New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is now poised to take the number three position in the Republican House leadership actively campaigning against the current House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone who was beaten and electrocuted by rioters at the Capitol wrote an open letter to Congress saying, he "struggles with the anxiety of hearing those who continue to downplay the events of that day." The Republican recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County, is now entering its second week. Trump`s Facebook ban may hurt his fundraising efforts. Interview with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on President Biden`s agenda.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, I can tell you, this is a very tough man to beat. You know what you`re doing, sir. So, former governor, current Congressman Charlie Crist, best of luck to you, sir. And thank you for being here. That`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your -- what are your thoughts about what`s going on in Arizona?
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): I fully support the audit in Arizona.
HAYES: Liz Cheney`s replacement records a big lie demo tape as the Republican project two forget the attack on America moves forward. That, just what is happening in Arizona?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.V. lights are looking at the paper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what they`re doing is to find out if there`s bamboo in the paper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re out here really doing a lot of un-ghosting people who believe strange things.
HAYES: Plus, as Donald Trump tries to sneak back onto Twitter, did federal regulators just put an end to his latest financial swindle?
And Senator Sherrod Brown on the Biden agenda and the full populism as the Republican colleagues in the Senate, when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is now poised to take the number three position in the Republican House leadership. She`s actively campaigning against the current House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and she already got the endorsement of Donald Trump.
And you have to give Stefanik some credit in the same way you have to give Trump credit which is this. She understands what the Republican Party is and what its base wants. She understands the trajectory of conservatism. She got on board with it early. A few months ago, after the election, I wrote this piece in The Atlantic saying the Republican Party seemed to be moderating on policy in some certain keyways while radicalizing against democracy. And Elise Stefanik represents that dynamic better than just about anyone else.
I mean, Stefanik was from the sort of the establishment wing of the party. She worked in the Bush-Cheney administration, graduated from Harvard. As several people have pointed out, her voting record is actually more moderate than Liz Cheney`s in sort of traditional policy terms.
In fact, the conservative Club for Growth is actually opposed to Stefanik`s campaign for leadership saying, "Elise Stefanik is not a good spokesperson for the House Republican conference. She is a liberal -- that`s fact-check not true -- with a 35 percent Club for Growth lifetime rating fourth-worst in the House GOP." But you know what? No one cares.
Stefanik understands that no one cares. She understands the central emotional core of Republican politics. She understands the MAGA cult is not just deference to Trump himself, but bigger than that, it is an authoritarian impulse to beat the libs into submission to retain and hold power by any means necessary, even in the face of democratic rebuke. And even if that means pretending the insurrection of January 6th never happened.
That is the ordering principle. She jumped on board early enough, making her big heel turned and Trump`s first impeachment repeatedly, loudly, jumping to his defense, leading Trump to tweet a new Republican star is born. And Stefanik has not turned back from that or dialed that down.
She doesn`t do the thing that a lot of Republicans do when it comes to the big lie the odious, toxic lie the electron was stolen, Republicans like Texas Congressman Kevin Brady did today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS HOST: President Trump says the big lie was the results of the 2020 election. Liz Cheney says now the big lie was suggesting that the 2020 election was stolen. Between the two of them, who`s right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX): So, I`ll leave that dispute to them to be honest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know, we used to say tomato, tomato, John. That`s between them. Like, it`s a debate over who the MVP in the NBA this year is. It`s a joke, by the way. As opposed to will American democracy endure or not. That is a sort of cowardly perspective we have heard from a lot of Republicans, but at least Stefanik goes much further.
In a written statement explaining why she was objecting to Electoral College certification, something published just hours before the insurrection, she falsely claimed, get this, that in Georgia "more than 140,000 votes came from under-aged, deceased, and otherwise unauthorized voters in Fulton County alone."
What? As the Washington Post`s Aaron Blake points out, there were 524,000 votes total there. That would mean more than one in four were fraudulent, which of course, is ridiculous, a lie, in fact, slanderous when you think about the hundreds of people that work so hard to sort and count those ballots.
Stefanik didn`t break stride after the riot in the Capitol later that day, the deadly one where dozens of police officers were injured one had his eyes gouged out, where Trump supporters chanted stop the steal and hang Mike Pence.
In an interview with Steve Bannon today as she`s on the sort of campaign trail for this position, Stefanik says she strongly supports the Arizona recount, a dangerous and farcical enterprise we`ll talk about more in just a little bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: What is your -- what are your thoughts about what`s going on in Arizona?
STEFANIK: I fully support the audit in Arizona. We want transparency and answers for the American people. What are the Democrats so afraid of?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And now Stefanik is campaigning for the leadership role and she`s on board with the most pressing agenda in the Republican Party, the anti- democratic push to control voters, access to voting in order to make it harder for Democrats to win. She is embodying what this party now is and what it has fully become. She gets it. The Club for Growth doesn`t get it. She gets it.
Texas Republicans are about to pass a bill making it harder to vote. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis just signed a bill with new voting restrictions. And like Stefanik, DeSantis is another rising star and the Republican Party. He also understands the direction the party is headed.
So, in the state that some of that has some of the most expansive vote by mail access, vote by mail access that was a point of pride for Republicans and Democrats for years and that Republicans historically tended to utilize more in that state, after African Americans and Democrats in Florida made huge use of it in 2020 amidst a pandemic, guess what, well, DeSantis and the Republicans have decided it`s time to crack down on mail-in voting. They made sure to give Fox News exclusive access to the bill signing and keep up all other media out.
So, if you look at who the rising stars Republican Party are, they look like Elise Stefanik, and Ron DeSantis. They`re openly fighting against democratic impulses, small D. They`re the anti-Democratic Party. They`re trying to make voting harder, waging this assault in an attempt to erase what we know to be true, which that Donald Trump lost the election, and that at his urging, a crowd of supporters rushed the Capitol and tried to overturn that election and install the loser over the winner. And even after Trump, they`re still pushing the big lie because they understand the central goal of the post-Trump Republican Party is power over all else.
NPR Correspondent Brian Mann has been falling Congresswoman Stefanik`s political path for years. He shared his observations in a very popular Twitter thread yesterday and he joins me now. Brian, I wonder if you can just sort of take me through the congresswoman`s career thus far as you followed it very closely.
BRIAN MANN, CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Yes, she arrived here in Northern New York where her district is, describing herself as a classic East Coast moderate. She went to Harvard. She talked about being a new kind of Republican, someone who could broaden the appeal of the party. And really, that`s how she operated for the first couple of years.
Then, Donald Trump came along, redefined the Republican Party, and we saw Elise Stefanik begin to change her own brand, her political tactics, the way she spoke about politics. We really saw this politician reinvent herself in the Trump mold in a very short period of time.
HAYES: Yeah, one of the things you point -- there`s a few things here, but one is just the tonal shift. I mean, this is a person who had a certain tonal approach, who was in a district that was, you know, a Republican district, but you know, not a not a deep red district. It`s not an 80-20 district, right? And who came up speaking a certain way about politics that people that just really does a kind of 180.
MANN: Yes, that`s right. Although I will say, one thing that`s fascinating about Elise Stefanik, is that right at the start, she did something interesting. She claimed that her hometown was a small community called Willsboro, New York. It was a big part of her opening political message. I`m from here. And we went to Willsboro and nobody knew who she was. She wasn`t from Willsboro. It was a part of her backstory in her identity that didn`t match the facts.
And so, what we did see right from the beginning was this willingness to change, right? So, initially, it`s exactly as you described, she was moderate, she was often very critical of Donald Trump right at the beginning. But we did see this willingness to, you know, put a finger in the wind to figure out where politics especially inside the GOP are going and willingness to move very quickly to get ahead of that train. She clearly wanted to be with it, you know, not sort of in front of it.
HAYES: Yes. And one other thing we saw with impeachment is a recognition that you know, Stefanik or Matt Gaetz, right, these are just -- these are backbenchers. They have no -- they`re junior members of the House Minority for the love of God. I mean, that`s not a very powerful position generally in politics. It`s it`s traditionally not the case that those are the people who you think oh, well, that person.
But because of the ecosystem of Fox News, particularly Donald Trump`s obsession with it, getting on to that channel, being a national TV star on that channel is a key fulcrum to power. And she had recognized that too it seems. Like, there was a point where she wasn`t on Fox and then she was.
MANN: She absolutely used impeachment exactly as you described. It was a perfect lever for her to put herself in front of donors in front of important campaign contributors around the country. But one thing that I do think it`s important to point out is that right from the start, remember, this is a woman who was in the Bush-Cheney White House. She worked with Bill Kristol. She worked with Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.
She was ambitious and had her sights set high right from the beginning. Being a backbencher was never the story that this woman wanted to have about her career. And she`s been steady and strategic and ambitious every single step of the way. And one thing that`s fascinating is how comfortable she is letting old allies go, dropping old loyalties, letting go of her original convictions and campaign ideas, and again, just completely reinventing herself.
And the number of people who she was closely linked to at the beginning, people like Bill Kristol, people like Paul Ryan, people like Mitt Romney, it`s -- there`s so much daylight now between where she is today with Donald Trump and where they are, it`s really hard to recognize her. But that kind of willingness to change, that`s been visible from the start.
HAYES: Final question is just how the fundamental lie here, which is the election was stolen, or that there was the intimation that there was one- quarter of the votes in Fulton County were fraudulent, preposterous and false thing to say, just how that sells in her district? How -- you know, I guess, among the -- I imagine among the big stacker Republican voters in the district Trump carried fairly easily, it probably squares on what they think, but past that I can`t believe it does sell.
MANN: A lot of her supporters here adore Elise Stefanik. She was reelected in a landslide. And she`s been very careful to make sure that she`s solid in her own district so she can move out into this national profile. I have also spoken with a lot of Republicans, a lot of longtime supporters of Elise Stefanik who are dismayed by this transformation into a Trump ally, a Trump follower, a Trump loyalist.
And so, there is real division, of course, around the country within the GOP. And you can find that same division right here in her house district.
HAYES: Brian Mann, great, great reporting. And thank you so much for sharing all that with us. I really appreciate it.
MANN: Thanks for having me on.
HAYES: A huge part of the big lie involves essentially memory holing what happened just four months ago, four months ago, January 6th. A deadly insurrection whipped up by the president resulted in the first-ever second impeachment American history of bipartisan vote in both houses. A big part of what we`re seeing now develop, the current Republican agenda, is to just minimize the whole thing, make sure nobody talks about the stain.
It is it`s gotten so bad in this impulse that Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone who was beaten and electrocuted by rioters, remember him, he was moved to write this open letter to Congress saying, "I struggled daily with the emotional anxiety of having survived such a traumatic event. But I also struggle with the anxiety of hearing those who continue to downplay the events of that day, and those who ignore them altogether with their lack of acknowledgment. The indifference shown to my colleagues and I is disgraceful."
Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona was also at the Capitol stormed on January 6th, and he joins me now. Do you get the sense that there is this concerted effort to memory hold January 6, to move everybody away from it, and that in some ways, there`s an interplay between what we`re seeing with the Liz Cheney and Stefanik fight in that -- in that attempt?
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Absolutely. And it started right away. You know, first it was, you know, it was just the elderly people, and then it goes, you know, Antifa or, you know, it was actually, you know, people dressing up as Trump supporters.
And now, you know, you`re hearing from, you know, Republican pundits and members of Congress saying, well, actually, it wasn`t even that violent, right? Even though we saw police officers afterwards -- I saw them face to face. They were bruised and bloodied. We saw police officers getting attacked.
But now you have politicians like Kevin McCarthy that just want to cover it up because they know that the only way they survive in the future is by holding Trump close to their hearts. And Trump -- if you recognize that there was an attempted insurrection, that there was violence, then Trump base is going to throw you to the side.
So, this is really all at the feet of Kevin McCarthy. He is -- above everything else, he has no soul. He`s a craven politician. And he will basically throw these police officers to the side in order for him to get his political goals.
For the party that says they back the blue, they certainly don`t back the police officers that were protecting us on Capitol Hill. They`re just throwing them away as if they`re just, you know, used paper.
HAYES: I want to read a tweet that I saw from you to Margaret Taylor Greene where she was sort of talking about -- you know, which tweet I`m going to read. I can see from your facial expression. She was -- she was saying that Democrat policies are destructive, blah, blah, blah. You said, "I was trying to figure out what type of pen to stab your friends with if they overran us on the floor of the House Representatives while trying to conduct a democratic transition of power. So, please shut your seditious QAnon loving mouth when it comes to who loves America." You stand by that?
GALLEGO: (INAUDIBLE) please.
HAYES: What`s that?
GALLEGO: I did say please, though.
HAYES: You sound -- you sound like my seven-year-old son who loves that in there when he gets fresh. But I mean, in all seriousness, like I get the rage that is encapsulated both and I think that`s genuine in you in this. But every time I see this or every time I think about the workplace you`re in, in the aftermath, four months ago with this, it just seems like a completely toxic and dysfunctional place in which like half your colleagues essentially voted to overturn election. No one has apologized and watch these people maraud through, and everyone wants to forget about it. And it`s just a weird situation up there.
HAYES: And everyone wants to forget about it. And you know, whenever someone like myself pushes back, especially when you try to call the other party the enemy of the state and encourage that type of insurrection again, you know, what you get is a lot of, you know, once again, both sides-isms. You know, like, oh, you shouldn`t be going down to the level.
Like no, sedition is bad, right? Encouraging insurrection is horrible to this country. And any politician whether Democrat or Republican that does it should be held accountable. And the fact that there are so-called leaders that are just trying to just memory hold the whole thing, it`s just a -- it`s a disgrace.
And the fact that, you know, someone like Elise Stefanik, who at least is smart enough to understand what`s going on has become such a soloist politician -- and I`ve known her since college, by the way. I used to consider her a friend. But the fact is, like, she sold her soul to the one of the persons that is probably the least respectable, the least honorable person that you`ll ever meet in Donald Trump. And it`s just, it`s just sad. It`s a sad statement on the party. It`s a sad statement on Republican Party. And really, it`s not going to change until they actually feel the repercussions of this at the polling place.
So, this is why I`m going on the offense. This is why you see me talking about it, tweet about it. I`m always attacking those that actually voted to overturn the elections. And I will have some more actions to follow up on that coming in the near future too.
HAYES: It`s interesting you guys known each other since college. I saw that you were both in Harvard and I think around the same -- the same time. Just to follow up. When you say you used to consider her a friend, like, what -- you don`t anymore?
GALLEGO: You know, I can`t really -- you know, politics aside, like, I have a lot of friends who are actually really close Republican friends. The guys I served with the Marine Corps with, guys that I campaigned against. You know, and I`ve actually become really good friends with them.
But when you support an insurrection, when you become seditionist, and you are -- you`re smart enough to know the difference -- like I understand people like Gosar and a couple of these other people, they`re not that bright. She`s bright. She sold herself out and she has sold her soul. And I just can`t do that.
You know, I can`t -- I can`t work with people that are that just craven and soulless. And we use to co-sponsored legislation together and I just won`t do it. And who cares? I don`t care if she gets into leadership next year, if somehow you know the Democrats don`t win again. It`s not worth it. I cannot live with myself. I fought too long for this country and I`m just not going to you know, just sell out just to get on -- get on because that`s what politics demands.
HAYES: Congressman Ruben Gallego, thanks for -- thanks for coming on tonight. I really appreciate it.
GALLEGO: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, have you noticed every time we learn something new about the audit happening Arizona, it`s never a reassuring update? Well, I`m sure that`s the thing of the past. Anyway, why don`t we check in with one of the guys helping oversee the audit just to see what`s going on?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRAKEY, OFFICIAL HELPING TO OVERSEE THE ARIZONA AUDIT: There`s accusations that 40,000 ballots were flown in --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To Arizona?
BRAKEY: Into Arizona, and it was stuffed into the box, OK. And it came from the southeast part of the world, Asia, OK. And what they`re doing is to find out if there`s bamboo in the paper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Bamboo and the paper. The search for the bamboo ballots and why the great audit of Maricopa County might be put on ice to make for way for -- and you can`t make this stuff up -- high school graduation season. That`s next.
HAYES: The privatized Republican recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona`s most populous county, Maricopa County, is now entering its second week. Here`s what it looks like from inside the lovely Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix where this sort of dangerous and farcical enterprise is being undertaken by the Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate who use their power to subpoena more than two million ballots just from this county, just from a Democratic County.
And then they handed them over to a private security firm called Cyber Ninjas that has no experience in elections and whose CEO, through his now- deleted Twitter account, extensively retweeted lies about Joe Biden stealing the election. The contractors and volunteers were actually doing the recount have only made their way through about 10 percent of the nearly 2.1 million ballots. That`s not a very good pace.
This is one county think about what would have happened election night. And perhaps the reason they`re going so slowly is because they`ve engaged in some rather suspect auditing methods like using UV lights to scan ballots for fraud because there is utterly insane conspiracy theory that Donald Trump watermarked the real ballots.
Not only is that not true, there are no watermarks, but experts say the UV lights could actually damage the ballots, so good job all. More recently, one of the people serving as a kind of audit liaison explained one of the other conspiracy theories they are tracking down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAKEY: There`s accusations of 40,000 ballots were flown in --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To Arizona?
BRAKEY: Into Arizona, and it was stuffed into the box, OK. And it came from the southeast part of the world Asia, OK. And, and what they`re doing is to find out if there`s bamboo in the paper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does the bamboo -- why do you check for bamboo?
BRAKEY: Because they use bamboo in their paper processing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who`s they?
BRAKEY: People in Southeast Asia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that you feel --
BRAKEY: That`s what they say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s what many people are saying, there`s bamboo in the paper. We`re just going to try to find it. That`s the kind of thing that appears to have prompted the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to write a very pointed letter yesterday asking about the steps the Arizona Senate will take to ensure that violations of federal law do not occur.
Laurie Roberts is a columnist for the Arizona Republic, whose latest pieces called, "So, now it`s bamboo in the ballots. Are there any limits to the Senate`s audit lunacy?" Laurie, it`s great to have you. My God. OK.
LAURIE ROBERTS, COLUMNIST, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: I`m glad to be here.
HAYES: What -- so where --
ROBERTS: It`s another beautiful day in Arizona.
HAYES: Where are we on this thing?
ROBERTS: Another beautiful day.
HAYES: What`s -- OK, what`s -- give me a status update.
ROBERTS: Well, you know, I think we`ve thrown out the idea of watermarks on the ballot. It appears that Donald Trump did not water -- secretly watermarked our ballots, so to find the -- you know, root out the fraud. So, now, we are on to bamboo. It appears that there is some rumor floating around, and that`s all it takes is a rumor, that 40,000 ballots were flown into the state probably from China, because you know, those people are probably producing ballots in their basement, Biden ballots, of course. And that if we simply put a UV light on these ballots and or a 5K camera, we will detect that there is bamboo in the ballots, which of course means these ballots are fake.
First of all, I would say, I`m not aware of any bamboo in the ballots. If they find it, bring it on. If not, I will also say that bamboo actually grows in Arizona. I actually had a reader today who suggested how we can just cut right through this and get moving on given the fact that so few ballots have been counted and the clock is ticking. He suggested that we just import a couple of pandas from wherever they are. He said San Diego but I don`t think they have a minimum. Import the pandas, throw the ballots on the floor, see which ones they eat and then we`ll know.
HAYES: Probably it would be more efficient.
ROBERTS: That what we need to do. That what we need to do.
HAYES: Well, that`s -- so, the Department of Justice -- I mean, in all seriousness, right, you`ve got -- the Democrats have sued three times. Again, I want to stress to people those ballots, those are the actual ballots. It`s the actual physical record of the election that happened in Maricopa County. That`s what these volunteers have access to. That`s what they`re dealing with.
So, the Department of Justice basically said, look, there`s federal law guiding some of this. Like, what safeguards are in place? They`ve got sort of a snide response from the Arizona State Senate. But it does seem like this is just going to go on and nothing`s going to change or are there any -- is there any oversight being put in place?
ROBERTS: Well, there is no oversight. There is oversight of a third-party contractor, Doug Logan, the man with -- the chief of Cyber Ninja, who believes that the election was stolen. There are no officials in charge of our ballots anymore. It`s been -- it`s been outsourced to a third party.
You know, the Department of Justice says that they`re concerned about the safety and security of the ballots which they should be. But they`re also concerned about who is it that they`re going to -- when they get to the phase of the audit where they go knock on doors, who`s doors are they`re going to be knocking on and what are they going to be asking?
And the concern, of course, is that they`re going to go out in minority communities and, you know, who knows what they`re going to do, try to intimidate voters into saying they didn`t vote. I don`t know. But the fact is, is that they have our right of voter information, and we don`t know what they`re doing with it. We don`t know who has it.
And the Senate`s liaison, every time you ask him any questions, he`s his answer is, I don`t know. So that`s where we are. We`re looking for bamboo. I say, bring in the pandas.
HAYES: There`s an incredible irony here, which is that part of the conspiracy theory that was birthed by Donald Trump, that he started planting the seeds of before election night was, the longer it takes, the more something fishy is happening. And that the immediate results that you get in place is that`s the good stuff, right, and then the later stuff, they`re up to no good.
And here they are, they counted 10 percent of one county ballots in one week. And I saw this piece today, from the Arizona Republic, your newspaper, pointing out the Arizona Senate is going to lose the lease on the arena where they`re cutting the ballots because starting May 14th, they`ve got some graduations to do. Is that true?
ROBERTS: That`s true. There are Phoenix Union High School District has all of its high school graduations at the Coliseum. And frankly, those high school graduations are consequential. Those are important things. They didn`t happen last year. I would argue that that`s way more important than what`s going on at the arena right now. So, we don`t really know.
The Senate liaison, Ken Bennett, told me this week that his plan was to simply put the ballots in another room at the Coliseum with a guard on them and that all would be good. But then the -- an executive with the Coliseum board came out and said well, that`s just not feasible. In other words, our ballots could be homeless by May 14, and who knows where they go.
But on the other hand, you could put them in the Senate president`s room closet, and those UV lights would work really, really well, really well.
HAYES: I honestly cannot believe this story every time I`ve returned to it. Although it`s also like it`s funny, but it`s also wildly dangerous to the democratic integrity of the election in Arizona, in Maricopa County, and in the country. Laurie Roberts who has been covering this, thank you so much for coming back with an update. We will have you back again I am sure.
ROBERTS: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, why Donald Trump`s Facebook ban has Republicans panicking about fundraising and how the recurring donation cash grab on Trump`s new blog just went poof. Those stories coming up.
HAYES: In January, Donald Trump was booted off all major social media platform for essentially inciting the January 6th insurrection. Yesterday, Facebook`s Oversight Board upheld the foreign president`s ban from their network or for at least the next six months. Twitter has banned Trump for good. Trump seems impatient to get back online somehow.
This morning, and account billing itself from the desk of Donald J. Trump appeared on Twitter and started tweeting copies of posts from his new blog of the same name. He uses that new site to share what are basically fake would-be tweets. Despite insisting on the Twitter account bio "note: not Donald J. Trump tweeting." Twitter swiftly suspended the account for violating their ban evasion policy.
A spokesperson Trump claims the account was not set up by or with the permission of anyone affiliated with the former president. But throwing out a fake mustache to try to circumvent a Twitter ban would not be a surprising move from a man who spent much of his life using shell companies to hide his assets from creditors and regulatory scrutiny. Or from a man who literally made up a spokesman named John Baron that was actually him.
Now, the real reason it appears the former president wants back on social media, among other things is of course, money, money, money. And as the band`s continued, he`s getting more and more desperate. Donald Trump`s latest tactics to rip off his own supporters ahead.
HAYES: In the wake of Facebook`s decision to keep Donald Trump suspended from their platforms, Republicans, including some close to the former president, are panicking. Politico reporting that the ongoing ban means that Trump will remain without one of the great money-raising spigots and all politics.
A person close to Trump world says the ruling makes it infinitely harder for him to raise money, adding Facebook was the main way he raised money. He`s now going to have to spend far more in the future to find other ways to raise money. It was the main way he found donors.
So, what is a voracious money-seeking outfit to do? Well, they`re getting back to their dirty desperate tricks. A Trump operation blasted out a text message to his list calling the Facebook ban nonsense, but also asking for money. I want a list of all my donors sent to my office, the text read.
It`s just the latest in a series of shady fundraising tactics from the Trump team. Last fall, you might remember, at the height of his race for reelection, the Trump campaign began a scheme to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, in which contributors had to waive through a fine print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out.
Disclaimers like this, join the President`s executive club for true patriots only, and in the small print below, make this a weekly recurring donation until November 3rd. Soon, banks and credit card companies were inundated with fraud complaints from Trump supporters who were charged over and over in the campaign. The Republican National Committee issued more than 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 billion, $64 million.
But guess what, those same yellow pre-check boxes just showed up again through the fundraising link on Trump`s new fake Twitter blog. This one asking supporters to submit your name on the official founding member donor list by making this a monthly contribution.
Today, the Federal Election Commission moved towards cracking down on this predatory behavior voting unanimously to recommend that Congress ban campaigns from guiding donors into these kinds of recurring donations.
Shane Goldmacher broke that story about the Trump campaign`s deception to fundraising e-mails in the New York Times and he joins me now. Shane, maybe let`s first start with the status of the fundraising operation that is whatever the Trump campaign or vehicle is now.
SHANE GOLDMACHER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. I mean, the first status is that they have a lot of money. They have a lot of money in the bank because he raised so much money in the six to eight weeks following the November election, telling his supporters that there was election fraud, give him money. And a huge amount of that money he banked. A big chunk of that money used to issue refunds to all those people who made recurring contributions.
So, he entered April with more than $85 million in his political accounts. But look, I think that you touched on this. The Facebook ban, the social media ban, that doesn`t just hurt his public perception and the public impact he has, it does hurt the ability to define and reach new donors.
And so yes, he still controls probably the most powerful e-mail and text message lists in Republican politics. And if you look at the messaging of other Republican campaign committees, he remains a dominant figure to raise money online. But he`s sitting on a lot of money, but he`s lost those critical tools to reach new donors. And you have to constantly replenish these lists.
HAYES: Yes, that`s -- I mean, Facebook, my understanding is just the means by which the data sort of syncs up and Facebook and makes it the sort of cheapest donor recruitment tool. Is that basically how it works?
GOLDMACHER: The short version is yes. It`s an incredibly powerful tool because campaigns basically upload information to Facebook and say, here`s what our existing supporters look like. And Facebook spits out a list of people and says, great, you can advertise to other people like them.
HAYES: Yes, of course.
GOLDMACHER: Not having that tool is -- you know, which has been so powerful for politicians of both parties, is a damaging to his future as a political fundraiser.
HAYES: This -- what do you think about the FEC decision today? I saw Amy Klobuchar after that saying she`ll introduce legislation. I mean, that that reporting was remarkable reporting you did, a very high impact apparently. It does seem like there`s a little movement -- I mean, it seems like something that shouldn`t be allowed but it seems like there`s some movement in that direction.
GOLDMACHER: You know, I`ve covered campaign finance for a long time. The FEC typically doesn`t take action on anything seen as partisan or politically controversial. It`s split equally between Democrats and Republican line commissioners. And here you have a unanimous recommendation to Congress that this recurring donation tactic should be banned.
Now, I should say it`s not exclusively something that the Trump campaign has done. It`s far more common on the Republican side of the aisle. There are a couple of major democratic committees who also do this, the DCCC and the DSCC, the House and Senate campaign committees. They didn`t necessarily fill those pre-check boxes with all the complicated language the Trump campaign did, and the refund rates are nowhere near where the Trump campaign was.
But look, I think it`s unusual for the FEC to say to Congress, hey, please help fix this. We have customers, consumers, voters who are being defrauded. And again, you had a senator who leads the Senate Rules Committee announcing this evening that she plans to do just what the FCC asked the Congress to do which is introduced legislation to ban the practice.
HAYES: Final question for is about sort of Trump`s relationships to the Republican Party in its sort of both campaign in a sense. I mean, so one thing we`ve seen right in the last few months is he`s not on social media. He doesn`t know -- HE doesn`t make news when gives interviews. No one cares about his, you know, statements going out. They don`t you know, reverberate. But they do.
I mean, what we`re seeing play out with Elise Stefanik and Liz Cheney is that the power is still there. And how much of that is about fundraising? How much is that about money about being able to use his name to raise money or be part of the kind of like base that he has cultivated?
GOLDMACHER: I mean, look, I think that it`s hard to separate his power and the influence of raising money that his name maintains. I think his power is certainly greater than that. But look, all you have to do is sign up and get e-mail alerts or text message alerts from the House Republican Campaign Committee, the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, and you are inundated with things about Trump.
He remains the powerful -- the most powerful force to loosen wallets of small donors who are Republicans. And you can see it by the communications that they`re issuing. And so, look the party isn`t ready to move past Donald Trump because the Republican base isn`t ready to move past Donald Trump.
HAYES: And in fact, there was a bit of a fight over that recently, right? I mean, he knows -- he knows that and he wants -- he wants a cut. And at one point, I mean, this was kind of I think, what prompted the Kevin McCarthy, you know, trip down to Mar-a-Lago, among other things, was him sort of sending cease and desist letters and basically, you know, trying to kind of bring to heel like, I -- only I get to control it. And if you want to use my name, there`s going to be a price to pay.
GOLDMACHER: And the committee has basically ignored that. Look, I think they came to some behind the scenes accommodations, but they haven`t paused sending things out. They don`t send out e-mails saying this is an email from Donald J. Trump. They just say things like his new Web site, right? The desk of Donald J. Trump or Trump social media update alert, right?
They don`t actually say it`s from him, but the implication for some a person looking at their text messages or e-mails is that he`s somehow engaged or signed off.
HAYES: And they`re doing that because it works.
GOLDMACHER: I mean, clearly, you just have to follow what they`re doing because that`s what`s raising money. You can see all the names they send people send out there, and Trump out numbers everything else. You don`t get a ton of e-mails suggesting it`s from the desk of Mike Pence or any other Republican figure.
HAYES: Shane Goldmacher who`s a great reporter on this beat, thank you so much.
GOLDMACHER: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, Senator Sherrod Brown on Republicans masquerading as the blue-collar party and where things stand on the Biden administration`s next big agenda item after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We have to support the little guy. We have to support the small business owner. We have to support the working men and women. Our party is a blue-collar party. Our party are the truck drivers and steelworkers and waiters and waitresses and cops and firefighters, the men and women with calluses on their hands. That`s who we`re fighting for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sorry, the calluses on their hands is too much. For a while now, Republicans have been pushing this line that they are the party of the working class. Senators like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, who don`t have a lot of calluses if I`m not mistaken, have all been vying to position themselves as leader of this blue-collar movement within their party.
But as Christina Wilkie`s piece at CNBC plainly puts it, the battle over tax hikes, monies the Republicans post-Trump push to be party of the working class. There`s a fundamental problem. The Republicans want to pose the party of the working class while also fighting every effort to tax the wealthiest people tooth and nail. You can`t have it both ways.
Here`s the thing though. Increasingly, Democrats were getting more and more confident on the tax proposals, and the Biden infrastructure plan are popular with a majority of Americans even say the cops and firefighters and waiters and waitresses and those with calluses on their hands.
As the New York Times points out, Joe Biden is leaning into his plan to tax rich. A wide range of polls now show broad public support for tax increases on high earners. A Pew Research poll last week found Americans are much more likely to be upset that wealthy and corporations did not pay their fair share in taxes and to be upset about the size of their own tax bills.
Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, who himself has always been pretty focused on working-class issues, chair to the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and he joins me now.
I think it`s interesting, Senator, that often the tax portion of a piece of legislation will be the least popular or the most contentious, what we call pay for is in Washington. And in this case, it seems to be actually the most popular, and I haven`t actually heard Republicans doing a very good job of making an argument against them, although they all oppose it.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): I think that is -- that is fascinating now. And it`s what -- some of us have wanted Democratic presidents to do for a long time is stand up and talk about taxing the rich, point out those 55 or 60 companies in Fortune 500 that have paid zero tax, talk about the Republican tax giveaway 70 percent for the wealthiest one percent of their big tax bill instead of doing infrastructure four years ago.
And that`s just the tax side. They also -- the Republicans are never really talking to workers or listening to workers. They oppose the minimum wage, they oppose the overtime rule. They`re simply doing nothing to deliver for workers other than working-class voters. Other than the guy Ted Cruz which you pointed out talking about calluses on his hands, but --
HAYES: Well, actually, I shouldt say this is Ted Cruz doing a listening tour with working-class voters with his wife at the Kentucky Derby. You can see them intently finding out what`s going on among the working class and blue-collar voters there at the Kentucky Derby.
More seriously, I wonder what you think about -- I mean, this is obviously opposed. There`s some legislation to put some teeth in this, right? So, they`re going to pose the infrastructure, they`re going to oppose the taxing. You`ve got labor law legislation that would be the strongest improvement in labor law, strengthening labor law. You`re not going to get a single Republican supporting that, are you?
BROWN: I hope we do. But so far, the protecting our right to organize the pro act, which is one of the four or five most important things we should be doing, we should be raising the minimum wage, we should pass the pro act. We --of course, the big Biden major pieces of legislation like making permanent the child tax credit, but pro act voting rights, all those kinds of things that we should be moving on.
I mean, there`s -- as far as I can see, no Republican support for anything that strengthens unions, nothing, let alone minimum wage, overtime rule, all those things that will immediately make working families, a broad number of middle class and people who aspire to be the middle class in this country to give them the opportunity to get ahead. And no Republican support for that except talk.
HAYES: As trend has started of Republican governors and states essentially canceling the federal unemployment pandemic bonus that was part of the last COVID relief saying that their state is withdrawing from participating in that. It happened in Montana. Greg Gianforte saying we`re going to not do that. We`re not going to pay that extra bonus that was part of the COVID relief package today. The South Carolina governor also ordering the exact same thing.
And the argument is, you guys have gone and screwed up the labor markets by giving people this unemployment money. And now employers can`t hire people. What do you say to that?
BROWN: Well, you say, maybe employers ought to increase wages. They should start with that. You understand that a whole lot of women have left the workforce because they can`t -- they don`t have childcare available. There`s also that. You may remember a year plus ago, we passed the Cares Act unanimously in the Senate. Republicans wanted to offer one amendment, which they did, and we beat back, and that amendment was to take away to $600 a week on unemployment benefit as millions of Americans were laid off.
So, they can`t stand it, frankly. They -- I mean, they don`t like social insurance. They don`t like Medicare. You`re paying to get help when you need it. They don`t like social security. You pay in and you get when you need it. They don`t like unemployment insurance. You pay in and get help when you need it.
And that`s the basis of our economic system and the safety net for virtually almost all workers in this country, Medicare, Social Security, unemployment. They don`t -- they don`t like that whole idea of social insurance. And they come after it every chance they get. Individual governors now, members of Congress, earlier, President Trump, I mean, all of them. That`s what they do.
HAYES: I remember when I first profiled you when you were a House member in Ohio. And one of the things you were focused on then was -- were some international public health issues, particularly tuberculosis, drug- resistant tuberculosis, having the United States be an active and proactive part of solving that problem around the globe.
You also been public about the intellectual property waiver, the patent waiver on the vaccines. You said the faster we get shots in arms all over the world, the faster we`re all protected. I`m glad the president is taking the step that many of us have been calling for. That`s announcing they will seek that at the WTO. Your reaction to that announced from the Biden administration and are you confident we`re doing enough to get the world vaccinated right now?
BROWN: We probably are not doing enough. But what really struck me is that one of them sort of unheralded parts of the Biden administration. I mean, they`re doing the right thing now and so many things domestically with child tax credit, with helping small business, with unemployment benefits with investing in housing and education.
But it`s what we`re doing internationally going back to the Paris Climate - - Paris Climate Accords, rejoined the World Health Organization, engaging in international public health, and listening to the WHO and listening to the CDC, the CDC in Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control, listening to the experts.
But I love what it says about our country that we were -- we lead the world in eradication of smallpox. We lead the world and almost eradicated polio. We lead the world with (INAUDIBLE). We kept Ebola out of most countries in the world because of our leadership. We`re now talking about doing it again.
So, it`s the right thing for our country because it`s who we are. But it`s also good for us specifically because if we can help to stop the virus from spreading more in India, particularly variant kinds of virus, or viruses, if you will, or the virus, it`s going to protect more Americans from getting it.
So, there are so many reasons to show leadership but it`s really who we are as a country that we are the leader in combating infectious disease that can kill so many people around the world.
HAYES: I`m going to ask you a question about something I know is near and dear to your heart, which is the sport of baseball. You`re a big baseball fan, Cleveland Indians fan. I`m a big Cubs fan. We both were avidly watching that 2016 World Series before Trump was elected.
This year, they`ve got the new rule where they took -- they kept it over from last year, that in the extra-inning, you start with a runner on second base, and all the purists hated it, and I thought I hated it, but I have now come around and I am prepared to say on this show, the heresy that I like the new rule of the runner on second base. Where do you stand, Senator, on the runner on second base?
BROWN: I`m still concerned about the DH, whether the DH is ruining baseball or not. So, while it`s clear the games are too long, I (INAUDIBLE) I thought you were going there which I think is a little peculiar too. I guess I`m fairly indifferent. All I know is I continue to hate the Yankees, and I am not (INAUDIBLE) when the Mets signed Francisco Lindor, the best shortstop in the Major League in the last 20 years that he is not even hitting 200. I guess my heart is in (INAUDIBLE) with that. But fort the New York teams, I`m OK with all that.
HAYES: All right, the last question for real this time. There is a Senate race coming up in your state. Rob Portman, your colleague that you served with for a long time, he is retiring. What do you make of that race that is shaping up and the -- and the political context in your state in advance of that?
BROWN: Well, it`s a race we could win. And we ran with a sharp dignity of work message. You never compromise of marriage equality or choice or opposition to the NRA. You talk about minimal wage and dignity of work and the overtime rule and cutting child poverty. There are five Republicans in the race, I think, if that count is right, and they all remind me of kids on a playground sticking their tongue out at each other saying Donald Trump loves me more than he loves you.
I mean, that`s really what this race has become. It`s just -- it`s just (INAUDIBLE) but it`s just something to watch in Ohio. The standards are already going far right. And the extremism and just getting in line for trump in ways that still is astounding in this country. And I watch it up close in Ohio and it breaks my heart. But it also means its real opportunity for us to win.
Trump carried my state by eight points twice. We can win here, and I think our chances in 2022 are pretty good with the governor`s race and the Senate race.
HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown from the state of Ohio, thank you so much for that. I appreciate having you on. Great to see you. That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.