CPAC celebrates conspiracy theories and applauds President Joe Biden`s missed goal on vaccination. "Wall Street Journal" reporter Michael Bender wrote a new book in which he describes the darkest days of the Trump presidency. Former President Trump was on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo and said lies about the January 6. Michael Fanone is interviewed on talking about his experience on January 6 and his fight to find justice. Tonight, Texas Democrats landed in Washington D.C. to push for federal voter protections on the eve of President Biden`s major address on voting rights tomorrow.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Maybe this whole era is absolute worst, and that is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOSt (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.
HAYES: The inside story of what Donald Trump was willing to do to maintain power. Tonight, Michael C. Bender on his new book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election.
Then, he was on the frontlines during the attack on the Capitol. Now he`s fighting for answers about the insurrection. My exclusive interview with D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone.
Plus, Texas Democrats do it again, escaping Austin to stop new voter restriction laws again. One of those democrats joins me live.
And two decades later, how Joe Biden became the president who will end America`s longest war when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. I want to begin tonight by showing you a moment from this week`s CPAC conference that says a lot about where we are as a country, and the ongoing danger of the current conservative movement. Now, I`m going to confess and you might be thinking the same thing. I was on the impression there was already a CPAC this year. Apparently, Republicans really wanted to have another one. You know, COVID happened and then everyone`s in the conference mood.
So, this weekend, there was a second 2021 CPAC, short for a Conservative Political Action Conference. This one in Dallas featuring the usual suspects, Republican politicians with aspirations for higher office and disgraced ex-President Donald Trump.
It was all about what you would expect, I would say, politicians posing falsehoods like the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. There`s just one moment though in particular that honestly almost made my heart stop when I saw it. It`s this moment that speaks to something very, very dark, a darkness at the core of this political movement right now.
Now the person speaking was Alex Berenson. You may have heard his name. He`s a former New York Times reporter. He`s become a Fox News celebrity for pandemic truth tourism from the very beginning, including his doubts that masks work, or that America could ever see half a million people die from COVID. No way.
He was dubbed by the Atlantic the Pandemics Wrongest Man, which is stiff competition, but he has earned it. And he was of course an honored guest at CPAC this weekend where he earned applause from the crowd when he highlighted the fact that Biden administration came up short of its own vaccination goals.
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ALEX BERENSON, FORMER NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: Clearly, they were hoping, the government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated and it -- and it isn`t happening, right? There`s a -- younger people are well aware of what the risks really are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is someone who is against mass and against lockdowns and like all of the other people in that part of the ideological sphere, ends up being objectively pro-COVID. But the crowd is cheering for the idea that people are not getting vaccinated. Even though some of the people who do not will almost certainly get sick or spread the virus to people around them. There will be some countable number of deaths that flow from this.
To the extent you can get your arms around what the ideological courier is, it just feels like a movement that is embracing kind of dark mayhem and destruction and death, that the worst things get the better. In fact, in one of those bizarre, self-aware moments, kind of, Trump made a joke about that himself this weekend, and got cheers after criticizing former Attorney General bill Barr for caving to the Democrats who are threatening to impeach him, acknowledging his own continued decline.
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TRUMP: We want to impeach him. We`re going to impeach Bill Barr. We`re going to impeach him. He became different. I understand that. I didn`t become different. I got impeached twice. I became worse. I became worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, it`s a sort of a funny comedic line darkly, I became worse. You did get worse. Things did get worse in the last part of his presidency. For the last month or so, there`s been one crazy report after another about just how bad it got during the final year in office all stemming from a brand new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender is going to join me in just a minute. Like, how Trump would laugh at Rudy Giuliani, one of his most vocal supporters, and telling him you "sucked." The time on a visit to Europe when he told Chief of Staff John Kelly "Hitler did a lot of good things, prompting Kelly to say you by no means have got to hand it to him.
In his book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, Bender describes the scene following George Floyd`s murder when Trump said, I`ve done all this stuff to the Blacks. It`s always Jared telling me to do it. And they all effing hate me and none of them are going to vote for me.
The E version of the book, Bender describes the time that Trump told his team he wanted the military to, "beat the eff out of the Civil Rights protesters. Just shoot them, Trump said, on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office. Bender also writes about Trump boiling over after it was leaked that he hid in a bunker during protests outside the White House. Whoever did that they should be charged with treason, he yelled. They should be executed.
OK, well, it`s not surprising, but it`s shocking as much of this stuff is. Again, what if people said yes. That`s the question we keep asking. Keep trying to open doors, and then eventually you get to open one you go through. That`s the game plan here. And they`re still trying to open the doors. There`s a sense that even though Donald Trump was this obviously ridiculous, terrible, cruel, and incompetent figure that he was channeling some kind of new ideological formation within the American right.
You`ve heard this before, a more populist wing that broke with the Paul Ryan Chamber of Commerce Republicanism representative and by Mike Pence. And there really truly was something to this. I mean, it is true, I think, with Bannon sort of steering that on trade, foreign wars, monopoly, capitalism, big tech, there are these populist impulses that bubbled up from the base that Trump cultivated.
And those issues probably played some role in some of the victories Republicans have seen among the mega base. But take a second to step back and think we look at where we are, the Shere Khan of it all. A Democratic president, Joe Biden, of all people, within his first few months, is actually getting us out of Afghanistan, because he actually decided to take the job seriously and not just tweet nasty things at the so-called deep state. The same new Democratic administration is actually starting to take on big tech with an FTC Commissioner that big tech absolutely loathes, is terrified of.
Members of Congress, Democrats, again, proposing anti-monopoly legislation that can move forward. Some of the key features of the agenda that was supposedly the hardest, some kind of new republicanism that was Trumpism are actually being implemented, pursued by Democrats in this democratic administration in front of our eyes, while at CPAC, they are cheering missed vaccination goals. And passing around laminated cards about how they will get Donald Trump installed as Speaker of the House in order to have him restored to the presidency. Which is to say, whatever ideological tendencies there are that swirl around Trump at the center of this movement right now, a vortex of cruelty and nihilistic thrill of destruction is at the center of it. And boy, is it on full display right now.
Michael Bender is the senior White House reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He`s also the author of Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, which will be available everywhere tomorrow. Michael, welcome to the show. You know, one of the things that struck me as I was going through the book was the darkness of a lot of it, that there are times in which the President of the United States is saying things that if taken seriously by the people around him, would lead to some like breaking point in American democracy. And basically, luckily, enough people ignored it.
MICHAEL BENDER, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, I mean, I think that`s what this book shows. One of the things this book shows is how close we got to that point repeatedly. And we know well, the story of the chaos of this administration that`s been told, on this network, other networks, by my newspaper and others.
I think what`s different about this book is not the chaos but how dangerous it was inside the West Wing for a lot of the people right around this president. These -- a lot of these people told me for the first time that they feared for the safety of the country and the future of the country because they thought this president was dangerous for the nation.
HAYES: The -- I want to talk about the sort of back and forth that`s documented in several places about the protests last summer and the desire to have troops be deployed and the attempt to essentially strong arm million to okaying that, and then just like to have American troops open fire on protesters as a thing the president told people to do. Like, how did -- what was what were those meetings like and how do we end up dodging that?
BENDER: Well, I think what was happening there was that that was at the President was at a boiling point, that he was -- he was seeing his administration slip away from underneath him. He had planned to spend 2020 running on a message of the economy, end sentence right there. And really at the beginning, the first couple of months, it`s kind of hard to remember now, but that looked like a winning message. He had survived impeachment. He was thriving. He was at this high point in the polls, and the economy was red hot, and then the pandemic hit, and then these protests hit, and then George Floyd was killed, and the protests followed. And he took all of this very personally and was struggling to find a message to respond to all of it.
And he lashed out. His response was to lash out at the people around him and wanting a show of force. He was really falling back to a lot of his law and order message from 2016. And, you know, it fell to the -- to the top general in the world`s most powerful military to stop the president in a lot of these instances.
HAYES: Yes. Tell me more about that. I mean, I get this sort of psychological drive here. But what you document in the in the book is an American president ordering a top general to deploy American troops against U.S. protesters, and to shoot them. Like, that would just straight up be an atrocity and war crime if it were to be undertaken or just a crime, right?
I mean, that doesn`t happen because everyone says, well, the guy is blowing his top and there`s no legal authority. But that is an instruction that is given by the president, according to your reporting, to the top general of the United States.
BENDER: That`s correct. And there are -- there are multiple instances of this in the book. But what comes through, I think, for one of the first times is Mark Milley, General Milley, as really a fascinating character here. And he is a -- he`s an Ivy League-educated who is -- who was rising in the ranks of the military under Obama. But he`s also kind of a Boston sports guy, and could -- knew how to mix it up with Trump.
So, he`s able to work with both administrations. And we see him in multiple scenes in this book walking Trump -- basically talking Trump down, right, explaining -- trying to explain to him that the National Guard is specifically trained as law enforcer -- as quasi law enforcement to handle public protests among other things. And the difference with the military troops that he wanted to send into the major American cities, right, the 81st Airborne, these are 20 to 25-year-old men and women who are trained to kill and take land. You know, it`s an inherently dangerous situation to send those troops into what are mostly peaceful protests.
I think one of the -- one of the most resonating scenes in the book for me is in one of these meetings. And again, it`s Trump in the Oval Office with Milley, a slew of defense officials, White House aides, and Trump is screaming about wanting to crack skulls and shoot the protest -- shoot protesters in the legs. And Milley stops him, points to a portrait of Abraham Lincoln over the president shoulder and said, that guy had an insurrection, Mr. President. What we have is a protest.
HAYES: Do you -- did you come away from the experience of reporting and writing this book, there`s two ways to go through some of what we saw, right? There`s the well, the guard -- he had a car that was careening all over the road, and the guardrails more or less kept it on the road. And the other is like, you know, we got lucky. We kept playing essentially a version of Russian Roulette with American democracy and like it never came up with the wrong chamber. Well, how do you take away your reporting from this book?
BENDER: Well, I think a lot of people in the administration -- you know, I talked to dozens of administration officials, campaign aides, friends of Trump, and they all had versions of how they were -- not all, I`m sorry -- a lot of them had versions of how they were the ones who were truth tellers to Trump. But when you report --
HAYES: Of course. Yes.
BENDER: Right, and -- but it`s all -- and there`s a kernel of truth in there. But it`s hard for people in any administration, before Trump and after Trump, to speak truth to power, right? I mean, to be that close to the most powerful person -- political person in the world, it`s a tough thing to tell that person they`re wrong, right? And they all tried different versions of it. And the problem was, time and again, that they saw themselves as these -- as truth-tellers and -- but what it really ended up being were kind of speed bumps. And they can slow Trump down here and there, but Trump used their answers and heard what he wanted as well.
So, when Mike Pence tells him in the run-up to January 6th that he doesn`t think that he has the legal authority to overturn the election results, but he`ll look at whatever legal analysis the president gives him, the President here`s the second part. And when I talked to the President about that, he told me that Trump never -- Pence never told them no.
HAYES: Yes. Again, the speed bump metaphor, I think, is useful because the car`s still in motion, which is precisely what is -- what is disquieting. Michael Bender who`s book Frankly, We Did Win This Election comes out tomorrow. You can get it wherever books are sold. Thank you so much, Michael.
BENDER: Thank you.
HAYES: Breaking News Tonight out of Texas where Democratic lawmakers have fled the state to stop another run at a voter restriction law. Those local lawmakers are flying from Austin to Washington D.C. We`re going to talk to one of them live tonight.
We`re also going to speak to Washington D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone tonight. Officer Fanone, you might recall, answered the call on January 6th to defend the Capitol from the mob. And in the line of service, he was violently beaten and tased leaving him seriously injured. He`s forced to live with that reality every day even as Republicans try to rewrite the history of the attack.
Tonight my exclusive interview with Michael Fanone about his fight for an investigation into the event that threatened his life and left others dead. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: Day by day before Republicans, right-wing media are attempting to rewrite the history to turn Ashley Babbitt who was fatally tragically shot during the Capitol riot into a martyr. It began just hours after her death and supporters of the former president tweeted out a picture of Babbitt with the phrase, say her name, coopting the language of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, six months later, the effort to make her a martyr is slowly built into something more intense. Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona said me hearing the Babbitt was "Executed." That the officer who shot her appeared to be hiding, lying in wait. Tucker Carlson said the Russian President Vladimir Putin was asking "fair questions about Babbitt`s killing when he suggested her death was an assassination."
Yesterday, Donald Trump was a guest on Fox News hosted by Maria Bartiromo, and the two of them took it to a dark new alternative reality.
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TRUMP: Who shot Ashley Babbitt? Why are they keeping that secret? Who is the person that shot and an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman right in the head and there`s no repercussions. If that were on the other side, it would be the biggest story in this country. Who shot Ashley Babbitt? People want to know and why.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Well, that`s right. And I want to talk about that because Ashley Babbitt, a wonderful woman fatally shot on January 6 as she tried to climb out of a broken window. What can you tell us in terms of who shot actually Babbitt? What do you know, Mr. President.
TRUMP: I will tell you they know who shot Ashley Babbitt. They`re protecting that person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, Babbitt was shot in the shoulder, not the head as Trump lied. And she was climbing in through a broken window, not out of a broken window as Maria Bartiromo claimed. That`s sort of a major distinction, but it is lies like those which attempt to frame Ashley Babbitt as a martyr, and the officer there shot her as a villain, even though investigation by the U.S. Attorney`s Office of D.C. along the Justice Department has cleared the officer of any criminal charges.
Two things are happening here. First, Trump and the right way want this officers name released, not in the interest of transparency, which I think is actually a fair justified request that is for the name to be made public. But the reason they want it to be made public is obviously so they can make this individual`s life hell, which it certainly would or will be.
Second of all, this is one of those very rare cases where there`s really not a lot of mystery about what happened to Ashley Babbitt because we have the entire thing on video. So, just to reset here remember, the closest the violent mob got to setting upon members of Congress to beating them or kidnapping them or killing them, was the moment that Ashley Babbitt got shot.
As the New York Times clearly laid out in their excellent visual investigation of January 6th, Ashley Babbitt was one of the first people to arrive at the door to the Speaker`s lobby right off the House chamber, while a number of House members were still inside. Remember, there she was right there. Rioters starting to beat down the door and you can see just a few police officers standing there without riot gear when they step aside because they`re getting reinforcements, in that brief moment, no one is guarding the doors. And that moment, the rioters start smashing the glass. There`s only one police officer behind that class.
What happens next is graphic. An officer behind the door draws his gun. Then moments later, Babbitt climbs into a broken window and the officer fires a single shot.
Ashley Babbitt in that backpack was the first one to try to climb through those doors, the doors that had been broken by the mob if she had gone through. The chances are high that an entire violent mob that had already injured several police officers, dozens, would have reached members of Congress and what do you think what happened then?
If there`s any doubt about the nature of this crowd what would have happened as they made it through those doors, look at the body cam video of what happened to police officers engaged in literal hand-to-hand combat with the mob.
Officers like D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone who suffered a heart attack after being dragged down the Capitol steps, beaten him (INAUDIBLE) and tasered by the mob. Officer Fanone has since tried to get Republican lawmakers to publicly denounce the lies about the deadly attack to get them to stop trying to rewrite and defend at the events of January 6, because he knows as well as anyone the terrible risk of allowing those lines to stand. And officer Fonone will join me next.
HAYES: More than six months after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, those who were there are still recovering from the horrors of that day, in particular, the police officers who defended the Capitol. As the New York Times points out, the personal trauma of some officers mirrors a broader crisis within the U.S. Capitol Police which is badly damaged, demoralized, and depleted six months after the attack.
We got more and more footage showing just how violent and terrifying the insurrection was, how much violence was directed directly at police officers. Keep in mind, there`s police -- Capitol Police officers who are still going to work there every day. And many of the people they`re protecting are outright sympathetic to the mob that attacked them.
Michael Fanone is not a Capitol Police Officer. He`s a member of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. He`s one of a number of officers were called in as reinforcements when the rioters reached the Capitol. Fanone is still out on medical leave after being brutally attacked that day. He has been spending time on Capitol Hill in a new roll of sorts trying to get Republican members of Congress to stop downplaying and flat out lying about the violent reality of what happened on January 6.
D.C.Metro Police Officer Michael Fanone joins me now. It`s good to have you on the program, officer. I want to just maybe start and ask you how you are doing generally, you know, six months after this, physically, mentally, how you`re holding up?
MICHAEL FANONE, D.C.Metro Police Officer: I mean, I`m doing a hell of a whole lot better than I was six months ago. You know, I went through pretty dark period I`d say in the maybe the first three or four months immediately after the January s6 insurrection. But I`ve had a lot of help and support. And I mean, generally speaking, I`m doing much better than I was.
HAYES: You use the word insurrection which itself I think has been contested by a lot of people, including members of Congress on Capitol Hill and in hearings. What do you think when you hear people say it wasn`t an insurrection?
FANONE: I think it`s bullshit. Listen, man, I`m just a simple police officer. And I look at things -- you know, I go off of simple definitions. Things like violence for political purposes, which is exactly what the event that occurred at the Capitol on January 6 was. I was there. I witnessed it firsthand. It was a politically motivated, violent event, violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.
HAYES: I`ve been watching a lot of footage of it. And I`ve been wanting to ask you this and other officers. You know, D.C. has a lot of experience with crowd control and a lot of experiences of protests. And I have covered a ton of protests, a ton of marches that have been on the mall or in the Capitol. And there`s always a massive police presence in a very kind of proactive approach to it to kind of keep people in place and make sure that like the cops have the kind of control and authority. And it`s so bizarre to see the complete absence of that on this day. How do you think about how that happened, what happened in that -- in that respect on that day?
FANONE: I mean, this is like way outside of my wheelhouse. I mean, despite 20 years of law enforcement experience, you know, my role within the department primarily involved narcotics and violent crime investigations, as well as, you know, firearm-related crimes. I worked most of my career either running narcotics investigations or working as an undercover officer myself.
So, yes, I mean, I`ve seen those types of events. Obviously, you know, I`ve been a police officer for quite some time. And I would describe them like at their worst as controlled chaos. This was just chaos. I mean, it was nothing like I`d ever experienced and many of my co-workers, again, many of whom served much longer within the department than I have, never experienced anything like that.
HAYES: You`ve been to Capitol Hill to lobby, to speak to elected members about some kind of commission, investigation. What have you learned from that experience? It`s not something I think you`ve probably ever done before. What has been surprising to you or what -- does anything changed your mind about the way American government works?
FANONE: Yes, I mean, I was always pretty apolitical person. I supported Donald Trump in 2016. But prior to that, I had voted for candidates on, you know, both sides of the political aisle. I don`t think any particular party necessarily represents me completely. I guess in that respect, I would, you know, fall more into a category of an independent.
However, what I`ve learned on, you know, Capitol Hill is that we have a lot of elected officials that care much more about their own political future and their own careers than they do about the Americans that they are supposed to be representing.
HAYES: What have you been told when you bring this up? I mean, what is -- when you say they care more about their political future, do you think that they`re lying? Do you think -- like, what do they say to your face when you`re -- when you look them in the eyes and say like, this happened, this happened to me. We need to -- we need to investigate it. It`s not even a political thing.
FANONE: Yes, I mean, you know, it`s very inconvenient. Unfortunately, that`s the reaction that get or at least those are my feelings, you know, based on those personal conversations. I mean, I get a lot of sympathy privately and then publicly, those same individuals continue to make statements either downplaying or dismissing the events of January 6, simply because at least in my mind, it`s not politically advantageous and the concerns are more about the political success of their party in 2022 or 2024 rather than addressing this, you know, horrible event that was inspired by the leader of, you know, the republican party at the time.
HAYES: I want to play you a little bit of said leader just because it is -- it is for all of us, I think, surreal to watch the history being rewritten in real time. And we all saw it. There were cameras there, but it must be particularly true for you. So, I want to just play his characterization of what happened that day and get you to respond to it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You have people with no guns that walked down. And frankly, the doors were open. And the police in many cases, you know, they have -- they have hundreds of hours of tape, and they`re not releasing the tape. They ought to release the tape to see what really happened. But there was also a love fest between the police, the Capitol Police, and the people that walk down to the Capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think of that love fest?
FANONE: Yes, I mean, again, that`s a lie. You know, Donald Trump`s description of January 6, pretty much every portion of that statement is a lie. You know, that was not what I experienced. What I experienced was, you know, incredibly brutal hand-to-hand combat. Again, you know, just speaking about, you know, my first-hand account, while I fought in the lower West Harris Tunnel, I was a pull -- I was pulled away from the other officers by members of the, you know, of the crowd.
I was beaten. I was tased numerous times at the base of my skull. And as a result of that assault, I sustained a heart attack, traumatic brain injury, and now suffer from PTSD. And that`s a reality. Those are facts. You know, the assault that occurred to me was documented, memorialized in my body worn camera footage, and in hundreds of hours of video footage of not just my assault, but the assault of other officers.
So again, I`m not sure what Donald Trump is referring to, but it certainly wasn`t the events that day at the Capitol. That`s a lie.
HAYES: You don`t work at the Capitol. You`re not a Capitol Police Officer, but you`ve been to the Capitol. And I just wonder what it`s like A, to go back and what -- how you imagine it must be to be going there to work every day. Like, if you had to go back to work there every day, what that would be like?
FANONE: I have no idea to be completely honest with you how those officers continue to show up for work every day other than the fact that, you know, they sworn oath and that`s what police officers do. You know, we go to work day in and day out. But, you know, for me, like I`ve had a lot of interactions after January 6 with Harry Dunn. You know, a hell of guy and he`s been incredibly supportive to me. And I gave him you know, all the respect in the world going back up there and continuing to do his job after, you know, what he experienced on the sixth.
And then also to, you know, to have to pass these individuals in the hallway that, you know, go on television and talk about that day as being another tourist day at the Capitol. I mean, I couldn`t imagine what that -- what that`s like.
HAYES: There`s this increasing, you know, pressure, I think, coming from certain quarters to release the name of the officer that shot Ashley Babbitt. And I think there`s a sort of question about government transparency. I also think there`s a universe in which that can be part of what the investigation would look into just to sort of clarify everything.
But I wonder if just giving your experience of being somewhat in the public eye, what you would imagine being on the receiving end of that would be like, should that name be disclosed.
FANONE: I mean, I`m not going to speculate on those things, but I don`t think like anyone that`s watching this program or you know understands the way that that rhetoric is being utilized. I mean, it`s no stretch of the imagination as to what that particular officer could be potentially in for would his name or her name be released?
Yes, I mean, there was -- when I listen to those statements, you know, by people like the congressman Gosar and Donald Trump, I mean, it`s just insanity, absolute insanity. You know, what happened to Ashley Babbitt was a tragedy. You know, anytime someone`s life is taken violently, it`s a tragedy. But the reality is that she was participating in a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. And that officer had a responsibility and an oath to uphold. And he did so in, you know, as the Justice Department stated, fulfill that oath by protecting his own life and other members of Congress` life that day. And to hear that event be politicized, it`s inhumane.
HAYES: Do you miss being on the force? I know that you`ve been in leave and I know that you said you have PTSD, and obviously, real -- sustained incredible injuries. I wonder if it`s just all of this in the last six months, like, how it`s changed how you think about yourself and the work you do.
FANONE: I mean, I love being a police officer. You know, like, I`ve been a police officer for the better part of my adult life. I mean, it`s really the only crater that I`ve ever had. I joined the force shortly after 9/11 and, you know, have forged some lifelong friendships in the law enforcement community. It doesn`t change how I feel about my job or my responsibility.
I mean, I see what I`m doing now as kind of an extension of my service on January 6. You know, while most of my coworkers have returned to work and, you know, continue to go in day in and day out, you know, this is my work. And it`s to get people to recognize what happened on January 6 in the hopes that, you know, maybe we can reevaluate why it was that we felt the need to -- or that part of our country felt the need to participate in a violent event like that.
HAYES: Officer Michael Fanone of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C. I really, really enjoyed talking to you. I really appreciate you taking the time to do it. Thank you so much.
FANONE: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.
HAYES: Be good. All right, we`ll be right back. Stick around.
HAYES: We`re tracking breaking news out of Texas tonight where more than 50 State House Democrats have fled the state to stop the latest Republican attempt to restrict voter rights. The move essentially paralyzes the special session of the Texas Legislature or. Republicans introduced a pair of bills last week that would require, among other things, ID for mail-in voting, empower partisan poll watchers, and ban drive-thru and overnight options for early voting which were used very successfully in the last election.
Now, this is the second time in as many months the Democrats have fled the legislature to stop voter suppression bills. Tonight, Texas Democrats landed in Washington D.C. to push for federal voter protections on the eve of President Biden`s major address on voting rights tomorrow.
I`m joined now by one of the leaders of the walkout, Democratic Texas State Representative Jasmine Crockett. Representative Crockett, you have done it. You know, getting 50 legislators to do anything can be hard. How`d you guys come together and make this decision to take this very dramatic action?
JASMINE CROCKETT, DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE, TEXAS: Man, listen. First of all, thanks for having me. And you`re absolutely right. Getting 50 people to do anything sometimes feels like an impossibility. But when democracy is on the line, I think that those that truly understand what we are supposed to be in this country, we don`t compromise. And so, you know, for so long, the Republicans have kind of been pushing us around in the Texas Legislature because they`ve had the numbers. But when it comes to democracy, that`s something that just goes a little too far.
And so, it really was not difficult, especially the second time because the governor called this special session and put a little -- a lot of nonsense on the call. There was nothing on that call that was good for the Texas people. Our grid wasn`t on that call. So, there wasn`t anything that really was there to keep us there. So, I`m so proud of my colleagues and I`m so thankful to the -- to the good Lord above that we all made it out. Everybody has arrived in D.C. safely. And we don`t have to worry about dealing with -- going to the floor tomorrow.
HAYES: So, why D.C.? I mean, you went from Texas to D.C. You`re talking to me from D.C. tonight. Why D.C.?
CROCKETT: Yes, absolutely. I mean, what others -- what other place could we go to where we can actually seek some relief? We`re still working on behalf of the people of the state of Texas. This isn`t a vacation whatsoever. We`re away from our families. We`re away from our jobs. But we are here to still do the bidding of the people of the state of Texas and of our various districts.
And so, the only thing that we can do is now apply a full-court press to the Senate. When we came last time, there were only a few of us, and that bill was dead. We did not know where we will go from there. We now have two very live bills. And we know that our legislature is going to keep pushing. And so, we have a Democratically controlled U.S. House, a Democratically- controlled U.S. Senate, and we also have a Democratically controlled White House.
And, you know, in Texas is just the opposite. And they`re doing everything that they can to push through things that are bad. All we`re asking is that those that are in charge here in D.C., the Democratic leadership, push through something that is good, not just for the state of Texas. This is a crisis that we are suffering from in this country.
Your last guests, Officer Fanone, he just told you, they`re lying. Let me tell you something, and they`re still lying. I mean, it`s sad to see that now the only game that the Republicans have to play is to lie and to cheat. We don`t want to be cheated in this country. We want our representation to look like the people choosing our representation, not our representatives choosing who they are going to represent.
HAYES: Texas State Representative Jasmine Crockett who broke quorum along with 49 of her colleagues, thank you so much for joining me tonight.
CROCKETT: Thank you so much.
HAYES: Next, America`s longest war is finally coming to an end. Why now? Who is getting left behind? Right after this.
HAYES: It`s been nearly 20 years and yet somehow, amazingly, it looks like the U.S. is almost finally out of Afghanistan. But the war doesn`t officially end until the end of August. In a symbolic end of the conflict, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan stepped down today. His team makes up some of the few Americans that still remain in the country.
Over 90 percent of all U.S. troops and U.S. military equipment is already out of the country. The infamous Bagram Airfield is now deserted, left in the hands of the Afghan army. And the Taliban is once again reclaiming territory across the country. This war has been limping on for nearly 20 years, two decades. I started writing about it and covering it when I first started becoming a reporter. It`s surreal at this moment to realize we`re basically out. And it seems to be the same situation is if we left 10 or even 15 years ago.
Missy Ryan covers the military, the Pentagon, and national security for The Washington Post where she broke the news that President Biden was planning to withdraw from Afghanistan back in April, and she joins me now.
You know, Missy, I would say that if you`d asked me back in early 2020 during the presidential primary if I thought that if Joe Biden were elected, he would withdraw essentially all U.S. personnel from Afghanistan, all U.S. troops in the past six months, I would have been very surprised if that was the case. I would have been skeptical. How did this come about?
MISSY RYAN, PENTAGON REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: So, President Biden has had this well-developed sense of skepticism of the value of the U.S. military endeavor in Afghanistan for at least a decade at this point. As you recall, when he was vice president, he was this very passionate voice of caution, arguing that President Obama shouldn`t get, as he put it at the time, jammed by the generals who are arguing for a big surge in Afghanistan.
Ultimately, the military went out and there was a surge. And as you say, the outcome of those additional 10 years is really questionable at this point. The Afghan forces have had a lot more time to get trained up and get new equipment. But at the same time, what we`re seeing right now is the Taliban really sweep across much of the country as the result of, you know, fighting, as the result of tactical retreats, as a result of deals that are being made at the village and district levels.
And as general Scott Austin Miller completed his mission there today in this transfer of command ceremony, you know, it really marked the symbolic end to the U.S. military mission. And it raises a question of, you know, what we have accomplished. And then the big question for the future is what can we expect from the Afghan state at this stage despite everything The United States has tried to do in Afghanistan.
HAYES: You refer to that phrase jammed by the generals, and I think we`ve seen multiple times throughout the course of this war, particularly in the last 10 years where there was clearly resistance to exiting from top military officials who really did try to kind of, you know, jam the civilian leadership of the country. Was that -- did that same dynamic arise this time around?
RYAN: No. I think that the attitude from the Pentagon was different. And everyone was cognizant of the lessons of the 2009 2010 debate and what that -- what the overall conclusions were given how it turned out on the ground. And I think most importantly, people came into this knowing that Biden, you know, is very skeptical of the military`s role in Washington policy debates. He said on the campaign trail that he helped to bring home the vast majority of the troops.
And I think the most important factor that distinguishes this time from last time was the fact that, you know, everybody had another decade to conclude that this war was never going to be won on the battlefield. And even the most ardent supporters of you know, the transformational power of military force, if you want to be able to put it that way, I think had concluded that it wasn`t going to happen in Afghanistan, and everyone realized that there needed to be a negotiated outcome.
HAYES: All right, Missy Ryan who`s been doing great reporting on this topic, thank you so much.
RYAN: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.