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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 3, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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crumble. it's been this way for a generation now. we have seen each party build up enough power to push its agenda through. what we don't see is the public then reward either party for what it's done. backlashes in waves have become the norm. so have transfers of power like we watched today. that's "hardball" for now. all in with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in," live from washington, d.c. on a big day for democrats. >> to the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, i extend to you this gavel. >> nancy pelosi and the democrats have taken power in the house. >> house democrats are down with ndp. nancy delasandro pelosi. >> we shouldn't avoid impeachment for a political reason. >> plus my interviews with two new committee chairs about to start exercising the first trump
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era. >> reclaiming my time. >> as we await for the first time to reopen the government. some of the new faces of the new congress join me live. >> nancy pelosi. >> "all in" live from the capitol starts right now. good evening from washington, d.c. i'm chris hayes. for the first time since donald trump entered the white house nearly two years ago, there is tonight, check, on this presidency. it has been an historic day here in the nation's capital. it is not over yet. this is a live look at the house floor where very soon we expect nancy pelosi and the newly empowered democratic majority to engage in their first concrete exercise of power. a vote to end the 13-day-old trump shutdown and reopen the government. the bills of the new house majority plan to pass are similar to what already passed overwhelmingly in the gop-led senate as pelosi noted upon
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taking the gavel this afternoon. >> we will debate in advance good ideas no matter where they come from. and in that spirit, democrats will be offering the senate republican appropriations legislation to reopen government later today. >> standing in the way of hundreds of thousands of americans getting paid and getting back to work is one man really. the president of the united states who appeared briefly today to congratulate pelosi and insist on funding for the border wall that mexico was supposed to pay for. the president refused to take a single question from reporters. now, the stark difference in the current makeup of the two parties, their coalitions, and their politicians has never been more clear. the gop represented by a sea of white male faces both at the white house and the house of he want represents where only 13% were women and 9% -- and led by the woman who became the first female speaker of the house in
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2007. and was now returned to that position 12 years later. for donald trump, this is a nightmare scenario. house democrats now have subpoena power which means they can compel to that testimony and make people turn over documents that trump and his allies would very much like to keep hidden. investigations will come from a variety of committees. i'm joined now from the man who will chair one of the most important of them. adam schiff, the new chair of the house intelligence committee. how are you feeling today? >> good. good. it's a new day. >> you now chair this committee which was the subject of tremendous scrutiny under devin nunes. the question is there was a formal inquiry that that committee convened and released a report saying there was no coalition, nothing to see here. what do you do now? do you restart the inquiry? >> for us it never ended. the republicans walked away from it. as you say, they issued a report which was a political document saying nothing to see here. we believe everybody who came in
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had everything they had to say included michael cohen and everybody else. we always thought that it was perilous to just suggest that we don't have to compel answers to questions. we don't have to do any follow-up to get documents materialized. the things that are a staple of real investigations. we see what a folly that was. for our part when the republicans walked away and they devoted their time to investigate the investigators kept our work going. we kept bringing witnesses in. it was hard because we couldn't compel them. we're going to continue that work. we're going to invite the republicans to rejoin the investigation if they're interested, if they're willing. we'd like to work in the bipartisan fashion which we committed to doing at the outset. but it will be up to them whether they're interested. >> are there glaring holes, glaring things that are the obvious first priorities in terms of getting your hands on in terms of subpoenas or requests? >> there are.
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and, you know, i've held up this example before because it's such a graphic illustration of the kind of investigations the republicans were leading and where they fell short. we know in the run-up to this meeting at trump tower that there were phone calls going back and forth between trump junior and the russian oligarch son where don junior was trying to find out are the russians serious and should i take this meeting, should i bring my brother-in-law, should i bring the campaign chairman. this is the most important time, they haven't even sewn up the nomination yet. >> right. >> and sandwiched between those calls are a blocked call. and we wanted to know did that come from the president? was the president involved in the planning or the approval of this meeting? so we said let's subpoena the phone records and find out. and the answer was no, we don't want to know. >> so can you just do that tomorrow? >> well, we can't actually do it tomorrow because we don't have a
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committee constituted yet. but when we are constituted, we can get those phone records. and we're going to continue to for our part seek voluntary compliance and only use a subpoena as a last resort, but we anticipate it will be a necessary resort in some cases. >> what about witnesses that have come before your committee and told you things that you now suspect are false? >> well, probably our first step will be to provide the transcripts to bob mueller so he can have the benefit of the evidence they contain but also determine and take appropriate action where people came before a committee and lied. and hold them accountable as indeed michael cohen was held accountable. so that's an early and i think important step. >> you -- i want to take a step back for a second. because i think people who have sort of come to follow your committee closely in this era have a view of it that's very different from what its reputation had been. when i was covering congress in an office right over there, the intelligence committee is one of those glad handy very bipartisan committees.
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you guys sort of stood kind of four square largely because there was a real kind of back and forth with the intelligence community. it's all very secret and cloak and dagger. i mean, how much has the committee been broken? its culture, its institutional basis by the last two years? >> i'll tell you the good news and the bad news. the bad news has been pretty obvious. we operate in a bipartisan fashion up until march 20th. that was the day in 2017 when james comey testified publicly before our committee that there were actually two investigations, not just a clinton investigation, but there had been one of the trump organization. that prompted the now infamous midnight run by our chairman the following day or evening. that completely blew up bipartisan work on the russia investigation. you can't conduct a legitimate investigation if you're basely in cahoots with someone who may be implicated in that investigation. the good news is notwithstanding
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all of that dysfunction on the russia investigation, we continue to do the work that you were familiar with about our committee before which was the day job, the bread and butter, the oversight of these mammoth agencies making sure they're funded appropriately and doing the work they should and maintaining people's privacy. >> and operating legally. >> and operating constitutionally and legally. all of that we have continued to do in a nonpartisan way. you don't see that -- >> i guess the point there is from a sort of human level but institutionally you're able to cordon those things off from each other. >> we have. mr. nunes and i made the decision without ever the need to discuss it. we were not going to let our differences on the russia investigation impede the other vital work of the committee. >> there's a broader question. there's a question i want to ask all of democratic leadership. we're living now through this era of both polarization, institutional norms unwinding,
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and i think maximalism legislatively. okay? one of the big victories of the congress was they used the debt ceiling default as a kind of threat to get an austerity legislation passed. it worked. it was unprecedented nearly. what is your personal theory of your wielding of power and your respect for norms balanced against imperatives to deal with what you're dealing with? >> well, i think we need to get back to operating rationally and civilly. we have to stop holding the government and all of its employees and contractors hostage when you can't get the votes for your priority whether it's a wall or anything else. so we need to get back to some rational order. we don't want to repeat the mistakes, the excesses, the overzealous parnship. >> what if that's the way it
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works now? what if you can't put humpty dumpty back together again? >> we fight hard and tough and smart for our priorities. but we also recognize there's something bigger than us. that we're going to come and go in this beautiful building behind us. and we have an obligation to the entire country and to its institutions. right now this is the most precarious time in my lifetime in terms of our republic. we have a president who denigrates the freedom of the press who goes after the independents of the judiciary. and in so many ways i think is threatening the livelihood of our democracy. the answer to that cannot be more of the same. that just drags us all down. >> congressman adam schiff, the new chair of the house intelligence committee. thank you for making time on this big day. huge day for democrats as they take control of the house and are expected to vote on ending that shutdown and reopening the government tonight. while we await that, i'll be joined by someone who is now one of the most powerful people in
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washington, d.c. maxine waters. right after this. shington, d.c. maxine waters. right after this what's your leadership position now? >> chair of the house democratic caucus. >> getting all profiles written up? >> i'm all in on this person here. >> on the up and up. right. s person here >> on the up and up. right. its place. and if i can get comfortable keeping this tookus safe and protected... you can get comfortable doing the same with yours. preparation h. get comfortable with it.
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i am a techie dad.n. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools
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that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. we are back here live outside the capitol where we are moments away from a vote to reopen the government. the first official action that house democratic majority leader nancy pelosi said she would introduce legislation that passed a few weeks ago. the white house has said the president plans to veto the
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bill. of course he already said that he would be the one shutting the government down. now, before today the house committee on financial services has never been chaired by an african-american or chaired by a woman. that all changed today when maxine waters of california took the gavel this afternoon. she becomes one of the most powerful people in washington joining the other democratic committee chairs. congresswoman maxine waters joins me now. >> thank you. >> you said you were up all night working last night. >> yes. >> what were you working on? >> basically getting prepared for the work that we have to do today and tomorrow perhaps and maybe over the weekend. >> you've got a lot on your plate on this committee. i want to play something. there are a few news stories to people about how will the chair waters deal with investigating trump or doing other things. this is what you had to say today. take a listen. >> those who say i'm going to spend all my time trying to get subpoenas and trying to do investigation and i'm not going to do that.
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i'm just going to spend some of my time. >> you cracked yourself up. >> that's right. >> so how are you thinking about the balance between those two imperatives? >> first of all, we have to be clear we have lots of responsibilities in this committee. and as you know, i've been focused on the consumer financial protection bureau. that was the center piece of the dodd/frank reform. and mulvaney who was sent over temporarily by the president to oversee it after the guy who headed it left to run for governor. and he's tried to dismantle the consumer financial protection bureau. and before we got the consumer financial protection bureau in the dodd/frank legislation, consumers had no real protection. nobody was looking out for them. and so this is extremely important. i'm going to focus on that and we're going to try and undo the
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damage that mulvaney has done. fair housing, the gses, that is fannie and freddie. we have all of that work to do. so we're going to do our work. now, don't forget. inquiries into deutsche bank was part of the work we had already started to do. we had sent letters to deutsche bank trying to find out about two internal reviews that they had done. and what did they find out? of course they did not answer us. we've been trying to find out about the money ties to russia through deutsche bank. we know that deutsche bank lends this president -- have loaned him a lot of money. and we want toe know whether or not any money laundering is going on. so we'll do that continuing our work. but we won't be concentrated just on that. >> deutsche bank has already paid these enormous settlements with both domestic and international regulators about
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money laundering. you had pre-existing inquiries. they happened to be the bank that became the lender of last resort to the president. >> that's right. no other bank will lend him money. >> so do you want to talk to the head of deutsche bank? are you going to investigate him? >> i think we are going to follow up on the letters we have already sent and see if they have a change of mind. now that things have changed in the house. >> you're saying the letters you sent them as the ranking member? >> that's right. he did not respond to those. we've got to see if they're more cooperative then we see where we go from there. >> you talked about mulvaney. there's been two things that have happened in the area you oversee of financial services. one is a deregulatory push at the sort of executive level. there's also been legislation passed that rolled back part of dodd/frank. how dangerous do you think the last two years having for the system? >> the last two years have been
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very dangerous. i have been appalled and surprised at how blatant it has been. this administration is not at all concerned about the welfare of the average family. and the welfare of people who are struggling every day to make a living. they don't mind them getting ripped off in many ways. whether we're talking about the consumer financial protection bureau that oversees things like payday loans, are they involved in, you know, trying to -- this administration is involved in many ways in trying to undo the work that we have done to try and protect the average family and homeowners. >> you entered congress, i believe, in 1991. right? >> yes. >> so that's been 28 years ago. what is it like today to see this incoming class and the variety of backgrounds they represent compared to what it was like when you walked in and took that oath 28 years ago? >> well, it's very different. when i came to congress, the
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financial services committee was the old banking committee. and people were fleeing the bank because there was a bank scandal going on. >> right. >> so those of us who were pushed onto it were kind of punished. >> oh, it was a bad assignment? >> terrible assignment. >> oh, because of savings and loans? >> the savings and loans that was going on. >> so you got on there with a back water? >> that's right. but i paid my dues. i stayed on. i worked hard. i learned from great chairmen. >> you've been on 28 years the whole time? >> yes. yes. >> wow. >> and i learned an awful lot. i know an awful lot. and i've been the leader as the ranking member for the democratic caucus in helping to explain to them the issues that go through that committee and helping to guide my caucus in trying to make sure we protect some of the work that we have done for the consumers. >> you know, the big banks hated the cfpb. >> yes.
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>> they have hated it from day one. >> that's right. >> they've been fighting it the whole time. what is your analysis of how much control wall street has now? ten years after the big crisis, after the crash, after dodd/frank. having this new group that came to town and let the reins off a little bit. where do things stand? >> let me just say this. and i've said it over and over again. the big banks of america have basically control of the congress of the united states as far as their issues are concerned. many of our members have failed to even try to rein them in because the way that they have concocted these issues, it makes it sound as if it's so complicated that nobody else understands or knows what they're doing when they talk about derivatives and margins. they talk about the bond market, et cetera, but it's not that complicated at all. and so what i am saying to the big banks right now is stop it. stop it.
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don't come in here with all of these bills where you're trying to undo everything that we have done and you're sending a message to your investors that you're looking out for them. i want a moratorium on this. >> you're telling them that? don't come here and lobby on doing stuff. >> that's right. >> i imagine they give you money, right? they contribute to you. >> not really. i don't take money from the big banks. >> you don't? >> i have taken contributions from small community banks, but i don't really take money from the big banks. >> a lot of people on that committee -- it's funny you said you were put there as a back water, that party has become enormous. because you could raise money because all of the interests start writing you checks. >> right. >> it's part of the nature of that committee. from day one, you're put on financial services and you're getting checks. >> this certainly has happened and it's been talked about. and i think that not only are many of our new members not wanting to be involved in that
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kind of support from those who are looking for something in exchange. some of our other members have resisted that slowly, but it has been the way that many members have been able to raise money. because they may be in difficult districts and they need the campaign contributions and they have just allowed themselves to receive those contributions from those banks. >> i want to ask you same question i just asked chair schiff. a lot of people look at the ways that the republicans conducted themselves in the house. and they see a lot of sort of destruction of norms and precedent. but also some effectiveness in terms of getting the budget control act in 2010 with this -- 2011 with this blatant threat about defaulting on the debt ceiling. how do you think about balancing the sort of new norms and maximalism about getting things done that you want to get done and respect for not destroying things in your wake? >> it is not easy to do. number one, we have a financial
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services community that's very central to our economy. we need the banks. we need them to operate and provide certain kind of services. but that does not mean that they could use their influence and their power to basically control the decisions of congress. and we're going to have to work hard at it. one of the good things about what is happening is some of our younger members are going to be very vocal. the newer members are going to be very vocal. >> you like that? >> yes i do. i like that. they're going to raise questions. you're going to see a new kind of approach in the hearings that we have. they're going to come right out with it. they won't be ashamed. they won't be afraid. they believe in what they're doing. i think that's good for the institution. >> congresswoman now chair of the house financial services committee, 28 years in your tenure. first african-american woman to chair that committee, thank you so much. >> you're so welcome and thank you. much more live tonight outside of the capitol where nancy pelosi reclaimed the gavel as the speaker of the house,
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first person to do so in over 60 years. you guys ready for the first day, opening day? >> it's a brand new day. >> are these your majority suits? >> majority suits. are tsehe yoy suits? >> majority suits.
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congressman hakim jeffreys nomination for pelosi got
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everyone up. >> down with ndp. nancy dlasandro pelosi. may god bless her. may god bless the united states of america. >> short time later after securing 220 votes, pelosi did something that has not been done in more than 60 years. she reclaimed the gavel as speaker of the house. the last person to do that was texas democrat sam ray burn in 1955. a politician whose legacy is so renowned the swearing in takes place in the rayburn room in the capitol. that's the legislative company she now finds herself in as she is once again second in line to the presidency. for more on this i'm joined by lynn sweet, jennifer ruben, and adam jetelson. lynn, someone said to me
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today -- a legislator said if you were doing a fantasy draft on capitol hill right now of legislative talent, just pure -- he said your number one pick would be nancy pelosi and now she's running the house. >> absolutely. another point to make since we're talking about history here. don't estimate the consequence of her being a female. because in the dozen years since between her having the gavel. 2007 and 2011 and today, she is still the only female who has been the speaker in the entire history of the united states of america. >> adam, what do you -- you know, people are talking about already the fractures and lines in this new democratic caucus. i think any majority caucus has them. that's sort of the nature of politics. the nature being the majority because you've got to keep a bigger group together. what do you think of what this house majority caucus looks like and where it will be on the spectrum of sort of craziness of the speakerships to the much
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more powerful leadership of pelosi the first time around? >> yeah. i mean, look. i think the caucus looks like america. and i think the visuals today were striking. you have the democratic side of the house chamber looking incredibly diverse, colorful in dress and in skin color. it was wonderful. and then on the other side, you had a mostly male, mostly white group of republicans. so i think the visual contrast was pretty stark. in terms of the divisions, look. there's going to be family squabbles. but that's all a function of energy. what you have here is an incredible amount of new energy, a deep commitment to policy, and the battles that we're having, the arguments, the family squabbles are about policy ideas. they're about new ideas, bold ideas like the green new deal. so it can lead to disagreements here and there but fundamentally what you see is energy and that's a good thing as democrats. >> you know, jennifer, what adam just said. it was striking. i was in the capitol today and i
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was in the room where they were doing the ceremonial swering in. a lot of folks with young kids because there's a lot of fairly young new members. and it's just so striking because where we have ended up in 2019 is like two coalitions in american life. one is very multiracial and fairly gender equitable in terms of the politicians. although still not at total parity. and the other is not. and you can't avoid just seeing it in front of your face when you walk around the capitol now. >> absolutely. and you're right. that picture on one hand of these gray in hair color and in suit color on the republican side and these colorful women and just the joy with which she accepted the gavel. she looked pleased as punch today and she should be. there was some joy. there was talk of love. there was talk of unity. there was talk of the constitution. i couldn't help but go back to the inaugural address that weird
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blankty blank blank that donald trump greeted us with. with carnage and darkness and hatred, kind of a dismal view of america compared to what she was talking about. which is each time we swear in a new congress, it's a rebirth of democracy. and these are problems we can solve together. if you put aside the pure partisanship, in some ways it was a reaganesque speech. not simply because she quoted ronald reagan. it was morning in america. it was we can do it. it was positive. it was respectful towards the people who defend us around the world. it was talking about american leadership in the world. she sounds more like ronald reagan than the current republican party does. >> lynn? >> well, she has this so thought through, chris. everything has been thought through. the methodical way she reclaimed the leadership, the way she's
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going to conduct the speakership, her knowing how to be a legislator. she likes to, you know, give herself the compliment she's a master legislator. she is the rare person who could master -- is a master of politics and is a master of policy and can marry the two. she could do domestic policy. she could do international global policy. she could do trade. part of this is the vast experience she has. which i think i hope when the new members, many of who are younger without experience, i hope they devalue experience as it goes along. with all the new ideas. and she welcomed that newness, but i just hope that experience is not devalued. >> you know, adam, it's funny lynn says that. there's one part of the freedom caucus i admired which was the idea of it doesn't have to always be done the way it was before. there's a sort of
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rambunctiousness. it could be healthy for any democracy that the push towards conformity and the way the fund raisers work over new members, it is kind of important for the new class to resist that, right? >> i completely agree. i mean, you know, the world around our legislative body changes. and so the legislative body itself also needs to change and adapt to the new realities around it. and i thought, you know, you're already seeing that in some extremely productive and healthy ways. you saw a lot of the incoming freshmen tweeting out from the orientation process about the number of lobbyists that were doing the orientation welcoming them to washington and telling them how things were done. and simply naming the names of people and pointing out the vast majority of them were lobbyists were a productive thing to do. i think raising those kinds of issues is very healthy, very productive. and will lead to a healthier legislative body. >> there was a funny, weird
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moment today when the president came out of the briefing room that was a transparently desperate attempt to sort of wrench attention back from this day and capitol hill which i don't think worked. now the house tonight just in a few minutes is going to pass this bill to reopen the government. the white house has issued a veto threat. now this sort of standoff begins between pelosi and trump. where do you see it going? >> i think it's interesting that donald trump had his temper tantrum. mitch mcconnell declared that the senate has no role so i guess they can go home. >> yeah. he took himself out of it. >> so much of the great -- body in the world, what a force that has become. and so the american people see a picture. a temper tantrum, a guy who's checked out, and a woman full with energy trying to reopen the government, trying to fix medicaid, trying to fix medicare, trying to fix education. there is a difference now in intensity and interest in governance and in energy.
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and i hate to say it, but those republicans are low energy guys right now. and all they're doing is moping around, obsessing over their wall. they're not getting anything done. they can't even keep the lights on. so i think she has a unique opportunity here to really hit them -- smack them in the face and tell the american people you want people like us or you want people like them. and every single poll we see and it's no surprise for those of us who have been around for awhile says a quarter of america backs this crazy shutdown? that number is probably going to drop to about 15% if this goes on. and the trash piles up in the national parks. >> although someone said today if you're the president, it's either this or, you know, special counsel headlines or subpoena headlines or, you know, who the heck is your a.g. and why is he covering up his role in this corrupt enterprise that he was on the board of? >> and why do you have interim
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other cabinet agencies? here's the thing. nancy pelosi is playing chess while the president for the moment is playing checkers, as they say. because you just had two chairman on who are going to launch investigations. he could come in and make a turn at a briefing for a sugar high if he wants some attention. it's not going to stop the trajectory that the house democrats are on. >> that's what changed today. i think really for the first time is power. >> absolutely. >> all caught in this vortex for three years. now there's actually a change in power. i want you to stick around. come back to you in a bit. meanwhile, back inside that building behind me right now, we're still awaiting a vote on the house floor to reopen the government as you said. and as we've been noting all night, it will be the first big vote for the most diverse freshman class in american history. i spoke to two incoming democrats with two incredible stories just moments ago. joining me now two members of that freshman class.
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new mexico who won the state's most conservative district. and the state's first african-american congressman. great to have you here. >> great to be here. >> how'd it feel today? >> after you. >> i think remarkable is a great word. amidst all of the hectic craziness, as soon as you walk through to that dome, you have to stop and take a breath and just realize this incredible responsibility that we have. >> it was a special day. and i think as you said, this class is very reflective of the american dream. a lot of historic firsts. so it was incredible to be able to share it with sochi and so many members of our freshmen class. >> your parents came as refugees in 1980, right? >> they did. my mom and dad came from aritria. and for my dad to see me sworn in today -- >> it must have been wild.
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>> it was special. and it's reflective of this country and how great this country is. >> then you're also entering at a time when u.s. refugee admittance is the lowest in decades. we're seeing what's happening at ports of entry to stop people from getting in to stake their legal claim to asylum. like, how much does that inform what your mission is here? >> i grew up along the border. my grandmother immigrated from mexico. so having my dad here was powerful. to have his mother be a farm worker and his daughter a member of congress. that's how i know it's so important to have a boarder tha is vibrant and strong. as we address border security, a fundamental piece of that is a clear and moral immigration system that works, that's not used as a talking point to divide people. >> as someone who represents 178 miles of border in your
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district, as someone who represents actual border and places that can be quite dangerous to cross one of the young women of the girl who died 7-year-old came through which is in your district.
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but we also need the fiacilitie where we have these changes circumstances. where we have families who are presenting instead of single men who are being there. we have to respond to those changing circumstances. >> you represent the area around boulder. wh what is the racial makeup of that area? >> 90% white. >> you're one of an interesting phenomena in this year's class. there are five or six representing majority white districts. i think before this congress there was maybe one. how much do you think about that? how much is that even a factor in the way you think of the dynamics of representation? >> i don't think about it too much. at least with respect to colorado, my election and others are reflective of how inclusive looking of a state we are. my predecessor is now the first
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openly gay governor in the state. we're a forward looking state. i'm grateful for the voters sending me to represent them in congress. i think the election as a whole, there's much to glean from what was said. that they're going to have faith and trust in you if you do the right thing. >> it's just nuts to -- the president ran on this sort of threat, threat, threat, the wall, they're coming for you, the caravan. they got their butts kicked. the biggest majority, you know, popular majority in history. now you're starting day one with the government shutdown over that same rhetoric from the president. >> and being on the border, what's frustrating to me is that it's being distilled to this or that rather than realizing the complexity of what it means. rather than use it as a talking point, i say look at solving the problems. >> you're sitting on the border. the president will go to a rally in duluth, minnesota, and talk
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about the southern border and build a wall. people go nuts. >> that's why i'm honored to represent my home. >> it's dishonest. and morally reprehensible. >> there's a rules package today. one of the things that's gotten a bit of news is the idea you are pledging if you're going to appropriate new money that you have to find tax revenue for it. a lot of people are like, why are you doing -- do you see what the republicans have done? they don't bind themselves. they don't put themselves in these handcuffs. why do you do it? >> i believe in fiscal responsibility. i know we have to make tough choices because nothing comes for free. but when we have something to comply with existing law which would require it anyways, it's important to be in control. for us to take responsibility for those tough choices. >> we represent a lot of different areas of the country that will have different views on this. i thought the representatives struck the right tone in a compromise that ultimately we
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should have a repealing. but the rules package has a whole lot in it that's helpful for the citizens of our country. t a select committee on the climate crisis. i voted yes because i thought on balance it was worth pursuing and supporting. >> i got to say, it's great to talk to you guys. talking to members of congress that are younger than me, i feel old. it's great to talk to you. thank you very much. >> thank you, chris. with democrats in control of the house judiciary committee, they have new tools to hold the acting attorney general who is still there somehow to account how they plan to use him right after this. here with congresswoman mcbath. the newest member from georgia's sixth district. squeezing out an improbable victory. how does it feel to be here today? >> exciting. ready to get to work for the people. ready to get to work for the people
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with democrats now in control of the house, one of their first priorities is oversight of the woefully underqualified man currently running america's justice department. ethically suspect matt whitaker who was never confirmed and whose performance yesterday in a cabinet meeting made clear how he got the job. >> sir, mr. president, i will start by highlighting the fact that you stayed in washington, d.c., over the holidays giving up christmas with your family, new year's with your family trying to bring an end to this shutdown and security to our southern border. you have demonstrated your dedication to delivering on this critical issue for our country and for the american people. >> the new house judiciary cheer nadler sent a letter calling him to testify this month and now nadler is offering a subpoena if whitaker doesn't show up. joining us now is analyst matt
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miller former chief spokesperson. i know it happened yesterday and i talked about it on the show last night, but i would like to hear from you as someone who used to work at the you made of mr. whitaker's performance yesterday. >> it's so embarrassing for him and for the department, although i will say jeff sessions did the same thing during cabinet meetings. >> that's true. >> it's not exactly a new thing. jeff session went and grovelled before the president just as much as matt whitaker did yesterday. i have a lot of problems with matt whitaker and that was an embarrassing performance. >> continuity. >> yeah. >> this is a piece of news that's pretty wild to me, and it takes a little unpack, and you had strong reactions to it. i want to talk about it a sec. this is from eric tucker. he said acting ag matt whitaker had breakfast at the willard hotel with former ag ed meese
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continues his investigation into various concerns raised in the last year by gop lawmakers including claims of improper surveillance. so here you've got jeff session under tremendous pressure from house republicans to initiate a bunch of counter investigations into the investigation to try to tie the justice department up in knots. he kicked it to a guy named john huber, i think mostly to say okay, guys, you happy now? and you've got whitaker briefing ed meese about it? >> ongoing investigations you don't talk to the public about. you don't talk to private citizens about it. even formers attorneys general, just because you used to run the justice department that you get briefed in ongoing investigations. it's something about whitaker. i think most people, if they entered office under a cloud, as he has, would bend over backwards to not make further mistakes. he has taken the opposite approach. it's a trr trumpian way of acting. if you're steeped in corruption, do everything wrong.
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don i think you're right that i think this investigation or review is never quite clear what it was, that sessions probably started just to get house republicans and get the president off his back, but that was nine months ago when he started these two things. it doesn't take nine months to do a preliminary review to do something where there was no criminal predicate to investigate. >> right. >> that leads you to two conclusions. one, either they are investigating this and going around investigating something for completely political reasons, or they found that there is nothing really to review, but they just won't say it, and they're leaving a cloud over the department. >> right. >> just to appease the president. . >> whitaker has been in this job longer than i thought could possibly be the case, although everything is new in this era. william barr, who has been nominated to secede him, and there has been hearings, do you see him before this house judiciary committee before then? >> well, look, that's obviously what nadler is going to try. he did commit apparently in a
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phone conversation with nadler late last year to coming at some point in january. but i suspect what he is going to try to do is run out the clock. barr now has a confirmation hearing in mid-january. he'll probably be confirmed barring some problem. you would think by mid-february or so, if you look at the timeline under which past attorneys general have been confirmed. so giving that timeline, it wouldn't surprise me if whitaker tries to run out the clock there are questions he isn't going to want to answer. about the mueller investigation before he was appointed there was this report over the holidays that the president asked him why more wasn't being done to control the southern district of new york prosecutors who were investigating the president and his family and his private organization. i think that's a pretty clear criminal act. i'm sure whitaker doesn't want to talk about that or whether he followed up on the president's request. so it's an extremely difficult hearing for him. unless he is going to go up there and just refuse to answer any questions, you would see why he would try to run out the clock. i think that's why he ends up with a subpoena from the judiciary committee.
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>> matt miller, thank you so much. >> thank you. the newly empowered house democratic majority plans to vote tonight on reopening the government. the package includes funding for border security, but not a dime for the trump border wall that he told us all over and over that mexico would pay for. i'm joined by lynn swede, jennifer rubin and adam eidelson. i want to pick up where we picked up about the dynamics of the showdown. you worked in harry reid's office and you've been through these back and forths. one of the asymmetries that happens in a shutdown is republicans by and large don't care. they're not big fans anyway. they think that all the people that work for the federal government are libs who don't vote their way. so who cares if they aren't getting a paycheck. what do you think about that dynamic this time around? >> yeah, i think that's absolutely right. and i think this time there is an extra layer of bizarreness
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for lack of a better word where so in 2013, when we're going through the shutdown, you at least have the feeling like the players involved were responding rationally to what was happening in the world around them. so if republicans endured days of terrible press stories, you could reliably count on the fact that they would respond accordingly, and that that would weaken their position. but so far republicans have endured close to two weeks of terrible stories, and it hasn't seemed to change their resolve whatsoever. in addition to their national disinclination to care about the government, they don't seem to care about the fact that they're getting absolutely destroyed in press coverage, and that poll after poll shows the public overwhelmingly blames them for the shutdown. to be frank with you, i don't really have a clear sense of how this ends. i think it could drag on for a while. there is no obvious end game. mitch mcconnell has made clear that he sees the senate as essentially an annex of the white house and won't pass a
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bill or even bring to it the floor without prior approval from the president, which is incredibly unprecedented for an independent legislative body. so to be totally honest, i don't know how this ends. >> jennifer, one thing that happened today that is interesting is cory gardner -- so to adam's point, i think he is right, and someone explained this to me actually during the last shutdown about the fact that republicans felt so insulated from the mainstream media frankly that bad press coverage wasn't reaching the voters that they cared about. but there are some exceptions. cory gardner who is a senator from colorado. that is a state hillary clinton won, a state barack obama won, a state that has trended blue, and a state that he is going to have to win in 2020 made some noises today about maybe a compromise where they pass stuff and they deal with the dhs funding later. i wonder if you expect to see more of that. >> i think you will over time. you're going to see susan collins, who was also up for election in 2020. >> right. >> thom tillis from north carolina who is also up for reelection. you are going to see i think
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some breakage or are already seeing it. i think the fact that ironically, that one facet of government that is suffering is of course homeland security, because that's the funding bill. now that doesn't mean that urgently required people aren't at their post. they are, but if you ever saw something that was totally counterproductive to their end goal of securing the border, you could shut down the department of homeland security by funding it not properly. so i think eventually the democrats i think will whittle away at the sort of oblivio obliviousness of the republicans, and you're going see more cory gardeners pretty soon stepping forward and saying you know, we really have to win this. i have to run in another 18 months or two years, and i'm going to look like a jerk if i was the guy who couldn't keep the lights on. >> you know, part of the weirdness of the shutdown is that it's unclear what it's for in this sense, and adam was talking about the rationality
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question. the president said hundreds of times there is going to be a wall. he described the wall in lurid detail, its height, it's thickness. >> the door. >> there was going to be a beautiful door. there was going to be solar panels on top. all this stuff, right? now he is no -- he doesn't know what the heck it is. there is not actually going to be a wall. there is some fencing that is already there. maybe thame add some more fencing. but it's not even clear what the thing is that he's shutting it down for. >> here is how it's going to end. democrats just have to let trump declare a victory. trump makes 1s into 7s and 6s into 8s. >> right. >> he just needs to say i got this done, and sad to say because he is not a follower or an advocate of facts, this could be a way out. and i agree with you. this wall is a metaphor. some republicans -- >> lindh said that. >> lindsey graham said.
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but i'm sorry, you don't fund a metaphor. >> that's my point. it's a metaphor. i get that. they keep talking about the money and what's 5 bill. throw out five bills. what are you funding? >> if we talk to everybody out there, it's a $5 billion metaphor, will you pay for it or do you want to know what you're getting, write it down on paper and make that deal. >> adam, i think in terms of how this ends, inglin is right in that some sort of fig leaf kind of an emperor's new clothes situation. great news, guys. with the wall it's being constructed. >> it's done. >> it's done and we can reopen the government. that's literally how it's going to end. >> yeah, i think that's right. but it's a psychological question. >> yes. >> it's fundamentally, when does trump decide the fig leaf is big enough to cover his shame and allow it to go forward. and then mitch mcconnell will immediately bring the bill to the floor. so it could end very fast, but he has to get there
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psychologically. >> lynn sweet, jennifer rubin, and adam jentleson, thank you all for joining me tonight. that is "all in" this evening. live outside the capitol on this historic fascinating day. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> super fascinating show tonight, chris. >> thanks. >> and traffic noise and nighttime noise around you. it gives a sort of urgent feeling. >> a lot of bustling. there is a lot of bustling today. >> well done, my friend. thank you. thanks to you for join us at home this hour. happy thursday. it is a historic day. today the 116th congress was officially sworn in two years after being exiled from power in a shocking election result that they did not expect and the republicans did not expect, and pollsters did not expect, democrats have now come roaring back with their biggest midterm election victory in modern history, and they now as of today have the majority in the house of representatives. the 116th congress is


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