IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 11/5/21

Guests: Tory Gavito, Carl Cameron, Betsy Woodruff-Swan, Celine Gounder, Peter Stone


Democrats` Virginia defeat draws attention to their messaging struggles. The U.S. added more than 530,000 jobs last month, vastly exceeding expectations and unemployment has dropped to 4.6 percent, the lowest rate since the start of the pandemic. Jeffrey Clark, the Trump DOJ official who aided the effort to overturn the election declines to answer January 6 questions. Pfizer made a new treatment for COVID that appears to dramatically cut the risk of hospitalization and death.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Powell was 84 years old and will be remembered as the greatest public servants of our time. And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, that`s a biggie.

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, PFIZER AND ILLUMINA BOARD MEMBER: The end of -- the end of the pandemic at least as it relates to the United States is in sight right now.

HASAN: The American recovery rules and great news about a new covet treatment. So why aren`t the President and his party reaping any political benefits?

Then new reporting on January the 6th subpoenas as one of the big fish flops in a committee deposition. Are we headed for another contempt of Congress vote?

HASAN: Plus, the mounting legal trouble for Rudy as reported by all the networks.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: All the -- oh my goodness, all the networks. Wow.

HASAN: And how Nikki Haley`s call for presidents to be cognitively tested is one for the irony hall of fame.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You go person, woman, man, camera, TV. They say, that`s amazing. How did you do that?

HASAN: ALL IN starts now.


HASAN (on camera): Good evening. I`m Mehdi Hasan in for Chris Hayes. The U.S. added more than 530,000 jobs last month, vastly exceeding expectations. Unemployment has dropped to 4.6 percent, the lowest rate since the start of the pandemic. Hooray. In fact, this year has seen the largest one-year drop in unemployment since 1950 according to the White House. And the Dow closed above 36,000 for the first time ever this week, spurred in large part by unprecedented levels of government stimulus.

And yet Joe Biden is an exceptionally unpopular president. In fact, he is the most unpopular president in modern history at this point in his presidency with the exception of a man named Donald J. Trump. Even though Biden actually has a laundry list of tangible year one accomplishments dating back to his first major legislative victory as president, the American Rescue Plan passed without a single Republican vote and signed into law by this president earlier this year.

The American Rescue Plan, you might remember was a massive $1.9 trillion stimulus package that among many other things provided direct payments, checks of $1400 to Americans in need, extended beefed-up unemployment benefits which were a crucial lifeline to millions and expanded the child tax credit providing up to $3600 a year per child to low and middle-income parents which studies estimate could cut child poverty this year in half.

But it`s not just the economy. Biden is also overseeing the waning pandemic. The worst of the Delta wave appears to be behind us. Businesses are reopening. Life is slowly returning to some sort of normal in many parts of the country. And crucially, Americans are getting vaccinated against the virus.

About three and a half million Americans were fully vaccinated when president Biden took office. That number is now nearly 200 million and rising now that kids are eligible for the shots as well. And yet, despite all that, Biden and his party took an absolute beating in Virginia this week when former democratic governor Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin, a private-equity baron who ran on a platform of right-wing racist culture wars nonsense.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terry McAuliffe caused chaos in our schools.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a racist system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Newly unearthed documents reveal McAuliffe`s administration actively pushed CRT.

TERRY MCAULIFFE (D-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: But I also was a social warrior. I want to see our curriculum change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop McAuliffe`s chaos.


HASAN: McAuliffe running as a proxy for Biden`s record on vaccinations, on stimulus, on the economy, got beat by the guy pushing coded white supremacist talking points. According to NBC News exit polling, a plurality of Virginia voters called the economy their top priority and 56 still disapproved of Joe Biden`s record.

And there are a few reasons for this disconnect where voters can look at a rebounding economy and cited as their top priority and still reject the party that is overseeing a clear economic recovery. First, the Democratic Party is absolutely terrible at messaging and taking credit for its accomplishments. We all know that.

Second, the most salient economic indicator for many Americans isn`t the Dow, isn`t the stock market, or even tax credits or infrastructure legislation, it`s gas prices and inflation which are undeniably on the rise.

And third, plenty of voters are happy to take those tax credits and direct payments to those checks and then turn around and vote for the guy who`s pushing culture war grievance, cultural politics anyway. That is in large part because of one giant elephant in the room, Fox News.


Fox functions as a Republican propaganda machine and it creates an environment in which critical race theory can become a powerful political talking point despite it not actually being taught in Virginia public schools by pumping a steady stream of crazy into millions of Americans homes night after night after night.


ALLEN GUELZO, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: The American confederacy for instance, the Southern Confederacy was built on a similar kind of critical race theory and equity.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: It`s civilization-ending poison. But it`s everywhere. How widespread is it? Well, we can`t really be sure until we finally get cameras in the classroom as we put them on the chest of police officers.

RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY, CO-HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: They took God out of our school Sandra and then the left replaced it with CRT which is this neo- Marxist religion.

GREG GUTFELD, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: I`ve never seen an ideology burned so quicky through society. We don`t even know who`s behind it, where it` s happening.

CARLSON: I never figure out what critical race theory is to be totally honest after a year of talking about it.


HASAN: And so, if Democrats want to counter this crazy at some point, they need to meet it head-on, head-on. Touting Biden`s accomplishment is simply not going to be enough so-called popularism. The notion that politicians should simply run on a platform of well, popular ideas ignores the fact that people just don`t care that much about policy, and they often don`t trust their elected officials to actually get anything done.

As Democratic strategist Tory Gavito and Adam Jentleson write in an excellent new opinion piece for the New York Times, "In the heat of a campaign, populism fails because Republicans will not let Democrats ignore race. Mr. Youngkin dragged race into the election making his vow to ban critical race theory a centerpiece of his stump speech and repeating it over the closing weekend.

They go on to argue, instead of ignoring race while Republicans beat us silly with it, Democrats must confront it and explain that powerful elites and special interests use race as a tool of division to distract hard- working people of all races while they get robbed blind, then pivot back to shared interests.

That`s their message. And this is not just some abstract conversation about political strategy in the op-ed pages of the Times, this is something that Democrats need to start taking seriously now. Republicans are feeling emboldened after their win in Virginia. They took away a clear message, we could do nothing to materially help people`s lives and still win on a platform of critical race BS.

If the Democrats want any shot at holding a governing majority next November, they need to get their act together, figure out a way to get their message heard in spite of all the incoming on Fox and connect with voters in an emotional, not just a material way.

Tory Gavito is the president and co-founder of the progressive strategy Hub Way to Win and co-author of that excellent op-ed in the New York Times that I just referenced. And Carl Cameron is the co-founder of the news aggregate site Front Page Live. He previously spent two decades as a reporter at Fox News including as chief political correspondent until he quit in 2017.

Thank you both for joining me. Tory, let me start with you. What I loved about your op-ed was that you pushed back against people who say let`s just talk policy, we shouldn`t get distracted by race. You say rightly Republicans will not let Democrats ignore race, and nor will Fox or the rest of the MAGA media machine.

But many Democrats will still say nope, we need to change the subject, talk about what we want to talk about. What do you say to them?

TORY GAVITO, WAY TO WIN, PRESIDENT: I say to them you can look to the other election that we had in 2021 for the right playbook, and that was the election in Georgia. We had Senators Warnock and Ossoff prepared for a massive campaign. They built an apparatus the size of a presidential election. And that campaign didn`t assume that the Republicans would drop off at all in the way I think that we`ve seen some of those assumptions play out in Virginia.

And what`s more, they confronted the rights racist dog whistles head on and pivoted quickly to shared interests in jobs, the economy, healthcare, and justice. And in doing so, not only did they keep enthusiasm up, but they also managed to pull moderates into a direction of a multi-racial majority.

And you know, Terry McAuliffe just didn`t do that. We had a scenario in Virginia where yes we had turnout up by seven percent compared to 2017. But Georgia -- but excuse me, but the Republicans in Virginia actually had their turnout up to 15 percent. And so, that`s not going to work on how we have to win in 2022.

HASAN: Carl, let`s talk about messaging. It is undeniable, is it not, that there is a symbiotic relationship between Fox News and the Republican Party and especially Donald Trump. And not just the opinion hosts who I know you have criticized since leaving the channel, but also the so-called straight news side which has been all in on this nonsensical critical race theory panic this year, was all in on the Dr. Seuss nonsense earlier this year. You have a daytime Fox host like Harris Faulkner saying, Let`s go Brandon all the time, this new ridiculous anti-Biden chant.


CARL CAMERON, CO-FOUNDER, FRONT PAGE LIVE: Well, what you just described as a litany of stories that Fox perpetuated that never realized itself in actual politics. So much of what is said is the fantasies of the hosts who aren`t necessarily journalists but they are sometimes called anchors. That`s a problem when people are being gaslit with propaganda.

I do think that part of what happened in Virginia was Youngkin`s taking advantage of critical race theory and pushing that hard against McAuliffe. But frankly, the history of the way in which Virginia votes change particularly when there`s a change of presidency, there`s always a problem.

Kids don`t show up for gubernatorial races like they do in presidential races. The electorate is smaller. And Youngkin did a very good job of parroting a lot of Trump`s rhetoric without actually standing too close or talking too much about him himself. So, that was politically smart.

What Democrats need to do is fight back. The Democratic Party, the left has always been afraid of billionaires money. Well, the Republicans aren`t and it`s making a huge difference. And frankly, Fox isn`t necessarily a symbiotic operation with RNC nor has the -- as has Fox always been a symbiotic relationship with Republicans on Capitol Hill. What they are attracting, what they are serving is the audience because the audience eyeballs leads us to commercials and commercials is where the money is.

So, they`re going to continue to say things and as long as people choose to believe it. It`s not just Fox and it`s not just -- it`s not just television, it`s also social media. And we have a really, really horrible problem under it. Misinformation and information are most of the problem.

HASAN: That`s a fair point. I think you could argue that Facebook is matching Fox these days if not exceeding it when it comes to spreading misinformation. Tory, it`s all very well blaming Fox for demonizing liberals or lying about the Biden record, but we can`t just ignore the Democratic Party`s messaging failures, can we?

The fact that Democrats are just not very good at telling their own story, at banging their own drum. I mean, I didn`t see the American rescue plan get mentioned at all in the run-up to these two gubernatorial races this week.

GAVITO: In fact, McAuliffe was running away from some of the accomplishments that Biden has put forth so far. I mean, it`s definitely something that Democrats need to contend with as we head into 2022. And again, I`ll just reiterate. We know the way to win in 2022. We have to offer something new to Americans. There are 80 million Americans who voted for this president to deliver you know, on climate, to deliver on care, to deliver on jobs. And we`ve got to push the conservative democrats and the GOP out of the way to really make that happen.

And when we do, we`re about -- we`re poised right now to make historic gains for the American people. And that will give us what we need to really pull enthusiasm, then pull the enthusiasm gap up.

HASAN: Carl, I have to ask -- I really do appreciate you doing interviews like this and speaking plainly about Fox as you have done in recent years. But I have to ask. You were there two decades at Fox when the channel as a whole pushed right-wing BS about Benghazi, and birtherism, and her emails, and straight up islamophobia and xenophobia after 9/11. Obviously, it`s much worse now with Tucker Carlson mainstreaming great replacement theory on his show. But did none of that other stuff bother you way on your conscience when you were there for two decades?

CAMERON: I had a lot of arguments. I shot my stories straight. I did see stuff that was crooked over the -- you know, it was off of the lanes of real journalism, but again cable television in the early days, all MSNBC and Fox News wanted to do was beat CNN in the ratings. And everybody was scrambling for news stories in order to win the audience`s attention.

That began to change, you know, during the Iraq war when the President of the United States at that time, George W. Bush said that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we went there under false pretenses, and things began to change at that point.

I stuck around for a long time. My wife and I had thought a number of times that it was time to go but because of life and because of family stuff. That didn`t happen until the actual election of Donald Trump. And I was out there on the campaign trail with him for two and a half years almost and it was absolutely clear to me that I had to get out and take a little break from all of the nonsense of what has become our politics. It`s not serious.

Social media and Fox make up stories out of thin air just to keep people`s attention and keep their anger and their fear chugging and judging along as we get to the commercials.


HASAN: Well, at least you`re not there now as Tucker Carlson mainstream`s literal neo-Nazi talking points. Tory Gavito and Carl Cameron, I appreciate your time tonight.

CAMERON: Thanks very much.

HASAN: Today, the Trump DOJ official who reportedly plotted with the former president to overturn the election appeared before the January 6 Select Committee to give his testimony. What the committee wanted to know and what they actually learned, well you`ll find out after this.


HASAN: Do you remember the guy in Trump`s Justice Department who reportedly tried to take his boss, the Acting Attorney General`s job and helped Trump overturn the election. His name is Jeffrey Clark. He`s a lifelong republican lawyer who served in the George W. Bush Justice Department too. And he was the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Civil Division in the final days of Donald Trump`s administration.

His name is all over the Senate Judiciary committee`s report last month about Trump`s attempts to overturn the election. He`s the one who met with Trump personally, then urged DOJ leadership to intervene in the Georgia election writing up a letter ready for the Acting Attorney General to send out calling the Georgia proof of concept.


He`s also the guy as I say who apparently tried to take his own boss`s job. As the Senate report puts it, Clark eventually informed Acting Attorney General Rosen that Trump had offered to install him in Rosen`s place and told Rosen he would turn down Trump`s offer if Rosen would agree to sign the proof of concept letter.

Jeffrey Clark has denied he plotted to oust the attorney general. He wouldn`t sit down for a voluntary interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee but he was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating January the 6th. So, today, Clark appeared before the committee where he appears to have been with the panel for less than two hours.

And his attorney provided a letter to the committee reviewed by Politico saying Mr. Clark will of course abide by a future judicial decision, but for now he must decline to testify. Committee chair Bennie Thompson said in a statement that Clark`s complete failure to cooperate today is unacceptable. We need the information that he is withholding and we are willing to take strong measures to hold him accountable to meet his obligation.

Betsy Woodruff Swan is a national correspondent at Politico who`s been reporting on Jeffrey Clark`s deposition and she joins me now. Betsy you`ve got a look at the letter Clark`s attorney sent to the committee. Do you have any sense of how the deposition itself went after that letter?

BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: That`s right. The deposition clearly went quite badly. Clark was in that room with his lawyer for no longer than 90 minutes. We know Clark and his lawyer delivered this letter that I obtained to members of the committee. And we can say with a high degree of confidence that committee investigators were not particularly impressed.

The gist of this letter that I`ve read and that we have published at politico is that because Trump has tried to use executive privilege to block other people from playing ball with the Select Committee. That means that Jeffrey Clark additionally shouldn`t have to play ball with the committee. But there`s just one hiccup which is on August 2nd of this year, Trump`s lawyers sent out a letter specifically saying that Clark and other senior DOJ officials wouldn`t need to worry about lawsuits if they decided to cooperate. That letter specifically said Trump would not go to court to try to block them from cooperating.

That letter is the reason so many other senior DOJ officials have testified to congressional investigators and it`s the reason we have such detailed knowledge of the role that Clark played in the president`s efforts to reverse the election outcome because those other officials have already testified because they were given the green light by the president to testify. And in that testimony, they`ve shared lots of information that is not particularly flattering for the former president and for Mr. Clark.

HASAN: But as you say, Trump didn`t block these former officials from testifying. He showed up today. So what was the point of not saying anything? What was the point if he was showing up?

SWAN: In the letter that we obtained, Clark says that he was delivering the letter, he and his lawyers put it together, because it`s supposed to be a gesture of respect to Congress. Basically, they decided not to totally stiff-arm the investigation. They made an appearance and at least the way that they describe it in this letter is that it`s supposed to be some sort of signal of good faith.

That said, the lawyer who accompanied Clark to this deposition is a story in and of itself. That lawyer is a is an attorney from Georgia named Harry MacDougald. He was co-counsel with Sidney Powell in a conspiracy-laden lawsuit that Powell brought back right after the 2020 election in Georgia as part of an effort to try to reverse the election results.

MacDougald is the kind of lawyer who wouldn`t potentially be a fact witness for this committee because he was connected to that effort. The lawsuit that he signed on to contains really wacky stuff about Hugo Chavez and Dominion voting machines and the Iranians and the Chinese taking control of the American electoral system. That`s the person who went into this deposition with Jeffrey Clark to advise him on how to handle it.

And I think that`s probably part of the reason congressional investigators uh have signaled that they are very, very unhappy with the way that this afternoon went.

HASAN: So, that`s the way that Jeffrey Clark shows respect for Congress. He takes a Sidney Powell associate with him to Congress. What are Democrats going to do about this, Betsy? What`s Bennie Thompson, the committee chair going to do? They talk a good game, Democrats, but will there be any action against these defiant Trumpists.

The simplest step that they can take is to do what they did to Bannon which is vote in the committee and then vote on the House floor to hold him in contempt and essentially to ask the Justice Department to prosecute Clark. The committee already did that with Bannon. And though it hasn`t been a huge amount of time, DOJ has yet to move to go after Bannon for the fact that he stiff-armed the committee.

If they decide to take that step with regard to Clark as well, then the committee is essentially taking this hot Congressional potato and handing it over to DOJ and in their view hoping that DOJ takes the steps that they would want to take, namely prosecuting these folks who defy their subpoenas.

That said, the other step the committee can take which is much more dramatic and which one member of the committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin has floated, is the idea of inherent contempt which is a tool Congress hasn`t used for upwards of a hundred years but where Congress itself takes people into custody who defy congressional subpoenas.

That would be extraordinary. People should hold their breath if that would happen, but Raskin has floated it.

HASAN: I`ll believe it when I see it. You mentioned Steve Bannon. What has happened to Steve Bannon in the two weeks since the House voted to hold him in contempt? Has he faced any consequences? Do we have a timeline on when the DOJ, when Merrick Garland is going to make a decision?

SWAN: The biggest change that`s happened is Biden`s nominee to head the D.C. U.S. attorney`s office has been sworn in. So, now that office which makes the decision as to whether or not to prosecute Steve Bannon is headed by someone who`s a political appointee who`s been confirmed by the Senate.

It`s possible that attorneys in that office were waiting to have Senate- confirmed leadership before moving forward on this issue regarding whether or not to prosecute Bannon. Of course, the most senior leaders in the department are also going to weigh in on this decision.

But one thing that I think which people may not be happy to hear is that I`ve talked to just about every smart lawyer I know about whether or not they think DOJ will bring charges against Bannon for contempt. Most but not all have said that they think DOJ will.

I`ve talked to a number of people who are smart, serious, normal lawyers who know this stuff inside out who`ve said it`s possible that the Justice Department will decide it`s too politicized, it`s too uncomfortable, and they just don`t want to bring the case against Bannon. So, it`s not a foregone conclusion that Bannon faces charges from DOJ. I think it`s more likely than not, but I wouldn`t bet the farm.

HASAN: No, me neither. Betsy Woodruff Swan, great reporting as ever. Thank you for your time tonight.

SWAN: Thank you.

HASAN: Coming up, everything you need to know about the new COVID treatment that reportedly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by -- or death by 89 percent. Don`t go anywhere. We`ll be right back with the details.



HASAN: There`s some great news today in the fight against COVID-19. A new treatment for COVID that appears to dramatically cut the risk of hospitalization and death. It`s a pill made by drug maker Pfizer. The company says that clinical trials have been so successful in cutting the rates of death and hospitalization in high-risk adults by 89 percent, that they have stopped the trials early and are asking for emergency use authorization from the FDA as soon as possible.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb who we should also note is a Pfizer board member says that based on this most recent news, he believes we could be in the final stages of the pandemic.


GOTTLIEB: I think the bottom line is the end of -- the end of the pandemic at least as it relates to the United States is in sight right now given all the tools we have to combat this disease. By January 4th, this pandemic may well be over at least as it relates to the United States after we get through this Delta wave of infection and we`ll be in more of an endemic phase of this virus.


HASAN: Given how many premature victories we`ve declared over the past 18 months, I`m not so sure about that assessment myself. And I`m curious to hear what my next guest thinks. Joining me now is Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist. She served on the Biden- Harris transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. Dr Gounder, thanks so much for joining me tonight.

First off, explain to us what this new experimental Pfizer drug is. How does it work to combat the virus? How effective do you believe it is based on what Pfizer has told us?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST AND EPIDEMIOLOGIST: So, this new Pfizer drug shares a lot in common with other drugs we use to treat viruses like HIV or Hepatitis C. The technical name for it is a protease inhibitor. But what that really means is it has a different mechanism of action from the Merck drug Molnupiravir which is also an oral pill that could be used to treat COVID, that is also going to be reviewed by the FDA.

So, Dr. Gounder, the former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the pandemic as we just played, he says it could be close to over by January. But over 1000 Americans died of covert 19 yesterday, more will die today and tomorrow and they will continue to fill hospital beds and leave children behind if they`re adults, plus breakthrough infections are a thing -- a thing, and winter is coming.

Are we really that close to the end of the pandemic or have we been here before?

GOUNDER: Well, look, the Pfizer drug, the Merck drug, these are um really promising but a major obstacle here to them having an impact is being able to give them very early in the course of infection. So, the Pfizer drug had these astounding results of 89 prevent -- prevention of hospitalization and death. But it had to be given within three days of the onset of symptoms.

And so, for these drugs to really be game changers, we have to have a revolution in our health system essentially you need to be able to walk into your corner drug store, get the test. If you test positive, they quickly screen you to make sure that it`s safe to give you the medication and that you`re able then to walk away with the pills without an additional visit. You shouldn`t have to pay a co-pay. If you don`t have insurance, it should be for free.

And so, if that does not happen, it`s very unlikely that these drugs are going to have a significant impact here.

HASAN: Yes. It`s just so hard to anticipate and predict. It`s such a resilient virus. Dr. Gottlieb talked about the pandemic being over, but he added the caveat at least as far as America is concerned. This of course is a global pandemic. According to the New York Times, vaccination tracker over 51 percent of the global population has been vaccinated. But if we look at how that data breaks down, while the U.S. and Canada are at 68 percent with at least one dose, Europe is at 60 partially vaccinated, only 8.7 percent of the population of Africa as an entire continent is partially vaccinated, one dose at least.

So, as long as this uneven distribution continues, do we need chance of ending what is a global pandemic?

GOUNDER: Look, I think we declared mission accomplished back in May, June or so far too early. And I think we learned -- I hope we learned from the experience with the Delta variant that as long as you allow the virus to spread anywhere in the world, new variants which are more infectious, potentially more virulent, more immune evading can emerge elsewhere and threaten our own recovery.

Right now in this country, it looks like we may be at the beginning of a new resurgence. We are about three to four weeks behind Europe. They tend to predict -- their patterns tend to predict what we see here and they are seeing another resurgence. And we`re -- if you look at the graphs, the numbers have come down and then now they look like they`re sort of hovering and about to come up. And I think the next couple weeks will tell whether we are going to face another resurgence as well.

HASAN: The next couple of weeks before we hit thanksgiving and everyone flying and being indoors and not masking et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Great. It feels like I`ve seen this movie before. One last question, Dr Gounder, there is still an ongoing argument amongst politicians about whether it was the right move to close schools during the pandemic especially pre the Delta variant. It came up as I`m sure you`re well aware in the recent Virginia governor`s race.

In hindsight, what do you think as a scientist about how we handle school closures during the pandemic? Was it justified?

GOUNDER: Well, I think it depends on when. I think in the spring of 2020, absolutely. And I think we had to act out of an abundance of caution at that point in time. I think by the fall of 2020, we understood that if you combined masks, improved ventilation and testing, you could have kids back in the classroom safely.

The problem is not every school district had the resources or desire to do so. But we know we can get kids back in the classroom safely when you implement those other measures. And not to mention that now we also have vaccinations to further protect students and staff as well.

HASAN: Yes. That debate will carry on. One last quick question before I let you go. I mentioned Thanksgiving. Do you have any advice for somebody watching at home who says I`m fully vaccinated, I`m good, holidays come, no restrictions for me?

GOUNDER: Look, we know that there is still a risk of breakthrough infections. Vaccines provide a relative risk reduction. So, a percentage risk reduction relative to how much virus is in the community it`s not perfect. So, if you are around people who have COVID and there`s a lot of COVID in the community, you are still at risk.

HASAN: Yes. It`s not a message people want to hear and I understand why but it`s a message that has to keep getting out then. I appreciate you giving it to us tonight. Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you for your time.

Listen to this. Nikki Haley who served as ambassador to the U.N. under Donald Trump is calling for cognitive tests for older politicians. It seems like maybe she`s forgetting something or someone. That`s coming up next.


TRUMP: So, it`s person, woman, man, camera, TV. OK, that`s very good. If you get good, you get extra points.





TRUMP: From what I hear, if you look at Mr. Pillsbury, the leading authority on China, he was on a good show -- I won`t mention the name of the show -- recently and he was saying that China has total respect for Donald Trump and For Donald Trump`s very, very large brain.


HASAN: Regardless of what Mr. Pillsbury`s or even China`s opinion of Donald Trump`s brain may be, the 45th president`s time in office raised massive questions about whether or not his brain was up to the task. And so, it makes it hard to believe that his former U.N. ambassador was actually talking about Donald Trump`s successor when she said this.


NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: If you`re going to have anyone above a certain age in a position of power, whether it`s the House, whether it`s the Senate, whether it`s vice president, whether it`s president, you should have some sort of cognitive test. Like -- just like you have to show your tax returns, you should have some sort of health screening so that people have faith in what you`re doing.


HASAN: I don`t even know where to begin with that. Number one, Nikki Haley`s former boss Donald Trump of course never actually shared his tax returns with the public. In fact, he went to the Supreme Court not once but twice to prevent New York state authorities from getting his financial records.

And number two, does she really think anyone even the Donald`s closest aides had any faith in his cognitive abilities while he was in office? I mean did Trump himself?


TRUMP: The radical left was saying is he all there, is he all there, and I proved I was all there because I aced it, I aced the test. I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said that`s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.

The last questions are much more difficult, like a memory question. It`s like. you`ll go person, woman, man, camera, TV. So, they say, could you repeat that. So, I said yes. So, it`s person, woman, man, camera, TV. OK, that`s very good. If you get it in order you get extra points.

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Incidentally, I took the test too when I heard that you passed it. It`s not the --

TRUMP: Yes, how did you do?

WALLACE: Well, it`s not the hardest test.

TRUMP: I bet you couldn`t even answer the last five questions. I`ll bet you couldn`t. They get very hard the last five.

WALLACE: Well, one of them was come back from 100 by seven.


HASAN: Nikki Haley was around for all of that. And if she doesn`t remember that, well, maybe she`s the one who needs a cognitive test, you know, person, woman, man, camera, TV. Yes, I got it.

Coming up, on the subject of cognition, the latest from the insane saga of Rudy Giuliani. That`s next.



HASAN: This Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, MSNBC will air a truly wonderful, must-watch film called Four Seasons Total Documentary which tells the story of the insane day that Rudy Giuliani and the rest of Donald Trump`s incompetent legal team showed up at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia, no not the hotel but a landscaping company to protest Trump`s loss. And how Giuliani`s infamous press conference changed Four Seasons Total Landscaping forever.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a phone call from my son Anthony and he said mom, this is bigger than we think. And he sends me a picture while I`m talking to him and Rudy`s sitting at my desk and the plaque in front of my desk says boss lady. I looked at my husband and I said, I think we better --


HASSAN: That press conference was one of the more memorable moments in the Trump team`s flailing attempt to keep him in power. If only because it brought us this moment when Rudy Giuliani apparently first learned how American media covers elections.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Giuliani, why do you think this legal challenge is enough to overturn the call that was already made for Joe Biden?

GIULIANI: The poll?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The call. The call. It was called for Joe Biden. Why do you --

GIULIANI: Because they don`t decide the election. The call for Joe Biden isn`t -- who is it called by?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the networks.

GIULIANI: Oh, my goodness, all the networks. Wow. All the networks. We have to forget about the law.


HASAN: We see now what was always apparent. They were incompetent people telling brazen lies and kind of deranged lies. Rudy Giuliani went from respected mayor of New York City, America`s mayor, Times person of the year to Donald Trump`s ludicrous lackey embarrassing himself with lies as his hair dye dripped down his face.

Now, MSNBC has obtained videos from Giuliani`s sworn deposition in a defamation suit filed by a former executive of Dominion voting systems where Giuliani was asked about his wildly false claims about the voting machine company.


GIULIANI: Sometimes I go and look myself online when stuff comes up. This time I don`t have the time to do it.

It`s not my job in a fast-moving case to go out and investigate every piece of evidence given to me, otherwise you`re never going to write a story. You`d never come to one conclusion.


HASAN: Yes. Why bother with fact-checking when you can just make something up? The motto of all true Trumpists.

Peter Stone is a Washington D.C.-based investigative journalist who`s reported on Rudy Giuliani for The Guardian, The Atlantic, and most recently for New York Magazine where he reports that prosecutors suggest that Rudy Giuliani is probably screwed.

Thanks so much for joining me tonight. Giuliani said in his deposition that he didn`t check some of the false accusations he made before he made them. What kind of legal trouble does that put him in?

PETER STONE, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I would think he would put him in a good bit of legal trouble because as prosecutors have told me, former prosecutors, that kind of statement is exactly what happened -- what got Rudy Giuliani`s license suspended in New York the fact that he was -- went ahead and made statements in the courts, in public, and in other venues, statements that were just totally false.

And having made a statement like that in the deposition is in some way giving them rope to hang him on. I think it`s going to make his prospect for getting out of, you know, this suit much bleaker. It`s not over yet but right now it seems to be moving in a direction where he will have some real problems with the ultimate verdict in this -- in this defamation lawsuit.

And it`s only one of two as you know. There`s another one coming as well. So, Giuliani is basically hanging himself here in some ways.

HASAN: Is there any reason to think Donald Trump could get intertwined in these lawsuits?

STONE: I don`t know about the lawsuits but in terms of the investigation underway in New York by the southern district which is looking at whether or not Giuliani broke am old lobbing law that requires people who act as agents of a foreign government or officials or entities to register with the Justice Department, that does have a potential link to Trump.

Because what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine on behalf of Trump working with or talking to ex-prosecutors, government officials in Ukraine as they sought dirt on Joe Biden was part of his effort for Trump. It overlapped. And the question will be whether the Justice Department and prosecutors pulled off evidence.


They seemed to have quite a lot of evidence. They wouldn`t have had been able to get a judge to authorize a raid on his apartment and office back in April where they picked up 18 electronic devices, cell phones and computers, with enormous amounts of material involving Giuliani and his interaction with Ukrainian officials. They could never have gotten this kind of a authorization from a court and a judge if they weren`t able to show that they had a lot of -- a lot of hard evidence. And now that`s --

HASAN: Peter, what is the status of that? What is the -- I was going to ask, what is the status of that investigation into Giuliani? Did we know?

STONE: The status as we know is that a special master was appointed by the New York courts to examine Giuliani`s claims that some of this should be protected by lawyer-client privilege. The special master in the court has gone through most of the material, has turned almost all of it over to prosecutors. I think there are three outstanding matters now as was reported just the other day where Giuliani may be able to hold on to some of this electronic equipment.

But the prosecutors seem to have an enormous amount of material already in their hands. And it`s coming to a time when we could see, you know, charges potentially brought in the next couple of months if they feel like they have sufficient evidence to, you know, charge him on violations of what`s known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act. There could be other charges as well potentially.

HASAN: And Giuliani associate Lev Parnas was just recently convicted on campaign finance charges. What are the chances that impact on Giuliani and all the legal trouble he`s already in at some point soon?

STONE: Well, Giuliani was not in any way implicated in the illegal campaign contribution scheme. But there`s another -- Lev Parnas was one of two Soviet-born men who were -- Giuliani tapped to help him obtain information in Ukraine that would damage Biden. That information turned out to be largely speculative, almost entirely speculative, and was widely debunked.

Parnas, though, while Giuliani was not implicated in the trial that was just concluded, Parnas is in another trial coming up about a another scheme that he was involved with where Giuliani may have may be implicated in some fashion. Parnas at a company that he started with another friend, that was called Fraud Guarantee, the name is almost a joke when you hear the charges, because Fraud Guarantee was used -- sold to investors as a way of protecting them against rip offs and fraud.

It turns out that $2 million were given by over a half a dozen investors to this company, and Mr. Parnas and his associate who`s already been convicted and pled guilty and is now in jail, they took almost all that money and used it for personal possessions, you know, high living basically, cars, and other things, jewelry, all sorts of things they wanted.

HASAN: I have to ask briefly before we run out of time. I have to ask briefly before we run out of time. What happened to Rudy Giuliani? A lot of people look at Giuliani and say, whatever you think of his politics, he was a serious figure somewhat in 2001, certainly after 9/11. How did he become this kind of parody figure now?

STONE: Well, a lot of people are still trying to figure that out. I mean, it`s a head-scratcher. A well-known Republican operative, Charlie Black, told me for the story that he thinks it has a lot to do with his getting mixed up with Donald Trump. I think that`s a lot of it. But I think there`s also perhaps other factors involved. But he certainly put all his bets on, you know, trying to keep Trump in power.

And he took a lot of actions that are now getting him, you know, in a good bit of legal scrutiny and could ultimately lead to, you know, a conviction against him. He had his law license suspended in two places in New York and --

HASAN: Yes, it could be -- it could be a very bizarre end to Rudy Giuliani`s long career in public life. Peter Stone, we`ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time and your reporting.

That does it for ALL IN this evening. As always, you can find me again this Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern this week. I`ll be talking about what Critical Race Theory actually is with one of its founders Kimberle Crenshaw.

And of course, make sure you stick around until 10:00 on Sunday night because one year to the day after Rudy Giuliani held his infamous press conference at Four Seasons -- no, not that Four Seasons, it`s the premier of the delightful Four Seasons total documentary. That`s 10:00 p.m. Eastern this Sunday right here on MSNBC.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel