tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 21, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
issue is about who is european in their background, not who is american. but what does that got to do with patriotism to this country and what it stands for? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> might have talked to him about his testimony? >> so what if he talked to him about it? >> the president's shifting story gets shiftier. >> can't be sure of the exact date but the president can remember having conversations. the president also remembers -- yeah, probably up to -- could be up to as far as october, november. >> tonight, the big questions, confusion and concern over what the president's lawyer is admitting and then retracting. plus, what we were know about the special counsel's response to buzzfeed and the
upon dora's box. the shutdown continues zim proud to shut down the government. >> as a white house envolkswavo senator kamala harris makes it official. >> i am running for president of the united states. and i'm very excited about it. >> what we know about the campaign and the candidate. "all in" starts. >> why not yes, we are diverse y and we have so much more in common than what separates us. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. key questions about the president's purity of a real estate deal in russia during the 2016 campaign and his lawyers' efforts to hide that deal from the public are once again front and center. now, things have only gotten more confusing in the wake of buzzfeed's explosive report last week that the president directed
michael cohen to lie to congress about the so-called moscow project. that was knocked down in a remarkable but somewhat ambiguously worded statement from the office of special counsel robert mueller. and then since then, the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, has made things even worse by claiming and then retracting information material to both the russia probe and the future of this presidency. it is all wildly confusing, even, frankly, for someone who follows it for a living. let's take a step back and look at what we know for sure. whether or not buzzfeed's report turns out to be true, there does seem to be widespread consensus the president instruct ing a witness to lie to congress would cross an obvious bright red line. it would constitute an impeachable offense and that's that's what drove the freakout over buzzfeed's story. that freakout we now know included the president's legal team. a source familiar with the matter telling nbc news that friday morning after the story
had been published, the president's own lawyers, quote, raised concerns in a letter to the special counsel's office before it released its own statement disputing buzzfeed's report. another thing for sure is that the president's company was continuing to pursue a deal in moscow seeking putin's approval far later than they diflgd to the public. we don't know the truth about whether the president intervened directly with michael cohen to try to cover it up, even after the special counsel's denial, buzzfeed is standing by its story. >> i have further confirmation that this is right, we're being told to stand our ground. our reporting is going to be borne out to be accurate, and we're 100% behind it. >> in an interview yesterday, the president's own lawyer appeared to weirdly bolster
buzzfeed's regulatporting when refused to rule out that he had talked to michael cohen before his congressional testimony. >> as far as i know, president trump did not have discussions with him, certainly had no discussions with him which much he told him to lie. if he had any discussions with him, they would be about the version of the events that michael cohen gave them which they all believe was true. >> you just acknowledged that it's possible that president trump talked to michael cohen about his testimony? >> which would be perfectly normal, which the president believes was true. >> so it's possible that happened, that president trump talked to michael cohen. >> i don't know if it happened or didn't happen. >> not perfectly normal at all talking to someone testifying before congress. today giuliani tried to take back those very comments, telling "the new york daily news" they never spoke to cohen about his testimony. giuliani yesterday raised the possibility that talks about the moscow project continued well past the last known date in june 2016, lasting all the way until
election day. >> it's our understanding they went on throughout 2016, weren't a lot of them, but there were conversations. can't be sure of the exact dates. >> throughout 2016. >> yeah, probably up to -- could be up to as far as october, november. our answers cover until the election. >> okay. today once again giuliani tried to take that back as well, telling nbc news my recent statements about discussions during the 2016 campaign between michael cohen and then-candidate donald trump were hypothetical and not based on conversations i had with the president. the weird thing about this is we know the president's lawyers have already had to nail down the details on all these matters as part of their client's written responses to robert mueller. for more on what could possibly be going on with giuliani, i'm joined by elliott williams, former deputy assistant attorney
general and msnbc legal analyst barbara mcquade. barbara, you are now a law professor. do you teach this particular type of lawyering in your school? >> no. i don't think so. you know it's hard to know whether rudy giuliani is just being really careless or he floats these statements in an effort to diffuse them and sometimes realizes he went too far. but either way it doesn't seem to be serving the best interest rates of his clients. he seems to be working more as sort of a pr agent than as a lawyer for donald trump. i'm not sure he's helping his cause much by making statements that he then has to retract. >> elliott, the time line here is important for a number of reasons. if the moscow project is an active sort of front burner concern throughout the entire campaign, that is, clearly leverage that vladimir putin holds over the the president, it's also quite relative if after they know the russians have hacked after they've been
briefed by u.s. intelligence, there's still a channel set up to talk about a moscow deal. i want to read what giuliani told "the new york times." he said it was a hindsigypothet. the trump tower discussions were going on from the day i announced to the day i won. mr. giuliani quoted mr. trump as saying during an interview during "the new york times." so it does seem like he's trying to extend that window. >> you know how on "meet the press" he said truth isn't truth? apparently conversations aren't conversations either. seriously. either they're hypothetical or they're not. or he's having them or they're not. i would like to second the the point barbara made that perhaps because they are rational actors, the president, rudy giuliani, and so on, this has to be a strategy to get the information out there that either the conversations happened well until i guess late in 2016 or they didn't, that something might be coming out to confirm the information and he's trying to blunt the potential
fallback for the campaign that it would come out. it's the only real way to explain these continue continue dictions. >> whatever michael cohen was up to the president was only tangentially involved. the case that giuliani is making does seem to matter for ultimately what we learn about this very crucial deal is essentially that whatever cohen was doing, the president kind of knew about it but doesn't really remember, right? >> i think that does seem to be part of the strategy. also telling conflicting stories may be part of the strategy so the public throws up their hands. it does contradict things donald trump said. that he had no business negotiations with russia.
this at the at the same time it appears there were going on. the contradiction catches the eye of the prosecutor. shifting stories tends to show something that gets referred to as consciousness of guilt. they know they've done something wrong, which is why they have to lie about it. at one point president trump said this business was very legal and very cool. if it was, then why were you lying about it? why were you telling different stories about it? that seems to suggest the truth is something even worse than the risk of being caught in a lie >> it's a great point, barbara. we don't know what in the buzzfeed story ends up being true or not. but one of the details is the idea of ten face-to-face briefings between michael cohen and the president on trump tower. that's a very front of mind kind of thing. there's a kind of motive that supplies the way the president talks about vladimir putin from the beginning which is down
right bizarre. take a listen. >> i believe i would get along very nicely with putin. okay? and i mean where we have the strength. i don't think you need -- >> if putin wants to knock the hell out of isis, i'm all for it 100% and i can't understand how anybody would be against it. >> at least he's a leader unlike what we have in this country. >> again, he kills journalists that don't agree with him. >> well, i think our country does plenty of killing also, joe. >> do you think the united states needs to rethink u.s. involvement in nato? >> yes, because it's costing us too much money, and, frankly, they have to put up more money. >> i have nothing to do with russia. i don't have any jobs in russia. i'm all over the world but we're not involved in russia. >> figuring out what's behind that seems crucial here, elliott. >> ronald reagan must be rolling over in his grave at these
statements. this is not the policy certainly of the america i grew up in. frankly, this is also around the time the republican national committee was amending the campaign platform with respect to russia. so yes, it would seem that trump had a huge business interest in russia or some interest, something held over him in russia. chris, i can't explain it better than you can because it is absolutely perplexing that someone who aspires to be president of the united states is speaking this favorably about russia. that "morning joe" clip is the most instructive one when equating whatever killings happened at the midwebehest of united states, particularly what we know about the execution of a very high-profile report happening around the world. it's just not the america that any of us are used to and it's astonishing. >> the ongoing deal provides a
crisp and clear concrete motive if indeed we do learn the president was involved. seems to be that's why this is crucial in understanding this. elliott williams and barbara mcquade, great to have you both. for more on how this fits into the big picture, i'm joined by michael isakoff, a veteran on this beat who has been digging into it. what do you make of the last 72 hours? >> look, i was really struck by giuliani's correction today, amendment to his statements yesterday, that he was speaking hypothetically and not based on any conversations he had with the president. well, if he's not speaking based on conversations he's had with the client he's representing, then why are people having him on at all? >> what's he doing?
>> he's only there because he's the president's lawyer. if he's just riffing on his own, it does raise serious questions about exactly what he's doing. but look, to me, all this only underscores how really important it is for congress to finally step up to the plate here. i mean, we're going to have a real test on february 7th when michael cohen appears before the house oversight committee. and it's up to elijah cummings, the chairman, to hold his feet to the fire and ask every question about every aspect of this without regard to what the impact might be on the robert mueller investigation. congress has its own duty here a constitutional responsibility to get to the facts and act on them and not outsource its
investigative responsibilities to an executive branch official. mueller has his job to do, but there are other jobs and equally important if not more important job that congress has to finally resolve all these many questions we have. >> i couldn't agree with you more strongly. >> it's a point i've been trying to make for the last year, and it's only in the last few days that people are starting to recognize that, you know, getting to the facts, the public responsibility here. i'll ask you one question as an example going back in history. when sam irvin held the senate watergate hearings, did he ask archibald cox's permission to hold those hearings? when they began hearings on richard nixon, did he ask for gentleman warski's permission to do so? no because everybody accepted that congress had a job to do. you know, we're now going to see
whether elijah cummings, adam schiff, jerry nadler will step up to the plate and now their job here. and that means public hearings, not behind closed doors >> crucially, to your point here, february 7th now becomes even more key because michael cohen is going to walk into that room with all this swirling around. again, the word of michael cohen even under oath is not ironclad as we have learned from his own plead, but he will have an opportunity to lay out at least his sworn testimony is going to be. your point is so key. before you get to anything else about the rendering of judgment, establishing record of the facts, which is what can start for the first time in the trump era since comey's testimony on february 7th with michael cohen. >> absolutely. look, it has been now more than two years since the house and the senate intelligence committees announced they were going to be investigating these
matters and not a single public hearing has been held with a single fact witness in the entire russia investigation. that is astonishing to me. all the hearings that were held, all the interviews were done behind closed doors. we still haven't seen the public release of that testimony, by the way. so michael cohen's testimony, donald trump jr.'s testimony, go down the list, jared kushner's testimony. all behind closed doors and we're still in the dark about exactly what they said >> michael isakoff, that is a great point. i think there's a divide between journalists and prosecutors on this. the prosecutors say you have to leave them alone, it's a criminal inquiry and the journalists tend to want public transparency. you saw chris murphy say this. i thought it was interesting on friday after the buzzfeed story. it's even more important in some ways after the carr statement to say, look, we got to do something here in congress publicly about what the heck is going on in this country and with respect to this president.
>> absolutely. you know, with all due respect to all your legal analysts who talk about the sanctity of the investigation, fine, robert mueller has a job to do. he should do it. >> and he can do it. >> others in our democracy have jobs too that are just as important. >> michael isakoff, thank you. >> thank you. what to make of the special counsel's rare move on comme commenting on the news. why now? should we expect to hear more? a look at what robert mueller is up to in two minutes. factory-trained technicians. or it isn't. it's backed by an unlimited mileage warranty, or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned, or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through february 28th. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer.
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that changed on friday when carr issued a statement on the record disputing the accuracy of the buzzfeed story about trump directing cohen to lie to congress. it's been followed now by a number of stories that appear to be sourced to people inside mueller's office explaining their rationale off the record. now the question becomes since mueller's office has spoke up in response to one story, what to make of their silence for all the others. joining me is the author of that peter carr man of mystery profile, hunter walker. also broke major part of this trump moscow story. what do you as someone who wrote about peter carr make of what happened friday and what it does now >> i should note i wrote that profile with my colleague nyc southpaw. we've been fascinated by peter carr because he is in one of the
most highly scrutinized and important offices there is. he's one of the only ways mueller speaks apart from court filings. and yet it's usually sounds of silence. his typical refrain is will decline to comment. that's what made what we've seen in the past couple days so amazing as you point out because in statement from him was nothing short of extraordinary compared to the just courthouho no comments before. >> if they don't comment on anything, then not commenting can be interpreted as assent to the basics of the story or denial. now they have come out to dispute a story on the record. you got to wonder what happens from now on because if they don't do it with the next story and it's wrong, there's a presumptive sense that they came out of the last one. >> due to the importance of the allegations here and also due to the rarity of carr's statement, you saw a lot of people trying to parse, you know, what is this
punctuation mean? i would assume that's part of why you've seen them participate in these follow-up stories just to really send a clear message that they disputed the central thesis of this story. i don't want to assume anything with peter carr. a lot of people are trying to parse him because he's so interesting and says so little, but given that he gives you very little, i don't think there's that much there to analyze >> okay. here's my take on this. i find itfacent and bizarre, frankly, to watch what appears to be participation by this office in correcting the record on their own statement to make it clear and unambiguous when they could have written a statement friday that says the central contention of the article is wrong, period. you could write that sentence in plain english. they chose not to do so for some reason. >> part of problem is there's so much that's really technical and really sensitive about this situation and this story. there's the question of whether president trump directed cohen to this, which is totally
separate from the stuff that was included in the reporting on friday which is that cohen told that to the special counsel and even the suggestion that the special counsel may have had documentary evidence of this. that's something carr was really trying to refute. i don't know. we're all so interested in peter carr treating him as the voice of mueller, but i don't know if we can say if he knew one way or the other. he would just know what his office now. >> we have the situation now which much you have reporting that rod rosenstein put a call into that office, that the president's lawyer sent a letter, that the statement was crafted without them but that rosenstein got a heads up courtesy call before it was issued. now there's a question about the degree to which were they leaned on and did that affect them as well. >> i reached out to rudy giuliani to ask why did you contact the special counsel's office? i haven't heard back from him yet, but that really is a
central question as we watch this situation going forward >> there's a few on the record statements they made, but i wonder the degree to which the new phase in which if it is the case that they are moving towards some kind of public presentation or private presentation of the report, some final end game, if necessarily more people will be read into that, and that will preincipient take the more leaking? >> this office have been closed mouthed. but as i was saying before, any analyses of carr or mueller is grasping at smoke and that has led to a lot of fevered speculation. there's a whole cottage industry now of mueller progrenosticator and predictors. one of these things that is thrown out a lot is the idea of a mueller report. lieu pe and i have analyzed that. they don't necessarily require a public report. mueller could just do a private
report sent to the justice department, or he could just speak through indictments. so we really don't know what we're going to see next. and the only thing we as journalists and the public should do, i know it's difficult given how important this story is, but we got to be careful, sit back and wait and take a measured approach to the information we put out there. >> hunter walker, thanks for joining us. still to come, president trump tries to end his own shutdown by setting up another hostage situation. his vice president tries is telling idea that martin luther king jr. would have wanted the wall? not precisely, but kind of. details next. our grandparents checked their smartphones
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trump shutdown and the negative effects continue to ripple throughout the country. over the holiday weekend there were long lines at airport security which he wants as a record 10% of screens called out on sunday, resulting in closed which he wants ask longer wait times. the screeners have gone a month without regular pay. the tsa said many employees are reporting they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations. >> as long as there's a lapse of funding in our agency, you know, fundamentally it's going to become more and more of a burden on officers to come to work and do their job and still find a way to financially take care of themselves and their families. >> how many paychecks can you go without? >> well, it's going to be two now. i don't even want to think about a third. i just don't want to think about it. >> on saturday trump unveiled what he casts as a compromise to end the shutdown, though, he did
not consult with any of the relative parti relevant parties. trump offered in exchange for $5.7 billion was temporary protections for a limited number of formerly protected immigra s immigrants, immigrants that the trump administration has taken steps to pull into limbo. ann coulter saying we voted for trump and got jeb. trump reversed course in order to appease coulter and others on the far right. jackie speier pleading with trump to reopen the government but no luck. zoe conley plans to bring trump's offer up for vote, although he said the deal has to be worked out with democrats in the white house and it's exceedingly likely to get the 60 votes necessary to pass. not a single democratic lawmaker said they support trump's offer and the party remains unified on
a message, stop holding the american people hostage and reopen the government and then we can negotiate. joining me now congressmen joaquin castro. give us the money and we will temporarily protect a variety of classes of immigrants that we have put in jeopardy, haitians with temporary protected statu., >> it wasn't a serious offer. first of all, basically every part of that proposal was rejected last year. as you mentioned the president is holding hostage the paychecks of hundreds of thousands of government workers in order to get a wall that most people in america and in my state of texas don't want. and so he should reopen the government. we should be able to reopen the government. as the republican senate voted to keep it open in december and
then the house voted in january on the same thing. we should be able to reopen the government and then negotiate. and also, chris, people have been asking what's the compromise? if you think about it, the purpose of a border wall is for border security. so we know that adding a border wall to these rural areas of the border is not the most effective strategy. in fact, this past week we saw, i think it was 376 migrants tunnel under a portion of the border wall and then present themselves to cbp officers to be considered for asylum. so the compromise, i think, is more money for border security that doesn't include a wall, including technology that would be anti-tunnelling technology to detect these kinds of things. >> okay. if that's the compromise, there's two messages here. right now democrats are saying there is no compromise, we will not be taken hostage. this is an unreasonable approach to governing. open the government based on the bills that pass the senate unanimously and are out in the
house and they're just sitting there, and then we'll talk about whatever you want to talk about. that's one position. the other is, some kind of deal where we do border security but not the wall and that's what we strike to get the government reoechltd which is it? >> i think we should reopen the government and then we can talk further about border security. >> that's the position of the democratic caucus. are there cracks in that if we go into -- people are in real trouble, obviously, federal workers and also there's food inspections not happening, national parks being torn to shreds. is there a point at which the cracks start to show up in the democratic caucus? >> a rational, reasonable president would not be doing this. and the problem that we have is that they're going to be other things like the debt ceiling and the budget again. if you show donald trump that he can -- if you affirm to him that he can hold you hostage for
$5 billion for a wall, then he will probably do it again when the debt ceiling comes up or when the next budget comes up, and that's the problem. >> right. so you see it as -- this is something i've been told by lawmakers on both sides of capitol hill. it's almost existential. you cannot negotiate under these conditions because the incentives for what it produces for the white house are untenable. >> once he finds a way to get his way, even though the overwhelming majority of people disagree with him, he will keep going back to that. and that's the danger here. >> i want to get your reaction to this threat tweet. amnesty is not part of my object to the form it will be used only on a much bigger deal. i don't understand that. likewise there will be no big push to 11 million plus people who are here illegally, but be careful, nancy. do you read that as a threat to
start to move to deport the 11 million people here? >> i think it's a threat that he's already tried to deliver on. he tried to go after the daca recipients, the dreamers, and the courts have held him up. >> right. >> so yeah, i think he would continue to do that, absolutely. he's tried to go after the tps holders. it's in the courts. yes, the president is intent on churning up his deportation machine and he'll keep at it. >> how much communication is there inside the democratic caucus on the house side about holding the line on this? because the speaker has to hold together a big new majority caucus. it's the first thing she's doing. how much are you talking to leadership, how much are they talking to you? >> almost every day, especially when we're in washington. folks are talking to each other. you know, it's tough, especially for the freshmen members that have just come in. some of them have never served in an elected position before.
>> open government. >> it's been closed down since january. so yeah, that's kind of tough. i think we're doing what we need to hold the line there. >> i haven't seen any cracks myself. joaquin castro, many thanks. >> thank you. still ahead, senator kamala harris is running. tonight's thing 1, thing 2 starts next. isn't what goes into your soup... just as important as what you get out of it? our broccoli cheddar is made with aged melted cheddar, simmered broccoli,
thing 1 tonight, it was like more than a quarter century ago when graden carter began referring to donald trump as, quote, a short-firngd eventual guerrin. and it has board trump ever since. carter who went on to run "vanity fair" wrote, quote, to this day i receive the occasional envelope from trump. there is always a photo of him. he has circled his hand in a gold sharpy to highlight the length of his fingers. when marco rubio mentioned trump's short fingers during the campaign, trump brought it up himself in the debate. >> i have to say this. he hit my hands. nobody has ever hit my hands. look at those hands. are they small hands? >> that was a real low moment in our collective public life. later in an interview with "the washington post," trump wanted to once again set everyone at ease about his short fingers. >> i mean, people were writing, how are mr. trump's hands?
my hands are fine. you know my hands are normal, slightly large, actually. in fact, i buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay? >> okay. you definitely don't seem to have any issues about them. now after all these years it seems president trump and a social media propagandist have found something. that's in sixty seconds. that's in sixty seconds. maybe yt if you got geico to help you with your renters insurance. oh, geico helps with renters insurance? good to know. yeah, and they could save you a lot of money. wow, suddenly i feel so relieved. you guys are fired. get to know geico and see how much you could save on renters insurance. at to cover the essentialsyou have in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next,
the only direction is forward. donald trump has made sure everybody knows he does not have stubby little short fingers. and now eagle eyed folks at gizmo doe have examined his social media accounts and found on a number of occasions trump's photos appear to be altered around the fingers area. for example, they share this side by side comparison of an image release by president trump's instagram and facebook accounts. at left compared with the original photo on the right. the site found other examples of the social media photo and the original. if you find it hard to tell the
difference, gizmo doe helpfully created these dissolving gifts. look at it. watch as the shoulder gets cleaned up so the jacket has a much cleaner line. watch how the pointed finger gets a little longer. it's like magic. pointing is so much better with a longer finger. the jacket under his arm gets trimmed down in this one. even though it's more subtle, that pointed finger seems to get a tiny tiny tiny bit longer. there you go. normal size. because as the always truthful trump has told us again and again, he has normal-sized hands. just for good measure, the finger stays the same but the belt line changes just a big as if that junk food extravaganza that trump hosted at the white house had never happened. because after all, if you're going to alter something up here, you might as well alter something down there >> and he referred to my hands. if they're small, something else
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the best or nothing. honestly, you know, the hearts and minds of the american people today are thinking a lot about it being the weekend where we remember the life and work of the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. one of my favorite quotes from dr. king was now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. that's exactly what president
trump is calling on the congress to do. come to the table in a spirit of good faith. >> there's a moment right before the vice president started that thoroughly preposterous riff where he glances down at his moats and looks like a diver taking a peek at the water below. am i really going to do it? he did it. and the nicest thing you could say about it is points for chutzpah, i guess? because no, mr. vice president, making the promises of democracy was not about getting a wall. it's bearing moral witness throughage at a i guess and direct action to polarize a population to either defend or abandon the evil of the status quo. there were people who took the come to the table in good faith approach, but they were quite literally the people king was arguing against. his famous letter from a burmg
jail was a direct response to an open letter from local white clergy in birmingham chastising his approach to desegregation in this city. the pastors weren't outright white supremacists. they were sympathetic to king's goals, it was just the way he was doing it that was wrong. we recognize the impatience of people who feel their hopes aren't being realized. instead the clergy called for honest and open negotiation of racial issues between citizens of our own metropolitan area, white and negro. in other words, come to the table in a spirit of good faith. i go back to that letter from the clergy because it's a reminder of how seductive the language of social peace and
compromise are, even in the face of the most obviously violent evil. you hear an awful lot of that format of to young people fighting to end fossil fuel use. sure, what they are doing is admirable but going about it all wrong. it's worth asking ourselves on this day, will history view you and me in this moment as standing on the side of the birmingham clergy saying go slow and don't rock the boat or on the side of king and his vision? the side of king and his vision? you'll ask... what pain? with advil.
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will have more women running than any time in history. harris is the first african american woman and indian american woman in the 2020 race so far and with what years tenure in the u.s. senate, harris will likely get a lot of scrutiny over her record as a prosecutor and california state attorney general. here with me now, staff writer at "the times" magazine who wrote a profile of kamala harris more than two years ago and president of the community change action. dorian, it's amazing to step back and look at the democratic field so far in terms of how different it is from any previous field ever. >> the most diverse ever field for presidency in this country, chris, and it's really exciting. i have to say, you know, a lot of us have thoughts about kamala harris but the fact she basically had to do it on mlk and chism who ran in the '70s is
a good sign we'll have an intense debate around the candidates in terms of issues of racial justice, gender justice, immigrant rights, trans rights, everything will be on the table. i'm excited to see how she'll tell her story of evolution from her days of course, as a prosecutor to an official who had statewide office to being a senator and now wanting to run for president. >> well, it's funny. her days as prosecutor are referred to in the slogan kamala harris for the people, the way the prosecutors announced in court when she was the district attorney in san francisco. emily, what did you learn about her career before she became a u.s. senator when you were writing that profile? >> well, i learned that when she came into office in san francisco as district attorney, she was really interested in trying to reduce reoffending. the whole problem of the prison is like, you know, open door, revolving door.
so she had a program for first-time drug offenders, an alternative to prison. it was pretty small but had a low rate of reoffending and that was the kind of program she was promoting then. since then, there has been a real movement in this country to elect progressive prosecutors as district attorney and she was really before that movement. so i think the movement has kind of moved on from where she was then. >> that's gets to the point you made, this is an interesting point. joe biden said the crime bill that he was wrong about the crime bill and we seen kirsten say her earlier both policy positions and rhetoric on immigration, which was hard line on back in her house campaigns, that she was wrong on that and grown from that. it will be interesting to see how kamala harris talks about her record as a prosecutor because the problem she faces is one very similar to other people in the field, which is that the center of democratic party moved
considerably over, say, the last six years. >> i think that's true, chris. on a range of issues. you mentioned immigration. i would throw in cory booker and say wall street and the economy and he's one -- he has a big idea proposal out there around guaranteed jobs and kamala around income support. the movement shifted, not even the party. the movements shifted the party. we'll have a very different debate among all of these candidates, all of bhwhom i wou say have to tell a story how they evolved to match the movememov movement. it not our job to go over the record and ask them where do you stand today in the key issuing finding folks experiencing injustice in this country and what do you plan to do about it? she'll have a good answer and force the candidates in the democratic primary to have a really strong story about their evolution and what their platform is today and tomorrow. >> there is also, and harris has
a fascinating background, emily. she's the children of academics and high school in montreal and went to howard university and goes into the prosecutor's office. she has a distinct life story to tell in this race. >> that's true. i mean, i was spending time with her and she talked a lot about helping folks like the folks i grew up, african american working close berkeley. that's on her mind. you see contradictions here. you see that kind of focus, which could have a lot of appeal for a progressive democrat and you see her identity as a prosecutor, which i think as dorian said, she'll have some reckoning that we haven't seen from her yet and the left is going to push her on that. >> there was an op ed of i believe your sister saying she was not a progressive prosecutor, there are defense attorneys that feel that way and there is a question how the primary calendar works, which
people haven't quite got their heads around how different it is. super tuesday includes california, camilkamala harris' state. she's quite popular. south carolina is there early. she's in south carolina for her fist event and south carolina in someways will be a real testing ground, dorian, because it's the first state with a large black voter base in the primary calendar. >> chris and emily, remember, we've lived through '07, '08 with barack obama and we know what happened and both iowa but south carolina was really important. california will be incredibly important because the game has changed in this primary season. >> right. >> if she can figure out a way to appeal to black voters in south carolina, that gives her momentum going into california, which could be a total game changer in a way we've never experienced in the democratic primary calendar thus far. it will be very interesting. grab your popcorn, this will be fun to watch. >> it's interesting to me she's sort of doing her first big on the trail event in south
carolina as opposed to say iowa, new hampshire with other folks. i think that signals something. emily and dorian, thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening. >> i loved that segment and discussion. i felt like the discussion around the democratic field is mostly all just been like gee, there are a lot of people running. >> well, it's fascinating to watch with their record and reckon with the party that's moving in really interesting ways and agitating in really interesting ways and she's going to be on your program on wednesday night, if i'm not mistaken so i'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say. >> it was super helpful. for a long time we've known there is a conservative movement separate from the republican party and when the republican party is weak, in particular the conservative movement drives it. that is also true in a different way about the democratic party and various progressive movements until the country. >> totally agree. >> this dem