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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 2, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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we should have a responsible president that at least is talking to some of the advisers some of tweeting about foreign policy. >> let me just say, the voters normalized them, that's all i'm saying. >> and 3 million more for hillary. >> this will not be the end of the discussion about this, thank you for being with us tonight, thank you at home, "all in" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> it will be a fantastic 2018. >> the 2018 countdown begins. >> we're off to a very good start. >> tonight, as democrats dig in for a fight, some big-name republicans announce their retirements. as the existential threats to donald trump's presidency grow. plus inside "the new york times" blockbuster about how the trump russia investigation really began. and how it destroys a key trump defense. >> that was a democrat hoax. and fresh off the links at mar-a-lago -- >> can you tell me the biggest single thing the president has
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accomplished for the american people on the golf course? >> new reporting on how donald trump is cashing in on the presidency while nobody's looking. >> i could actually run my business and run government at the same time. >> "all in" starts now. good evening from new york, i'm joy reid in for chris hayes. 2018 is finally here. 307 days to go to the midterm elections, democrats gearing up for what could be a decisive year for the future of the trump presidency and american democracy. republicans closed out 2017 with a pep rally to celebrate the one thing that they got done legislatively last year. and the thing many in the gop say they came to washington specifically to accomplish. tax cuts, largely for corporations and the wealthy. it was the only thing that each of the party's different factions agreed on priority one for house speaker paul ryan and donald trump. trump, tweeting on christmas that he'd be "back to work" the
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following day, he instead proceeded to spend seven more days golfing at one of his own properties in florida. trump is now back in washington where his administration laid out what they promise will be a packed agenda for the year ahead. >> the president was elected because of his ambitious agenda. and his desire to get a lot of things done. welfare reform, infrastructure, responsible immigration reform, and health care will be top priority forth the administration this year. >> so welfare reform, a supposed trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, immigration, meaning a wall, and another crack at obamacare on the menu for 2018. trump, his party, and that 2018 agenda are already facing some powerful headwinds as this year begins. because after a year of going after health care and after passing a historically unpopular tax bill, republican control of congress is in jeopardy. according to most political watchers. and it's not just control of congress that's at stake. a democratic house or senate or
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both would inarguably put the entire trump presidency in danger. with democrats in control of key committees including those investigation russian interference in the election. tomorrow democrat doug jones will be sworn in as the new u.s. senator from alabama, reducing the republican margin in the senate to one vote. meanwhile, today two more senior republicans announced they're retiring at the end of this term. pennsylvania congressman bill schuster, the chairman of the house transportation committee. and utah senator orrin hatch, who pushed the tax bill as chairman of the senate finance committee. and heaped lavish praise on the president once it passed. >> mr. president, i have to say that you're living up to every -- everything i thought you would. you're one heck of a leader. and we're all benefiting from it. this bill could not have passed without you. this president hasn't even been in office for a year. and look at all the things that he's been able to get done. >> hatch and schuster joining a
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rolling list of gop lawmakers who aren't seeking re-election this year, a potential omen for where the midterm momentum is heading. according to politico, white house aides are anxious about 2018, dreading what's to come over the next year. they have good reason to worry. in iowa a state trump won by 10 points in 2016, his approval rating a measly 35% in a new poll. 35% said they'd back republicans for congress in the midterms. it's hard to overstate how much is at stake next november. not just for the republican agenda, but for the trump presidency. robert mueller has yet to wind down his russia investigation, despite repeated insistence from trump's lawyers it was at an end. the coming months could bring new revelations or new indictments. but whatever ultimately happens with mueller constitutionally only congress has the power to hold a president publicly accountable for his actions and those of his inner circle, something republicans have notably brined to, do instead running interference for the white house on the house
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judiciary and intelligence committees. if democrats win back control all bets are off and the president has been informed by aides and friends that if he loses the house in 2018, democrats would almost certainly begin impeachment proceedings against him. congressman keith ellison is a democrat from minnesota and the deputy chair of the dnc. the last point. john dean, white house counsel to richard nixon, tweeted in the last 24 hours, nothing, absolutely nothing -- this is john dean -- is more important in 2018 than taking the u.s. house from the gop and beginning the end of trump's history risk presidency. the well-being of the nation depends on it. don't let a day pass without doing some act to help democrats win control, stop trump. are democrats explicitly, at least for yourself as a leader of the dnc, running on the idea that if they get control back, house democrats will impeach donald trump? >> we're running on an explicit program to put the middle class and working people first.
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we're running on an explicit program to say if you put democrats in, we're going to focus on your family budget, we're going to focus on human and civil rights for you in your neighborhood. look, nobody should relish impeachment, it should be something that we go into with a tremendous amount of trepidation. because it represents failure. but if the facts revealed by the mueller investigation and other sources reveal it, then it's the constitutional duty to investigate it and to look into it. personally, i think he deserves it. but i think this is a process that we have to look into. did if democrats want a reason -- if rank and file folks across the nation, there's plenty of reason to get involved apart from impeachment. he's gotten rid of daca, tried to take health care away, redistributing wealth from the middle and working glosses up to the richest people. there's plenty of things he's done that are not impeachable
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and we will investigate and do our proper oversight if that becomes a possibility. >> what about on the idea of donald trump just as a sort of, in and of himself, person that destabilizes the country if not the world? there is a tweet he sent out that i want to call to your attention, i don't know if you've seen it yet. this is donald trump a few minutes ago. >> i saw it. >> north korean leader kim jong-un just stated that the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. will someone from his depleted and food-starved regime please inform him that i too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my button works. your thoughts, congressman? >> threatening a country with nuclear attack, which is annihilation of literally hundreds of thousands of people, boasting, that's incredibly destabilizing. unimaginably irresponsible. it just really -- you wonder whether any head of state of any size would do this, let alone
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the most powerful military in the world. i mean, it really is shocking. but shocking for trump is just, i don't know, tuesday, you know? every day. >> you serve in the house of representatives with the majority, the republican majority. do you detect any similar alarm on the part of your republican colleagues that this is the way the president speaks through his twitter account? >> well, yeah. i mean, when i talk to people privately, i mean, he is sort of a joke among all kinds of colleagues on both sides of the aisle. but, you know, a lot of my republican colleagues think, well, is he popular in my district or not? do people want a tax cut or not? they kind of look toward those things. but just trump and his behavior, you know, is not regarded in a highway at all, no. he's not. >> very quickly before we leave you, the possibility of michele bachmann running for the united states senate from your state, what are your thoughts? >> my thoughts are that it would
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be important to juxtapose our agenda of economic empowerment for working people all across this country, human rights, immigration, justice, with her program of rifling money up to the richest people, denying everybody human rights, her trying time pose her personal religious views on everyone else. i would love to have that kind of battle go on. i think it's a very debatable and inviting prospect. >> all right, congressman keith ellis ellison, thank you for joining me, appreciate it. for more on the high stakes of 2018, i'm joined by msnbc political analyst evan ma'am mullin, forge presidential candidate, from orrin hatch's home state of utah. this interesting thought from donald trump about the size of his nuclear button and the threat that he just put up against the north korean leader, your thoughts? >> as we saw all through 2017, men with profound sexual insecurity can wreak a lot of havoc in the lives of women, in
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the lives of their families. but perhaps never have we seen a man whose profound sexual and masculine insecurities are literally threatening to annihilate the planet. the way he's literally capitalizing in that tweet his nuclear button. any psychiatrist or psychologist would have a field day with that. but we all live in a world that could literally be ended in terms of a habitable planet. because of the sad man's insecurities. >> i'm wondering how then democrats are supposed to -- what do they do with that? a record number of women running for state offices in 2018. a lot of women who are running either for congress or in their states. how do you even message about somebody that is that extreme in his speech? if you are the democrats trying to win back control of the congress? i think what's remarkable, you teed it up well with that segment. never has there been -- 2018, to follow john dean, never has there been probably a better
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opportunity to save a republic in our lifetimes. never has there been a more important thing to do for this country. at the same time it's not going to be easy. it's not going to be as easy as a lot of the people who want to do it think. one, he is popular with a certain shrinking group of people who are revved up by the very campaigns against him. the more certain people hate him, the more they're revved up. more importantly, those of us who believe in a kind of new america, a america that's more inclusive, tolerant, converse, colorful, in which women have more power and voice, have to do a better job of selling that to people who are not die-hard trumpers, but are not die-hard for the new america either. who are in that kind of middle. there's a lot of them. and they're decent people. afraid of change, maybe a little bit racist, maybe not a little bit racist. but for some reason or another ambivalent between this kind of man and a movement that frankly
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doesn't make them feel warm and fuzzy either. i think the central drama of this year is going to be, can the people who believe in that new america, want to fight for it, are sometimes self-confident and self-righteous about it, actually reach out to people and persuade? >> let's talk about utah in that very same vein. evan mcmullin, the most anti-trump state during the primaries, you managed to capture 22% of the vote in the general election, the vote would normally have gone to whoever the republican nominee was. a state where orrin hatch, who wasn't very popular, his polling was low, but even at the -- the power he held as the fourth in line to the presidency felt that sick fancy toward donald trump was the right way to go. in a state like utah how do democrats or do democrats have a shot at messaging in a place like that? if mitt romney is the guy who comes in what will his posture be toward something like what we just read from donald trump? >> i think democrats should compete as they should
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everywhere. but realistically, i don't think they have much of an electoral opportunity in utah. i think the more realistic approach would be to try to find someone to replace hatch who is going to be committed to fundamental american ideals, equality and liberty chief among them. somebody who will come to congress, come to the senate, and uphold the constitution, fulfill the article 1 responsibilities of congress, meaning hold the executive branch accountable. that's where i think most of the energy should be in utah. i'm hopeful governor romney will step forward and enter the race and pursue the seat. i expect that he'll decide to do that. and i hope to support him. i think he would do exactly as i've described. >> you ran as an independent would you consider running yourself? you actually tried this other option, if the democrats have no chance what about an independent run? would somebody that's independent feel freer to push back against donald trump? if he tweeted something like
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this and the senator from utah was mitt romney, would his response be any different than orrin hatch? >> i think it would be. i mean, look, sure, if an independent were elected out of utah, they might feel more freedom to stand up to trump at important times. but someone like mitt romney has enough gravitas, enough history, enough knowledge, enough support in utah to do that exact same thing. and perhaps even more effectively as a republican. so i think, you know -- i think the best thing action as i said is support someone like mitt. i really expect that mitt will enter this race. i think that he will probably go along with republican policy initiatives, many of them as you would expect a republican to do. but when it comes time to hold the executive accountable, to make sure that our democracy remains independent from foreign interference that we're taking appropriate precautions to
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prevent countries like russia from interfering and holding americans accountable if they cooperate with the foreign powers intervention like that, i think we'll find that mitt romney will do that if her pursues the race and is expected. >> in your view, is donald trump dangerous? >> absolutely. >> in your view, is that idea of donald trump being dangerous something democrats should message toward or something that would actually hurt them? >> this is a big country. i think part of -- this needs to be an ambitious, creative movement to protect this country. i don't think about this as a democratic movement, i think of this as a protect the country movement. and i think the movement needs to be able to speak in san francisco and new york, when people are running there, and maybe purely run on impeachment if that's what you want to do. i think it needs to run in places like utah and oklahoma and elsewhere on the kind of language you heard from keith ellison, we want to help your paycheck be strong.
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and actually give people the freedom to speak to americans where they are. because this is not a time for purity tests. this is a moment -- this is a moment, actually, to set aside pet causes, pet issues, litmus tests. this is a moment to protect the republic. take it from john dean, who worked for richard 96 son, knows something about what can go wrong when republics corrode and are corrupted. >> for mullin who committed absolutely to the idea whether the president is dangerous. thank you both, happy new year. >> happy new year. >> happy new year. explosive new reporting on what actually led to the fbi investigation into possible collusion between russia and the trump campaign. what a trump campaign aide reportedly let slip about the clinton e-mails after a night of drinking.
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well, i happen to know some people. do they listen? what? they're amazing listeners. nice. guidance from professionals who take their time to get to know you. there was some huge news over the holiday weekend about a guy who may be about to become a lot more famous. former trump campaign adviser george paup dap husband, who
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pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with russians, who is now a cooperating witness in the mueller investigation. "the new york times" reported that last may, during a night of heavy drinking at an upscale bar in london, pa done husband told an australian diplomat that russia had political dirt on hillary clinton. according to court documents papadopoulos learned about the supposed dirt from a professor with connections to the russian government who told him russia had "thousands of e-mails" that would make clinton look bad. cut to a few months later, wikileaks starts released hacked e-mails from the democratic national committee, thousands of them. according to the "times" this prompts australian officials to tell their american counterparts what papadopoulos said during that drunken night in london. that tipping along with the belief russia was behind the hacking were driving factors that led the fbi to open an investigation into possible trump/russia collusion. this is a really big deal. for one, it's hard to imagine
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papadopoulos told an australian diplomat about the russian dirt on clinton, but somehow didn't mention it to the fairly notable -- a fairly notable piece of information to other members of the trump campaign. it undermines one of the right wing's key arguments in its attempts to discredit mule exert fbi, an argument you've seen from congressional republicans and trump tv. that it was the steele dossier that prompted the fbi to begin looking into the trump campaign. turns out not true. here with more on all of this is msnbc justice and security analyst matt miller, chief spokesman for the justice department under president obama. matt, the idea george papadopoulos brags to australian diplomats that russia has dirt on hillary clinton and does not mention that at all to anyone else in the trump campaign, does that seem realistic to you? >> no not at all, especially when you pair it up with everything else we know about george papadopoulos, which is that he was a climber who was very interested in moving his
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way up the campaign, was trying very hard to impress other campaign officials. it seems very hard to believe that he didn't share that information that would have rocketed up the chain of command probable to the candidate himself, the future president of the united states. that is critical, because if the president knew -- i think it's one of the key questions, when did the president find out that the russians had these stolen e-mails? george papadopoulos, his campaign staffer found out on april 26th. if he found out shortly after that, it colors all of his actions over the spring and the summer in a whole new light. for example, his comments that the united states might not defend its nato allies against russian aggression. his campaign's changing the platform to make it softer on defending ukraine. all these things start to look like a quid pro quo staring us in the face all along. >> you have to i guess wonder when he hears e-mails, what he was hearing. you had several people in the trump campaign that seemed to think that out there somewhere were hillary clinton's 33,000
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deleted e-mails. one wonders whether he thought that's what the russians had. do you think that's germane to the question in the investigation, was this more of the hunt for those e-mails or did he have knowledge these were the hacked dnc e-mails? >> we don't know exactly. i think bob mueller will know, as george papadopoulos is a cooperating witness. he's been very discreet in information he's released. he put just enough information out in that plea agreement that papadopoulos signed off on several months ago, so that we knew he was cooperating, we knew that he had something about e-mails, but not anything more. but it doesn't necessarily even really matter. look, the trump campaign had inside information about stolen e-mails, whether they were the dnc e-mail that is were released in july, whether they were the podesta e-mails released in october, you have to ask not only why was the trump campaign behaving the way it did to russia, but why didn't they go to the fbi? why didn't they do what any
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american citizen ought to do when they see a foreign government committing a crime in the united states, that's report it to authorities. i think we know the answer, because they wanted the help. >> you have to wonder why as late as october was "the new york times" reporting -- citing fbi sources essentially denying that there was an investigation into the trump campaign and ties to russia or that they had found such links. can you make any sense of that at all? >> you know, it's hard to know. i tenth to put more blame for that story on the fbi than the "new york times." that was one of the worst stories, misleading stories that came out during the campaign, and it really shut down a lot of reporting that reporters were starting to do at that time on what was then really a burgeoning investigation. i'm not sure whether "the new york times" -- whether the fbi was trying to wave the times off that story because they didn't think there was anything there, or might have been what law enforcement will sometimes do, try to downplay something because you're worried it's
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going to mess up investigative steps you're trying to stake. we don't know the answer, the fbi has never explained it, but it is one of the key questions a lot of us would like to know. >> does this revelation about papadopoulos and what he told those australian diplomats close the door on this idea from republicans that it was the steele dossier, which was initially paid for by republicans then picked up by democrats, that that was the source of the investigation? >> it blows a massive hole in that argument. this was always a silly argument, it doesn't matter where the information comes from. hillary clinton could have walked into the fbi herself with information about donald trump with a tip and as long as it was credible information, the fbi would have been only gated to act on it. it doesn't matter where it came from but that conspiracy theory, you can put it on the ashheap along with the wiretapping of trump tower, the unmasking scandal, the uranium scandal, looking at hillary clinton's e-mails again, all of the distractions they keep trying to come up with to divert people from the actual investigation. i think this one can go by the wayside as well. >> matt miller, thank you very much for being here tonight.
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>> thank you. up ahead, the white house today is defending the president's conspiracy theory aimed at his own department of justice. donald trump and the so-called deep state after this quick break. found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. eight hundred dollars when wet switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother.
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watching, exclamation point. normally such statements from an american president would carry a certain moral force, but in this case the president making those statements is donald trump. just about 30 minutes after urging iranians to fight against the regime, trump unleashed an attack against his alleged enemies in the united states that sounded like something from an authoritarian leader. "hillary clinton's top aide huma abedin has been accused of disregarding protocols, put classified passwords into the hands of former agents, jail, deep state, justice department must finally act, also on comey and others." not surprisingly trump's tweet about huma abedin appears to be a reaction to a "fox and friends" report. when trump once again attacks his own justice department, it's not a joke. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders had to say about the white house's deep state obsession next.
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does he believe the entire justice department and its more than 100,000 employees are part of this deep state? >> obviously he doesn't believe the entire justice department is part of that. you know, one of the things that the president has done is appoint christopher ray at the fbi because he wants to change the culture of that agency and he thinks he's the right person to do that. >> white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders today responded to more than one
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question about donald trump's latest tweets including the suggestion from an american president that individuals working for his political adversaries should be jailed. >> is the president requesting that the department of justice investigate huma abedin, and how did he reach this conclusion she should be in jail given that she hasn't been indicted or convicted of any crime? >> look, obviously the facts of that case are very disturbing. and i think the president wants to make clear that he doesn't feel that anyone should be above the law in terms of any investigation, that would be something the department of justice would need to decide and i would prefer you to them on whether or not they move forward. >> the president of the national iranian-american council, msnbc national security analyst ned price former special assistant to president obama and former senior director of the national security council. the notion of donald trump standing up for those protesters on the streets in iran, you know, typically we'd say, that's the president exercising a certain moral authority.
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do donald trump's words carry any moral authority among the citizens of iran? >> i really doubt that they do. i don't think any one of the protesters or anyone else in iran are taking their cues from donald trump. if you just look at what as happened in the last year, almost everything donald trump has done vis-a-vis iran has really negatively affected the iranian people. the muslim ban which is affecting iranian nationals more than any other nationality. that is despite the fact that there's not a single case of any terrorist attack conducted on u.s. soil, a lethal terrorist attack on u.s. soil, by an iranian national. 91.4% of the terrorist deads on u.s. soil have been conducted by foreign nationals from uae, saudi arabia, and egypt. none of them are on that list. so the iranians have taken that as a tremendous insult. they're essentially assumed to be terrorists until proven otherwise. moreover, when isis hit iran for the first time, they managed to actually strike tehran, the
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president's statement came out essentially blaming iran for it. i think it's the first time i've seen the united states essentially giving a free pass to isis. all of these things are really insulting ordinary iranians, who actually really dislike the iranian government. for trump now to think that he's actually -- has any moral authority or credibility with them is quite a fantasy. >> i wonder, maybe it's my lens of looking at donald trump from this side looking outward. but the way trump sounds, i wonder if your view, sounds more like the thor tarn governments he's purportedly criticizing than a typical american president. a brilliant piece today, "trump has not merely advocated for the notion of law enforcement as a mechanism for political attack, he's campaigned against those in the bureaucracy who have resisted his vision, attack on the fbi, public discrediting of intelligence findings inconvenient to him on russia, the question whether these politics or aspects of it
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catches on he's brought much of his party with him." not only the president but his party behaving in a way to say, any institution that does not personally serve the president is delegitimized, illegitimate. i wonder if that rings similar in your vein to some of these authoritarian regimes? >> certainly does. we have to remember the people that are protesting in iran right now have real grievances, both economic and political. they are facing a very, very tough situation. and i think it is not the right thing to do for the president to actually try to turn those things into political football over here in which he's trying to score points against obama administration, et cetera. in fact, there's things that need to be done to actually make sure that the situation in iran doesn't get worse. but what he seems to be doing, because these tweets seem to be carefully written, unlike much of the other stuff that he does. seems to be aimed, not at helping the protesters, but rather fanning the flames so that the situation gets more inflamed and more destabilizing. >> i think for a lot of people when they hear that the
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situation getting more inflamed and destabilizing, they worry about war. sarah huckabee sanders, as well as state department spokesperson heather newart, was asked if the trump administration was call for regime change in iran, here's the response. >> we support them giving basic rights to the people of iran. and we support them stopping being a state sponsor of terror. and we want to see those actions take place. >> i think what the president is talking about is exactly what the iranian people are saying. that they want change. they want the government to start taking care of them. >> ned price, does that sound like a government calling for regime change? >> well, joy, i think the concern here that some have articulated about is what we're seeing is a 2002 playbook, the same playbook the george w. bush administration used in the run-up to the invasion of iraq the following year in 2003. there has been an effort by
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president trump, by u.s. ambassadors to the u.n., nikki haley, h.r. mcmaster, secretary of state rex tillerson, to play up iran's ties to terrorism, to attribute to iran all sorts of malign behavior, much of which they are in fact responsible for, but to inflate iran's destabilizing role in the region and to cast it as this global villain, perhaps in an effort to prepare the battlefield both physically and metaphorically to actually start a conflict with iran. there are some hardliners in this administration which also includes cia director mike pompeo who has continuously faulted the iran deal, has sought to remove the united states from that pact which verifiably prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. i think the concern is legitimate that all of this could lead into a situation in which we are inching closer to military conflict. >> if you could please spell out for the american people, those watching, how much more
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catastrophic it would be to attempt to go to war with iran than iraq? >> well -- right. i think catastrophic is exactly the right word. it would be an invasion, a mission for which we would have little to no international support. possibly with the exception of israel. it would be an invasion that would wreak havoc not only on the region, but also on the globe. because reign is a government that is dine ed a state sponsor of terrorism. it also has organs that have global reach, including both hezbollah and the irgc, the iranian guard corps. it does indeed have a global presence. i think we'd not only have to be concerned with the reaction in the region what would happen in saudi arabia, what would happen in our other allies including jordan, but also the implications for israel. and then on top of that, you have the tentacles that iran has developed in other countries around the world, networks that could be activated.
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networks that could be activated to effect revenge against the united states and any other country foolish enough to join us in such a folly. >> the iranian people do not appear to be looking to donald trump's administration for leadership anyway. thank you both, appreciate you guys. donald trump taunts north korean leader kim jong-un on twitter saying he too has a nuclear button on his desk, but wait for it, his is bigger. the implications ahead. remember when roy moore's wife boasted one of their lawyers was jewish? well, about that. "thing 1, thing 2" is next.
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"thing 1" tonight, alabama senator-elect doug jones will be sworn in tomorrow becoming the 49th democrat in the upper chamber and the first senate
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karl malone frin democrat in 25 years. roy moore has yet to concede despite lose big tens of thousands of votes and after a judge threw out his lawsuit alleging voter fraud. doug jones' margin of victory increased to nearly 22,000 votes. today we got a little more information on the returns from that race. it has to do with the voting ballot for one particular alabama lawyer. >> one of our attorneys is a jew. >> well, do you wonder who that attorney voted for? that is "thing 2" in 60 seconds. . at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo! while saving for the things when it comes to travel, i sweat the details. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows...
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i tell you all this because i've seen it all so i want to set the record straight while they're here. one of our attorneys is a jew. >> well, there was a lot of speculation about who that attorney might be until last week when the "forward" reported it's a lawyer richard jaffe, an attorney who defended roy moore's son against drug charges in 2016. today richard jaffe told "the washington examiner" he voted for his long-time friend doug jones. there could not be more passionate supporter of doug than me, also confirmed that he both donated to and raised money for jones. jaffe says he plans to be on capitol hill tomorrow to witness doug jones' official swearing-in. and tiny. and this is laura's mobile dog grooming palace. laura can clean up a retriever that rolled in foxtails,
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donald trump has started 2018 with a twitter rampage. if you had questions about his stability in 2017, tonight's tweets will be of no comfort to you. this is moments ago. "i will be announcing the most dishonest and corrupt media awards of the year on monday at 5:00. subjects will cover dishonesty and bad reporting in various categories from the fake news media, stay tuned, exclamation point." even more troubling a tweet he directed at north korea. "north korean leader kim jong-un just stated that the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. will someone from his depleted and food-starved regime please inform him that i too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his and my button works, exclamation point." trump comparing nuclear button size with kim jong-un. putting the world at risk in the process. we'll discuss next.
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joinl joining me is our guests, kathryn, you first, on these two tweets, the buttoning kathryn, you first, on these two tweets, the button with capitals and the media awards, donald trump is tweeting by. your thoughts? >> look, this is more trumping trump except now the survival of
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the entire planet is at risk, of course. the nuclear button tweet, it's too on the nose, right? it's like i have a bigger button and mine works and his doesn't. it's like somebody hasn't told him how this is reading to the rest of the world, and for all that we heard months ago, a year ago about how trump was playing this game of 3 d chess, this isn't 3 d chess. this is a child getting angry and knocking the board over and the rest of us have to pay for it. >> john, there is ample evidence from all of the writeups that doesn't care but he doesn't do what he does for history, for the rest of the world. he specifically does it to entertain his fans. this is -- is there any sort of real world example that you can point us to of any president viewing his job this way? >> definitely not. there has never been one. one of the great achievements of
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u.s. diplomacy over the last half century has been managing nuclear tensions in the world, and that's because presidents have viewed their responsibilities as awesome, as grave, that they have exercised discernment and judgment and not engaged in reckless behavior, you know, the teddy roosevelt of speak softly and carry a big stick as kathryn indicated. the president does the opposite and it's frightening to think that the leader of the free world or the leader of the most powerful country in the world has so little regard for the responsibilities of his office and we were talking last week about the interview he gave to the "new york times" where again, it does not seem that he understands the responsibilities of the office, the limitations of the office, what he has to do and, you know, i can careless
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about the media awards. that's, you know, ridiculous, but harmless. this other is not harmless. >> you know, kathryn, so you just had democratic representative eric said if you love our country, help me put this lunacy in check. tell donald trump this is not normal behavior. they want to make sure congress has say before he pushes the button. there is no evidence unless you have reporting to bring to the table that republicans see this as dangerous enough to do anything about it, am i wrong? >> we don't know what is going on behind the scenes but certainly in front of the scenes, they have not done much to stand up to the president on really any issue, whether it comes to mueller, whether it comes to foreign policy and incredibly damaging things that he's putting out as formal presidential statements via twitter or really rather it's in regard to anything he's doing to damage the reputation around the world. so i'm loathed to be hopeful
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that we would imagine that congressional members, republican congress men and women are doing much and care much. i think that they are talking to one another about gee, this seems terrible, what will we do? they don't seem to be having the spine to stand up and ciriticiz this president. they are worried aboutpry march -- primaries from the right. >> it leads to the question whether or not, the problem is donald trump who obviously has own own version of reality he lives in and feels completely free to say whatever is on his mind. is the problem him or quite frankly the republican party that is going along with this, that is being, you know, changing its own language to match this. is the problem broader than trump? >> well, sure.
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and it's not just in the realm of irresponsibility with national security sensitive situations. you know, the whole issue of president trump using the office to make his businesses healthier or to make money, you know, appearing at trump properties and charging people high fees to go to parties with him, that sort of thing. that is, that's behavior that the republican party is not stepping up and speaking out against, but it's fueling what is happening in the country right now, which is a reaction ajens t against the republican party and trump and the desire of voters that we saw in virginia and alabama and the polls tell us that voters getting ready to make this statement nationally of people wanting to put the brakes on what they are seeing out of this president. >> kathryn, i think probably what is the most tragic for people is none of this was
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unanticipatable. donald trump had been a figure for a long time. during the campaign i can't resist playing this sound byte in which his opponent wanted to have her locked up said the following about donald trump. >> and in fact, his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling, that is the number one threat we face in the world and it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get hands on nuclear material. so a man that can be provoked by a tweet, should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes as far as i think anyone with any sense about this should be concerned. >> that's getting a little old. >> it's a good one, though. well-described the problem. >> not an accurate one at all. >> is the tragedy compounded by the fact so much of this was anticipatable? >> yes, and for months, we heard he's going to pivot. he's going to become more
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presidential. he'll grow into the role. none of that has happened. none of it has happened. we have seen him just get board and restless and watching fox news and gets agitated and decides that i need to tweet something that could cause i'm measurable damage around the world because i feel like it. i'm going to tweet something that's going to cause i inmeasurable damage here in the united states and degrading and wearing down on democratic norms. he hasn't improved. he hasn't gotten better. many of the worst fears have come true. in that clip, actually, i was very much hoping that when hillary clinton said that he shouldn't have his, what did she say? finger near the nuclear code, i was hoping she would say the nuclear button. >> very quickly, john harwood, does the media need to change the way they treat this person? he's being treated relatively normal by much of the media.
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>> i think the coverage, joy, is beginning to reflect concern about his behavior, mental functioning, maturity level and fitness for the office. event haves tavents have taken the press. >> appreciate you guys. thank you that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening, joy, thanks for helping the ship so ably when i was gone. >> you're welcome. >> when you go to heaven, you'll get a lot of days off work. like one big snooze bar for you, joy reid. every morning you think you have to go to work and god will say uh-uh, sleep in, baby. >> i love it. >> that's how it works. >> have a great show. >> thanks to you at home for joining us. >> it's really great to be back. raise your hand if you're wearing longjohns right now? [ laughter ] >> me, too.


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