tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC April 15, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT
america for that matter. it is going to increase prices at our grocery stores even higher, and it is worsening the supply chain problem that we already had. this didn't have to happen, it is the decision of one man, and one man alone, greg abbott. some kind of political stunt that does nothing to improve the safety or security at our border. >> hurts prices at the grocery store, hurts jobs, hurts the supply chain. issues that people across the state of texas, and across this country truly care about, certainly more than culture wars. a very frustrated beto o'rourke taking us off the air tonight. and on that no i wish you a good night from all of our colleagues across the networks at nbc news. thanks for staying up late with us, and i will see you at the end of tomorrow. >> tonight on all in. from the subway and brooklyn to the police shooting in michigan,
tonight, the intensifying debate on crime, policing, and justice in america. what is policing for and what do we want police to do? then, the flagship of russia's black sea fleet is at the bottom of the sea. tonight, the sinking of the moskva, and what it means to the war. plus, jamie raskin on the endgame for the january six committee and stephen miller comes in for his interview. and guess which major political party led by an aspiring autocrat just withdrew from the commission on presidential debates? >> i'm gonna give you a minute to answer sir, you have repeatedly -- >> you have to answer his. >> when all in starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. at the man arrested for the violent shooting attack in new york city subway this week made his first appearance in federal court today. the judge ordered frank james to be held without bail. not that surprising. on charges of carrying out a terrorist attack on a mass transit system. that terrorist attack is a
technical legal terms. the james apprehension comes amidst both the trauma of yet another mass shooting in america, and all too common occurrence in this country almost daily, oz well as an intensifying debate, policy grounds and politically across the country about crime policing and justice. specifically, what policing is for and what we wanted to do. and whether we would be more or less police to accomplish that. bigger or smaller police budgets. i think this is actually an important and clarifying moment in that debate, one that often gets oversimplify, but i think reflects a bunch of complicated issues. first of all, a person opening fire in a public space, like a subway car, really clarifies i think some bedrock shared beliefs about what we want for public safety system in general, we don't want to be shot on the subway. we don't want to be shot in -- walking down the street, randomly. and if someone does opened fire on people in the subway, i think we're sort of in
consensus, we want that person to be apprehended quickly. we don't want them roaming around freely. and indeed, when the subway shooter was apprehended yesterday afternoon, the commissioner of the new york city police department tweeted this triumphant, i would even say braggadocious, statement quote, frank robert james had nowhere else to run or hug and is now in and ypg custody. the work of our detectives a second to none and the dedication of our patrol officers is never ending. new york city mayor, eric adams, himself a former police officer, echoed that tone. >> my fellow new yorkers, we got him. we got him. okay. >> that's true, i think there was relief that this man was no longer at large. he is charged, and he is innocent until proven guilty. but he did roam free through new york city for 30 or so hours after shooting people. he was retroactively spotted in
brooklyn in manhattan. later in the morning of the shooting, james was seen entering a subway station in park slope, a brooklyn neighborhood north of where the should into place. the next morning, the new yorkers reported seeing him in a popular café called times where you can get an old milk latte. and the police -- tons of him all over the place. in the end, just to be clear, frank james called himself in. a senior law enforcement official has confirmed that james actually called the crime stoppers tip line, told them he was at a mcdonald's on the lower side of manhattan, even describe the clothes he was wearing, and the green backpack he was carrying, and then, on top of, that it was astute observers like three men, who spotted james while they were installing a security camera, who pointed police in the right direction. >> the business wanted cameras, and we showed this, guy i was with my cousin and, i saw him the guy.
we said, oh my god, this is the guy. >> we are ready to call the police, we saw the two guys from the police department pulling up on the street. so we go to them, we tell them, he is there he is one block away. he's over there wearing a cap, carrying his bag we went with them and they kept him right away. >> they are not a professional broadcaster, but showing a pretty good technique in the interviewing. a lot of people, in the wake of, this and again do some relief and this could've been so much worse, of the radical of the nypd and policing in general after this incident, certainly crowing about it. at the same time, there are others who look at a traumatic incident like this and immediately say, we need more police. we heard a lot of that in the last 24 hours. we need more officers present subways to prevent this from happening again. again, that's not a crazy impulse. but those are critical the way that policing does work. they point out that there's a lot of police in the transit system, there's thousands of
officers out looking for frank james, in the, and they didn't really find him. he called himself in and citizens spotted him and directed him to police, which, again it brings up the question, what exactly is policing for? we don't ask this question a lot in the public debates, and there's a lot of demagoguery and anger around this. it's really an existential question we are facing as a society and but we've been arguing about without really naming, what is policing for? just look at what was happening in harlem early this week where new york city police officers, in the parks department, cleared out a long-standing fitness club in a public park. according to the parks department -- they are not allowed to have that equipment that is there. but it serves as a safe place for kids to participate in activities to stay away from trouble in violence. so you look at this and you think, is this what policing is? for do we want policing to do that? and then of course there is the truly upsetting story coming out of grim rapids, michigan, where officers shot and killed a black man after struggle at a
traffic stop. i will not play the video of the shooting which is, like so many of these videos, just unspeakably upsetting. but it shows the officer lying on the man's back before appearing to shoot him in the back of the head. this is after the officer pulled him over because of the week -- he was an immigrant from the democratic republic of congo and lift in the area for five years. again, i think there is a broadly shared consensus across all sorts of lines, i would imagine, that this is an awful situation, edition of happen, this isn't the way this man's life should've ended, and a lot of people think maybe the track exception of taking place. there's a lot up for debate between that and the reality of crime going up in this country. and it is. just look at the increase in the murder rate over the last couple of years. it was up 30% in 2020. another 6% in 2021. and the first month of this
year, new york city saw a nearly 40% increase in the crime index since january. amidst us, the debate seems to be do we want more police and less police? do we want to increase the budgets or decrease them? as opposed to thinking of what we want the institution of policing to do, or more broadly, and i would see much more fundamentally, what's safety looks like in this country and what it should look like. what will be the mechanisms to provide that, because they tell you the truth, i think there are arguments to make that there are too much and too little policing in this country at the same time. there are too many young men of color and generally marginalized people being stopped. weather in traffic, or just on the street. we and yet, at the same time, looked at what happens with the most serious crime, homicide, we all know the phrase getting away with murder, an idiom that describes zero consequences for the most egregious of actions, but that is an increasing reality in america. homicide clearance rates, for the number of murders that we actually see, at a historic
national, low about 54%. that means, nearly half of all murders went unsolved. that is crazy. half the people who commit murder are literally getting away with murder. some and we have been seeing a real reactionary backlash build. on one, hand there's an impulse to have more cops in the interest of increasing safety. on the other, hand there's a reform community that is skeptical of that, and i think a little snow to acknowledge that violence and serious crimes are going up. it's not phantom we. so it does seem like a perfect time to actually have a conversation about what policing is for and what we
want policing to do. we're peter mosque is a former baltimore police officer, now professor where he writes about policing. we phillip atiba goff is the co-founder for policing equity, and a professor of psychology and at yale university. the willie peter moskos teaches psychology at yale university. let's go with you peter. it was an interesting thing, you have a city that's traumatize and people are like, we clearly want to catch the guy who shot everyone, i don't think that's a controversial opinion. but then there's a little bit of this feeling of, what are the nypd really doing here? >> this is the idea that somehow it it reflects poorly on police that a citizen helped a cop is -- oh my god, cops did something effective. how can we find fault? if you think that --
this is how crimes are solved. they didn't just spot the guy because they imagine what he looked like. cops did investigations, they got his image out. there's a lot of back and a police work there that allowed people to recognize him and also then to have a car that happen to be driving by to flag down. that's good policing. 30 hours is pretty quick. i don't know. we it's still a tragic incident. but the idea that the police did something wrong in his apprehension because a citizen help cops, i think that's the idea. >> in some ways i would say that the connection between with philip, the series -- it's part of the conversation. do you trust the police enough that you are willing to call them or do you want them to come around, and, again in this, case this is a real kind of once a new generation thing. literally, there has never been a mass shooting in the subway. this guy's faces everywhere. but all sorts of things are happening all kinds of times where people are experiencing violence, where they are seeing something that happened that
the don't think should have been, but they also think to themselves, i don't involve the police and i think a lot of people think that is a problem. >> that is exactly right. you have many communities that are thinking, well, there is this violent thing that's happened in my community and i want that to stop so i can call people who are more worried are going to be violent in my community and who have done that without getting caught, how much violence do i want to introduce to get rid of the violence? that's its own set of problems. but i think in the context of what is the mission of police saying, what do we want policing to do, i think we want to make sure that we cast the net wider than just who do we want to respond to an incident, because in this case we have this individual who is allegedly committed the shooting on the subway who's been in police custody multiple times before. we've had a lot of opportunities to get this individual whatever they needed so they didn't end up in the situation in the subway with a gas mask. so if we're doing is who do we want to respond to the situation, what do they do to respond to the situation, we don't think of how to stop the situation from happening in the first place. and you're talking about trying to find the places where we all agree on some things. i think we all agree, and law enforcement has agreed, for decades, that when we disinvest, when we take money out of it, police forces out of committee -- were gonna end up sending
responders to violence in that community. so that has to be -- has to be part of the same conversation when talking about violence and strickland. >> i'll come back to peter. the argument that people make, eric adams makes, it's what you're seeing, yes, of course we want to prevent it. and the way you prevented is we have more cops. and we have more apprehensions of turnstile jumpers, and we have more searches on gut instinct because one of those searches, if you see someone in your acosta, maybe one of them will find a gun, maybe you do find the guy before he does it, and that's the protective mode of policing that the aclu and progressive activists and folks have essentially shut down by saying, that's racial lee discriminatory, that's harassment, it's a. tara >> yes, so there's one surefire way to make sure that there is no violence on the streets in the united states. which is to lock up everyone in the united states so that they
are not on the streets. that will 100% work, and you can follow that for as long as you want. we tried that, or darn close to, that in black communities, for a couple of decades. it did do some of the work to drive down crime. thousand percent. but the goal here is not to prevent any violence, or to make sure that anyone who has committed violence is taken away forever. the goal is to try to prevented in the first place and then it turns out that while having police on street corners just, their existence, does kind of raise reduce the likelihood that are gonna engage in something illegal right then, far better than that is treating trauma. having resources, so you know where you are going to sleep, where your food is coming from. that you have a way to engage productively with society. that your kids are safe. this is what all communities say keeps them safe. interestingly, the adams administration just put out a survey of 62,000 new yorkers and more policing was not the thing that defines safety for them. it was these resources in their
communities. >> and the example to me, this, peter, i want to talk about clarence race after this. we are seeing this homelessness discussion. this is a national thing. if you go on fox news, the whole thing is, look at these disgusting cities with all these people everywhere. >> i did know that because i don't -- >> but that's the discussion there. eric adams has been doing these homeless sweeps that people -- will get this to me feels like these things where it's like, we want to not see this problem, we want to get rid of this, but what is happening on the backhand for these folks is all sort of indeterminate. it does feel like this hammer nails solution to public space, or public order. >> the issue is there is a hard-core of people we experiencing homelessness who don't help. and i think as a society we have to decide, sometimes that help may have to be imposed against will. we do that in certain cases, and now the question is how often.
how can we balance freedom and what's good for people? but the idea that somehow it's morally just to allow people to stay and live in the subway system, where the fatality rate is incredibly high, as a civilized society, that's not acceptable to sleep in tunnels in the subway. so we can -- we don't have to fix everything about housing and inequality before we say, no, this is unacceptable. new york is a -- we have more services and more people. so we becomes a political debate. >> on the back end, the question is like, are those people going to have a place to go? >> we might not be a great place, but it safer than the subway. and if they think the subways safer, they're actually mistaken. because the crime right, the death, rate 3 million ways to kill yourself down there. >> it's very dangerous to be around trans and lots of people. a lot of people do. >> and that usually doesn't make the news. it's just another service disruption. that was a human life. and that life could've been saved. but because of politics --
remember, this is a problem, we know the grave problems that have been around for decades and centuries, but the recent decrease and quality of life in new york city, which i also want to, say new york is still a nice place, i live here and i love it here, but there's been -- it's gotten worse. that's a recent thing. it's not because suddenly poverty appeared in america, it's not suddenly because racism appeared. it's political choices. and we've been making bad choices recently. the violence rate was half of what it is a few years ago. courts close, those things have impact. >> the other thing i would just say there, and obviously, we will not settle the question here, we also had a once-in-a-century disruption to normal life in every single way. >> that's so unique -- i don't believe where. worse >> i think for more unique. >> no other country in the world had this. also, violence and start with covid. it started in the wake of social disorder of protests, of
riots after the murder of george floyd. >> but it was nothing like what happened in 2020, in the midst of covid. >> when the covid started, covid violence when. don everywhere else in the world, violence to go. first of all, i don't believe. it at reasonable people can differ. no one knows. covid's reality, now why? covid is fading, violence isn't going down. something else is happening, you have to look at a change in the system. and i do want to discount what professor phillip atiba goff said earlier. those started at the beginning, and start with the community, but it should be seen as an either or situation. new york is spending a lot of money on social services. including for this man who is presumably the alleged shooter. i do want to give too much credence to his rantings, but he blamed the treatment he got. i don't know what that solution is. but it shouldn't be framed as an either or. it's not necessarily more more cops are if your cops, it's when you started, with what do we want policing to do in society? i think it's prevent crime,
prevent fear, and prevent a certain amount of public disorder. >> public disorder is the one that i in the subways i think is the trick is because it ends up being the weights in -- >> why would any cops -- why would you blame cops for? that they did make that decision. >> they implementing of. it they implemented. and they have a judgment call. >> it's strange to me to say, all look at -- >> that's a democratic decision. i agree with. that we phillip atiba goff and peter moskos thank you both, i enjoy that. >> good to see. you >> up, next russia suffers a military loss, the sinking of the battleship moskva. and a testimony for the january six committee as steve miller meets up with the committee. that oddly satisfying feeling when you don't do it yourself.
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the january article described the ship's having enough anti-ship missiles to wipe out the entire ukrainian navy and enough air defense missiles to swat away any conceivable aerial attack on the black sea fleet and cbs flotilla. not anymore. ukrainian defense official sent ahead of the moskva with two missiles yesterday about 75 miles off the coast while russia said that that was an internal munitions fire. earlier today the russian ministry of defense announce the moskva some while being -- a senior official told washington post on thursday evening that the ship sunk as a result of a ukrainian attack but did not confirm what weapon was used. this is a really really big deal ukraine doesn't really have a functioning navy, this is one of the fearsome ships. it's largest ships sunk in combat since world war ii. the mosque i have was the pride of the russian navy and if it was sunk and it was the biggest
to be some since 67 years. it's sums up the asymmetrical success of ukrainian armed forces in a knot shell. but again the reality is still that russia's nuclear power in europe and nato is directly supplying the ukraine with weapons to kill russians. on top of that finland and sweden announced that they're officially considering joining nato. which is literally opposite of what russian -- putin wanted. in fact it might be the thing that most freaks them out. and now putin is wondering if those countries do join it if we move nuclear weapons to the baltic region. joined now -- much about russia and mature including survivor autocracy, extensively covering the invasion of ukraine in the new yorker and writing about the russian destruction of ukrainian holocaust memorial. it's great to have you here. so, i have this complicated emotional reaction to let's say
-- i mean it's not a game, there's real people with real lives. it's not like oh yeah go. i think i want ukrainians to successfully repel the russians. but every time something like that happens, you think, you get scared that putin is then back further into a corner. and what that will mean. how do you think about that? >> pretty much the same thing. and [laughs] it's sort of spectacular that the moscow have was sunk yesterday and today, because it was the very ship that started this war, the ship that gave us the first gleam of what the iranian border guard toward the ship to go, with life itself and now this very ship's sunk days after ukrainian missile service showed the postal stab with the middle finger pointed at the ship. it's beautiful. right? in a weird sense it's heart warming, at the same time we knew exactly the kind of reaction we would provoke, the aerate siren's heard all over -- right now. there's reports of huge explosions in kyiv, and this is how war works, every military success on this side, on the side of the underdogs gonna draw a greater more vengeful reaction from the aggressor, even without going into the specifics of this particular era horrible war that russia has been prosecuting. it's systematically targeted
civilians. >> yeah, there's a phrase in the army that the enemy gets the vote. and that's exactly the loop of that. it does strike me that there's a question about what putin's mindset is, can he think clearly, busy rational, is he making calculation could fit the framework of mutually shared game theory. i found in slightly reassuring that the russian military, and putin's direction did assess at some point that this part isn't working, there was a rational calculation, irrational retreat from that goal into the south and the east. at least gave me some little sliver that this is not -- this is how a mad man works. >> it's not a mad man running this, there is a problem impossibly a mistaken asking on whether putin is rational. everyone is rational in some universe. the question is one of the universe in which putin is rational. and he's rational in the universe where the most important thing to do is for him to reestablish russia as a power at any cost. and part of doing that is obliterating ukraine, which he believes doesn't have a right to exist, now the fact that he's trying different tax to achieve this particular goal isn't surprising.
it doesn't tell us that his goal, his goal is to obliterate plane and make it stopped existing as a nation. and to reestablish russia as a superpower, the world is not gonna give him this. ukraine is putting up a hell of a fight in the end russia has overwhelming military power and overwhelming resources. in addition, and nato is certainly not gonna agree to deal with vladimir putin as the other power, the other world power. he believes that this is the kind of world that he doesn't want to live in. and that's the kind of world that he is rattling ukraine -- >> you just mentioned that he doesn't believe ukraine exists, or he wants to step out ukrainian miss as a distinct thing. the president of united states refer to that as genocide the other day. and there's this complexity of here are the russians, putin is saying at the nazi regime with the only jewish head of state
outside of israel, the nation has a very complicated relationship to its jewish minority. and you wrote an incredible piece about its reckoning with precisely that history of this particular moment. >> thank you, and this is a piece that i was reporting to for a while before this invasion. but it was completed at a horrible way by the invasion. this is what should've been, would've been the last holocaust memorial, all of europe's lazio five the holocaust, but the largest site of the holocaust -- the kind of mass murder were much less used to memorializing. that site in -- right in kyiv, had never been memorialized. there was an incredible effort to try to memorialize it under the two administrations since the 2014 revolution in ukraine. and now yes that memorial site has been hit by russian missile
>> you could feel that in your bones, you really can. i have 1000th of a connection to it that you do but it feels very clear. again, your reporting on this has been essential and i thank you for making the time with us. >> thank you. >> all right coming up an update on a story i brought to you last night on a january six defendant who blamed trump for his actions at the capitol. didn't take long for the jury to come back with a verdict. we'll give you that to you after this.
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gangster imploring a crowd of people whom he's groomed over the last year with his associates to help him with his desperate last-ditch effort to overturn the results of a lawful election. i imagine you've been used, and abused, and left out to dry. what are the conclusion would you embrace? right? it's sickening what's happening to these people who would've otherwise had no business coming to washington d. c.. it certainly wouldn't storm the capitol in this fashion. >> last night attorney pam's a man ski made that our event on
the show that he been making at a jury in a federal court in washington d. c. this week. his client a man named dustin thompson should not be held responsible for storming the capitol on january 6th. he and others were controlled, groomed, and directed by one jonnel j trump. they were mailing ponds in trump's attempt to stay in power. the real blame lies with the former president. thompson drove from ohio to washington d. c. once there according to his testimony broke into the capital the president orders, he ransacked -- the parliamentarian office, stole a coat rack that he bought liquor as souvenirs before running away when confronted by the police. thompson was one of the first riders to argue that trump was to blame for his actions. his lawyer tried to unsuccessfully to subpoena the ex president to testify. but while prosecutors do not dispute that trump likely incited the violence they argue
they did not excuse thompson's behavior, telling the jury that they don't have to choose between thompson and trump that both men could've done wrong. today the jury agreed after deliberating for just three hours they found dustin tossed guilty of six charges including felony obstruction of congress, which contains the maximum of 20 years in prison. judge reggie walton ordered him held without bond saying he was convinced that thompson lied on the stand, showed that he was weak minded and couldn't be trusted. the judge who was appointed to the district court in washington, d. c., by george w. bush saved his harshest words for donald trump quote i think our democracy is in trouble because unfortunate we have charlatans like our former president who doesn't in my view -- to moxie but only about power. the latest on the investigation -- insurrection and the testimony of one of his top aides to the january six committee with congressman jamie raskin next.
heard from one of trump's closest white house aides, stephen miller, a former senior adviser in the fight white house virtually before the committee for eight and a half hours. it's the latest high-profile member of the trump administration to appear before the committee, yesterday the two top lawyers of the trump white house had a testimony of the former white house counsel patrick philbin, who was his deputy met separately with the panel. the former president's daughter, ivanka trump and jared kushner sat for about 50 hours. jamie raskin from serves on the
january six committee and he joins me now. it's striking at the end of the list, congressman, at the end of it it seems a lot of people very close to the president have cooperated with the committee given testimony. >> nobody wants to get left behind because the truth is coming out in the way that it's supposed to in a democracy and it's kind of the way you journalists operate saying we'll have everyone else speaking to us, but not you unless you decide to come forward. it's like a woodwork -- [laughs] exactly no one wants to get left on the dock, you know. but the truth is the whole country now knows the basic outline of the story. we don't know exactly when every single person was doing at every moment, but we know that there was one line of attack which was a violent insurrection unprecedented and our history injuring wounding hospitalizing more than 150 of our police officers and interrupting the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in american history.
as they shut down at the counting of the counting of the electoral college votes. another line of attack which was the coup, over the political scientists call a self to where it's not the military going against the president it's the president trying to overturn the constitutional process during an election. that's precisely what happened there, and we're just putting the pieces together on all of the different actors and how these two different plots were coordinated. >> you know obviously a committee doesn't have criminal jurisdiction, this is a function of legislative body that has been in town for this purpose. you did say this, we haven't been shy of criminal evidence we encounter and a report will profusely inciting force crimes that have not yet been established. what do you think about your role in the the department of justice's role, and how to write about or lay out evidence if you feel you have found evidence of crimes? >> wow, yeah, i don't
understand this recent media controversy around reported conflicts of our committee about whether or not to make criminal referrals. we have not been rest dissonant at all about setting forth what we know when judge carter in the eastman litigation which dateable eastman's attempt to get chapman university not to turn over the call records we were looking for. when he asked the question about whether or not eastman's claim of attorney client privilege could be defeated by the crime thought exceptionally brief that out and set for another of potential federal, criminal statutory offenses that we thought would dilute it or negate any claim of a attorney-client privilege. judge carter basically followed us and he said that there was more likely than not that donald trump had engaged in federal crimes in trying to interfere with the federal proceeding. and conspiring to defraud the american people of an honest election. so, he set that for that so
we're gonna lay out everything we see, but we want people to understand this isn't just like and agatha christy novel here. we know who done it. it's [laughs] a question of going forward how, we get a ourselves and fortified democratic institutions and processes against coups and insurrections and subversion in the future. >> this is maybe a strange question, it's a narrative and one that i have some expertise and. when you say it's not agatha christie, why it is a mystery novel exists. it exists because you want to find out who done it and the thing that pulls it through the book is precisely the suspense of that, in this case again there is in suspense about who
did it we know who did it, it becomes from the tension path -- storytelling standpoint how you communicate and capture the public's attention about that story. >> well, there are lots of characters who are not known to the broad public tonight were involved in this. there were a number of heroes who surfaced throughout this process and we want to make sure that we're profiling them as well as the villains of this story but it's very important to know how it was done as well as whodunnit. and that's what the citizens in the world's greatest multiracial, multi religious, multi cultural constitutional democracy need to know, what are the weaknesses that these reactionaries all right neo-fascist forces conspire to take advantage of. because they did, and it will be both agonizing and riveting for the country to see how
close we came to losing it all. and it's as close to fascism in my life and we need people to understand what the weaknesses were and how we're going to seal up the weaknesses so we can move forward. -- the pressing issues of our time like climate change which is bearing down on everybody. >> my business we call that a good tease, you have me congressman jamie raskin, thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> thank you chris. >> up next republican parties already dodging the debate stage up ahead of the next stage of the presidential election -- cancel control party and a potential trump run after this.
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that an aspiring archive is living with a two major political parties in america look knew for them the votes the problem nutritional committee has taken this year. they voted to censure members of their own party represented liz cheney and adam kinzinger back in february on their participation in the january six committee. that same boat -- on the capitol as legitimate political discourse. today they voted unanimously to pull out of the presidential debates that have been run by the nonpartisan, non profit on presidential debates since 1988. trump had repeatedly criticize the commission after his widely -- performances in 2020. today the pup committee made enough to suffer through such an ordeal again calling the commission biased, today the rnc voted to -- late platforms and they didn't elaborate on what those platforms would be. stuart stevens is very familiar with the presidential debates especially as work on the presidential campaign of mitt romney, political senior adviser lincoln project and he joins me now. i thought at first this was a bluff, that this was a way of kissing up to trump and it looks like they're actually doing it, and it seems to me like a pretty big deal like
it's the end of something and the breaking of something that cannot be put back together, how do you feel about it? >> well look it's just a process it's an autocratic playbook and their methodically going through it. the ideas will do it piece by piece and we won't figure out the big picture. -- >> number one first rule of how autocrats power is rejecting of democratic norms and debate is at the heart of the democratic norm. i mean we need to do it every day. it goes to a sort of trans in the republican party, one is the republican party has become a party of fear. what is not debating is that you're afraid to debate. no one lodges a debate that they think they're gonna win, or they did when it is fearfulness. why do you make it harder for people to vote? because you're afraid of what will happen if a lot of people vote. why do you make it harder for immigrants, it's a fearfulness, a fearfulness of gays, of higher education, and somehow
the conservative movement in america has become a place that appeals to sort of that within us that is fearful. and it's a real really disturbing autocratic tendency, autocrats to pursue this is to make you feel safer. i will be the big brother, i will be the strongman, i will make you feel safer. and that's what there -- >> there's a few things here one is that this is about trump 's ego, he got his butt kicked in those debates he looked ridiculous and petulant, and now appears in retrospect probably had covid -- that they were hiding. which is really wild to consider. there's also a broader thing an nbc news did the roundup that they're holding candidates in battleground states and kept skipping debates quite a lot over half a dozen -- fence about prior to the debates and there is this idea here that withdraw from any institution you don't control that aren't in your bubble. that everything from the committee on presidential debates to hollywood, to the pentagon are all foreign other institutions that are part of the deep state you want nothing to do with. >> yeah, look at ron desantis, -- reporters out of press conferences because they don't like to the questions they asked.
this is absolutely what it's about. and you know there's a shameful-ness, we think that somehow they're gonna come to their senses, but this is their senses, this is what they want they're not going to revert. this is really coming down to a choice, and as somebody who pointed out -- for a long time it strange for me to say that i don't know any other conclusion but there's two parties in america now. one is a democratic party, and that's the big d democratic
party. and the other part b is that the republicans -- and that's really the choice. it's between democracy and autocracy. >> and, one of the things that's highlighted here in this decision to withdraw from this, right, is there are necessarily tangible or short term political consequences or electoral consequences for these types of groups. i don't know in the end if this hurts the republican party at the polls i don't think anybody would care, if it hurts the candidate who's even -- trump or not. and the thing that kept it together was a shared sense of war in a democracy, we run
candidates for office, we debate. you negotiate about what the rules are and you -- kept that way and there's nothing propping it up in a short term political sense. that's part of what's been so unnerving about these last few years. >> yeah, unnerving is a good word. i think one of the things we're learning here is how much of a democracy is based on goodwill. and how much of it is based upon sort of a civil contract between a government, its politicians, and its people. there's not a law that says that you need to debate, if there's not a law that says a republican national committee cannot meet tomorrow and declare that donald trump will be the nominee, in 2024. you don't have to have primaries, this is a eroding of the process that it's very methodical. -- that got medium hungry. that's their goal. >> they've been very, very clear about. george stevens, thank you very much. i appreciate. , that's all this in on this thursday night good evening rachel.
it will go beyond a landmark decision in political history but i think it was probably inevitable. i mean the modern presidential debate structure that the republicans are now opting out of that, they're deciding to kill off with this decision today, it is a process that puts journalists formally into the electoral process. journalists serve as moderators of the presidential debate and that's what the republicans have decided they can no longer abide. it really is just an amazing thing for the republican party to decide, unanimous vote at the republican national committee, but honestly you could see it coming if you were looking in c the right direction. once the presidents