tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 7, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PST
about the ukraine extortion plot. ambassador bill taylor pointing the finger directly at the president's lawyer. and what we know about the public hearing. plus what last night's elections told us about the limited power of trumpism. >> you got to vote because if you lose, it sends a really bad message. >> dnc chair tom perez on a game changing night for democrats. and an explosive first day
in the roger stone trial where prosecutors linked his alleged crimes right to donald trump. >> i love wikileaks. >> "all in" starts right now.e good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. well, it's here. one week from today the house impeachment committees will kick off public impeachment proceedings against the president of the united states for just the fourth time in american history. it's not a niche story anymore. if people feel like they could not keep up with the inner workings of a complicated political drama, next week these hearings will be broadcast into every american home. if there's one thing we know about the president it is how utterly obsessed he is with his image on television. hearings are going to play out g live in real time. we are all going to get to see the whole thing. so watch out for that next week. today we also woke up in a world in which we got our first test of the politics of impeachment. for months the political questions for democrats have been is it too risky, will it spark a backlash, will it rally trump voters?s the only hard data we have is
from last night's elections. and the one thing you cannot say is that impeachment is how helping republicans. keep in mind, the night before the election the president went to kentucky and said republican governor matt bevin,d quote, losing sends a really bad message. bevin ran ads that said democrats are trying to -- and that conservatives of kentucky, a state that trump won by nearly 30 points need to come out and defend him. >> president trump and governor bevin are making kentucky great again, but socialists in washington want to impeach trump and take us backward.on andy beshear is part of their radical resistance, harassing trump with lawsuits. >> it didn't work.th despite the best efforts of president trump, andy beshear beast govern bevin by 5,000 votes. that's the context you need as we get yet more evidence of trump's corrupt coercion of the ukrainian government today.
this time it was from acting u.s. ambassador of ukraine bill taylor who will be the first sa witness of the public hearings one week from today. taylor's full deposition was released today and it's 334 pages and in it he leaves no doubt in his testimony, the u.s. president was indeed extorting the ukrainian president by withholding military aid in exchange for manufactured dirt on the bidens. here's how taylor describes that, quote, that was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not comed until the president of ukraine committed to pursue the investigation.e question, so if they don't do this, they're not going to get that, was that your understanding? taylor responds, yes, sir. question, are you aware quid pro quo literally means this for that?o i am. to be clear here, quid pro quo really implies that both parties are seeking the illicit transaction but the ukrainians really didn't want any part of this. that is what makes this particular example extortion. taylor also describes two
channels of u.s. policymaking, a regular channel run by traditional diplomats themselveu and, of course, that second back channel, that included people like u.s. ambassador to the eu, gordon sondland, and energy secretary rick perry, and the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani.an taylor testified that while parts of ukraine were operated by the russian ukraine the security assistance got blocked by this second channel. the security assistance, the military aid to ukraine they t needed to help defend themselves from russian aggression and occupation got blocked by the nontraditional irregular channel that includes the president's personal lawyer. taylor describes how members ofl the state department learned to navigate the irregular channel. quote, in order to get the t ukrainian president and president trump to meet in the oval office, they needed to work with rudy giuliani, and so they did.he they had to work with rudy to get anything done in ukraine, and if there's any question as to who was pulling the strings and what possible reason, i point you to this exchange ho
between taylor and democratic congressman tom malinowski. quote, who was responsible for setting all this in motion? was it ambassador sondland, ambassador taylor, i don't think so.ad i think the origin of the idea to get the ukrainian president to say out loud he's going to th investigate, burisma, the company hunter biden sat on the board of, and the 2016 election, i think the originator, the person who came up with that was mr. giuliani. w >> malinowski, and he was representing whose interests in that matter? got that? president trump's personal lawyer set in motion a scheme to extort the ukrainian government to benefit the interests of his client and only his client.trto joining me now, one of the members of the house intelligence committee that wile be conducting the impeachment hearings, democratic congressman denny heck of washington. congressman, what can we expect a week from today when this all gets kicked off in public? >> we're going to expect i think some pretty considerable
testimony from all three of the people who are scheduled with the president and i expect more later.it i wouldn't recommend to people that somehow they don't have time to watch all of them and i hope they do, they will especially watch ambassador taylor. and here's what they're going to get, chris. they're going to get three things. they're going to get an american patriot on display, a west point grad, a vietnam veteran and can career diplomat who had responsibility broadly admired in the service. secondly, they're going to get it in a way that ties it all together in a way that not all the other witnesses were. they all corroborated one another in their set of facts, but it was ambassador taylor who really tied it all together. and by the way, we should remember, chris, this isn't being talked about much. he kept contemporaneous notes. now, we don't have access to those because it is within the long list of things the administration is stonewalling the congress on. but when he wrote his testimonya his opening statement and gave h his testimony, it was predicated on his contemporaneous notes which he referred to. and thirdly, we're going to get somebody who's going to place this all in perspective, the
importance of the strategic partnership and alliance with ukraine. >> in terms of the process of the hearings themselves, those rules were passed by the house to sort of formalize how the process would work. my understanding is that we can expect most of the questioning, the bulk of it at least will be done by professional staff attorneys for both sides, is that right?si >> that'll certainly be the cass on the part of the majority, the democratic side. i haven't been consulted by the minority party as to how they're going to approach it. but i suspect they will be. that was how we did it during the depositions, so i would expect it to continue. members then would have an opportunity to kind of fill in the missing pieces if they perceive there to be any, but it will be professionally performed by or conducted by staff attorneys. >> one bit of news i just wanted to get your reaction to which is republicans are making noises about moving jim jordan and mark meadows who are i believe on the oversight committee or judiciary
committee to the intelligence committee.e can you do that mid session? if so, do you welcome them now to the committee? >> well, mr. jordan's been in regular attendance as it happens. so has mr. meadows. it's a little hard as has mr. meadows, and to their credit, they've been present at least, but it's a little hard to perceive that this move on the t part of the minority is, frankly, chris, to put it bluntly anything other than a vote of no confidence and ranking member nunes. otherwise, why would it be me required, right? they have a ranking member, but they seek to bring in these other members because presumably they have more confidence in them to play their role. >> that's a good point. it's a call of the bullpen. i want to read you something rudy giuliani just tweeted, which he now has some professional representation. he says, the investigation i conducted concerning 2016 ukrainian collusion and corruption was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges.
that kept changing as one after another were disproven. i can't tell if that's supposed to be exculpatory for the president or inculpatory for the president. how do you read that? >> well, obviously he's gotten counsel. that ought to tell you something. i think it's important to ht remember through american it history we have had back channel diplomatic efforts. but what so distinguishes what happened this time from all the other instances is, number one, those back channels were closely coordinated with the regular channels, and that wasn't the case this time. and number two those back channels were in furtherance of american foreign policy. and in this case what mr. giuliani was attempting to do was at odds with american w foreign policy. >> right. >>re namely, standing with our ukrainian allies who, frankly, are the first line of defense against align intent and aggression on the part of the russians. >> all right, congressman denny heck, thank you so much. joining me now for more on the implications of what we learned,
associate white house council and now founder and executive director of protect democracy un a nonpartisan democracy watchdog group. and melissahd murray, professorf constitutional law here. it does seem at this point like the facts are fairly established.se i don't want to get out ahead of anything. i'm sure there could be other evidence that upsets the t applecart, but is that your read of this testimony in line with the other ones? t >> i think the ambassador made a clear case there was a shakedown on the ukrainian officials to get them to undertake this investigation of burisma, to excavate whatever ties the bidens might have had or might not have had to it and make it conditional on the receipt of the aid that had been appropriated. whether it's a quid pro quo again i think it depends on the fact that a quid pro quo generally means we're exchanging something for something and it seems like the ukrainians wanted
no part of this. >> right. that's a good point, ian. the president's line has been no quid pro quo and sort of establishing there was a this for that.id but i mean having covered chicago politics, you can have like consensual bribery, right, where the person comes in the mi alderman's office and he wants to give the bribe and the alderman wants to get the bribe and it'so illegal for both of them but neither is being forced. f that's not the picture that is painted here by any of the witnesses particularly not mr. taylor.ot >> no, and i think another way of thinking about it is he says, yes, congress has authorized me to provide you some military aid, but i'm going to need a favor, though. i'm going to need you to wear me a check for $1 million, right? that's essentially what's going on. of course it wasn't a check for $1 million, but help on the president's campaign. the defense if there ever was one that the was that was for the u.s. treasury and the president was going to put it ih the treasury and not in his t pocket.hi the problem with that defense is rudy giuliani has already rendered that defense not valid
because rudy giuliani said in the tweet you read, i was doing this as the president's personal lawyer for his personal interests. which means the equivalent of that $1 million which was the campaign help went into the president's pocket.wh >> we're about to enter a new phase of this process, right, melissa? which is a public hearing. there's been a kind of meta fight about what is the nature of the implications of the impeachment proceedings and you have to face your accuser and then other people on the other side, well, it's not a judicialp proceeding, it's a political one. but even if it's a political proceeding, there is some sense of due process and fair play.'s how do you conceive of this process? >> it isn't like a criminal proceeding in that it's s? constitutional required and ee set out in the constitution, but it does have some criminal corollaries. you might think of impeachment the same way you'd think of indictment. the difference of course is usually we select jurors and we
insist that they be unbiased, they have no stake in the claim. that's not the case with the senate at all. the senators all come to this having some predisposed idea about what they thing. some of them have been receiving aid from the president for their campaigns in hotly contested states, and so that's incredibly different. ed so it's not quite like a di criminal trial, but it does have some commonalities. again, though, it's a very different proceeding.ho and really it's meant to play out for the public. and i think that part can't be understated. >> yeah, that's a great point because the question here i think particularly in the house portion of this in which i think the votes are there probably to impeach the president and ar persuading republican members of congress is an uphill battle as we've seen, ian. who's the object of persuasion here and how much persuasion is there to be done with an american public that is both so cordoned off in different news environments that sometimes don'tti even touch each other and/or polarized? t >> there was an interesting study posted where they
interviewed professor morris about some research he did after the 1998 impeachment of bill clinton about the effect of those impeachment votes on the next house elections.ef and what morris found is they really didn't have much of an effect at all and that was true even when the house member voted in a manner that was inconsistent with ther preferences of their constituency. so i think for republicans,ceir carry professor murray's analogy further, who would be the grand jury in the house consider this. they should consider not just that study, but also this.ns in 2016 the conventional wisdom among republicans is that it would be political suicide to back donald trump.e wo that turned out to be wrong.al today the conventional wisdom is that it would be political e suicide not to back donald trump. well, what if that turns out to be wrong, and i think that's the conversation probably taking place in a lot of republican offices after last night.ti >> do you anticipate a shift from arguing the facts to arguing the law? because the facts here really do
seem like they have a vice-like grip. >> you see this already. the republicans are starting out with this whole line you really have to examine his mental state. if he didn't have this bad intent to shake them down, it can't be extortion or bribery.'t no one is talking about the hobs act, the whole idea it is a federal crime to exchange something of value but the republicans are now shifting away from the procedural arguments they had, the arguments this never happened to now he didn't have the requisit mental state to make this a crime, an impeachable crime. >> yeah, and i think -- ultimately the place that a the can thread the needle between the facts and the law and the president is basically that. the president didn't understand what he was doing was wrong.al >> yeah. and the other thing i think you'reot seeing from some reaso is his most -- the president's fiercest defenders are out there saying somewhat absurd things like lindsey graham is saying, but a lot of other republicans are biting their tongues right
nowir because i think they've learned their lessons they don't know what shoe is going to drop next.le and so taking the view of a juror of saying i think i'm going to hold out and wait for the facts is probably the wisest course for republicans right g now.co >> thank you very much. we have some breaking news y tonight from "the washington so post."fr on the phone is one of the reporters who broke the story.ho matt sabitosky. matt, it has to do with the president wanting the attorney general to hold a press conference or public event about the ukrainian call. what did you find out?ce >> yeah, exactly. president trump wanted bill barr, his attorney general to have a televised news conferenci essentially saying that barr had looked at the ukraine call and determined that president trump broke no laws. now, we know that the justice department did look at that call. in fact, in the name of their spokesman issued a o statement saying they didn't have a predicate, essentially, to investigate possible campaign finance violations, but this statement would have been a little broader, and even more
importantly it would have been bill barr who's been a pretty forceful advocate for the president and sort of a good public speaker going before tv cameras and saying exactly what the president wanted. >> and how is this communicated, do we know? >> we don't know precisely. w we know it sort of flowed from trump to another white house official and over to the justice department.al we have not been able to substantiate trump talked about this directly with bill barr. that's sort of a question we're still working at and we're also still working at the sort of exact people in the path, you know, to determine was this a formal request press office to press office? was this trump mentioning it to somebody and then it working its way over. we do know, though, in recent weeks, you know, after bill barr won't do this that president trump has complained, is a soft way to put it, to associates, hey, bill barrat -- bill barr wouldn't do this for me and i wanted it.
>> he's mad that the attorney general wouldn't entirely publicly stake his face and reputation to the lawfulness of the president's phone call in a nationally televised press conference? >> yeah, so the white house press office now disputes the president is mad. they note that even today he praised bill barr publicly, but we do knowr that the president wanted this to happen and it didn't. so, you know, i'll let viewers decide how they think the president's emotional state is. >> and we know -- has the -- the department of justice, one of the most interesting tributaries in this story is the fact that the general counsel for the cia passed over a possible criminal referral, right, to the department of justice about the call asking the department of justice to t, look into it. the department of justice o essentially declines to furthert that, but have they given publi rationale or public accounting of that decision in any way, shape or form? >> well, sort of.e so we've talked to some justice
department officials, and they issued a statement, if you remember, on the day that the transcript came out, and they er essentially said, look, we looked at the transcript of the phone call or the rough transcript of the phone call,ca but we onlyan looked at that an we only looked for campaign finance violations and essentially because they would need to determine that the president was getting a thing of value and put a specific value on it tott substantiate a campan finance case, they couldn't do thatth here because an investigation by a foreign state it was sort of impossible to quantify the value of that. but i think, you know, a lot of legal analysts would note, look, that's a very narrow charge they're looking at, a campaign finance violation. what about a straight up quid pro quo corruption? they didn't even sort of look at that. >> final question for you, matt, do we know why barr declined toq do what the president wanted him to do? >> that's a great question, and unfortunately we don't have a s very specific answer to that.
i mean, i think there are some obvious reasons, right, this is him staking his own reputation on the line and his own face. you know, it's one thing to have your spokesperson just kind of put out a bland statement about what lower levelen officials di but this would be barr hanging his neck out there. and the other aspect of our reporting is the justice department when it really when it comes to ukraine sought to distance itself from the white house. t you've seen that with barr here and throughout the ukraine scandal thatro the impeachment inquiry has intensified. the justice department has really backed off this thing. >> that's really interesting. matt zapotosky, thanks for the conversation. i still want to bring back to the conversation, the former white house associate counselor, both still with me. ian, as a former white house wah counsel, what is your reaction to this news? >> i mean, there's three problems with this.
problem one is when i was in the white house counsel's office, we had an extensive policy thatun had been honored not just by the obama white house but the bush white house on when it was appropriate for white house am staff to call the department oft justice and what sort of communications were permissible and one that generally is not is coordinating about individual law enforcement matters, investigations and prosecutions. and this sounds an awful lot at like that. s the second problem with it is the individual law enforcement d matter at issue involved the president so the conflict of interest is quite insane. and then the third problem with it is it doesn't matter whether the president broke a law or not, the founders are very clear the impeachment clause does not require violations or a federal statute.he so on all three fronts this is deeply t disturbing that it's going on, but it doesn't absolve the president. in fact, it just makes him look more guilty. >> well, and my big reaction to this news is, oh, there's something barr won't do.
barr has been -- barr has been willing to prostrate himself for the president and to perform for all the world a full maga e concerto whenever he comes before president tohe talk abou how great the president is, to take bullets for him, to spin the facts in his direction, to selectively leak parts of the mueller report. essentially everything you could want a personal attorney to do. >> his best public defender. >> that's right. >> but i think the thing this es underscores for me is how much t this administration has run roughshod over institutions. i mean not just the state department. you can see this in bill ot taylor's testimony.se the state department is a mash,t all these different channels ane it's also the same way for the department of justice. like, there's no respect for existing protocols or boundaries between the different agencies and the presidency. >> because everything is sublimated to the president's will. there's no distinction between the president's interest personally and national interest. >> it's a unitary executive on steroids.
>> right. >> it's the most perverse vision of the unitary executive theory, the idea that the entire executive branchth runs through the president. like, this it is. >> that's a great point. thank you all.. up next, the fallout from the huge upset victory for democrats last night with wins in kentucky, virginia, even vice president mike pence's hometownt dnc chair tom perez on the lessons in two minutes.n,
last night was a big, big election night for democrats. the biggest headline you probably saw was the stunning upset in kentucky where the incumbent governor was defeated by a democrat. that was huge news. it was not just kentucky. all across the country it was good news for democrats and bad news for republicans. in virginia democrats flipped both the statehouse and senate. which means along with the state's democratic governor democrats now have full control of the virginia state government for the first time since 1993. virginia also elected the first muslim woman to the state senate.
they re-elected the first out trans person to the house of delegates. and remember the woman back in virginia in 2017 ran for the house of delegates and ended up in a tie with her opponent only to lose in a random drawing from a bowl? well, last night he won that same seat by a nearly 20-point margin. quite notably there was also this woman, julie briskman, who was elected to the loudoun county board of supervisors in virginia. she was fired by her employer two years ago after she notoriously flipped off president trump's motorcade. and it was not just kentucky and virginia. in pennsylvania there were big red flags for the republican party. former mcconnell aide and republican consultant josh holmes put it this way. quote, taking a step back and looking at all the elections and kentucky last night, the gop should be most concerned about what happened in local elections in chester, delaware and bucks county, pennsylvania. that is genuinely alarming if you know the voting history. these are all classic bedrock
upper middle class white suburban areas, suburbs of philly that had been the backbone of the republican party that are now consistently electing democrats in local elections. and just for good measure, democrats appear to have taken majority in the city council of columbus, indiana. that would be vice president mike pence's hometown. for the first time in nearly four decades. for more on all that i'm joined by the chairman of the democratic national committee, tom perez. tom, you're smiling and i understand why. what were you expecting going into last night, and what did you see last night? >> well, chris, we've become a 50-state party again. and what we saw last night was success in urban pockets, suburban pockets and rural pockets. you look at andy beshear's he turned some coal counties blue. and did really well in lexington and in louisville, and then in those suburbs that are basically cincinnati suburbs in northern kentucky that are reliably red, he was able to hold his own and
win a couple of those counties. kenton county and counties in that area. that's suburban cincinnati. so when we talk about why did we have a debate in ohio, we have a debate in ohio because we can win in ohio. the folks in kenton county watch cincinnati television. you know, you mentioned pennsylvania. delaware county has been in republican control since i think the civil war era, quite literally. >> yep. >> and, you know, again, municipalities in ohio went blue all over the place. and so what i learned from this is we are a 50-state party. we have been winning. we've had three elections now, chris, 2017, '18, and '19 and in every single election we've been able to win, whether it was virginia two years ago or again last night, doug jones two years ago in december. and now we see the continued victories. and we've got to organize ever where, and we're really in good partnership with so many of the other committees in the democratic ecosystem that don't get enough credit, frankly.
like the democratic governor's association, they went in major league in kentucky and mississippi. the democratic legislative campaign committee which helps elect democrats in the statehouses, big role in virginia. and then the parties themselves in virginia and kentucky, so everybody's been working together in ways that i think are going to enable us to continue the momentum. >> so two things that struck out to me, one obviously is the notion that the president has these coattails that he can sort of superboost candidates in places that are generally favorable terrain there, and that's clearly the case in the state of kentucky won by 30 points. what does it say -- what does it say to other democrats in the way they think of things particularly as they think about the politics of impeachment that a rally and big push by the president was not enough for bevin? >> well, i think it says when you focus on the things you have a right to focus on, it's always
the right time to do the right thing. democrats can walk and chew gum. we have a constitutional obligation to focus on impeachment, and your entire show has compelled evidence of a gross abuse of power. at the same time we need to remind as andy beshear did and so many other candidates did last night. we need to continue to remind voters that we're the party fighting to make sure you can keep your health care if you have a pre-existing condition. you're the party that has passed laws in the u.s. house of representative tuesday do just that, to bring down the cost of prescription jobs. to take on the nra. virginia flipped in no small measure, chris, because a few months back when there was special session to address gun violence, the republicans were in charge and gavelled it down in 90 minutes because they're in the pocket of the nra. and candidate quality matters.
matt bevin, i mean, not an a-lister, and when we feel a candidate -- >> i think members of the republican party of kentucky will be less diplomatic. >> and mitch mcconnell might be less diplomatic actually on that one. >> let me -- let me -- there's two issues here that have stuck out to me for andy beshear, also for john bel edwards who is up for a run-off in louisiana. one of them is medicaid expansion. it is notable to me it's one of the crisp clearest in the most conservative states that the democrats have medicaid expansion and the republicans either against it or want work requirements, and the other is teacher pay and supporting teachers, which we've seen these teacher strikes from oklahoma to kentucky to west virginia. how much do those two issues, what do those two issues mean to you as you think about what the democratic stands for in a place like kentucky? >> it's about the basic issue of dignity, the dignity of work, our future. if you don't have health care security, you don't have
economic security. and everyone -- ask any parent, what's your biggest concern in life? it's my children's well-being. and he so attacked schoolteachers in kentucky. and by the way, it's not just kentucky. you see in west virginia, oklahoma, arizona. you see in so many places around the country teachers stepping up and communities stepping in to support those teachers. and that is -- we're on the right side of things. there's been a poll that i think has been underreported, and it was a poll i think from the financial times, chris, a few days ago in which two thirds of americans said that they're no better off since donald trump came into office, and half of those folks said they're worse off, and the other half said they're no better off. and i bring this up in response to your question because if you look at minimum wage ballot initiatives in red states over the last five years, and i did a lot of work on this when i was at the labor department, 100% of
the ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage in red states passed and most of them by double digit margins. the problem republicans are facing is they're radically off the rails on the basic issues that matter to people. whether it's health care, whether it's quality public education, whether it's making sure that you only need one good job to succeed. they are on the wrong side of every issue of importance to the american people. that's why we need to be a 50-state party and i'm glad we've become one, and we're going to continue to do it, and that's why i feel optimistic running into this presidential cycle. >> all right. tom perez, thank you so much for making time tonight. >> always a pleasure. shortly after the polls closed last night robert costa sent this tweet. i spent the day in the senate, not just watching the returns but president trump's political capital. as they make decisions about how to handle impeachment and their own future. joining me now to talk more
about that robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post" whose piece out now is entitled "kentucky outcome embarrasses trump and worries many, many republicans ahead of 2020." robert, what did you hear? >> at the capitol on tuesday many republican senators are keeping a close eye on the house impeachment inquiry and watching kentucky and the suburbs and they can't distance themselves too far but they're trying to navigate should they distance themselves politically in the coming months as all those unfolds and the suburban voters drift away. >> yeah, the suburban vote is really interesting to me. it is true that the president has fairly reliably juiced both margins and turnout in a lot of rural parts of the country that are predominately white. he's also eaten into or flipped margins for republicans in metro areas or suburbans, and the map looks like a net loss so far for
republicans. do they see it that way? >> they believe if he's on the ballot in 2020, and they're on the ballot in 2020 they're in a better spot than many of these candidates running in off-year elections and midterm elections, but they are also worried that every day is a new day. they don't understand where the facts are on a lot of this impeachment front. so they're trying to figure out or should they figure out to run more on health care issues or addressing the democratic attacks. >> there's also a dilemma to me they faced that they wouldn't in normal times. which is barack obama understand that there were going to be certain members of his party that had to distance themselves from him or criticized him and we have stories and reporting basically saying do what you got to do to get elected in your district. the president doesn't feel that way. if you're cory gardener, it might be smart to take a few things to criticize a president onto show some distance and
independence with the voters of colorado who are fairly independent, but they can't get away with that, can they? >> and many republicans feel like they can't get away with moving towards the center. some of them want to move towards the center but they're worried the president's own voters won't turn out for them and they won't see a real coalition there to elect them there, so many republicans when you pull them aside they feel like they're in an impossible position, cornered politically, because they need to break with president trump to win over suburban voters. yet if they break publicly too much they'll lose the republican voter. >> i want to bring in betsy woodruff swan, one of the reporters for the daily beast. one of the other aspects here, betsey, to me are the limitations of the kind of combative model of trumpism for people other than donald trump. i mean, bevin was combative, he created a lot of enemies. there have been other figures like him that have not gone very far, roy moore as well. it does seem trumpism as a
political phenomenon seems quite limited to this donald trump and not necessarily transferrable to others throughout the party. >> it's so interesting. i had a conversation with a republican lawmaker earlier today who made almost that identical point, what this person said is that democrats get the benefits of having trump be part of the political conversation because trump energizes the democratic base, broadly. but for republicans who aren't trump, if trump's not running, his base doesn't necessarily transfer to them. >> right. >> so people might show up by the tens of thousands in eastern kentucky to see trump, but those people won't necessarily feel the same level of affection and affinity for someone like matt bevin who had all sorts of problems related, you know, practically to his personal demeanor. the trump effect was not enough to lift him, so that's a challenge republicans have
moving into this new impeachment season. that said, from chatting with a number of republican operatives and lawmakers over the last couple of hours, the sense i got is they still don't see last night in and of itself as a referendum on the impeachment project, and i spoke with several folks on the hill on the republican side who said that even though last night did not go as well as it could have gone, there's no reason to believe it's going to change their strategy on handling impeachment. >> i think that's largely right in terms of referendum. what i do think, however, is that what last night did is put a stake in the idea that this is a bad idea for the democrats. there were some people making the argument that there's going to be backlash, you're waking up the angry trump base if you come after this president, and i do think bevin losing makes it much harder -- robert, i'm curious what you think. it makes it much harder for republicans to make that particular argument. >> and it's also a message to the democratic party andy
beshear ran as someone who was wanting to expand medicaid and many thought it was popular and aligned himself to the teachers union and focused on education. he was not running against president trump. in fact, when andy beshear asked about president trump he said he was willing to work with him. so he ran a kentucky focus campaign. >> we're going to see a lot of those front line districts, betsy, and that's going to be a question how that impeachment vote complicates things for democrats. >> that's right. and it's going to vary wildly from district to district. and that's part of the reason that democrats finally taking control of the statehouse in virginia is so consequential because it means they'll be canal to draw the maps in that state, and the dynamic at a district granular level is going to change in a way that's likely to be potentially quite uncomfortable, especially for the remaining republican members of the united states house of representatives in virginia, a state where currently virginia republicans benefit a lot from maps that the gop has been drawing.
>> yeah. >> they're going to be in a tough spot in the next couple of years. >> the republican virginia party is like the lee work of state parties. it's in absolute collapse right now. robert costa, betsy woodruff swan, thanks for joining us. today was the first day of roger stone's trial. it did not disappoint. i'll talk to a reporter who was in the courtroom about connections prosecutors drew. that's next. y. with so many changes, do you know if your plan is still the right fit? having the wrong plan may cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket. and that's why i love healthmarkets, your insurance marketplace. with their new fitscore, they compare thousands of plans from national insurance companies to find the right medicare plan that fits you. call or visit health markets to find your fitscore today. in minutes, you can find out if your current plan is the right fit or if there's another one that can get you extra coverage or help save you money. best of all, their service is completely free. does your plan have $0 copays, $0 deductibles,
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you think this is love? this is a billion years of tiger dna just ready to pounce. and if you have the wrong home insurance coverage, you could be coughing up the cash for this. so get allstate and be better protected from mayhem, like me-ow. today was day one of the actual roger stone trial. one of the questions that still hovers over the presidential
election of 2016 in which was not ever really definitively established by the mueller report is just what did donald trump and the trump campaign know about what wikileaks was up to in advance of them doing it? there have been hints, there have been implications. roger stone has bragged about knowing something but of course roger stone brags about a lot of things. what was the deal, who knew about what assange was going to do and how they were going to weaponize it to defeat hillary clinton? it took one day of the roger stone trial for an answer. prosecutors say roger stone was aggressively trying to contact wikileaks, that stone was calling the president directly. and stone emailed manafort to say he had an idea where to save, quote, to save trump's ass. and here with me now, rachel wineert.
who was covering the first day of the roger stone trial. it was from what i can see more dramatic than i was anticipating. what did we learn today in the first day of the trial? >> so we learned that donald trump had multiple phone calls with roger stone on days when important things were happening with wikileaks. what we don't know is exactly what they said to each other, and i'm sure roger stone's lawyers will emphasize the fact that we don't know what was said on those phone calls. but stone called trump and trump called back twice on the night that the dnc hack was revealed, then they exchanged phone calls again after the guccifer 2.0 persona, which people might recall was a front for russian operatives put out a blog post blaming not to be russian. and then throughout the summer and early fall they exchanged messages while stone was simultaneously sending messages like that one to manafort and to
steve bannon saying he had a way that trump could still win but it wouldn't be pretty. so there was ongoing contact including with the president himself. >> all right. so one of the things the i learned today, and i don't think this is in the mueller report or anywhere else, are the phone calls. that stone is calling the president and talking to the president, we don't know about what, but talking to him on key moments of the timeline of wikileaks leaks. >> that is correct. >> right. >> and the prosecutors made a point of saying that trump -- that stone was lying because it wouldn't look good for trump if he told the truth. so they're directly tying those calls to wikileaks. >> okay. so the other part of it is the degree to which stone knew in advance about what was coming. this has been a murky area. there's been kind of different reporting and stone has made different claims. what did we get from the prosecutors in terms of what they laid out about what stone knew? >> we still don't know exactly what stone knew. of course stone says he didn't
know anything and was guessing because the people he was talking to, it's not clear if they were telling the truth. but he had communications with both the talk show host jerome corsi and -- sorry, the writer jerome corsi and the talk show hose randy credico in which they were telling him more is coming, kryptonite for hillary clinton is coming, new document dumps are coming and, of course, in the end that did turn out to be true. what stone will say is that was just lucky guessing on all of their parts. >> and he does say at one point -- he tells bannon our friend in the embassy is going to do more and that his plan to save -- what is the plan to save trump? like, what is -- what is the grand theory that roger stone is cooking up here? >> again, it's unclear. we don't have all the details, but it seems like he's looking for dirt on hillary clinton, dirt on tony podesta. at one point one of his
intermediaries tells him it's information that will make clinton look corrupt, make her look old and they should hammer on the clinton foundation and they should hammer on her age. >> wow. >> and stone himself was particularly interested in whether clinton had -- had some involvement in scuttling a peace plan in libya. that's what he was continually asking for more from wikileaks on. so that was part of this plan it seems. >> all right. that's day one. rachel weiner, who was in the courthouse, thanks so much for sharing that reporting. >> thanks for having me. still ahead, republicans are getting creative and finding new ways to defend the indefensive behavior of president trump. no one has been more innovative than senator lindsey graham. his new line ahead.
excited because i had the chance to interview one of of one of the writers who's most influenced me, and on sunday, december 8th join with pulitzer prizewinning playwright tony kushner. he is, of course, the genius behind the classic "angels in america." he wrote the screenplay for "lincoln." those are just two tiny parts of his résume. one of his plays is back on stage right now. it has a new twist. the story follows german leftist who were wrestling with the rise of hitler and then it cuts back and forth to then modern day reagan's america. kushner revisited the show to incorporate current modern day and trump's america. and i want to talk about that of this particular fraught moment. right now you can get a special presale ticket to be part of that event. go to our went,
away the facts by republicans. today's latest entry in this comes from south carolina senator lindsey graham who first stuck to his stance of hear no evil, see no evil. >> i heard something yesterday i could not believe. former impeachment manager lindsey graham says he's not going to read the impeachment transcripts, really? >> i'm not going to read these transcripts. the whole process is a joke. >> graham then went onto basically argue that trump is not guilty by virtue of, well, incompetence. >> what i can tell you about the trump policy toward the ukraine, it was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to. they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo. so, no, i find the whole process to be a sham and i'm not going to legitimatize it. >> i'm joined by neera tanden from the center of american progress and former republican congressman david jolly from florida and msnbc political analyst who has called on graham to resign if he can't be bothered to read the impeachment
transcripts. neera, what do you make of the shift -- lindsey graham is a kind of entrepreneur in this space. he's constantly trying out new ideas for this. what do you make of the ever shifting rationale and arguments? >> you know, when my daughter was 3 years old and she was confronted with some bad facts she basically put her hands over her ears and would say la la la la la la la la. i mean, essentially what we saw from lindsey graham is he's incapable of defending at this point. he really cannot give an answer, and so he's just going to take his marbles and go home. but the problem for lindsey graham is he is a united states senator, paid his salary by the american people to do a job. and part of that job is upholding the constitution, and upholding the constitution is going through an impeachment process, and he will be a juror. so my view is this a dereliction of duty, and if he's unwilling
to do his job, i would agree with others who said he should resign. >> david, you said he should resign for the same reason. he also -- the incompetence argument he used today, i've seen it starting to bubble up, i think "the wall street journal" made a version of it and rush limbaugh. that was a steve bannon argument back around russian collision, right? >> that's right. >> it was the gang that couldn't shoot straight, so what do you want us to do? we couldn't pull this off. so what do you think of that? >> well, look, in the eyes of the law and the constitution, that argument does not work. what the president did is still impeachable behavior, and if that's going to be the final closing argument by senator graham then it's one more shameful moment from a shameless politician who is failing the nation right now in avoiding what is a constitutionally consequential moment. what we're seeing from lindsey graham we're seeing from other republicans as well, which is in this embrace of donald trump they are turning their back on the nation, and there's no other way to look at this.
look, lindsey graham could work hard to study the issues and say, you know what, i've studied it, there's not the level of culpability that our founders envisioned for impeachment. >> right. >> make that case to the american people and you might persuade them. you might truly persuade the people this is not an impeachable moment. republicans are not even trying. >> that's a great point, neera. they're not trying to persuade. they're trying to hold the base. they're trying to hold -- they're trying to hold a certain amount of people in the tent as opposed to persuading people who might be on the fence. you see that in the arguments they're making which are not very effective at persuasion. >> i think the real problem for them is they have waited too long against each of their arguments. a majority of the public -- >> that's a good point. >> -- now believes that the president should be removed. i mean, we're at 50%. a strong majority support the inquiry. if they had made arguments about this is not an impeachable offense at the beginning, much like democrats did with bill clinton --
>> yep. >> -- then i think that they would have had -- they would have created a lot more friction for public opinion. but they held to trump like he demands, and now i think the facts are so difficult for them because, honestly, i think the american people have judged this. 66% of american -- of the american people think what the -- that this kind of behavior is wrong, and i think it's very close to say it should be punished. >> and now there's going to get a public airing, david, starting a week from today. >> yes, that's right. and republicans are still in disarray. they're putting meadows and jordan on the committee because right now devon nunes, and i know my former colleague heck said is a vote of no confidence in devon nunes. that's right. right now the lead republican on what was become the quasi impeachment committee, the house intelligence committee is embroiled in suing a fake cow because he got his feelings hurt on twitter. that's the lead in the impeachment inquiry. he's got the president where he
wants him. i think the american people are going to learn a lot starting next week about republicans and the president. >> i would expect public opinion to move against the president after the public -- >> that is the big test. i'm really curious if that happens. nee neera tanden, david jolly, thank you for being with me. that is "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. an williams starts right now. the impeachment inquiry is made public. in exactly one week the testimony will be televised. also, the biggest case out of the mueller report.e the criminal trial of roger stone begins. prosecutors promise at least one high-profile witness. after last night's gop setbacks, attention turns to the suburbs as a former trump insider eyes a run for his old senate seat in the south.as and it could come down to a tight four-way contest for the democrats in a state where f voting starts to count 8
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