tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC December 28, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
money with donald trump. i mean, it might be beyond a refund. it may be the only time someone conned us out of more money than when he was due back >> that's tonight's last word. i'm ari melber. catch me right here on msnbc. thanks for watching. i wish you a very happy new year. keep it locked right here on msnbc. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we are now one week into the trump shutdown with the negotiating position weakening with every passing day his strategy is getting more desperate. today he threatened to close the entire southern border, the while thing for visitors and passenger trucks and deliveries if he doesn't get funding for the wall. the wall, of course, they promised mexico would pay for. it is almost certainly a
meaningless threat akin to a child threatening to hold his breath if he doesn't get his way. sure, mr. president, see how causing a massive disaster workings out for you. his staff is forced to act as if it's a strategy. >> is the president seriously willing to do that. >> yes. >> it's to the de triment to the economy? >> the white house is trying to spin the situation as a success. unnamed sources saying team trump is gleeful in trying to make a case that the conversation around border security is in the president's best political interest. why that would be true is unclear. some of the top minds in the gop still see it as a winning strategy. >> so, congressman, how long should the president keep the government closed? >> you do it until it's over. >> january, february? >> till hell freezes over. >> till hell freezes over. >> write that down, hell freezes over or, you know, maybe it's
all for show. today msnbc reported mike pence told chuck schumer even though trump had been publicly demanding $5 billion for the wall he'd take half of that. $2.5 billion. what do you say, chuck? schumer rejected the offer. doesn't exactly sound like trump is in a position of strength, does it? remember polls show most americans oppose trump's wall and that more americans blame trump for the shutdown by a wide margin which should not come as a surprise given that he would take the blame for the shutdown. >> i will take the mantle. i will be the one to shut it down. i won't blame you for it. the last time you shut it down, it didn't work. i will take the mantle of shutting it down. >> now democrats take power in the house in six days. their plan pass a bill to re-open the government that does not include the $5 billion for trump's wall that mexico is supposed to pay for. then this will go to mitch mcconnell and gop controlled senate and be up to them and
trump to see how long 800,000 workers will remain furloughed. yesterday the u.s. office of personnel management offered guidance to how workers should deal with the hardship and included the suggestion a furloughed employee offer to trade maintenance services such as painting or carpentry work in exchange for a reduction in rent. joining me now is once an undocumented himself, good to have you here, congressman. >> thank you so much. >> what do you make of the $5 billion -- counteroffering him down to still no go. >> heavy is the mantel of the trump shutdown. it will hurt 14,000 new yorkers, 420,000 people hurt about it. this is no joke. it is real and will help people. he says he is shut the border down. the border will strangle the
economy of south texas. of new mexico, of arizona over $558 billion worth of goods cross the border from mexico and about another 243 billion dollars of goods are exported to mexico from the u.s. so over $800 billion every day of goods cross the border. 500 million people go there every day. it will strangle the border and hurt the economy. >> he's not going to do that for that reason, right? it's an idle threat, don't you think? >> this is a street corner threat. i think the democrats have offered a good deal. the republicans send over a barrel deal that attempted to prevent the shutdown and refused to take it. >> it looks like democrats have a stronger bargaining hand here. nancy pelosi can pass that bill over to mitch mcconnell and over to mitch mcconnell.
but here's why i think democrats have a disadvantage and tell me why i'm wrong if i am. democrats do seem to care that the government is closed down whereas republicans don't. gohmert's position is till hell freezes over. the more substantive concerns you have and it will make it harder to sustain. >> absolutely. we do care that it's going to hurt people in our districts across the country. they're working class people. the 1% will not be severely hurt. even very rich people that are not part of the 1% will not be hurt by that but middle class folks will be hurt and we're concerned about that. >> if that's the case at a certain point do you worry the logic well, throw them a $1.5 billion, let them call it whatever he wants and get the government back open. >> throughout the year the senate and both the house worked
on comprehensive immigration provisions that included border protection. the senate worked on i thought a very good plan that presented some border security moneys but time and time again, trump has refused to accept any of these bipartisan proposals. >> right. there is a bipartisan proposal. the last time around which was basically legalization and -- for daca he's walked away from every one. >> the aguilar proposal. the gang of six proposal from the senate and other from the house that were bipartisan in scope and refused to take them. >> what is it like to watch the president's rhetoric about immigrants and undocumented immigrants being one yourself knowing what that experience is. >> it's unacceptable and unbecoming of the president. i think the office and the whole world is watching and making fun of us. >> what do the folks in your district think about? i know your district well.
the first place i grew up was in your district. >> all kinds of people. >> people who have all kinds of status, undocumented, sort of in between, awaiting papers, just got married. full citizens, green card. what do your constituents make of these fights. >> they see this as a trump shutdown. they don't see this as even a republican versus democratic shutdown. i mean, he said it himself. >> he did say it himself. >> he was proud to take the shutdown. he would take the mantel. he wouldn't blame the democrats so now he has it. >> representative adriano espaillat. i have jim manley, chief spokesperson to harry reid. ayesha. i don't believe it's true but this idea they have been trying to sell gamely out of the white
house, this is good for them if nancy pelosi has to deal with it first thing. does that make sense to you. >> it doesn't make sense to me and i can understand why is makes sense to them. trying to pull a bait and switch. we'll get nancy who we think our base hates so much to be distracted from what's really at hand which is investigating the president. the democrats will go null throttle looking -- >> that's interesting? >> so what they're doing is saying, well, we're going to keep playing this out and distract her and the leadership with all of this business so that they can't actually continue to investigate what the donald trump and what his administration and his son and his son-in-law and his daughter and like what their business dealings have been around the world and he thinks this bait and switch is in some way going to make us forget there is a major investigation going on into his own ethics. >> it's like the least bad option for him.
a trump shutdown is better than some of the alternatives. >> which is ironic. he is a populist, a man of the people and to shut down government as the congressman was just saying to hurt so many that are actually his base working class people and not care and literally shrug his shoulders and not care about it, that's going back to haunt him. >> jim, you were in harry reid's office during a bunch of these sort of standoffs throughout the years. i got to think mitch mcconnell doesn't like any of this. furious of the president, not going to be happy to have nancy pelosi drop in his lap a piece of legislation over the government that he's then not going to be able to bring to the floor. >> yeah, i think that's probably absolutely right. whether you call it regular order or whatever remains to be seen but he likes to keep things nice and tidy and this is -- if it plays out as some expect it's not going to be nice and tidy but you're right. i mean -- what tips to fascinate
me trump still doesn't understand how much his world is going to change come january 3rd. as you have suggested nancy pelosi will first thing she'll do is send a bill over to the senate and it's going to be up to them for mcconnell and the president to try to sort it all out. >> he's also teed up a perfect vote for her to start with. there are things the democratic caucus disagrees with or fights on or places a fracture, i think pelosi can probably get every single democratic vote to re-open the government on day one. that's a gimme. >> absolutely a total easy one and what is miscalculated about the strategy is in some way they think that this is going to help the 2020 race. that is so far off. >> no one cares. >> yes. >> i had to remind a u.s. senator about the last shutdown because he couldn't remember. it was a year ago. what do you think, jim? >> yeah, i mean, this thing is a political disaster for republicans and the smart ones know it and as you have pointed
out and others have pointed out the last time he played this anti-immigrant strategy right before the last election, he lost 40 seats so the idea that these white house aides are combleefully spinning this is a political plus is absolutely crazy. especially to mcconnell. i can guarantee you he's not going to buy that strategy. >> in terms of caucus protection i'm not sure a shutdown fight over the birdie wall is what rick scott, just elected on a very razor thin narrow margin from florida wants to be the first thing that he's doing in the u.s. senate. >> i think that's why you see so many republicans kind of laying a bit low in fact in this conversation and not having -- they're not having too much of an opinion. >> no, everyone is home for the holidays. lindsey graham is out there and louie gohmert. >> blame nancy. it is going to hurt them. >> the other thing, mitch mcconnell doesn't care anything about stuffing the bench full of
judges so at some level it's like what does he care one way or the other. he wants as much floor time to get as many judges through and that's about it. >> yeah, i mean, that's absolutely contradict. that's what i was referencing when i talked about regular order. regular order for him in this day and age is just moving one judge after another. they're going to have to deal with a couple of cabinet nominees obviously as well and so he's just looking at his precious floor time and this is the last thing he wants to see. >> what do you think, how strong do you think schumer and pelosi will be in terms of playing this hand starting january 3rd. >> i think -- well, i think they're already playing it strong. that meeting was a complete win for them. chuck schumer, yeah, we wanted you to have you say you'll own the shutdown. they're already leading and winning and the house will have a lot more dexterity to really push back against the administration in the senate.
>> aisha and jim, thanks. ahead if you thought this year was nuts wait till next one, michael moore is here to look ahead next. i switched to geico and got more! more savings on car insurance!? they helped with homeowners, too! ok! plus motorcycle, boat and rv insurance! geico's got you covered! like a blanket! houston? you seeing this? geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more. - with tripadvisor finding the right hotel at the lowest price is as easy as dates, deals, done. going on a work trip? dates, deals, done. destination wedding? dates, deals, done. because with tripadvisor all you have to do is enter the dates of your stay and we'll take care of the rest: searching over 200 booking sites to find you the best deal it's as easy dates, deals, you know the rest.
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2018 may very well have been the craziest year in recent political history, but there is every reason to expect 2019 will be even more nuts as we await the conclusion of the mueller investigation democrats with subpoena power are poised to bring investigation to nearly every aspect of the president's political and business life. and we can predict how he will react to that new reality. >> you're saying that if -- >> not at all. >> if they start investigating you, that you can play that game and investigate them. >> better than them. >> can you compartmentalize that and -- >> and i think i know more than them. >> can you compartmentalize that and still continue to work with them for the benefit of the rest
of the country. >> no. >> or are all bets off? >> no. if they do that then it's -- all it is is just a war-like posture. >> i'm joined here on our final show of 2018 by academy award winning filmmaker michael moore, whose latest, "fahrenheit 11/9" now available on dvd, and number one documentary on itunes. what are you most looking forward to in 2019? >> as many members of the trump family in orange jump suits as possible. >> that seems mean spirited. >> it's really the wrong way to end such a festive time of the year with such animosity toward those who would do wrong to this country, but, yes. >> you're not alone. i will say that many people -- there are many people anticipating actively looking for criminal indictments of people surrounding the president, which is not a crazy thing given that we know that don jr. has told people he expects an indictment. >> yes, and jared and on and on. listen, here's probably what
won't happen, because especially new yorkers know this, because trump got away with everything for like 40 years. >> he's been getting away with things for decades. >> that, that probably -- that streak shouldn't end this year more than likely because trump has always been careful to be not in the room when the crime is being committed. and so -- >> that's interesting. you think he's canny enough. >> oh, yeah, i think he's very canny. >> i'm not disagreeing. i think there's evidence he's quite canny. >> yes. self-preservation, anything that has to do with the word "self" in it or anything that has to do with me, me, me, yes, that is definitely -- he's always thinking how does this affect me? could this hurt me? will i lose money? can i make money? everything is processed through that filter. so if something's going to happen in a room with russians or others that could find him indicted, i think more than likely, because, remember, he doesn't drink, he doesn't do drugs, he's -- he is of his own faculties, he made sure that he wasn't in the room. >> you know, one of the things
that i look forward to most which relates to this, more than maybe seeing people indicted or in orange jump suits is just finding things out. there are still a bunch of facts that we don't know, there are indications what have happened. but i have a personal thirst to know, like, exactly what went down in 2016. >> yeah. i guess i don't. >> really? >> no, i really don't because i already know -- i already knew -- i thought what was going to happen was going to happen so it wasn't a surprise. and then i just -- i haven't been surprised by anything i've seen. i think that more important is what's going to happen next year. so what i would like to see happen is the number of women who ran for office in november that we double or triple that for 2020, that people who are watching this at home right now, who are with family during the holidays, and maybe are thinking of running, whether it's for
congress or whether it's for state senate or city council -- >> off year elections in 2019? >> off year elections next year, run, run, make that your new year's resolution. why not you? why not you, chris? no, you have a job. >> yeah. >> but it's a citizen's responsibility to participate. if you're called to serve, and this is your moment, all of us as americans, to serve, to save this country, to move it forward, and to do the things that we want to do, how about this? how about a resolution by the media and myself and everyone else that we not let trump control the conversation every single day. >> i think that's a good resolution, something we've been talking about how to deal with that. >> show what he's doing. report what he says, and then that's it. let's talk about what we want to talk about. >> i get that. >> we set the conversation. >> right. i get that at the same time, it's like in the midst of the saturday night massacre, in the midst of the watergate hearings like that's the biggest story in the country no matter what. you're not like letting nixon set the tone for the coverage. right? like on the weekend of the saturday night massacre, that's
the thing you cover, right? >> yes, but you're -- you're talking about 40 years ago. >> no, but i think there's very good reason to anticipate events of that magnitude and impact happening in 2019. >> you had to cover it that way back then because there were three networks. now there's 3,000 networks on social media, cable, whatever. >> the aliens, they have their own. >> astoria was apparently beaming something last night. i'm just saying that we should not allow him to set the agenda and the conversation. let's go into 2019 talking about what we want. medicare for all. let's just start talking about that. 70% of the americans -- >> not everyone wants medicare for all. >> 70% of the american people want it. that's the statistics. >> in polling, in polling. i'm not saying the idea does not sound good. >> don't go all anti-kornacki on here with the polling. >> no, it's a very popular idea. all i'm saying about it is that
things in the abstract sometimes are different than they are in the political reality of something that -- >> that's so abstract i don't even know what that means, but seriously, i really think that if we control the conversation, we're in charge, we have the power. >> yes. >> we won the 2016 election. we have the most votes. we have more people now than ever thinking of running and should run in 2020. and this new freshman class in congress has got to come in and really set the agenda and fight, fight, fight. or otherwise those people who came out in the midterms will not come back. >> the point about agenda setting is important. one of the problems is unified governance, no democrats, the agenda is naturally set sort of unilaterally. right? the democrats don't control the white house. they can't really set an agenda. with the house you have things like the select committee. the talk of a new deal. the voting rights act, for instance, which the house can now pass. >> right.
>> restore part of the voting rights act that the supreme court gutted, all of those things are now within the power of the democratic party to actually just put things on the table, which they couldn't do before. >> yes. and that is what the people are expecting the democrats to do. >> yes. >> not to compromise, not to find the middle of the road, not to be moderate, but to fight for the people. fight for the things they want. you know, like tonight, people are watching us right now, they're really quite scared about what's going to happen with the economy. there's no -- >> yes, i don't disagree. >> civilians don't understand, and we're not -- i don't own a share of stock, so i don't pay any attention to this, but i know when i see a roller coaster, and when it shoots up, and then shoots way back down and shoots way back up, you've got an economy with an opioid crisis, where there is a crash that's about to occur. and people feel it. they feel it. they've been told that we have trillions of dollars of credit
card debt, student loan debt, all these things where what's the shoe that's going to drop here if it's not the housing thing that it was in '08. >> corporate debt. >> and this is starting to feel like '07 right now, and it really -- >> let me put on my macroeconomic head for a second and just say, there's reasons to think we're not on the precipice similar to 2007, lots of worrying things happening particularly with corporate debt. and the end of -- >> one that's not the same is that if you're booted out of your house, that's a serious issue. they can't take back your college education that you're not paying them back for. >> yeah. >> you can't declare it in bankruptcy either. >> yeah. >> what are the things that you're -- if the idea is that you want to see democrats put things on the agenda, you want to see people -- i think a hard thing to do, and an important thing to do is for people's civic activism to remain high, right? running for office, still working in a year that's not like the midterms, everything is built towards that, what do you think the most important
thing -- the goal to accomplish politically this year is? >> the most important thing is to not let down the people that came out. in 2014, i think the number is 21% of 18 to 29-year-olds came out to vote. this year it was 31%. that's a 50% increase. we want them to come back. >> right. >> they will come back if they see that the people they voted for are fighting for the things that they care about and the things that are important to them in their lives. if they see them becoming just regular politicians and just mouthing the same old political politician stuff, they're going to go it's the same old thing, nothing's changed for me, i still don't know what i'm going to do. i can't afford a home, i can't afford this or that. >> part of the problem, right, is that the democrats are not in a position to unilaterally deliver tangible improvements to people's lives with divided government. >> but legislation takes a while. they need to research and put forth the right bills and push the bills through, to the point where republicans are going to need to see that in the year
2020, if some of them don't vote for those bills, if some of those don't vote for -- as i've said, 52% of republicans want medicare for all. if they don't do that, then they risk losing their job. the democratic congress of 2019 needs to put the republicans of 2020 on notice. >> on the defensive. >> on the defensive. >> which is why i think bill number one is such an easy one for nancy pelosi, which is the vote to reopen the government on mitch mcconnell's table, which is sort of a no-brainer. >> that will take ten minutes. >> that will take ten minutes. >> what's the next thing and things that we need to do? and for the people who are watching this at home, what can you do? don't leave it up to the politicians. you get out there, you think about running, you get involved, join local organizations, don't sit it out now, because believe you me, those people in power -- >> involvement works. >> wall street, corporate america, they got their cage rattled last month by that election. >> yeah. >> and they're going to fight
like hell to maintain the power that they have. and they're going to fail if the people watching this rise up in 2019. >> all right, michael moore, thanks for making time. happy new year. >> thank you. have a good new year, and good luck -- your show, this year, chris, has been incredible, and everything here on msnbc. >> thanks. >> you have proven that while you can have opinions, as long as you report the truth and the facts, people will watch a network like this. god bless you and thank you for what you've done. >> thank you very much. >> all right. coming up, one of the looming questions going into 2019, will democrats try to impeach the president? watergate reporter elizabeth drew says it may be inevitable and she explains why ahead. . with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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former president barack obama released his annual best of list today. it's a collection of his favorite books, films and music he's enjoyed in 2018. he's done a lot of reading. nearly 30 books are on his list and michelle obama's book "becoming" is at the at the top of the list. he chose 15 movies, "blackkklansman," "won't you be my neighbor," both of which are president. for music, cool dad president, or attempted cool dad president tunes by cardi b. chance the rapper among his favorites. obama did not include a list of favorite podcasts this year. if he did you'd think he would include "why is this happening," and it's certainly one of my favorites. we answer questions from you the listeners. in the meantime you and the
former president can binge all the other great episodes this year. while i'm at it, i'd like to extend an invitation to president obama, it sounds like he's got time on his hands with all that reading and movie watching. take an hour and join me on the podcast any time. we can talk books. shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial allow you to take advantage of growth opportunities with a level of protection in down markets. so you can be less concerned about your retirement savings. talk with your advisor about shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial,
2018 was the year the dystopian aspect of the current internet became impossible to ignore. every day a new headline about the monstrous optic we've constructed. one of the most unnerving parts is never knowing what's real, what's fake, who's a human, who's a bot. this new story is out about just how much of the internet is fake. he describes a world of digital deception. "fake people with fake cookies and fake social media accounts, fake moving their fake cursors, fake clicking on fake websites" the fraudsters had essentially created a simulacrum of the internet where the only real
thing was the ads. let's give an example. one way to do it, hire a company in china, this is what it looks like, they just play the video on a wall of phones. nobody is watching these actual videos here lined up right there, see that, but the views are going up. if you think 2016 russian disinformation was bad or unnerving, that was the tip of the iceberg. what if the entire internet is a fraud? maximum reed joins me now. this piece blew my mind, particularly the lengths people are going to to game the system. so one big thing is, advertisers are buying ads on the internet, which is the main thing that's funding the internet, right, commercial content on the internet. >> pays my salary. >> pays your salary. and people are going to insane lengths to create ways of defrauding as if there are actually people watching the ads when they're not. >> yeah. so one of these cases, the doj just indicted these guys in november, they basically rented server space in dallas and they
built a whole raft of fake websites. and then created a bunch of fake people who go to the websites. they moved cursors like real people, clicked on stuff like real people. >> when you say fake people, not humans they hired for $10 an hour, but computer programs. >> what you call bots. so they gave them social media accounts. they even had them surf the web to draw in cookies so when they visited the fake websites it looked like you or me was visiting these things and they go to advertisers and say, oh, hundreds of thousands of people have looked at your ad and now pay up based on this contract we have. >> complete fraud. >> yeah, but it was a peaceful internet, i have to say. >> here's the thing, that's one example of a very acute version. but part of your piece is like no one on the internet knows how many people are viewing videos, all of the numbers facebook used for years to say that everyone's looking at video and every media company, that was all fake, nothing is reliable on the internet in terms of like who is actually looking at what when. >> right. so it's not just so that --
so, you know, a bunch of advertisers sued facebook this year because it's been misreporting numbers for years now and it's admitted that. >> flat out? >> yeah, just said we said there were more views on this than there were, there were fewer than there were. the thing that gets to me is even when the numbers are accurate, we don't have a good sense of what they mean. one example is, we now know that a bunch of russian trolls stole photographs from other people's accounts on the internet and created these fake american facebook accounts to, you know, promote all kinds of weird political ideas. now, id those people, if a bunch of guys in st. petersburg are using brazilian guys photographs to pretend to be trump voters are viewing videos on facebook, should those views count? it's a philosophical question. >> this year it felt like the year of the dystopian internet, and like why this year, do you think? >> it seemed like everywhere i turned there was some new thing that made me feel completely insane. most recently there's a great "atlantic" article about
instagram influencers who are faking -- one way they make money, they're posting photos of themselves with a fancy purse. >> a sponsor. a selfie, i have a chanel bag, i've been paid by chanel. >> right. so a bunch of them have been faking sponsored posts in order to convince advertise that's they are -- >> worthy. >> they are faking posts that are fake posts that are meant to look real. six degrees removed from anything that we might describe as authentic. >> it seems like there's so much money sloshing around and so little accountability for it. facebook is the ultimate example. they're unilaterally telling every publisher in america what the numbers are and what's working and no one can peer underneath the hood. >> people have said about advertising forever basically 50% of your money is wasted, and you're never going to know which 50%. >> it's possible it's 100% of your money is wasted. this is one of those things where any time you have a system where it's sort of a purely numerical system you'll find
people who will game it and they're going to get good at gaming it and making the numbers go up in a way that makes them more money. >> one thing i will say, having gone through 2016 and the sort of wars on twitter, and now having -- how much that was ballot activity, i have this weird uncanny sensation like are these real people or are these bots or trolls or foreign agents? >> well, i mean, i have that problem. but i have about myself because i spend so much time having to click through to websites where i have to pick out which photos are of motorcycles and type out this word. >> i get stressed out i'm going to fail those. >> seriously, i'm trying to please the computer so much. i'm a people pleaser, not a computer pleaser. >> i know what a crosswalk is. >> the piece is fantastic, give it a read. thank you. jeff sessions may be gone, but we'll be living with the damage he did on his last day for a long time to come. a special report from trymaine lee next.
permanently take over the position, william barr. we're taking a look back at an important action by the last person in that office, jeff sessions, on his final days of being attorney general, jeff sessions signed a last minute order limiting the use of a tool for cripple reform called consent decrees. more than a dozen cities have it to improve police departments. the order from sessions prevents more concept decrees it also sent a signal the doj is not a partner for reform. ferguson, missouri, is one of the places under a consent decree. trymaine lee went there to find out what's at stake for its residents right now. >> this is the spot right here? >> yes, where my son lay for 4 1/2 hours, took his last steps and his last breath. >> does it shock you when you think about just what came from your son's death? >> it does. i never knew so many people were watching and paying attention, you know.
i also never knew that this happened to so many people before it happened to my son. >> don't shoot. hands up, don't shoot. >> the killing of michael brown by a police officer in 2014 sparked an uprising in ferguson, missouri. >> you must leave immediately. >> when the smoke cleared, a department of justice investigation exposed systemic racism practiced by the ferguson police department in the courts. black people were disproportionately stopped and searched by police. the city balanced its budget by fining black citizens. ferguson police routinely used force, nearly 90% of the time it was against black people. >> a community where all of these conditions unlawful practices and constitutional violations severely undermine the public trust, eroded police legitimacy and made local residents less safe. >> reporter: the obama administration got fully involved, bringing the full weight of the justice department on ferguson. finally, in 2016 the city reluctantly agreed to reforms,
oversight, and independent monitoring. >> it was really important to have federal intervention, the department of justice kind of came in and was able to say, no, this is a problem, you're pulling too many people over, the racial disparities are alarming and you need to stop it. and having kind of the weight of the justice department in that decision legitimized it and made further the push for reforms. >> reporter: months later donald trump became president. jeff sessions became attorney general. the dismantling of police reform began across the country. >> law enforcement will be respected. you are the thin blue line, police are not the problem, the criminals are the problem. >> reporter: sessions expanded the use of private prisons. he called for harsher punishments for minor crimes. and when he was pushed out of office, his final act was to limit consent decrees, hamstringing the power of the federal government to force cities like ferguson to reform its courts and police. there are a number of people, including former attorney general jeff sessions who say
that the consent decrees are unnecessary. what do you say to that? >> i would question the credibility of the former attorney general with respect to this particular issue. >> reporter: wesley bell is the newly elected prosecutor of st. louis county. he will be the first african-american to hold that office. he unseated bob mccullough, the 27-year incumbent who refused to indict the officer who killed michael brown. >> we wanted to implement some of the most broad reforms in the country and i would rather the former attorney general just support what we're doing as opposed to using this as a political punchline or what have you. >> reporter: why does reform, especially in this country, in this community really matter? >> we're talking about the livelihoods of thousands of people, we're talking about families just being able to go to the grocery store and come home without being pulled over, for the quality of life of people in ferguson for black people in st. louis county actualizing these reforms is absolutely necessary to turn
around a culture that's to historically been oppressive. >> it costs a lot. >> there's no cost to justice. there really is not anything too expensive to preserve the rights of people. >> reporter: for leslie mcspadden, reform is personal. her son's killing revealed widespread abuse in ferguson. now she's hoping to change the system from within by running for city council. >> i've had to deal with the tear gas. i've had to deal with the racist cops, the disgusting comments in ferguson. for our children it's important that we secure their futures, that we try to restore the trust between the community and the police department. >> reporter: when you think about you becoming part of this political process, does it feel like you're an extension of your son's legacy in continuing that fight from august 2014? >> absolutely. i will be the person to define my son's legacy. >> trymaine lee joins me here
now. it's great reporting actually. great to see those folks and see what's new there. i guess the first question here is, how are things in ferguson? you know, you and i were both down there reporting on it in 2014 when everything happened. what's your sense of how it is now? >> as much as changed, so much has remained the same. people were so hopeful for a while there, eric holder came to town, the doj validated concerns for years, but progress is still slow. we talked to the independent monitor. she said the city is working in good faith. you talk to the new police chief tasked with reforming policy, he says, hey, we're making progress. when ferguson happened, there was only two black officers on the force, but now there's 17. he points to the color, the complexion. but that doesn't change policing in a city that's beleaguered at best, right? folks in the community are still struggling and still trying to heal. >> that doj document is one of the most shocking things i've ever read. >> scathing. >> what it reveals, i wrote about it in my last book, it
reveals a system of total predation on the part of the police basically using primarily black citizens as means of extracting revenue, first and foremost, as opposed to ensuring their safety. have those specific policies and practices, have those stopped? >> one of the big things that will stand out, there were more warrants than people in the city. >> that's right. >> they dismissed a whole bunch of the warrants, but still, on any given night, the line is still wrapped around the building and it's full of black people. regardless of what policy progression is made, people in the community still see what they see, the policing of black people. >> has there been a change to the people you talked to about what this consent decree on the ground looks like under the trump administration as opposed to under the obama administration? >> there are a lot of people who have been paying attention to just the attitude that he came in with. he said there is low morale,
they're no good. time and again, he refers to states' rights. that the federal government's role is not to police, no pun intended, local city government. so people see that. but the process has been so slow on the ground in ferguson, they still haven't implemented policy yet. >> wow. so they're just developing the new policy consent decree. >> they're just developing. >> it will matter a lot to the folks what leadership at the doj looks like in the coming years, right? >> that's right. without question there has always been a big hammer hanging over the city, that if they don't do right and don't reform, the federal government will sue you. now that's been frozen. >> trymaine lee, thank you so much. >> thank you. we are six days away from democrats taking control of the house, and my next guest who covered watergate for "the new yorker" says an impeachment process against the president now seems inescapable. (engaging uptempo music)
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i personally think the odds of house democrats impeaching president donald trump next year are well above 50%, as high as 70% or 80%, even, and i am not alone. legendary watergate reporter elizabeth drew argues that impeachment seems inevitable. she would know, having documented watergate as it happened. elizabeth drew is with me now. there are two components to the argument. one is about the merits, whether he should be impeached and one is about the sort of political dynamics. let's start with the latter, which is why you think it's essentially inevitable that we will see impeachment.
>> i don't think you can separate those, chris. we have to go back to what is the point of impeachment? what did the founders have in mind? they had in mind a way to hold a president accountable between elections. it's a very serious part of the constitution. they didn't want a king in all but name and they didn't want an unaccountable elected president for four years with no way to recall him or censure him. i think, "a," there is already impeachable offenses that can be charged against the president, but we have mr. mueller coming. and opinion moves. i think too many people work from stations here. this is how it is, this is how it's always going to be. opinion moves. and as more evidence comes in, as the president acts a little bit stranger and stranger, as he takes precipitous actions, the politicians begin to get more worried.
so they have a political, not in a partisan sense. impeachment is not to be partisan, which is why it's so hard to remove a president in the senate, but political in the sense of making the political system work. it's going to become more incumbent on them. the mood is going to move. >> i think that last part is key. a lot of people, because the president has been able to withstand so many crises, so many scandals, because there were so many moments like after charlottesville that it felt like the whole thing was falling apart, after the "access hollywood" tapes, that nothing could move him below 39%, that nothing can separate his base from him and no republican politicians are ever really going to separate from him. why do you think that's wrong? why is that a wrong conclusion to draw after what we've seen? >> well, look around. look what's been going on. look at the way he has been behaving and look at the reaction. now one of the great wisdoms is, oh, the republican senate would never, never agree. >> right.
>> to remove him. i'm not saying they will, but i'm saying i don't think that they would never do it. they've already been taking steps to separate themselves from him. so it's already happening. the cracking is already happening. look at the number who didn't want him to come and campaign with them, and then look at the results of the midterms. his fabled base didn't do him a whole lot of good. and he was bad for the party. this is going to be something that mitch mcconnell and others are going to keep in mind. i've always felt that when he becomes -- it's a process, it's an ongoing thing. when he becomes too expensive for the party and too dangerous, and i think both are happening, anything can happen. >> what dynamic did you learn? you covered watergate, i think you were at "the new yorker" for, starting in 1972 and sort of chronicling it there in real time. what was your -- what did you learn about the political dynamics, how quickly they can change many that context? >> well, i started actually in
1973. and on the labor day weekend of 1973, i said to the fabled william shawn, the magnificent editor of "the new yorker," he said, what are you thinking of writing about? i said, i think we're going change vice presidents, as rachel has reminded us. spiro agnew was in deep legal trouble already. but i said we're going change presidents and vice presidents within a year. this was a wild thought, but it was my instincts of what i was picking up and smelling and seeing. and that's what's going on now. look, the senate -- the senate has rebuked him twice now, one on khashoggi and one on the war in yemen. people have said things out loud about mattis leaving that they wouldn't have said before. lindsey graham, the president's great ally, even mitch mcconnell said something. >> yeah. >> so you can see a distancing. it's been starting. it started before the midterms, and it keeps happening.
and you can tell the degree of worry up there that this is a dangerous man. they don't know what he's going to do. and the fact that there is nobody around him who can stop him, they're more and more worried about leaving him in office. some of these are patriots, but also, they don't want to be keeping him in office if he is really destroying the party or the country. >> all right. elizabeth drew, thank you for joining me. great pleasure. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now with joy reid in for rachel. good evening, joy. >> thank you, chris. good evening. have a great one. thanks to you at home for joining us. rachel has the night off, but she will be back next week. well, welcome to day seven of the government shutdown. and with new year's eve just around the corner, there seems to be remarkably little urgency on capitol hill about ending the stalemate and reopening the government. in fact, there was barely any noticeable activity on capitol hill today. nbc news reported today that vice president mike pence told democratic senator chuck schumer the white house would climb way