JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Breaking 715th homerun in his home stadium in Atlanta
and received an 11-minute standing ovation. A black athlete who exhibited
incredible grace strength in the face of great hostility who`s now being
showered with adulation in the Deep South, cementing his place in baseball
and American history.
Hammering Hank Aaron was 86 years old.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN, Joe Biden and the
fierce urgency of now.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re in a national emergency.
We need to act like we`re in a national emergency.
HAYES: Tonight, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield on the
president`s call for action and the push for Democrats to employ the
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Winners make policy and losers go home.
HAYES: Then breaking news on the start of impeachment as Capitol
insurrectionists attempt the "Trump made me do it" defense in court.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: After this, we`re
going to walk down -- and I`ll be there with you.
HAYES: All that and the congressman caught trying to bring a gun onto the
floor of the House.
And ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Happy Friday. One of
the biggest differences between the last administration and this new one is
the recognition at the very least of the depth of the crises we are in and
the urgency they say they want to bring to fixing them.
We`ve seen that just with the executive actions the new president has taken
in 2 1/2 days signing at least 28 executive orders, proclamations and memos
on everything from immigration, the climate crisis, the economy,
nutritional aid, response to the coronavirus. And now the basic facts of
where we are right now is that, well, one party won and one party lost.
But, of course, narrowly.
It`s a narrowly divided country. A deeply divided country and there are
constitutional structures give huge advantages to the minority coalition.
The party that lost which is, of course, the Republican Party. And that
party and that coalition can use those tools to do tremendous damage to the
country. I mean, we have seen them do it. We just made it through their
Remember a majority of congressional Republicans and the leader of the
party, the former president, their attempt to use those tools at their
disposal to overthrow the results of a democratic election, to install the
loser over the winner against the will of the American people and therefore
spell the end of American democracy as we know it.
And all of those Republicans who were part of that plot are now just
sitting there as part of our federal government with no repercussions. And
we can assume they would do the same thing again if they had the chance
because basically none of them have apologized for their role in it. No one
has come forward to say that was -- we shouldn`t have done that. That was
bad. Joe Biden won. Bad thing we did.
And now we have these pressing crises bearing down on us. The most
immediate and threatening being the virus. We lost almost another 4,000
people to the virus today. This last wave has been by far the most deadly
and it has caused even more economic devastation. Economists and public
health experts from all over agree we need a huge rescue package. This is
not some left-wing fever dream.
The plan that Biden proposed is, and I keep saying this because it keeps
being remarkable, it is endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce. Now if you`ve
covered Washington, D.C., the Chamber of Commerce is very conservative.
They don`t like big Democratic spending proposals. They are normally a very
right-leaning group. And today, even the former Trump administration`s own
senior economic adviser came out in support of President Biden`s $1.9
trillion rescue package.
Kevin Hassett, of all people, telling CNN he is, quote, "absolutely" in
favor of the plan, quote, "There are so many businesses treading water,
barely hanging on. Now they`re getting hit by another shock. You could end
up in a negative spiral for the economy. We made it through last year
without a total utter collapse of GDP because of extremely aggressive
All of that`s true. Everyone knows it. President Joe Biden made his case to
the American people today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We have to act now. It`s not just to meet the moral obligation to
treat our fellow Americans with the dignity and respect they deserve. This
is an economic imperative, a growing economic consensus that we must act
decisively and boldly to grow the economy for all Americans not just for
tomorrow but in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans know that both President Biden and Donald Trump`s
economists are right on this one. I mean, they`ve already voted for rescue
packages twice under the previous administration, the first one being the
biggest when it was an election year and well, they wanted the economy to
do well. But, again, this faction that controls a minority of the
government, the same one that supported a leader who led an unsuccessful
attempt at outright sedition which we`re learning more about every day,
that party, that coalition and that faction is now trying to blockade the
economic rescue that we very obviously need.
Multiple congressional Republicans from Senator Pat Toomey to Congressman
Kevin Brady, top Republican in the House Ways and Means Committee, have
publicly penned Biden`s proposal as a nonstarter. And if that is the way
it`s going to be, look, there is no other option but to take all
constitutional legal means necessary including getting rid of the
filibuster if that`s what it comes to, to just allow the Democratic
majority to govern because in the absence of that, all of the problems, the
deep problems that brought us to this point will only get worse.
Joining me now from the White House North Lawn is Kate Bedingfield. She`s
communications director for President Biden.
Kate, it`s great to have you on. Thank you so much for joining us.
KATE BEDINGFIELD, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Thanks for having
HAYES: So President Biden laid out the logic behind the $1.9 trillion
rescue package today and I do think in the beginning there was a little bit
of a question of, maybe you can get 10 Republican votes for this. Maybe
this can be a kind of -- look, we all realize this has to happen. Am I
wrong to feel like that sense is slipping away? What`s your read on it?
What`s the White House`s read on it?
BEDINGFIELD: Well, I do think you`re wrong, Chris. I think, as you said,
this is a package that has gotten support from the Chamber of Commerce, the
Business Roundtable, you know, these are -- as you said, these are
traditionally conservative groups who have been very supportive of this
package and, look, we are in the midst of a tragic crisis in this country.
We have 4,000 Americans dying every day from this virus.
They`re dying in blue states, they`re dying in red states. The virus
doesn`t see party. The virus doesn`t see partisan lines. And people all
across the country, Americans expect their leaders, including Republicans,
to move to support a package that`s going to help get this virus under
control, it`s going to get direct relief into the hands of people who need
it. It`s going to extend unemployment insurance.
It`s going to get money that we need for vaccines. I mean, look, Chris,
first and foremost, this is a package designed to fund a national
vaccination plan. This is a package that is going to help get shots into
the arms of the American people. This is critically badly needed help and
we have every reason to believe that Republicans are going to support it
because we`re in a crisis moment in this country.
HAYES: I mean, I`m just going to bracket that, whether there`s every reason
to believe that Republicans will support it based on recent and further
history, but there is a call that the White House is conducting this
weekend that I thought was interesting. There`s this sort of caucus that`s
formed, you know, bipartisan caucus has formed in the Senate and there`s
going to be seven Democrats and eight members of the Republican Party on
the call including people like Mitt Romney and Susan Collins and Lisa
Murkowski and I believe Joe Manchin will be on the call.
What`s the idea behind that call and what does that mean in terms of the
crucial tipping point of those members?
BEDINGFIELD: Sure, well, the idea is to talk about how this package is
going to help people in their states, is to walk through some of the key
provision that are going to make a difference in people`s lives, that are
going to help people who are struggling to put food on the table, who are
struggling to pay their rent. I mean, we have Americans across this country
in incredibly dire circumstances through no fault of their own because this
crisis has hammered them.
So the idea behind this meeting is to walk through how this package is
going to help people, how it`s going to help the communities not have to
make a decision between whether they keep firefighters or essential workers
on the job or fund the vaccinations. They`re going to talk through how this
money is going to make a difference in the lives of their constituents. So,
look, President Biden has said from the outset that he believes that we can
get Republican support for this package, that people demand it, people all
across the country.
And remember, President Biden ran on a message of unity and won a historic
number of votes, 81 million votes, based on the idea that leadership should
be about bringing people to the table, about finding consensus, about
getting things done. You know, it`s not just unity for unity`s sake. It`s
unity to get things done, to get relief into the hands of people who need
it. So he`s going to continue to work.
We, as the White House, are going to continue to work with members of both
parties to try to get this bill done and to move quickly because we need
the funding for the vaccine, we need people to be able to get vaccinated,
and people all across the country need the relief that this bill would
HAYES: So if this is true, what you`re saying, the sort of urgency of this,
which I`m persuaded of, of course I think you probably know that, right.
This is actually urgent. Then the question becomes like, is it urgent
enough that you just do whatever it takes procedurally if you have the
votes? I mean, this is from the new chair of the Budget Committee in the
Senate, Bernie Sanders, who says, when Republicans controlled the Senate,
they used the reconciliation process to provide huge tax breaks for the
rich and large corporations. We`re going to use reconciliation to protect
working families, the sick and the poor.
Will you do what it takes to pass this if you have 50 votes?
BEDINGFIELD: Well, look, again, our strong preference, the president`s
preference, what we`re working toward here is bipartisan support for this
bill. Absolutely no question about it. It is urgent and certainly if the
Senate and the House keep reconciliation on the table as an option, that`s
understandable. This is an urgent crisis and we -- at the end of the day
the thing that is most important is that we need to get this bill done.
We need to get this money into the hands of people all across the country
who need it. So, again, the president`s preference and the thing that he`s
working toward is getting Republican support for this bill. But there`s no
question this is an urgent, urgent crisis, and there may be multiple ways
to get to passage. But that does not mean that the president is not wholly
committed to working to get Republican votes.
HAYES: All right. Kate Bedingfield there from the White House. Thank you
for joining us. Come back whenever there`s a lot to talk about. Appreciate
BEDINGFIELD: Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Chris. I appreciate it.
HAYES: For more on the urgency to get things done quickly, let`s turn to
Ezra Klein of the "New York Times" where he`ll host the new podcast, "The
Ezra Klein Show." He`s also an opinion columnist there, a little paper
called the "New York Times." You might have heard of it. His latest op-ed
is entitled, "Democrats, Here`s How to Lose in 2022 and Deserve It." Adam
Serwer, staff writer at the "Atlantic," his latest piece is titled "An
Incompetent Authoritarian is Still a Catastrophe." And they both join me
Ezra, you wrote a column sort of calling on Democrats to move swiftly and
kind of clearly to help people and I thought -- I just want to read this
section because it jumps off of the point here about speed which is of the
"Three principles should guide their efforts," meaning the Democrats.
"First, they need to help people fast and visibly. Second, they need to
take politics seriously, recognizing the defeat in 2022 will result in
catastrophe. Finally, they need to do more to talk about the importance of
democracy, they need deepen American democracy."
Let`s talk about that first point which to me seems very pressing at this
EZRA KLEIN, THE NEW YOK TIMES OPINION COLUMNIST: So if you go back to 2009,
which is the last time Democrats had -- the last session in which they had
a governing trifecta, they make a couple of mistakes I think they look back
on with some regret. One is that they allow Republicans to filibuster
almost everything. So they have for a period of time there, 60 votes, they
can get things around a filibuster. But they get slowed down, they end up
in a billion gangs, they get a lot less done, everything they do get done
is much smaller than they should be.
Second, they make things very complex in part to get Republican votes,
things like the Affordable Care Act, built around private insurance, the
Mitt Romney model, because they thought they might get some Republicans. It
didn`t. And things often take a long time to come into play. Again, the
Affordable Care Act took about four years to begin delivering health
insurance. You don`t get reelected for things that (INAUDIBLE) when the
In the stimulus, they had a tax cut in there that was literally built to be
invisible. It was designed so people didn`t notice it was happening under
the theory that it would get spent more effectively that way.
Democrats have no room for error. They have 50 seats in the Senate. If they
lose one in 2022, they have no more governing capacity or at least not
through the legislature. And I think most of them, your previous
conversation aside, recognize that bipartisan help here is going to be
quite unlikely. So there is a lot of pressure on the Democratic side to do
things that are big, do things people know are out there, know are helping
them and do them fast enough they can help them maintain seats in 2022.
HAYES: Yes. This is -- the big question here, Adam, I mean, the central
truth about American politics right now, to me at least, which is true
before the inauguration, after, is that like, there is a coalition, one of
the two big ones, empowered by constitutional structures, a faction of
which is essentially radicalizing against democracy and towards minority
rule, and that`s like the ground truth that everything revolves around. And
I wonder if the Biden White House understands that.
ADAM SERWER, THE ATLANTIC STAFF WRITER: I mean, I hope they do. I mean,
look, you go back to Franklin Roosevelt. When he took office in a period
where, you know, authoritarian governments were taking control all over the
earth. You know, democracy was supposed to be an outdated system. It didn`t
work anymore. It couldn`t meet the problems of modern life. And Franklin
Roosevelt came in and he made the government work for people and he was
very conscious of this.
He gave a radio address where he said democracy will save itself by proving
itself to the average man and woman that it is worth saving. And that is
basically Biden`s task right now. I mean, it`s more important for him to
make -- to show Americans that the government, that democracy can work
otherwise enough people will turn to someone who says, well, look, you
know, I don`t believe in democracy very much, but I can help you. Everybody
is corrupt. But at least I`m your corrupt guy.
And so it`s a dangerous moment. It`s imperative, not just in terms of
relief, but in terms of preserving our system of government that Biden not
allow the opposition party to prevent any aid from getting to the American
people who need it.
HAYES: Yes, I think the three of us agree on that point and it goes to what
you were writing, too, Ezra, like that delivering things for people at this
point, at this moment of real peril, like we just got out of the car wreck.
We`re still shaking ourselves off from what happened. We have a new story
tonight about how close things came. Right? We`re going to get to that in a
second. That actually delivering tangible results is actually an imperative
for reinvigorating the health of the system that has been badly shaken.
KLEIN: Yes, and it`s really important how you think about reinvigorating
the system. So there`s a book I talked about in there, "Presidents,
Populism and Crisis," the name I can`t remember, but their argument is that
internationally populists feed off of ineffective governments. And then one
thing that is very dangerous in the aftermath of a populist right figure
when the established party comes back into power, they often want to show
the populism that the populist is gone by restoring decorum. If the
populist broke boundaries, they want to reestablish it.
KLEIN: If the populist went too far with executive authority, they want to
show they`re not going to do that. If the populist thew bipartisan
overboard, they don`t want to do that. They`ll be buried bipartisan. And
that feeds the exact dysfunction that got you the populist in the first
place. If government is not helping people, then people will not believe in
that government and that opens the window for someone like Donald Trump to
So one of the arguments I make in this piece, and I hope folks in the White
House are thinking about, is they cannot stop the next Donald Trump. And by
the way, there is a whole Congress, Republican conference in the Congress
of people willing to be the next Donald Trump. They cannot stop the next
Donald Trump by letting Republicans block everything for the next two
The way to stop the next Donald Trump is to show that when Democrats are
governing, people`s lives are actually better, and by the way, not
incidentally, to ensure that people have the right to vote, D.C. statehood.
This should be a democracy. You want to not just restore that democracy
works, they also want to make it a democracy for those for whom it isn`t
and who are often voiceless when it comes to, say, a Senate election.
HAYES: Yes, and there`s also just the fact that, look, there`s going to be
a certain opposition to whatever -- you know, this is another lesson I
think Adam and Ezra and I, we all learned covering 2009, like they`re going
to implacably oppose you basically on almost everything. I mean, Marco
Rubio saying this is a radical leftist agenda in a divided country and will
not help unify it, it will only confirm 75 million Americans` biggest fears
about the new administration.
Like, Adam, like the Chamber of Commerce endorsed this. Kevin Hassett
today, who was serving the White House, were amongst who endorsed it.
SERWER: Well, look, Republicans know that the deeper the hole that is left
over from this in 2022, they know that the deeper the hole, the bigger the
gains for Republicans in Congress.
SERWER: People are going to punish the governing party if the governing
party can`t govern. We`ve learned that in 2010. And if the Democrats
haven`t learned that lesson to a fault, like complete -- like, if they have
not internalized it, then they will be in very big trouble in 2022 and they
won`t be the only ones who are in trouble. Our system of government, our
democracy will be in trouble.
HAYES: Yes, this is a -- this is really, really important. I`m glad you
guys made time for us tonight. Ezra Klein, Adam Serwer, great to talk to
Right as we were going to air, the "New York Times" broke a bananas story
about Donald Trump attempting to sort of stage a coup at the Department of
Justice to get rid of the attorney general, to put in a dude who was
willing to try to use the Department of Justice to overturn the election in
The "New York Times" reporter who broke that story joins me next. Don`t go
HAYES: With all that we know about Donald Trump`s attempts to overturn the
election, there are still stories to be told about his behavior that have
the ability to shock, to make you pick your jaw off the floor. Katie Benner
of the "New York Times" has this unbelievable scoop tonight published just
20 minutes ago.
"The Justice Department`s top leaders listened in stunned silence this
month, one of their peers they were told had devised a plan with President
Donald J. Trump to oust Geoffrey A. Rosen as the acting attorney general
and wield the department`s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to
overturn its presidential election results. The unassuming lawyer who
worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubts on
the election results and bolster Mr. Trump`s continuing legal battles and
the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the
president`s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to
decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."
The reporter who got that amazing scoop, "New York Times" Justice
Department reporter, Katie Benner, joins me now.
First of all, incredible, incredible reporting here. I had to read the
story three times to make sure I was understanding it. But walk us through
the story. What did you find?
KATIE BENNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REPORTER: Sure, I mean,
it`s very much like what you said in your introduction. It precipitated
this crisis within the Justice Department when you saw one of the top
leaders of the department basically working with president Trump to see if
there`s something that could be done at the department in order to overturn
the results of the election.
Now, this person, Jeffrey Clark, had been rebuffed many times by the acting
attorney general Jeff Rosen and his deputy Rich Donoghue. They said this
cannot continue. On New Year`s Eve they had a pretty stern conversation
with him on New Year`s Eve, a stern conversation with him which they really
tried to understand why he refused to use the department`s line that nobody
had seen fraud. It had been investigated.
It was something that Bill Barr had said privately to the president and
publicly to the president. And yet Jeffrey Clark having told them he reads
a lot of things on the Internet, you know, said that he just politely
disagreed with them and he continued.
HAYES: So this -- OK, you`ve got -- Rosen is the acting AG after Barr
leaves. Clark is the head of the Civil Rights Division, which is in
department leadership. It`s like it`s definitely up there, right?
BENNER: Head of (INAUDIBLE) --
HAYES: I`m sorry, the Civil Division. My bad. The Civil Division.
BENNER: Yes. Which is important. It defends the administration in court.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a very -- that`s a big part of the Department of
Justice. Like that is up near the top of the leadership. And he apparently
was like introduced to Trump by a Pennsylvania politician and they start
interacting for Clark to be Trump`s guy in the Department of Justice to
oust Rosen so that they could ride into Georgia with the DOJ to, like,
write some letter on DOJ letterhead to say, you, Georgia, must overturn
BENNER: Yes, well, first Mr. Clark asked Mr. Rosen to do it as the acting
attorney general. And when that didn`t work, he had a conversation with Mr.
Trump in which he came away from that conversation thinking that Trump
would replace Rosen with himself and then he offered Mr. Rosen the
opportunity to remain at the department as his deputy.
HAYES: He hatches a Department of Justice coup with the president and
offers him -- the boss is going to make me the head of the Department of
Justice so we can -- this is my words, not yours. So I`m just
characterizing. The boss is going to make me the head of the Justice
Department and the acting AG so we can pull off this coup. You can stick
around as my deputy, but this is what`s going to happen. And then there`s a
meeting in the White House with Clark and Rosen and the president?
BENNER: Yes. And this is sort of unusual timing because it happened on
January 3rd which is the exact same day that Georgia secretary of State
released, you know -- leaked the audio of his phone call the prior day with
Mr. Trump. So you have the entire world listening to the audio of Trump and
the secretary of State in Georgia having this bizarre conversation which
Trump makes so clear that he wants Georgia to change its mind, change its
mind to find votes that would make him the winner.
And then at the same time you have a split screen with this meeting taking
place on Sunday evening where the president has set up an interesting
situation where he has both Mr. Clark and Mr. Rosen there before him to
present their competing visions for what the department should be doing. It
was described by two different officials, former administration officials,
as almost a bizarre version of "The Apprentice" in which they were -- which
one had a better plan.
HAYES: So what -- it sounds to me from reading your article that enough
people at DOJ get read into this plan that they essentially rebel en masse
and threaten to all quit if it`s pulled off? Is that right?
BENNER: Yes. So Sunday -- we`ll just go through the chronology. Midday
Sunday, Jeff Clark says to the attorney general -- acting Attorney General
Rosen, I believe that the president is going to remove you and put me in
your spot. And then a few hours later, Mr. Rosen`s deputy, the deputy
attorney general, calls an emergency conference call with the remaining top
leaders of the department.
He reads them into what`s going on. He explains what Mr. Clark has been up
to and they discuss what they`re going to do if in the coming hours the
president fires Jeffrey Rosen and replaces him with Mr. Clark. They decide
that the only option is to leave and so that was really powerful
information because in this meeting with the president that happened a
couple of hours later, other officials including the head of OLC, Steven
Engel, was there, they were able to tell the president, listen, if you do
this plan, it`s going to blow up this way. It will cause this kind of chaos
at the Justice Department.
If nothing else, nobody is going to pay attention to the Jeff Clark letter
to Georgia, they will be paying attention to the fact that you have created
a Saturday massacre and that was one of the compelling arguments to Mr.
HAYES: OK. One last part of this, a little bit more of the puzzle. One of
the -- there`s this crazy thing that happens, right, which is that the U.S.
attorney in Atlanta abruptly resigns amidst all of this. And everybody
thinks, well, that`s weird. It looks like there`s something afoot here. And
we`ve been getting more and more reporting on that. It seems that that
resignation which we`ve now learned was essentially because he refused to -
- you know, prosecute some nonexistent voter fraud, that was sort of
connected to this entire undertaking.
BENNER: Well, I mean, I think that what we saw was that the president was
obviously very, very obsessed with Georgia in particular the counties that
included the city of Atlanta which is where that U.S. attorney`s office was
and where that U.S. attorney served. And so it was -- he was informed not
as part of any knowledge of what was going on with Jeff Clark or this
strange plan to get rid of the attorney general.
BENNER: But he had been told separately that, you know, former President
Trump was very obsessed with his district and that it was not going to be
tenable for him to stay on. He could stay at the U.S. attorney`s office,
but he wouldn`t be able to be the head of the office just because of all
the heat. And I think also he did not feel that he wanted to be in a
position where he was constantly scrutinized by the president.
HAYES: So just for the final -- to put the point on this because I want to
make sure I understand the plot here. The idea was that the president was
going to fire the acting attorney general, a guy who was just serving for a
very small amount of time after Barr resigned, replace him with the head of
the Civil Division, this individual named Jeffrey Clark who was amenable
and sympathetic to the president`s conspiracy theory, completely fraudulent
conspiracy theory, and then use the Department of Justice to essentially
like structure Georgia legislatures on behalf of the department that they
had to overturn their election?
BENNER: Well, no, to instruct Georgia legislators that the department was
investigating serious allegations of voter fraud that were so serious that
it made it pretty likely that the electoral results in their state would
BENNER: And you know, advised them that they should act accordingly.
HAYES: I see. I see. So this would be -- this would give them -- it would
give them some sort of evidence that they he could point to so that
sympathetic lawmakers in that legislature could say, oh, look, the
Department of Justice is here and now we`re going to have to go and, you
know, not seat these electors or uncertify the results.
BENNER: Correct. And keep in mind that such a letter to Georgia legislators
would be completely opposite of what the former attorney general, Bill
Barr, had said at a press conference, that he didn`t see the kind of fraud
that would change the results of an election. It would -- you know, it
would be in opposition to things that Attorney General Barr had told the
president privately, it would be opposition to things that Jeffrey Rosen
had told the president for weeks privately.
You know, acting Attorney General Rosen was in constant conversation with
Trump about this issue even before this -- the idea of the Georgia letter
come up. You know, Bill Barr announced that he would be leaving the
department on a Monday and that he`d be there for another week. Jeff
Rosen`s people thought he`d have a little bit of a reprieve because Bill
would be in the building for another week and it would be OK.
But in fact the president hauled Jeff Rosen into the Oval Office the very
next day to start a pressure campaign asking him to do, you know, to
appoint a special counsel to look into Dominion, the voting machine
company, to appoint a special counsel to look into voter fraud in general
and, you know, to file -- have the department file legal briefs that
supported the things that his team was doing in court.
So that pressure campaign started not after Jeffrey Rosen became the acting
attorney general, but it started the day after Jeffrey Rosen was announced
to soon become the acting attorney general.
HAYES: The whole article is up on the "New York Times," NewYorkTimes.com.
Katie Benner, what a remarkable bit of reporting. Just a truly incredible
scoop and a shocking set of facts that you have unearthed and presented to
the world. So thank you for taking time with us.
BENNER: Yes. And thanks so much for paying attention to the very strange
end of the Trump era.
HAYES: Of course, the president`s efforts there to overturn the election
which he tried in a million different ways and we`re learning more about
it, it ends up culminating, right, on January 6th. He`s failed to get the
Department of Justice to help him. He`s failed in his lawsuits. He`s failed
to bully Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, and ultimately the last ditch
attempt is to go tell a crowd to march down to the Capitol with the hope
that they will intimidate the people in the Capitol including his vice
president Mike Pence into overturning the election and stealing it for him.
That results, of course, in the Capitol riot and siege, five people are
dead, including a police officer, hundreds now have been arrested. And the
president is then impeached for his incitement of that insurrection, of
that riot. Now one of the House impeachment managers who will help make the
case against Trump when that case starts February 8th, the date announced
today, is Congresswoman Diana DeGette. She`s a Democrat from Colorado, and
she joins me now.
And, Congresswoman, I know that "The Times" reporting obviously is outside
the purview of the specific charge. But it is of a piece with the pattern
of behavior that begins before the election, into election night, after the
election and up until the incitement of the riot. Just your reaction to
this new revelation.
REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D-CO): Chris, thanks for having me. And I will tell
you, this is just part and parcel of what Donald Trump was desperately
trying to do, which was find any way he could to overturn the results of a
fair and legal election in this country. And when I just saw this "New York
Times" story, it`s just part of the whole conspiracy that he had to try to
stop the counting of the ballots, to try to stop the certification, which
as you say culminated in him -- inviting the crowd to Washington, inciting
the crowd to come to the Capitol and then doing nothing after they got
So it was very, very dangerous. And the more -- the more facts that come
out like this, it just shows how desperate he was.
HAYES: We got clearer timing today on the trial itself. My understanding is
that those -- the article, the single article, will be walked over to the
Senate on Monday. It will be read into the record on Tuesday. And then
there will be a pause and the trial will start on February 8th. That`s a
deal that was struck by Senator Schumer and I think McConnell, to start it
What is your and the impeachment manager`s preparation look like right now?
DEGETTE: Well, so, we were all appointed by Speaker Pelosi on the day the
House passed the impeachment article. We`ve been working every day since
then as a team. So we`re ready to go to trial. We were ready to go to trial
last week. And so it looks like now Senator Schumer is going to accept the
articles and then give a couple of weeks. Even more evidence, like this
"New York Times" article, will probably come out. So we`re ready to go.
We think we have a strong case that is -- I mean, here it all unfolded
right there on TV and social media. And we really have to convict Donald
Trump and we have to make sure he can never run for office again. Somebody
trying to manipulate the Department of Justice which is supposed to be the
independent legal watchdog for our country is just appalling.
HAYES: There are sort of buckets of evidence that we`ve been sort of
collecting, right, since the actual thing unfolded. And I wanted to ask you
about two of them. So one of them is, I don`t know if it`s evidence so
much, but there are multiple people who have now been arrested who have
said, as part of their official defense like Donald Trump told me I could
do this. Donald Trump invited me. We thought we were there at the
We have recordings of people in the Capitol of people saying to Capitol
Police we`re here from the president. The president invited us. I wonder,
is that evidence to you? Is that the kind of thing that you want to present
to the jury to make this case?
DEGETTE: Sure, it`s part of the evidence of the conspiracy. And, I mean,
again, these people are just confirming what we already knew which is
Donald Trump told them in advance, come to Washington on January 6th. Stop
the counting of the certified election results by the states. Then he
invited them to the White House and at the White House he said to them,
we`re going to march up to the Capitol and we`re going to stop the counting
of the results.
It`s just -- it`s so -- it`s in such plain evidence that you almost forget
that it`s just incitement of the riot that happened and an attempt to stop
the Democratic counting of this certified results.
HAYES: Final question, there`s other evidence that I think we have an
incomplete picture of that I think I would like to see which is, his
resistance to calling it off. I mean, there`s reporting saying he`s
watching it, desperate calls from various lawmakers saying you have to do
something, you have to make a statement, you have to let the National Guard
get over there, and I wonder how much that evidence plays as well?
DEGETTE: Well, we do have evidence already that he did nothing while the
riot was happening in the Capitol, while people like me and most of the
senators were all running for our lives. And we have evidence that he was
just sitting there watching it happily. So, again, more evidence is coming
out. In a way, the impeachment managers without going into how we`re
structuring our case, we have an abundance of evidence.
And frankly, Chris, the American people have seen all of this evidence on
TV and on social media.
HAYES: Yes. Yes, it was a crime committed in plain daylight on national
Congresswoman Diana DeGette --
DEGETTE: It was on TV.
HAYES: Thank you so much for making time tonight.
DEGETTE: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: All right. Lots more to get to this evening. Don`t go anywhere.
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Yesterday President Joe Biden unveiled his administration`s plan to
ramp up the fight against coronavirus, signing new executive orders to lay
that groundwork for a federalized response. The quote of the day came from
a source who told CNN the new administration had to start, quote, "from
scratch" in building a vaccine distribution plan.
Now that`s not strictly true insofar as just yesterday, the United States
did administer 1.3 million vaccine doses and another 1.4 million today. But
it`s true in a sense that everything we`ve done up until now has been
completely distributed down to the states and totally insufficient. So when
it comes to building a sufficient federal centralized response creating the
infrastructure to sustain that, well, yes, the Biden administration is
basically building that from scratch.
But what that can and should look like, I want to bring in Dr. Peter Hotez,
dean from National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of
Medicine, co-director of the Texas Children`s Hospital Center for Vaccine
Development and who is also working on a coronavirus vaccine.
Let`s start, Doctor, with the scale of the problem and what the timeline
should be. As President-elect Biden had pledged 100 million doses in the
first 100 days. Well, right now we`re doing 1.3 million, 1.4 million a day.
My sense from the people I`m talking to is that`s not ambitious enough.
What should the number be? What should we be targeting?
DR. PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, TEXAS CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE
DEVELOPMENT: Yes, Chris, I mean, here are what the numbers look like. We
have to vaccinate we think three-quarters of the U.S. population in order
to have any hope of interrupting virus transmission. We know those who get
vaccinated, it will save their lives in terms of keeping them out of the
hospital and the ICU because of the virus neutralizing antibodies but to do
the second part to interrupt transmission, we have to vaccinate three-
quarters of the U.S. population.
That`s roughly 240 million people. Many of those vaccines are two doses.
You`re looking at half a billion immunizations. And if you want to do that
by the summer, we`re talking five or six months. So that 100 million over
100 days, if you divide 500 million by five or six months, it`s really 100
million a month. So we really have to get to around three million
immunizations a day.
Look, I think it`s great that they set some targets. It`s good to throw a
number out there and it`s good to have goals. But the real numbers are
actually far higher and I know the Biden administration gets it. They`re
really working aggressively to put that infrastructure in place.
HAYES: Right. So that -- I mean, that`s very useful for me as a benchmark.
Right? Like if we`re hitting three million a day, we`re on track, and if
we`re short of that, we`re not. And we need to get up to that. What -- I
know you looked at the Biden plan, there`s money in this COVID relief bill
if it gets passed. And there`s a more proactive look at it, like, what`s
the difference between where we are now and three million a days in terms
of what has to happen?
HOTEZ: Well, you know, if you look at the five -- the 0.5 billion is the
aspirational goal, the target that we really have to reach, remember, we
have to do that in a hurry now because we have new virus variants coming
along and we want to immunize before they continue to accumulate. And we`ve
only administered around 20 million doses or so, 20 million divided by five
billion, Chris, you know, that`s a rounding error. We basically haven`t
HOTEZ: We`re starting from zero more or less. So we`re going from zero to
half a billion. So it is one of the most daunting tasks ever faced by an
incoming presidential administration. There`s a good team in place. It`s
going to require going beyond the pharmacy hubs and the hospitals, we`re
going to have to get in some high throughput immunization centers and I
know that`s being worked on in collaboration with some of the cities and
the federal government, and, and we`re going to need additional vaccines.
We`re not going to have enough of the MRNA vaccines to make this happen. We
have to get the other vaccines released through Emergency Use
Authorization. The Adenovirus vaccines, particle vaccine, we have a
vaccine. And that`s got to happen pretty quickly as well.
HAYES: Right. So we`ve got the two right now, Moderna and Pfizer. There`s a
Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is a single shot. I mean, it seems key here
both from just a supply and also availability that as we`re moving into the
spring to have three or four or five vaccines that people can get?
HOTEZ: Yes, that`s exactly right. And I think we can get there. I think the
J&J vaccine will get up soon. Hopefully the AstraZeneca-Oxford. You know,
we`re -- we`d like some more help getting our recombinant protein vaccine
into the U.S. We`re scaling it up to make 1.2 billion doses in
collaboration with Biological E in India. And if we can get some help from
the U.S. government on that, that would be great. The particle vaccine from
So it`s all possible. A lot of stars are going to have to align. We`re also
going to need an unprecedented level of communication that`s simply not
there right now and that`s got to ramp up and probably streamline some of
the restrictive guidelines because that`s creating a lot of confusion.
Remember, think high, high throughput, and getting a lot of people through
as quickly as possible.
HAYES: Yes, and the messaging, I mean, that`s -- it`s a great point. Like
we just don`t -- there is no blanketing the airwaves of vaccine talk. It
just seems like it should be a huge thing that the government is doing,
telling people like the vaccines are available, here`s how you can get
them, they`re safe and effective.
HOTEZ: Yes, we have to change the culture. Remember, Operation Warp Speed
was a good program from the development point of view, but it never had a
communication plan. The communications were left to the pharma CEOs who are
not strong communicators. So you`re absolutely right.
HOTEZ: We should be hearing those pretty regularly. And also, you know,
every elected official right now, every public official should be able to
answer the following question. What are you doing when you wake up in the
morning to help the American people get vaccinated? This has gone beyond a
public health concern. This is a full-on homeland security crisis. People
are scared. They`re angry. They`re calling Sam`s Club and Walmart and Rite
Aid and CVS, how do I get my mom vaccinated, how do I get my brother
vaccinated, how do I get vaccinated?
The phones either are not being answered often or that they`re saying,
well, why are you calling us? We don`t have any vaccine. And they referred
to some outdated list that has no relevance. This is not a good situation.
And so we`re going to have to fix this very quickly.
HAYES: Dr. Peter Hotez, as always, thank you for sharing your expertise
Still to come, as House Republicans object to metal detectors in the wake
of the Capitol riot one of them is caught trying to carry a gun to the
House floor. Matt Fuller of HuffPost broke that story and he joins me next.
HAYES: Even after the Capitol was attacked by a violent mob seeking to stop
the peaceful transfer of power, a majority of House Republicans, 139 of
them, along with eight Senate Republicans voted to do what that mob wanted
which was to block the seating of the electors that made Joe Biden
president. None of them have expressed remorse or regret.
And in the House a battle has been ratcheting up over whether some of those
Republican who sided with the mob can bring guns on to the House floor. It
started when metal detectors were stationed near the House chamber after
the riot. Some Republicans refused to go through them or to be checked with
wands if they set them off.
Members are not allowed to carry guns on the House floor. And then came a
culminating moment yesterday. Republican Congressman Andy Harris was caught
trying to carry a gun on to the floor and barred from entry. U.S. Capitol
Police tell NBC News they are now investigating.
It`s worth noting that Harris almost got in a fistfight with other members
on the night of the riot when Democrat Conor Lamb criticized Republican
members for their election. And the reporter who saw all this go down is
Matt Fuller, who covers Congress for HuffPo and he joins me now.
So before we get to this moment, just describe it -- it`s very clear, and
I`ve gotten this largely from your reporting along with others, you know,
it was a new thing to put these metal detectors on to the House floor. It
was in the wake of this very traumatic event where people were scared. It`s
become this point of contention, right? Where Republicans hate it and they
try to walk around it. Like what built up to this moment?
MATT FULLER, HUFFPOST CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes. So the first move after
the January 6th riots they installed these new metal detectors and frankly
I`d say about half of the Republican caucus just ignored it. Side-stepped
it. Walked through quickly. I saw, like, 10 of them at one point just sort
of bum rush the thing and just kind of walk through, and the cops are kind
of this impossible position where they don`t really know if they have
authority to stop the members and make them go through the metal detector.
There`s apparently some constitutional questions about, you know, arresting
a member of Congress on the way to a vote. So there`s all sorts of issues
They`ve slowly -- this has been escalating now for two weeks but they`ve
put some desks on the sides, some velvet ropes and they made it a lot more
difficult for members to sort of bypass the security. And, you know,
yesterday I think was the hardest I`ve seen it and there was really only --
I only saw three people gelt through the security without being wanted
down. And there are steep fines coming. Eventually there`s going to be
$5,000 fine for the first time and $10,000 fine thereafter.
But basically it`s very difficult for them to get through and Harris has
been one of those members who has been just sort of rushing through, not
stopping for the police, and yesterday with, you know, the new measures in
place a cop sort of stood in front of him, blocked him and he was just sort
of forced to be wanted down. And at that point they found a gun on his
So this is certainly a concerning thing, particularly as you noted, because
he`s, you know, a member who almost got into a fight two weeks ago.
HAYES: So he gets wanted down. They find a gun. There is a detail you had
that he just like went and tried to give it to a colleague? It was like, I
don`t want your gun?
FULLER: Yes. So I mean I think a normal person going into the House chamber
if they were trying to bring a gun, they`d be tackled to the ground,
arrested. With the member of Congress, it was sort of a quick conversation
where he`s very close to the cop. The cop sort of signals to another
officer, he`s got a gun on him, and Harris just sort of walks away and he`s
in this sort of vestibule area where there`s elevators, and he`s kind of
just like milling around.
I kind of followed him in and I saw him have a conversation with Republican
John Katko, who`s a former U.S. attorney, and he was basically having none
of it. Basically Harris asked him to take his gun for him and Katko said, I
don`t have a license for that, I`m not going to do it, and Harris kind of,
you know, he milled around a little bit more and then he made a couple of
comments about he reminded his staff to tell him to take off his gun or
something and then he got in an elevator and he left.
And seven minutes later he was back and I don`t know where he put the gown.
I don`t know if he put it back in his office. But he got back on the House
floor, he went through the metal detectors with no problem.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, House rules are that you can`t bring a gun on the
floor. There are places in American life where you can`t bring guns. And
Republican Matt Gaetz saying they`re trying to disarm Lauren Boebert on the
floor of the House of Representatives because ultimately they`re coming to
disarm many, many more.
I think the House floor seems a good place not to have a gun. That`s just
Matt Fuller, who is our great set of eyes and ears on that House floor,
thank you so much for being with us tonight.
FULLER: Right. Appreciate it.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friend. Much
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Super happy to have you
here on this Friday night.
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