supposed to be fun. Maybe it`s supposed to be terrifying and unsettling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don`t do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you should stay up all night every night crying when we`re all 100 percent for sure going to (BLEEP) die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Overall, the movie paints a damning portrait of humanity`s inaction when it comes to giant world-ending catastrophes. And I got to say, the movie is really like punching through the cultural zeitgeist, just in time for the annual reminder of the actual world`s biggest threat right now, the non-allegorical catastrophe we`re facing.
Last year was a fifth hottest on record. The last seven years had been the hottest seven years on record. For the sixth year in a row, ocean temperatures are the hottest on record. According to one climate scientist, the oceans have absorbed the heat equivalent to seven Hiroshima atomic bombs detonating each second, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
That`s the climate reality that Don`t Look Up forces us to look at. And the man behind that remarkable film, Adam McKay, joins me here live next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This comment is what we call a planet killer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, how certain is this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s 100 percent certainty of impact.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please don`t say 100 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we just call it a potentially significant event.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it isn`t potentially going to happen. It is going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly, 99.78 percent to be exact.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, great. OK, so it`s not 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES; The climate satire Don`t Look Up debuted on Netflix two and a half weeks ago. It has already become the second most watched film in that streaming channel`s history. Lots of people love it, some people hate it, but everyone seems to be talking about it.
And joining me now is the filmmaker behind it, Director Adam McKay. Adam, it is very hard to get movies I think to break through into cultural conversations these days just for a million different reasons, some of which I think you`ve satirize in the film. Are you surprised, gratified, glad to see how much conversation this movie has kicked off?
ADAM MCKAY, DIRECTOR, DON`T LOOK UP: I mean, we were -- our whole team, we were blown away by the world`s reaction to this. You know, the movie was always predicated on the idea that we`re living in very anxious, uncertain times. And to see hundreds of millions of people respond to that, I`ve never experienced anything like it in my entire experience. And I`ve made a lot of movies and a lot of TV shows. So, yes, it`s been pretty incredible.
HAYES: Talk to me about the allegory. I know your -- our mutual friend David Sirota and you were talking about this, and he said, it`s like a comet is going to hit Earth. But why did you -- why the allegory? How did you think through trying to tell a compelling story in sort of fictional world about climate?
MCKAY: Yes. So, the whole idea was I tried to write about four or five different movies. And each one had their limitations. There were some that were dramatic, dystopic, there were others that were clever with kind of a twilight zone twist. And it just came from an offhanded conversation that I had with David Sirota where he said, like, oh, it`s like Armageddon and the asteroid is going to hit and no one cares. And I just went, that`s the movie.
And what I liked about it was, it`s a big idea. It`s not a super small nishi clever idea, but it`s something we can all relate to. And I love that it was funny. I really got like, from my experience in doing comedy for years, what I`ve noticed is when three, four, or 500 people are together, and they`re laughing, there`s a high bar of truth. It`s very hard to get people to laugh when something is false.
I mean, if you want to do a joke where the joke is billionaires are taxed too much, well, good luck with that because they`re really not. And I thought that ultimately the reality of the comet is going to hit Earth clearly as a metaphor for climate change and a bunch of other realities like income inequality, corruption in our government, that a lot of people could really identify with that.
But I never dreamed that the response would be this overwhelming. It`s been incredible.
HAYES: So, there`s two -- there`s two parts about this that I think are interesting to zoom in on. I mean, one is that the dread that you`re talking about. I mean, trying to find a way through the dread around the dread, which is in some ways the story of the movie, right? Like, when she says, like, we`re all going to die and living with that, that part of the problem and part of the difficulty of truly internalizing what is bearing down us on the climate is precisely like a natural human allergy to contemplating that, which I think you do a really good job of capturing the film across all players involved in it. When they say like, you know, it`s not just the -- you know, the media types of political types, like everyone rebels a little bit at contemplating the end of the Earth.
MCKAY: Yes, the story is so big what we`re confronting right now with the end of the livable climate. And we`re in the middle of it right now, make no mistake about it, that it challenges the imagination. And in fairness to everyone who`s resistant to it or thinks that we`re overblowing it or thinks that it`s just like Y2k, this is real and it`s happening now.
And until four years ago, I was in the group of people that were like, oh, yes, that`s an issue. And it was only because I ran headlong into David Wallace-Wells` book Uninhabitable Earth which I highly recommend to anyone out there read, or the IPCC reports from the U.N. that I finally got that chill in my bones.
And I understood what the climate scientists were feeling and why they`re so emotional, and why they`re so frustrated. We really are looking at the biggest story and threat to life and human history. And yet, I`m not going to lie, I`m a way to invested in Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck hitting it off and then finally finding happiness.
HAYES: Well, I`m also rooting for them. I think -- I find truly, truly and genuinely delightful as the story, I have to say. But that gets -- I mean, that relates, right, because -- so one of the things I think it`s really sophisticated and funny and powerful about the film is that the first part of it is getting attention. And you and I offline have discussed the difficulties of covering climate, how undercover climate is, right? And I agree on that.
But the first part of the movie, it`s like, well, if we can get attention, then we can get -- we could do it. Like, we just -- people just have to know obviously that the comet is coming and then we`ll do something. That`s sort of one of the first hero`s quest, and then they get the attention, and then that doesn`t solve it, which leads to sort of a second hero`s quest.
But that second part is also really profound where it`s like, the warning goes out, the comet is up there, and then the way the culture and politics process information makes it very hard to act on.
MCKAY: Yes, I mean, we`re in a very strange place right now where we have all this new tech blossoming, but it`s also all profitized. They make money off of engagement, misunderstanding. You know, our media makes a lot of money off of us not comprehending and dealing with simple truths.
And by the way, I see this not from some holier than now spot. You`re obviously someone I know and respect. And there`s a lot of great journalists who are covering climate change who are doing really good work. But the truth is, the system is so bizarrely cranked up right now that I just don`t know if we have that room to really take in a truth as complex as the collapse of the livable climate, which is happening, make no mistake about it.
You saw in Kentucky, Colorado, the crazy record high temperatures up in Alaska that were just off the charts. And I just read a story the other day where they said that according to new models, computer models, that in eight years 50 percent of our days will be one out of 100 year heat events. And I read this article and I`m like, where is that? Like, why am I not hearing that in my media?
But I understand it. I mean stuff is so crazy right now. We`re in such a chaos of change that to drop that on people and then go to a commercial for Subway or, you know, the new Ford Tundra, how does that even make any sense?
HAYES: Well, and I think -- you know, I think the other part of it too is like, OK, well, what do you do with it? For the people that do like the comet is coming, and we -- you know, we have to get together and stop it, you said this thing I think the other day on Twitter, which I agree with. Is like, there really isn`t the sense of all hands on deck about this in the way there has to be.
And that means like, across the -- like, across the spectrum, like, we have to be shutting down coal, we have to be like, creating crazy moonshots to try to do (INAUDIBLE). Like, a lot of things we need to try all at once and the full spectrum, it feels like we`re just nowhere near close to that.
MCKAY: Yes, the emotional bandwidth we need to be living in right now. And this is me as a non-scientist who`s heard about this. So, I`m sure I only get about 10 percent of it, is somewhere in between the Cuban missile crisis and the initial bombing of London. And we`re at, like -- we`re at like don`t use aerosol cans because of the hole in the ozone or Y2K. I mean, we`re nowhere near the reality of it. So, clearly, we`re all failing.
And by the way, once again, if you notice in the movie, we take shots at the Hollywood which includes me. We take shots at everyone across the board. We`re failing in a tremendous way to convey these truths. And it may simply be a matter of our format is wrong. You know, we may need to do three times longer segments before a commercial break. Our movies may need to be four times longer. I don`t know but yes, that gulf between the reality and how we`re perceiving is massive, and very disturbing.
HAYES: Adam McKay, it`s great movie. You should check it out if you haven`t. Thank you so much.
MCKAY: Thank you, Chris. Always a pleasure.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.