tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC December 1, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
right now. >> tonight on "all in". >> lock her up. that's right. lock her up. >> michael flynn flips. >> the president's former national security adviser pleads guilty to lying to the fbi. >> did you direct mike flynn to direct -- >> no, i didn't. >> tonight, what michael flynn's full cooperation with robert mueller means for the president. >> it's a nightmare for donald trump. >> as the russia probe reaches trump's inner circle. >> i didn't direct him but i would have directed him because that's his job. >> plus, what michael flynn's lie was attempting to hide. >> the only conversation general flynn had was to wish him a christmas wish. >> christmas wish and holiday greetings. >> and the push to pass the tax cut before the next indictment. >> it's all fake news.
>> when "all in" starts right now. good evening. the former national security adviser to the president of the united states pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with the russian ambassador. and amid the chaos, republicans in congress are going full steam ahead to push a massive corporate tax cut through while they still have a chance because you'd never know who is going to be indicted on monday. that's especially true now that we know flynn is cooperating with robert mueller's russian investigation, bringing it one step closer to the president's inner circle, including his son-in-law jared kushner, possibly even the president himself. flynn is now the fourth member of the trump campaign to be charged with a felony. and unlike the other three who all parted ways with the president by the tyime he took office, he is in a position all his own. he frequently traveled with the president on the road and defending him in the press. they grew so close that trump went on to pick flynn as his
national security adviser even after being explicitly warned against it by president obama right after the election. and unlike the other three who have been charged, flynn committed his crime inside the white house. he lied to fbi agents in an interview just two days after being sworn in as national security adviser. after appearing in federal court this morning, flynn, who once led "lock her up" chants exited the courthouse to a new chant of his own. >> lock him up! lock him up! lock him up! lock him up! lock him up! lock him up! >> flynn later released his first public statement which read in part, "my guilt plea and agreement to cooperate with the special counsel's office reflect a decision i made in the best interests of my family and of our country. i accept full responsibility for my actions." under that cooperation agreement, robert mueller will soon find out everything flynn
knows about what happened during and after the trump campaign. if he hasn't already. and there's reason to believe that michael flynn know as whole heck of a lot. nevertheless, the white house tried to protect an air of calm today, at least in public. attorney ty cobb saying nothing about the guilty plea other than mr. flynn. but maybe mueller would not make a deal if he didn't think he could deliver a bigger fish. in court documents, it gives clues about who mueller may be angling for. flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators during the transition with the russian ambassador insisting they hadn't imposed new sanctions against the obama administration. "the washington post" broke that story last february leading to flynn's resignation. what we didn't know, until today, is that flynn was directed to discuss sanctions with the ambassador by a senior member of the president's transition team. someone who, while all this was
going on, was with other senior presidential transition team at the mar a logo in palm beach florida. that makes it a lot harder to believe what the president said right after flynn stepped down. >> did you direct mike flynn to discuss sanctions with the russian ambassador? >>, no, i didn't. >> did you fire him because of the information leaked out? >> no, i fired him because of what he said to mike pence. he was doing his job and it certainly would have been okay with me if he did it. i would have directed him to do it if i thought he wasn't doing it. i didn't direct him but i would have directed him because that's his job. >> chuck rosenberg is a former u.s. attorney and chief of staff under former director james comey and former assistant watergate prosecutor. chuck, let me begin with you.
the significance of this today, what does it mean? >> well, it's very significant, chris. it means a couple of things. one, mike flynn is going to be a convicted felon. the other is that he's going to cooperate. that's what he needs to do for a bunch of reasons. one is, they can compel him to tell the truth. the other is he wants to make sure that whatever sentence he gets in the end is as low as possible. so significant, you bet it is. >> jill, we have heard all along that there were multiple possible indictments coming for flynn and perhaps his son. one of them was failing to register as a foreign agent which we know -- i think we have her back. one of them was failing to register as a foreign agent, which of course we know paul manafort and his deputy have been already indicted for. so chuck, what does it mean that those sorts of charges are not present today and instead we have this one charge? >> it doesn't mean very much,
chris. here's why. one charge, one count will make him a convicted felon and that's a pretty rough way to go through the rest of your life. the other stuff, the other conduct, including either lying on his foreign agent registration forms or omitting information or, you know, whatever else he may have done, all of that stuff, a, is known to mueller and his team and, b, will have to be made known to the judge because it will factor in his sentencing. the fact that he's pleading guilty to one count doesn't mean that all of this other stuff doesn't come into play for mr. flynn. >> what are the terms of this kind of negotiation and cooperation like, chuck? >> well, the terms of this plea agreement are pretty standard. i've seen a thousand of them and it doesn't seem all that different. the fact that they are letting him plead guilt to one count as opposed to many is not all that unusual. in some ways it seems quite standard, chris. >> jill, you obviously have experience with watergate and
one of the key things there was john dean. john dean was someone who knew a lot and who did flip and that sort of broke things open. how do you compare what happened today with that? >> i think we have every reason to believe that mike flynn is a knowledgeable person because of the fact that trump has gone so far out of his way to protect him. he wouldn't have been doing that if flynn didn't know things that would hurt him and his family. that is, trump and his family, his son and son-in-law. so i think the fact that he's cooperating is really bringing us closer to the truth and also i think it's important that the information that he pled guilty to specifically said that he talked to and was guided by a senior person in the presidential transition. and, of course, we're hearing rumors today that that was jared kushner but it could have been pence. it could have been sessions.
it could have been any one of a number of people. all very high up who are now in jeopardy and who will also have information that if they are called upon to choose between going to jail and testifying, may testify and give us even more evidence to sort of draw the final loop around the white house. >> chuck, it does seem notable that mueller included in that plea document, that he was directed to do this by a senior administration official. there's a little bit of contradictory reports about who that is that directed to make this contact with kislyak and afterwards talked to senior officials. the entire line from the white house, for months and months and months, which is we have no idea michael flynn lied appears to be true. >> so the mueller team is slowly shipping away at the truth. you're seeing another piece of it today.
i have no conclusions about who it is and how far it will go. here's what i do know, chris, they are getting at it and they are getting at it in an extraordinarily and deliberate and professional way. >> what about the pace, jill? my colleague lawrence o'donnell said it was going so much faster than watergate and it does seem like the pace of this is going at quite a rapid clip. >> it is going rapidly. i would like to draw one analogy, which is when john dean pled guilty, it was friday, october 19th. saturday, october 20th was a saturday night massacre. and there is some link between the fact that he was cooperating and testifying and the fact that we were denied the tapes, had the press conference and that's what led to a huge public outcry that really reversed how the public saw the watergate investigation and i'm hoping that something from today will
get through to most of the people who are currently supporting the president and make them see what the real facts are and that real crimes are being committed by the people in the white house. >> how serious a crime is it, chuck, to lie to the fbi? >> it's a felony. there are two types of crimes, basically, felonies and misdemeanors. this is a felony. it's a serious crime. i want to be clear about something, chris. it doesn't really matter all that much which felony they picked or which lie they picked to charge as part of the felony. it's a serious crime. it's as simple as that. >> chuck, jill, great to have you here on a pretty momentous day. my next guests, congressman mike quigley, member of the house intelligence committee and congressman ted lieu who sits on the house judiciary committee. good to have you both, gentlemen. congressman quigley, were you surprised given that you have access to information that we in the public do not have, were you
surprised by today's development? >> the timing somewhat. it's hard to imagine that after last week's announcement that mr. flynn had stopped cooperating with the trump defense team that something like this wasn't going to happen. it was clearly an indication that there was cooperation, which is more likely than not leading to some sort of a negotiated plea. so i think -- i felt this was going to happen. it was hard to imagine that the general didn't have a lot of exposure. but as suggested, it has gained in momentum. >> congressman lieu, there's a side part of this and it has to do with essentially the presidential transition conducting foreign policy during the transition and we should note that it's not unusual for incoming administrations to be in contact with foreign governments and talking about things. but there's both the example of the sanctions and this other example in which it appears that
jared kushner directed michael flynn to call different governments and attempt to block what the obama administration was trying to have happen during a u.n. security council vote, essentially undermining the current foreign policy to the u.s. government. what do you make of the seriousness of that? >> that's very serious, chris. that's why there's a federal law against it called the logan act. we have one president at a time. you cannot conduct your own rogue foreign policy and that's exactly what the trump campaign was doing. but also, keep in mind, you have multiple trump officials not only lying about the russian contacts but lying about the russian person ambassador kislyak. michael flynn lied, jeff sessions lied and jared kushner lied as well and this is important because kislyak is, as mike quigley knows, is a pie spd spy recruiter for russia as
well. >> congressman, one of the key items is this was the day when the obama administration was essentially delivering their punitive measures for what russia had done to donald trump. what does it mean if the trump transition is essentially telling them it's going to be okay? >> i mean, look, there's a reason we have one president at a time. leave it to the trump administration to bring out the logan act. i don't know if anyone's ever been prosecuted under the act. it's an extremely old law and leave it to them to make this relevant again. clearly this is a long pattern in history of abuse and an extraordinary flow of connection primarily with one country, russia, to benefit russia's foreign policy and, unfortunatelily, in a coordinated basis with the trump
administration. >> croongressman lieu, do you suspect this goes up to the president of the united states? >> well, first off, today is a dark day for america because we're now seeing evidence of criminal behavior at the highest levels of our government and i think we can draw a strong inference by today's plea agreement. i'm a former prosecutor and you wouldn't do a plea agreement, such as this one, if you're trying to get lower level people. the only reason you are charged michael flynn with one count as opposed manafort with a whole laundry list of counts, you want him to give incriminating information on those above him, jared kushner, mike pence, donald trump jr. or the president of the united states. >> congressman, quickly, i want you to respond to one of those senior people is the vice president. the vice president was in mar-a-lago that day. the vice president -- the story has been that flynn lied to the vice president, that the vice president had no idea. here's what he had to say on january 15th about that phone
conversation. take a listen. >> i talked to general flynn about that conversation and actually it was initiated on christmas day he had sent a text to the russian ambassador to express not only christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airline crash that took place. it was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states' decision to expel diplomats or impose a censure against russia. >> we now know that's definitively not true but are you satisfied that the vice president was telling the truth, that he did not know that it wasn't true? >> i think when we do an investigation like this, it's important not to draw any assumptions. i think we have to follow the facts wherever they take us. this is an investigation like many others. it begins at the periphery and moves towards the center. that momentum obviously
increases dramatically when people start flipping. i encourage the american public when they ask questions about the vice president and anybody else in the administration, your patience is starting to pay off. let's let mr. mueller do his job. let's certainly let the house and senate investigations take their course. so i'm not going to presume or assume that i know anything about what the vice president knew or didn't know. obviously there are questions about the entire administration. let us do our job. my concern today, number one, is that this is going to panic the white house and they're going to enhance their existing efforts to either halt the investigations taking place or at least impair them. >> don jr. is headed to your committee next week. does this change at all your approach to questioning him? >> we have a habit of not talking about who is going to appear. obviously it makes the news sometimes before we even know
it. i think there's a lot of questions for trump junior and i look forward to being part of that when and if he appears before our committee. >> congressman lieu, on the judiciary committee there, are you confident in your republican colleague or democrat colleagues will take steps to protect robert mueller if it appears that his job is threatened? >> i am. and keep in mind that what brought richard nixon down was obstruction of justice. that was the first article of impeachment and it was a saturday night massacre where he filed all of these department justice officials. so donald trump can try to do that but if he has any recognition of what happened in history, i don't think he'll do that. you have republicans such as trey gowdy who has said you should let robert mueller do his job and let the facts go as they should. >> appreciate you taking the time tonight. >> thank you. still ahead, a rush to pass
no one in the white house today knew michael flynn's plea deal was coming and reporters began dealing to meet with the prime minister of libya. the pool reporters began heading out but were abruptly halted. after come confusion, the white house blamed a scheduling error because maybe because no one in the white house was prepared, quoting a source close to the white house, "what they're freaked out about is that there are no leaks. papadopoulos didn't leak. flynn didn't leak. they feel like they can't trust anyone their own counsel didn't know." trump and his legal team found out from news reports this morning. and for weeks the president had
been feeling personally hurt at the prospect of flynn turning on him. senator richard blumenthal sits on the judiciary committee which is investigating its own probe. senator, you had this to say earlier today. congress must now match the special counsel's courage by approving legislation to shield him from the very real threat of political interference as i and others have proposed. what do you mean by that? >> we proposed legislation that would stop the president of the united states from firing the special counsel and it would shield the special counsel from any political interference which now seems increasingly threatened, not just the president was blindsided but all of his administration and it is a shadowing moment for the trump presidency, comparing it to watergate is a real danger of another saturday night massacre. we should send a signal on a judiciary committee on the united states senate to approve
legislation that will shield the special counsel. in fact, bar any firing without proper court order so that the president is, in effect, discouraged from endangering our democracy with this constitutional confrontation and possib possible -- >> there has been some enthusiasm for that expressed by certain republicans, although mitch mcconnell said he didn't think it was necessary earlier this year. do you think you have the votes for that? >> we have bipartisan support for it. we have a number of republican senators who have joined our bill in the judiciary committee. we have already had a hearing. we should have a markup and a vote on the floor of the united states senate. whatever its necessity weeks ago now clearly it is urgent and necessary as is the judiciary committee continuing its
investigation of obstruction of justice with subpoenas for documents and witness testimony so the american people. >> caller: can hear him under oath and before the judiciary committee. i have one other thing, chris, which was important in a question you asked a few minutes ago. there's been a lot of talk about the logan act, which is a serious criminal statute. but the fbi was questioning michael flynn, not about the logan act or about his conversations with the russians because of a possible violation of the logan act. they were investigating collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. that's the reason that the formal statement of offense filed by the special prosecutor says that he was charged and why he pled guilty. so it all is coming together, so to speak, the russian
obstruction and collusion. >> on the obstruction front, there's been reports that the president was frantically calling various members of the senate trying to get them to back off, to stop their investigation, obviously the president went to james comey and told him to back off flynn and when he didn't he fired him. he said he had the russia investigation in mind when he did so. does flynn's centrality resonate through the case for obstruction as well? >> it does very, very directly and profoundly importantly. we're still a ways from charges of obstruction of anybody in the oval office but clearly we are at a watergate moment here. what did he know and when did he know it and that question applies not only to the president but to jared kushner, to vice president pence, what did they know as members of the transition team about these approaches to the russians, about the collusion between the russian government and the trump
campaign as alleged and that moment will have very dramaticredramatic resonance and it's being pursued by the special counsel. >> do you think -- are you confident that jeff sessions has not been directed by the president to interfere in any way? he was asked that question by adam sh ade aed a -- adam schiff. >> i have no confidence whatsoever that the president is avoiding any kind of tactic in stopping this investigation. clearly he's resorted to some very direct threats and intimidation. he's called the investigation a hoax and a witch hunt. and he has privately berated attorney general sessions for recusing himself, as was required, and for failing to
intervene before and he has demanded a pledge of loyalty from his then fbi director james comey and to drop the investigation. so this president has no clear sense of what the bounds are and what the norms should be legally or ethnically. >> senator richard blumenthal, thanks for your time. >> thank you. up next, a reminder of just how blatantly obvious it was that people were lying about flynn's contacts with the russians. out. sensing your every move and automatically adjusting to help you stay effortlessly comfortable. i can even help with a silent night. does your bed do that? i don't actually talk, but i can tell you how you slept. i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store.
flynn's calls were coming to light. when "the washington post" david ignatius revealed, "according to a senior government official, flynn phoned sergey kislyak several times on december 29th." now, december 29th was the day the obama administration announced sanctions against russia specifically to punish it for its infer feerterference in presidential election. >> on christmas day, general flynn reached out to the ambassador and sent him a text and it said, you know, i want to wish you and merry christmas and happy new year. the ambassador texted him back wishing him a merry christmas as well and then subsequently on the 28th of december texted him and said i'd like to give you a call and said may i? and then he took that call on
the 28th and the call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in. >> don't you love that pause just before he lesays logistics? spicer says he spoke with him on the 28th, not the 29th. hours later, spicer changed his story. >> that call took place on the 29th of december, at which time general flynn was asked whether or not he would help set up a call after the inauguration with president putin and then president trump. the only conversation that general flynn had was one to wish him a merry christmas. two, to express his sympathies for the loss of life that occurred during the plane crash that took the lives of their military choir. >> so spicer comes out to correct. he says he did talk -- michael flynn did talk to the ambassador on the day that the sanctions were announced but total
coincidence, he was just calling to talk about christmas and to express condolences. that's it. but a few days after that, reuters reports that flynn had not just one but five calls with kislyak on december 29th, the day of the sanctions. five calls to say merry christmas and keep offering condolences? weeks later, at his first official briefing as press secretary, spicer said it was just a single call but flynn discussed four topics, none of which were sanctions. >> there's been one call, i talked to general flynn about this again last night. one call, talked about four subjects. one was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir. two was christmas and holiday greetings. three was to facilitate -- or ta touk about a conference in syria on isis and four was to set up -- to talk about after the inauguration, setting up a call between president putin and president trump. >> that would not be the last
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supposedly lost his job because of that lie. today we learned that story, perpetuated for nine months, is not true. flynn admitted in court, he discussed the calls at the time with senior members of the trump transition team. a chief spokesman at the obama administration, mall con nance, and natasha has been following this all very closely. m matt, what are the implications of that plea where he says he debriefed senior transition officials at mar-a-lago? >> i think it's critical because it shows when michael flynn lied to the fbi in his interview, he wasn't lying just to cover up his own wrongdoing. it was to cover up the entire trump administration, the senior officials on the trump transition and the president himself. why is that important? it goes to what trump had in his
mind when he asked jim comey for the loyalty pledge after the white house was warned about flynn. it goes to his state of mind when he asked jim comey to back off of mike flynn. if the president knew that mike flynn could blow the cover on this entire white house lie, then that's the purpose that goes to show he was committing a criminal act when he made these requests. that's obstruction of justice. that could be the entire ball game. >> here's the thing to me, malcolm, why lie? game it out. you're the transition. the president is going to be the new president in 20 days. a big new foreign policy is announced sanki announced sanctioning russia. he could have said i don't represent the current president but as you make your decision, there will be a new administration that will be reviewing our relationship with russia and you should be aware of that before making your decision and then you could tell the truth about that phone call.
if that's all you're doing, there's no reason to lie, so why lie? >> that's an outstanding question. we've been asking that question for well over a year. there has to be an underlying reason that has yet to be exposed that michael flynn decided was worth trying to hide not only from the transition team or depending on who he spoke to but to the entirety of the united states government. this is the former director of defense intelligence agency. he would be very aware that we do counterintelligence monitoring of communication with suspected agents in the united states. perhaps he thought he was master of the universe after winning the election and nobody would know about this and whatever he did, he was very aware that he was -- that there was a transcript of this both on the russian side and on u.s. intelligence side and maybe he
thought he could get away with it, that he would be in charge of suppressing it and they could do whatever they wanted to do with this information. >> which makes it all the more weird and reckless that he lied, that he lied to the fbi investigators, natasha, and brings it back to the point what matt said, that as we know, one of the key things we learned today was after that phone call happens, there's a briefing, he briefs the people at mar-a-lago, the senior transition team leadership. we know reince priebus was there and the president himself was there, jared kushner was there, that he briefs those folks about what he did, right? how -- i mean, it's rather implausible to me that donald trump does not know that that happened. >> right. especially we have to look at all of this as something that did not happen in a vacuum. >> right. >> you have to look at it within the context that the russians interfered in the elections to help donald trump win. >> and then we're being punished for it on that day. >> right. and there may have been this thinking from the trump people that they needed to somehow
repay the russians by assuring them that they were going to lift sanctions and, you know, it's also worth noting that the end of december was not the first time that kushner and flynn and everyone discussed sergey kislyak. they actually met at trump tower on december 1st and that's where kushner proposed this backchannel way to communicate with moscow. this was all leading up to this moment. the sanctions were at the core of the russians' outreach to donald trump. flynn was making a concerted effort to reassure them that they were going to then lift the sanctions was in line with what we saw throughout 2016. >> matt, you worked for the attorney general and the administration. think about this. michael flynn is sworn in to be the national security adviser of the united states, the most powerful country in the history of human beings on the earth and he now has that job and two days later he's got to sit down with
the fbi who come to his office to basically depose him about this phone call and he lies to them two days after he gets this job. it is an astounding action to take. >> yeah. it's astoundingly stupid action to take. dumb thing for him to do, knowing that there would have been u.s. intercepts that would have heard his call. but the other part about this is, so after he lies to the fbi and sally yates comes over two days later and gives the warning to dawn mcgahn, the question has been, why didn't the white house do something about this? because the white house was in on that lie. >> that's exactly right. >> we don't know whether they knew that he was lying to the fbi or not but the lie that he told the fbi is the same lie the white house had been telling since sean spicer said it in the clip you played on through the vice president himself saying it on the sunday shows in january. this was a lie that was being told from the top on down. >> malcolm, what do you say to people today who react to the
news and say they got him for lying to the fbi. the thing he lied about isn't collusion. no one gets prosecuted for the logan act. you guys -- you, who are believers in the collusion case, i count you in that group, there still is no evidence. >> i'm actually in the conspiracy camp because collusion is a nice word but it's a law. it's way too light. let me tell you something, he has bigger issues and as you're seeing in the mueller investigation, they're going after low-hanging fruit right out of the box. with manafort, low-hanging fruit was international money laundering. with flynn, it was this phone conversation. let me tell you, i've done a boatload of wiretaps and that conversation had five points to it. he called them five times that day and that means, in call number one, initial consultation, call number two, agenda and prove officer, call
number three, counter negotiation, call five, counter negotiation and call five, agreement. i don't have to know in the phone call that there was an agreement being cut with the government of russia and mike flynn went out there and could not do that without the agreement of either the president or the vice president. >> right. there's reporting in some quarters, i don't think we have it as a news organization but represent put table news organizations reporting that the senior official he consulted prior to the call was katie mcfarland who was brought in and she was also at mar-a-lago. >> right. and katie mcfarland who not have ordered michael flynn to speak to sergey kislyak. >> right. >> she would have gotten that instruction from someone up much higher than her.
she was much lower on the food chain. she may have been very close to the trump family but that did not give her the authority to say, yes, talk to kislyak. you need to do this. >> the reporting that we have about the meeting a day or two after the election when donald trump went to washington, d.c., and he met with president obama and we all saw that image and it was sort of sinking in for everyone that this was what was happening, president obama to president trump. and the reporting we have of that meeting is that president obama told trump two things, basically, north korea is really dangerous, you should focus on them and do not higher michael flynn. >> yeah. and it's possible he ignored that warning because he would ig ignore anything barack obama told him. but i think it's just as likely, look, he was close to michael flynn. whatever happened with respect to russia, if there was collusion or coordination or conspiracy or which ever word you want to use during the campaign, michael flynn would be likely to know it. for those people who say there's nothing in this charging document or statement of defense
that shows collusion, that's absolutely right. but if you think that bob mueller put all the evidence that mike flynn gave him into this document today, you don't know how federal prosecutions work. >> absolutely. >> he's taken the most serious information to hold it in the banks and talk to witnesses and see if they tell the truth or lie and make a case further up the chain than flynn. >> thank you all. ahead, why senate republicans are rushing to pass a major tax cut bill tonight before the next big development in the russia investigation. the truly bizarre scene playing out right now on capitol hill. >> it's the night we're going to be voting on the tax bill. i just got the tax bill ta minutes ago. this is the tax bill. see how thick it is?
courthouse after pleading guilty for lying to the fbi, mitch mcconnell was on capitol hill claiming we have the votes. he did not, however, have a bill. republicans were still jamming last-minute provisions into their massive tax package that primarily benefits corporations and the wealthy while adding a trillion dolt l trillion dollars to the national debt, at least, and delivering a body blow to obamacare. >> there was not one single hearing, not one on the specifics with respect to the legislation. there was not one single hearing on the health changes that the majority seeks to make that put a dagger into the heart of the affordable care act. >> republicans are set to try to complete their mad dash to pass the bill at any moment tonight. we don't know when. after spending today loading it with handwritten handouts to corporation and the wealthy and
500-page bill from a lobbyist. just a short time ago. they are the ones that had it. and this is the reason that republicans gritted their teeth and got behind donald trump. they know he may have been dangerous and disrupt and sabotage an american election and also know he will sign whatever they and their donors want and apparently that's enough. we will show you one senator's outrage response tonight, video you must see, just after this break. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "red-hot mascot."
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is. >> snot -- senate gop is in a rush to rewrite the american tax code at this hour by hand.enate rewrite the american tax code at this hour by hand. >> hey, happy holidays, everyone. it's the night we're going to be voting on the tax bill. i just got the tax bill 25 days ago. that's what it looks like. let's look at the bill. that's what it really looks like. look at this, folks. this is your government at work. here is the bill as its written. here is the hod mod pa case -- modifications. it's called add this language. if you can tell me what that word is? if you can, you got better eyes than me. this sun believable. we got massive tax reform on
absolute incredible timeline. this will affect everyone in this country. it's going to shift money from middle class families to the rich. it's amazing and we've been given this 20 minutes ago, 25 minutes ago. we're supposed to vote on it in a couple hours. >> with me now 2016 independent presidential candidate, house republican conference and kathryn, with the washington post. you worked on the hill, the house said of the hill crafting legislation. isn't this exactly what even never people such as yourself live for as a republican? >> not exactly. i'd say what we live for -- used to live for as republicans is sure, lowerings t taxes where w could, fiscal responsibility and paying down the debt. what we have now, we're running in deficits, budgets running in deficits but adding to that. that's what this bill does.
it represents a tremendous departure from what we used to stand for, fiscal responsibility. i know there are disagreements between the left and right but i think it's healthy for one party in washington to make that argument that there needs to be fiscal responsibility and we should eliminate our deficits and pay down debt. right now, we don't have that and what you see here is a republican party that is changing not only in its tone with donald trump and its i would say lack of decency among leaders with the president for sure but also, the policies are changing. the actual policies. >> i think to me it's both the policy and the way they have gone about this, which is every bit as abnormal as donald trump's tweets are. the way they are passing major legislation at this hour, it's true, legislation is a mess. there is lots of amendments that are stocking stuffers to fill the christmas tree. the speed, though, with which they are hammering this through
really is quite unprecedented. >> they have to jam this thing through because the more time that this is exposed to the public, the more the public will hate it. this is the most hated piece of tax registration ever. it's more unpopular even in tax hikes than the clinton tax hikes than the george h.w. bush tax hikes. >> i want to reiterate that. this bill right now which are tax cuts, mostly corporations and wealthy heirs, this is less popular as a tax cut bill than tax increases under clinton and h.w. bush. >> right. it's a huge give away to rich people. it's basically not only saying we're not going to give goodies away to the poor and middle class, which for the record the george bush tax cuts actually did do. >> better job of. >> not only that we're not going to give things away from them but take from them to subsidize the rich and beyond that, if you look further along down the line, republicans are already
making known that they are going to use the deficits that result from this as an excuse to shred the safety social net. this is bad for the middle class and poor. >> there is one level of which, i say to people on twitter and republicans, vote on monday. just vote on monday. >> they have the votes now. >> vote on monday. you can vote on monday the it's 500 pages. it's the american tax code. there is stuff in there for the beer lobby and private equity. lord knows what's been jammed in for every interest that managed to shove something at the last second. >> if they wait to vote on monday, the public will know what's in it. lawmakers themselves might learn what is in it. >> not only that, to me, it also relates to the flynn news today. this is john harwood said barely ten months after republicans could control the entire federal government, their mood turned to desperation and you get the sense of like the president's former national security advisor got indicted today for committing a crime in the white
house. you better get your stuff passed now. >> that's right. this is a do or die moment. they have to get something done and keep the base with them especially heading into 2018 and beyond that and they have to get something done. now, the challenge here, i think, is still going to come in garnering more support than just the most hard-core base because this is such an unpopular bill but they are in a tough spot and look at the roy moore race and if he were to lose, the republican haves a harder time getting things done. they are in a tough spot. they aren't going to have donald trump to help them in 2018 or beyond so they have got to have something to show for it and they see this administration going down the tubes now. this administration is more vulnerable than its been with the news about flynn today and this is what they made the grand compromise for. >> this is it. >> so if they don't get it -- if they don't get it done, then --
>> even republicans are not so keen on this bill. if you look at the voting public ask ask people do you think this bill will lower your taxes? a quarter of republicans think it will help. >> the donor class is into it. >> they are upset about the state and local tax deduction will be eliminated. >> some will take it on the nose. >> that's where the dow narcotinarcoti donors are based. >> here is the larger thing. if you are -- jeff flake to me is a perfect example. jeff flake, at the end of this whole thing, jeff flake is a yes on this bill. >> yeah, but i would say on that. >> very disappointing. >> look, the way this is moving forward is a disappointment. the fact it will add to the debt is a disappointment. i would like to see corporate rates lowered and more competitive. it's irresponsible when unemployment is at a record low
and stock market at a record high. if we can't institute fiscal responsibilities in this context, we're never going to do it. >> when you do it is when there is a recession. >> that's right. >> and brought down on the health care spending and things like that. thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening. thank you my friend. thanks for joining us this hour. two of the most important stories of the year are unfolding at the same time right now. today what may end up being the two most important stories of the whole first year of the trump administration both at least started happening on the same day. the first, of course, is legislation for the first time. there has been no significant legislation of any kind passed since republicans took control of the house and senate and white house with the inauguration of donald trump in january. well,