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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  December 21, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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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 called 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 that are wondering why the fbi never took the server, why haven't they taken the server. >> plus the evangelicals now censuring the president. >> our president is doing things not only unconstitutional but blatantly immoral. >> and lindsey graham now.
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>> 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 then reiterated that he is not impartial, despite the fact that he will literally have to swear to be impartial when he takes a special oath before the impeachment trial.
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the solemn constitutional duty. but mcconnell basically now is okay, the fix is in. we're just not even going to pretend to go through all the pomp and circumstance. then in response house speaker nancy pelosi said fine, i'm not going to send the articles of impeachment to the senate until you, mitch mcconnell, in the senate agree to set some guarantees for a fair trial. when asked if she is too afraid to send the articles over to mcconnell pelosi told politico today, "fear is never a word used with me. i should know right away i'm never afraid and i'm rarely surprised." with all this still unresolved today speaker pelosi invited president trump to give the state of a union speech february 4th. probably not by chance she begins the invitation, quote, in their great wisdom our founders crafted a constitution based on a separation 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 what happened with the last state of the union. speaker pelosi had just gotten
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control of the house. the government was already in the midst of the longest shutdown in the nation's history when pelosi rescinded her invitation to the president and sent trump through the roof. remember that? it was clear then and clear now pelosi has trump's number psychologically. and i've got to say it appears to me that part of holding back the impeachment probably comes down to extracting some kind of psychological toll on the president. at one level holding back the articles of impeachment does seem kind of petty or small or not really clear what the endgame is. but on another level trump is someone so ruled by his grievances and very weird psychology that essentially trying to restrain his behavior via psychodrama is one of the only tools pelosi or anyone has left. the uncertainty is likely to be ironed out. it is still 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.
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the president is clearly bothered if not tortured by this a lot. and for the next few weeks until congress comes back from the recess he's just going to sit there and stew. joining me for more on what happens next in the impeachment of president trump one of the house chairs who's been investigating him, democratic congresswoman maxine waters of california. she is the chair of the house armed 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
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develop the rules so that they can make it 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 democrats' 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.
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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 fanlee and papadopoulos 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
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standing up for our democracy and that he was aligning himself in ways that i thought would be detrimental to us and disregarding the constitution altogether. and so yes, i started early, and i wanted to create this discussion. and i wanted us 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
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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 started the discussion, i wanted to sound the alarm that we'd 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
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appellate court. that court case is now headed for the supreme court. >> that's right. >> and i haven't gotten a chance to talk to you since that happened about how you interpret the supreme court granting cert on that petition and 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 that should in some way influence what happens 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 that he possibly can not only to our subpoenas but he's directed all of those people who work with him and around him not to respond to our requests. 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 they've got to respond and answer those subpoenas. >> this is going to be a very,
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very interesting case to see how that goes down. >> yes, it is. >> are you confident, finally, that there will be some resolution? i mean i asked hakeem jeffries, who's also a member of leadership, this question last night 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 that -- with that, rather. are there going to be witnesses? who are those witnesses going to be?
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who on our team is best prepared to deal with cross-examining those witnesses? >> right. >> 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. >> be well. joining me now for more on the political gray area on withholding articles of impeachment two people who have been following this very closely, "new york times" columnist michelle goldberg. and -- and it's interesting congresswoman waters made that point. she's saying, look, this isn't some petty thing. there's a legitimate question about what the trial looks like if there are witnesses or not. and i guess it's true. if there are witnesses or not probably does play some role in drafting of the managers in terms of personnel. but it also seems that pelosi
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has his number and knows this will drive him crazy and one of the ways you deal with donald trump, it's a sad state of affairs but it is what it is, but it's you that deal with psychology. >> right. 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. it's just kind of a check of the calendar that has led it to be this long stretch of time. 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 already basically talked about how he's going to fix this trial. and what they want to do is make it very short, call no witnesses, and essentially, you know, 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
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you heard noises from somebody like 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 essentially is 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 just said in his tweet last night when he attacked pelosi, we were wronged in the house. he keeps going on, we never had any witnesses. you don't have to be a lawyer. 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. >> mick mulvaney. if there's a guy who should be exculpatory it should be the guy who's literally your chief of staff. >> if you did nothing wrong send your chief of staff to make the case.
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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. i'm like take your time. go longer than christmas and new year's because number one -- >> there's something to that. i agree. >> number one, they should be doing that. it's a serious issue. number two, yeah, because trump is losing his mind over this. and one thing, pelosi gets lots of praise from liberals about how she's handled this. one thing that's annoying know and i keep tweeting about 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 into impeaching him. anyone including nancy pelosi thinks that's the case -- >> i don't think she believed it then. what she was trying to -- >> there was a school of thought even now some people today oh, he's going to be acquitted and this is going to help him in the election. whether it helps him in the election is not a hatter. he's clearly not enjoying this. that 6-page letter this week was deranged even by deranged trumpian standards. >> as was the trump rally which was sort of unhinged even by -- >> i don't feel like i've been
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impeached yet. >> unhinged. >> facts don't care about your feelings. >> as it goes to the senate there's an op-ed today from jeff flake, former republican senator who, you know, sort of mildly would criticize the president, then he retired. and you know, it's fine. it is what it is. all these people kind of when they're out of the game they want to like get high and mighty. but he does have this line. he addresses it to his senate republican colleagues. and it's just a simple point that's so obvious. he says my simple test for all of us what if barack obama had engaged in precisely the same behavior. i know the answer to that question with certainty and so do you. and that's just irrefutable. there's not a person on earth on earth i don't think who can -- >> i think it's refutable in the same way you showed that clip from lindsey graham talking about how you needed witnesses for the clinton impeachment. i think in their heart of hearts they do not believe republicans should be held to the same standard as democrats. right? they can't make that argument publicly, but in a way that was the subtext, and i wrote about this. that was the subtext of them going on and on about the 63 million votes, someone think of
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the 63 million, let's have a moment of silence for the 63 million. right? iran herniate in that is that 63 million deserves a degree of deference that the 65 million who voted for hillary clinton don't. right? 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. the president has unlimited power. when the president is a republican. >> of course. >> but on the point about you said any person on earth. i actually interviewed a 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 jr., that would be fine? that is the line they're going to take if you push them because they're shameless. but i think the most important point is democrats need a messaging strategy over this period which is this trial is rigged. use trump's favorite word. it is rigged. the jurors have said that they're not -- lindsey graham said it. openly. i don't plan to be an impartial fair juror. as you point out rules going back to 1868 say you have to be
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an impartial juror. >> or at least you have to swear to it. pretend. that's the thing that's so -- >> mcconnell goes on fox and says we will be coordinating with -- >> we won't pretend. >> so the jurors are telling people live on tv that we're going to coordinate with the defendant's -- every american understands that's mad. >> and there's also new polling out today that shows 51% support impeachment and removal. again, that's quite high. >> and 70-something want witnesses. >> abc's polling had -- still a strong majority like we should have witnesses. >> i think it went down because it sounds like if you just kind of say it on a non-partisan basis of course we want witnesses. >> then they get the message -- >> people realize the republicans' message or at least the is that the republicans' message is no witnesses. then a whole bunch -- >> i love when that happens. that happens in polling sometimes, like before the message machine catches up. witnesses sound -- and then the messaging oh, no. >> do you believe the crowd size at inaugurtrump's inauguration
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bigger than obama's? then they see the photos and -- >> have a great holiday. >> you too. >> there's new reporting tonight that suggests trump was sold the bizarre ukraine server conspiracy theory which in part led to his impeachment by vladimir putin himself. that story coming up in just two minutes. s. as soon as the homeowners arrive, we'll inform them that liberty mutual customizes home insurance, so they'll only pay for what they need. your turn to keep watch, limu. wake me up if you see anything. [ snoring ] [ loud squawking and siren blaring ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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and an investigation into 2016 but an investigation. he does not say 2016 in his call to the ukrainian president. he says something specific, he says crowd strike and the server. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowd strike. i guess you have one of your 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 forensics for the dnc to find out who hacked them. they're based in sunnyvale, 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?
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according to "the washington post," quote, the blame he cast on a rival country led many of his advisers to think that russian president vladimir putin himself helped spur belief of 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. right? 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? >> where is the server? i want to know where is the server and what is the server
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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 i'm joined by the former u.s. ambassador to russia michael mcfaul, msnbc analyst. what went through your head when you read "the washington post" article and you read those quotes from senior officials including one saying the president told them putin told me? >> this is a pattern. this is not news. we've known it. and thank you, chris, for going back to helsinki. and thank you, chris, for unpacking that phrase 2016, because when you dig into it as you just did you realize how incredibly crazy this story was. and that reflects i think on the president, that he could believe such a crazy story. but there is a pattern here.
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remember in helsinki he stood right next to putin and said there was no interference, 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. remember that story? when he said oh, world war 3 might start in montenegro. that sounded a lot like putin disinformation. and there was even this incredibly obscure story about revisionist history about what the soviets did in afghanistan that even for me as a stanford professor that follows this stuff pretty closely i'd never heard until donald trump said it. and i don't know for sure but that sounds like another crazy conspiracy theory, and the author is most likely vladimir putin. >> again we're hypothesizing here but we're hypothesizing based on evidence in front of
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us. right? the evidence. we know they talk and world leaders talk all the time. and that's fine and they should, even if they have adversarial relationships they should talk. i want to wholly endorse talking, two world leaders. is it your hypothesis putin is just kind of feeding him this stuff? basically oh, you should ask about the server, the server's not there. is that the kind of thing that would happen in a conversation between two world leaders? >> 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 successor organization to the kgb, has acquired. and he takes good measures. he's a former counterintelligence officer. after all, he understands the weaknesses and strengths of his interlocutors. and there's a record of president trump, candidate trump, businessman trump spinning conspiracy theories, as he did about my former boss, barack obama.
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so i'm sure he has decided this is a way to use leverage and to make the president look bad and to pull the president toward 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 in 2016. the gop-led intelligence community 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 crowdstrike and the server and i just think that we need to
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have the facts out there because again this is also classic putin. it's disinformation 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 is 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 barack obama's relationship with vladimir putin and how do you understand this president's relationship with vladimir 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. his briefing sessions that i did with him were always very rigorous.
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and number two, when we went into those meetings, president obama always had his advisers with him. the president -- 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. >> thanks for having me. up next the brazen hypocrisy of senator lindsey graham on impeachment and the efforts to boot him out of office next year. his challenger in the great state of south carolina joins me next. ery monday hard. quitting feels so big. so, try making it smaller. and you'll be surprised at how easily starting small... ...can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette
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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 has now basically done a 180 on literally everything he said then about what constitutes an impeachable offense and how to run an impeachment trial. senator graham is up for re-election next year and likely understands that defending the president plays fairly well in a state where trump's approval rating is 52%. a politico reports rates the seat as solid republican. and a rather interesting tidbit,
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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 family received food stamps and welfare as he grew up as a kid and went on to 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 he is now. listen, in the end of the day senators take an oath of office to 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 character and values, strong values and integrity and that you kept your
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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 stand by 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. think he's a model. senator graham is someone who was really a cutting critic of donald trump's for a very long time and is now probably his foremost senatorial defender. what do you make of that? what is your understanding of why has been so outspoken in the president's defense? >> well, part of it, chris, is lindsey graham is in this 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
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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 a 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 because we are building a movement to change the leadership we have in the state. >> where are the votes, where are issues where 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 have
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closed over the past few years. we have 12 counties in this state that have no ob/gyns. that's a huge issue. almost 300,000 people should have health care but the republicans with the support of lindsey graham have refused to expand medicaid. it's a huge, huge issue in our state. and lindsey graham has proposed legislation, graham-cassidy. 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, he doesn't stand by his oaths, and he doesn't come back to deal with the issues that people are dealing with here in south carolina. i'm going to be different because i'm focused like a laser on the issues of south carolina and making sure that the american dream is available for all of us. >> all right. jaime harrison running for that senate seat. >> thank you, chris. >> thank you so much.
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"requiring prompt release of future military aid for ukraine." and that provision was apparently a nonstarter for trump. as the post put it, "the white house could have issued a public veto threat and raised the prospect of an imminent government shutdown in the days before democrats 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 will include 12 weeks paid parental leave, gives our troops a raise, importantly creates the space for southern border wall funding, repeals cadillac tax on health plans, raising smocking age to 21 big. it is big. not everybody's so happy about the smocking thing. especially this guy. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. point guard
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if you were on twitter this morning you might have noticed an odd word trending, smocking. that was thanks to our president completely butchering the spelling of the word smoking in a tweet he later deleted. it's not actually the first time he's misspelled the word smoking. 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 looked like one of those old beer commercials with the most insufferable man in the world.
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the front page of the "seattle times" that residents in washington state 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 cliven bundy and the bureau of land management workers in nevada the report found that matt shay put out a social media call for militia members that resulted in, quote, turnout of approximately 1500 armed militia members. and fast forward to 2015 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
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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 wildlife refuge matt shea, "created a detailed military-style operation plan entitled operation cold reality." but here's the thing. shea's extreme 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 matt 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. "it is a how-to manual consistent with the ideology and operating philosophy of the christian identity aryan nations
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movement." despite the fact that matt shea's views are well known, 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. cut. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ [sneezing] ♪ you don't want to cancel your plans. [sneezing] cancel your cold. the 1-pill power of advil multi-symptom cold & flu knocks out your worst symptoms. cancel your cold, not your plans. advil multi-symptom cold & flu.
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with your sleep number setting. can it help keep me asleep? yes, it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable. don't miss 0% interest for 48 months on all smart beds. ends tuesday 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,
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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 expediency. 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
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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.
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>> 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. there is no real upside. 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 about jesus all
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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 -- >> of course. >> 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 -- and recline to read it. it is so preposterous. but that bad transactional nature is understood on both sides. that's what's so weird and corrupt and it seems to me not
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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. which makes it is so significant. it has so mitch impact. i'm a subscriber. it has so much impact. i'm a subscriber. and much more engaged with spiritual, cultural things, and trying to engage with politics. much like billy graham, engaged with politics but somewhat removed. there is 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.
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it's actually the worst kind of transactional. it is compromise with evil. jesus said how do you treat the immigrants and how do you treat me, who is my neighbor, and what is truth? these are questions to assess. so mark, i'm really proud of what he did, because it isn't about politics for him. 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.
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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 shown for trump, that this 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 40 years, and so it is 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.
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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. >> may you split many logs. >> you too, my friend. thanks. 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 holidays. i mean everything's got to happen some time, right? why not now? it was only two days ago nancy pelosi impeached donald trump. she used the gavel to note that the articles of impeachment against president trump had passed. it was two days ago. today she invited him to deliver the state of the union address, which is awkward timing, but you know what, it's also time for it. and while it is not unimaginable there might be some sort of drama or some