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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/5/21

Guest: Josh Gerstein, Danya Perry, Raphael Warnock, Faiz Shakir, Ezra Klein


A Trump appointee was arrested for the role in the attack on the

Capitol. Rep. Eric Swalwell filed a lawsuit against former President Trump,

Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama of violating federal

civil rights law and local incitement laws with their speeches at that

rally near the White House in the morning of January 6th. Sen. Joe Manchin

has agreed to a Democratic proposal that will decrease the unemployment

bonus that`s over the normal amount you get right from $400 a week to $300

a week. Seven Democrats and one independent vote against raising minimum

wage to $15.00; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces investigation over

handling of death of nursing home residents; Ezra Klein: Joe Biden getting

things done by being the Anti-Trump.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Renee Montgomery, who went to battle against Kelly

Leoffler when Kelly Loeffler was downing Black Lives Matter, former player

on the WNBA, now a part-owner of the Atlanta Dream, bought out Kelly

Loeffler stake. She won the week. Dean Obeidallah, Susan del Percio, that`s

tonight`s REIDOUT.

Do not miss the "CROSS CONNECTION" tomorrow morning. Tiffany will be joined

by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on MSNBC. "ALL

IN WITH CHRIS" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need fresh patriots to the front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need fresh people. We need fresh people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. What the (BLEEP) are we doing? I can`t even

see. Let`s (BLEEP) go.

HAYES: The first known Trump administration official indicted for attacking

police during the Capitol riot.

Tonight, major developments on the January 6th investigation, including a

new civil lawsuit filed against the former president. Then --

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): As for our friend from Wisconsin, I hope he

enjoyed his Thursday evening.

HAYES: Senator Raphael Warnock on the ongoing COVID Relief vote and how on

earth the minimum wage vote went up in flames.

Plus, devastating new reporting on what looks like an Andrew Cuomo cover-

up. And Ezra Klein on why Joe Biden`s anti-Trump presidency is off to such

a successful start when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We now know

that in the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, pushing into the

building and fighting the police was at least one Trump political

appointee, an active employee of the Trump State Department on that day.

His name is Federico Klein. That`s his picture there. He`s 42 years old. He

was until his resignation on January 21st of this year a special assistant

in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Klein entered Trump`s orbit as

a tech analyst on the 2016 campaign. He then joined the State Department as

a staff assistant with the Trump transition team.

According to the FBI affidavit, as of January 6th, the day that this all

went down, the insurrection, Klein also had an active top-secret security

clearance. That same 16-page FBI affidavit published today by the New York

Times reveals the Klein was present in some of the most grisly, violent,

upsetting scenes at the Capitol on January 6th.

This image captured by surveillance cameras shows Klein in the red MAGA hat

along with other members of that insurrectionist mob and during a tunnel

that leads to the doors of the Capitol Building. You might remember the

police were stationed at that entrance, desperately trying to use their

bodies to keep the mob out.

And body cameras footage shows that Klein himself pushed his way to the

front of the crowd. That is a Trump administration official in the mob

pushing his way to the front of the crowd physically and verbally engaging

with officers attempting to stop the invasion. It also captured Klein

violently shoving a riot shield towards the officers, pushing it in between

doors, so they couldn`t be closed.

Federico Klein continued to fight to breach the police line and the

building according to the affidavit until an officer deployed a chemical

irritant spray. The FBI also identified client in this publicly posted

video from January 6th. Again, a Trump administration official, he was

still an official when you`re seeing him here. You`ll see him in the center

of your screen in the red cap, dark green jacket with his back to us.

You may recognize that we`ve shown you pieces of the scene before because

in this scene, the mob violently tries to break through the police line at

the entrance of the Capitol building. And you will hear Klein, a Trump

administration official, encouraging members of the mob to come forward as



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need fresh patriots to the front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need fresh people. We need fresh people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. What the (BLEEP) are we doing? I can`t even

see. Let`s (BLEEP) go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need fresh people. We need fresh people.




HAYES: That`s the mob violently attempting to invade the Capitol to stop

the peaceful transfer of power. And that man, Federico Klein, according to

the FBI seen their cameras saying we need fresh people to help with the

invasion on the day he`s still working for the State Department.

Later on that same video, the FBI notes we see further violent action from

Klein. You can see him on the right side of your screen here pushing and

shoving with the mob, trying to break down the line of police blocking the

doorway into the Capitol, right up against the officers` riot shields. And

he`s visible again just a few minutes later struggling with officers,

pushing back with the shield as they keep trying to disperse the rioters

attempting to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

Klein was arrested yesterday charged with multiple felonies including

assault on police officers interfering with police during civil disorder

and obstruction of an official proceeding. In a brief court appearance

today conducted by phone, he was advised that two of the six charges he`s

facing that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The FBI found and arrested Federico Klein thanks in part to tip from the

public. And they included his photo on a seeking information list posted

online. They are able to verify his identity and details about his actions

through social media and videos like the ones we just showed you.

But there are still a lot of questions about other individuals involved in

the attack on the Capitol, as well as the organization and planning behind

it. The FBI is investigating whether foreign governments, groups, or

individuals may have funded extremists who help plan and execute the

January 6th attack.

FBI sources telling NBC News that the Bureau is examining payments of

$500,000 in Bitcoin apparently by the French national to key figures and

groups and the alt-right before the riot. It`s kind of weird. We also know

the FBI collected thousands of phone and electronic records connected to

people at the scene of the rioting, including many records from the members

of Congress and staff members who were there that day.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and several of his fellow Democrats have called

for Senate Ethics Committee to look on the behavior of their Republican

colleagues, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, in relation to the events of January

6th. And today, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California actually

filed a lawsuit, and it`s the second lawsuit on this -- on these actions.

This lawsuit accuses former President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump,

Jr. republic -- Rudy Giuliani, and Republican Congressman Mo Brooks of

Alabama of violating federal civil rights law and local incitement laws

with their speeches at that rally near the White House in the morning of

January 6th.

The lawsuit alleges the Capitol attack was, "A direct unforeseeable

consequences of the defendants` false and incendiary allegations of fraud

and theft, and in direct response to the defendants` express calls for


Josh Gerstein is a senior legal affairs reporter at Politico where he has

been covering the arrest of Trump appointee Federico Klein, and he joins me


You know, Josh, I saw this story. And obviously, this guy was not like,

particularly high up in the State Department. But it may -- when I read the

story, I thought he had left. He was working there, right, like until the

end of the Trump term.


Chris. I was told he tendered his resignation on January 19th. So, that`s

two weeks after the storming of the Capitol. And it became effective a

couple days later. So, I guess he was wandering around at Foggy Bottom

knowing full well that he had taken part as the video appears to depict in

this assault on the nation`s Capitol, on the Congress.

HAYES: Tell us a little more about this individual.

GERSTEIN: So, he`s 42 years old. He served in the Marine Corps in Iraq

according to his mother. I haven`t been able to determine much in terms of

a work history. He had a couple of jobs on Capitol Hill about 15, 20 years

ago as an intern briefly, working for the House Small Business Committee.

But he seems to have sort of pottered around two different kinds of posts

before fetching up at the Trump campaign in 2016.

There are pictures on his Facebook page showing him working at Trump Tower,

I believe, on election night in 2016, with a couple of other young men

there. And then he managed to turn that into a political appointee job at

the State Department in this special assistant position.

Exactly what he did there is also a little murky, I have to say. I spoke to

a number of people last night who worked in this department at the State

Department, this office at the State Department, and a lot of them didn`t

know him or said they only met him briefly. He seems to have ended up in an

office that handled Brazilian and what they call the Southern Cone Affairs.

I think those are the Andes countries.

And then somebody told me he was eventually transferred, believe it or not,

Chris, to the Freedom of Information Act Office, which is not usually the

career trajectory most people in government are looking for.

HAYES: This quote from his mother, Cecilia Klein, saying that "Fred`s

politics burn a little hot, she said. I`ve never known him to violate the

law. I believe, as he said, he was on the Mall that day. I don`t have any

evidence nor will ever ask him unless he tells me whether where he was

after he was on the Mall."

It`s striking to me that -- I mean, here you have someone who literally

worked in the administration, who is on a million videotapes in some of the

most videotaped and violent moments of assault, a political appointee of

the State Department, and nothing happened for two months.

GERSTEIN: Yeah, it is a little surprising. And while the FBI did get some

tips on him, he does -- they don`t seem to have gotten as many as they did

about other people. I`ve read some of these affidavits where there are half

a dozen, a dozen, maybe more tips here. They got a couple that were

correct, it looks like, and a couple that were inaccurate. And after

running down like where people`s cell phones were and so forth, they said,

OK, it`s not those people.

But you`re right, Chris. It took quite a while and there weren`t that many

people coming forward to finger him for his role here. Then again, you

know, there are more than we think around 800 people that went into the

Capitol that day, and over 300 people have been charged already.

HAYES: Well, that was exactly what I was going to bring next, that number,

that ratio, right. So, we`ve got 300 charges, and the estimate is 800. It`s

-- I mean, that striking, right? Because that`s two months of work, lots of

a shocking, almost sort of overwhelming amount of evidence, and still less

than half of the people in that building, as far as estimates are concerned

with cases against them.

GERSTEIN: Yes, that`s right, Chris. I mean, I`m not totally clear on how

many of these people have been able to specifically identify individually.

I mean, one of the issues is, they may not have, despite all the great

video angles, they may not have great pictures of everybody. You know,

perhaps some people in the crowd, were wearing masks, there`s a lot of hats

that people had on and so forth.

So, the FBI hasn`t succeeded yet, in getting all these people. But it is a

massive, massive effort. And then I think, once they think they know who

someone is, sometimes it takes a few weeks to nail down the details to make

sure they are right (AUDIO GAP) and that they have all the evidence.

So, it`s a complicated process. And we`ve got prosecutors across the

country as far away as Alaska, believe it or not, Chris, who are working on

this investigation right now.

HAYES: Yes, I will know that I remember thinking on that day, as I, as I`m

sure you did, as everyone did watch this all happening in real-time that

people were just walking out to go away. And I`ve covered protests where

one person chucked a plastic water bottle, and I watched 50 people get

arrested immediately.

Like, it`s a lot harder -- a lot harder to arrest everyone once they`ve all

gone to the four winds, and it is right at that moment. But as we see from

those videos, police weren`t really in the condition to do that. Josh

Gerstein, great reporting, a shocking story, I got to say. Like, really

wild. Thank you very much.

GERSTEIN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Danya Perry is a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District

of New York, also served as Deputy Attorney General for the state of New

York. She joins me now to break down this new lawsuit from Congressman Eric


This is the second lawsuit, Danya, that we`ve seen. Bennie Thompson of the

NAACP filed under a reconstruction error bill called the Ku Klux Klan Act,

or informally called the Ku Klux Act. What is the sort of legal theory

behind this lawsuit?


more focused on the President himself, the former president himself, and

his immediate close entourage. Representative Thompson`s lawsuit was also

targeting some of these right-wing militant groups, Proud Boys, and the

Oathkeepers. This really focuses in very closely, very directly on the

former president`s actions not just, of course, on the day of the

interaction -- of the interaction, but also in the -- in the weeks leading

up to it.

So, there`s a different focus, but of course, the same core nucleus of

operative facts, which is the incitement to violence based on, you know,

the big lie that the election was stolen and that Patriots were duty-bound

to come forward and to step up, no longer to stand by, and to take back our


And so, there are many overlapping theories of law and many overlapping

facts. But there`s a different, I`d say, focus to Representative Swalwell`s

lawsuit filed today.

HAYES: One of the things that has been clear is that the bar for criminal

prosecution of incitement is actually -- is quite high and appropriately

so. I mean, the First Amendment is really pertains here. But this is a

civil standard, right? You`re suing someone for saying like, you cause this

foreseeable disaster with your words and actions. Is that an easier bridge

to cross in a legal sense than, say, a criminal charge on insight?

PERRY: Absolutely. You have a very different standard. You don`t have to

meet the very high burden of a beyond reasonable doubt. Here, I really

think that the executive privilege defense will probably be the subject of

perhaps years of litigation as it goes up and down the court system. I

don`t think that the First Amendment defense is going to be the main

defense here. And of course, the plaintiff will still have to prove intent.

So, there are going to be a number of defenses. But I think the executive

privilege one, there`s a distinct lack of clarity around that. There`s very

little precedent. There`s a lot of questions about whether a former

president can claim executive privilege at all over what, whether the

sitting president can claim it. And that will bring all kinds of

interesting nuances to the question of whether the privilege will be

invoked, and whether it will prevail.

HAYES: It`s not just the president. Don Jr. is also a party in this

lawsuit. I want to read from the portion of the suit here. Trump Jr.

conspired with the other defendants to undermine the election results by

alleging without evidence the election had been rigged, and by pressuring

elected officials, courts, and ultimately, Congress rejected results. Trump

Jr. also promoted and spoke at the January 6th rally. He addressed the

crowd at this event and directly incited the violence of the Capitol that


I mean, there are sort of -- you never know what`s going to happen with a

lawsuit and whether it`s going to get tossed in summary judgment and how

far it`s going to go. But in your legal opinion, like is this a serious

lawsuit that really has a chance of going somewhere?

PERRY: It`s a serious lawsuit. I think it`s likely -- I mean, it will -- I

think, we`ll see what happens with the executive privilege defense, but it

really should survive a motion to dismiss based on these facts and based on

the statute that is being alleged here. I think it will probably go

forward. And of course, Trump Jr. does not have the same defense.

HAYES: Right.

PERRY: So, he had some pretty fiery rhetoric there, and he will be called

to account for it.

HAYES: Same for Rudy Giuliani, among others. Danya Perry, thank you so much

for making time for us.

PERRY: My pleasure, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: All right, we saw this stunt last night. You remember this where

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson used this procedural motion to

force the Senate clerks to read all 628 pages of the COVID Relief Bill. And

maybe the biggest delay tactic turned faceplant ever because in order for

his son to work, the senator had stay on the floor and listen as they read

the bill.

According to one reporter watching the gallery, "I cannot underscore enough

how miserable Senator Johnson looks right now with many hours to go." So,

did the senator manage to sit through a 13-hour dose of his own medicine?

The surprise twist is next.



SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Had I not forced that 11 hour reading, and I sat

on the floor of the Senate, I listened to the entire 11 hours, what we

would have been doing is we would have gone into vote-a-rama last night, no

time during the bill, no time to really prepare decent amendments.


HAYES: Republican Senator Ron Johnson defended his stall tactic of forcing

the Senate clerks to spend nearly 11 hours reading the entire COVID rescue

bill aloud, saying he sat through all 11 hours, but he had to, or Democrats

would emotion to end this stunt and there would be nobody to object.

However, once the reading ended early this morning, Johnson and the

Republicans left. And that`s when Senator Chris Van Hollen got up and

proposed cutting the debate time on the bill from the original 20 hours

down to three. And since there were no Republicans around to objected, it

passed right through, and so much for Ron Johnson`s silly delay.

This afternoon, the Senate began a process known as vote-a-rama which

allows any member to propose an amendment with a full roll-call vote. But

that process was stalled for eight hours as both parties tried to win West

Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin`s support for their competing changes to

unemployment benefits.

Now, we can report at this hour Manchin has agreed to a Democratic proposal

that will decrease the unemployment bonus that`s over the normal amount you

get right from $400 a week to $300 a week, but it extends it from August to

September. It also keeps the first $10,000 of unemployment insurance

benefits as non-taxable, which is pretty crucial because there`s a lot of

folks who were getting a big surprise tax bill. But that now only applies

to households with incomes under $150,000. If none of that (INAUDIBLE) you,

that`s OK.

Democratic Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock push for a comprehensive COVID

rescue bill during his upset bid for Georgia Senate seat, and he joins me


Reverend Senator, I want to ask about the sort of details here. But the

first thing I want to ask is, you know, every time I talk to people in the

U.S. Senate, I say -- I feel like I`m talking to, you know, a culture from

another planet, right? Like it`s a very strange institution, all sorts of

weird traditions that are hard to explain. You`re new there. What is it

like to go through this? How strange does the institution seem to you or

does it not?

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Well, it`s great to be here with you tonight,

Chris. We`re going, you know, through the sausage-making of legislation.

But the good news is that after months of waiting, and when you think about

the long period where nothing happened under the previous administration,

relief is right around the corner, help is on the way. And we`ll be here

for a little while, but we are there. And I`m confident that we`re going to

pass the relief that Americans need and deserve in this moment.

We are about to pass, I think, a historic piece of legislation that for one

thing will cut child poverty in half. Think about that. We will cut child

poverty in half $1,400 relief payments to people that are going directly in

their pockets.

And we know that when poor people, when working class people receive

relief, they buy food, they buy medicine that`s needed. They buy baby

diapers, a coat for their kid, it helps them and it stimulates the economy.

We`re going to get this virus on the control and get the American economy

roaring again. I`m proud to be a part of that process.

HAYES: You are -- you were just elected in that special election in

January, obviously. It`s a -- it`s a closely divided swing state, the state

of Georgia now. You will be up again in two years because it was a special

election. So, I think it`s -- you could say that you`re -- you have the

most frontline position of any senator in that caucus.

So, from the position of your political life, what do you want to tell your

fellow Democrats about what you need to deliver back to your constituents

in Georgia?

WARNOCK: Well, we`ve been fighting that good fight from day one, not for

me, but for the people I was sent here to represent. You know that I come

into this job as a pastor, someone who is used to walking with people

through their pain. I`ve seen firsthand the ways in which people are

suffering through this pandemic that has literally taken their loved ones.

Half a million Americans has devastated our economy.

And the good news, again, is relief is right around the corner. Help is on

the way. We`re about to pass a historic piece of legislation that will cut

child poverty in half. We`ll give workers the relief and the support that

they need. In this bill, we have $5 billion of debt relief that will go to

farmers of color. And we`re going to get this virus under control so that

we can safely reopen our schools and our economy.

That`s the good news. And I couldn`t think of a better sermon for a

preacher to be preaching on this weekend.

HAYES: Do you think -- in terms of -- in terms of the future, do you think

about -- do you have hope for the second half of this year even as someone

who, you know, there`s a lot of clergy around the country who have not been

preaching in person and who desperately want to commune with their flocks

again? And do you think that that that kind of thing is a possibility in

the second half of this year if things go right?

WARNOCK: What I can tell you is that we`re making progress. And what I`ve

insisted on from day one is that we have to follow the science. You know,

my faith has no quarrel with science. It`s been tough on those of us who

worship, whether we worship in a synagogue or on a -- in church on a


But we have stayed apart from one another, not out of a sense of fear as

much as out of a fear of love -- a sense of love. But the vaccine is being

distributed. The President has said that we`ll have enough vaccines for

every adult by May. And in this package is $20 billion of aid so that we

can get the vaccine distributed.

I know it`s been a long, dark night, but I can see the glimmer of light

just on the other end of that tunnel. And I just want folks to hold on,

hang in there, continue to socially distance. Help is on the way.

HAYES: One of the votes today in that vote-a-rama was a vote on a $15

minimum wage. It was of course removed by the Senate parliamentarian as not

being germane to the specific budget process called reconciliation. The

Democrats lost eight -- had eight no votes along with every Republican. You

were a yes vote. Why would you vote for it?

WARNOCK: Well, I think it`s a contradiction to say that people ought to

work and not make work pay. I have long been an activist in the fight for

15. And I will not shrink back from that not one moment in any way. Workers

deserve to be paid for their work. America deserves a wage. You know, in a

state like mine, in a city like Atlanta, there`s a real problem around

affordable housing, for example.

And what happens is that working class people work all day every day,

sometimes two or three jobs, and they still can`t afford the rent in any

city in America. That`s not right. And, as often is the case, what the

morally right thing to do is also the smart thing to do. It`s right to pay

workers for the work that they do. And when we do, I think we actually spur

the economy and it helps all of us.

HAYES: All right, Senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock, the first time I think

I`ve gotten to talk to you as a U.S. Senator. It`s a great pleasure, sir.

Thank you very much.

WARNOCK: Thank you. Great to be with you.

HAYES: All right, next, why didn`t more Democrats than anyone expected vote

against an increase in minimum wage today? The bizarre thumbs down moment

after this.


HAYES: All right, so we got the Senate doing their Senate thing today,

right, the vote-a-rama. There`s all these amendments and there`s this sort

of standoff happening.

And something that happened there today, a seven Democrats and one

Independent who caucuses with Democrats joining with Republicans to shoot

down raising the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour as part of the

Biden COVID relief package.

Among those Democratic no votes, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Chris Coons

of Delaware. The moment that really stood out was when Arizona Democrat

Kyrsten Sinema walked up to cast her vote.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Sinema -- Miss Sinema, no.


HAYES: Now, she represents Arizona. Maybe that was a homage to the late

John McCain who famously did that to that ACA repeal vote but that full

thumbs down from Arizona helped end hopes for a really big wage hike that

the Congressional Budget Office says would directly affect 17 million

American workers.

I want to bring in Maria Teresa Kumar, co-founding president and CEO Voto

Latino, Faiz Shakir former senior advisor, Senate Democratic Leader Harry

Reid and current adviser to Bernie Sanders.

And Faiz, let me start with you. I want people to understand this vote

before we analyze this. This was a vote that was going to fail either way.

It was essentially a symbolic message vote because it needed 60 votes. It

was a filibuster a Volvo (PH).

So, going into this, everyone knows it`s not going to -- it`s not going to

pass. No Republicans are going to vote for it. So, it`s a free ride. It`s a


You get to get up there and say, yes, we want a $15.00 minimum wage. So, it

was very, very surprising to me a lot of people to see Democrats, eight of

them in the caucus vote no. What is your explanation?


got to go back in history a little bit where President Obama suggested

raising the minimum wage to 10.10. It was Hillary Clinton during the 2016

campaign who suggested raising it to 12. It was Bernie Sanders who`s been

pushing along with SEIU to raise the wage to $15.00 an hour. And as a

result of that, we have gotten a lot of progress in the Democratic caucus,

not all the way.

Clearly, and you know, what painful Chris as you take Senator Sinema,

Arizona has got a $12.00 minimum wage. And in fact, if you look at raise

the wage, which gradually raises the minimum wage to $15.00 over five

years, it would be at 12.50 by year three, which is where Arizona is now.

So, in many ways, it doesn`t really impact Arizona, and yet you have

Senator Sinema denying many people, millions of people around the country a

raise of their wages.

HAYES: Maria, what did you make of it?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR (on camera): So, I used to work in

Congress as a Hill staffer a long time ago on appropriations. And this was

a fairly unusual because what those eight did was say that they were not

going to deliver the Biden agenda.

And the Biden administration right now is going to figure out how to

channel little LBJ, and demonstrate that there are consequences when there

are not voting down for the president`s agenda.

As you mentioned, Chris, this was a layup. But I have to say, when we --

when we witnessed this thumbs down by Sinema, I think for a lot of folks,

people felt at odds because when John McCain did it, it was to save health

care for millions of Americans. When she -- what she did today was turned

down this idea that there was going to be some sort of economic -- closer

to economic equity for millions of Americans.

And $15.00 has -- even $15.00 does not keep peace with the -- with the

inflation rate of the 1970s when the minimum wage was really first


So, it was perplexing on many fronts, but this is an opportunity really for

Joe Biden to say, you guys are going to have to come down to the White

House, because we`re going to have a talking to.

HAYES: Yes, we should say that Senator Sinema put out a statement today --

a long statement about basically saying she supports it. Essentially saying

she supports minimum wage but senator of both parties have shown support

for raising federal minimum wage, we should keep an open debate and

amendment process separate from COVID focus reconciliation bill.

I will keep working with colleagues and both parties to ensure Americans

can access good paying jobs, quality education, skills training to build

economically secure lives for themselves and their families.

I mean, Faiz, this is one of those places, I think we`re like, I hate

talking about Senate procedure, it sucks that this is what we have to talk

about. But it`s a place that is -- that cuts off the feedback of Democratic


So, no one ever knows what anyone is voting for or against. Because it`s

like, well, we weren`t really voting for it, and it was going to fail the

filibuster, and actually, our no vote was because we don`t want to include

this bill. And it`s like, people want to know, what do you stand for? What

do you deliver? And the more attenuated that gets, the worse democracy

functions in my humble opinion.

SHAKIR: And the irony, Chris, is it, you know, is that had the

parliamentarian ruled our way, right? And you would have had a 50-vote

threshold for the minimum wage.

I actually think the politics would have moved so dramatically that you

would have had basically the caucus supporting a $15.00 minimum wage, which

is kind of, you know, ludicrous.

But because, as you mentioned, we have a filibuster, we have the

parliamentarian ruling, now we`ve got weird politics, and people take a

rider to show their moderateness. And so, yes, I think, you know, they`re

suggesting I think, oh, we want a deal on the minimum wage, we want to find

a different number than 15. Felt like it is ludicrous that we have

procedural rules that are stopping us from delivering justice in America.

HAYES: The other thing that`s frustrating about this, Maria, is that, you

know, there`s -- there are lots of things where people say, well, that`s

not popular. You know, you have this idea -- you know, banning, fracking,

or -- you know, which is popular, actually, in a lot of places.

But there`s lots of things that Joe Manchin, like, it`s a Trump plus 25

state. There`s lots of Joe Manchin can`t vote for and hope to get reelected

in the state. It`s just a conservative state. The minimum wage is not one

of those things. The minimum wage is popular basically everywhere.

KUMAR: Right. Well, and what you`re saying it`s absolutely popular across

party lines regardless of how you vote. Most Republicans, Independents,

Democrats, they all believe that the $7.00 minimum wage is just not


But this is a thing, Chris, what I found really curious, every single

senator that voted on from the Democratic side, they`re not up for

reelection. So, they`re basically betting that the voters will not remember

them when they are up for reelection in 2024, that`s one thing.

But the other thing that I really find curious is that when Sinema says

that she wants to have a standalone bill, because this is tied to

appropriations, it`s tied to financing, so to speak. It has to go and beat

the filibuster.

HAYES: Right.

KUMAR: The filibuster, which she supports. So, it`s kind of wanting to have

it both ways, but not speaking straight to the American people where she


HAYES: Yes. And I think to Maria Teresa make a great point about the --

about the politics of this. You know, I said this earlier today Faiz on

Twitter, which is that I do think we have a tendency to interpret all

political actions through the lens of political calculation. And I think

something that you will agree with and you Maria Teresa as well, having

worked in Congresses. Senators have belief systems and ideologies. They --

like, some of them really believe in the filibuster, or they really believe

that the minimum wage shouldn`t go through reconciliation.

I think that`s a weird belief. I think it`s a wrong belief. But they --

like, these people have beliefs. Some of them are bad beliefs, but they

actually do have them, and they act on them and that was kind of what we

saw today.

SHAKIR: Yes, I agree with that. I`ll make a controverse -- can I make a

controversial statement about Senator Manchin for a moment? I think there`s

a lot of huffing and puffing, a lot of theater to my progressive friends

out there for all of that, he hasn`t gotten a lot.

I mean, you know, he wanted to cut a little bit of the direct payments.

Well, guess what? 150-1/2 million people are getting checks this time, 162

got it last time. Guess what, for the 158 million people, it`s going to be

$1,400 rather than $600. So, all he did was tweak a little bit.

Again, today, he saw in this deal, Chris, oh, cut it for $100 on U.I. for

like three weeks. But you know, what`s he getting at it? This is a

progressive bill and I think there`s a lot of theater and he`s quite

frankly not getting much.

HAYES: I agree with you Faiz. I also think like Joe Manchin is in a

different category in all these people. You get yourself elected to Senate

in the midterm election in West Virginia man, you`ve got something figured

out that I sure think though.

SHAKIR: He`s playing his politics. All I`m saying is we still got a

progressive bill here to be --

HAYES: Oh, I don`t -- I don`t disagree that. Faiz Shakir, Maria Teresa

Kumar, thank you both.

Joe Biden has been in office exactly 45 days, the number of days Joe Biden

has been on the golf course is at zero. And he is finding political success

in not being anything like his predecessor. We`ll show you just exactly how

successful he`s been coming up.


HAYES: New allegations of a cover up of coronavirus nursing home deaths in

New York while the governor was writing a book about his leadership during

the crisis.

Ever since the pandemic began in New York State, there have been reports

the state was not fully disclosing the death toll among nursing home


Now, the New York Times is reporting the top aides to the governor rewrote

the official data into nursing home deaths. Not only that, it happened as

the governor was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements.

The state attorney general finally got to look at the real numbers. She

concluded in the report that coronavirus resident deaths associated with

nursing homes in New York State appear to be undercounted by approximately

50 percent -- 50 percent, that`s a lot.

Now, this all stems from the state directive that basically forced nursing

homes to accept COVID positive patients released from the hospitals. And in

hindsight, that looks like a pretty bad decision.

At the time, there were lots of decisions being made very quickly amidst

of, you know, unprecedented pandemic. We`re being confronted by something

no one had experienced before. And hospitals, particularly New York were

really overwhelmed, crunched for space.

So, given that, some bad decisions are at least defensible, right? You`re

just trying to do your best; you make a bad judgment call. And the public

has been pretty forgiving actually about errors in COVID policy.

Cuomo`s administration is accused not of erasing those deaths in the state

total but have deliberately not reporting them as nursing home residents if

they died in the hospital rather than the care facility, a move critics

say, artificially deflated the nursing home death rate.

Governor`s office released a statement saying the aides named The New York

Times story were involved in reviewing the draft report. None of them

changed or altered fatality data. Instead, according to a statement, out of

facility deaths were not being listed as a subset of nursing home deaths

stemming from concerns related to potential for double counting.

Last month, though, Governor Cuomo`s top aide told lawmakers, the

administration took so long releasing the full data because they were

worried it would be used against them by Donald Trump`s Justice Department.

Both the FBI and U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn are currently investigating the

Cuomo administration`s handling of nursing home death data.

New York State House which is, you know, held by Democrats just passed

legislation to strip Cuomo of the emergency pandemic powers that granted

over a year ago.

Governor said he has no plans to resign. But to state the obvious, this is

really really bad. There does not appear to be a good explanation for this.

It`s the lying and the manipulation that is indefensible.

That`s the thing about the Trump administration and their COVID management

that was indefensible. But when Trump said, I want to keep people on the

cruise ship because I didn`t want those numbers. That`s not a defensible

position, right? You can make mistakes in managing COVID and people did but

that`s not a defensible position to artificially suppress the numbers. That

same principle applies here.


HAYES: Joe Biden is a pretty popular president right now according to the

polling we have. A new poll from the Associated Press shows Biden with a 60

percent job approval rating. Perhaps more tellingly, that number jumps 10

points when it comes to the response specifically to the pandemic. 70

percent of Americans approved of his handling of the COVID crisis including

more than 40 percent of Republicans.

But what`s interesting here is it Biden`s reached this level of popularity

even though he has very much not dominated the news cycle, which is the

exact opposite, of course. The last president who was not very popular, in

fact, he was unpopular the whole time but remained an omnipresent force in

the media.

In a new piece, The New York Times Ezra Klein writes that by approaching

the job as the anti-Trump, Biden can get more things done. And Ezra Klein

opinion columnist for The New York Times joins me now.

Ezra, I think you and I are on the same page on this, I love the column.

And I think there`s something counterintuitive here, which is I think, for

a lot of time, people that are think of politics, as -- you know, they

think about the presidency as a bully pulpit. And they think part of the

job of politics is like you want to draw people`s attention to things and

then you can change their minds about it.

But there`s a lot of evidence that in the times we live, it actually works

the opposite and then Biden`s exploiting that.


of polarization. So, I talked about this great study (INAUDIBLE) by a guy

named Steven Nicholson. And what he did was he gave Democrats and

Republicans little like, pieces of paper that read off different policies,

but some else would say, Barack Obama support the policy, or George W. Bush

support this policy.

And what he found was really fascinating. If you told partisans, a

president of their own party supported a policy, it didn`t change the

support for it at all. They were either already bought in or already bought

out. But if you told them, the leader of the other party supported it, it

changes support really dramatically.

And so, one of the key things there, a lot of people are sort of OK with

their party but they don`t love it. What they know is they hate the other


So, the more president steps forward and associate to every bill with his

personal or in a different world, her personal, success or failure, the

more polarizing that bill becomes to the opposition.

Joe Biden by not making himself the focal point of his own legislation is

to some degree, it seems to be avoiding that trap. It`s really notable that

the American Rescue Plan is about 10 to 20 points more popular than he is.

Well, if you look at Donald Trump, his plans tend to be 10 to 30 points

less popular than he was.

HAYES: Yes, and it`s striking as you say this to remember the fight over

the Affordable Care Act, the ACA, which the right called Obamacare, right?

Because that was a very easy shorthand way to signal the partisans like,

you don`t have to know what`s in it. Just think of it as Obama. It`s Obama.

It`s Obama, Obama. And that was the -- that was so central to the


KLEIN: Yes, and President Obama at some point embraced that. He said, yes,

they want to call it Obamacare, I`ll call it Obamacare. And I totally got

that emotionally but this research has made me think in retrospect, that

was -- that was quite a mistake, not only one that he made that got call

(INAUDIBLE) but by the end, but it was a constant refrain of Democrats.

And if you pull the individual policies in the Affordable Care Act, they

were more popular than the bill itself. But that was because the bill

itself acted as a refrain on how you felt about Obama.

So, you had Democrats who understood differences in the bill, maybe you had

sort of more liberal or left Democrats, Bernie Sanders Democrats who wanted

to be single parent, they didn`t like it for that reason. They knew

Republicans who knew they how they felt about Barack Obama.

So, with Biden, he`s just not made the American Rescue Plan, it`s not Biden

care of the stimulus. Stimulus payments are not Biden, but the child tax

credit is not Biden kids, like none of its Joe Biden.

And part of that is Joe Biden is running a pretty quiet presidency. I think

there are a lot of reasons for that. I don`t think it`s actually just all

strategy. I think less is expected of Joe Biden because of the way that he

won the White House. I think he is a different temperament. I don`t think

people think he can be a superhuman communicator. And I also think the

right has become more split on economic issues, and they`re just obsessing

about cultural issues.

I kept thinking about how this week, the right wing seemed obsessed with

Dr. Seuss. Meanwhile, a $1.9 trillion, like the most progressive economic

package in my lifetime is passing through the Senate and they seem to have

very little to say about it. So, a lot is going on here, but I do think

strategy is meaningful

HAYES: One -- yes. So, I agree with you. One of the things that`s happening

here, too, is and I -- you know, when you compare it to Barack Obama, it`s

like, Barack Obama had a real big difference from Joe Biden, right? Like,

he was the first black president named Barack Obama and we know from a lot

of data that that fired up people in certain ways, particularly white

folks, and particularly white folks who are conservative or Republican and

how they felt about Barack Obama.

And I want to read this paragraph from David Weigel who is at CPAC, which

to me is like one of the most succinct explanations of this error I`ve ever


He`s talking about displays of anti-Biden sentiment were fairly rare as the

new president had not attained the boogeyman status of former President

Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, who galvanize the right. I can`t give the

Biden stuff away, said David Solomon, a MAGA merchandise seller whose post-

election shirt designs included Biden with a Hitler-style mustache and the

message, not my dictator.

Like, here`s this t-shirt vendor at CPAC who is still being able to move

Hillary and Obama product. And cannot -- and to me, it`s like, there`s

something very deep and profound there that maybe extends past like how

much Biden is talking.

KLEIN: I think that`s right. And I want to walk a very careful tightrope

here and you`ll know why. Everything you`re saying about President Obama is

true. There`s a great book by Michael Tesler on the way that politics

racialized around him, how he was treated was profoundly, profoundly unfair

on that dimension.

It is not the case, though, that all white male leaders in American

politics are non-polarizing.

HAYES: That`s true.

KLEIN: And even just go back to Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was intensely

polarizing president in his day, there is much more conspiracy theorizing

around him, there are decades of conspiracy theories that like he and his

family -- I mean, and Hillary, (INAUDIBLE) a crazy stuff on the right about

what Bill Clinton was and wasn`t doing.

Joe Biden for a variety of reasons, it manages to get away with different

kinds of things. And personally, I think the right has walked itself into a

weird trap of this.

Do you remember Donald Trump`s messaging about Joe Biden? His messaging

about Joe Biden was he was like a senile old man controlled by Bernie

Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And to some degree, I think they

neutralized Biden through their own forces.

Now, also, the right has become more based on racial and gender identity

politics. So, there`s a lot of things going on here. But I don`t think it`s

inevitable that even a white male Democratic president would be able to

like hold back in a useful way.

HAYES: Yes, that`s a good point. I mean, my question, right, is like, is it

just that the polarization machinery is like worrying to life? And has it,

you know, like, -- because my general priors on this is that polarization

rules everything around us and eventually, like, everything`s going to get

to 52 you know, that sort of 52, 48 universe, somewhere around there. And

do you think it`s avoidable? Like, can the choices presidents make about

their rhetoric and their omnipresence avoid that?

KLEIN: No. And I want to be really clear about that, maybe an overly

settlement of my column. I am making a distinction here between what is

going to -- Joe Biden and legislation Joe Biden supports. The key question

for our president right now is not can you not become polarizing, he

already is polarized.

HAYES: Right.

KLEIN: He`s got a 12 or 10 percent approval rating among Republicans. It`s

an incredibly polarized approval rating.

The key thing is the American Rescue Plan is polling at 65 to 75, I`ve seen

as high as up to 80 percent. And how do you keep that delta between how

popular a lot of the progressive policies somebody like Joe Biden might

want to push are and how popular he is, how polarized he gets? And that`s

where I think the president hanging back is meaningful.

HAYES: Ezra Klein, great columnist, check it out in a little publication

called the New York Times. Thank you for making time and I appreciate it.

KLEIN: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Friday night. "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts

right now. Good evening, Rachel.




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