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

Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 5/28/21

Guests: Robert Jones, Ruth Ben-Chiat, Timothy Snyder, Eli Mystal, Nicole Perlroth, Jamil Jaffer


The Republican Party is radicalizing against democracy. The U.S. is currently under a cyberattack by a group of hackers linked to the Russian foreign intelligence service.



CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Welcome back to a special extended edition of ALL IN. I`m Chris Hayes.

If today feels like a dark day or it`s hitting you, specifically someone who cares for this country, you are not alone. Today was the first official filibuster of the Biden presidency. It was a testament to where we are as a democracy.

We have, of course, a two-party system. It`s a way we`ve been for a while. One of those parties is in the minority and increasingly invested in minority rule. It is committed to wielding power no matter what in its elected officials and the beliefs of its base.

That party, the Republican Party, is radicalizing against democracy before our eyes, even in the aftermath of the electoral defeats that it sustained or more accurately because of them.

As "The Atlantic`s" Anne Applebaum tweeted: The relief some felt after the election is over. The Republican Party is no longer committed to America`s constitutional tradition. But we are a two-party system -- eventually, they will win again. And then we can`t count on them preserving our political system.

You see it everywhere, in the states where the big lie is spreading. Audits being called in question. You see the Republican attempts at voter suppression, particularly from the mainstream so-called Republican officials. You see politicians rushing to go stake their claims with the MAGA hordes, people like Congressman Matt Gaetz, who are using increasingly openly violent rhetoric.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): This is a little history lesson for all the fake news media. The Second Amendment is not about -- it`s not about hunting. It`s not about recreation. It`s not about sports. The Second Amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.


HAYES: That happened in Georgia last night. By the way, as history, that`s flatly untrue. Ask George Washington who put down the Whiskey Rebellion if he was cool with people with a bunch of people with guns taking on the government.

Gaetz was followed on stage by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene who was removed from her committee positions for previous racist, violent remarks. Last night, she said, quote, you know, Nazis are the nationalist social party, just like Democrats are now a national socialist party.

In some ways, these moments feel like sideshows. They are also the central show. That`s the problem.

Last summer when a trove of racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic remarks surface, like many Republicans, Georgia Congressman Jody Hice rescinded his endorsement of Greene. Now, not even a year later, he was opening for her at the event last night because it is her party more than his.

It`s not that different from the Republicans who dropped Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape was released and popped right back up to show for him. We see you, Jason Chaffetz. Can you look your daughter in the eyes again? Where do we end up on that?

This is working right now, the big lie, this metastasizing delusion. All the different parts to conservative political force from governors like Arizona`s Doug Ducey, down to the foot soldiers, recounting Maricopa County`s ballots in fraudulent audit, they`re all moving in lockstep in this anti-democratic fashion because it did not happen overnight.

As Georgetown Professor Thomas Zimmer points out: In our current situation, one reason Trump`s lies can flourish and has a massive effect because they build on longstanding anti-democratic tendencies and impulses on the American right and among conservatives.

This is worrying in a study that found nearly one in four Republicans believe the government and media and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex-trafficking operation. Twenty-eight percent of Republicans believe there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders. And most concerning, 28 percent believed because things have gone so far are track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save our country.

Robert Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute that conducted at polling, the author of "The End of White Christian America"; and Ruth Ben-Chiat is a professor of history at New York University, author of "Strongman: Mussolini to the Present", publisher of "The Lucid" newsletter which discusses the perils of democracy and a response to the abuse of power. And they both join me now.

Robert, let me start with you on the polling. So, when I see polling like that, I feel wigged out. But I also am always a little skeptical of pulling people`s ideologies, right? Because you get people say a lot of things depending on your phrasing. There`s always a question of what are you measuring in there.

So, make the case to me that this polling is getting at something real and the belief systems of the people that are responding.

ROBERT JONES, CEO & FOUNDER, PRRI: Right. Well, thanks for having me on. I think that is part legitimate question. We thought long a hard, actually, about how to do this well. You can`t just ask people are they a member of the QAnon movement. It doesn`t actually function quite that way.

So, we spend a lot of time actually looking at QAnon message boards to find out what the core tenets were. And in public opinion polling, when you`re trying to get a measure like this, what you really want to do is not just go at it with one question but go at it with two or three. I think what`s remarkable about this, you just read the three core tenets that we measured here. They get at kind of three things.

They get at the presence of evil in the world, this kind of Satan worshipping pedophiles. A poll question by the way, that I never thought I would write as a social scientist.

HAYES: Yeah, yeah.

JONES: But here we are.

And apocalyptic thinking, right? That there is a storm coming, sweeping away elites in power. And the justification of violence.

What we find is that these three views actually cohere very well together. That gives you additional confidence that you just have to come at it from some odd angle and picked up some offhand set of beliefs. But they actually correlate quite tightly with each other.

And then when you analyze them, you know, for example, 15 percent of the population we should point out, that is 30 million adults, who qualify for all three of these things. And then when we look at it, we find that it seems to correlate with people that we think it would and we follow this.

For example, when you look at Republicans as you said, and why Evangelical Protestants, I should add as well, it is one in four, right, who affirm these cards that are QAnon.

So, you know, it gives us confidence that what we are looking at is real. It`s a slightly bigger than the Tea Party, for example, but it`s also a little smart. The Tea Party at its height which was about ten or 11 percent of the population. This is 15.

So it is in line with some other kinds of movements that we have seen. I think what is really troubling here, especially when one in four Republicans, one in four white, Evangelical, Protestants, that is kind of proto-religious conspiracy movement isn`t just a laughable fringe movement, which I think is a temptation when you read those questions. But it is now actually an animating core of white, political and religious conservatives today.

HAYES: Yes, I should say when I say what are you measuring -- sometimes you get these interest groups that will pull in such a way where they`re asked a question will people will accent out of a sort of social expectations. This is the opposite of that.

Do you say someone, like, do you think that the government, media and financial worlds in the U.S. is controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run the global sex trafficking operation? Like, I think unless you really believe that, you`re probably going to say no. You`re eliciting something real there.

And, Ruth, as someone who has studied as an academic, your scholarship is on the rise of the sort of authoritarian, particularly charismatic authoritarian leaders, and the decline of democracy. When you heard this polling, what goes through your mind?

RUTH BEN-CHIAT, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, NYU: This is the perfect storm and this is the authoritarian playbook, where disinformation and corruption of people`s moral fibers and violence, justification of violence, go together. And I want to zoom in on the violence because it is part of, not only we`ve seen the GOP transform itself into a authoritarian party culture, where violence is accepted as a way of doing business as a party. But we also see that at the grassroots level, that there is an appetite for violence as a way of moving history forward, as a way of -- a price of being in a community, and the appeal of being in a community.

We`ve gone from Mr. Trump saying in 2016, I could stand on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone. Five years later he says, I could stage a violent coup and stay in office illegally. And I wouldn`t lose any followers. And indeed, didn`t lose any followers.

That is why January 6, instead of being a turn back, look we`ve gone too far, and turn back to the rule of law. It`s been a radicalizing force.

HAYES: Yes, Robert, what do you think of -- the most -- I agree with Ruth there. The most troubling thing we are seeing is the violence. I should say that last night, Matt Gaetz or -- I think it was last night. Aside from that ridiculous interpretation of second amendment, which is ridiculous, because no government actually gives away its monopoly on the legitimate use of force, obviously, was the idea that we talked about silicon people. We have a Second Amendment for the reason, we`ve got to use.

Like that`s real, real close to the line, if not over.

JONES: I think that`s right. It shouldn`t be lost on us that the banner behind him said America first.

HAYES: Yeah.

JONES: And if we really think about that, I mean, that`s one thing that these movements have in common is there is a certain us and them, a good and evil. You are in the group of righteous patriots or you`re not.

And I think for our democracy, one of the most dangerous pieces of this is this pulling, this kind of good versus evil. So, their political opponents, right, become not just kind of fellow citizens that we disagree with. But they actually become enemies to be killed, right, in the name of patriotism. Again, it`s a very basic anti-democratic sentiment that has really been kicked in.

One thing I would say, when this is flourish and among whom? And I think if you look here, it`s typically white Christian, political conservatives, and what they have in common is being a part of a group that has historically seen itself as America, right? So when you say America First, what that means is a kind of white Christian country.

HAYES: Yeah.

JONES: And it`s really only them the last ten years that we have mean moved from being, demographically speaking, a majority white Christian country, that one that is no longer a majority white Christian country. And some of this visceral reaction that Trump -- Trump walked on to the stage and knew how to exploit it.

But some of these things, these forces have been under the surface, even before Trump stepped on the stage.

HAYES: Yeah, Ruth, that`s why striking here. It really does seem like it`s no longer actually focus or centered on a charismatic leader, even though he embody something about it. Like he`s kind of offstage, it`s still -- all the beliefs are still there.

BEN-CHIAT: Yes, this is uniquely dangerous and American kind of danger, because we have one party -- there`s not that many countries where you have such an entrance bipartisan system. And when one of those two parties turns away from democracy, that is a huge problem. But we also have uniquely American situation of hundreds of millions of guns in private hands. Military grade weapons in private hands.

You put those two together, and you are in uncharted terrain and one of the concrete things and manifestations we saw was January 6. So, we are really in some kind of situation that many other cultures weren`t in. Because they had coalition governments and they didn`t have so many civilians owning military grade weapons.

HAYES: Robert Jones, Ruth Ben-Chiat, thank you so much. That was great.

For more on the Republican embrace of authoritarianism, I`m joined by Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University, author of "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century" and "The Road to Unfreedom".

Professor, when you see what happened today, the vote is sort of a symbol of something larger. What kind of moment are we in here, despite the fact that Trump was defeated ultimately, that his party lost, the opposition party actually got control of all three of the levers -- of the executive and legislative branches?

TIMOTHY SNYDER, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, YALE UNIVERSITY: Yeah, that`s an important question, because I -- more important than momentary control is a nation`s ability to tell the truth about itself. History is extremely important. But it doesn`t happen if no one reports it. It doesn`t happen if no one remembers it.

As a country, it`s very important for us to understand the facts, the dynamics of January six, not just to make sure that it doesn`t happen again in the short term, which I too am worried about. But also because we have to be able to look back together, now, and in future generations, over the turning points in our country`s history. Wherever you`re coming from politically, the failure to have a peaceful transition of power and the attempt by a sitting president to stay in power extra constitutionally, is a major turning point in our history.

So, I think it is very important for someone to come in here and fill the gap. Not just the Democrats in Congress, but I would say, historians, political scientists, lawyers, others should be coming together, commissions that leave behind white papers, so that Americans now and in the future, our children, grandparents grandchildren will have a sense of what the truth here was.

HAYES: Yeah.

SNYDER: Democracies can get by with politicians telling small lies. Democracies can`t get by with a big lie which is the middle of a system. And one way to deal with the big lie is to get together and write about what the truth was.

HAYES: Yeah, that is exactly what I was going to ask, was the counter of it, right? Because there`s -- part of what your point to is and what I think your scholarship has pointed to is that the authoritarian impulses and sort of a Democratic decline are kind of downstream of history, narratives, press, truth, right? The beliefs people form, where they get information, the lies that they`re or cold or tell to themselves.

And so, the question of how to get to that. Right? Coming off this pulling, it`s a hard one. I mean, it`s what I -- you know, I come to work every day in wrestle with. Like what`s the answer?

SNYDER: Yeah. Again, great question because democracy is tough, right? I mean, authoritarianism is easy. Totalitarian is easy.

It`s easy to believe the lies that you`re told. It`s easier to believe the things that people say around you. It`s easy to believe that the things you want to believe.

Whereas democracy, this thing called democracy is fundamentally about self- criticism, it`s about being surprised by the facts. It`s being surprised by your neighbor`s views. It`s about being able to change your mind, it`s about being able to learn that your candidate is not the one you thought they were.

Without those habits, you can`t really have democracy. So, there`s a truth about events. That`s very important. But there`s also the moral habit of saying we care about the truth which I think both on the left and right we should just be affirming, even if it sounds naive.

Institutionally and structurally, we have to be loving the reporters, we have to be supporting the reporters, we have as a country lost local news and that loss of new local news is the vacuum in which conspiracy theory pours. So, I think, you know, with the one big thing the Biden administration is not doing which I wish it would do is finding ways to divert research to local news. There is that and there`s fixing social media.

To do those, you know, we need to get beyond this particular big lie, but we also have to build a structure which is easier for Americans to have access to what is happening around there, because then we will have conversations that will help them get beyond the need to be focusing on the national and to always be finding the enemy.

HAYES: You know, it`s interesting you say that, because you put your finger on something that I wrestle with all the time which is the -- I`m torn between, you know, unique proceduralist maximalism, with proceduralist maximalism, you fight fire with fire, and then the impulse that you have to fight fire with water. The bad impulses are kind of groups, group think -- you know, our way is the only way for the country to flourish and your way will leave us to peril, you can fight within that framework, because I sort of believe that, right?

I believe there is an anti-democratic force that is existential threatening the things that I love about this country. But at the same time, that leads to maximalism, your own kind of view of your fellow citizens is as an enemy, and balancing those two is difficult.

SNYDER: I think the place where you can be maximalist is on the question of truth. That is a place where you -- somebody cannot outplank and the news, you know, as you`re trying to do every night, if you care more about the truth, if you care more about history, you`re reaching to places that conservatives can`t entirely ignore.

So, I think you can be a maximalist about what actually happened. You can see I`m never going to give up on what happened on January 6th. You can be a maximalist about principles.

And I think that is something that some Democrats and some of the left could be sharper about, and saying that we care about finding out with the truth is. That is what we stand for.

So, that is not something that is a polarizing thing, necessarily, right? People who -- other people who may be wrong about things say that they believe in the truth. The trick in the two party system as you say and this is a dilemma you`re not going to get around, you have to simultaneously stand for the good things and you have to fight the good fight. And you have to do both at the same time.

HAYES: Yeah, that is very, very well said. Well, I believe you are in a very different time zone, I just want to thank you for staying with us and that was worth it for me. Have a great weekend.

SNYDER: My pleasure, thank you.

HAYES: There are still much more to talk about Republicans try to destroy the republic, for a lack of a less hyperbolic way of putting it. Mehdi Hasan, Maria Teresa Kumar and Eli Mystal are all here.

And what would you do if you got an email alert telling you that, quote, Donald Trump has published new documents on the election fraud? The Russian hack attack, ahead.


HAYES: One thing Republicans made abundantly clear with their filibuster to January 6 commission today is that they will stand united against anything, anything at all they think will hurt the political power of their party, even if that position is bad for American democracy.

The looming question is now, what are Democrats going to do about it?

Earlier this week, Luke Savage, staff editor at Jacobin magazine publishing "The Atlantic", addressed their cautious approach, writing, quote: if you followed recent Democratic messages, you`ll have heard that American democracy is under serious attack by the Republican Party representing an existential threat to the country. If you follow Democratic law-making, you`d be forgiven for thinking the threat is actually a rather peddling one. The disconnect, in this case, isn`t attributable to Democratic embellishment but to inexcusable complacency.

To help Democrats forward on their path, I`m joined by Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for "The Nation Magazine". His latest piece out this afternoon is titled, "The GOP can`t be saved and Neither can Paul Ryan."

Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino: and Mehdi Hasan of "Mehdi Hasan Show" which airs on MSNBC on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. and during the week on Peacock at 7:00 p.m.

Maria Teresa, let me start with you about what -- whether you`re -- as someone who`s worked in politics and around politics for a long time, your personal level of worry about where things are right now, and your estimation of how much the establishment professional class of who the Democratic Party, which has to be the obstacle to this, gets it?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT & CEO, VOTO LATINO: Chris, where the why start? You`re asking me from my concern from zero to 100 it is 10,000. It has been very clear from the very long time that the Republicans don`t want a fair democratic society, they will do everything in their power to either suppress the truth, as Timothy Snyder was saying, or to make sure that the maximum of Americans who are eligible to cast a fair and safe ballot do not do that.

I do think that the challenge is that so many people who were part of the movement are no longer in leadership positions. I`m thinking of Vanita Gupta who is a part, you know, the woman in arms with me over at the Lawyers Committee, Kristen Clarke, but then there`s also Cecile Richards of Supermajority, there`s just -- Stephanie Schriock over at Emily`s List, there`s just a lot of vacancies right now and traditional individuals that we would get together, try to map out what to do next and rile up the progressive base.

People should be calling members of Congress. They should be filling up those town halls just like we did when we`re fighting for the ACA, when we`re doing the Women`s March, and we find a lot of folks that are not in leadership position and we have to figure out as Americans how to communicate that there is a clear and present danger to our democracy and we have to suit up because the work and the war on democracy is not finished.

HAYES: Yeah, I think that`s well said. I mean, part of the problem, Elie, is just that there are a lot of pressing priorities. You have this weird thing happening where there`s this kind of deeper procedural question of American self governance and its ability to endure, and then there`s a bunch of very pressing substantive priorities that have to deal with like the Jobs Acts, and climate and like, are we going to get an immigration bill, and all that stuff. And I think there`s some tension there on how you mobilize along those two different fronts.

ELI MYSTAL, JUSTICE CORRESONDENT, THE NATION: Except I don`t think that it is not complicated, Chris. I think that the iteration that Maria Teresa is talking about comes from the fact that most of us know what to do. We have to end the filibuster.

HAYES: Right, yeah, correct.

MYSTAL: That`s it. Nothing can go forward until that happens, and there are two Democrats who won`t let us do that. And so until those two Democrats get out of the way, what can I do? Like there is an aspect here right, where -- whatever you are doing right now is what you would be doing in the Antebellum South, or during the Jim Crow area, or in apartheid South Africa. Like you right now are doing what you would`ve done in apartheid South Africa.

So, what are our leaders doing? What is Joe Manchin doing? What is Joe Manchin thinking about telling his grandkids about how he rose in this moment?

And when you get your head into that, you see where there`s so much iteration (ph), because right now, all Joe Manchin is going to say to his grandkids is like, son, I gave the Republicans a veto on anything that can stop them, because sometimes, you have to show the fascists your belly in order to stay alive. That`s his tombstone.

I don`t know why Joe Manchin sounded like Danny Glover in the Harriet Peter Stone (ph) novel.

KUMAR: And he`s (INAUDIBLE) by the way.


MYSTAL: But that is all he has got and that`s why the Democrats are at a base level are so -- it`s not lack of passion, it`s an innovation from ramming your head into the same wall over and over again.

HAYES: That`s very well said, and, Mehdi, that is not to cut, right, everything is flowing from that, as we saw today. You give up your power by acceding to this arbitrary 60-vote rule or you don`t, and if you think that 60-vote rule is more important than anything you say is very urgent, then that is where you`re -- it`s all going to all flounder (ph).

MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC HOST: I mean, let me just pick up on Elie`s point about Joe Manchin. I mean, I`ve come to the conclusion, reluctantly, Joe Manchin is just not very bright. I genuinely think he doesn`t understand what is going on around him, not just in terms of his colleagues, but he says things like stuff, I won`t vote to destroy the government. Like that has got nothing to do with filibuster reform. That is not destroying the government.

The irony is that people who tried to distort the government on January 6 are getting away scot-free. So, I think that`s one problem. But you`re right -- I mean, look, this is not complicated, right? What happened today?

The commission vote was defeated, 54 to 35, 54 lost to 35. I know of no system, no organization, no sports league anywhere in the world where 35 beats 54. My kids an elementary school, if you go to her and say 35 is a bigger number than 54, she will laugh in your face. So, I mean, that is what we have right now.

And if Democrats now can all come together and get rid of this ridiculous, absurd, archaic, anti-democratic filibuster, they might as well give up on politics. Go be an accountant or realtor or an Uber driver. Whatever you like.

But don`t do politics, because this is not democracy. I`m sorry, we are living, as Elie said, this is a historical moment. I use the F-word, fascism, on this show when I guest-hosted for you, Chris, I went back and look last August the 1st time I said it on air. People said, hyperbole, you can`t say fascism in America. Republicans still believe in elections. Republicans don`t have armed militia, guess what which is discovered over the last six months. They don`t believe in elections and they do have armed militia.

So, this is a historic moment and the Democrats really as Luke Savage puts in "The Atlantic", they need to match action with rhetoric.

HAYES: Again, you guys have been specific on this. A lot of Democrats are there. I`ve watched people like Amy Klobuchar was like defended the filibuster, she`s come around.

And just to defend Manchin`s intelligence for a moment, and I mean this honestly, it`s been my experience in life, extremely great people can be captured by their ideological predispositions and their beliefs and their principles, and one of things I think you see through how huge part of the Democratic leadership class, especially at their age, I think there`s a generational divide. They truly believe -- I think this is true of Manchin, I don`t think this is a political play, I think he believes in his heart, if you give him a truth serum, like the system works and that you`ve got to work it until it works. I think they truly believe that.


HASAN: Chris, can I just jump in very briefly to say on Manchin -- can I just say on Manchin. He said he is against D.C. -- very briefly, he said he`s against D.C. statehood and he thinks there should be a constitutional amendment, and he said and I quote, the American people should vote on it. That`s not how constitutional amendments work. The man doesn`t understand the system he works.

HAYES: Fair response.

Maria Teresa?

KUMAR: That generational divide all of a sudden comes at a screeching halt when you talk about Kyrsten Sinema, who also says she doesn`t believe in this filibuster, who also said she supports SR-1, and was interesting lee absent from her vote today when it came to voting for the commission. And let`s remember how the commission came around for 9/11.

It wasn`t the Republicans who want to date. It was the families of the folks that were lost in 9/11 that the commission started. And that gives us a roadmap.

The American people have to demand for the Democrats and the Republicans to show some spine, to do the right thing, to get to the bottom of it. Absent that, they are going to do business as usual, because for whatever reason, there is still a belief among the Manchins of the world, the Sinemas of the world, that the system works as it should.

And that is clear that it`s not working transparently, because this completely stack for minority rule, versus majority rule in this case.

HAYES: Elie?

MYSTAL: We have to ask why there are these institutions less like Manchin, like Sinema who are against this aggressive change. And I`m sorry, but the answer is because it is helping white people. At the very core level, the attack that we saw on the Capitol was a white domestic terrorism attack. And the white people who are our leaders are not as afraid of that as they were about Muslims. That is straight up the answer.

There is no version of events that this attack is not investigated that it is done by people of color. We all know that.

HAYES: That I agree with.

MYSTAL: We have to put that to these people, right? When is the last time you remember Joe Manchin sitting down for an interview with a person of color? Because I don`t think it`s ever happen. When was the last time Kyrsten Sinema sat down with for an interview with a person of color?

HASAN: I`ve asked them.

MYSTAL: Because I can`t remember that either, right?

So at some point, we have to understand not just what these Democrats are doing, but why they are doing that. And the why goes back to the foundational sin of this country that we have never, never redeemed ourselves from.

HAYES: Elie Mystal, Maria Teresa Kumar, and Mehdi Hasan, thank you so much.

KUMAR: Thank you.

HAYES: There is a massive cyberattack underway right now. Hackers linked to Russian intelligence. Latest details and what we`ve done to stop it, next.


HAYES: We are learning today, the U.S. appears to be currently under a cyberattack by a group of hackers linked to the Russian foreign intelligence service. These hackers were able to gain access to the email marketing service used by the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID.

They sent out authentic looking emails like this one to approximately 30,000 email accounts, and more than 150 organizations. The subject of the email is, USAID special alert. In the body, there is a hyperlink that reads Donald Trump has published new documents on election fraud, which I will admit, if I got that I would click on it probably.

When the people on the receiving end of that email click on that link, the hackers gain access to their computers.

Now, we do not know what the intention of the intruders are. What has been installed in U.S. government systems. But Microsoft, the company that disclosed the attack, says that the emails went out as recently as this week and in that it is ongoing. While this is happening, President Joe Biden is about to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva in less than three weeks.

Nicole Perlroth is a cybersecurity reporter of "The New York Times" who`s been covering this attack, just wrote a book on the global cyber arms race called "This is How They Tell Me the World Ends". And Jamil Jaffer his former senior counsel to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He also works as an associate counsel for former President George W. Bush, handling intelligence community matters, and both join me now.

Nicole, could you just give us a little more about who we think did this, when and why?

NICOLE PERLROTH, THE NEW YORK TIMES, CYBERSECURITY REPORTER: So we think this is the SBR, which is the same group that we know pulled off the SolarWinds attack that were dissecting on American federal agencies and companies.

We think that they came into a company called Constant Contact. Some people have heard of it if you haven`t heard of it is a competitor of Mailchimp, which you might have heard of. And basically, they got into Constant Contact and use it to send these emails that appeared to come from USAID, to institutions like the Atlantic Council, EU, this info group, that both have been very active about calling out Russian disinformation and campaigns in some of the pre-election interference that we were seeing.

And so, in this case, it looks like this is the SBR really going after groups that have been critical of Russia, or in some way shape or form, have triggered the ire of Vladimir Putin.

HAYES: Yeah, Jamil, this what`s -- to me what is striking about the story is that at some level, I suppose, I expect that Russian intelligence hackers are trying to get the U.S. government did not expect that we have our own doing the same thing to them, right? That seems like, I don`t know much about this, but I think that is a fair assumption.

But using the fact that they`ve penetrated the American computers to bank shot into NGOs or third parties in civil societies, critical to Russia, is in some ways more disturbing I think then hacking the government itself.

JAMIL JAFFER, NATIONAL SECURITY INSTITUTE: That is exactly right, Chris. What`s so interesting to hack is that they came into that Constant Contact as Nicole described. They used to generate an official USAID email for all intents and purposes because it came from the USAID count, the Constant Contact managers. They then sent this thing out and sent that credibility coming from the USAID account to get authorization, and in some way this is a supply chain attack and a diversion attack where they come in and confuse us and think was confusing to you. And then you have this malware on your system.

So, a very smart play by the Russians, not particularly sophisticated, but smart and demonstrated that we are not deterring these types of activities.

HAYES: And you also wonder, OK, what if you have those emails, what if you have access to some third-party human rights group or NGO computers, Nicole. I mean, presumably, it`s not for something sensitive? There is nothing sensitive in these NGOs, you`re not going to find some secrets about Russian agent, or double agent. What you`re going to find dirt that you can launder to discredit them which has been now this -- clearly this is an ongoing strategy to keep using.

PERLROTH: That is right. This is kompromat. This is very similar to what we saw in 2016 with John Panetta, his risotto recipe was out there getting weaponized and this is what they are doing here now.

So, depending on where you are sitting this is either good news or very bad news. The bad news is clearly, the sanctions that we enacted after SolarWinds have not deterred Russia from continuing to hack U.S. systems. The good news here is that we caught this very quickly. The last loss of emails came on Tuesday, Microsoft caught it. A couple of other cybersecurity firms caught it.

The White House is positioning this as a good news story that they caught this so quickly. Some are saying that yes this is sophisticated, but it did not rise to the level of SolarWinds, maybe it was intentionally designed to go just below that threshold. But at the same time, we are seeing Russia be very aggressive just a few weeks before, Biden sits down with Putin and there are some senior Democrats today like Adam Schiff seeing, shank since did not go far enough we need to impose stronger consequences.

HAYES: I want to read this statement by Mark Warner to you, Jamil, we must make clear to Russia and any other adversaries they will face consequences for this malicious cyber activity, that is what Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said. And then you`ve got Adam Schiff saying that if Moscow is responsible the brazen act of using emails it sees that Russia remains undeterred, despite sanctions following SolarWinds. Those sanctions gave the administration flexibility to tighten the economic screws further if necessary.

So, here`s my question to you. I`ve read a few different histories of the period between `45, `55 when the Cold War gets going, when the world is on a nuclear break. You basically have a bunch of policy makers on both sides in Russian and U.S. figures figuring out, essentially, how to spook the other side without starting a thermonuclear war that would ignite all humanity, right? And they don`t know -- there are no rules. No one said what the rules are for nuclear weapons, and you have all those people trying to figure it out.

It feels to me like that is where we are with this stuff. There has to be some sense of what is and isn`t a sort of triggering incursion. And the lack of that right now makes me very nervous about what can spiral out of this.

JAFFER: Chris, you are exactly right to be nervous. Part of the problem is that the U.S. doesn`t have a clear declarative policy on what Russia might do to us or China or Iran, North Korea and how we respond.

If we made that clear to them and then actually imposed consequences in public when these things happened, that might have a chance to deter them. We don`t talk about a policy. We don`t talk about what we might do and we don`t and pose consequences publicly when bad things happen.

The other side of this is the defensive side. We`ve got to bring nations together, we have to bring industries together, no one company, not one government can defend itself alone. We`ve got to create defense capabilities. And that`s part of the challenge here.

We are not doing that effectively between the government and industry, and between industry together really stopping the Russians, Iranians, North Koreans and the Chinese.

HAYES: Nicole Perlroth and Jamil Jaffer, thank you to you both. That was great.

PERLROTH: That was great.

HAYES: Don`t go anywhere. Trymaine Lee is here, a sneak preview of his new documentary examining the 100-year legacy of the Tulsa massacre. Trymaine joins me next.


HAYES: This Monday marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most horrific days of this nation`s history, the 1921 Tulsa massacre. Nickname Black Wall Street, the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a thriving black neighborhood in the early 1900s. Just decades after the abolition of slavery, this enclave of thriving economic hub, was a beacon of opportunity and freedom.

On May 31st, 1921, a white mob descended on Greenwood, burning homes, businesses, churches reducing the ones affluent neighborhood to ash, killing hundreds of black Americans and attack that lasted into the next day.

In a brand-new NBC news documentary "Blood on Black Wall Street", which airs on 10:00 p.m. this Sunday on MSNBC, Trymaine Lee reports on what really happen in 1921 and how hundred years later, that trauma reverberates through generations.


TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: This is the entire history of Tulsa right here. Greenwood murder, arson looting. What I find interesting, right about that, reconciliation and shaking hands. Everything is okay now. That`s not the case.

In America, you can sometimes convince yourself that the nation`s legacy of trauma and racial violence is some far off memory, a grainy black and white past long forgotten. But in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that distance between the past and present begins to shrink.

One hundred years ago, this community experienced a race massacre.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eighteen hours of sheer destruction,18 hours of men fleeing for their lives.

LEE: But for Black Tulsans, the story did not end with the massacre. It continued for 100 years, the trauma felt by each generation in its own way, through segregation, through urban renewal, through gentrification.

This story is about the people of Greenwood, what was taken from them and their fight to be made whole.


HAYES: And joining me now from Tulsa is Trymaine Lee, who did that amazing reporting.

Trymaine, this is incredible, incredible work. I am so glad we`re getting to show to the world here on MSNBC.

Tell me -- I have never thought of an event, I heard and read about it, but it was so obscure in a conspiracy of silence for so long and then something wrenched it into public consciousness in a way in the last few years.

How do you understand how that happened?

LEE: Thanks so much for having me, Chris.

As you mentioned this is a story that has been buried for 100 years. The powers that be in this community were complicit, the white powers were complicit. You had newspaper articles disappearing from the libraries. You had photographs disappear from the police station.

I think in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement especially, and the killings of black people by the state, I think people started focusing in. And then you had another person shot and killed by white police officer. And then you had HBO`s "Watchmen" which dramatized that day, those terrible days 1921 when so many people were killed.

Let`s not forget and this is wild, it almost seems like it is fantasy, but they literally bombed this community from the sky and shot people from the sky, right? Burned houses, shot women, children and men. On one hand, it is hard to wrap your mind around the sheer level of violence, but what is also hard to wrap your mind around is how this story has been buried.

But then it is not just the store that has remained buried, there are victims of this massacre, hundreds of people whose bodies have never been uncovered. There is still the process of uncovering and digging up grave sites, and they are literally finding them, right?

But until now, the city government would never pay for any excavation. So, even though the outside world had never heard about this, there have been people in this community whose families survived a massacre, and some who didn`t survive the massacre who were trying to tell the story. But they would also whisper about it, because there was fear of repercussions. And they didn`t want and no one was held accountable, there was fear that possibly could happen again, Chris.

So, it is amazing so few of us have heard about this. This community is still really grappling with the long ripples of those days.

HAYES: I want to play some tape from Viola Fletcher who is the oldest survivor and who has been active in the campaign for reparations for that event, take a listen.


VIOLA FLETCHER, 107-YEAR-OLD TULSA MASSACRE SURVIVOR: I am a survivor of the Tulsa race massacre. Two weeks ago I celebrated my 107th birthday.


Today, I am visiting Washington D.C. for the first time in my life. I am here seeking justice and I am asking my country to acknowledge what happened in Tulsa in 1921.

A country may forget its history but I cannot. I will not. Every survivor does not, and our descendants do not.


HAYES: There is a push for reparations, Trymaine, right?

LEE: There is a push, there is a lawyer named Damario Simmons, who is the lawyer for some of the survivors and descendants and they are saying, quite plainly, the root of reparations is repaired. So much has been broken in this community that it is in need of repair, and those loud -- those voices are actually getting louder.

When you think about that woman 107 years old, and she had to carry around much experience and what her family witnessed for 100 years, and she has to go asking and pleading to be made whole. To be paid back, right?

And that is a shame and a stain on a country that I don`t know what kind of justice could wipe that away. I don`t know if it`s money, because those families will never get back what they lost, in terms of their loved ones, but also when you think about the typical black family as a tenth of the wealth of the white family, and a lot of it is because the violent disposition of moments like this.

And again, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is not alone, Chris, as we know. This entire country is dotted with these types of episodes and incidents. This country is hallowed ground.

HAYES: Trymaine Lee, this is -- it`s incredible reporting. It`s so awesome to see you do this long form work and I am very glad that we`re hearing about this. Thank you so much for taking a little time to talk to us tonight.

LEE: Thank you, my friend. Appreciate it.

HAYES: Seriously, a reminder "Blood on Black Wall Street" airs this Sunday, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, on MSNBC, or it`s on demand on Peacock.

Plus, you can listen to a special two-part series of Trymaine`s excellent podcast which is called "Into America". Trymaine is one of the best we`ve got out there, seriously. The first episode is available now so wherever you hear podcast, go listen to it.

That is ALL IN for this evening, goodnight.