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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 11/9/21

Guests: Olivia Troye, Miles Taylor, Bennie Thompson, Michelle Goldberg, Vivek Murthy


The bipartisan House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection released another round of subpoenas today targeting a number of high-profile allies of former President Donald Trump. Today`s most recent subpoenas include former Press Secretary Kelly McEnany, Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller, and John McEntee. Capitol riot suspect flees to Belarus and seeks asylum. Christopher Rufo, the first person to start peddling the idea of critical race theory, admitted to Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times, it`s all part of a much bigger and older conservative effort to essentially gut public education.




CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN. New subpoenas for Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller, and the man dubbed Trump`s deputy president. Tonight, the story of Donald Trump`s White House enforcer Johnny McEntee and how he`s the staffer that made January 6 possible.

Plus, January 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson on what these subpoenas mean and what happens next.

Then, the right-wing plan to use culture wars in COVID to destroy public education in America.

And as Aaron Rodgers attempts to end his PR nightmare over vaccine nonsense --

AARON RODGERS, NFL PLAYER: I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading.

HAYES: Tonight, I`ll talk to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about his new plan to combat vaccine misinformation when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The bipartisan House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection released another round of subpoenas today targeting a number of high- profile allies of former President Donald Trump. This comes on the heels of that big round of subpoenas handed down yesterday. We`re going to talk to the head of the committee doing all this in just a moment.

Today`s most recent group includes some familiar folks. Former Press Secretary Kelly McEnany, Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller and also a guy named John McEntee. Now, he might not be as familiar to you. It`s possible that name rings a bell. He was so powerful inside the Trump White House, he has been called the deputy president which of course we don`t have in this country. We`ve got a vice president, we got a chief of staff for the president, not a deputy president. It doesn`t exist.

But now, we are learning a set of shocking new details about what this sort of Trump alter ego John McEntee did and how he effectively ran the United States government. But before all this, he was actually went viral a decade ago with this video -- I actually remember seeing this video when it came out. He was the quarterback for the University of Connecticut`s football team, impressive. He successfully threw all these trick shots, basically these unlikely shots. And again, it`s really impressive that he did that. But it is what McEntee did after college that has brought him the most notoriety.

After a brief stint as a staffer at Fox News, he joined the Trump 2016 campaign first as a volunteer. Then, as the candidate`s body man which is the person who goes everywhere with the president. He carries his luggage, gets him his snacks, arranges his hotel. You can see him here working a one -- some might call an unideal office space in Trump Tower. That`s real dedication right there.

McEntee followed Trump to the White House until 2018 when he was fired by then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. McEntee failed to pass a background check reportedly due to online gambling and issues with his taxes. So, the then-27-year-old was escorted out of the White House grounds by security.

But that was short-lived. After John Kelly left the white house back in January 2019, Trump rehired McEntee to his re-election campaign because McEntee was nothing if not loyal to the president. And Donald Trump values loyalty above all else even if he does not actually reciprocate it ever.

After about a month back in the job, Trump decided McEntee was due for promotion. Despite having no relevant experience, Trump wanted to appoint him as the director of the White House presidential personnel office. That`s actually a pretty big job in any White House. And in that position, he would oversee the vetting and hiring of everyone from ambassadors to cabinet members.

Not everyone thought that was good idea. As the Atlantic reports in an amazing excerpt from Jon Karl`s new book on the Trump administration, one Trump staffer who oversaw the personal office told the President "I have never said no to anything he asked me to do, but I`m asking you to please reconsider this. I don`t think this is a good idea."

And Trump took that about as well as you can imagine through a temper tantrum, reportedly screamed at that staffer, "you people never effing listen to me. You`re going to effing do what I tell you to do."

So, McEntee got the job and immediately embarked on this ideological effort to purge the White House of those who were insufficiently loyal to the MAGA god Donald Trump. He hired a number of new staffers who worked as enforcers of his agenda including liaisons, you might think of them as kind of spies, to various cabinet agencies who could use to bully and cajoles those offices into doing the president`s bidding or harass low-level employees who are perceived as working against the Trump agenda.

In one example, one of McEntee`s enforcers noticed a low-level staffer at the Department of Housing and Urban Development had liked a post from the pop star Taylor Swift on Instagram specifically this post where she encouraged her fans to vote in one photo and displayed cookies decorated with the Biden Harris logo and another.

Now, that is sort of notable I will say, but that incident was escalated all the way to the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who reprimanded the staffer`s boss. In another particularly notable anecdote, one of McEntee`s hires got caught trying to remove a nameplate from a plaque on the wall honoring Miles Taylor -- again, it was like a nameplate of packing wall with like a bunch of nameplates. It wasn`t like there was some big shrine to Miles Taylor somewhere in the Department of Homeland Security. Taylor, of course, the one-time employee of DHS who later revealed he wrote an op-ed and a book anonymously on how he was resisting the Trump agenda from within.


And yes, on the one hand, these anecdotes are kind of funny but there were real stakes involved here. Again, like I said, McEntee had a very serious and powerful job. His time in the White House Personnel Office went beyond petty squabbles. His team advised the president over the hiring and firing of cabinet officials.

When one of McEntee`s enforcers was hired to work with the Department of Defense, he told those around him, "I`m going to the Pentagon to fire Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and those deep state bastards. And you know what? He did. McEntee`s office wrote Trump a memo recommending he fire Esper who they believe was working against Trump`s agenda by a mother -- among other concerns, refusing to use the military to quell protest last summer. Imagine that.

And they wrote that memo and Donald trump listened. And six days after the election, he fired Secretary Esper. And it is worth noting the similarities between McEntee`s behavior that was encouraged and applauded by Donald Trump and the kind of ideological enforcers that you see crop up in authoritarian governments in the past.

The purging of those allies seen as insufficiently loyal to the leader, to the movement. And like many authoritarians, McEntee was not particularly concerned with a free and fair democracy. Remember, there`s a reason the January 6 Committee wants to talk to him. On January 1st, McEntee texted Vice President Mike Pence chief of staff a memo including the memory of Thomas Jefferson to incorrect -- incorrectly suggest that Pence had the authority to overturn a state`s electors.

Remember, this was the grand plan, right, that`s part of the Eastman memo, the White House plan to get Pence to throw out the results the election and essentially effectively appoint Trump the winner. Part of that pressure campaign to get Pence to go along with the coup, in fact, to be the trigger man for the coup.

But look, this is not really about just one White House staffer. McEntee is just a distillation of the mentality that rules MAGA world, obtaining power at any cost, subverting democracy, purity tests, demands of loyalty. That`s how Trump wants to run America.

We saw it last night in Florida when the ex-president told Republicans they could not have won the Virginia gubernatorial race without him even though the Republican candidate in that race kept him at arm`s length. We`re seeing now in the House of Representatives where Republicans are now calling for their 13 colleagues who cross the aisle to vote for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to be removed from their committee assignments. Now, to be clear here, that is wild. That is the kind of punishment reserved for Members of Congress who engage in particularly egregious conduct.

Here`s some examples. Former New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins, he lost his committee seat when he was indicted on insider trading charges. Former Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King lost his for openly sympathizing with white nationalism. Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor- Greene lost hers for promoting racist, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and advocating violence against your fellow members or Congress. That`s the bar normally for this kind of thing to lose your committee assignments.

But now, there`s apparently a growing movement of Republicans who want to take that drastic step, the purge, right, the enforcer. Oh, you like that post. Oh, you voted the wrong way. They want to punish their colleagues for daring to vote for a bipartisan roads and bridges bill.

It`s not about policy, it`s about complete and total loyalty. That`s the presidency, Donald Trump and his deputy president John McEntee built, an authoritarian cult inside the White House and the federal government that culminated in a violent insurrection. It`s the vision they have now actively that they are cultivating and working on for the American government. Once again, should he be allowed back into the halls of power?

Olivia Troye serves an aide to Vice President Mike Pence before resigning during the Trump administration. She`s now director of the Republican Accountability Project and the aforementioned Miles Tailor is the former Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security. He also resigned during the Trump administration which prompted one of John McEntee`s employees to try and remove that nameplate bearing his name. I mentioned a moment ago he now serves as the co-founder and executive director of the Renew America Movement.

Olivia, I just -- I`m curious first of all from the inside how this tracks with your experience the description of McEntee and this kind of obsessive, paranoid quasi-authoritarian enforcement of loyalty.


OLIVIA TROYE, DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: I think it`s very accurate. I -- you know, it actually gave me chills because it reminded me of what it was like especially when Johnny, as we called him inside the White House, was appointed to head of presidential personnel early in 2020.

And I remember having conversations with senior cabinet-level people, heads of -- you know, the head of Homeland Security at the time who had a conversation with me and said I cannot staff qualified people right now because Johnny is blocking them. I can`t get anyone through the pipeline. This is placing qualified people in positions of national security, right?

And this is the guy who was in charge of all of this. And so -- and like let me address the fear. The fear was real. It was well known that there were social media checks being conducted. I had a conversation with General Kellogg directly where he told me to watch my every move, to be careful.

I -- you know, I chuckled a bit when I read about the Taylor Swift portion because I remember a moment early in the spring, I was really angry after a meeting where I had lost an argument with someone on something that I didn`t agree with, one that was related to the COVID pandemic, and I came back and was playing Taylor Swift very loud in my office that night. And I had a call. He knock on the door and he said are you trying to get fired? And I was super confused about that.

And I was like, for being blunt in meetings or for what? And he said, well, I don`t -- you know, I don`t think she`s a fan of Trump`s. And so, if somebody hears that, you should really watch her back. You should be careful on that.

And that is just so astonishing to me, right? It`s late and I`m allowed to listen to whatever music I want. But when you talk about the Gestapo when it`s mentioned in that article, this is sort of how this White House was run. And that is what I fear for the future of our country when some of these people are in power like this and they remain in power.

HAYES: Well, here`s the irony here, right? I mean, at some level, because I`m talking to both you -- and Miles, I want your feedback on this. Because I`m talking about you, it`s like you can be paranoid and be right, right, in the sense that it`s true that a bunch of people in the administration viewed the president and the inner circle around him as a bunch of paranoid sociopaths who were going to destroy the country and viewed their mission as essentially making sure they couldn`t.

And so, them running around being like who are the traitors in the deep state is motivated by the fact that they are -- were indeed destructive paranoid sociopaths. Like, that`s the original problem, Miles, that all of this flows from.

MILES TAYLOR, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Yes. I mean, look, first of all I didn`t -- I didn`t know Olivia`s story before. We`re, of course, friends. And if I`d known that playing Taylor Swift would get me fired, I would have been playing it way -- playing her music way earlier in the administration. But to your point, Chris, I`ve got to say this. When the hell are Trump supporters going to wake up? What else do they need to hear to understand that the man they support was viewed by his own lieutenants as a dangerous authoritarian overseeing a bunch of many dangerous authoritarians?

Now, we`re not talking about a bunch of "disgruntled employees like me and Olivia which is what the president says we are. We`re talking about his own former chief of staff.

HAYES: Right.

TAYLOR: His own former national security adviser. So, I`m a former White House Comms Director. The list goes on and on. And these are people who`ve sounded the alarm and said that trump`s lieutenants were acting like the Gestapo. I mean Alyssa Farah who was one of his spokespeople just said the other day that she feared a second term would deepen the United States into authoritarianism.

So, the concern is real. And I`ll validate what Olivia said about this Jonathan Karl story. It`s completely accurate. And you mentioned that plaque. Well, that same person who tried to pry my name off the plaque was the same person staffers at DHS were worried was literally going to come in and shoot up the plate. They were worried he was going to come in and potentially shoot people.

His response to that, Chris, was well, if they support Trump, then they have nothing to worry about. That was essentially the response. That sounded eerily to me like one of Hitler`s lieutenants who famously said you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. These were the type of people Donald Trump surrounded himself with at the end.

HAYES: I should note that I am not familiar with that story, actually. I didn`t -- I did not -- have not heard that one. One of Trump`s more level- headed senior aides in the Atlantic saying I shudder to think what the cabinet would look like in the second term. Johnny McEntee, I expect, is already working on his list of names.

I mean one of the themes I think particularly in this period that culminates in the insurrection where things really, really tear where you have Gina Haspel according to Peril saying like, we`re looking at a right- wing coup. You`ve got Milley -- like, all these people worried about like full spectrum Democratic breakdown is that you -- it`s pure distillation of what Trump wants in finding the people that will carry it out, a McEntee or Jeffrey Clark of the DOJ, Olivia.

TROYE: That`s exactly it. And people were being placed in positions out of loyalty. They were being placed specifically in these senior offices and laying the groundwork. And that was what was so concerning in the lead-up especially to January 6 is that, you know, watching this especially having worked there, I had grave concerns about the fact that people were being shuffled around.

I knew how they felt about Mark Esper. I had heard the comments in the summer when he took a stand on what was happening with the protests and, you know, there was all this talk about the insurrection act and everything and the president at the time wanted to use military force for every possible solution that he wanted. I mean, that`s what he did. He would turn to the military for it, and people took a stand and stood against it.


And so, I think it`s concerning about when people rise to power like this and the type of people that they place that are -- that do their bidding. And they`re complete loyalists and, you know, they`re willing to be loyal and do whatever it takes to stay in his good graces.

HAYES: And part of the problem, Miles, is that you know, the sort of Trump`s address right to the Republican Party at that event in Doral which again is happening like on his property. It`s their own way of sort of paying literal tribute. You know, he`s obviously trying to overstate his own -- I mean, he was a net problem in that race. He was a drag on that race. And yet, at the same time, it is the case that any support for the Republican Party writ large redounds to his benefit. Like, it does empower him. And those two are -- it strikes me as indistinguishable at this moment in American democracy.

TAYLOR: Yes. Well, there -- you know, Chris, there`s a stunning level of silence among Republicans still about Donald Trump. They all know these things to be true. They all know that Donald Trump`s rhetoric has led to violence, that he`s actually a danger uh from a public safety standpoint because they say those things to people like me and Olivia behind the scenes when we engage with them. But they`re still afraid to speak out because he wields this massive war chest that he wants to deploy in the elections. That`s very concerning.

Now, of course, whether or not Donald Trump is actually going to spend that money on candidates that he endorses is an open question because he seemingly wants to keep it for himself for a comeback bid, but he`s wielding that as another tool to instill fear among Republicans to get them to remain loyal to him.

It`s why Olivia does what she does. It`s why I launched the Renew America Movement frankly so we could go support the good guys who are willing to stand up and go after the bad guys. And frankly, I don`t want to make this over-simplistic, Chris. This is really a fight between good and evil. And I know that sounds hyperbolic but we`re talking about some truly evil people in the former president`s ranks, some very, very sick people who would love nothing more than to reinstall Donald Trump into the White House and to have an authoritarian president.

And the fact that surveys show that millions of Americans believe that he should be violently reinstalled into the White House is a demonstration of how bad this has got.

HAYES: Olivia Troye and Miles Taylor, thank you both.

Don`t go anywhere. The chair of the January 6 Select Committee is here to talk about those 10 new subpoenas to former Trump officials including Stephen Miller and Kayleigh McEnany. Plus, I`ll get his reaction to Donald Trump`s midnight Hail Mary to block those documents being turned over to their investigation. All that after the break. Don`t go anywhere.



HAYES: All 10 of the people who were just subpoenaed today were all working at the Trump administration on January 6th. Some are staffers who until now were relatively unknown. In fact, there are few names I had to go back and double-check there`s Trump`s former personal assistant Nicholas Luna, you see him there, or the former Oval Office Operations Coordinator Molly Michael. Some of course are household names like Trump senior adviser and child separation mastermind Stephen Miller.

The committee wrote to him, "Based on your own public statements, you were aware of and participated in efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud in the November 20th, 2020 election, as well as efforts to encourage state legislatures to alter the outcome of the November 2020 election by among other things, appointing alternate slates of electors to send competing electoral votes at the United States Congress. In addition, you and your team prepared former President Trump`s remark to the rally out of the Ellipse on January 6. You`re at the White House that day and you`re with Mr .Trump when he spoke at the Stop the Steal rally."

Also subpoenaed today, Kayleigh McEnany, "As White House Press Secretary, you made multiple public statements from the White House and elsewhere about purported fraud in the November 2020 election which individuals who attacked the U.S. capitol echoed on January 6. In addition, you were with former President Trump when he traveled to the Ellipse and spoke at the Stop to Steal rally and popped in and out to join Mr. Trump as he watched the attack on the U.S. capitol later that afternoon.

The chairman of the January 6 Committee that just issued those subpoenas, Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi joins me now. Congressman, this is a large group of folks just in the last two day. It seems to represent an investigation that is both moving quite quickly and expanding to sort of take in the totality of the run up to January 6. How would you characterize where you are in your investigation?

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Well, first of all, thank you for having me, Chris. What I would tell you is we`re in the midst of following the facts and circumstances that got us to January 6th. The 16 individuals we have subpoenaed this week have knowledge as to what occurred before January 6 as well as what occurred on January 6th.

A lot of it is in the public domain. Some of it you shared on your program. But we think it`s incumbent upon the committee to get them on the record in sworn testimony as to what actually occurred and what did they do during that time. So, some of the individuals, the household ones, some of them are not, but this is the body of work that our committee is doing.

As you know, we`ve interviewed over 150 people in this process. So, the people we wanted to talk to directly now are people who we think have evidence as to what really went on in terms of the planning of the Stop to Steal rally that morphed into an insurrection. And we want to see whether or not they actually contributed to that insurrection.


HAYES: I want to read to you a quotation from the letter of your committee sent to Mr. McEntee who we just spent a little bit of time on. "You were reportedly present in the Oval Office when Giuliani, Justin Clark, former President Trump and former Vice President Pence discussed the audit process in Georgia and listened as Giuliani suggested, seizing Dominion voting machines because of fraud. According to public accounts, you`re also involved in communications with officials in various federal agencies regarding loyalty to former President Trump. And you specifically discouraged a number of individuals from seeking employment after the election as it would appear to be a concession of President Trump`s defeat."

How central a figure do you view McEntee?

THOMPSON: Oh, there`s no question. He`s part and parcel to this big lie that we`re having to deal with. And part of what you heard and read just then is how all this was created. If you put the line out in front of the public that the machine somehow changed the outcome of the election, or that certain officials in certain parts of the country were not loyal to the president, we have people who are working in this administration who are not loyal to this president.

We are a democracy. So, part of our challenge uh that we are having to address is whether or not what occurred came almost to the point of destroying this great democracy of ours. And if it did, what can we do to protect it. So part of it is getting to the evidence, the phone call made to the secretary of state in Georgia by the president, saying he only needs a few thousand votes and he can beat -- he can take Georgia. All those things bring into question as to was this part of a bigger plan the fact that officials in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania were all put on the pressure to change the outcome of a legitimate election.

Over 60 lawsuits as you know were filed on behalf of trying to change the outcome of the election. A majority of the judges that heard them were Trump-appointed judges who said we can find nothing illegal or improper with the conduct of the election.

So, the people we want to talk to under -- by issuing the subpoenas and under oath, we think have significant information as to what went on. Some of them are suspect. We want to know what went on at the Willard Hotel. We want to know why felons were brought in to assist this effort and those felons who had been pardoned by this president.

So, sometimes you get judged by the company you keep. And some of the company that brought itself to the Stop the Steal rally obviously have records that are suspect.

HAYES: Final question for you quickly here. Friday is the deadline for the first crunch of documents subpoenaed by your committee, requested by your committee from the National Archive. The President has tried to -- the former president has tried to intervene in court despite the fact that President Biden`s administration said there is no executive privilege claim here.

There is no -- there was a hearing earlier. That judge has yet to issue a ruling. What is your expectation of how that process will play out?

THOMPSON: Well, our hopes is that the judge will rule in our favor. It`s clear that we are a duly chartered committee developed by the House of Representatives. But as you know, the Trump history is when you disagree with anything you go to court. So, we`re not surprised. We`re not surprised about the emergency filing he did last night. We appreciate a quick decision by the judge. So, we are confident that we`re on sound footing. And we will get those records that will help us make the case as to what really occurred leading up to January 6th and who participated in the Stop to Steal rally that turned into an insurrection.

HAYES: Congressman Bennie Thompson who`s the chair of that committee, thank you so much.

THOMPSON: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Coming up, the faction of right-wing activists who spent their careers trying to destroy public education now think they have the perfect weapon. That`s just ahead. But first, the story of the January 6 insurrection is facing multiple felony charges who fled to Belarus. It`s a wild story. Stick around.



HAYES: So, we appear to have our very first insurrectionist international fugitive from justice. His name is Evan Newman. He`s a 48-year old handbag manufacturer from California. Back in March, he was charged with six crimes related to his actions at the Capitol on January 6. Two of those charges are felonies for assaulting an officer and participating in civil disorder.

Newman is circled in the photos that you see here taken from an officer`s bodycam. He`s wearing a gas mask in one of them which is creepy and weird and shows that he was planning something or at least indicates it. According to the FBI`s criminal complaint against him, Newman was in the crowd gathered at the barricades on Capitol grounds where he began verbally assaulting police officers.


He allegedly yelled at one officer, You have "no pride, no honor. You`re nothing." According to the complaint, Newman threatened the officer saying they would be overrun by the crowd and stated, I`m willing to die, are you?

The FBI says Newman went on to shove the metal barricade into the line of police officers and punched them until he and other rioters were successful in breaking down the barricades. Newman then used the barricade as a battering ram striking officers with it.

When Even Newman learned he was wanted by the FBI, he fled the country. He is now seeking asylum in the welcoming arms of the former Soviet Republic of Belarus. That may seem like an incredibly random place for an American on the lamb but it does make some real sense.

Belarus is infamously the last dictatorship in Europe helmed by Alexander Lukashenko who has been in power for more than 25 years. Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin are allies though they have a complicated relationship.

And the Belarusian leader is seen as a scourge on the European Union. In fact, E.U. officials are accusing Lukashenko of intentionally trying to provoke a new migrant crisis right now. He`s doing this crazy thing where he accepts thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East, then brings them to the border with Poland.

Polish officials are not psyched about that. They say at least 3000 people were massed at the border today trying to enter the E.U. courtesy of Lukashenko. You may remember another dramatic incident earlier this year. In May, Belarus forced the landing of a commercial flight traveling through its airspace in order to arrest a passenger, a dissident Belarusian journalist.

But now, Lukashenko and his authoritarian government have found themselves in possession of an incredible propaganda victory in the form of one Evan Newman who they are hailing as a victim of political persecution. This week, Newman gave an interview to Belarusian state TV which aired in a segment titled Goodbye America. He detailed his journey to evade American justice claiming to have flown to the E.U. under the guise of a business trip and traveling through Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine.

Newman says he arrived in Belarus on foot in August after wading through snake-infested swamps. In the interview, Newman tells the Belarusian reporter he doesn`t believe he committed any crimes and alleges the insurrection was a false flag fabricated by the U.S. government.

They went along with a story describing him as a very simple American who sought justice, asked uncomfortable questions, but lost almost everything as being persecuted by the U.S. government. That idea of the people who are literally recorded on video attempting to overturn the election are political prisoners is not just spreading in authoritarian Belarus, it`s become the line of right-wing American media especially Fox host Tucker Carlson. And an entire faction of the Republican Party believes it.



HAYES: For whatever effect, the critical race theory scare tactic may have actually had on last week`s election in Virginia, it clearly is a hit with Republican strategists, Fox News audiences, and well, possibly some persuadable voters. A Yahoo News -- Yahoo News-YouGov poll from last month found about 50 of Americans had heard of CRT. And as widespread as it is now, the issue at least is used in right-wing messaging was basically invented out of whole cloth by one guy, conservative activist Christopher Rufo.

He was really the first person to start peddling the idea of critical race theory as some kind of grave threat to America on Fox News last year. And as he readily admitted to Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times, it`s all part of a much bigger and older conservative effort to essentially gut public education.

Quoting from Michelle`s recent op-ed, I`ve unlocked a new terrain in the culture war and demonstrated a successful strategy said, Rufo. With that done, he was getting ready for a new phase of his offensive. We are right now preparing a strategy of laying siege to the institutions, he said.

In practice, this means promoting the traditional Republican school choice agenda, private school vouchers, charter schools, homeschooling. The public schools are waging war against American children and American families, he said. Families in turn should have a fundamental right to exit.

Michelle Goldberg who wrote that great piece joins me now. You know, Michelle, your column was clarifying because it really showed me the degree this was like old wine and new bottle, the project here from Rufo and others.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, look, there`s been a long project to discredit public schools than we`ve seen lots of iterations of it. You know, I`m old enough to remember a panic over secular humanism being taught in public schools, certainly over sex education being taught in public schools.

So, there`s many, many iterations of this. I mean, this is -- I think that look, this is obviously responding to something real. It`s responding to sort of certain changes in DEI trainings largely at the administrative level that have been interpreted to mean like a whole scale revision of the way race is taught in American public school classrooms which i think is really not happening.

One of the interesting things about Virginia is that part of the reason that this issue has been so salient in Virginia is because the schools were closed for so long, longer than in most other states, and there`s a lot of parent anger and frustration over that. You know, the upshot of that -- and I think that some of -- a lot of that anger is justified. But you know, the school -- the school -- those people were -- the kids were at home. If they had been being browbeaten about their white privilege, somebody would have seen it, and they didn`t. And so, that`s not what this is about.

HAYES: Yes. And I think, you know, your -- you make a broader point, right? So, there`s this sort of -- there`s a few things that tease apart. There`s a kind of like using CRT as this kind of wedge weapon for political purposes. There`s the fact that there has been actual changes I think in some of the rhetoric around race. Some of which is incredibly important and good. Some of which I think is like, not great and a little like flim- flammy and hustly from this sort of like industry that`s grown up around like we will train people.

But then there`s a broader thing of like, the role of public education. You wrote this. As many pointed out, the reason education was such an incendiary issue in the Virginia governor`s race likely has to -- had less to do with critical race theory than with parent fury over the drawn out nightmare of online school.

Because America`s response to COVID was so politically polarized, school shutdown were longest in blue states, and Virginia was especially severe; only six states had fewer in-person days last year. And I think, one of the distressing effects of that was I found sometimes through the looking glass place where people trying to justify longer school shutdowns were minimizing the importance of public education which seemed like the opposite of what you want to do. Like, oh it`s not that big a deal if people are in school. And I kept saying like, no it`s a really big deal because public education is like really important.


GOLDBERG: Well, I think through the looking glass is exactly right because before COVID you had the right, you had the Betsy Devoses of the world trying to say that online education might someday be a substitute for public schools, right, when they were pushing sort of private for-profit charter schools.

Everybody -- you know, at the time, progressives understood that that was preposterous. And I think that these shutdowns have -- they`ve created a huge amount of disgruntlement with the public schools that is very ripe for the right to exploit and that they are now exploiting not just in terms of CRT bans but also I think in terms of a coming campaign of privatization and vouchers which could be really damaging to both public education in this country and the Democratic Party.

HAYES: We should say, Axios just had an interesting poll showing that, you know, something like two-thirds of folk or three-quarters of people think that the schools actually did a good job or very somewhat good job of balancing health and safety with other issues, that there was a very little split between parent and non-parent.

I myself would answer yes to that same issue. I think New York City schools did a pretty good job. But I`m also like, really, really don`t want that ever happen again and really want to make sure that we preserve and expand and protect public education as I know you do as well. Michelle Goldberg, always a pleasure. Thank you.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, the surgeon general joins tonight right here in studio. We have a lot to talk about like what this year`s post-vaccine holiday season could look like and what to do with what you might call the Aaron Rodgers problem. The answer is when we return.



HAYES: Last week, we found out that one of the most famous athletes in America was misleading everyone about his vaccination status. The quarterback of the Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers revealed he contracted COVID. And subsequent to that we learned that when he had been asked about whether he was vaccinated, he said, yes, I`m immunized. He was not actually vaccinated.

Later he went on a podcast and disclosed he did not actually get that COVID vaccine. The interview was almost an hour long during which he basically explained why he is against the vaccine. And honestly, it included a lot of crazy stuff.


RODGERS: To my knowledge, there has been zero long-term studies around sterility or fertility issues around the vaccines. I`ve been taking monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, zinc, vitamin C, and D, HCQ and I feel pretty incredible.


HAYES: First, the vaccine does not cause fertility issues. Secondly, none of those things he is taking other than the monoclonal antibodies have been proven to effectively treat COVID in, you know, double-blind clinical trials. You can imagine that all that was not well received. Fans accused him of lying. He lost an endorsement deal. The packers -- I felt terrible about this lost to the Chiefs this weekend without him there which was just awful.

And so, today, Aaron Rodgers went back on that same podcast and tried to clean up the mess he made.


RODGERS: I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. And you know, to anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.


HAYES: I`m going to start hosting the show standing up with my guns out. The thing is, this story is not about Aaron Rodgers. This is about how there is so much misinformation out there that`s flooding every facet of society. That has prompted the surgeon general, the nation`s lead doctor to take the unprecedented move of releasing a step-by-step misinformation toolkit to help people combat coronavirus conspiracy theories and lies in their own social groups.

And he joins me now, Dr. Vivek Murthy who is the Surgeon General of the United States. Great to have you here.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, UNITED STATES SURGEON GENERAL: Thanks so much, Chris. Good to be with you.

HAYES: You know, it`s funny. I have complicated feelings about Aaron Rodgers. As a person who -- as a Bears fan, I`ve long loathed for understandable reasons, you know, because it`s like he`s just -- he`s just a guy with bad views on this which are a dime a dozen. And I would just -- you know, the real problem is that he has the platform now and he`s like going on this podcast to spread all this.

But I guess i wonder -- like, when you hear him say, well, there`s been no long-term study of the fertility issue, it`s like well, that`s technically true in the sense there`s been no long-term study about anything because like it`s only been around for a year. And I guess, what do you -- what goes through your head when you hear that as like, is that -- is that a defeatable complaint or is that just like someone looking for a reason?

MURTHY: Well, you know, it`s a good question, Chris. And when I talk to people who are concerned about the vaccines or hesitant, this is what I try to understand is what are their real concerns and interests and try to step back and look at the bigger picture.

And a couple of things become clear. One is, if your goal is to reduce your chances of having COVID, if your goal is to help your community get through the pandemic, then clearly getting vaccinated is your best pathway there. And if you look at the experience we`ve had not just the clinical trials, we`ve now experience administering more than 400 million doses of this vaccine in the U.S. alone.

Two things that become very clear from that experience. Number one, these vaccines are highly effective especially preventing the worst outcomes like hospitalization and death. And two, they have a remarkably strong safety profile which we don`t always take for granted but that`s what`s been the case.

So, that`s what the data tells us. But this is what I think we have to remember from this incident. Number one, if you have a platform, if you have a voice, we have to use it responsibly because especially during an era like this where there can be confusion, you can really hurt people with health misinformation.


Second, who you get your health information from matters. You know, I don`t ask my electrician for medical advice and I don`t ask my doctor for advice on what to do for my electrical problems at home. We`ve got to make sure if we got questions about the vaccine, we`re getting them from credible medical experts, people who have studied science, who have practiced medicine, people like your doctor or your other healthcare provider, or your local department of health.

That`s how we`re going to counter misinformation to make the best decisions for ourselves and our family.

HAYES: I mean, I`m lucky enough to be able to DM with Nicki Minaj`s cousin`s friend whenever I have any issue that comes up, so I`ve just been consulting with him on the side. But I mean, I guess the problem right is a broader one about that trust relationship you`re talking about. Like -- it`s like, look, if I don`t trust the medical profession or if I don`t trust the messengers, there`s no way to get out of that trust relationship. You see what I`m saying?

Like, I think there`s a lot of people who are just like, I don`t trust doctors or I don`t trust mainstream medicine or I don`t trust, you know, "big pharma." And you can tell me all this data but I don`t trust the actual data.

MURTHY: Yes. So, I`m glad you brought this up because -- and a lot of people legitimately fall into that category and some of them have had a bad experience with the medical system, right?

HAYES: Yes, and a lot of them not wrong.

MURTHY: Yes, so I totally understand that. But this is actually why it`s so important that all of us recognize even if we`re not medical professionals. We have a role to play in helping people understand what -- where they can go for accurate information, sharing our own experiences. One of the reasons, Chris, that in July I issued a Surgeon General`s advisor and helped misinformation is I wanted to call attention to the fact that this is one of the profound challenges we are facing in getting through this pandemic. It`s addressing the avalanche of misinformation that is coming our way.

The reason today that I issued a community toolkit was to now provide concrete tools that could empower people to number one, be able to understand whether the information they`re getting is accurate or not, be able to understand how to have a conversation with a family member.

You don`t have to be a doctor in order to help somebody understand, you know, what your decision was in order to listen to them and empathize and help them perhaps lean toward talking to a credible medical expert. And in this moment, we still have 60 million plus people who need to get vaccinated, Chris. We need everyone to look around, talk to their family and friends, ask them if they`re vaccinated. If they`re not, help them answer their questions or direct them to people who can.

HAYES: I want to ask about how people should be mentally preparing for this winter. Cases are starting to go up in Europe right now. We have -- we have a map. And it shows that cases are going up more in the eastern European countries which are less vaccinated, but they`re going up everywhere.

Cases in the U.S. are up uh a little bit over the last week. And one thing we`ve learned about COVID is cases go down or they`re going up. They don`t stay the same. We have not really reached suppression levels, so we`re going to have outbreaks. Cases are going to be around.

We got 60 million people unvaccinated and people who are vaccinated as community transmission up, their risk of getting breakthrough cases will go up. How should those who are vaccinated and in areas that are highly vaccinated be thinking about risk as we go into a winter where I guarantee you we will see more cases?

MURTHY: Yes, it`s a good question because as the winter approaches, people are going indoors. And we know that the virus can transmit better during cold dry weather. But here`s what it`s important for vaccinated people to remember. You are much better off now than you were last year, you know, prior to us having vaccines.

And why is that? Because even if there is virus in the -- in the community, your risk overall of getting infected is still much lower if you`re vaccinated. Second, your risk of getting seriously ill and being hospitalized, or God forbid, passing away is markedly lower. That`s why during this last Delta wave, the majority of people who were hospitalized and who were dying from COVID-19 were in fact unvaccinated individuals.

But, finally, remember two more things. One is that if you if you`re eligible for a booster, it`s worth going out there and getting that booster because that`s a way to extend the protection that you have particularly as we get into winter. But also remember that the precautions that are -- that the CDC still recommended like wearing masks in public indoor spaces is still helpful in times like this when we still have a lot of virus circulating.

I`m optimistic we`ll get to a better place where cases come down and ultimately we`re able to keep them at a manageable level, but we`re not here yet.

HAYES: That`s not going to happen this winter. It is not, right?

MURTHY: Yes, we`re not there yet. And so, that`s why we`ve got to continue to be cautious. But just remember, you`re so much better off if you`re vaccinated. We can`t let people forget that because sometimes people think well, there`s cases, I hear about breakthroughs, does it really matter to get vaccinated? Absolutely, it saves your life. It keeps you out of the hospital. That matters.

HAYES: Well, and also, there`s a risk -- there`s a perverse inversion that happens which I think the people most attuned to the risk are the people who are the most likely to be vaccinated in doing things like masking and people who are least attuned are the people least likely to be vaccinated and doing things like masking.

That`s both I think sort of cultural, it`s regional. And so, you`ve got a situation where as cases go up, you can see people in those parts of the country that are the most vaccinated also getting the most freaked out, right? And you have this weird sort of cycle. And I`m sort of worried about that as we get into the winter because I want people to recognize that the vaccine really does offer tremendous protection.

MURTHY: It really, really does. And then there`s something interesting what you just said which is that we see this in the misinformation data as well that the people who are unvaccinated are much more likely to believe the misinformation that`s out there than nearly 80 percent of people either believe or think that a myth may be true, many of them are in fact, they tilt toward those who are unvaccinated. So, we`ve got a lot of work to do.

HAYES: All right, Dr. Vivek Murthy, thank you so much.

That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.