The backlash politics standing in the way of vaccination, and how the vaccine fight today echoes the seatbelt fight of the 80s. As we battle the highly contagious Delta variant, lots of parents are asking the question, how worried should you be about your kids who cannot get vaccinated if there`s high levels of community transmission? A federal judge agreed to release Tom Barrack, he`s a longtime adviser of Donald Trump, the chair of his Inaugural Committee on a $250 million bond which is tied for the third highest bond of all time.
TIFFANY CROSS, MSNBC HOST: He put message to the music and is founded the nonprofit Black Ambition, which is an organization that funds startups, and they just released their new startups today. And 34 entrepreneurs received at least 15,000 and there were two grand prize winners. One received a million dollars and another HBCU received one.
So, anyway, that`s my Who Won The Week. Thank you so much, Cari Champion and LaTosha Brown. That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT". I`m way over. Sorry, you guys.
I`ll see you again tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for "THE CROSS CONNECTION". My guests will include former impeachment managers Joaquin Castro and Stacey Plaskett.
ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight, on ALL IN.
KAY IVEY, ALABAMA GOVERNOR: It`s time for you to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It`s the unvaccinated folks that`s letting us down.
HAYES: A governor who made vaccine passports illegal lashes out of the unvaccinated. Tonight, the backlash politics standing in the way of vaccination, and how the vaccine fight today echoes the seatbelt fight of the 80s.
RICHARD PAUKNER, COALITION AGAINST SEATBELT LAWS: I oppose it on the basis that it replaces the free will of the individual with the desires of the state.
HAYES: Then, the accused foreign agent from the former president`s inner circle out of jail on a $250 million bond, plus --
TOMMY FISHER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, FISHER SAND & GRAVEL CO.: And we really believe with our patent pending system, we can bring sexy back to construction.
HAYES: The guy who sunk 30 million into building Trump`s wall now looking for a buyer.
And a big moment in baseball as the Cleveland Guardians step up to the plate.
TOM HANKS, ACTOR: You see, it has always been Cleveland. That`s the best part of our name.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
After essentially doing nothing frankly to encourage vaccinations and even encouraging anti-vaccine sentiment and forces. Republican officials across the country are now dealing with the Delta variant wreaking havoc across their states, wreaking havoc across all states.
Because of course, COVID did not go anywhere. The variant is highly transmissible and a lot of people are unvaccinated, and together that spells a bad situation. And it`s not a good situation for anyone. It`s obviously a human tragedy.
You may have seen this report from a doctor in Alabama earlier this week that sent chills up my spine. She writes "I`m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they`re intubated is begged me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I`m sorry, but it`s too late."
Alabama right now lacks -- ranks last in the nation in vaccinations, just 34 percent of its population, fully vaccinated. Cases and hospitalizations are surging yet again across the state thanks to the Delta variant, you can see those upticks there on the right of your screen.
And Republican officials who thought they could just kind of sit back and let the Biden administration handle the vaccination push and flirt with the anti-vaccine sentiment in their political base are now trying to get another outbreak under control.
And let`s be clear, outbreaks are bad for their states. They`re bad for any state, Republican or Democrat. They`re bad for people, of course, who get sick and die. They are bad for hospitals that get overrun and stretch to a breaking point. And they`re bad for business.
I mean, we`ve seen this time and time again. When a COVID outbreak gets bad no matter what government policy is, even in states that keep stuff open, people stopped doing things. They stopped driving around, they stopped going out to eat, tourists stop visiting.
And so, this is the conundrum Republican governor Kay Ivey of Alabama now finds herself in. Now, two months ago, Governor Ivey signed a bill banning both public institutions and private businesses in Alabama from requiring vaccines. Now, she is blaming the unvaccinated for the state`s plight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, you`re talking about you know, the vaccines saving lives but Alabama is still is the last in the country when it comes to vaccination rates. Besides, you know, this (INAUDIBLE). What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?
IVEY: I don`t know, you tell me. Folks supposed to have common sense. But it`s time for you to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It`s the unvaccinated folks that`s letting us down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But as the leader of the state, don`t you think it`s your responsibility to try and help get this situation under control?
IVEY: I`ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something but I can`t make you take care of yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, I`ve been spending a lot of time on this program and as a reporter, just trying to think about and research how to get unvaccinated people vaccinated.
And let`s be clear, there`s a million different reasons people are not vaccinated yet. It`s not some one reason, it`s not because people like Donald Trump or they have conservative politics runs the gamut. That said, I`m not sure that the Kay Ivey guilt trip method is the way to go.
Now, there is one fairly obvious and straightforward path. Not a legal requirement from the government but rather for various institutions, venues and employers to require their people to get vaccinated. That has not happened much yet. But we are already seeing a preemptive push against that from the right.
HAYES: For weeks and months, we`ve seen this, people balking at the idea of being forced to do anything. We even heard that in that amazing clip that we showed you last night from a Louisiana man in the hospital recovering from COVID.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before you got sick, if you would have had a chance to get the vaccine and prevent this, would you have taken the vaccine?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you would have gone through this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going through this. Yes, sir. Don`t shove it down my throat. That`s what`s local, state federal administration is trying to do, they shove it down your throat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are they shoving the science?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they`re shoving the fact that that`s their agenda. The agenda is to get you vaccinated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I don`t want to get vaccinated because you want me to get vaccinated is the argument there. It`s your agenda to get me vaccinated. Ergo, I don`t want you to go and shove it down my throat.
Now, it may be hard to believe but we`ve actually been here before something pretty similar. It was nearly 40 years ago, a fight like this one happened in this country about requiring a public health measure that would save lives and conservatives across the country fought against it. And they lost thank goodness.
They lost that battle so thoroughly and completely, you may not remember how huge of a fight it was at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every morning, 365 days a year. Most everybody in Richland Village, Michigan gathers at the Parkview to talk about the burning issues of the day. These days there is only one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everybody`s in too much shock to explain it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the new seatbelt ordinance, if the town council gets its way, seatbelts will be mandatory for everybody riding in the front seat of a car through Richland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll have to detour the town to get to Kalamazoo if they pass the seatbelt ordinance because I don`t use a seatbelt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn`t wear my seatbelt. If I get caught, I get caught I guess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Richland Village council meets one night each month and hardly anyone but the council ever attends these meetings, which may be why so many people were so shocked when they read in the local paper that the council had unanimously requested an ordinance the community is almost unanimously opposed to.
For such a small town, one-mile square, 435 people, Richland gets lots of traffic, though nobody can remember the last time there was a serious accident.
But if everybody has to buckle up or pay a $10.00 fine, businessmen say they`ll stop and shop and get their hair cut somewhere else, customers agree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may be stopped there and put your seatbelt on and you move a little bit further up. I stopped here by him then I move around the corner, quick to go to the hardware store and I don`t have the seatbelt on, and all of a sudden somebody sees me sit, it costs you $10.00, why bother?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think many of them are mad enough about it, so that they`re not going to run the risk of a ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meanwhile, the town council is standing by its guns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People think that they`re going to be harassed and this is not our intent at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their intent they say is to save lives and set a good example. There`s an election here in March, by then, the town`s two police officers will likely be enforcing a new seatbelt ordinance. After then, there might be a new city council.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now doesn`t all that sound familiar? I mean, I feel like I have heard that same interview but about masks and vaccines maybe even in the state of Michigan. How dare you tell me what to do?
The month after that report in March 1984, Richland Village voted the seatbelt ordinance down, 145 to 51. They were overruled by a Michigan State law the following year. And eventually, 49 states in the union passed laws mandating seatbelts.
But across country, there was a faction of people who resist it under no circumstances. Do they want to be required to wear a seatbelt?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUKNER: I oppose it on the basis that it replaces the freewill of the individual with the desires of the state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t -- you can`t force people to do things, you know. If they think that it`s necessary, they`d do it. If they don`t think so --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question here is whether we have the right, whether we have the responsibility, whether we have the judgment to turn to the citizens of the state and be there in 1984, Big Brother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In fact, I actually just recently learned something from my aunt, my dad`s sister about my departed grandfather, a man I loved very, very much. Roger Hayes, nicknamed The Bear, he was an airline pilot his whole life, an absolute committed conservative, staunch Republican, devout Catholic, went to mass every day, incredibly prolife, hated communism, really hated Big brother in the government.
And I just learned from my aunt, refused to wear a seat belt out of a kind of ideological commitment to personal autonomy until it became the law. And then you know what he did? He buckled up.
A lot of people did that once they were forced to. They`ve just kind of sucked it up and did it. Stop being a debate.
And what happened was, a lot of lives got saved. This chart shows the drop in the rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled since 1980. The first mandatory seatbelt law was passed in New York in 1984.
HAYES: Now, again, in this circumstance, I don`t think the government like states should be requiring vaccines right now, just because I think that is likely to create as much backlash as it does compliance.
But instead, what we`re seeing is states doing the opposite. I mean, several Republican run states have stepped in to ban private entities from requiring vaccines.
In addition to Alabama, as I mentioned earlier, those bans are in place in Florida and Iowa, Montana and Texas. Florida is even trying to get the CDC to stop requiring cruise ships of all things to require vaccination.
I mean, that`s way, way, way more insane to me than telling municipalities they can require their own drivers to buckle up.
We also live in a different media environment in the year 2021. And to be honest, I do not know if the seatbelt debate would have gone the same way if Fox News was around in 1984.
I mean, they probably would have been hosts on air every night, urging people to drive around at 70 miles an hour without a seatbelt in the front seat because they had the freedom to launch their heads through windshields. And if they died that way, well, they died for freedom, like soldiers on the battlefield, martyrs to the cause of freedom, just like how Donald Trump told Americans to get out there and martyr themselves for freedom in the face of COVID.
But what did happen with the seatbelt debate is that eventually both the law and the culture changed and wearing your seatbelt became a norm. And people stopped fighting about it. Turned out that putting on a seatbelt was not the road to serfdom, that`s some enormous imposition just kind of makes everyone safer, saves a lot of lives. Thank God that became the status quo.
That should be what we are aiming here for as a precedent. A time where we are as protected as possible from COVID, way few people are getting sick, way fewer people are dying and we`re not having these fights.
And maybe, one way to get there is for institutions, universities, venues, employers to simply say, we`re going to require you to get vaccinated if you want to participate.
Matthew Baum is the Martin Kalb -- Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications, Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He`s been researching public attitudes towards the vaccinations. And Brandy Zadrozny is Senior Reporter NBC News where she`s been reporting on the spread of anti-vaccine misinformation online.
Let me start with you Professor Baum on what your research says because I found some interesting things from what you`re polling says and maybe you can give us the top lines about how people feel generally about vaccine requirements, whether from the government or from private institutions.
MATTHEW BAUM, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: So, we found that the public is actually pretty supportive of government mandates, local, state and federal, over six and 10. It have told us in multiple surveys now that they would be in favor of those, both across the board, everyone needs to get vaccinated. It is well as in specific situations like getting on an airplane, or to go back to in person school. We found somewhat surprisingly a lot less support for private businesses to institute mandates.
In fact, about half that level of support on average. So, the government -- the public seems to be willing to go farther than our political leaders seem inclined to take them.
HAYES: That it`s such a fascinating and to me, counterintuitive result, because I think of state mandate as a maximum amount of coercion and private businesses requiring it for say customers as a more of a nudge. And what you`re finding is that people support the former more, what to me feels more maximally coercive than each individual business or a venue where institution taking into its own hands.
BAUM: Yes, that`s exactly right. And our intuition was the same as yours. We weren`t necessarily expecting this.
In fact, the only group where we found majority support for, you know, so called vaccine passports by private businesses was Democrats. And that was just over 50 percent.
You know, I can speculate as to the cause. We don`t have very strong evidence, but you can imagine it might have something to do with the fear of businesses discriminating in different ways versus sort of broad based government requirements, where people might have more confidence.
HAYES: Brandy, I`m curious you know, it`s been striking to me how the anti- vaccine or vaccine skeptical hesitant arguments I`ve heard are almost neatly divided between stuff about the vaccine, a lot of misinformation about what the side effects are or its testing, and then just resistance to the idea of being coerced or forced to do it. And I`m curious what role that plays in the rhetoric that you`ve been reporting on?
BRANDY ZADROZNY, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Well, you know, like you said before, Chris, it`s really important to recognize that people that don`t want to take the vaccine are a vaccine hesitant. They`re not a monolith, right?
ZADROZNY: Like, there are lots of different reasons why people don`t want to get vaccinated or people who say that they won`t get vaccinated. There is a large contingent of people who are the Fox News guzzling far right, DeSantis loving, people who are sort of like don`t tread on me. And somehow vaccination is something that makes them think that that is government overreach. And so that`s what they are against.
You know, what`s notable to me is that all of these groups, what really combines them is that you know, I`m an internet reporter, and even the reasonable folks like nine out of 10 times when I hear something that somebody is saying about the vaccine, a rumor or misinformation. Nine out of 10 times, I can tell you where on the internet that came from.
So, true anti-vaccination people, they`re really small bunch. But the issue is that, you know, they`re very loud and social media is very good at spreading these messaging. So, everybody has sort of lumped into these crazy anti-vaxxer people, and then those people are all demonizes anti- vaxxers. And then it becomes this really unhelpful cycle.
So, I think a lot of what we`re seeing too about don`t shove it down my throat is public perception that everybody who doesn`t want the vaccine is a crazy anti-vaxxer. And that`s just just not helpful.
HAYES: That`s a -- that`s a -- that`s a great point. And I also wonder, what -- if you think there are implications for policy, Matthew, from your public opinion data.
I mean, we know that I think the Biden administration has been treading very carefully on this. The Biden administration has issued a directive that federal agencies cannot mandate it for in-person, work return, that`s a step they took.
And I think, you know, a lot of private employers -- this is interesting today, one of the sort of partnership for New York City business groups in New York today said, New York City employers would be relieved if the federal government issued some kind of vaccine mandate.
So, you got the private sector kind of waiting on the government, the government not wanting to mandate it. Are there implications for policy from your research?
BAUM: Absolutely. And in fact, the implications have been fairly consistent throughout the pandemic, that the public`s been ready to be pushed farther in general than our political leaders have wanted to go.
And we see the same pattern here. I think we can pretty confidently say that, you know, there`s a loud -- a disproportionately loud minority that`s, you know, steadfastly opposed to any kind of government mandates. Sort of like what you showed earlier with seatbelt laws back in the 70s.
But we have between 60 and 65 percent of the public, you know, saying that they would be OK with that at different levels, at the local level, at the state level or at the federal level.
And as you said, I think a lot of businesses and lower level governments would love this guidance to come from the federal government.
HAYES: Yeah, Matthew Baum, Brandy Zadrozny, thank you both for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
BAUM: Thank you.
HAYES: If you`re like me, you`ve probably been hearing a lot about breakthrough cases. Those are people who are vaccinated but have still contracted the coronavirus. It`s conversation I`m having a lot of these days with my own friends and family. I am not the expert on it. I`m just a humble reporter. I talk to people and try to learn as best I can.
Dr. Ashish Jha whoever is -- I invited him on tonight to find out how should we think about this? How worried should we be? Don`t go anywhere. Dr. Ashish sets the record straight right after this.
HAYES: Once again, on the COVID merry-round, we are whipping around for the fourth or fifth time to enter a phase of the pandemic that feels ominous and scary.
The good news is we are lucky enough to have at our disposal free of charge lifesaving vaccines. I wanted you to show you this chart, which says more than anyone can say about this, OK. That shows how the U.K.`s vaccine rollout has dramatically reduced deaths from COVID. It is a picture worth way more than a thousand words, OK.
This U.K.`s second COVID rave that`s the pre-vaccine one on the left side, right. On the left left part of that, those are cases and, on the right, the deaths. And you see that sort of neat correlation, right, between cases on the left, deaths on the right. OK.
Now, look to the chart of the third wave. That`s post vaccine, that`s in blueish gray. Look how much lower the death toll is, right? The cases they grow, they grow, they grow and what happens? The deaths barely budge.
It seems the only real explanation we have here for the disparity and deaths are the vaccines. In the U.K., nearly 70 percent of people are fully vaccinated.
Now, compare that to here in the USz, we`re only about half of the full population is fully vaccinated. Millions of children are still ineligible, of course to receive the vaccine.
So, it`s your prayer to go back to school. Parents are waking up to stories like this from the New York Times, 31 children test positive for coronavirus at summer camp, all 31 children who tested positive are under the age of 12 making them too young to receive vaccines in the U.S.
Now, fortunately, none of those kids got seriously ill. But as we battle the highly contagious Delta variant, lots of parents are asking the question, how worried should you be about your kids who cannot get vaccinated if there`s high levels of community transmission? And also, how worried should you be about breakthrough cases if you are vaccinated?
Dr. Ashish Jha is the dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University and he joins me now.
All right, Dr. Jha, let`s start with folks that are listening that are vaccinated and wondering what should they make of the fact that we`ve got this spike in cases, a more transmissible variant, but they are vaccinated. What is their risk? How worried should they be and how should their behavior maybe change or not change?
DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN OF THE BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Great, Chris. Thanks. Thanks for having me back. Those are great questions. Here`s how I would think about it. Here`s how I think about it for me.
Which is, first of all, I don`t worry about getting super sick and dying anymore from this virus. And that is a huge relief.
Second, is that there is a chance that I might have a breakthrough infection. Because there`s so much virus circulating in certain communities, particularly as communities with large surges, that we are going to see a lot of breakthrough infections.
And breakthrough infections are pretty miserable. I`ve had -- I mean, some of them are very mild, by the way, but I`ve had colleagues who`ve had breakthrough infections, and they can be miserable. A couple of days of high fevers, cough, don`t feel great. But again, you don`t end up in the hospital and that`s the saving grace.
And then, the last big question that people worry about is what about long COVID from breakthrough infections?
JHA: And so far, the data says, and we have to be cautious and not over interpret, that you don`t necessarily or your risk of getting long COVID is much lower, if you`ve had a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated.
Again, that`s not a slam dunk. We`re not a hundred percent sure. So, at this point, I would say if you`re vaccinated, that would not worry excessively.
HAYES: Yes, what -- so here`s one way I`ve been thinking about it and I want to bounce this off here, because again, I`m not an expert. But we`ve spent -- you know, I`ve been 16 or 17 months of my life on this show, trying to beat out of people this idiotic, dangerous, toxic and insidious talking point that like, it`s just like the flu. And it`s like, no, it`s not like the flu. The flu, you know, we`ve lost 600,000 people to it.
And yet, where I end up coming around back to is, if you`re vaccinated, it`s kind of like the flu, it might even be less dangerous than the flu, right? Like in the -- at the end after vaccination, this talking point that was false, like the way you think about risks, the way you think about the illness, it`s in the ballpark of the flu.
JHA: Yes, it`s hilarious in some ways. I mean, again, I don`t mean to make light of this, because it`s a very serious condition. But in some ways, what we have done is turned the 2021 version of COVID, if you`re vaccinated into the 2020 version, that all the misinformation is we`re claiming.
And so, I find myself saying the things that I was spending all this time combating last year.
HAYES: Yes. So, that`s well said. Let`s talk about kids. You know, my read of the data in the aggregate as someone who both has three -- have three children under 12 who can`t be vaccinated, and, you know, I want them to be safe, not get sick.
But my read on the data from the beginning is, kids are relatively low at risk, they`ve always been relatively low risk. You definitely don`t want your kids to get sick if you can avoid it. But this is not a disease that has wildly elevated levels of hospitalization or mortality for children, even compared to things like say RSV, which is a fairly common respiratory infection for kids that, in fact, my youngest had, and was terrifying (INAUDIBLE) What`s your sort of top line here?
JHA: Yeah, my top line is, again, relatively low risk, I have a 9-year-old who has not been vaccinated, obviously. I would really prefer that he not get COVID.
But at the end of the day, I don`t spend a ton of time worrying about it, because if he were to get it, we`re going to try to do everything we can to protect them. But if he were to do get it, he`d probably do just fine.
Kids -- some kids have gotten really sick of this virus, but we should -- and we should protect them. But we shouldn`t spend a ton of time worried about how to protect relatively young children who do pretty well from this virus.
HAYES: So, the final question here is on masking. And I think my own personal feeling has changed a little bit, just the base rate of community transmission.
So, you know, I was kind of enjoying the supermarket shopping without masking. I don`t really like wearing a mask, it fogged up my glasses and it really annoys me. I think I`m kind of back to masking in big indoor public spaces, just because it seems that low level community transmission means that like, why not take the extra step? Where are you at?
JHA: Yes, I`m very similarly. You know, I`ll tell you two different things. I`m in Massachusetts, it`s where I live. And I`ll pop into a Dunkin Donuts and pick up a cup of coffee for two minutes and I`m OK without a mask. I`m going to spend 45 minutes grocery shopping, I probably will put it on because infection numbers are rising.
Last week, I was in L.A. and I was masked up indoors every time I went indoors, because infection numbers were much higher.
So, a little bit of this depends on context, a little bit of this depends on I just don`t want a -- I don`t want a breakthrough infection. I think it`s reasonable to make different decisions based on where you are.
HAYES: Yes, I think that`s a -- that`s really good advice. And yes, like, you know, if you don`t mind wearing a mask, and like there`s a lot of community transmission, like, you know, it`s not the worst thing.
Dr. Ashish Jha, that was very, very, very illuminating and clarifying. It`s always great to talk to you on this stuff. Thank you.
JHA: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead, the man who ran the finances for Donald Trump`s inauguration is out on bail. The bail is wild, but if that hadn`t been alone doesn`t absolutely shock you, there`s a great reason why. And Michelle Goldberg is here to tell you all about it, next.
HAYES: Earlier today, a federal judge agreed to release Tom Barrack, he`s a longtime adviser of Donald Trump, the chair of his Inaugural Committee on a $250 million bond which is tied for the third highest bond of all time.
Earlier this week, you may recall, Barrack was charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates.
As Axios explains, the charges are not under the Foreign Agent Registration Act but under the same foreign agent statute that was used to charge Russian agent Maria Butina and other alleged spies.
This guy was advising Donald Trump and running his Inaugural Committee which is reportedly still under federal investigation for illegal foreign donations from multiple countries including, surprise, the United Arab Emirates.
As part of the terms of his release, Barrack will have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, and he`s scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday.
If you are keeping track, and we sure are, Tom Barrack is the 11th Trump associate to be charged with a federal crime since Trump declared his candidacy in 2015.
That`s not even including things like the Trump Organization or his CFO just indicted on tax fraud charges. It`s really something else.
Just in a complete vacuum, think about the idea of a foreign agent having close access to the president for years, jacking him on the agenda items of the foreign nation, not the American interest.
As Michelle Goldberg writes in the New York Times, "Once upon a time it would have been a huge news if the former chairman of the former president`s Inaugural Committee was indicted on charges of acting as an agent of a foreign power. Donald Trump`s presidency, however, has left us with scandal inflation."
And Michelle Goldberg opinion columnist for The New York Times joins me now. I love the term scandal inflation. What do you mean by it?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I just mean our sense of what constitutes a major scandal has been so, you know, inflated, right? There`s so much scandal, we`re so inured to it. Impossible to sort of whip up the same amount of shock and outrage when yet another member of the president`s inner circle is indicted on serious national security crimes.
HAYES: Yes, and there`s a few things going on here. One is your your point about -- here again, here`s the list. You know, Manafort, Rick Gates, Bannon, Flynn. Cohen, Stone, Papadopoulos, George Nader, Elliott Broidy, Allen Weisselberg, Todd Barrack.
I mean, you know, there`s, of course, the kind of like, dog bites man versus man bites dog. Like, Trump associate arrested and indicted is almost not news. Because it is the anticipated state of things.
GOLDBERG: It is the norm, it is the default.
HAYES: It is the norm, it`s the default. It`s like, oh, yes, another guy. Well, sure, that makes sense. Like, one of the president`s associates got - - and I didn`t even have like -- I had him on my radar at one point, but then it went sounds like, oh, that guy. Oh, he got nicked too. Like, that was my reaction.
But the other part of it that really is wild, and you write about this event is the amount of people that were acting as foreign agents around the president. I mean, this was like the ultimate irony of the American First presidency, with these like corrupt, tiny gold state monarchs, essentially running Trump associates as assets to get what they want, rather than what the U.S. people elected is astounding.
GOLDBERG: Right. And I think that we`ve lost to some extent the role of these Gulf state monarchs, because we`ve been, I think, rightly focused. People for four years were rightly focused on Russia.
Russia did intervene on Trump`s behalf after, you know, sort of seeking the agreement of the campaign, and that was a huge scandal and a huge national security failure.
But let`s remember that UAE also sent out feelers to Trump Tower saying that they were ready to intervene on Trump`s behalf with a Clandestine social media campaign. And once again, Donald Trump Jr. was like, yes, sounds good.
You know, and it`s one of those stories that I think people forget in the avalanche of, you know, corruption and misbehavior by this administration.
But you can also really see the results that Emirate -- that UAE got from this administration, right? You could not have imagined a more loyal, more indulgent ally than Donald Trump.
And I don`t think that`s all because of Tom Barrack, right? Donald Trump has his own investments in the Emirates. Jared Kushner has his own motives for courting Gulf princes.
But nevertheless, the UAE sort of seemed to have known what they were doing when they bet on this president.
HAYES: And there`s a hugely consequential issue at the stake in all of this, which is one of the biggest things that the Saudis and the Emiratis wanted was to kill the Iran deal, because they hated the Iran deal. And they want, you know, a sort of unified front to maybe for military escalation against Iran, and they got the Iran deal kill. There`s a bunch of reasons that happened.
But now that deal is killed, there`s a question about whether it can be put back together or whether Iran is going to move towards some nuclear development, which could lead to like, an enormously almost impossible to get your head around crisis. This wasn`t -- it wasn`t penny-ante stuff that was the subject of the -- of the truck and barter here.
GOLDBERG: And the consequences for American national security are profound. You know, I think one of the points that I made in my column is that Donald Trump issued 10 vetoes while he was president.
Five of those vetoes were on matters of interest to Saudi and UAE, including a veto of Congress`s attempt to end U.S. involvement in the hideous, brutal, bloody Civil War in Yemen, which UAE and Saudi were fighting for years and years. So, there are huge geopolitical issues at stake in these relationships.
HAYES: Yes, that`s great point. Half the vetoes were vetoes that the Saudis and the Emiratis were desperate to secure.
Michelle Goldberg, it`s always great to talk to you. Thanks so much.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
HAYES: Last night, we told you that Tennessee officials voted to remove the bust to KKK leader from the States Capitol first thing this morning, movers showed up. They rolled the tribute to a true American villain out of the seat of government, hallelujah.
Meanwhile, just a few states the north in Ohio, there was another changing of the Guard, thanks to decades of pressure from activists, the baseball team in Cleveland has a new name. We`ll talk all about it, just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK`S ANCHOR: Welcome back, as the border battle rages on, an American company is offering to build the wall for a fraction of the cost.
FISHER: We put a proposal on the Department of Homeland Security`s desk to build 700 miles in roughly five years.
And we really believe with our patent pending system, we can bring sexy back to construction.
The President will if he allows us to play in our team of Fisher industries to play, I guarantee a no different than Tom Brady. Once we get in, we never come out.
Hopefully the president will see this as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know if you heard about this contractor that said he can build the whole wall for a lot cheaper than anybody else and get it done by 2020, are you aware of that?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, we`re dealing with him actually, it`s Fisher comes from North Dakota.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just incredible stuff. I mean, for what? You could not watch Fox News without seeing some guy named Tommy Fisher just lobbying for a contract to build Donald Trump`s border wall.
In fact, Bloomberg reports in the first few years after the 2016 election, Fisher spent more than $100,000 on lobbying in Washington. And here`s the thing, it worked, kind of.
HAYES: After being rejected by the Department of Homeland Security and the Army Corps of Engineers, a nonprofit called We Build the Wall, great name, paid Fisher $6.9 billion to build a half mile length of border wall in New Mexico seen here.
Fisher then brought -- bought land on the Texas border with the idea that We Build the Wall nonprofit would pay him to build a wall there too.
But the group flaked out on paying him and they ran into some legal trouble, you might have heard about it when his founders of We Build the Wall, including former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, were arrested and charged with defrauding the organizations donors. Whoa, shocker.
But Fisher kept building, spending what he says is $30 million of company money to build a three-mile stretch of the wheat wall right next to the Rio Grande. You can see how close it is to the river at some points there.
It was all built with private money. And Fisher was still looking for a big federal contract. That`s when he was pitching in his media blitz, and it finally paid off in Trump`s last year in office when according to Bloomberg again, Fisher Sand & Gravel was awarded 2.5 billion with a B dollars, to build 135 miles worth of federal wall sections near Yuma and Nogales in Arizona and El Paso and Laredo in Texas.
At the time, we pointed out on this program that one of those contracts raised all kinds of questions in part because as the Washington Post reported, Trump repeatedly pushed for Fisher to get a wall building contract, urging officials with the Army Corps of Engineers to pick the firm, only to be told that Fisher`s bid did not meet standards.
Trump then kept pushing until the company was added to a pool of competitors and lo and behold, finally awarded those massive multi-billion- dollar contracts.
Now, unfortunately for Tommy Fisher, one of the first things Joe Biden did as president was halt all construction of walls at the border, basically cancel it -- canceling out that mega wall contract.
So, now, Tommy Fisher is looking for someone else to purchase to buy his three-mile $30 million stretch of Texas border wall where a hurricane caused significant erosion of the banks, up to an under the concrete foundation.
So, not in a hundred percent shape just FYI, it`s a little dinged up. But if you got a cool 30 mil looking for three-mile stretch of wall that may someday collapse into a river. I know a guy.
HAYES: Professional Baseball has been played in Cleveland continuously since 1901. In 1903, the team became known as a Cleveland Naps, in honor of their best player and eventual manager, Napoleon Lajoie.
But when he left the team in 1914, they needed a new name, although I think Naps is an amazing name. I mean, who doesn`t want a nap? Then, with input from some local sports writers, they would eventually become as you may know, the Cleveland Indians.
For years, that name stuck, and fan show up at the games wearing head dresses and with their faces painted. The team`s logo would become a grotesque minstrel like character, bright red and grinning from ear to ear. That was only officially retired three years ago, if you can imagine.
It was not until last year that finally after years of criticism and protests, particularly from American Indian groups, Cleveland`s baseball team decided to change their name.
And today, in a video narrated by the Oscar winner Tom Hanks, the team announced their new name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANKS: You see, it has always been Cleveland. That`s the best part of our name. And now it`s time to unite as one family, one community to build the next era for this team in this city. To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest. To come together and welcome all who want to join us. We are loyal, and proud and resilient. We protect what we`ve earned and always defended.
Together, we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land. Because this is the city we love, and the game we believe in. And together, we are all Cleveland Guardians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The baseball team will officially be playing as the Cleveland Guardians next season. I`m joined now by Aaron Payment, he`s Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians, and Kavitha Davidson, the sports and cultural writer for The Athletic, author of Loving Sports When They Don`t Love You Back: Dilemmas of the Modern Fan.
Aaron, let me start with you and just maybe talk to us a little bit about how long in the making this has been and what tipped it over to now?
AARON PAYMENT, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS: First of all, I`m excited to be here. You are my new source, you along with Rachel Maddow. So, I`m grateful to be here. Thank you.
HAYES: Well, thanks.
PAYMENT: It has been an epic challenge. I worked on this when I was an undergrad in the 1980s. So, that`s over 40 years. And even longer through the National Congress of American Indians Resolutions were passed almost 50 years ago, calling for the change in the name and the use of derogatory mascots towards American Indians.
So, in earnest, more closely, we`ve been working directly with the Cleveland team to be able to find an appropriate way to change the name and to transition because we know sports fans are very loyal. And like Tom Hanks just said, the Cleveland part of it has been the most important part. So, we`ve been working on it for quite a while, like more than a generation.
HAYES: You know, Kavitha, it`s striking to me that sports has been -- I think sports has been more resistant to some of the cultural changes in terms of inclusiveness and anti-bigotry than other parts of American life have been.
But we are seeing it now really change. I mean, the Washington football team held out forever with this really awful name. That`s gone. Cleveland has changed its name.
HAYES: Like, what`s going on among the leagues or the owners that they`ve reached that tipping point in terms of whatever their calculation is, whether it`s business or something else?
KAVITHA DAVIDSON, THE ATHLETIC SPORTS AND CULTURAL WRITER: Yes, well, first of all, I want to commend the work that Aaron and other activists have done in this space for a half century really to get to this point.
I don`t think that we should be giving owners too much credit here, frankly. I always point to the Washington football team. And I say that Dan Snyder didn`t just suddenly have a come to Jesus moment that that name was racist, it was sponsorship pressure that forced him to do that. And sponsorship pressure always follows public sentiment.
So, we have gotten to a point especially with Black Lives Matter, especially with all the conversations we`ve had the last year of racial equity, about the public, about fans actually really understanding that not only are these names derogatory, but they`re actually really hurtful.
But one thing I do always want to point out when it comes to these racist names and mascots, is there are tons of studies that point to the negative psychological effect that seeing these characters have on Native American youth.
But at the same time, we cite two studies in my book -- in our book that point to -- that point to these names and mascots, also having a positive effect on the self-esteem of white fans. So, that`s part of the resistance that we`ve seen for so long here.
HAYES: And I want to play you what Congressman Jim Jordan from Ohio had to say today, it`s not surprising that there`s a certain kind of reactionary backlash to this, including predictively from the ex-president, which I`ll spare you. But here`s Jim Jordan, raising a hue and cry, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Sports was the one area where you can go where you can`t get politics. Now, sports has become political.
And frankly, the American people don`t like it. I guess -- I guess it could be a little worse. It could be the Cleveland baseball team, at least they got a name, but it`s ridiculous.
We`re -- I`m tired of the left. They control big tech, big media, big corporations. And now, they`re controlling big -- we know they control Hollywood, higher education, they control the White House, they control the Congress, they control the bureaucracy. Now, they`re trying to control big sports.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you say to that, Aaron?
PAYMENT: Well, I would say that this is not a left-right issue. American Indians all across the country are not monolithic. We have all kinds of political persuasions and backgrounds and we are unified in our desire for this change.
The American Psychological Association in 2005 pointed out the psychologically damaging impact on American Indians and the misleading in un-educational impact on non-American Indian students.
And so, this is not a political movement. This is a -- this is historical movement. This is a milestone in American history, where we`re going to be able to look back and say, why did it take us this long?
HAYES: There are American Indian Trump voters, I guarantee you and conservatives out there. The fact that the Robeson County, North Carolina, which Trump won which is the -- comes to mind just off the top of my head.
But it`s also -- Kavitha, the thing I was saying today, I was -- I was tweeting about this, you know, I always give this advice to parents of children who are, you know, trying to figure out -- they`re expecting a baby and they`re trying to figure out the name.
And I always say like, you`re going to love the name because you love the kid. And there`s not a parent alive who wakes up one morning with their, you know, 8-year-old Max sleeping in the bed and thinks like, why did we name him Max? Like, it doesn`t matter. Like, you love the kid, you`re going to love the name. You love the team. Like if this will be two weeks, and it will be the guardians.
DAVIDSON: These fans are going to continue to root for Cleveland, as that video said, this is about -- this is about city identity and the identity that you have as fans. And I`m sorry if I have to say that Jim Jordan might be out of touch with some people.
But a lot of fans actually really liked the name Washington Football team. A lot of fans think that that should be their permanent name. This is pretty much a non-issue when it comes to actually maintaining the fandom.
And by the way, Cleveland is going to make a ton of money about -- around this rebranding and about selling new merchandise. So, there`s really no -- nobody`s losing here.
HAYES: Yes, we should also know that they`re named after those big imposing statues, which are called the Guardians which are on the bridge there in Cleveland. And, you know, sort of evoke the some of the pride of the cities. This is not just a random name.
It seems to me that that there are still a bunch of these team mascots at the Collegiate High School level where in some ways, it feels like they might even be more insidious. Aaron, I wonder how much progress has been made on that front.
PAYMENT: So, we are seeing a movement right now. And it`s picking up speed. There`s about 18 -- almost 1,900 districts, school districts that still have these Indian mascots. And of them, about 40 percent have the Indians mascot. Less of them have the R word still.
And if you know the origin of that, the R word actually came from a bounty on American Indian scouts. And so, when people don`t understand the origin of this, I urge them to ask themselves, why are American Indians the only racial ethnic population to be subjected to this practice? Substitute another race in a mascot, and then let me know whether you think it`s appropriate.
And I`m not going to give you any examples because that would be inappropriate. But for those who don`t understand it, if they could ask them that basic question, why are we the only racial ethnic population worthy of dishonor?
HAYES: Aaron Payment and Kavitha Davidson, thank you for making time tonight. Enjoyed that.
PAYMENT: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Happy Friday. Good evening, Rachel.