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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, November 20, 2020

Guests: Tim Alberta, Kristen Clarke, Ashish Jha, Adam Schiff, Hakeem Jeffries


Joe Biden is the certified winner in Georgia as President Trump's shakedown continues in Michigan. The United States nears 200,000 COVID cases per day. Interview with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) about President Trump's refusal to concede the election. Interview with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) about the pandemic crisis Americans face and what Congress is doing about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Bible even says that even the elect will be deceived.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, amen. It does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit of a message for my religious friends.

REID: Indeed. Thank you both so much. Doctor -- Mary Trump. I'm giving a doctor here. Steven Hassan, you guys are great. Steven Hassan, thank you very much. You guys are great. That is tonight's REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earlier today, Secretary Raffensperger presented the certified results of the 2020 General Election to my office.

HAYES: Joe Biden is the certified winner in Georgia as the president shakedown continues in Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you talking to President Trump about overthrowing the will of Michigan voters?

HAYES: Tonight, as Joe Biden prepares for inauguration. How do you govern a country half trapped in a MAGA bubble?

SIDNEY POWELL, LAWYER: President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it.

HAYES: Then, it was the excused Republican senators used for not voting to remove Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would, say let the voters decide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, let the voters decide this stuff.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): That decision needs to be made by the voters.

HAYES: Adam Schiff on the ongoing abdication of responsibility. And the new way the Trump White House is throwing gasoline on America's financial crisis as Biden takes over, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. The COVID pandemic, I'm sad to say, is the worst it's ever been in this country and it's getting worse by the day. Record case and hospitalization numbers again today 193,000 cases pushing up against 200,000 cases a day. We now have 83,000 people in the hospital. And most likely there were more than 1800 deaths. And that's before this wave of cases makes its way through the hospitals.

We learned that Donald Trump Jr., who repeatedly hosted maskless indoor events on the campaign trail and spread doubts about the effectiveness of certain public health measures, is among those who have contracted the virus. Also testing positive was Andrew Giuliani, Special Assistant to the President and son of Rudy Giuliani. We wish both of them a speedy recovery as we do the nearly 200,000 other Americans who tested positive just today.

Now, COVID is not some kind of morality play. It doesn't strike down those with hubris and spare those with virtue. It's just a virus. Anyone can get it. But it's also clear that both Don Jr. and Andrew Giuliani appear to have fully brought in -- bought into the dangerous disinformation that their fathers have been pushing for months, and that's part of a larger trend.

For the past few years, a huge chunk of this country, our fellow Americans, has been going through what is basically a slow-motion, nervous breakdown. What we are seeing now, what we are confronted around in this very dark winter, that maybe 40 percent of the country either unwilling or unable to acknowledge the reality that Donald Trump lost the election is the culmination of that.

The right in this country has spent decades building this disinformation ecosystem that fundamentally depends on telling conservatives that you can't trust other people. You can only trust us and you especially can't trust anyone who says bad things about our leaders. It's the same thing a cult tells people.

I mean, what a cult does is explicitly work to cut off all your relationships to other sources of authority outside the cult. Years ago, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh talked about what he called the four corners of deceit. They were government, academia, science, and the media.

Well, if you cut off all that, government information and statistic, the entire university -- the universe of knowledge, scientific thought, journalism grounded in actual reporting reality, what are you left with? Not much, just what the cult wants you to believe. And all the sum of expertise and evidence becomes meaningless.

And so here's what it sounds like when you are a member of that cult and some of the people you considered allies try to get you to break free from disinformation and just once accept reality.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump and you are all we have left, Rush. We spent our lives voting for these people because they're not them and we just can't do it anymore. No one stands for us, Rush, only you and Donald Trump. God forbid, what do we have left? I love my president. I'm not -- I am not a revolutionary, Rush, but I will die for my president.


HAYES: To be honest with you, I feel a profound sense of empathy for that man. And he senses that he's been lied to and betrayed and he has been though not quite in the way that I think he realizes. And that can happen to almost anyone. I mean, really, really smart people, sophisticated people end up in cults. Really, really smart and sophisticated people end up believing crazy stuff. It happens all the time. I can tell you as a reporter.

And this in mass is what happens when you spend decades untethering people from reality. It becomes very hard to get them back. And if you're sitting there listening to me with an error of judgment and self-satisfaction, I want you to take a moment to introspect, because the fact of the matter is that all of us across the political spectrum, have ideological blind spots and cognitive habits to push us inexorably towards things that confirm our priors that make us feel good.

And more than that, all of us, no matter your partisan affiliation, we all get our information about the world, basically, through trust relationships. If you right now watching this believe the earth is warming because of carbon emissions, which it is, unless you are a climate scientist, you acquire that information by someone telling you about it or reading about it. And those were sources and people you trusted, and you were right to trust them.

Now, that's not to say certain bedrock sources of authority are infallible because God knows clear they're not. I mean, I live through the mainstream media's reporting on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the financial world's calm assurances about the housing bubble.

But the sources people on one side of the partisan divide go to. The ones that Rush identified, the four corners of deceit, are in the end, more or less engaged in a good faith enterprise. They are trustworthy on the whole. The problem is, the country got a divorce and one side got custody of all the good ways to get knowledge about the world.

One side of the country, a big chunk, has come to trust deeply institutions and sources that are just deeply untrustworthy. And this problem isn't unique to the United States. Rupert Murdoch basically engineered much of this predicament for a big part of the English-speaking world. But we do seem to have the worst case.

And we've seen the seeds of this issue on like climate change where conservatives have been persuaded to ignore overwhelming evidence. Here, watch the former Prime Minister of Australia recently confront a Murdoch apparatchik about the damage he's done.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: The company you work for, and its friends in politics, like Trump and others, have turned in this issue of physics into an issue of values or identity.

Now, saying you believe -- saying that you believe or disbelieve in global warming is like saying you believe or disbelieve in gravity. You've turned something that should be a question of engineering and economics into undiluted etiology and idiocy, and we are paying the price in delayed action to address global warming.


HAYES: I mean, we've seen the exact same phenomenon play out with COVID, right, where Murdoch broadcasters and various sketchy right-wing hucksters turned hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, into a culture work cudgel, a supposed miracle that "experts don't want you to have." And now we're seeing it with this broad refusal on the right to accept the result the election, and Trump wants to weaponize it.

What he is trying to do is use this alternate reality to essentially produce the conditions to overturn a democratic election and end 240 years of American history. He's hoping there are enough people in positions of power in the cult to run a stake through the heart of democracy. It's why he summoned to Michigan Republican lawmakers to D.C. today for a meeting at the White House in a bid to try to get them to overturn the results in the state that Joe Biden won by 154,000 votes.

And if they don't do what Trump wants, and it appears they want, we're going to talk about that, well, then the cult members will lash out at them as globalist sellouts and collaborators with the evil empire. No one stands up for us, just the president.

Just asked Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who had the audacity to conclude that when all the votes were counted, indeed, Donald Trump lost Georgia. And for refusing to steal the election, Raffensperger has been called to resign by his fellow Republicans, both Republican senators in the state. He and his wife have received death threats, including text telling them they deserve to face a firing squad.

And to his credit, reference Berger has refused to buckle on. Today, after hand recount, Georgia certified Biden as the winner of the state. And then Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp came out and said he would formalize the certification as required by state law. And even doing that is likely to result in a backlash. Because when any Republican or a Conservative tries to gently broach the basic reality, they discover that the cult members are both unable to accept the truth and eager to lash out of them for trying to get them to do so.

There's no way around it. There is something profoundly broken here. And I don't know the solution to it. I wish I did. The question of whether anyone can run a democracy under these conditions is an open one. It's awfully hard to govern when 40, 35 percent -- 40, 45 percent of country is willing to believe liars and frauds like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell when they make outlandish and nonsensical claims about elections being stolen without a shred of evidence.

And a huge country is a chunk to this country, people that we share this great nation with, people that we love, that are friends, that you probably know. I mean, fellow Americans, our fellow citizens. They're going to continue to live sealed in this world and it's a huge problem for American democracy.

All of that said, at least as of now, it is still the case that our basic institutions and laws and some of the key figures continue to be tethered, however shakily, to reality. And so, I want to now talk about how Republican lawmakers dealing with all this and what to expect in the days and the weeks leading up to Inauguration Day.

I want to start with Tim Alberta, Chief Political Correspondent for Politico, one of the best chroniclers of the American right. Tim, it's great to have you. Let's start first with this meeting, because I know you're reported on this. You're headquartered, I think, in Michigan these days. You do a lot of reporting on the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Republican House and Senate leader summoned to the White House. What was your sense of what this was about and what happened?

TIM ALBERTA, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, Chris, I think obviously, what it was about was the upcoming certification of the Michigan election results. And the President and his legal team do not have a great grasp on the state by state specifics of how these results are certified, so there's been this sort of spaghetti at the wall approach.

And obviously, in the wake of this rather bizarre incident earlier this week in Wayne County, the biggest county in Michigan where Detroit is, and the initial refusal of the Republican canvassers there to certify those results, which ultimately they backtracked on and voted to certify, and then the next day signed affidavit saying they wanted to rescind their votes. And at least one of those members, we know, was in contact with the president talking to him after their initial vote to certify.

So clearly, the President had already interjected himself and was leaning on the Republican canvassers themselves. So this was sort of the next obvious step for the president and for his legal team was to actually bring in some lawmakers because the President was told by his legal team that if there was a similar deadlock at the state level -- so the counties all certify, all these counties in Michigan certify individually, but then there is a four-member state board that will vote to certify the entire statewide election, all 83 counties.

And this is where the Trump legal team believes that they have levers. There was a belief that if the state board was in a deadlock, and if the two Republicans on the state board refused to vote for certification, then it would default to the legislature. And the legislature, which is run by Republicans in Michigan, would then have the ability to handpick its own electors to send to the Electoral College.

The only problem, Chris, is that the President got bad advice. That's just not how it works. And in fact, the president's lawyers who were talking about this and who were tweeting about this, they still have their tweets up but their facts are wrong. And so even if these lawmakers in Michigan wanted to try and pull off this sort of electoral heist, they couldn't do it anyway.

HAYES: Yes. You said this morning after 48 hours of high-level conversations with Michigan Republicans and Democrats, it's clear the results will stand. Joe Biden will receive the state's 16 electoral votes. There's no alternative under the state statute. This Trump Michigan GOP meeting is a sideshow.

We should say that those lawmakers, I will say to their credit, said we have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan. And as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan's electors.

But Tim, you've been chronicling the right for a long time. And I wonder if you agree with me that this is a new frontier we've crossed over. It's been -- it's been a trajectory that existed before this moment. But this is not going away. This will now be canon for tens of millions of Americans that the election was stolen, and they were stabbed in the back by their political leadership.

ALBERTA: I completely agree, Chris. This is an inflection point. And the fact of the matter is, when you look at the public polling before this election -- Gallup put out a poll a couple of weeks before election day asking the American public about its confidence that this election would be conducted fairly and that the votes would be cast and counted accurately.

And on that exact question with that exact framing, the number of Republicans who said that, yes, they believed in the institution of the ballot box and they had confidence in it was down 30-some points just from 2018 when Gallup had asked the question two years ago.

So, there was a 30 -- I believes about a 35-point drop in two years, and that was before Election Day. So, now you have the president coming out and claiming that the election was stolen, you have his legal team spinning these fantastical theories about how the election was stolen, obviously, not bringing any evidence to bear. But you do have now, I think A, sort of an existential threat facing the institution of the ballot box the likes of which we've ever had in this country. And whether people want to stick their head in the sand and refuse to believe that, that's on them.

But ultimately, even a fraction of the 75 million people who voted for the president believe him and believe his legal team, you're still talking about millions of Americans who no longer believe in the legitimacy of the ballot box.

HAYES: Tim Alberta, thank you so much for making some time. Joining me now is Kristin Clarke. She's a civil rights attorney, member of the bipartisan National Task Force on Election Crises. Kris, let me start with you with a kind of an emotional question.

I've talked to a lot of people in the last few weeks who feel this kind of ebbing and flowing of anxiety, which is like Biden won, right? It's not like -- he's not going to pull off some goo and then a thing happens and they get stressed out again, and then they're -- then they come back to thinking like it's all OK. Like, where are you on this? Like, how do you view what's happening over the last few weeks?

KRISTEN CLARKE, MEMBER, NATIONAL TASK FORCE ON ELECTION CRISIS: It's been a roller coaster. But we've all been on a four-year roller coaster throughout the duration of this administration. But what we're seeing right now is that democracy is being pressured tested.

HAYES: Right.

CLARKE: A historic number of eligible Americans have gone out and they have made their voice heard. And now we see the president resorting to every trick in the book, any tactic that he can put his hands on along with his allies to try and distort the outcome of the election, to try and subvert the will of the people.

So emotionally, I'm feeling OK. We've gotten involved in many of these baseless and frivolous lawsuits, and we are winning. These cases are getting dismissed left and right. And one of the most encouraging victories was yesterday in Georgia, where Judge Grimberg, a Trump appointee, flatly rejected one of these lawsuits that sought to block the certification of election results in Georgia.

The judge said, you've got no standing, these claims are baseless, and the relief that you seek would harm the public interests. So, emotionally, I'm feeling OK. I think we're going to get there in the end.

HAYES: Yes. I think that the one thing that has been reassuring is the courts have viewed this whether, you know, whatever president appointed the said judge, the courts have viewed it appropriately as ridiculous essentially.

We had today -- you know, we had Georgia certifying, we had this statement put out by those Michigan lawmakers, which leads one to think that they're not going to try to pull anything insanely atrociously anti-democratic. You have Michigan and Pennsylvania certifying, Nevada, and then Ohio, Arizona, and Wisconsin.

I feel like the certifications, and then we move towards the governor sending those certified results to Congress, and then December 14, the electors meet and cast their votes, each of these points, there's moments when the President is clearly going to try to throw a monkey wrench in. But I guess how secure do you feel about batting those away?

CLARKE: Well, I anticipate that we will continue to see efforts to hijack the process, which is pretty pro forma, just as you've laid out. The most critical part of this process is over, Americans have spoken. Over 150 million Americans have spoken. And so, I think we'll continue to deal with, you know, attempts to pressure lawmakers to not certify election results. We'll continue to see these desperate intimidation tactics.

We may have to deal with a couple of more -- a couple more frivolous lawsuits that are filed in state or federal courts. But everything is failing and we're moving to the path that is appropriate for our democracy, one in which the will of the voters will prevail at the very end.

HAYES: Who gets -- you know, that's true at a legal level. But one of the things I think that we're seeing, right, is that in a deep sense, a democracy functions by the loser accepting the results. I mean, not in -- not in the sense of who gets to wield power, because Donald Trump will never accept the results, and he will not be in the Oval Office on January 21st. He won't.

But in a deeper sense of like what a democracy is and how it functions is that some -- even Hillary Clinton who, you know, won by three million votes, and did not think the outcome was just or fair and was the victim of foreign sabotage like quite plainly, like she conceded. And Al Gore famously did the same thing. And I just wonder, like, what does it mean in a broader sense when and if that doesn't happen, because it's not going to happen?

CLARKE: Well, a peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of democracy. And sadly, this story won't end that way. This story will be one in which the outgoing President Trump thought at every turn to obstruct democracy and to subvert the will of the people. That is the sad and unfortunate way that this story ends.

But brighter days are on the horizon. We will do all that we can to restore the good standing of American democracy across the globe. I mean, that is the part that I think is forgotten that the entire globe is watching what's playing out here, this charade, this sham. So, on January 21st, we'll start the hard work of rebuilding and restoring democracy and cleaning up the damage that has been wrought, you know, throughout the past four years, and most intensely, in these past two weeks.

HAYES: Kristen Clark, civil rights attorney, thank you so much for your time tonight.

CLARKE: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, the Coronavirus crisis is the worst it has ever been in this country. So, why are Senate Republicans wasting time on hydroxychloroquine? Dr. Ashish Jha on the bizarre world Senate hearing, and he joins me next.


HAYES: There are record 193,000 daily COVID cases in the United States today including President son Don Jr. and Andrew Giuliani, Rudy's son. Nearly 50 people in and around the White House have now contracted the disease over the last few months. Right now, over 80,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID. We've never seen that before. Nearly 2000 people died today.

And what are the nation's Republican leaders doing about it? Yesterday, the Senate Homeland Security Committee convened a hearing on how to treat COVID patients. But instead of focusing on things that might work, the hearing was all about hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug touted by the President even though the FDA has warned people against taking it because of the risk of heart problems.

The Republican Committee Chairman Ron Johnson spent two hours trying to argue in favor of the drug, blaming bureaucrats and calling in three witnesses to support his position, while Dr. Ashish Jha, the one witness called by Democrats, tried valiantly to communicate the basic facts that we know about hydroxychloroquine.


ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Evidence so far is very clear that this therapy doesn't work. If future data show that it does, I will be delighted and be the first to promote it. But I've got to be driven by the data and the science, and not what I hope is to be true.

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I can't get it. Millions of Americans can't access it because of the disinformation, the scaremongering, and the prescription log jam that has been created by bureaucrats. So, you can sit back and go, but it's, you know, is has been proven effective. Well, they've never pushed trials to really analyze it. And I've got some pretty eminent people in front of me that have looked at the observational data and completely dispute that.

Now you can sit there with all the authoritative voice that you possibly have, but we've got some gentlemen here that are treating patients, are within that empathy circle, and they completely disagree with you.


HAYES: And Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University joins me now. You posted a Twitter thread about this yesterday. And I was actually shocked because I had not seen the announcement or noticing of the hearing. And I have -- the whole time, I found this to be one of the most bizarre chapters in this whole thing to take a malaria drug and turn it into like Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the anthem level culture war fight.

Like, it just either does work or it doesn't. There's -- I don't -- I literally don't understand how it became some big culture war thing. I can't believe they're still crusading on this.

JHA: Chris, thank you for having me on. It is a very odd thing, right? So, here we are, as you said, 2000 Americans dying every day. Instead of focusing on things that are going to help prevent more deaths, we spent hours yesterday debating hydroxychloroquine were there isn't much debate. The science is very clear.

And the idea that we're going to start politicizing therapies like, is aspirin, a Democratic drug or a Republican drug. Like, we can't get into this. We've politicized everything else; we've got to leave this stuff alone. And I can't believe we went there yesterday.

HAYES: Yes. And we've also been getting -- I mean, look, the therapy has gotten better. We've been learning things. Things that look promising, Remdesivir, the WHO is now saying, maybe not that effective. Like, the one thing that looks pretty, pretty reliable is the steroids that the President took, which I'm hearing from more and more doctors, they are making a normal course of their treatment. Like, we have learned stuff right about treatment and therapy.

JHA: Yes, no doubt about it. I would say the average person going to the hospital today probably has about a 50 percent lower likelihood of dying than they would have six months ago. We've learned a lot about therapies and we've also just gotten better. And obviously, we need to do more work. And we do need outpatient therapies. But we got to keep working on it using science evidence and data and not hope -- and not this empathy circle that Senator Johnson was talking about, but instead, you know, the most empathy thing we can do is get the science right and get the therapies right.

HAYES: So the fact that -- here's what I'm having a hard time squaring, and it's making me quite terrified. When you say you have a 50 percent less chance of succumbing to illness, dying from it if you're hospitalized now, and I think that's borne out by those two hospitalization curves and the mortality curves.

The fatality data we're seeing right now is really scary. And the hospitalization data makes me worry that as hospitals get overwhelmed, we are going to see that number start to come back up. The ratio of hospitalized to deaths under conditions of stress are going to come back up. Do you have that worry? Is there evidence that's already happening?

JHA: Well, I definitely have that worry. We don't have evidence that it's happening yet, but there's very good evidence in general that when hospitals get crowded, everybody does worse. And it makes sense, right? It stands to reason that you can get -- you get less attention, the normal processes of a hospital don't work as effectively, but data on crowding and worse outcome is well known. And I'm worried that's going to happen. And it's not just going to affect COVID patients, It's going to affect anybody who's in the hospital.

HAYES: I am just -- I'm just a reporter who follows this and talks to a lot of people and reports on it. The trajectory that we're looking at right now is just utterly terrifying. The only silver lining I have I guess is that I think I thought at a point during the summer surge in a place like Arizona, that short of mass mitigation efforts, there was no way to break that curve.

And they did break and they didn't do mass mitigation efforts. They closed bars they did some mask mandates, but they didn't go into total shelter in place. What is your sense of what policy interventions are on the table right now that could bend this curve around?

JHA: So, I'm -- you know, first of all, it's going to happen at the state level, right? We're not going to get any real meaningful policy interventions from the federal government. I'm hoping that things like what the governor of Michigan did on Sunday night, which actually follows very closely the France model that the French did a few weeks ago. And you can see the curve spiking in France, they put in these interventions, and they turn things around.

And they really are about limiting indoor gatherings and trying to push people to not have these indoor parties, closing bars and restaurants. It really does seem to be a pretty effective strategy. It's worked in France. I'm hoping it'll work in Michigan. I'm hoping to work in many states in the U.S. that actually do this kind of stuff.

HAYES: What is your sense of what we are headed towards the next few weeks, particularly with thanksgiving on the horizon? And how much that's a kind of -- that strikes me as a switch on the railroad tracks of which direction we're going to go.

JHA: Yes. So, it all depends on what -- whether people are really going to heed the warnings, right? We're going to have a small Thanksgiving meal in our household. If most people do that, I think we'll get through Thanksgiving OK. If people are tempted, and I was tempted, everybody's tempted, but if people actually go visit family, have extended gatherings, it's going to be awful. And we've seen a spike after every single holiday in the last year. We're going to see another spike after Thanksgiving. And it'll come off of a very high baseline with already surging cases. Things could get meaningfully worse.

HAYES: Dr. Ashish Jha, I'm always grateful for you sharing your expertise. Thank you very much.

JHA: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff on Trump's refusal to concede the election and why his Republican colleagues are enabling the delusions of a defeated president.


HAYES: This evening, the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia confirmed that President like Biden has won that state and officially certified the results. Despite how overwhelmingly clear it is that Joe Biden is going to be the next president, the current shame of the Republican Party is the almost universal silence about what the voters have decided.

The vast majority of national Republican leaders continue to drag their heels, many have become complicit participants in Trump's feeble attempt to subvert the election. And while you probably don't need proof for the bad faith of almost every Republican senator, it is worth taking just a moment to remember how dumb they think the rest of us are.

You may recall the President of the United States was impeached less than a year ago. Yes, his trial was this year. And you may recall that when it came time to decide whether he should be removed from office, every Republican senator but one said he should stay because among other reasons, they said that it shouldn't be up to us, let the voters decide.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a presidential election in November where the people of this country can weigh in and make their voices heard. I think we should leave that decision up to them.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): The results of the next election should be decided by the American people not by Congress.

GRAHAM: The American people are going to get to decide in November who they want to be their President.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): We should interest to the people the most fundamental decision of a democracy.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Removing the president is not a last resort. We have an election in November which is a far better and a lot less damaging remedy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The voters will pronounce a verdict in nine months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I trust them to make that decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the end of the day, Mr. President, the ultimate judge would rest in their hands.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): The American people are more than adequately prepared to decide for themselves.

SEN. KELLY LOEFFLER (R-GA): Let's not be so arrogant as to take that decision away from the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people should make that decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let this decision lie in its rightful place with the electorate.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): The American people and not members of Congress would decide the presidency of the United States.

GRAHAM: That decision needs to be made by the voters.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO(R-WY): I would say let the voters decide.

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): I mean, let the voters decide this stuff.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): The voters are voting and it is up to the voters to decide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's better to let the people decide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is an election, not an impeachment.


HAYES: OK. We had one. We had an election. The voters decided. And so, now all those senators should, right? They should be showing some deference, some respect for the decision. I mean, they told us this was the thing to do. And then we went out and did it and now what? Now, what?

When we come back, the congressman who led the impeachment of Donald Trump and warned he would do this if he lost the election, Adam Schiff, will be here on what to do now next.



REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Now, you may be asking how much damage can he really do in the next several months until the election? A lot, a lot of damage. And you know you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country. You can trust he will do what's right for Donald Trump. He'll do it now. He's done it before. He'll do it for the next several months. He'll do it in the election if he's allowed to.


HAYES: It's been nearly 10 months since Congressman Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment manager on President Trump's Senate trial, warned America that Trump would do exactly what he's always done and what he is doing right now, putting himself before the good of the nation, refusing to concede an election he has clearly lost, sentencing thousands of Americans to sickness and death because of his own selfishness.

And Congressman Adam Schiff, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee joins me now. How would you characterize what we are seeing right now, both from the president and from the Republican members of Congress?

SCHIFF: From the president, we're saying exactly what we expected we would see, and that is that if he lost the election, he would contest it, that he would claim that it was rigged, that it was a fraud, that he would make completely false and baseless allegations that millions voted illegally. And that's, of course, exactly what he's doing.

And in terms of the Republicans in Congress, you know, as you pointed out during the trial, Chris, we warned that he tried to cheat in the election and got (INAUDIBLE). He tried to get Ukraine to help him cheat, and then he would do it again. And that's exactly what he's doing. The Republicans who, you know, many of whom acknowledged that he had been proven guilty of the charges, and then went on to say as what you pointed out that well, let's let the voters decide, now that the voters have decided, that's still not good enough for them.

The only remaining ideology, Chris, that we have seen of these Republican enablers is say what the president says, do what the President wants. That is now the Republican Party ideology. It doesn't go beyond that. What he says rules them. They fear angry tweets, they fear primary challenges, they fear retribution. They fear that voters in Georgia may not turn out if Donald Trump takes the ball and goes home.

And so we see once again this utter capitulation to the wishes of Donald Trump no matter how anti-democratic and unconstitutional they may be.

HAYES: How do you understand in this moment, with all that's unfurled since then, how do you now understand impeachment? I've been thinking about this year which in many ways the worst year of our lifetime. It's the deadliest year in American history. We've all been through a lot. How do you think about impeachment in the context of what unfolded afterwards?

SCHIFF: Well, I think about it this way. We saw what Donald Trump was made of. We saw the abuses of power. And we in the house undertook our constitutional responsibility with great seriousness. Although, you know, we had realistic expectations, we hoped and prayed the Senate might do the same. They didn't.

That's not necessarily a flaw in the remedy of impeachment. One of the things that we pointed out during the trial is, it doesn't matter how well the Constitution is written or how profound the oath of impartiality is, if those things are not animated by the spirit which the Constitution was written, if the members don't give them content through their character, none of it works.

And it hasn't worked because the GOP, one of the major parties, has relinquished its constitutional duty and become a cult of the President. And, you know, that's what has this Republican shaking -- this republic shaking. Donald Trump couldn't be doing any of this. There would be no lack of ascertainment by the GSA administrator if the Republicans weren't allowing it.

They could put an end to it tomorrow. They just don't have the courage to do it. And it's a colossal failing. It doesn't mean that impeachment won't be an effective remedy in the future if it's necessary. But it does mean at this moment to peril that one party is not living up to its responsibility.

HAYES: I think some of your colleagues in the -- in the house have written a letter to the GSA administrator asking her to answer to them what she's thinking on ascertainment, possibly calling her. You know, so far, the way this has all been played out, it's played out in the courts and the Biden people saying, be patient, and I get all that. Does the House have a role here? At a certain point, like, the transition kind of has to happen. You guys do control one branch of Congress.

SCHIFF: We do have a role and we're trying to execute that role. We are, you know, I think putting the right kind of pressure, public pressure on, you know, these holdouts both in the Congress and in the administration to get on with the transition, to acknowledge the elections over. Joe Biden won. He won handily six million votes more than the other guy. And it's time to attend to the business of the country and defeat this pandemic.

So, we are trying to turn up the public pressure, and that public pressure can be powerful. And if necessary, we'll call people before the Congress. You know, day by day, bit by event, as the court makes its results clear as state after state started certifying the results, you know, the pressure will be inexorable. But in the meantime, of course, we're losing time to fight this virus.

One other thing I want to say --

HAYES: I think we may have lost --

SCHIFF: -- they were waiting in the beginning, let's let the courts save us from ourselves. And then well, let's let the state legislators save us from ourselves. Well, then it will be just wait until the Georgia special election is over. And then, it will be let's just wait until he's out of the White House and maybe he will, you know, go off into that good night. And then it will be well, as long as he may run in four years, I guess we still can't say what we need and act our conscience.

If they don't put it into it now, they will never find the courage to stand up to him. They will never reclaim their party.

HAYES: I think that's correct. House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, thank you for making time tonight.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, it is pretty much universally accepted that we are in desperate need of federal relief. So, where is it? Why is it taking so long? What can we do? Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on the inaction on Capitol Hill after this.


HAYES: Right now, there are millions, tens of millions of people who are worried about where their next paycheck is going to come from, where their next meal for their family, or what will become of American life over the next dark 60 days. And there's no answer from the federal government, not from the Trump administration or from Congress. And so, I found it darkly amusing the other day when none other than Texas Senator John Cornyn tweeted the following. He said, "He linked to an article about the fact that a lot of jobless benefits are going to run out and said this is heartless. Congress must act. 12 million lose jobless benefits the day after Christmas unless Congress acts."

And I thought, John Cornyn, you're -- but you're in Congress. He's in Senate leadership. What are you doing? Don't be a pundit. You're a player, buddy. Another player is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. He's the chair of the House Democratic Caucus and he joins me now.

I feel like there is broad agreement that something has to be done. All of -- the Cares Act money is running out, a bunch of the provisions have been turned limited, the pandemic is worse now than it was when the Cares Act passed. What's the status of things happening there?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, we've been trying to proceed with the fierce urgency of now since May when we passed the initial version of the heroes act on May 15th, then again, passed a second version of the Heroes Act on October 1st. But unfortunately, our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol, as well as President Trump, have been missing in action.

Now, we still are trying to find common ground with them for all the reasons, Chris, that you laid out. The pain, the suffering, and the death are not getting better, they are getting exponentially worse. And several of the provisions that had been initially put into the Cares Act such as the extension of time for being eligible for basic unemployment is getting ready to expire.

We already have lost the $600 per week emergency unemployment insurance benefit. And of course, we believe that the American people need other forms of relief such as another round of direct stimulus payments, and of course, assistance in paying their rent or their mortgage.

HAYES: OK, I agree substantively with all that. And I know you're not going to negotiate on cable news with me. That said, the Heroes Act isn't happening. Like, it's not happening. You and I both know it. That number is not going to happen, the provisions in that bill aren't going to happen. Mitch McConnell controls the Senate.

Now, maybe Democrats win those two runoffs, but that's January 5th. That's a long way from now. So, I guess the question is like, something is going to have to happen that's a lot less than the Heroes Act if anything is going to happen.

JEFFRIES: Well, you know, let's be clear about what Heroes Act we were talking about. In May, we passed the $3.4 trillion bill. We came down from that $3.4 trillion to $2.2 trillion. The administration has come up to $1.9 trillion. Now, we think that there's an opportunity to close that gap and get something over the finish line over the next few weeks, so we're operating off of --

HAYES: But wait a second. You need --- there's no active negotiations. Is Mnuchin talking to the Speaker? Like is anyone talking to each other?

JEFFRIES: Yes. Well, the Speaker and a Senate Majority Leader Mike Connell are talking. Now, they're talking, as I understand it, about avoiding a government shutdown.

HAYES: December 11th, yes.

JEFFRIES: But there is communication, and that's important. And there are parallel conversations that are ongoing. And I believe that will mature into being able to get something done in the COVID-19 space.

HAYES: You mentioned Secretary Mnuchin who has been the kind of key point person on these negotiations, who was crucial in the Cares Act. There are a number of provisions in the Cares Act essentially is sort of a strange arrangement that essentially a fiscal appropriation from Congress that money that was then given to the Fed, moved over to the Fed's bank account, and then the Federal Reserve could use that as essentially like a basis for lending for a variety of different emergency scenarios.

Now, those facilities have been somewhat underutilized, people say, because the market signal sent by the action itself did a lot of the work. All of that said, Secretary Steve Mnuchin, after Donald Trump lost, said we would like that money back. We want to shut this down and not pass it over the Biden administration. What do you think of that?

JEFFRIES: I mean, it's highly irresponsible, and it's classic in terms of the Trump administration. They're all about themselves. They're behaving like petulant children right now. They don't care about the economy. They don't care about the wellbeing of the American people. They have taken their ball and gone off the court. And this is an example of it, and the American people are going to pay the price.

The good news, Chris, is that January 20th is on the horizon. We're going to try to get something done before then because the American people are hurting, but we will have new presidential leadership shortly.

HAYES: I thought this was interesting. This is a Pew Research poll out today. 78 percent of low-income Trump supporters, Trump supporters, say COVID assistance -- more COVID is needed, and only 49 percent of high-income Trump supporters say the same. It's still a high number. It seems to me that this is a winning issue particularly for Ossoff and Warnock down in Georgia, and in any part around the country that we need relief.

JEFFRIES: We held the House; we flipped the presidency. I think we can win those two seats in Georgia. And COVID-19 and the fact that they've been missing in action is one of the most powerful arguments that we have.

HAYES: All right, I hope this comes to something because it's -- we're in bad shape here. Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Hakeem Jeffries, thank you very much.

JEFFRIES: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with my dear beloved friend, Rachel Maddow. Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You are very kind to me, Chris. Thank you, my friend. Much appreciated. Enjoy your weekend.

HAYES: You too.

MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.


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