tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC December 20, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
appeal to all kinds of voters as simply a designated driver to take this country home next november, home to a country whose leaders stand guard on the country's moral dignity rather than assault it. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> frankly i don't care what the republicans say. >> the impeachment of donald trump. >> history will remember those who were willing to speak truth to power. yes, i call for trump's impeachment early. >> congresswoman maxine waters on what happens now, what happens next as the president stews in the white house. >> it doesn't feel like impeachment. >> then new reporting on just who might have put the ukraine server conspiracy in trump's head. >> you have groups wondering why the fbi never took the server, why haven't they taken the server. >> plus the evangelicals now censuring the president.
>> the president is doing things not only unconstitutional but blatantly immoral. >> and lindsey graham now. >> if there's a witness request by anybody i'm going to say no. >> versus lindsey graham then. >> the idea of not being able to call witnesses is crucial. how would you like to do this show without guests? >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we're heading into the holidays. congress is done for the year and for the decade. the president has been impeached for just the third time in american history and what comes next is unclear. the uncertainty exists right now because of the following sequence of events. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell before the house even voted to impeach donald trump went on trump tv to promise total coordination with the white house and trump's defense team in the upcoming impeachment trial in the senate.
mcconnell is basically like the fix is in, we're just not going to pretend to go through all the pomp and circumstance. and then in response house speaker nancy pelosi said, fine, i'm not going to send the ar articles of impeachment to the senate until you, mitch mcconnell, agree to set a fair trial. fear is never a word used with me, you should know right away i'm never afraid and i'm rarely surprised. today speaker pelosi invited president trump to give the state of a union speech. probably not by chance she begins the invitation, quote, in their great wisdom our founders crafted a constitution based on the administration of powers, three coequal branches acting as checks on each other. the state of the union will be the day after the iowa caucuses and will also probably happen after the president's impeachment trial. although who knows really.
it's also a reminder with what happened with the last state of the union. speaker pelosi had just gotten control of the house. the government was already in the midst of the longest shutdown in the nation's history when pelosi rescinded the invitation to the president and it was clear then and clear now pelosi has trump's number psychologically and the part of holding back impeachment probably comes to extracting some kind of psychological toll on the president. at one level holding back the articles does seem kind of petty or small or not really clear what the end game is. but on another level trump is someone so ruled by his grievances and very weird psychology essentially trying to restrain his behavior via psychodrama is one of the only tools pelosi or anyone has left. the uncertainty is still to be ironned out and driving the president nuts. this afternoon tweeting, quote, nancy pelosi is looking for a quid pro quo in the senate.
why aren't we impeaching her? okay, members of congress can't be impeached, but that's not the point. the president is clearly bothered if not tortured by this a lot. until the next few weeks until congress comes back from recess he's just going to sit there and stew. joining me now one of it house chairs who's been investigating him democratic congresswoman maxine waters of california. she is the chair of the house financial services committee. let's begin with the speaker's decision to with hold sending over the articles of impeachment and appointing managers until some guarantees of some kind of process from mitch mcconnell. how do you understand this move? do you support it? >> absolutely. we had a discussion about it, and it's not that she's withholding, it is that we need to know what the rules are because we have to and she has to determine who the managers are going to be from our side. and a lot of that has to do with the rules that will be adopted by the senate. so what mcconnell should be
doing is he should be working with the democrats in order to develop the rules so that they can make a very clear, very known exactly how they're going to proceed with this trial. and so she's not withholding, she's ready to transmit as soon as we know what the rules are and how it's going to be conducted. >> you came up quite a bit in the debate the other night -- the other day on the floor about democrat support for impeachment. one of the articles republicans return to time and time again is that some portion of the democratic caucus favored impeachment even before the ukraine facts came to light. you were one of them, you were name checked quite a bit and you responded on the floor. >> yes. >> what is your feeling about having been sort of out front calling for this before this moment changed about what actually did happen among your colleagues who were not listening to you and then were? >> well, first of all, when i started my speech i said that the rules of the debate did not
allow me to cite all of the reasons why he should be impeached. however, there are many. i had began to notice him and pay attention to him during the primary campaign in the way he conducted himself, and then my staff and i did our own kind of investigatory work to the degree that we could, and we saw the connection between putin and our president and manafort and all of these individuals who were in this little group of people who were connected in some way to the oligarchs of russia, to the kremlin and to putin. and we thought something's wrong with what we're seeing. and then, of course, when they hacked into our dnc, and this president refused to condemn them, to call them out. as a matter of fact, he defended putin and said maybe it was him, maybe it was somebody else, and
so i've known that this president was a danger to our democracy, that he was not standing up for our democracy and that he was aligning himself in ways that i thought would be d detrimental to us and disregarding the constitution altogether. so, yes, i started early, and i wanted to create this discussion. and i wanted to get more involved in investigating him. and of course the mueller report came out. it did not absolutely do what people wanted it to do, and it was only when he made the call to zelensky and the ukraine, the new president that people began to see oh, my goodness he's using the power of the presidency to try and get this new president to come up with a phony investigation on biden because of his son and the work he had done with a company there. and so this seemed to trigger a lot of belief that, yes, this man is dangerous.
there's something wrong with him. to abuse his power in that way absolutely flies in the face of the constitution of the united states. so i was right that something was wrong with him, that he did not deserve to be president, that he was potentially dangerous, that he didn't care about the constitution. when i came to those conclusions early and starting the discussion i wanted to sound the alarm that we better pay attention. and finally it came to that, and i really knew that it would because of his character, that he would not stop. and if he's exonerated by the senate when they do the trial, he's going to get even worse. and i tell you and i will predict he's going to bring putin into the white house for a meeting. >> that's an interesting prediction. let me ask a follow-up question on the investigation you talked about. your committee subpoenaed financial records from deutsche bank. >> that's right. >> the president went to court
to stop deutsche bank from turning over some of those financial records. >> that's right. >> that court case he lost in the district court, lost in appellate court. that case is now headed for the supreme court. >> that's right. >> and i haven't gotten a chance to talk to you what your expectation is of their case before the supreme court. >> i'm extremely hopeful that based on what the lower courts have done that should in some way influence what happened in the supreme court. these are legitimate subpoenas. and for this president to try and block them, to fight against them, to not respond and he has been very unresponsive in every way he possibly cannot only to our subpoenas, but he's directed all those people who worked with him and around him not to respond to our requests, and so i think the supreme court, i really think that they will rule in our favor and say that they've got to be in compliance
and respond and answer those subpoenas. >> this is going to be a very, very interesting case to see how that goes down. are you confident, finally, that there will be some resolution? i mean i asked hakeem jeffries who's also a member of leadership last night this question and i'm asking it to you. i asked him is this withholding essentially by the speaker of articles of impeachment as to now, is that temporary or indefinite? meaning do you think that will be resolved and we will move to a trial in january? >> yeah, i do. i do believe that. i think that the speaker is going to transmit the articles of impeachment over to them. and that's just a matter of trying to find out what the rules are, how it's going to work. and please remember that the selection of the managers have a lot to do with that rather. are there going to be witness snz who are those witnesses
going to be? who on our team is best prepared to deal with cross examining those witnesses? and so we need some information. it's not that this is just some kind of a petty play. this is real. this is substantive, and it makes good sense that we transmit the articles at the time that we understand what they're going to do and how they're going to do it. >> all right, congresswoman maxine waters, i hope you have a wonderful holiday. thank you for your time. >> and the same to you and thank you. >> joining me now for the political gray area on withholding articles of impeachment michelle goldberg and it's interesting congresswoman waters made that point. she's saying, look, this isn't some petty thing. if there are witnesses are not probably does play some role in
drafting but it does seem to me pelosi has the numbers and it's driving him crazy. >> i don't think it's petty because they're not talking about holding them indefinitely, right? i mean, if we weren't going into this break it would probably be just a few more days. although it does matter donald trump is going to be sort of dangling uncertainly in that time. and the reason it matters is because mitch mcconnell has basically talked about how he's going to fix this trial. and they want to make it very short, call no witnesses and essentially acquit him as quickly as possible. and the weird thing is that in some ways pelosi and trump are both aligned in wanting an actual trial, right? >> this is the play, good point. >> so what pelosi has done is hang back and let trump demand a trial, demand to call witnesses so that when they're kind of
making this decision in january, it's that much harder for mitch mcconnell to shut it down. >> it's a great point because lindsey graham a while back was like i'm going to call rudy giuliani. by all means. and chuck schumer started saying this line that none of the president's allies would defend him under oath. they will defend him but not under oath and that what they're trying to do is essentially bait trump into pushing mcconnell into having witnesses. >> yes, and if you're acting chief of staff mick mulvaney you're not going to prison for donald trump no matter how loyal and slavish these people behave on cable news, on trump tv as you put it. i think you're right it's the baiting of trump. he keeps going on we never had any witnesses. you can be a member of the public and say okay you did want have any witnesses in the house, you keep complaining about that, well let's have some witnesses in the senate. chuck schumer has named the four people. they're people who worked for you. if you did nothing wrong, send
your chief of staff to make the case. i mean he did such a great job on tv a few weeks ago. i think the holding back of the articles as someone who wanted a slower process and a bigger process i'm delighted by this. you talk about it's not indefinite, but take your time. go longer than christmas and new year's because number one -- >> there's something to that. >> they should be doing that it's a serious issue. and two, trump is losing his mind over this. pelosi gets lots of praise from liberals how she handled this. earlier this year when she was being dragged kicking and screaming -- she was like trump wants us to impeach him. she went on tv and said he's goading us to impeach him. >> i don't think she believed it then. >> there was a school of thought even some people today are saying oh, he's going to be acquitted and it's going to help him in the election. he's clearly not enjoying this. that 6-page letter this week was deranged even by deranged
trumpian standards. >> so was the trump rally. >> i don't feel like i've been impeached -- >> as it goes to the senate there's an op-ed today from jeff flake, former republican senator who, you know, sort of criticized the president and it's fine, it is what it is. when they're out of the game they want to get high and mighty, but he addresses to his senate republican colleagues and it's a simple point so obvious. he says my simple test for all of us what if barack obama had engaged in the same precise behavior, i know the answer to that question and so do you. there's not a person on earth who can -- >> i think it's refutable in you showed that clip from lindsey graham. i think in their heart of hearts they do not believe republicans should be held to the same standard as democrats. they can't make that argument publicly, but in a way that was the subtext of them going on and
on but the 63 million, let's have a moment of silence for the 63 million. as inherent as that, that 63 million deserves a degree of deference that the 65 million who voted for hillary clinton don't. so saying of course they would do this to obama, but obama was a democrat. that's the difference. >> when they often talk about executive power as well. i actually interviewed the trump campaign advisor the other day and i asked him if president bernie sanders or joe biden says next year iran investigate ivanka trump and don junior's it would be fine but the democrats need a very clear messaging strategy over this period which is this trial is rigged. use trump's favorite word, it is rigged. lindsey graham said it openly i
don't plan to be an impartial fair juror. rules going back to 1868 say you have to be an impartial juror. >> or at least you have to pretend -- >> he goes on fox and says we will be coordinated and won't change. so the jurors are telling people live on tv we're going to coordinate with the defendants. i think every american understands that's mad. >> there's new polling out today that shows 51% support impeachment removal. that's quite high. abc's poll has 70% but that's still a strong majority we should have witnesses. >> i think they went down because it sounds like if you still say it on a nonpartisan basis, of course we want witnesses. they will realize at least the senate republican message is no witnesses and then -- >> that happens in polling sometimes before the messaging machine catches up and then --
>> do you believe the crowd size in the inauguration in that polling everybody believes it and the photo they say no. there's new reporting tonight that suggests trump was sold the bizarre ukrainian conspiracy theory which in part by vladimir putin himself. that story coming up in two minutes. r putin himself. that story coming up in two minutes. (dog barking) ♪ (music building) experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list sales event. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment.
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i guess you have one of your wealth yr peop wealthier people, the server. they say ukraine has it. that refer tuesday an absolutely nuts conspiracy theory. that the hacking of the national democratic committee and hillary clinton's campaign was actually a false flag inside operation pulled off by the dnc themselves to themselves along with ukrainians in order to frame russia. now, it's not only not true, it's nonsensical. first crowd strike is an american company with a russian-american co-founder. they're the ones who did the forensicwise the dnc to find out who hacked them. they're based in california. it's not owned by ukrainians, the server is not in ukraine. i could go on. but "the washington post" has this new piece based on 15 interviews with government officials, president trump himself started bringing this very crazy conspiracy theory up as early as july 2017, his first year in office. a time when this nutty idea was very hard to even find on the
internet. where did he get this idea? according to "the washington post," quote, the blame he cast on a rival country led many of his advisers to think that putin himself helped spread ukraine's culpability. one senior white house official said trump even stated so explicitly at one point saying he knew ukraine was a culprit because putin told me. in fact, go back and watch trump and putin's infamous helsinki press conference from july 2018. at the time everyone reacted to trump refusing to back his own intelligence community on the question of whether russia had interfered with the election, but listen to it again. there he is having just met one-on-one with putin. they just had a conversation continually dropping a word which would come to be associated with this utterly debunked ukraine conspiracy theory, the server. >> you have groups that are wondering why the fbi never took the server. why haven't they taken the
server? i want to know where is the server and what is the server saying. i really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but i don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. where are those servers? they're missing. where are they? >> none of that's true, by the way. they're not missing. for more on this by joined by michael mcfaul. what went through your head when you read "the washington post" article and you read those quotes from senior officials saying the president said putin told me. >> this is a pattern. this is not news, and thank you, chris, for going back to helsinki. and thank you, chris, for unpacking that phrase 2016, but when you dig into it you realize just how incredibly crazy the story was. and that reflects i think on the president that he could believe such a crazy story.
but there is a pattern here. he stood next to putin and said i don't believe my intelligence community. by the way in helsinki there was also a story about me and several american colleagues. putin told him that we allegedly in the some crazy theory had broken russian law regarding the wrongful death of sergei magnitsky and he wanted to interrogate us. the president believed him. the president believed him about montenegro. that sounded a lot like putin disinformation, and there was even this incredibly obscure story about revisionist history, about what the soveiate -- that sounds like another crazy conspiracy theory and the author is most likely vladimir putin.
>> again we're hypothesizing here but based on evidence in front of us. we know they talk and world leaders talk all the time. i want to wholly endorse talking, two world leaders. is it your hypothesis putin is just feeding on this stuff. oh, you should ask about the server, the server is not there? is that the kind of thing that would happen in a conversation between two world lead snrz. >> i've been in meetings with vladimir putin many times when i served in the obama administration. he definitely pushes the envelope. he likes conspiracy theories. he likes to talk about secret information that only the fsb, the success organization of the kgb has acquired. and he takes good measures. he's a former counter intelligence officer. after all he understands the weaknesses and straights of his interlockteres and there's a record of candidate trump,
businessman trump spinning theories as he did about my former boss barack obama. so i'm sure he has decided this is way to use leverage and to make the president look back and to pull the president towards his side against people like you and me who are committed and trying to talk about facts. >> there's an interesting story that relates to this in politico that the senate panel that looked into the russian interference and also ukrainian interference, alleged, came up short. some republican senators recently questioned whether kiev tried to sabotage donald trump's campaign. looked into the theory and found scant evidence to support it. rachel maddow reporting the release of that part of the report is now being held up by the dni's office. do you think that should come out? >> of course i do because there's no -- there's no there there. we know the stories that have been spun out of control to say that there's a conspiracy. as you rightly pointed out
there's no evidence whatsoever about crowd strike and the server and i just think that we need to have the facts out there because again this is also classic putin. it's information throwing out there to suggest there are no facts, there is no truth, it's all relative. and then whataboutism? you throw it out there so we're chasing this other weird thing. and what's surprising to me is that the president of the united states and many of his defenders are willing to chase these crazy theories. anything that can be put on the record to disabuse us of those theories i think would be very welcome. >> how do you understand this relationship with putin? >> president obama met with him many times. first meeting was in july 2009, i was there. i think he's got a pretty good understanding of his motivations and what drives him. but president obama also has a commitment to facts and evidence
and hypotheses tested with evidence. and number two when we went into those meetings president obama always had his advisers with him. even obama is not capable of knowing everything about everything with respect to foreign policy. that's a good idea. it's a bad idea to go into a meeting with vladimir putin one-on-one for anybody, and i would say especially for somebody like president trump who's eager to seek his favor. remember that's the context within which they're meeting. i think that's very dangerous. >> michael mcfaul, thank you so much. up next the brazen hypocrisy and the efforts to boot him out of office next year. his challenger in the great state of south carolina joins me next. e great state of south carolina joins me next ♪
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the idea of not being able to call witnesses is crucial. how would you like to do this show without guests? what if you sat here and read transcripts based on questions you asked, your ratings would go down. >> could probably spend an entire hour just documenting the hilarious hypocrisy of republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina on the impeachment trial process. he was famously a house manager during the clinton impeachment, and he's done basically a 180 on literally everything he said then on what constitutes an impeachment offense. senator dpram is up for re-election next year and likely understands it plays well in a state where trump's approval rating is 52%. politico reports rates the seat as republican and a rather
interesting tidbit, senator graham's favorability rating was at 38% earlier this month, which is music to the ears of his likely democratic opponent jamie harrison. he's the son of a single mother whose fam received food stamps and welfare as he grew up as a kid and went onto go to yale and georgetown university. and he's now running for senator graham's senate seat and he joins me now. mr. harrison, it's good to have you. let's start on this question of impeachment. what do you make of the flip-flopping that the senator has done in his stances about witnesses and impartiality and the like? >> it's so sad, chris, to look at lindsey graham where he was and where hez now. >> listen, at the end of the day senators take an oath to defend and protect the constitution of the united states, and very soon they'll take another oath of office of being an impartial
juror. in my house we were taught you have to have strong values and integrity and that you kept your promises and you stood by your oath. but right now what we're seeing with lindsey graham is that his word is like mud. there is no value. he doesn't keep it, and he won't keep that promise to the people of south carolina, and he won't standby his oath of office. his oath of office and the oath he'll take very soon. >> do you understand, lots of republican senators apologize for president trump's conduct. a lot of them do genuinely support him. i think some of them do genuinely like the guy. senator graham was a really cutting critic of president trump for a long time and now probably his most senatorial defender. what do you make of that? what is your understanding is why has been so outspoken in the president's defense? >> well, part of it, chris, is lindsey graham is in for it for lindsey graham. he's not doing it for president trump or the people of south
carolina. he's doing it for himself. he wants to be relevant. for him being relevant in washington, d.c. is the most important thing. for me being relevant in south carolina is the most important thing. there are people in this state suffering every day. there was an article today that talked about north charleston being the city with the highest rate of evictions in the nation. there's so many things, we have rural hospitals closing. that's why we are building a movement focused on the people of south carolina. this is senator we have who hasn't been back home in the state in almost three years to do a town hall, and so i'm asking everybody, you want to join me to send lindsey graham home, join me. go to jamie harrison,.com because we are building a movement to change the leadership we have in the state. >> where are the votes, where the issues you think you would contrast with the record graham has amassed particularly in the trump era? >> there are so many issues.
for health care, here we have four rural hospitals that are closed over the past few years. we have 12 counties in this state that have no ob/gyn's. almost 300,000 people should have health care but republicans with the support of lindsey graham and you know how he came up with this bill, in a barbershop sitting with rick santorum. this guy is not someone we can take seriously. there should be a big flashing sign above lindsey graham's head that says voters beware. this guy doesn't keep his promises, standby his oaths and doesn't come to deal with the issues people are dealing with here in south carolina. i'm going to be different because i'm going to be focused like a laser on issues of south carolina and making sure the american dream is available for all of us.
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$1.4 trillion package. but according to reporting from "the washington post" he almost didn't do it. there was a standoff because democrats were initially considering language in the bill prompt future military aid for ukraine. and that provision was apparently a nonstarter for trump. the white house could have issued a public veto threat and raised the prospect of an imminent government shutdown in the days before democrat moved to impeach the trump. in the end democrats agreed to drop the offending lines and now the trump is in love with the bill. his tweet this morning, quote, i will be signing our $738 billion defense spending bill today. it creates space for border wall funding, repeals cadillac tax on health plans and everyone is happy about the smocking thing especially this guy. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. s . that's thing 2 in 60 seconds
that was thanks to our president butchering the word smoking in a tweet he later deleted. clearly the man just think it's spelled smocking, but he is apparently raising the smoking age to 21, which i think is probably a good thing. although not everyone is so excited about it. take the senator from texas ted cruz who made his feelings about the bill pretty clear in a video he posted last night on twitter which look like one of those old beer commercials with the most insufferable man in world. >> so now our soldiers at ajt you can be drafted to go into war, you can be sent to the front lines, you can face machine gunfire. but god help you if you want to have a smoke. and this pile of trash belongs in an ashtray. belongs in an ashtray. ♪
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the front page of the seattle times and residents woke up to this morning. quote, inquiry finds state lawmaker engaged in domestic terrorism. that's a pretty memorable headline. probably want to read that article. a 108-page report commissioned by the washington statehouse of representatives found that state representative matt shay had been involved in not one, not two but three armed conflicts against the u.s. government. starting in 2014 with the standoff between rancher bundy
and the bureau of management workers in nevada the report found that matt shay put out a social media call for militia members that resulted in, quote, turn out of approximately 115 armed members. and fast forward to idaho, veterans affairs workers were headed to the home of a veteran deemed ineligible to purchase firearms by a health care professional, and the report found shay participated in an operation that, quote, resulted in the use of armed militia members who blocked access to the veterans home and prevented the lawful retrieval of the guns. in 2016 when bundy's sun amon led the take over of an oregon life refuge matt shay, quote, created a detailed military style operation plan entitled operation cool reality. shay's full ideology has been on full display for years now. just last year he admitted to authoring an absolutely crazy document titled biblical basis
for war which is basically a manifesto for christian holy war. quote, if they do not yield kill all males. when that document came to light mat shea said it was just a summary of sermons on war in the bible, no big deal. but that is not how the republican sheriff of spokane county described the document. quote, it's a how-to with of the christian identity arian nation's movement. it was not until last night when that report was released that washington state republicans decided to finally cut ties with shea calling on him to resign. better late than never i guess. . better late than never i guess ♪ spread a little love today ♪ spread a little love my-y way ♪ ♪ spread a little something to remember ♪
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a drink with friends can turn into two.. and a prescription can be stronger than you thought. stop! there are a lot of ways to get a dui. and a lot of ways to go. text a friend. call a cab. share a ride. whatever you choose to do, go safely, california. in poll after poll the biggest base of support for president donald trump comes from white evangelicals and yet many, many, many people have noted the inherent contradictions in people who prioritize biblical righteousness supporting someone
as flagrantly godless and morally incontinent as donald trump. and yesterday that contention hit a snapping point for one of the most important publication in the evangelical world, christianity today. published an editorial yesterday calling for the president's removal in the senate after his impeachment and saying, quote, to the many evangelicals who continue to support mr. trump in spite of his blackened moral record we might say this, remember who you are and who you serve. consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off mr. trump's immoral words and behavior and the cause and political exspeediancy. that editorial crash the magazine's website yesterday and now has people asking is this the start of something or just a one off? to help answer that question i'm joined by reverend jim wallace, author of the book christ in crisis, and ruth graham, wrote a piece titled trump is freaked
out by christianity today's support for impeachment. i like your piece and you're a fantastic writer. what do you see as the significance of christianity today publishing this? >> i think this was a huge deal. i was stunned when i saw this appear online on thursday. and it's not so much that anyone who's reading christianity today would be surprised this is what the editors thought, but it was really surprising to see them put it so forthrightly and so clearly in print. i think one of the most important things about this is that it opens up space for the significant probably minority, but a significant share of evangelicals who know that there is something, you know, profoundly uniquely wrong with this presidency and who haven't -- you know when they looked around to see who are the loudest evangelicals sharing their voices, their opinions on trump right now, it's not institutional like christianity
today, not even some of the leaders who were opposed to trump during the primary. these are the voices that have been sort of the loudest clearest voices on trump. meanwhile there's a lot of conversations. you know, i'm part of them and i hear them. conversations going on from among, you know, who know something's wrong but they haven't seen it articulated this forthrightly by such a respected publication and really using evangelical language to make the case against trump. >> you know, jim, i was struck by how forthright and courageous in its own way. this is writing something you know your audience doesn't want to hear. i was struck that the editor who penned it is actually retiring. it reminds me a bit what happens to senate republicans right before they retire. what do you make of it? >> ruth is right. this is i think a crack in the wall of white evangelical support for donald trump, and this crack could grow. i've just been on a book tour in
27 cities including evangelical colleges and churches. and i love, chris, the way you read that line. remember who you are and who you serve. this isn't finally just about politics, this is about jesus and the religious right, people ruth mentioned they have cashiered jesus and sold him out for donald trump in a transactional political deal. but we've been having conversations ability jesus all over the country. who he is, what did he say, what are the questions he asked? and i think the wonderful thing here is evangelicals could come back to jesus in this crisis. and when the media says evangelicals they mean white evangelicals, you know that. and evangelicals of color have been against donald trump -- racial bigotry is a deal breaker for the gospel and white evangelicals haven't said that, and they should have a long time ago. >> you just used the word transactional and the
president's response to this which he's very enraged. the funniest part of his tweet aside from calling christianity today e.t. was saying he's going to stop reading it. and i i had this lovely image of trump waiting for it latest issue to come out and decline to read it. but that bad transactional nature is understood on both sides. that's what's so weird and corrupt and it seems to me not to outstep my lane godless about this. like this is just transactional. >> yeah, it's so hilarious to see i think the cover story this month is on the virgin mary as like the first christian. christianity today is not a terribly political magazine. >> i'm a subscriber and it's much more engaged with spiritual cultural things and trying to
there's some tension there. i truly could not imagine donald trump reading christianity today in his spare time. >> do you see this, jim, fundamentally as essentially the corrupt politics that keeps a city machine together. it's not ideological. it's you get something and we get something and that's the deal? >> it's actually a foisten bargain. jesus said how do you treat the immigrants and how do you treat me, who is my neighbor, and what is truth? so i'm really proud of what he did because it isn't about politics for him. it's about -- i love that line where he says the country is in great moral and political danger because of the grossly immoral character of donald trump. and he must be removed from office because of a moral
imperative, and in fact a matter of faith -- this is matter of faith. we all have to see this, 2020 as a matter of fate. a test of democracy, yes, but also a test of faith. and i think there's some good news today that some people are rediscovering jesus instead of how he's been sold out for a long time. i'm saying it's time to come back to jesus. >> final question for you, if you talked about creating space, obviously no group is monolithic. what does that space, what does that look like you think those conversations as we get into the election year? >> i just think there are a lot of evangelicals who know because of what they hear in church, because of what they see when they read the bible, that the trump presidency poses a unique threat, an allegiance to trump, you know, the kind of slavish devotion that some faction of white evangelicals have hoen for trump that is going to be profoundly damaging to the christian witness. frankly, it may be too late in a lot of quarters but there may be
some way to rescue that. i think there are some people who have been voting republican now for generations at least hoyears, and so it's a big deal to break from that, but i think there's starting to be this kind of challenge where people are seeing something needs to change. >> reverend jim wallace and ruth graham, thank you both for joining us. the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. have a spectacular weekend as we head into the holidays. i know you're looking forward to splitting wood with your family as am i. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour as well. very happy to have you with us. i do hope you have a great holiday season looking ahead, it is the friday before christmas. that should mean that we no longer feel like we're right in the middle of a news cycle, right, but the news gods scoff at such niceties these days. they care not for our