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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 2/1/21

Guest: Michael Spies, Luke Broadwater, Walter Dellinger, Molly Jong-Fast, Bernie Sanders, Andrew Beaton

Summary:

At least three lawyers left Trump`s team in recent days after Trump asked them to focus their defense on his claim that the election was fraudulent and stolen. A memo from the Acting Secretary of Defense shows the disarming of the National Guard ahead of January 6th riot. GOP senators met with President Biden to pitch a slimmed-down COVID relief bill. The NFL tracking data gives a deeper look at COVID transmission.

Transcript:

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: So, let`s honor the Father of black history by calling for action well beyond February 28th while uplifting Black excellence and Black joy this day and the next. Happy Black History Month. And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN. One week before the second trial of Trump, ugly new details about the impeached former president`s role in the Capitol insurrection, and why multiple networks report more lawyer trouble.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: Oh, my goodness, all the networks. Wow.

HAYES: Then, Republicans look the other way as Democrats deliver an ultimatum over Marjorie Taylor Greene. Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders on the bipartisan support for the President`s COVID bill. And as the Super Bowl approaches, how the NFL`s discovery about how Coronavirus transmits help save their season, when ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes, the first- ever second impeachment trial is set to start a week from tomorrow. We have a whole bunch of developments in the case against the former president, and was one of the most reckless acts of any president in American history. First, there is the unsurprising upheaval in the former president`s legal team. At least three lawyers left the team in recent days after Trump asked them to focus their defense on continuing the big poisonous lie that he`s been pushing that the election was fraudulent and stolen.

This comes just days after one of those lawyers Butch Bowers of Columbia, South Carolina. He said, he did not hesitate to defend Trump. It`s who I am. It`s what I do." The former president now has two new attorneys named just last night Bruce Castor Jr., who previously declined to prosecute Bill Cosby, and David Schoen, who`s represented a whole bunch of folks, including Roger Stone.

We don`t know if the new team will go along with the "it was fraud and stolen defense," but take a second to think about what that means. It`s worth noting that as the former president is being impeached for incitement of a deadly mob that attempted to use violent intimidation as a means of overturning a democratic election. He would be claiming as his defense that the mob had it right. And that is what he and the Republican Party overall appear to think.

There`s been more and more evidence coming out over the last 72 hours about the relentless plotting that happened, public and private, to make the events of January 6th happen, and to make them as dangerous as possible. New York Times is out with a special examination of the 77 days between the election and the inauguration, when Donald Trump attempted to subvert American democracy with a lie about election fraud that he had been grooming for years.

Now, when the former president inside of the crowd on January 6th in that infamous bit of tape we`ve all seen, right, to go to the Capitol -- come with me, come to the Capitol and to see if Mike Pence "comes through for us," right. That moment, that was the culmination of an effort he had been cultivating for a very long time.

He clearly intended to use whatever means were at his disposal, whatever levers he could find, to overturn a free and fair election. And it was a project, let`s be clear here, that almost the entire Republican Party signed on to before some of them got a little freaked out and tried to distance themselves.

As The Times reports, Trump was enabled by influential Republicans motivated by ambition, fear, or misplaced belief that he would not go too far. Mitch McConnell was OK with the plan because he feared alienating a president whose helped he needed in two Georgia senate runoffs that would decide his control of the chamber. He also heeded misplaced assurances from White House aides like Jared Kushner that Mr. Trump would eventually accede to reality.

Remember that Texas lawsuit challenging the election results that 18 Republican state attorneys general signed on to, right? Well, that was ghostwritten, secretly drafted by lawyers close to the White House. The lie that the election was stolen were propelled forward by new and more radical lawyers and finance ears, including the former chief executive of Overstock.com who is financing his own team of cyber sleuths to help prove voter fraud and disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Then, the day arrived January 6th, the forces that could have, should have protected the Capitol had been disarmed. Do you remember that shortly after the election, the former president removed a bunch of officials at the very top of the Defense Department in a totally unprecedented move? It didn`t really make much sense at the time. And he replaced them with handpicked Trumpists whose resumes were well, pretty insufficient for their jobs.

Christopher Miller who never held a senior role the Pentagon was elevated to Acting Secretary of Defense, where he signed this bizarre memo. That memo forbade D.C. National Guard members present at the Capitol on January 6th from using weapons or having helmets or body armor or employing any riot control agents like pepper spray, or sharing any equipment with law enforcement agencies.

Now, keep in mind the planning of January 6th happened in coordination with people in Trump`s orbit. The self-proclaimed originator of the rally who is now on the lam publicly proclaim that he in fact had helped from three Trump loyalists in Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALI ALEXANDER, ORGANIZER, STOP THE STEAL: I was the person who came up with the January 6th idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks, and then Congressman Andy Biggs. We force schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn`t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud war from outside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Hearts and minds. He schemed up with some of the former president`s best allies in the body. And now, we have some receipts about the extent of coordination, thanks to new reporting from ProPublica, showing that a Trump fundraiser played a key role in planning the rally that preceded the siege.

Text messages and event planning memo indicate that Caroline Wren played an extensive role in managing operations for the event. Record show that Wren oversaw logistics, budgeting, funding and messaging. Caroline Wren served as the deputy to Kimberly Guilfoyle seen here dancing backstage before the rally that then led to the riot, working in a presidential fundraising committee called Trump victory during the campaign last year.

The reporter who broke that story for ProPublica, investigative reporter Michael Spies joins me now along with Luke Broadwater who has been reporting on the Pentagon memo curtailing the National Guard for the New York Times. It`s good to have you both.

Michael, tell us a little bit about who Caroline Wren is and what role she played in Trump world.

MICHAEL SPIES, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: Carolyn Wren was a and has been a top Republican fundraiser for some time going back to working with Lindsey Graham in 2014 and eventually making her way into Trump world more recently, working basically at the hip of Kim Guilfoyle and Don Jr. over the last election cycle.

HAYES: And the documents you were able to obtain, what do they show?

PIES: They showed that she was intimately involved in the planning of the January 6th rally, that involved overseeing budgeting messaging, making key decisions, making sure -- facilitating the President`s speaking slot, making sure he was going to speak basically. She was -- when she came in, it became like a much more real legitimate rally.

HAYES: Was that known before? And what was the sort of a sensible story about this rally in which the President appeared?

SPIES: They came together in a very strange way. In fact, the person who was originally putting on -- putting it on was a woman named Cindy Chafian who was affiliated with another group called Women for America First. And then she was planning an event in December most interestingly. She`d been contacted or was in touch with Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who is interested in funding said event. And Jones at some point put her in touch with Wren who was working with a Trump fundraiser who wanted to bankroll the affair.

HAYES: Alex Jones put her in touch with Caroline Wren, the longtime Republican staffer who used to work for Lindsey Graham, now works for Kimberly Guilfoyle and who is at the nexus of this.

SPIES: Correct. Alex Jones told her that she had to get in touch with Caroline Wren because this particular fundraiser wanted to put on an event or contribute heavily to it. That`s right.

HAYES: Luke, I want to talk to you about your reporting about this DOJ memo. Now, the memo strikes me is quite strange and quite anomalous. But again, I don`t look at memos like these all the time. So, I guess my question, first question is, is it strange and anomalous? Is this sort of pro forma kind of thing you usually get or did this -- did this stick out at the time?

LUKE BROADWATER, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: So, this all originates from the D.C. National Guard`s enforcement of Black Lives Matter protests in June. There was some criticism of the guard at the time that they had been too aggressive, and they had flown helicopters to low buzzing the protesters.

And so, at the time, the Defense Department was extensively trying to limit the rough tactics of the guard. And D.C. Mayor Bowser had wanted the guard present on January 6th, but had requested they not be as aggressive. So, this memo purportedly is for that purpose. What is somewhat worrying about it as it comes down January 4th, two days before the (AUDIO GAP)

They`re gathering intelligence that white nationalists, other extremist groups are going to be armed and are going to be attacking the Capitol that day, or at least there`s a potential for an attack on the Capitol. So, there`s intelligence that exists that there could be this insurrection, there could be this attack on the Capitol. And at the same time, the commander of the D.C. National Guard is being told that he needs additional levels of approval to use tactics to suppress a riot.

So, he testified before a closed-door committee last week of the House Appropriations that, you know, he felt that this slowed him down and limited his authority. There`s some question as to whether how much this did slow things down. That`s something we`re still investigating. But certainly, he feels that way. And that`s what he told committee members behind closed doors.

HAYES: Look, how good a sense to you, as someone who`s reporting on this feed full time, have like the full story of why they were so underprepared on that day for what presented itself?

BROADWATER: Well, it was a tremendous failure on many levels. I mean, I think one reading of it is simply they did not truly believe that the Trump mob would -- or the -- you know, the mob of Trump supporters would attack the Capitol, and clearly didn`t prepare for that. Had they truly believed that, I think we would have had a much different response.

There`s some other indications, though, that perhaps there were some other considerations at play. There`s been some talk that the Sergeant at Arms didn`t want the National Guard there because of optics, because they thought it would send a bad message. There`s some talk that some in the military did not want the National Guard standing by. They felt it would look -- it would look bad to have them standing in front of Trump`s supporters as they were, you know, outside the Capitol.

But clearly, I mean, everyone now realizes this was a huge, huge failure on many levels. And that`s what we`ve seen all the resignations that we`ve seen the Capitol Police Chief and the Sergeant at Arms. And I think this is something that we`re only sort of beginning to understand everything that went wrong, and we`re going to continue to investigate. And I know Congress is certainly going to continue to investigate, and there`ll be future hearings and investigations to determine exactly why there were such terrible failures.

HAYES: Right. Luke Broadwater and Michael Spies, thank you, gentlemen, both for sharing your reporting with us. I want to bring in now Walter Dellinger. He served in several government roles, including Acting Solicitor General, head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.

Walter, let`s start on the reporting over the weekend about the notion of this trial that the president`s lawyers presenting this preposterous invidious lie about the election as their defense. What do you make of that?

WALTER DELLINGER, FORMER SOLICITOR GENERAL: Well, we don`t know why that set of lawyers resigned from the representation. But you know, there`s a limit to what lawyers can do. And I mean, one of the lawyers that -- of whom I know, Josh Howard of North Carolina, a very well respected, one of those who stepped down.

There were three possible defenses you can make of the president in the impeachment proceeding. One, is that they don`t have constitutional authority over a former president. Secondly, that what he said was protected by the First Amendment on the morning of January the sixth. And the third was that what he did was right. What he did was right, because he was trying to incentivize a group to storm the Capitol to stop the greatest theft.

HAYES: Right.

DELLINGER: The greatest fraud in American history. That`s, according to reports, is the argument that the former President wanted his lawyers to make. Now, the first two arguments, constitutionality, first amendment protected speech, I think they`re wrong for multiple reasons, but they`re respectable lawyer arguments.

The third argument is just false. And that`s why it`s a real dilemma for an attorney to put forward an argument when what the judicial process showed over 60 cases was that there was simply no basis and these are -- these are false allegations.

HAYES: Right. I mean, it`s striking right there. You`re sort of bumping up against the boundaries of professional ethics from just lawyer bar standpoint, in terms of vigorous -- you know, vigorous defense of a client, the former President of the United States, and everyone is owed a defense, to just you know, saying things that you know are not true, which is been what the entire problem has been from the beginning and brought us to this moment.

DELLINGER: Right, absolutely. That`s the problem. And, Chris, it says something good about our process of law as it operates in the trial courts, that it does kind of wash out on truth because you have to get up in court and present affidavits that are sworn to the argument that, for example, Republican counters were excluded from the secret counting processes.

When you put someone on the stand and the lawyer has to answer for it. And the lawyer says in one of the cases -- the judge says to the lawyer, I am asking you as an officer of the court, were there Republicans in the counting room as observers? And after a long policy, he finally says yes. How many says to judge? A number greater than zero.

That`s the point in which no matter what they say in a press conference in front of the, you know, whatever four seasons gardening shop it is, it`s a very different matter when you`re standing in court. And I think that`s how the truth of the baseless charges came to forth.

HAYES: I guess the question then becomes what your sense of the contours of what an impeachment trial is like. Is it -- is an impeachment trial more like standing outside four seasons total landscaping or is it more like being in an actual court of law?

DELLINGER: Well, you know, I think it is a mixture. But when it comes to presenting evidence, that is not the case. You can`t put on an affidavit in any context that you know to contain false information. So, any argument that, you know, 13,000 Trump votes were switched and turned into Biden votes, is not something that a lawyer can say without being called up upon the State Bar authorities if there`s no basis for it.

You know, the other two -- you know, there`s an interesting wrinkle to this because the other two arguments are also flawed, but they are not false. The argument that the -- that the President is no longer in office. But when he was indicted on January the 13th, he was in office. I`m sorry, when he was impeached on January 13th, he was -- he was in office. And Judge Michael McConnell has argued, I think, very persuasively, that if you are impeached while you are president, then clearly, they have that authority and the Senate then has the authority to try all impeachments.

HAYES: Right.

DELLINGER: So, this is not even the case that raises a serious question about that. And so, the second matter, I think his lawyers will try to put on a case that there was not an incitement per se in his remarks that was within the zone of the First Amendment protection. But that`s beside the point because it`s the whole 77 days of conduct that that tells --

HAYES: Correct.

DELLINGER: -- that convinces a lot of the country that there has been a theft of American democracy that leads to the rioting in question.

HAYES: Yes. In fact, there`s some reporting tonight that the case being put together by the impeachment managers as the sort of opening of the show would indicate isn`t about what he said specifically devoid of context on that one day. It`s the sum total of the actions that led to that moment and then led to the storming of the Capitol. Walter Dellinger, it`s always so good to have you on. Thank you very much.

DELLINGER: You`re welcome, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, why the Republican Party`s problem is so much bigger than Marjorie Taylor Greene and bigger than Donald Trump. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Democrats just announced that on Wednesday, they will start the process of removing Republican Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments if Republicans don`t act first. Greene is a member of the Education Labor Committee in the Budget Committee and has a history of conspiratorial thinking. She has, for example, endorsed a comment to shoot Nancy Pelosi in the head, claims school shootings were hoaxes to generate support for gun control and on, and on, and on.

But she was elected in a landslide and northwest Georgia district which points to a big part of the problem about the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world and the Donald Trumps of the world. What they believe is what a lot of the Republican base believes. And it`s why many other Republicans like Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson just keep refusing to condemn the Congresswoman on her position.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): First of all, the people of her district elected her and that should mean a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Given her history, is she going to serve?

HUTCHINSON: I`m not going to answer that question as to whether she`s fit to serve because she believes in something that everybody else does not accept. I reject that. But she`s going to stand for reelection.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I`m joined now by someone who`s written about how much Greene reflects her party, Molly Jong-Fast, editor-at-large at the Daily Beast whose news stories headline, the scariest thing about Marjorie Taylor Greene, she`s not alone.

You know, Molly, I thought of this piece when I was watching this clip of Asa Hutchinson and you see it repeated among Republicans, which is this kind of representation dodge, right? We saw it in the in the -- in questioning the election results for Josh Hawley, he would say, well, a lot of my -- a lot of my constituents have questions. And at some level, it`s true. Like it is the case that there are probably tens of millions of people that have views similar to Marjorie Taylor Greene.

MOLLY JONG-FAST, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, I mean, there`s really scary polling out there. 56 percent of Republicans believe that, you know, some amount of QAnon is true, right? I mean, that`s madness. And one in three Republicans think that the deep state is working against the president.

So, there are a lot of crazy beliefs. But I think the fact that Republicans are giving up all of their duty and just going along with it is a pretty bad sign.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, what they need to do is actually wage a frontal war on this, right? And there`s very few that want to do it. I have a few interesting developments on this story today. So, Mitch McConnell actually just put out this statement that reads in part, "Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country. Somebody who`s suggests that perhaps no airplane at the Pentagon 9/11, that horrifying school shootings are pre-staged, and the Clintons crashed JFK Jr`s airplane is not living in reality." He goes on to defend Congresswoman Cheney who of course, is now the subject of a kind of Trumpist purge. What do you make of that?

JONG-FAST: It`s all fine and good, but they need to do something, right? And remember, Marjorie Taylor Greene, they knew who she was when this was going on.

HAYES: Of course, yes.

JONG-FAST: And Jim Jordan actually supported her and so did Mark Meadows. So, this was not like some outsider where people didn`t say -- you know, she was -- she ran unopposed. So, I would say that what Republicans need to do is they need to do what they did with Steve King. Because they`re not going to be able to necessarily get the numbers to get her out, because that`s two-thirds and that`s just I think going to be impossible because a lot of the GOP in the House is pretty wacky.

But I think they could strip her from committee assignments like Steve King, and then there`s really no point in being an office. I don`t know that the Republican Party will do that because they`ve been very cowardly.

HAYES: Yes. I thought Congressman Kinzinger who`s from Illinois and voted for impeachment of Donald Trump made sort of a good point about that path forward. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you vote to evict her?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I`d certainly vote her off committee. In terms of eviction, I`m not sure because I`m kind of in the middle. I think a district has every right to put who they want there. But we have every right to take a stand and say you don`t get a committee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I thought that was a pretty good point. I mean, again, everyone keeps circling back to this fundamental democratic problem here. She was elected by the people of her district and they knew what view she had. She did not hide them, right? So, it`s like, it`s the same problem in some ways as the Trump problem, of course, although she actually won her seat with more votes than her nonexistent opponent. But that -- we keep coming back to that as the issue.

JONG-FAST: You know, all of this happened because there was a power vacuum, right? Republicans let themselves be hijacked by Trump. And now, Trump is gone and no one has stepped in, right? So, we have a situation where the Republican Party is largely governed by whoever has allowed us. So, you have places like Oregon where the GOP -- and Hawaii, where the GOP is tweeting crazy QAnon stuff because those people are the loudest.

I think you need someone like a Mitch -- someone like a Mitt Romney to go in there and say like, this is madness. You guys have to get it together. But I don`t know that there are -- I mean, there are only 10 people, 10 Republican congressmen who are like that in the House.

HAYES: Right. You could have the factional war. And factional wars happen all the time. We see them in different political movements at different times. They`ve happened -- they happen in the Democratic Party during the Cold War, particularly as regarded communism. And Henry Wallace, there were a huge factional battles over that. There were huge factional battles that the Tea Party represented, right?

I mean, you can have factional battles. It just seems that there are not enough members actually willing to have the battle.

JONG-FAST: Yes. I mean, the problem is, there aren`t many sane members of the GOP in the House. So, you had 10 who really said like, armed insurrection is bad, but you had 100-plus who said armed insurrection is OK if you really want to, which is pretty nuts. So, I don`t know how you get those people to behave in a rational way when they haven`t.

HAYES: Right. The other thing that looms over this, of course, is the ex- president who Marjorie Taylor Greene says she had a great call with. And in some ways, part of this Marjorie Taylor Greene discussion seems so bizarre because it`s like, well, how did this woman get elected to Congress? It`s like, well, did you see who we just had for president for four years? Like, they`re not that different.

That`s -- again, that -- they are channeling something that is vibrant and powerful and dynamic in a certain core faction of American politics. And until people beat that force, it`s there. Molly Jong-Fast, thanks for your time tonight.

Coming up, Bernie Sanders and the big COVID relief bill and the Republicans trying to shortchange it. He joins me live next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): It was a very good exchange of views. I wouldn`t say that we came together on a package tonight. No one expected that in a two-hour meeting. But what we did agreed to do is to follow up and talk further.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins speaking of a half the nine Republican senators who just left the White House a short time ago. They`re meeting with President Biden to hear his case for $1.9 trillion relief bill while advancing their version of a bill which is about a third of the size and attempting to negotiate in the spirit of bipartisanship and unity that the President ran on.

Here`s the thing. Biden`s larger COVID relief bill is already unifying. It is massively popular with a majority of American people. It already has bipartisan support. For example, here`s the Republican Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia, a state Trump won by nearly 70 percent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JIM JUSTICE (R-WV): At this point in time, in this nation, we need to go big. We need to quit counting the egg sack and legs on the cows and count the cows and just move and move forward and move right now. We need to go big. And if we waste some money now, well, we waste some money. But absolutely, we got too many people hurting and economy is going to sputter and we got to get ourselves out of this mess. And it`s the way we need to go right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I`m joined now by the incoming Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont. And I was -- I was very struck, Senator, by Jim Justice of West Virginia making that case in a few different places today. I mean, that is one of Trump`s best states in the union. He is a Republican. And it was interesting to me that he feels the need to be so vocal about it.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Look, as you`ve indicated, we are in the midst of the most unprecedented set of crises in the modern history of this country. And the governor of West Virginia understands that. I mean, we`re talking about people who have lost their jobs, can`t feed their families, Chris, people are worried about being addicted, 90 million people who are uninsured and underinsured in the midst of this terrible pandemic.

We are losing 3,000 people every single day from the virus. Our kids are unable to go to school. You have a significant uptick in mental illness because of all of this separation that people can`t be with their families, can`t be with their friends. This is a terrible moment. And the governor is right. Now is not the time to count pennies. Now is the time to address these monumental crises. And I think what the President is proposing is a very good start in doing that.

HAYES: What is your response to understanding of this group of nine senators on the Republican side who made this counterproposal at, you know, a third of the total cost and met with the -- with the president today?

SANDERS: Well, I`m glad that the President met with Republicans. We want to continue to have a dialogue, and there are going to be issues coming down the pike where I think you`re going to see some bipartisan efforts. For example, Republicans understand that our infrastructure is crumbling and we can create millions of good-paying jobs, rebuilding our roads and bridges and affordable housing.

Republicans, or at least a number of them understand that it`s absurd that on some cases, we`re paying 10 times more than other countries for prescription drugs. We`re going to lower the cost of prescription drugs. So, there are a number of areas where I think we have the potential to work together.

Remember, this is the first reconciliation bill. There`ll be another one coming soon after this one is passed. But right now, what the Republicans are talking about is just totally inadequate to meet the unprecedented crises that we`re facing.

HAYES: So, you just mentioned reconciliation, which is a budgetary process that has I believe, formally begun in both houses. And because of Senate rules, it means that it is not filibusterable, right? You can -- a simple majority bill. Brian Schatz, your colleagues, said the following. He said, regular people don`t care whether we pass something with 51 votes or 60. Do you agree?

SANDERS: Absolutely. Look, what goes on inside the beltway is unfathomable to many of us inside the beltway. Nobody in the outside world understands that. You want to talk about bird rules? Good luck. All right, the bottom line is the American people are hurting and they`re hurting badly.

And, Chris, what worries me is so many, by the millions of our people are giving up on democracy. They really do not believe that the government is listening or understands their pain and can respond. That is what we`ve got to do right now.

HAYES: So, I agree with your view of this and Senator Schatz about weather 51 or 60 votes. The big question, though, is, are you confident you have the Democratic caucus together, right? Because you -- this is a diverse caucus. You got folks from West Virginia and Arizona and two new senators from Georgia, and then you`ve got folks from California. Do you think you can hold the caucus together, you and your colleagues, for a reconciliation vote on a package of this size?

SANDERS: Well, you know, leader Schumer has been working 24/7 on just that issue. And I think we will. Because at the end of the day, every member of the Democratic Caucus, no matter what their differences may be -- and look, I have differences and concerns about this bill. In my judgment, it doesn`t go far enough.

HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: Other people have different concerns. But at the end of the day, we all come from states. We are -- we are sick and tired of seeing hundreds of cars lining up for food, kids are unable to go to school, people not getting the vaccines as rapidly as they should. We all share that in common.

And second of all, Chris, we are the majority right now because two great candidates ran in Georgia. And that Georgia election really became a national election. And promises were made in that election not just by the candidates, but by many of us. And what we said is, you know, if Democrats -- if you elect Democrats, and we take control, we`re going to get you, you know, $1,400 on top of the $600. We`re going to extend unemployment, we`re going to significantly increase the child tax credit, we`re going to get money to states and cities, we are going to deal with education.

Those were the promises made. And it would be totally unacceptable for any democrat to renege on those promises. That is why people are giving up on the political process.

HAYES: You just mentioned we`re in the majority, which is true. It`s the slimmest possible majority, 50-50, although a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President. I think I lost the thread on here, so just remind me here. There was a standoff of the organizing resolution which actually is the resolution that gives the committee power over.

McConnell walked away from it after he felt he got assurances and quotes the President about a filibuster. But the organizing resolution hasn`t passed yet. Am I crazy? Did I miss something here?

SANDERS: Welcome to Washington D.C.

HAYES: I literally don`t understand though. Like, what is happening?

SANDERS: Yes, you`re right. It hasn`t passed. I think what happens is you got to add -- you know, you`re got to add new senators to committees. There`s got to be a balance for all of us.

HAYES: Got you.

SANDERS: My understanding is that it will finally pass, I believe, tomorrow.

HAYES: Oh, so, then you will be -- then you will actually be the chair of the budget committee as opposed to the incoming chair.

SANDERS: Right. Something like that.

HAYES: Do you think that there -- you started this by talking about the possibility of bipartisanship. And I wonder if you feel like there is an opportunity here to sort of learn the lessons of 2009, but also that there`s ways in which the way that Joe Biden approaches the presidency, which is not to sort of dominate the nation`s attention, not to be out there on every issue, can help in some ways. Like, is there a counterintuitive case to be made that not having the president banging the drum on something can mean there`s actually more space for some kind of legislative work outside the spotlight?

SANDERS: No, I think that`s right. I think, you know, Biden has a personality who is very low key. He is inclusive. He wants to involve people in the process. But what he also understands, and I give him a lot of credit for this, is that at this particular moment, now is not the time to think small, it is the time to think big and to address the crisis.

But you know, there are Republicans who have good ideas. Let`s bring them in. But at the end of the day, you know, the media keeps talking about bipartisanship, bipartisanship, that`s fine. But what is much more important to the average American is that we deal and address the terrible, terrible pain and suffering that they are experiencing right now. That`s what the American people want. And that is what we`ve got to do.

HAYES: What`s a realistic timeline for this relief package?

SANDERS: It will -- the debate begins tomorrow, I think. That will go on. We should hopefully pass this by Thursday, then we go to impeachment. But I think within a few weeks, my hope is that the reconciliation packages in the House and Senate will in fact, be passed. We got to move as quickly as we can because people are hurting.

HAYES: A few weeks.

SANDERS: Yes. I know that for the rest of the world, people are saying, why are you taking so long? But for the U.S. Senate, this is lightning speed.

HAYES: And then, how does impeachment play a role in this? I mean, I know they talk about parallel tracks. There`s obviously scheduling issue. There`s also just the fact that it will take attention of the body as it should because it`s, in my mind, important. What do you think?

SANDERS: Well, I think you`re right. I mean, it`s certainly -- I mean, the goal here is to show the world that the United States Senate, despite all the visible aspects that we had packed, can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time. That is what our challenge is. So, do we have to deal with impeachment? You do. You know, it`s something I would have wanted.

HAYES: Right.

SANDERS: But when you have a president leading an insurrection to overturn a government that he swore to defend, you know, you got to deal with that. I hope we do it as quickly as possible. I hope we get Biden`s nominees appointed, confirmed as soon as possible. And I hope very much that we address this reconciliation package, pass it as quickly as possible, and then, I want everybody to know, we`re going to another one.

This one deals with the emergency of COVID. The next one deals with some of the structural long-term problems of a crumbling infrastructure, of climate change, of education, of a whole lot of other issues so that we can create millions of good-paying jobs and improve life in our nation.

HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders who will be soon when this organizing resolution passes, the chair of the budget committee. Thank you for making time tonight, Senator.

SANDERS: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, how the NFL managed to play a full season the middle of pandemic thanks in part to what they discovered about the way the virus actually spreads. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: There`s a race on right now between vaccinating enough people and the new more transmissible strains of COVID that are popping up and spreading. Former Biden COVID advisor Dr. Michael Osterholm is sounding the alarm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY: The fact is that the surge that is likely to occur with this new variant from England is going to happen in the next six to 14 weeks. And if we see that happen, which my 45 years in the trenches tell us we will, we are going to see something like we have not seen yet in this country.

England, for example, has hospitalized and twice as many people as we ever hospitalized that our highest number. And so, we do know that if we look at these first doses, that in fact, we can even get higher numbers than you just laid out by the time of the third week after vaccination.

So, we still want to get two doses in everyone, but I think right now in advance of this surge, we need to get as many one doses and as many people over 65 as we possibly can to reduce the serious illness and deaths that are going to occur over the weeks ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Right now, the U.S. has up to an average of 1.3 million vaccine doses administered daily. It`s going up. But here`s the thing. That`s going in the right direction, but it has to happen much faster. The chart in gray shows that we still lost more than 1,500 Americans to COVID-19 today alone. Of course, that`s an undercount because it`s a Monday.

And while new cases have been trending downward in the pink graph, today we saw about 120,000 new cases. Again, we`re past peak here. The dynamic that set in during this COVID winter is that we`re all laser-focused on that vaccine race and its deployment which makes sense. But no matter how fast the vaccine is, we are still living with the virus in the here and now.

And as we`ve been saying for almost a year now, there are ways to suppress the virus with enough focus and rigor. One of the places it`s figured out how to do it is the National Football League. And that`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Super Bowl 55 is all set for this coming Sunday. And the idea of the NFL would make it to the championship game without any kind of catastrophic disruption because the COVID-19 was not at all guaranteed. In fact, almost unthinkable when play kicked off in September.

Yet without an abbreviated season like Major League Baseball or regional cities like the NHL or a bubble like the NBA have their first run of it, the NFL is headed towards a basically successful completion of their full season and championship in this sport in which obviously social distancing is impossible.

A new piece of The Wall Street Journal explains that part of reason for that success is because the league spent a whole lot of money to learn a whole bunch about how the virus is transmitted and how to stop it. One of the sports reporters on that story, Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal, joins me now.

Andrew, thanks for coming on. I learned a lot from your piece. Tell me first how the NFL and the NFL Players Association sort of approach the problem in getting their arms around it this season.

ANDREW BEATON, SPORTS REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, if you think back to the start of the season, they weren`t playing in a bubble, they`re playing in America. And so, they knew from the very start that they would not be able to stop people from getting infected with virus. But their whole idea was, OK, if that`s going to happen, let`s stop it from spreading within teams.

And they implored people to wear masks. They tried to enforce social distancing protocols. They instituted daily testing. But one of the interesting things they found out was not all of that would stop a transmission of the virus within teams. And when they started looking at the data, they started coming some pretty interesting conclusions that applied to not just their football season, but you and me here and everybody at home.

HAYES: Right. So, they have this -- they have these protocols in place, right? They`re trying to maintain social distancing. And then you start having these outbreaks. There`s -- the Baltimore Ravens had a huge outbreak. There are a bunch of teams that just sort of rip through the locker room. They start taking a look at the data which they -- what is the data that they`re looking at?

BEATON: Well, the data they`re looking at is kind of actually an unmatched type of data set. If you think about what the NFL was doing, there isn`t really a business that had the combination of communities and resources to match it. These are 32 teams spread across the country with teams worth billions of dollars that are paying for testing every day for high-tech contact tracing devices that generates a lot of data.

They conducted more than 900,000 tests over the course of the season. There`s a lot of information in there. And when you combine that with the contact tracing, what they started to find was, you know, we have been told from the start of the pandemic that we should measure our interactions with a stopwatch and a measuring stick, which is 15 minutes, six feet is the general guideline.

When they started looking at their cases, they were seeing that people were transmitting the virus in under 15 minutes in over six feet. And so that was sort of a real, clear moment for them that they could look at this and say we need to change our protocols because the virus can spread like that. And if we don`t account for that, we`re going to have more of these outbreaks and it could really upend our season.

HAYES: And just reading from your reporting here, an investigation confirmed that cumulative brief interactions exceeding 15 minutes could lead to transmission. It didn`t have to be 15 consecutive minutes leading the CDC to change this definition of a closed context. So, this information which they were only able to sort of derive because of the wealth of data, right?

You said, you got contact tracing devices on everyone, plus testing every day. So, you -- they can actually sort of go back and reverse engineer how transmission happened. And then they actually publish this, right? They talked the CDC about it.

BEATON: Yes. This NFL season quite literally became a CDC paper. This was published by the CDC. And what`s interesting is if you go back to October, there is a paper published about Vermont prison that talks about those cumulative interactions that ended up to 15 minutes. It didn`t just have to be one 15 minute interaction. It could be three interactions in five minutes.

But what the NFL found was it doesn`t even have to be 15 minutes. It could be under that. It doesn`t even have to be six feet. It could be longer than six feet if you`re in a poorly ventilated space. And so, what it really adds up to is a more holistic understanding of this idea of transmission. It`s not just time and distance, it`s also ventilation. It`s mask-wearing. Because it`s very different if you have an encounter outdoors say, wearing a mask for a long time than even a brief encounter inside a car with partial mask usage.

HAYES: Right. So, these contextual sort of differences which we`ve been talking about, again, as we come up on year two of the pandemic, they actually just see popping out in their data, right? Because they`re able to go back and they`re seeing that poorly ventilated spaces close contact without masks. They`re seeing transmission underneath these six feet, 15- minute sort of benchmarks.

BEATON: Yes, exactly. You could look at a lot of these outbreaks that have happened in football, and they can be traced back to the simple idea of eating dinner together, right?

HAYES: Right.

BEATON: Transmission they actually found wasn`t happening on the football field, which sounds kind of crazy given that everything we know about football involves really large people running into each other all day. But if you think about it, those act -- interactions actually add up to a very brief amount of times, and they tend to happen in really large, well- ventilated spaces, like an outdoor stadium were just a very large dome.

But when an outbreak could happen is let`s say, a couple teammates grab a sandwich together. And that data was really boosted by the fact not just that they were contact-tracing, but they were doing genetic sequencing. So, they could actually track the strings of the virus that were spreading, and see that OK, when two people tested positive two, they get it from each other, or do they get it independently.

HAYES: Right. So, they actually -- right, they have this sort of like advanced fingerprint on the different kinds of viruses. They knew exactly where it was coming. It`s a fascinating, fascinating bunch of information. Andrew Beaton, thanks so much for sharing your reporting with us.

BEATON: Thanks so much for having me.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END