Sen. Joe Manchin digs in against the Voting Rights Act. GOP Oregon State Representative Mike Nearman is caught explaining how to breach Oregon Capitol. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is interviewed about lawmakers blocking federal election legislation and the state of our democracy. Today, the Senate released a new report finding that Capitol Police leadership did not act on warnings that Trump supporters are trying to breach the Capitol. Fox News Channel refuses to air about the January 6 attack. ProPublica reports that ordinary Americans pay more taxes than the richest people in the country.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, gentlemen, please keep us up to date when you meet with the next of the recalcitrant senators because I think they`re about 10 of them. Reverend Al Sharpton and Derrick Johnson, thank you both very much.
That is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN. The slow-motion insurrection continues as the people who can stop it throw up their hands.
Tonight, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the lawmakers blocking federal election legislation, the state of our democracy, and much more.
Then, the gaping holes of what we don`t know after today`s Senate report on January 6 and the new calls for a new investigation.
Plus, Brian Stelter on how Trump TV has memory hold the insurrection for half the country. And as the richest man on earth prepares to leave it, bombshell reporting from ProPublica that Jeff Bezos and many of America`s wealthiest billionaires pay little or no taxes at all. When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You know, there`s a big divide among the people in this country who are, I don`t know, trying to preserve American democracy. And the other people were like, you know what, you`re being a little hysterical. It`s going to be fine. It has always been fine, more or less. It will work out.
Well, today, those two groups got together for a virtual meeting, representatives of the two sides of the broad pro-democracy majority in this country, right. Everyone in this story wants to preserve American democracy. On one side, you got Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia who of course recently announced with some significant fanfare, that he will not vote for that huge bill to regulate elections and campaign finance and combat voter suppression. That`s called H.R.1, the For the People Act, the S.1 on the Senate. And he also won`t move to reform or end the filibuster.
And opposite the virtual table from Senator Manchin at that meeting was a group of civil rights leaders arguing for the voting rights bill, as they feel American democracy is existentially threatened at this moment. Manchin call the meeting constructive, but said it did not change his mind. And he represents one way of viewing what is happening in this country right now.
You know, the idea that look, think of back and forth, one side wins, the other sides of the minority, then things switch. In the end, the system works, things hold. Sen. Manchin`s view, I think it`s fairly widely shared even by Democrats in positions of power, even the ones who do support the voting rights bill, right? They want the voting rights bill, but they don`t think like, we`re up against the wall or facing some existential crisis.
You know, perfect articulation of this view came from a Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, right? Appointed by Bill Clinton decades ago, speaking with Jeffrey Rosen at the National Constitution Center last month.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you optimistic or pessimistic that the system will keep working and what can we do to make it work?
STEPHEN BREYER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don`t I don`t know. I am basically optimistic. And I don`t know how much that`s justified. Because I think -- that`s what Senator Kennedy used to say. He said, the country swings, you know, it swings, and sometimes to extremes in one way or sometimes two extremes the other way, but it sort of writes itself eventually. When enough people in the country say, look, what I really want is what we learned in the fifth grade that people work together, they`ll get it.
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HAYES: People work together, fifth grade, fifth-grade civics, right, how a bill becomes a law. Look, and I think the Justice holds that view honestly. I think he`s not doing that -- that`s not a political performance. He doesn`t have to get reelected. That`s what he believes. And a lot of Democrats share that view, I think.
It`s not the majority view in the Democratic coalition, but a lot of leaders at pretty crucial pressure points just fundamentally believe that the answer to our problems are sort of bipartisanship and comedy and willingness system to work through frank exchanges of views and it will work out. So, really, don`t freak out. You`re being ridiculous.
That was also a message of New York Times columnist Ross Douthat today writing, "The progressive attitude risk becoming a council of despair. For all Donald Trump`s post-election madness, he never came close to getting the institutional support from the courts or Republican governors or for that matter, Mitch McConnell, that he would have needed to even begin a process that it could have overturned the election result. January 6 was a travesty and tragedy, but it`s deadly futility illustrated Trumpian weakness more than illiberal strength." Again, basically, calm down, guys, it`s not so bad.
Now, of course, progressives have been accused of being ridiculous and hysterical since Donald Trump first came down the golden escalator in Trump Tower. And I just want to say, I`m biased, I`ll admit it, but as an objective factual historical matter, I think that this is going to be terrible people ended up with a better record than "the this will be fine people."
Donald Trump`s presidency culminated perhaps you recall in literally the dead Last year in American history, hundreds and thousands of our fellow Americans dead. That was followed by an attempted insurrection cultivated by the sitting president, the first time that`s really ever happened, and then the first-ever second impeachment of a president. So, the "this is going to be terrible people" were not really off the mark were they?
Now, you can probably tell which camp I`m in, considering I`ve been sounding the alarm on the show every night. I will tell you this, too. I hope I`m wrong. Lord, I would love to be wrong. I honestly mean that I might be -- I don`t know, no one can see the future. I would love it to be the case at all this concern about our basic democratic structures, right, the future of our country, how we go about the collective project of self- governance, that it`s all hyperbolic. It`s even paranoid that American democracy is strong enough to withstand the assault that I see him asking against it.
And if you`re going to make the case, I think as Douthat did, you can say yes, look, there`s obviously an increasingly radicalizing militant anti- democratic faction in the Republican Party. Yes, they are taking over local county parties, are conducting a ridiculous audit in Arizona, attempting to take power away from elected officials they do not trust. But you know, in the end, when it came down to it after the 2020 election, enough of the, you know, establishment officials held strong against basically the hordes at the door.
But again, I`m haunted by the question, what happens if they don`t? What happens if enough of those politicians, enough of the, "establishment figures," enough of the people who are supposed to guarantee the rule of law and peaceful transfer of power are collaborators with those forces that seek to undo it all?
It`s actually already started to happen, right? I mean, you got Republican Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama, right, recently served with the lawsuit over his role in allegedly inciting violence on January 6 when he spoke at that rally that took place ahead of the riot. You got Georgia Congressman Margaret Taylor Greene who has been running around claiming Donald Trump is still the president, Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona who spoke at a white nationalist conference earlier this year. I mean, these are, you know, members of Republican Party in good standing collaborating with those who want to bring down our democracy, at least in its current form.
Here`s a little literal example of the danger of letting those people. This story is flown a bit under the radar. But listen to this. Late last year, you may or may not know this, a mob showed up at the Oregon Capitol Building protesting Coronavirus restrictions in the state. Now, this is something we saw in state after state, right? In some ways, it kind of pre staged what happened at the National Capitol. And this mob managed to get inside the building, some of them carrying guns and bear spray, calling for the arrest of Governor Kate Brown. Again, this all sounds familiar, right? This is what was rehearsed in the lead-up to January 6.
Now, a few weeks later, this surveillance video which was released to the public, showing how the mob was able to breach the building which was closed at the time due to the virus. You see someone in that lower and lower left-hand corner there, OK, there`s a guy who walks out of the building. He opens two doors and let`s in the group that`s waiting just outside. Here I go. There`s some people in there. I`m just going to walk past them and now they`re inside.
Now, several officers quickly arrive pushing the intruders back out. But within a few minutes, the crowd grows. It`s eventually able to push back and it overcomes the officers with what looks like chemical irritant sprays. Again, if all this is sounding familiar, that`s because this is a lot of what happened in January 6, right?
So, the man who let them in that door in the first place, who is that? Republican State Representative Mike Nearman. And that`s in there. And when this video first came out, the question was whether like he knew what he was doing when you open that door or was it just a weird coincidence, he needed some fresh air and that he wanted to exit at exactly the moment that they`re waiting to come in that door.
At the time, Representative Nearman claimed the release of the video was political. He said his lawyer did not want him to comment on his actions that day. Well, guess what? New video has emerged of Mike Nearman just a few days before that mob breached the Oregon State Capitol, showing him explaining how he would let protesters into the building.
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MIKE NEARMAN, REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE, OREGON: They were talking about setting up operation pull palace which I don`t know anything about. And if you accuse me of doing something about it, I`ll deny it. But there would be some person`s cell phone which might be 97 (BLEEP). That`s just random numbers that I screwed up. That`s not anybody`s actual cell phone. And if you say I`m at the west entrance during the session and text that number there that somebody might exit that door while you`re standing there. I don`t know anything about that. I don`t have anything to do with that. And if I did, I wouldn`t say that I did.
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HAYES: I think he`s being very clever there, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, giving his cell phone number, maintaining plausible deniability. We see you, Representative Nearman. This video is part of the district attorney`s investigation to what happened. Representative Nearman is now facing expulsion from the Oregon House of Representatives which boy, at the least you think.
We reached out to his lawyer for comment. He said he did not have one. Now, this is the danger, right? There it is on the screen, those of us who are on the alarmist or I should say alarm side of this. We can see forming before our eyes day by day the process by which there will be more and more Mike Nearmans, more and more Republicans in positions of power holding the door open for the mob.
For more on the state of American democracy at this perilous moment, I`m joined now by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, who serves on the House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Congresswoman, it`s great to have you on the program.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Thanks for having me.
HAYES: I wanted to start maybe with -- thank you so much. I want to start with this sort of division here and just ask you to react to it if it seems to you accurate. I mean, I spend a lot of my time talking to members of Congress and staffers. And it does seem like most of the Democratic majority is pretty freaked out about this stuff, and really thinks that there`s a very important urgency here to defend American democracy. And then some folks think, in the end, it`s going to work out. Is that track with your experience of the conversations that are happening on the Hill?
CORTEZ: I think so. I think that those of us and those Democrats who really acknowledge the existential threat and the assault on the right to vote -- and really, when I say recognize it, I mean, they`re putting the pieces together between what the Republican Party is doing on the state level, and the assaults on the right to vote in Georgia, Texas, Arizona, really across the state around -- and across the country, and how that is being pieced together federally with this idea that we cannot pass legislation to protect the right to vote because those who are attacking it, won`t vote to protect it.
And I think that there`s -- so, there`s an enormous amount of alarm for those of us here who believe that our country is still in a very vulnerable place post-Donald Trump, that we are just hanging on a thread of democracy. And it`s our responsibility right now with utmost urgency to really strengthen a lot of our democratic institutions that were taken very much to the brink during the Trump administration which culminated in January 6.
And those who -- you know, I think there`s just some folks that have unwavering faith in American institutions that really don`t have a lot of evidence for why our institutions would not be vulnerable. We saw what happened on January 6. And I think it`s really important for folks to connect this to January 6. Because the reason those people storm that capital was because of the lawsuits was because of all of this doubt that was sown. It was because of the election challenges. It was because voter suppression made a lot of races closer than they should have been.
And I think that, you know, your assessment is correct, that there`s a majority, I think, are quite concerned, but I think that there are some members that, you know, represent communities that have never really had their right to vote attacked in a way. They don`t represent communities for which this is a very real threat. And so, I think they don`t think it is as real as it very much is.
HAYES: Who -- are you talking about Joe -- is that a Joe Manchin-like reference there? Are we talking about anything in particular?
CORTEZ: I think Joe Manchin is absolutely one of them. I mean, Joe Manchin represents a state that is not very diverse. Joe Manchin does not represent a very large population of Black voters whose right to vote is constantly under attack. And so, I can`t help but wonder aloud. You know, I see this as well in the House of Representatives how there usually is hesitancy or it`s a little bit more of a debate when a member has to take out a risky vote on a community that they don`t represent.
And so, that representation and that point isn`t as internalized. I think that people think that, you know, for whom their right to vote hasn`t been under attack, that this is something that is overblown, when it very much is not.
HAYES: I mean, just to play devil`s advocate here for a moment, because I think it`s sort of worth talking about. I mean, you know, one of the things that`s interesting and strange here, right, is the incentives would seem to be aligned for all Democratic politicians, right?
So, if you`re Joe Manchin and you`re defying gravity, and he sure as heck is, right? That`s a state that went for Donald Trump by 40 points. You know, you`ve got to get a lot of black folks in West Virginia, and there are some, to come out and vote for you. You want to make sure that your voters can get to the polls. You want to make -- like, that`s in your interest. He`s not -- you know, he`s winning by five points.
So, it`s -- it seems to me there should be this sort of just political self-preservation interest here above and beyond even the principle of it, you know, operating at this almost Machiavellian level of like, you guys are politicians, you need your voters to be able to vote.
CORTEZ: Well, you know, I think when you look at West Virginia, West Virginia is not a prime target for Republicans to look at and dismantle and attack the right to vote because it is such a reliably red state. So, attacking the franchise in West Virginia is not as high as a -- as a priority as we see in the state-level laws as it is in Georgia, you know, in Pennsylvania with election challenges, Arizona in the attempt to overturn election results. And so, you know, again, I think that this is still a very critical issue.
But you know, I do think on that note of political preservation, one thing that is not being discussed about, and I do think it should be talked about more, is the fact that H.R.1 is one of the most assertive bills that we have to tackle dark money in politics. And so, there are two very key components in H.R.1 in the for the people act. One is a forceful and very strong provisions and laws to combat outright voter suppression. And these are -- these are proposals and if passed, it would essentially preempt changes to state law. So, it would protect people`s actual right to vote.
But the other aspect of this is that H.R.1 stands up against lobbyists and dark money. And I would reckon to think that this is probably just as much a part of Joe Manchin calculus as anything else. Because when it comes to these bipartisan arguments, I got to tell you, I don`t buy it, because Joe Manchin has voted for bills that have not been bipartisan before. Look at the American rescue plan.
So, this is not just about bipartisanship. This is -- I think, because you look at the Koch Brothers, and you look at, you know, organizations like the Heritage Foundation and conservative lobby groups that are doing a victory lap, claiming victory over the fact that Manchin refuses to change on the filibuster. And I think that these two things are very closely intertwined. And I think that there`s a desire to make this just about protecting the franchise. But protecting our democracy is also about making sure that we give lobbyists and dark money groups which are funding these attacks on the right to vote.
But, you know, corporate money has a very, very tight grip on both parties. And I think that has part -- I think that has to do with the calculus in the situation that people aren`t really discussing enough.
HAYES: Yes, that`s -- it`s a very good point. I mean, bracket for a second my own feeling about like what the Roberts Court would do with the dark money provisions of H.R.1 which that`s a sort of road -- bridge to cross in the future. But it`s striking today -- I want to get your reaction this -- because in some ways, right, McConnell hates that part. Republicans hate, hate, hate the dark money part, hate, hate, hate, right? McConnell is, you know, dark money`s number one champion. His name is on one of the big SCOTUS cases on this.
So, you say OK, well, we call the bluff. Take that outside. Let`s just talk about restoring preclearance in the Voting Rights Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Act which Manchin has come out in favor of. He and Lisa Murkowski wrote a Dear Colleague letter about. No -- none of the money, none of the corporate money stuff, right? Here`s McConnell today about whether that`s a starter for him or not. Take a listen.
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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): There`s no threat to the Voting Rights Law. It`s against the law to discriminate and voting on the basis of race already. And so, I think it`s unnecessary.
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HAYES: So, it`s like, you know, there`s the whack a mole, right? I mean, if the dark money provision is the problem, you want to narrow down to just these provisions like you get McConnell saying, no, he`s not down for voting rights act reinstatement either.
CORTEZ: Yes, absolutely. And the thing is, too, is that not it`s not just about H.R.4 because even if Mitch McConnell said, you know what, I believe in restoration of the Voting Rights Act, let`s pass H.R.4. The problem is that those changes in H.R.4 do not have the preemptive power that the -- that the -- and they do not have the protections that H.R.1 have.
So, you pass H.R.4, sure, you may get those preclearance provisions, but you don`t get the protections and you don`t get the reforms on gerrymandering. You don`t get the changes on automatic voter registration. You don`t get the actual protections of what Republican states are actually attacking Black and Brown and low-income voters with right now from poll stations, etcetera.
And so, even if you do pass just H.R.4 and you don`t do anything on H.R.1, you`re still up a creek without a paddle. And we are in very, very, very deep trouble if we do not reform and take swift action to protect our democracy right now.
HAYES: You`ve been very generous of your time. And I`ll let you go in one second. I got one more question just on -- comments for the Vice President who has been down in Central America. She met with some leaders I think in Guatemala and Mexico. And she had this message for folks that were considering making the journey for asylum that I want to play and get your reaction to. Take a listen.
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KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border. Do not come. Do not come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You tweeted some criticism of that. And I just -- I guess, just to give the sort of defense of it and get your reaction to it, right? I mean, I think the thing that people in the administration would say or others is that look, it really is a very dangerous journey. It can be awful for the people that undertake it. And you want to kind of not create an incentive structure that creates more of traffic in these corridors that can be so dangerous. What`s your -- what`s your problem with her phrasing it that way?
CORTEZ: Well, I think the issue here -- and first of all, you know, I think this is not just about the Vice President, this is about the Biden administration`s immigration policy writ large is not working. It`s wrong and it`s inhumane. It`s rooted -- and he inherited it, but frankly, you know, this was -- this was also a problem not just inherited by Donald Trump, but inherited by Barack Obama, all the way back to the creation of DHS and ICE under George Bush.
But, you know, I think one of the issues here and saying that is that Guatemalans and Central American and South American immigrants know that this journey is dangerous. This is not something that is lost on them. And this is not something that I think we need to inform them of. They take that journey knowing that they may die.
And the reason they or anybody would take a journey, knowing that they may die, is the same reason why a person who is stuck in a burning building may elect to jump out a window, because they know that their conditions back home -- and Guatemala people -- there are femicides that are happening throughout Central America and South America. And there are -- there`s a great deal of political violence, etcetera.
And people leave because they believe that they have a greater chance of being targeted, killed, murdered if they stay than the odds of them being killed if they go on that journey. And so, they know that this journey is dangerous. What we as a country -- what the United States has not done is actually own up to the fact that we have contributed to regime change, destabilization, and interventionist foreign policy that has contributed to these awful conditions throughout Latin America.
And the reason that it`s a problem -- and this is not just U.S. supporting regime change, this is also climate policy that is impacting the global south disproportionately, even though these farmers and these folks in Central and South America contributed to climate change the least in terms of their carbon emissions, they are experiencing the ravages the most right now and first.
And so, U.S. climate policy has contributed to this, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. economic and trade policy has helped contribute to conditions that people are fleeing. And we cannot, as a country, no matter who it is, continue to show up in Latin America and say that this is their fault or that they are to blame, right, because this seems like almost a precursor to say -- in saying that we are going to allege that you are coming to this country illegally when seeking asylum on our border is in fact legal, and use that to predate any violence that we are willing to inflict on immigrants as a deterrent.
And this is policy that happened during the Trump administration. But I want to be clear that this is policy that happened during the Obama administration as well. And the caging of immigrants was very much documented and it was asserted in many ways along with many of the other inhumane policies as a deterrent to say, you know, if we are cruel enough, maybe people will think twice before coming. And this at its core is completely inhumane. I don`t think that it`s something that any -- that United States should ever use as an immigration policy period.
But it`s never something, I believe, I think it`s shameful, that any democratic administration, whether it`s the Obama administration, the Biden administration, any administration, one that we would choose to adopt. You know, I think we have very severe challenges at our border. And one of the reasons that I think people justify this is that they say, well look at how many -- look at the facilities on our border and how they have been crowded. There are projections that these -- that this crowding may be getting worse. But I think that`s because we have chosen a carceral immigration policy.
And when we choose to gratuitously cage people seeking a better life, those cages will always be overrun. Imagine if -- you know, imagine if right here in New York City, in Ellis Island, if people`s grandparents and great grandparents were met with cages, how different would the DNA and our family histories and our trauma be? This is not who we should be as a country.
And while there are challenges, I think that the message that we should be sending to Latin America is that, first of all, we want to -- we should be acknowledging our role because we have been hiding and running away from actually acknowledging the role of U.S. history. So, it`s actually a major step for us to even say what we`ve done.
And then the second thing we can do is say we can come together as partners to try to figure out how we clean up this mess that the United States helped contribute to, because no one wants to leave their home. None of these people want to leave the communities and ancestral lands that they and generations of their families have stayed in.
They`re fleeing because we have contributed to situations that have made them flee. And so, our response should not just be our border policy, it`s how are we going to change our foreign policy so that we`re no longer supporting, frankly, neoliberal economic foreign policy that creates and makes developing countries forever in debt. And how do we make sure that we actually change our foreign climate and economic policies so that we prevent these mass migrations to begin with.
HAYES: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, thanks so much for making time tonight. I appreciate it.
CORTEZ: Of course. Thank you.
HAYES: I want to show you something viewers of Fox News will never see. It`s an ad where police officers, in their own words, describe what happened at the Capitol on January 6 and what came after.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just remember people still swinging metal poles at us. And they were pushing, and shoving, they were spraying us with, you know, bear mace and pepper spray.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were all shouting at us calling us traitors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As an American and as an army veteran, it`s sad to see us attacked by our fellow citizens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meidastouch is responsible for the content of this advertising.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The political action committee behind that ads says they tried to put it on Fox. Fox rejected it even though, according to the ads producers, Fox News has never before refused to air one of their ads without offering suggestions for edits. Fox didn`t give an explanation of their decision. They didn`t have to because if you ever watched Fox, you already know what the entire network is devoted to which is at this moment, whitewashing what happened on January 6. The Republican Party is falling their lead.
Just how the right media is driving the narrative, how we got a bipartisan Senate report on the attack that doesn`t even officially call an insurrection, next.
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AQUILINO GONELL, SERGEANT, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: These right here, see this cars here. These are part of the injuries sustained that day. This right here is part of my injury that day. Both hands, my both -- both of my hands were bleeding that day. One, because people kept punching me, because I`m using the wall against -- to get all the strength I could to push against the crowd. My is shoulders still messed up because people were pulling in my shield. They were pulling me to the crowd. I fell on the floor several times. And they were still trying to grab me just like they did with Fanone and the other officer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, the drama about Senate Republicans refusing to allow a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection by filibustering it, you know, the actual human impact of the attack can recede a bit into the background. It`s sort of natural. But U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, who we just heard from, describing his injuries, has been on the force since 2008. And he spoke to NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kasie Hunt in his personal capacity, not on behalf of the Capitol Police. He describe the violence and anger he experienced during the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GONELL: One thing that I vividly remember is the crowd saying you`re a traitor. You are choosing a paycheck over the country. You`re not American. You`re an immigrant. We`re going to kill people. Get out of the way. We`re hear for Mike Pence. We hear for Pelosi. They continue to say we are here because our president, President Trump sent us here and we will listen to nobody else but him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`re here for Mike Pence, we`re here for Pelosi. What do you think they would have done if they found them? We continue to get harrowing accounts of the attack on the Capitol like that of Sergeant Gonell`s. Today the Senate released a new report finding that Capitol Police leadership did not act on warnings that Trump supporters are trying to breach the Capitol, leading one officer to tell Senate investigators "We were ill-prepared. We were not informed with intelligence. We were betrayed."
There`s also a lot that report does not cover, as Washington Post Greg Sargent points out. "It does not officially describe the attacker is insurrection, instead opting for the word attack and avoids a frank discussion of the role played by one Donald J. Trump.
Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan is the chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. One of the committees that have published that report, and he joins me now. Senator, what was the scope of this report? What was the sort of task before your committees?
SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI): The scope is -- was limited. Right from the start, it was bipartisan look at what exactly happened on January 6 in terms of security failures, and why did those failures occur, and what sort of changes need to occur to make sure that that ever happens again, and that the Capitol is secure and the men and women who work in the Capitol are secure, and that our democracy is secure to prevent an attack on the Capitol Building.
But it was focused on just those days events. We looked at intelligence and saw obviously failures in intelligence, also saw failures from the leadership of the Capitol Police. Although, I want to be clear, and certainly your opening, showed it vividly that the men and women, the frontline men and women who were there defending the Capitol were heroes, but they were let down by their leadership.
It was clear in our investigation that there wasn`t a plan. In fact, during the attack, you`ll have officers that were on the radio saying, where`s the plan? Who has a plan? It put them in a horrible position. And also, problems with getting the National Guard here and the fact that there needed to be a more effective plan up front.
So, we were focused on that. We wanted to get a plan or a report out that has specific recommendations that could be acted on very quickly. There are 20 recommendations in this report. And we hope to get those in place as quickly as possible.
HAYES: Just to follow up. What is -- I mean, I`ve read the executive summary of the report. What is the -- what is the answer to the question why was there no plan?
PETERS: There is not -- there is not a good answer for that -- to why there wasn`t a plan. It was actually kind of -- kind of striking. One of the questions that we asked of the leadership of the Capitol Police was where the officers deployed at the beginning? Where were they on the Capitol grounds? They couldn`t give us that information. It was clear they didn`t have that kind of plan.
There are were intelligence failures, and it`s something my committee will continue to work on, is to find out why the Intelligence Community did not put out the kinds of warnings that would normally go out to local law enforcement even though the plan was basically being done in the open. You can see social media, you can see news reports of what was being said by folks that were going to come to the Capitol, they were going to engage in violence.
The response we got was they weren`t sure if it was credible violent threats, or was it first amendment speech, which is really hard for me to wrap my head around. It was clear this was violent, and why were these agencies not looking at these comments credibly. We are still trying to get information from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. We`re going to continue to aggressively pursue that to find out what did they know, when do they know it, and who did they actually inform. But it clearly was not getting to the police in terms of getting them into action to put together a plan.
There was an FBI statement that came out the day before that said folks are coming and they`re saying they`re prepared for war. And yet it never got to the actual folks on the front line, on the rank and file officers to know exactly what was coming at them. And so, you had a situation which is in our report is that you had folks, and your video show it, we had officers that were basically just in their regular uniforms. They weren`t wearing riot gear. There was inadequate supply of the shields and the helmets.
And quite frankly, even the training, most of these officers hadn`t been trained since they were in the academy. That makes no sense when you`re doing -- when you are defending a Capitol that has protest, mass protest and is subjected to civil disturbance like we saw at an unprecedented level on January 6.
HAYES: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said today, and I`m going to play this for you basically. You know, this is an example of why we don`t need a January 6 Commission. I want to get your response. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Today`s report is one of the many reasons I`m confident in the ability of existing investigations to uncover all actionable facts about the events of January 6.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think of that?
PETERS: Well, this report in no way whatsoever, and it was never intended to be a complete commission report that looked at all aspects of this attack, including what led to it, what motivated folks to come to the Capitol. And, you know, we know from open sources, we have the former President Trump talking about how it`s going to be wild and how he put out his false accusations about the election.
Those are all false statements to stop the steal. It was clear he was sending folks there to try to stop the counting of the votes which in my mind is an insurrection is what he was fostering. But we were focused just on the actual security breaches that occurred on that day. It was meant to be limited in scope. We need to do a whole lot more. We have to ask a whole lot more questions and we have to get a whole lot more answers.
That`s why I`m so disappointed we don`t have the commission. But certainly, other committees need to start picking this up as well. If we look back at 9/11, before the commission went forward, there are actually a large number of investigations done by a variety of committees in the Congress. I certainly hope we can continue to have those investigations. We can`t be done.
As I mentioned at the top of this interview, my committee as chair of Homeland Security, we are looking into the rise of violent extremist groups, domestic terrorism, which is a significant -- in fact, the most -- the most worrisome threat, terrorist threat to our homeland is domestic, it`s not foreign. And we certainly saw elements of that on January 6. And we have to treat this threat with the seriousness that it deserves. We are not giving up when it comes to continuing to look at what is behind this rise of domestic terrorism that we`ve seen recently.
HAYES: Senator Gary Peters, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, thank you so much for your time tonight, sir.
PETERS: Great to be with you. Of course, if you`re a regular viewer of this network, you`ve heard and seen the footage like we were just showing as B roll, the violent insurrection perpetrated by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol. But if you`re a Fox News viewer, you`ve been told essentially the opposite. You probably have not heard that much about it at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: We don`t need no stinking commission to tell us what happened on January 6. At least no one with a brain does. We already know what happened first. There was an election that some believed was tainted by fraud.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: It`s when a bunch of middle-aged people deep in credit card debt, white supremacists teamed up with a guy dressed like Chewbacca to overthrow our democracy.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Any proceeding would be used as yet another smear campaign against Donald Trump, all Republicans, and Trump supporters everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Brian Stelter is the anchor of CNN`s Reliable Sources. His book Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth is out in paperback today. In it, he chronicles the reason Fox News becomes radicalized, which was really a desperate ratings decision. Fox news media CEO Suzanne Scott and the management team tried to find a way to lure the Fox audience back home. They did it by giving the viewers what they wanted, false hope. On Fox, Trump was treated as a political genius, not a lame duck who failed to win reelection. And Brian Stelter joins me now.
Brian, this came out obviously before these events, and then you did some rewriting for the paperback. And there was this really fascinating moment after the election where really for the first time in its entire time on cable news that Fox had real competition from sort of upstart right-wing networks that were eating into their audience. We were seeing the numbers every night in ways we hadn`t before. What did that do? What -- how did that play out in Fox? And what did it do to them and how they thought about what they were putting on air?
BRIAN STELTER, ANCHOR, CNN: It terrified Fox producers and anchors and hosts like they`ve never been scared before. Because as you said, Chris, Fox had a monopoly on right-wing TV. And all that changed after November 3. Newsmax and One American News cut into the base audience and Fox desperately lured them back by running to the right.
It happens step by step, day by day. It was kind of hard to notice if you are only watching minute by minute. But when I step back for Hoax, it is clear every move Fox has made in the last six months is about getting rid of the news and adding more opinion about the news. And the result is, it has worked. They have scared away Newsmax. They have rebounded in the ratings because they have radicalized.
HAYES: And especially particularly, it seems to me, on these big questions, right, on the on the kind of big lie and the -- and then the insurrection that in the wake of the -- my understanding and some of your reporting indicates this -- that the view from certain parts, at least at the top of Fox, was like Joe Biden won this election and we should tell our viewers that. And that was what created the opening for Newsmax and One American News because people didn`t want to hear that.
STELTER: Yes, they created an incredible amount of tension within Fox because viewers had an option. They had an option to go to Newsmax where Biden was not President-elect, where Trump might still be a winner.
STELTER: And of course, I think, a lot of that contributes to the environment that we then deal with on January 6. I think Hoax is the first book that grapples with the riot in the aftermath because if you didn`t have these months of commentary, if you didn`t have these months of lies on Fox and Newsmax, you do not get to the steps of the Capitol. It just can`t happen without this radicalizing effect of right-wing TV.
HAYES: Well, it also brings up this more profound point, right? Because it`s like, who is -- who is giving the orders and who`s receiving them? Who is following whom, which has been in motion throughout. So, one of the dynamics of the Trump presidency was that it was -- you know, we were talking about state-controlled media, right? It was more like a media- controlled state.
STELTER: I agree.
HAYES: I mean, Donald Trump would watch Fox, and then he would -- that would tell him -- like, they were sort of running the show. He was kind of responding to it. And then you have this situation which Fox tries to set the agenda and they find they can`t do it, that everyone has chasing the same base. Everyone thinks they`re following.
STELTER: That`s why so many sources of Fox started to leak to me in the Trump years, because they were disturbed by what you`re describing. They were disturbed by the fact that they were setting the agenda for the president. A White House aide, a Trump White House aide said to me, Trump suffered from Fox News brain. He was in a cave of his own making.
That is scary. But what`s scarier is that millions of viewers are there as well. And that is appreciably different from the Bush or the Obama years.
HAYES: You say this in the in the book that practically ever changed. And you`re talking about these changes that were made in this period of sort of frenetic fear caused by these competitors was about having less news in the air, more opinions about the news. It was like serving dessert without dinner, when the dessert consists of screaming about how awful the dinner was, warning the meal might be a socialist plot, and hey, while we`re at it, why are chefs so corrupt?
I mean, I`ve always found the news part a little hard to swallow. But you make the argument that like there was an actual news division that actually has been essentially pushed back and forced to retreat.
STELTER: There are real journalists at Fox. But there are fewer and fewer of them, they have fewer and fewer airtime, and they feel more and more pressure to tow the right-wing line. That`s a story 20 years in the making, and it just moves along the same path. You know, if you`re a reporter at Fox, you know the three-step approach that I outlined in Hoax, the three- step approach to whitewashing bad news about the GOP. You ignore it if you can, or you excuse it if you can`t, or you conspiracize it.
That`s what we`re seeing with the riot now. They ignore all the news every day about the fallout from the Capitol attack. And when they can`t ignore it, they come up with conspiracy theories about it. It is sickening. And frankly, Chris, it is the fault of the Murdochs. This is about Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. They allow it to happen by not showing leadership at the network.
HAYES: Rupert Murdoch, arguably the single most influential figure in the Anglophone world across three separate continents. Brian Stelter, thank you very much.
STELTER: You said it.
HAYES: It`s called Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth. It is out in paperback today. Thanks so much.
Still ahead, an unprecedented look into how the wealthiest people in this country managed to pay so very little. And I mean, like, really little income tax, especially compared to basically everyone else. That`s next.
HAYES: It has finally come to this, the richest person on the planet wants to leave it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER, AMAZON: If you see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It`s one Earth. I want to go on this flight because it`s the thing I`ve wanted to do all my life. It`s an adventure. It`s a big deal for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, announced yesterday he would be heading to space on July 20th as part of the first crew aboard a rocket ship produced by Bezos` space exploration company Blue Origin. He`ll be one of six people on the flight including one auction winner and his brother.
Right now, the current high bid for ticket is nearly $4 million. Bezos steps down as CEO of Amazon on July 5th. About two weeks after that, he lifts off from West Texas. The whole flight to space will last just over 10 minutes. Bezos is the richest man in the world. He has so much money that he now funds side hustles like this space exploration project, or things like building a massive $42 million 10,000-year clock on the side of the mountain. Or my personal favorite which is that Bezos recently commissioned a new superyacht which is going to be 417 feet long, cost more than half a billion dollars just to build. We don`t know exactly what it look like. These are images of other superyachts, but it`ll probably be even bigger.
We do know that it comes with its own support yacht for helicopters land on and then take it to the bigger yacht. According to Bloomberg, operating costs for the yacht will average about $60 million a year which is essentially nothing like barely pocket change for Jeff Bezos who`s estimated to be worth $186 billion.
Here`s the thing. Rich people are going to continue to do rich people things even amid, you know struggling global economy in the wake of COVID. Go to space, build massive clocks in mountains, and ridiculous yachts and then helicopter yachts to take them to them. They`re also going to avoid paying federal income taxes.
According to this astonishing, truly astonishing new report from ProPublica, Jeff Bezos and a bunch of other billionaires did just that. Now, a couple things. This report is yet to be confirmed by NBC News. It`s based on tax data that was obtained by ProPublica. It does not allege anything illegal. But get this. The scandal is what`s legal. Between 2006 and 2018, Jeff Bezos is well shut up by over $120 billion, only paid a minuscule proportion in taxes. Meanwhile, typical Americans at his age, paid more in taxes than they saw in wealth growth over that period.
That is to say for every $100 of wealth growth over that period, a typical American paid $160 in taxes. Bezos paid only $1.09. ProPublica reached out to Jeff Bezos but he declined their request for comment. I`m joined now by one of the reporters behind this incredible scoop, Jesse Eisinger. He`s senior reporter and editor for the ProPublica. He`s been on this beat for years.
All right, we got to start first with what this set of data is, Jesse. Like, what are we talking about here? Did you get the actual tax data of actual Americans?
JESSE EISINGER, SENIOR REPORTER AND EDITOR, PROPUBLICA: Yes. It`s an unprecedented trove. We did wonder if Bezos was going to go into exile off the planet as we`re working on the story. But I`m not sure we contributed to that. But we have data on thousands of the wealthiest Americans covering more than 15 years. We don`t just have tax return data, but tax information data. So, lots of the schedules that filter into the tax return on things like stock trades and partnerships and counterparties, gambling winnings, and we have a lot of data on audit. So, we -- and it covers more than 15 years, as I say. So it`s a vast trove.
HAYES: You can`t talk sources and methods, obviously. And I`m not going to linger on this. I`m just going to say that like, there`s some part of me that`s a little hinky about people`s private tax data and ending up in in, you know, in the newspaper.
EISINGER: Well, we`re being very careful stewards of this information. And we`re not WikiLeaks. We`re not publishing it all in its entirety. We`re combing through the data for stories that we believe are in the public interest.
The first most important thing about the data are, are they verified, are they true. And they are true. We have verified them substantially with more than 50 people and the people that we wrote about today. And also, then, we want to figure out whether it`s newsworthy. And we think it is in the public interest so the public understand how the wealthy avoid tax.
HAYES: Yes. OK. It`s newsworthy as hell. OK. Here`s the chart, the tax rate for the richest people in the country. This is not speculation. This is like you got the -- we know, Warren Buffett 0.1 percent. Jeff Bezos, 0.98 percent. Michael Bloomberg, 1.3 percent. Elon Musk 3.7 percent. I mean, this is astonishing. There are nurses and teachers and pipe fitters and secretaries and home health care workers paying way, way, way more than that. That number -- those numbers are mind-blowing.
EISINGER: Yes. Well, thank you. And we thought so too. That`s why we`re publishing them. And so, what you have to understand about that is that`s compared to their wealth growth. Now, we are all in the income tax system. We get paid salaries. Most of us get paid salaries. Taxes get taken out of it. If you make a typical salary in the United States, 60, $70,000, about 14 percent gets taken out.
For the top 25 wealthiest Americans in 2014 to 2018, compared to their wealth growth, which is not income by the tax system, but it is income for them, it is the way that they have means and the means grow, and it gives them wherewithal to do the things that they do, like build yachts and donate to charity and donate to political campaigns. This is their comparing their taxes to that data. So, that`s 10 cents for every $100 that Buffett increases in wealth and 98 cents in the last five years and $1.09 from 2006 to 2018 for every 100 years that Bezos wealth went up.
HAYES: Right. So, and the argument, right, on the way the tax system works is that look, these are unrealized gains. You know, I bought us stock for $20.00 a share. It went up to $200.00 a share. I haven`t sold it yet. It doesn`t count as income anywhere because I haven`t sold it, it just increased.
But, you know, the point you guys make in your reporting is these folks don`t have like, income in the traditional sense. They`re basically able to move money through different channels and then into what they need to buy their yachts or shuttles in ways that essentially just keep the wealth off of the ledger that shows up as income, so they don`t pay any income taxes.
EISINGER: Yeah, so Jeff Bezos gets a middle-class salary of about $80,000. Sometimes these CEOs get $1.00 salaries, which are kind of like ostentatious displays of supposed sacrifice. But really salaries, especially at the high level are taxed at the highest marginal rates. So, it`s not much of a sacrifice. So, what we`re -- the point we`re trying to make is that these guys are outside of the system entirely.
When you have wealth growth, you are not in the American tax system, because the American tax system, as you know, as everyone knows, taxes income in the very traditional sense. This is wealth growth, and what they do is they borrow against their wealth growth.
So, the question is, OK, they`ve got wealth growth, they`ve got unrealized gains, but how do they live? How do they buy the stuff that they want to buy? They borrow against it? Elon Musk has pledged 92 million shares to get money. Larry Ellison has had a $10 billion credit line. Carl Icahn, we`ve discovered, borrows billions of dollars. And they borrow against it, and they don`t have to actually realize their gains. And sometimes, they actually can take the interest that they`re spending on the borrowing and deduct it from their income.
HAYES: We didn`t get to this. The time is up. Jeff Bezos, one of the things in there, in 2011, he got a $4,000 tax credit for his children because his income is so low. Everyone, check out this article. I`d love to talk to you more if more reporting comes out of this. Jesse Eisinger, great reporting. Thank you so much.
EISINGER: Thank you. We`re going to be reporting all year on this. So, send tips about it.
HAYES: All right. That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.