tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 18, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
will, admiration. to say that no person can make a difference, i give you the fine case of that fine man, barack obama. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris says starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> i would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies. >> these are the people who will run your government. >> why is the climate changing? i'm asking your personal opinion. >> my personal opinion is immaterial. >> really? >> tonight, democrats grill trump's nominees. what we're learning and why it really matters. plus, the man donald trump tapped to dismantle obamacare goes on the hot seat. >> i'm offended by the insinuation senator. >> you may be offended, but here's what you did. >> what we're learning about his possible stock scandal. and as president obama says farewell --
>> at my core i think we're going to be okay. >> -- the latest on an fbi into donald trump and the russians. and new questions about whether or not he can shut it down. >> i'm saying there is no tape. there is know vent. i was never even in that room for that period of time. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. in just two days donald trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the united states and we find ourselves in the midst of yet another ne and overstuffed news day with a former president in the intensive care unit due to complications from pneumonia, his wife also hospitalized, the president-elect giving illuminating new interviews as another poll shows he's the least popular incoming president in modern history. a final press conference from president obama who leaves the white house with the highest approval ratings since his first year in office. we're going to focus on what we believe is the biggest story
today and something the president himself highlighted at the press conference. take a listen. >> i think a lot of his views are going to be shaped by his advisers, the people around him, which is why it's important to pay attention to these confirmation hearhearings. this is a job of such magnitude you can't do it by yourself. you are enormously reliant on a team. how you put a team together to make sure that they are getting you the best information and they are teeing up the options from which you will ultimately make decisions. that's probably the most useful advice, the most constructive advice i've been able to give him. >> personnel is policy, in other words. especially for a chief executive who for the first time in the history of this republic has zero experience in public service of any kind, not the government nor the military. with policy positions all over the map, even changing from one day to the next, it's nearly impossible to predict just what
trump will do as president. the only thing he's actually had to do so far is pick his top advisors and cabinet secretary nominees. on that score, the last two days of confirmation hearings have been an utter train wreck. on capitol hill today, trump's point man on health care, congressman tom price, was besieged by ethical and legal questions over stock trades he's made involving the medical industry while sitting on a committee that ovsees said industry. at one point, price was even caught directly contradicting an official fact sheet from the trump transition stating that price is, and i quote here, "financial adviser designed his portfolio and directed all trades in the account." >> i did it through a broker. i directed the broker to purchase the stock but i did it through a broker. >> you directed the broker to purchase particularly that stock? >> that's correct. >> yeah. >> now more on price's legal and ethical issues ahead. at his hearing today, epa nominee scoot pruitt faced tough questions from senator bernie
sanders over his stance on made made climate change. >> why is the climate changing? >> senator, in response to the co-2 issue, the epa administrator is constrained by statutes -- >> i'm asking your personal opinion. >> my personal opinion is immaterial to the job of -- >> really? you are going to be the head of the agency to protect the environment and your personal feelings about whether climate change is caused by human activity and carbon emissions is immaterial? >> more of that exchange with sanders coming up. both those hearings came after the shaky debut last night of trump's pick for education secretary, betsy devos, who showed little familiarity with some of the central tenets of education policy, including a landmark law called the individuals with disabilities education act. >> that's a federal civil rights law so do you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it?
>> the law must be -- federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play. >> so were you unaware what i just asked you about the it, that it was a federal law. >> i may have confused it. >> senator maggie hassan who you saw live joins me later in the show. we also learned in the course of the vetting process, two of trump's nominees discovered problems with household workers, the exact kind of issue that has disqualified cabinet picks in the past. trump'sominee for commerce secretary wilbur ross admitted he recently fired a long time employee who he found to be undocumented. employing undocumented workers was enough to thwart two of bill clinton's attorney general nominees in 1993, zoe baird and kimba wood. both withdrew. nick mulvaney just disclosed he failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee. eight years ago a similar tax compliance issue derailed the nomination of tom daschle who had been the senate majority leader for secretary of health and human services.
but in 2017, republicans hold the majority in the senate and unless gop senators defect from their party, these are the people who will be running the government. i'm joined now by senator brian schatz, democrat from hawaii. senator, there are various opinions about how senators should take their role of advice and consent. there are some who believe the president should have constitutionally and as a matter of principle wide latitude in selecting the people in his administration. others were much more willing to vote no. where's your personal feeling on this? >> well, i think a president ought to have his or her cabinet. i think they ought to be able to assemble there team but there should be exceptions. to me those exceptions come with pruitt, betsy devos and time price. and the reason for all three of them i think not being qualified for these cabinet positions is that they are unique. they are being asked to lead agencies they want to dismantle. tom price wants to shred the social safety net it's not that
he wants to undo obamacare. he wants to block grant made cade. he didn't vote for the children's health insurance program. this is a person who made a career out of systematically dismantling the social safety net. you've been a hawk on climate for many, many years. scott pruitt is not qualified to lead the epa. there's never been a person even on the republican side, who wants to do such violence to the mission of the epa. >> are you as of now a no on all three? >> i'm a no on all three and those and betsy devos, oh, boy, that was a rough performance to watch i was talking to a friend of mine not in politics, that went viral all over the internet. millions and millions of views of a health education labor and pensions meeting. something is happening across the country and it's not late october of last year but now
where people are realizing that a lot of these nominees will do violence to the agencies they want to run. we have a nominee for the education department who basically will not commit to public education. who doesn't understand the law at its most basic level and won't commit to not privatizing public education. >> so you're a no on all those three. i remember hearing early reports democrats were going to choose one or two to focus their fire against. obviously civil rights groups feel very strongly about jeff sessions although it's his colleagues what will be voting. that will be a tough vote for democrats to win. there are also concerns about mnuchin. what i'm hearing is do you feel it is the temperature of the democratic caucus that opposition is not politically problematic for them? >> i think you're exactly right. i think wenderstand that we're the fighting 48. we are the leaders of the democratic party nationally and people expect us to fight.
they also expect us to allow a president to stand up a government so i anticipate this week secretary nominee mattis and secretary nominee kelly will likely get a vote later on this week or early next week. we want that national security team in place partly because we want rational sane adults in the room in case something happens right away where the new commander in chief has to deal with it. but there are a couple -- not just a couple probably three to six nominees that i think a lot of us are going to have an extremely hard time swallowing. >> so you just said you're the fighting 48. 48 being the key number there, the number of democrats. you need two or three votes, you need three votes to defect. do you have any sense that there's anything that any of these nominees could do or say, whether their performance in the hearing or what's turned up in vetting that would lose them those three votes? >> you know, i don't know the answer to that question but i know a lot of people have been noticing that many of the sort of mini scandals that have popped up in this issue with mr. price and a stock trade, less e
things have sunk greater nominees in the past so we're trying to figure out what is the new political calculation. is there nothing that would cause a republican to defy the president-elect? are there no circumstances where we're going to get any bipartisan cooperation from the republicans because it have private conversations with members of the gop on the senate side who tell me they're rational on climate but none of them have popped their head up and said they can't vote for a climate denier for the epa. we need profiles in courage. we don't need a dozen, we only need two or three in order to make a strong statement on one or several of these nominees. >> courage in the senate usually has to do with whether people are calling in as constituents or making themselves known as voters. senator brian schatz, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you, chris. >> joining me now, katie packer and sam seder, host of the
majority report. katie, the standard is interesting. i remember the early days of clinton they came right out and they ran into a buzz saw with several nominees. tom daschle was an example of that for barack obama, though mostly smooth sailing. it occurs that in some ways that's perception and shame. a scandal is only big enough to blow up a nominee if that's how it's perceived to be but if you can lock down the votes you can basically confirm anyone. >> well, and the rules are just sort of different now, you know? it used to be when you had some scandals that the incumbent -- the president-elect and his team would hint that this is maybe time to step aside. trump doesn't really cow that easily. trump is standing by people that he has put into these poogss. some of these so-called scandals, are they scandals? tom price's stock trade netted him i think $300. is that something the american people will be so outraged over
as some of these senators are? . i don't know that the person public looks at the epa as the golden goose that many of the liberals on capitol hill view it as. what a lot of these democrats really object to is that these are republicans that actually are supporting republican ideals that are being nominated and they don't like it. of course they don't. but i don't know that they're scandals. >> i think we should make a distinction, right? in tom price's case, we'll talk about that, there's allegation of behavior that might violate the stock act. maybe it didn't but there's clarity that needs there which is distinct from the ideological case. do you agree with katie that this is -- look, anyone that a republican president nominated for epa democrats won't like what they'll do. anyone they nominate for education they're not going to like what they're going to do. how do you distinguish between normal and abnormal, basically? >> well, is it an appointment that attempts to nullify the existence of the agency? the senator made this paint.
you have pruitt whose job it has been to actually nullify the statutory authority of the epa. to litigate against it. >> so what? >> now he's going to be -- >> so what? republicans dot n'like these agencies. >> b that should be explicit. if the republicans don't like these agencies and they want to sell to the american public that the epa should not be the environmental protection agency but rather it should be the allow corporations to extract as much as they want they should say it. there's a reason why they're not. >> republicans have been saying that for years. >> if betsy devos wants to sell the ideology that they should use government money to simply fund parochial schools they should say it. she's incredibly evasive. >> that's not what betsy devos stood for at all. >> and she did not address all the questions that had to do -- that the senate was asking. so clearly they think it's a problem. >> that is not what betsy devos has stood for at all. >> but devos does favor
vouchers. >> she does favor vouchers. what betsy devos has stood for for the last several decades is allowing parents to have choice. not just rich parents who've had choice for forever but for all parents to have choice and what the democrats on that committee don't seem to understand is all these so-called qualified people that have served at the helm of the department of education have left generations of children in failing schools. they haven't fixed that with these experts. betsy devos is somebody that has a passion for those children and that's what she brings to the table. >> so you think passion is more important than expertise? >> i think betsy has a lot of expertise. >> you thought yesterday she manifested expertise at that hearing? >> i thought many of the questions that were being asked were designed to trip her up. they weren't designed to assess whether or not she was qualified for this job at all. >> so you think betsy devos is in the mainstream of -- there's
different kinds of ways of looking at these different nominees. nominees who are trump nominees and nominees who could have been, say, marco rubio nominees and what i hear from you as someone who is an anti-trumper but a die hard republican that betsy devos falls squarely to you within -- and scott pruitt and tom price, these are all basically your -- you're good with these as a republican nominee? >> yeah. i think that betsy falls squarely in that category and has the support of republicans not because she has contributed to those republicans, she knows those republicans and they know her and they know her background and they trust her. >> well, they know her a little bit because she's contributed to them. >> you know, the democrats want to make this about contributions and her wealth. >> betsy devos is on record as saying that she does not believe that christian philanthropy can fund christian education and she is looking for other sources. she is on record saying this.
she is on record saying she doesn't believe in public school, she believes in the concept of public education where you take public funding and fund private schools. and everyone knows -- >> she did not say she doesn't believe in public schools. that is false. that is false. >> she is just looking to drain money from the system and we know how this works out. subsidies for people living in poverty do not work in terms of providing them spa i private schools. bottom line. but trapping kids in failing schools works very, very well. >> she's not even attempting to fix the public schools. she's totally disregarding them and wants to undercut the entire system. >> that's not true. charter schools are public schools. charter schools are public schools. >> if that's her position she should be up front about it. >> let me intervene for a moment. to katie's point, it strikes me there's ways of undoing things statutorily and through administration so you could -- but republicans could, for instance, get rid of the department of education, they could get rid of the epa, they
won't do those things even if they don't believe in the current mission of it. i will say this. do you think there's a standard that people -- what should the standard be, katie, for you when you think about what is the standard that i would not as a senator vote for someone from my own party? we haven't even touched ben carson who an incredibly accomplished career as a neurosurgeon, i think everyone would agree. beby his own admission knows nothing about housing policy and his own spokesperson said he shouldn't run a federal agency because he doesn't know enough earlier. we're just sort of letting that one go because he's not a lightning rod in the way these ones we're talking about but that also seems to me like -- i don't know. what do you think of that? >> well i think the trump administration is in a very, very difficult place with both the liberals on capitol hill and with the media because if they bring in so-called experts that have been doing this for decades he's accused of not draining the swamp. if he brings in outsiders that
have different kinds of expertise and a different approach then he's accused of not bringing in people that know what they're doing. i do think there's some disagreement about what the approach to public education should be. the democrats are completely beholding to randy weingarten and the teachers unions and are never going to do anything that challenges that. betsy devos is a threat to them because she's going to challenge that. >> is that what education is about? a problem with teachers unions? she could not even answer -- >> it's certainly part of the problem. >> the most fundamental questions that faces educators today about growth versus -- >> proficiency. let me wrap this up with one little point in terms of behold on the randy weingarten, as someone who's interviewed her a lot, it was tremendous dissatisfaction with arne duncan across the board from teachers unions, an incredible civil war inn the democratic party. i wouldn't say it's lockstep. >> i'm sure it pales to how she
feels about betsy devos. >> on that we agree. katie packer, sam seder, thank you very much. up next, what we know about tom price's stock prides that are raising ethical questions. it's something that came up often in yet another confirmation hearing. >> did you take additional actions after that date to advance your plan to help the company that you now own stock in. >> i'm offended by the insinuation, senator. >> well, let me read what you did. you may be offended, but here's what you did. i can stay. i'm good. i won't be late hey mom. yeah. no kissing on the first date, alright? life doesn't always stick to a plan, but with our investment expertise we'll help you handle what's next. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. opioid-induced constipation.
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you told me that you did this one on your own without the broker, yes. >> no, i did it through a broker. i directed the broker to purchase the stock but i did it through a broke kwaer. >> that was trump's hhs nominee tom price, a member of congress. at his confirmation hearing contradicting previous statements about whether or not he used a broker in a deal with an australian pharmaceutical company. there have been a flurry of allegations about potential dealing by the georgia congressman and they can be hard
to keep track of at this point so first it was discovered price received a sweetheart deal -- i'm using that term from kaiser's description of it -- from an australian biotech firm that allowed him and another congressman to buy that company stock at a discounted price. that's the deal senator murray asked him about in the clip we just played. that deal, while perhaps unseemly, does appear at first blush to be legal but a few days after that story broke, "time" magazine came out with another story about price, this one alleging he invested in six different pharmaceutical companies just weeks before introducing legislation that would have benefitted all six companies. something that looks a lot more like a potential violation of federal law but the biggest story about price, the one that alleged the most direct quid pro quo, or at least implied it, and the one that prompted an immediate response from the campaign was the discovery by cnn that on march 17, 2016, price purchased stock in a medical device company that scribes itself as the world leader in hip and knee
replacements. then less than a wee later price introduced legislation called the hip act which would have directly benefitted that same company. if price made that trade with direct knowledge of that, that he was going to introduce that legislation that would almost certainly have been illegal. remember, when price was asked by senator murray about the australian biotech firm he said he chose the stock. but when senator elizabeth warren asked him about the hip replacement company stock, the other deal, stock that would be illegal for him to knowingly purchase he says his broker acted entirely on her own without his knowledge. did you buy the stock and then did you introduce a bill that would be helpful to the company she just bought stock in? >> the stock was bought by a -- by a broker who was making those decisions. i wasn't making those decisions. >> so let's just be clear. this is not just a stockbroker someone you pay to handle the
paperwork this is someone who buys stock at your direction. this is someone who buys and sells the stock you want them to buy and sell. not tr >> not true. >> so when you found out -- >> that's not true, senator. >> so you decide not to tell them? wink wink nod nod and we're supposed to believe that. >> senator, do people care if he profited off this? what is your sense of why this should matter? >> well, i hope people care about this. obviously mr. price is responsible for his investments. these are investments that are personal and he's made several in the industry in which he serves on the committee that can affect the value of those companies. that in and of itself is the appearance of conflict but when we look at the fact that he may have gotten a special deal being able to buy some of the stock, the fact that he bought the stock and introduced legislation that could affect its value, that raises very serious ethical
issues and perhaps legal issues. the person who should be secretary of health should not have those types of ethical lapses. >> i have to say, senator, that part of the old cliche about the scandals what's legal has been illuminating to see what exactly you guys in congress are able to do within the law. for instance, buying preferred stock from a company at a place you regulate but the stock act was introduced to cut out the worst excesses after a big investigation. the trump folks are saying the cnn report is wrong, that it should be retracted and that representative price had no idea that stock was being purchased for that hip company when he was going to introduce legislation that benefitted them a week later do you believe congressman price? you're absolutely right about the stock act. it was passed in order to prevent these types of abuses. i think this should never have been done. a congressman should not be buying stock in a company and
introducing legislation that affects its value. a congressman should not be buying stock in a company he's on a committee that could affect its value and the congressman certainly should be sensitive to getting special considerations of buying into a company perhaps at a reduced price. no. there's two issues here. was it legal? that's an issue that i can not answer but certainly this is something that is -- raises very serious ethical challenges at a minimum and one that raises questions about dr. price. >> i ask if you would adhere to that same standard for yourself. >> absolutely. i have divested of any individual stocks because i don't want to be engaged in any second guessing. it's not just conflicts, i don't want to have the appearance of conflicts so yes i'm care to feel the type of investments i participate in and try to use generic type funds. so. >> so there's two allegations here, specific allegations and
then what has been established but not contested which is that as congressman with a key role in statutory oversight of the medical industry he was individually picking stocks in that industry at the same time he's voting for or drafting legislation that has a direct affect on the companies in that industry. >> and that presents a real challenge at a minimum you're going to have appearance of conflicts. you might have direct conflicts. you may have illegal action. it's something a congressman should avoid. >> senator cardin, thank you for your time tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, senator bernie sanders goes head to head with trump's epa pick. that'sight after this short break. trust me, you do not want to miss it. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything!
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scientists officially declared 2016 the hottest year which knocks out the previous record of 2015 which knocked out the previous record of 2014 so it's notable that when oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt, climate change denier and trump's choice to head the epa senator bernie sanders tried to pin him down. >> do you believe that climate change is caused by the emission -- by carbon emissions by humanactivity? >> the climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner. >> "in some manner" but you haven't told me why you think the climate is changing. >> senator, the job of the administrator is to carry out the statutes as passed by this body. >> why is the climate changing? >> senator? response to the co-2 issue, the epa administrator is constrained by statutes -- >> i'm asking you a personal opinion. >> my personal opinion is immaterial. >> really? >> senator, i've acknowledged to
you that human activity impacts the climate. >> impacts. >> yes. >> scientific community doesn't tell us it impacts they say it is the cause of climate change, we have to transform our energy system. do you believe we have to transform our energy system in order to protect the planet for future generations? >> i believe the epa has a very important role in regulating the emissions -- >> you didn't answer my question. >> senator, i believe the administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating co-2. >> it's kind of amazing. he won't say the thing he believes under oath in front of senators which if he doesn't believe it, he should say, i guess. but the prize for most staggering testimony may go to trump's nominee for secretary of education, and that as senator schatz said went kind of viral. we'll play that for you next. just like the people who own them, every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be help starting your business, vendor contracts or employment agreements. legalzoom's network of attorneys
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donald trump's nominee for secretary of education posed a particular problem in her senate confirmation hearing. it's already widely known she's quite ideologically extreme and has a host of possible conflicts of interest due to the vast fortune of her family. the question at heart was does betsy devos know what she's talking about with regard to education policy? we appeared to get our answer during this exchange with senator al franken. >> i would like your views on the relative advantage of measuring -- doing assessments and using them to measure proficiency or measure growth. >> thank you senator, for that question. i think if i'm understanding your question correctly around
proficiency i would also correlate it to competency and mastery so that you -- each student is measured according to the advancement that they're making in each subject area. >> well, that's growth. that's not proficiency. so in other words the growth they're making is in growth, the proficiency is -- >> if they've reached -- >> an arbitrary standard. >> if they've reached a level -- proficiency is if they've reached, like, a third grade level for reading, et cetera. is that -- >> i'm talking about the debate between proficiency and growth. >> yes. >> and what your thoughts are on them. >> well, i was just asking to clarify, then -- >> well, this is a subject that is -- has been debated in the education community for years. >> that might have been the worst moment, except for some of the other exchanges when she would not commit to one of the most important pieces of federal education legislation, one which guarantees an education to children with disabilities. under repeated questioning from
senator tim kaine and senator maggie hassan. >> should all schools that receive -- >>f schools -- >> -- taxpayer fund being required to meet the requirements of the individuals with disabilities in education? >> i think that's a matter best left to the states. >> so some states might be good to kids with disabilities and other states might not so good and then what? people can just move around the country if they don't like how their kids are being treated? >> i think that's an issue that's best left to the states. >> i want to go back to the individuals with disabilities in education act. that's a federal civil rights law so do you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it? >> the law must be followed -- federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play. >> so were you unaware what i just asked you about the idea, that it was a federal law? >> i may have confused it. >> i do have to say, i'm concerned that you seem so unfamiliar with it. >> joining me now, senator maggie hassan of new hampshire,
member of the senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions. senator, what was your impression of what this nominee does and doesn't know about this fairly significant landmark piece of civil rights education. >> chris, it's nice to be with you tonight. you know, education and access to quality education for all our kids is really the foundation of our democracy. in my family, that includes making sure that both of my children, including making sure both of my children had access to quality education and our now adult son ben happens to have very severe and pervasive physical disabilities. ben doesn't speak, he can't use his fingers to access a keyboard but he's very cognitively able and because of the provisions of th i. i d.ea. the individuals with disabilities education act he had access in our community to learn and graduate from high
school. and that's the kind of opportunity we all want for all of our children. and before the i.d.ea. was passed, children like my son were often put in institutions where they didn't have access to education, people assumed or stereotyped them believing they couldn't learn and when you think about the importance of that civil rights law to children like my son and children around the country it was really concerning to me that ms. devos seemed so unfamiliar with it. and problems with the voucher system she has supported has had in honoring the i.d.e.a. >> what do you say to people that say that senate democrats on that committee are essentially playing gotcha. that you are trying to quiz her and go into obscure areas of policy in order to catch her.
>> there is nothing obscure to my family about the i.d.e.a. there is nothing obscure to most educators i know about the importance of educating all our children what i was trying to get at when i talked with ms. devos at the hearing was my concern about the fact that the voucher programs that she had supported made children with disabilities if they were to receive a voucher like kids without disabilities do it made those kids sign away their rights under the i.d.e.a. so i thought it was very important to get her perspective on why she thought that was okay and whether she would, as secretary of education, the country's top education officer charged with making sure that all of our kids have access to free, appropriate public education so that they can thrive and participate in the 21st century, be the work force we need.
i wanted to make sure she was committed to enforcing civil rights laws that protect all children so that they have access to education and i was very concerned that she seemed confused or unfamiliar with the fact the i.d.e.a. is a federal law she would be charged with enforcing and i think it's appropriate that we make sure that the country's top education officer really does understand the full obligations in the way our public education system works. i was very concerned she was so unfamiliar with such a basic thing and that goes to concerns a lot of us have that ms. devos does not have experience -- significant experience with public education, didn't go to public schools herself, her children don't, she's never been a teacher. so i just was very concerned. >> senator, are you going to vote for her? >> look, i'm going to wait t
get her written answers to all of the questio we've submitted but i think it's unlikely. >> senate orr maggie hassan, thank you very much, appreciate it. >> thank you. still to come, once he is president, could donald trump just stop any further investigation into russia's role in hacking during the election? we'll talk about that ahead. plus, tonight's thing 1 thing 2 starts right after this break. i use what's already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me
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i love paying extra to file my state returns. i want my tax software to charge me at the last second. there is nothing i can do with an extra $50. said no one ever. file your taxes for free with credit karma tax. thing 1 tonight, in march of last year after donald trump's primary victories in mississippi and michigan, he offered up a shameless display of what he claimed were trump products that supposedly included a stack of trump steaks. but trump steaks was a business venture lasting in earnest for just two months in the summer of 2007. the meat on display that night appears to have been purchased from a local florida butcher shop. in fact, it was still bearing the labels from said butcher shop. they were not, in other words, trump steaks, they were stage props. trump used a similar staging tactic last week during his
long-awaited press conference when he appeared with a stack of manila folders on the desk next to him claiming they were signed documents making it official he had turned control of his businesses over to his sons but when reportersxamine the folders, transition staffers blocked them. from photos, the folders completely appeared to be brand new and unmarked. his team later told us they were visual aids. today, two days before the inauguration speech trump released a photo that leaves you asking is that real or is it staged? you make the call. thing 2 in 60 seconds.
reports have circulated that donald trump himself has written his own inauguration speech. this, mind you, after politico reported last month that trump had tapped aide stephen miller to write his inaugural address. a few hours ago, the trump team released what appears to be photographic proof. "writing my inaugural address at mar-a-lago three weeks ago." when you take a closer look, it
appears he's writing the first draft of his speech with a sharpie. it appears to be a brand new legal pad. is it real or staged? as one twitter user pointed out, that desk looks like the mar-a-lago receptionist desk rather than a personal office. would the president-elect really be writing the speech there? after spending entirely too much time looking at these two images an "all in" producer noticed the tiling is slightly different so inconclusive. then this image was unearthed and mystery solved. look at the desk next to receptionist. add an eagle statue and it appears trump sat down next to the mar-a-lago receptionist to draft his first speech as president of the united states with a sharpie and a brand spanking new note pad. while we can't tell what's on the page because it's conveniently tilted up, well, it all seems perfectly believable to me. um. something wrong? so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? you want the whole thing? yes, yes!
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if a tape actually showed up saying something like that. it would be double embarrassed because i'm saying there is no tape. there is no event. i was never even in that room for that period of time. >> something donald trump and vladimir putin definitely seem to have in common is a willingness, even an eagerness, to talk directly about the substance of the unsubstantiated and salacious allegations concerning trump's conduct in moscow published in that now famous dossier prepared by a former british spy. allegations that i find it pretty easy not to talk about, frankly. so let's forget about the dossier, throw it out. especially when it comes to trump's alleged connections to russia, the salacious details might be a distraction from the real story. in october, harry reid sent a somewhat strange letter to fbi director james comey claiming comey was sitting on "explosive information about close ties and coordination between donald trump and the russian government." comey had spoken publicly about the fbi's investigation into hillary clinton while it was
going on, potentially costing clinton the election in the eyes of some polling analysts but he has refused to address whether the fbi was also investigating trump to the consternation of many observers. >> we never confirm or deny pending investigation. >> the irony of your making that statement here i cannot avoid. >> it has been established by u.s. intelligence agencies that they have high confidence the russian government intervened during the election to damage hillary clinton and help trump. what is far, far less clear is whether there is any truth to reid's allegation that trump and his a allies coordinated with the russians if true would be a massive scandal. but we might get to the bottom of it all. numerous media outlets citing anonymous sources say that they have been investigating links between the russian government and the trump campaign. mcclatchy reported that the fbi
and five other law intelligence agencies have collaborated for months dealing in part with whether money from the kremlin covertly aided trump and are scrutinizing the activities of a few americans affiliated with trump's campaign or business empire. again, we don't know if there's any coordination but national security officials have confirmed to nbc news intelligence agencies are continuing to investigate how the russian operation was financed and carried out and whether any americans were involved. now, there's a big catch to all this, which is that in two days as you may well remember donald trump becomes president of the united states which gives him significant power over that investigation. so could trump just shut the investigation down? what happens if he tries? we'll explore that next. why pause a spontaneous moment? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
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joining me to discuss the possible investigation into links between the russian government, the trump campaign and whether trump can shut any investigation down when he takes office is former justice department spokesperson matthew miller. obviously, you know, i don't -- we don't know the current state of play, investigation is a weird word. also you and i have talked about we don't try people in the court of public opinion and lots of things can be investigated and don't go anywhere. if there is an investigation currently happening on inauguration day, can the new president order it shut down? >> you know, the answer to that really depends on whether the new attorney general and whether the fbi director are going to hold to the long standing tradition of rule of law. there is a long standing tradition that, no, presidents
can't order the justice department to stop or start investigations. but, you know, that's not written in code anywhere. it's not written in rule. it's enforced because attorneys general and fbi directors have followed that standard and the one time when it wasn't in our history, during the middle of the watergate scandal when president nixon ordered the attorney general to stop an investigation it led to the resignation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general and you have to hope that's what would happen here if president trump were to try something like that. >> you tweeted earlier today about doj ethics rules in terms of jeff sessions were he to be confirmed, whoever as attorney general, about whether they could be the one overseeing the investigation. what do the doj ethics rules say about that? >> they are very clear. there are rules about not investigating anything in which you were a member of in the previous two years but they're more specific when it relates to political campaigns and they say point blank if you were involved in a political campaign in an official position which jeff
sessions was, he was the chair of donald trump's national security advisory committee on the campaign, you cannot be involved in that investigation so that means if jeff sessions is going to follow the rules he has to recuse himself on day one, the day he joins. and he actually has an outstanding question on this matter from democratic senators who have asked him the answer to that and it's going to be telling what his response is and hopefully he provides that before confirmation. >> what about comey's role in all of this. you have been critical of the way he's conducted himself in terms of the clinton investigation. you felt he was way outside the norms and precedent. do you -- i guess fundamentally, do you have faith or trust in him that they -- that this -- if there is an investigation that they will pursue it doggedly and let the chips fall where they may? >> you know, i have fifaith in m comey to pursue this information, but why did he do this before the election?
now with him under investigation himself by the inspector general, i think it's very difficult for him to lead this investigation. i really think the thing needs to be taken out of the regular chain of command at the justice department. there needs to be a special counsel, a special set of fbi agents that have full authority to investigate this and go wherever the facts lead them. and, you know, not have to worry about -- >> is there precedent for that matthew? >> yeah, there is. there have been special counsels appointed, eric holder appointed several. in fact, general mukasey appointed several at the end of the bush administration. when there are serious political things that are tough for attorneys general to investigate, there's long standing precedent for doing this and the only way you can have a fair unquestioned investigation into this. >> matthew miller, thank you for being with me tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> that's "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris, thanks, my friend. >> you bet. thanks for staying with us
for the next hour. it's called the economic community of western african states. which is really hard to remember. but the economic community of western african states. luckily it has a snappy acronym that's easy to remember. ecwas. ecowas was formed in 1975. it's a regional group and they do fun stuff. they have ecowas games, they do track and field and volleyball, they do handball. it's basically like a subolympic regional multinational sports contest for these west african countries who are in this alliance together. they also have an ecowas beauty pageant where the lovely ladies of the member states, all those west african countries, they all compete in this international pageant to try to win