tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC February 13, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
expect to celebrate any more anniversaries. how did he come into power? as bad as donald trump can be, what is he doing getting his direction on matters of war and peace from someone so dangerous as john bolton. that's "hardball" for now. tonight on "all in." a president facing failure tries to rebrand. tonight the latest on the wall saga and where democrats stand on the border deal. new reporting of robert mueller's pursuit of a collusion case. what we're learning about a meeting with a russian. plus. >> the average tax refund from the irs down. >> explaining the shock after
the first round of refunds following the trump tax cuts. >> i consider this very much a bill for the middle class. >> and how a plan to stop climate change changed the conversation. >> i have noted with great interest the green new deal. >> "all in" starts right now. ♪ good evening from dallas, texas. i'm chris hayes. we are on our way to the border with mexico for a big show on what's really happening there. tonight there are some very big breaking news in the mueller investigation. a federal judge ruling that the president's campaign manager paul manafort sabotaged his own plea deal by repeatedly lying to the special counsel's office. prosecutors have been arguing in court that manafort intentionally lied to them about matters material to robert mueller's probe including a meeting with the russian ukrainian associate at the height of the campaign, a meeting that according to one prosecutor goes, quote, the very much to the heart of what the special counsel's office is
investigating. manafort's lawyers argued that any misstatements were accidental. today they were ruled against them. finding they established manafort's intention to lie in three of the five cases they presented. one, he lied to investigators of a $125,000 payment which he tried to disguise as a loan. he gave false information related to another federal investigation carried out by a different office and, three, and this is probably the most important piece of news that we know now, manafort lied to the fbi, the special counsel, and the grand jury about his communications with that russian ukrainian associate konstantin kilimnik. with manafort having breached his plea agreement, they're under no obligation to recommend a lighter sentence. tom winter joins me now. tom, this is a big development. what did the judge have to say?
>> i think it was in december when i came on your show. we learned that manafort may have lied and i believe that i called it legal suicide by him and tonight i think the judge is kind of confirming that, essentially saying that in fact she found that out of the five instances that special counsel robert mueller cited, that they believe paul manafort lied to them or lied to the fbi or lied to a grand jury that in three of those five instances he did that. and what that really means is that the plea agreement, the cooperation agreement, everything that paul manafort gained back in september of last year by avoiding a trial in d.c., he's lost all of those benefits and most importantly downward reduction in his sentence. so this is a pretty big blow to his strategy. he faces a jail term in d.c. but also in virginia. that trial last summer, he's
admitted his guilt as a result of that cooperation agreement in that case. so now the judge there can sentence him not for the eight that the jury convicted him on, but the entire thing. the entire case that was brought in virginia. this is a really big development for paul manafort also interesting as far as what he lied about some of the things that you out laid. >> let me follow up on that and then we'll move to some of the substance here. he's on the hook -- he could spend the rest of his life in jail is what we're looking at. >> exactly right. it's not a life sentence but based on everything that he has been found guilty of, that he's pleaded guilty too, if you stack all of those years on top of themselves, if you look at both cases in both districts and given mr. manafort's age it appears to be that he could be looking the rest of his living days inside a jail cell. >> so we have sort of been looking at this through this --
through these redactions in terms of all these court filings. let's start with that second item. the other investigation, the other matter that he lied about, we do not know what that is, correct? >> we have no idea. anything that i would tell you would just be speculation or a guess at this point. it may even be an investigation, chris, that we haven't heard about yet. we know some satellite investigations that have been going on, we know about the trump inaugural investigation. we don't know if whether that involves that investigation, involves something else or another investigation that we have no idea what it's about. >> on this third item which is i think the most important materially in terms of the president and the question of collusion, these are lies he told the special counsel's office about meetings with konstantin kilimnik. what did he lie about? what were the material lies that he told that office? >> so one of the things that we actually don't get in this filing which is disappointing to
us, understandable given the overall investigation, are the specific kind of data points or fact points about things that he lied about. what we know from that sealed hearing and the transcript, it is redacted as you said, this has to do with meetings. one of the things that prosecutors were keen to point out and something we've been skrachg our heads about, why is trump's campaign chairman taking some time out to meet with konstantin kilimnik, which according to court papers is something the fbi has identified that's associated with russian intelligence, why is he taking his time away from the campaign and having a meeting with him and according to the reporting of the "washington post," not confirmed by nbc news, but they've been pretty consistent, rick gates is also in that meeting. i think the court transcript alludes to that as well. i think it's safe to assume rick gates is there, haes cooperating with mueller. you have one of manafort's
deputies, rick gates is also working for the trump campaign, you get manafort, gates and this person who's associated with russian intelligence, somebody who's working in ukraine, having a meeting together on august 2 of 2016 in the heart of this campaign, both campaigns have come off of the -- off of their conventions at that point and at that point we also know that there is an effort by russia to hack and interfere with this election. so i think it raises considerable concerns for prosecutors and we don't know what else gates has told them about that meeting. we don't know what other people have told them as far as the subjects and contents of that meeting. it is the key point today that everybody is focused on. >> all right. tom, thank you for that. i'm joined by rosalynn who cowrote a great report about a meeting that tom was discussing between trump campaign paul manafort, rick gates and
konstantin kilimnik. that goes to the heart of mueller's probe. rosalynn, what do we know about this meeting and its relationship to the lies or the misinformation that manafort gave to mueller's team that the judge has found tonight? >> tom was talking about how there was this hearing last week, a sealed hearing related to these lies but there was a transcript that was released. fairly redacted. but if you've been following the case closely and you compare it with other documents we've seen, you can get a sense of at least generallily what they're talking about. from that, we learn that apparently at this meeting on august second, there was some discussion about a peace plan for ukraine. peace plan sounds all well and good, but it's important to remember that that's a really top foreign policy agenda item for the russian government. they need there to be some resolution to the ukrainian conflict if they're going to get sanctions lifted.
so that's a really key point. there also seems to be discussion that the prosecutors have at least been exploring whether this was the meeting where paul manafort provided to mr. kilimnik this internal trump campaign polling data which apparently they've alleged that he gave to kilimnik at some point in time. >> right. so the -- it's important that -- to set the set here. when you zoom out and think about the circumstances, they're strange, whether they end up being inculpatory or not. here's the person running the campaign. it's already been established, the hack of the dnc and the release of those e-mails has already happened, he's meting with a guy accessed to have connections with russian intelligence and they're meeting in a cigar bar with his deputy while the guy is running a u.s. presidential campaign that's benefitted from the hacks
already to talk about a plan that would end uplifting sanctions on russia were it to go ahead. >> it is odd. you have to wonder what we all would have thought about this had we heard about it on august 2, 2016. we first reported this meeting happened at the post last year and we were able to get a statement from kilimnik about it. i think the only one that's out there. and he said this meeting had nothing to do with the u.s. presidential campaign. he called it a private visit. he said that they talked about unpaid bills from ukraine, they gossiped about the political scene in ukraine. as you read what the special counsel's office is saying about it, it's hard to really square that with what kilimnik said where he claimed this was an entirely private visit. >> kilimnik has subsequently been indicted by mueller's team. he was indicted with the superseding indictments for manafort and he's now in russia, is that correct? >> the special counsel's office said he's believed to be in
russia. i don't think we expect him to be visiting the united states anytime soon. >> rosalynn, thank you very much for coming by tonight. >> to flesh out the full implications of this, i want to bring in joyce advance, and a watergate veteran. when you take a step back and you look at the way that manafort has dealt with this, it's bizarre and i'll ask you, have you ever seen a defendant act in the way this particular defendant has acted? >> it's really unusual. maybe he was so arrogant that he thought he could outfox mueller, reveal some of the truth but not all of it, maybe protecting whatever he thought needed to be protected or maybe there's a far more nefarious angle to this, maybe he really never did mean to cooperate fully, maybe it was always some sort of a game that
he was playing either to protect himself or to help the president. but this is so far out of the usual realm of what prosecutors see with witnesses that are cooperating that that in and of itself really makes you stop and take a look at what's going on here. >> liz, you've got some experience with people lying to cover things up. what is your reaction to this news? >> well, it just raises even more seriously, if you can say that, than we've seen before, the possibility if not the actuality of conspiracy between the trump campaign and the russian government to affect the election. the fact that they could be discussing a peace plan which is the -- which would be the kwid proprofor the russian help, they want to help trump, what are
they getting in return, sanctions relief. one of the things we know that they're talking about is one-half of the quid pro quo. we don't know whether they're talking about the other half of the quid pro quo which is giving the polling information to allow the russians to interfere. if this gets -- his lying about this suggest that is there's something very serious that's being covered up. that's what we saw in watergate, cover-up. why were they covering up, criminality. what's been covered up here? we don't know. but my hunch is criminality and very serious. i think the only way to explain manafort's behavior is he's expecting a pardon. >> i want to follow up with you first, joyce, which is it is hard, if i try to put myself in the most neutral position possible is to arrange the
behaviors of paul manafort at the risk of spending the rest of his life in jail for a version that doesn't have him covering up something sinister. >> that's absolutely right and it's just what the congresswoman is saying. people lie for a reason. the reason is they can't disclose the truth. the lie has to be about criminality. rosalynn in the previous session talked about interviewing konstantin kilimnik and getting a statement from him and his statement was it was a meeting, it was just about old bills. that's so like the cover-up of the trump tower meeting. it's about the adoption of russian orphans. people lie about things for a reason. and that's what's going on here. >> liz, you mentioned pardons and that is something that actually comes up in the hearing transcripts. andrew wiesman who is the top prosecutor on mueller's team
suggesting that their working theory is the lines were done because if he told the truth, it would hurt his chances at a pardon. what do you think of that? >> i think to me, that's clearly the obvious conclusion to be drawn from this. but manafort is going to spend a lot of time in jail even if he cooperated, he'd spend some time in jail. a pardon gets him off completely and maybe restores his ability to make money and go on with the rest of his life. that's what he's trying to get here it seems to me. but i don't know for sure. the fact of the matter, though, what's involved here is really serious. did a presidential candidate and now president of the united states through his campaign, directly -- whether he was directly involved or not, did his campaign conspire with russia, quid pro quo, lifting sanctions in return for russian aid, did that happen? is our president a puppet of the
russian government and did he act hand in hand with the russian government in a criminal way? we are coming to the nub of that investigation and we can't turn our eyes away from it and we can't run away from it. this is not a witch-hunt anymore. this is not something that's -- this is going to the heart of our democracy. >> joyce, a procedural question, now that this is happened it's been a strange case from the beginning, manafort fights the charges when he's indicted, he fights consolidating them, he wants to have two separate trials, that's strange, he gets convicted of a bunch of charges and in between, he pleas and cops to everything in the first, pleas to stuff in the second as well, now the agreement has been ripped up. what happens next? >> so now it's time for manafort to be sentenced. and as you point out, he can be sentenced in two different federal district courts. they will run one on top of each
other. he won't serve them consecutively. but he's still looking at a lot of time. because the judge has found that he's violated his cooperation agreement with the government, manafort is still bound by that agreement. he still has to plead guilty and take the consequences. prosecutors don't have to recommend a lower sentence for him. they can ask the judge to sentence him at the high end of the federal sentencing guidelines and that means that he'll spend close to the rest of his life in prison if not all of it. >> joyce and elizabeth, thank you so much. joining me now is democratic congressman of texas. member of the house intelligence committee. sitting on that committee both in the minority and in the majority, your reaction to the judge finding that manafort did in fact lie particularly about his interactions with kilimnik? >> the fact that he lied is not a surprise. but to me this is much more serious than even the lying to congress or lying to the fbi.
because, remember, this lie came when he had already made -- struck a plea agreement. all he had to do was meet certain conditions and they were going to ask that his sentence be reduced somehow but there was something that was so important and valuable that paul manafort in lying that he went ahead and did it. and so as a member of the intelligence committee, i would like for us to find out what that was. >> did you -- to speak to the thoroughness of the house intelligence committee's investigation under the stewardship of the republican majority, how close did you guys come to uncovering just some of the information that we're learning here? >> not very close at all. the tragedy of the last two years of this investigation under devin nunes is there wasn't a single subpoena that was issued for phone records, bank records, travel records, anything that would verify or
discount what was told to us by the witnesses. we've got a lot of work to do when it comes to putting the pieces together. >> as someone who's on the intelligence committee and this started as a counter intelligence probe, there were red flags going up and people concerned that russian interference was trying to compromise members of the trump campaign, what do you make of these sort of -- there's now three different instances in which russian associates or people linked to russian government or intelligence are approaching the trump campaign with a plan to lift sanctions, the russian adoption meeting in trump tower which is of course about lifting sanctions, those sanctions had led to the end of russian adoptions, and the peace plan that was floated to michael cohen and delivered into the president's white house and perhaps to michael flynn, what does that say to you. >> you're right. for most of the american public what we saw was the interference
in terms of facebook ads and so forth and that's what we think about as a russian operation to affect or interfere with our elections and that was a full-court press. but what we also see was there was a full-court press of human intelligent agents or people with connections to the russian intelligence agencies who were targeting the trump campaign to get something out of them. it looks like one of the things they were trying to get out of them was a relief from sanctions. and what we need to figure out is just how successful they've been and how much the trump campaign and trump associates have cooperated with them. >> all right. thank you very much. joining me now senator may see hero know. do you have a theory why so many people have lied in these high stake situations under oath to
investigates, to congress and now to the special counsel's office after having struck a plea agreement. >> they must have something very major to hide and i think this shows that trump surrounded himself by all these people who lie who are drifters and takers. >> you're on the senate judiciary committee and they're going to be moving forward with votes on mr. barr, is it your understanding that should he be confirmed he will be supervising robert mueller? >> yes, he will. when he testified, he was speaking to an audience of one, that being donald trump, and i think he gave out various assurances that would cause president trump to think that barr would protect his behind. >> are you confident in or concerned about whether he would protect the president's behind, as you say? >> i'm very concerned because
what we need right now with everything that's going on and continue to be revealed, the latest of which is manafort, his plea deal being ripped up by the judge, is that the independence of the attorney general is really even more critical than ever. and so we have to make sure that not only does he commit to protecting the mueller investigation to its end but there are other investigations that arose out of the mueller investigation including the southern district of new york, at least three u.s. attorney offices, and we don't know exactly what's going on with the attorney general's office in new york. but there's so much surrounding trump and his associates and what they were up to that we have to make sure that our attorney general is very independent. he did not show that at nobody's request, he sends a 19-page memo to the attorney general outlining why he thinks a
sitting president should be insulated from any charges of obstruction of justice. and believe me, he made sure that the trump people knew about that too because he met with the president's people too. so for many different reasons, i have serious concerns about what he's going to do with regard to the investigation. he certainly didn't commit to disclose the report that will ensue from the mueller investigation. and basically if you look at his background, he very much is on the same page with the -- you know, with our former attorney general, with steve miller who seems to be calling a lot of the shots on immigration and trump, on other trump initiatives and priorities including immigration, challenges to the affordable care act, focusing on voter fraud which is very rare as opposed to voter suppression
that is going on in too many states. and there are any number of reasons that i have serious concerns not to mention he's not a big fan of roe v. wade either. so that's not the kind of attorney general that has the kind of independence that we need from a president who by the way, thinks he has even more power than he is. let me add one more thing, barr also thinks that the president -- his view of the executive is what we call a unitary executive which means there's a lot of power that resides in the president and this president already pushes to the constitutional limits and we hardly need an attorney general who thinks he should have even more power of the theory of a unitary executive. >> to the question of presidential power, the president has the power under the constitution to pardon and it's essentially unlimited power, the boundaries of it are a bit up for dispute. given that the theory put
forward by the special counsel's office in that unsealed hearing is that manafort was acting to protect a pardon, from your perspective what would the consequences be if you were to wake up tomorrow and find out the president has pardoned paul manafort. >> unless it could be some sort of obstruction of justice, but as you say his pardon powers are unfettered, what we're left with is a president who will do anything to protect himself. as i said many times, there are only two things that trump cares about, one is protecting himself and money. so what could -- aside from, by the way, all these other investigations that are going on. he could be before a jury and a judge for all these other allegations, who knows? but i think the bottom line might be that he's going to have to face the voters and possibly if the mueller investigation
leads to impeachable offensives, then the house will have to make a decision. >> all right. thank you very much. >> sure. coming up the president already trying to spin what is shaping up to be a loss on his border wall fight. what happens next after the shutdown deadline right after this. r this mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians. or it isn't. it's backed by an unlimited mileage warranty, or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned, or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through february 28th. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer. woman 1: this... woman 2: ...this... man 1: ...this is my body of proof. man 2: proof of less joint pain... woman 3: ...and clearer skin. man 3: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 4: ...with humira. woman 5: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation
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shutdown despite getting just a fraction of the money he wanted and just 55 miles of new fencing along the border. after all that, what was it all for. i'm afraid the answer is nothing. the president calls all this destruction, all these ridiculous distractions, all this economic financial loss for nothing. republicans are going to pretend like the em porer is standing before them fully clothed. here's kevin mccarthy trying out some spin earlier today. >> just a few weeks ago, nancy pelosi said only $1 for the wall. the president is getting 55 new miles of wall and barrier inside this bill. i view this as a down payment. but the president still has more tools in his toolbox. he can go and grab more money, finish the wall but the most important thing here, is the wall is being built. >> meanwhile president trump was back in his comfort zone bragging about his wall that is not being built.
>> to defeat these national gangs, we must completely seal the border, ending catch and release, ending sanctuary cities and finishing the border wall which we will do, which we will do. we're very far along. building a lot of it right now as we speak. the wall is very, very on its way. it's happening as we speak. we're building as we speak. >> they are actually building some wall. it's six miles, six. while the president was trying to convince himself of his success he hadn't mentioned any of the hardships felt by the people on the wrong end of his shutdown. senator mark warner shared these numbers, 62% of federal workers depleted all or most of their savings, 42% took on debt and 25% visited a food bank. now the only people left behind in all this mess that was all
for not are federal contractors who might not get their back pay because donald trump might block it. another group isn't pleased, the national butterfly center which located along the border. they've filed for a restraining order to keep the dhfs off its property. that story will be part of our big show here in texas tomorrow night. our correspondents have traveled the length nearly two thousand mile border in mexico, we'll be live in new mexico. live at the border right here at 8:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night. joining me now to talk about the shutdown deal, is barbara boxer, and jim manly, former chief spokesperson for harry reed when he served as senate majority leader. what terms does this set, what's
happened with the shutdown and now this deal being struck in the president signs it for what the next year and a half of divided governance looks like? >> if this is an example then trump is going to lose everything. he had a better deal. he turned it down. now he can write a book, how to lose a deal. he now settles for something less and now he embraced a shutdown because he had a fit about it, cost all kinds of pain, so he has no choice and i hope he does sign this bipartisan deal. but let's face it. if you step back, trump made a promise that mexico would pay for the wall. he didn't say it once. he said it 1,000 times. well i'm exaggerate rating, 950. but the bottom line, he said it again and again, and now taxpayers are getting a raw deal. not a good deal. because they're having to pay for the wall even if it's 5
miles or 55 miles. broken campaign promise. he's a loser on that whole thing and if this is the way he plays, i go take his marbles and go home, it's going to be a disaster for the country. and the grown-ups in congress show they can get to together, they know how to reach a deal and thank god they did reach a deal. >> jim, i have a theory about how this will affect the mcconnell white house relationship which is a very strange one. mcconnell didn't want the first shutdown. he came out and said it. and then he pretended to not have said that and not have had that opinion. but my sense of this is that mcconnell's people are saying to the white house, listen to us next time. what do you think about that? >> you stole my talking points, chris, i think you're dead on. that's exactly what i'm watching right now. the reality is that this was cooked a couple days ago. the president had zero options
and i'm confident that if he refused, mcconnell would have taken this bill to the floor and it would have gotten 60 votes necessary and it could have gotten close to the 67 necessary to override a veto. so, you know, what's my point? my point is that, you know, we're going to have to add this to the list of things where republicans are slowly beginning to distance themselves from the president. as you pointed out, this was all for not. he played program director from a reality show again and he hurt a lot of people if only to divert attention from the other issue we're talking about and that's paul manafort and his ties to russia. >> senator boxer, what do you think about back pay for federal contractors. it seems like a black and white moral issue. they're the lowest paid folks, they're some of the people who are the closest on the edge financially and they're going to
end up being screwed here, what do you think? >> it's a horror show and he's going to lose on that if he doesn't have an ounce of compassion. because, again, remember when the media, all of the media put a human face on the shutdown and we saw the suffering of the families? imagine when you take it to, say, a janitorial service or a cafeteria workers struggling to make ends meet and now they're in big trouble. i want to point out that when kevin mccarthy said, oh, after this is over, the president is going to grab money, grab money from other places to build the rest of the wall, i'm sure that jim will agree with me, that is not going to go down well in congress on both sides of the aisle. he could take money from battling wildfires in states all across the country. i heard one congressman say there's funding for an academy, he's got his eyes on that,
because if it hasn't been contracted for, he thinks he can grab the money. i think it's going to be very difficult for him to do that. because the constitution says spending is a priority of the house. it starts in the house. >> yeah. >> so i think he's just -- he's cruising for a bruising in the contractor issue, trying to steal money from other important places, but i see a lot of trouble ahead for this president. >> there's no grab money clause in article ii of the constitution. >> i don't see that happening. >> well, final question for you, what you said is interesting that you thought mcconnell was ready to go to war, that they jammed him on this and mcconnell was ready to escalate if trump tried to screw him again as he did the first time around. do you think the lesson stays
learned here? we had -- when i think back to the recent memory, we had that horrible debt ceiling standoff. gouf not the terrible sequester which did tremendous amounts of damage, but after that, you didn't see those kinds of standoffs on the normal budgetary process until the shutdown in 2014. do you think something like that applies here? >> i don't know about that but the reason i thought that is because he wants -- he thinks he's protecting his members. the last thing he thinks they want right now is to go through another shutdown. he was finally prepared to take on the president. >> senator barbara boxer and jim manly, thank you very much. how the president's tax cuts managed to only help the rich. why americans are being shocked by their tax refunds after this.
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here, is really tremendous things for businesses, for people, for the middle class, for workers. and i consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs. >> that was the line president trump used to sell his achievement, the tax cuts that helped push the debt to $22 trillion. the truth was that trump's tax cuts were largely not for the middle class. they benefitted corporations and rich people like him and over the last few days, many americans have discovered their tax refund is smaller than it was last year. republicans have been quick to point out, it's not necessarily that people are paying for taxes. the tax cuts for themselves for working people were relative crumbs and now many people who did not notice a tax cut in their paycheck all along are discovering they aren't getting the refund money they were
counting on. joining me now editor in large of vox.com. what do you think this says about the actual affects the tax cuts have had on workers. >> i want to give you props to devoting a segment to tax withholding. what happened here is they passed these tax cuts and as you say they go to the top 1% of corporations, something like 83% go to the top 1%, but there are tax cuts in there for the middle class, although they expire after ten years while the ones for the corporations and rich don't. because they wanted these tax cuts to look better quicker, they wanted them to be delivering money before the 2018 election. what they did is they changed a rule in the irs about how much with holding happens. if you're working a job, they keep a bit of your salary back in order to pay it to the irs. people argue that we with hold too much. so they tried to bring that
down, people were getting more of the tax cut immediately because the tax cut was small they didn't notice it, and they're not getting the traukt they've come to expect and so it feels like a tax increase. >> the second to last thing you should just there, i remember screaming this from the rooftops, i think republicans, a lot of people convinced themselves and paul ryan said he was pleasantly surprised her pay went up 1.50 a week. that is his talking point. that's not a lot of money. it's better than not having that money. but they convince themselves this was going to be some big political boom. >> i don't think they convinced themselves of that. one place i'll push on you a little bit here. because i think that they did just enough to say that that was true. but i don't think -- >> right. >> if they wanted to have a middle class tax cut, i think
it's an -- if they wanted a middle class tax cut, they could have written a middle class tax cut. there are a million things they could have done to put every dollar in that tax cut towards the working class. and you could also do it in ways that would help the poor. they didn't want to do it. i don't believe they convinced themselves either. i think they believed that the top 1% would be job creators. and in many ways the economy is good but you don't see an increase in wages. even though there have been some wage increases recently, when you have a lot of growth, not as much as it did in the past gets put into wages. >> thanks for being with me. >> thank you. >> just ahead why mitch mcconnell wants to force a vote on a green new deal. the plan that is changing the
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house democrats today made good on a promise to try to end u.s. support for the saudi-led war in yemen. remember, when republicans controlled the house, paul ryan went to extraordinary lengths to even prevent a vote on this issue that he stuck a provision in the farm bill to that end. the war supported by the united states has led to tens of thousands of deaths in yemen with millions more people including children at risk of starvation in a horrifying crisis. today the house passed a measure to withdraw u.s. military support from the war. a similar bill passed the senate previously and could pass again in this session. that would be a major rebuke to donald trump and the first time such a measure made it to the president's desk. but millions of lives on the line the bill is overdue.
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>> mcconnell isn't all of the sudden backing a bold climate change proposal. instead, see making a political calculus. even though all the democratic senators officially running for president signed on as co-sponsors of the green new deal, mcconnell hope issing to split the party by getting enough other democrats who may be uncertain about the deal on the record. joining me is van newkirk, and dave dayan, executive editor of the american prospect. van, let me start with you. there is a sort of interesting thing happening right now which is republicans believe that this idea is so self-evidently politically disastrous that they can just kind of point to it and everyone is going to run away from it. but i'm not quite sure they should be that confident. what do you think? >> yeah, i'm not quite sure either. i think if you look at the polls, americans like whatever they believe the green new deal to be. lots of people favor bold action on climate change. and i don't think the vote in the senate, if it happens, is going to change that one way or the other. people want something done.
i don't know if anybody knows what, but they do. >> that's what has been sort of brilliant here in a political sense, dave, is in some ways it is more of a political marker than it is a specific policy, right? the idea is to say this is a priority and we need to go big on it, and it can't just be a price on carbon and establishing that as the center of the debate. what do you think? >> right. and that's what activists from the sunrise movement have really stressed that this is a catastrophe, this is a crisis that demands bold action. as for this gambit, mcconnell tried this a couple of years ago with single payer. he put single payer on the senate floor for a vote, and the democrats all voted present, and nobody cared. >> right. >> so the idea that this is some huge gotcha just doesn't make any sentence to me. >> here's what i think is interesting about the republican attack on this, vann. one of the problems with selling climate is the macron yellow
vest problem. they raised gasoline tax. it was one of the precipitating incidents that sparked the protests in france. higher fuel prices, higher energy price, that can be a tough political sell. the idea is to transform the conversation to a much broader conversation about what would be good for you about transforming the economy, and republicans seem they want to get that back on to the terrain of the old conversation. >> if you look at the framework of what the green new deal is asking for, they actually head off one of the main criticisms of green policy by prescribing a full labor force, by going after increasing health insurance, by basically, offsetting every single major conservative argument against major climate action, and that's up front. and so i think it actually changes the nature of the debate to one where i see now people are going against government control or against the amount of money it's going to cost. >> right. >> and those don't really resonate i think with americans
the same way, oh, we're going to take away your ability to drive does. >> well, and that's the thing they've been banging on. and while all this is happening, you've got this example, though, of how much the devil is in the details in california. you've written about this. gavin newsom coming up cancelling this big high speed rail line that was going to go from los angeles to san francisco. happening in a progressive state, democratic control that has been pretty aggressive on emissions and climate while the green new deal is being floated in d.c.? >> as you say, the details really matter. unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of anymore ninbyism, lawsuit after lawsuit to delay this timeline, drag it out, increase the costs. it was not the best managed program in the world. there were some political decisions made around the route that was chosen that ended up increasing costs even more.
there were sort of gambits on what you would start first, what you would start to build first. they thought if we build in the central valley, then no one would be silly enough to cancel the project before it got to the actual population centers. well, you know, gavin newsom, come on down. that's exactly what happened. and now we have this stub of a high speed rail line that's going to be built from bakersfield to merced that i think the only people that are going to ride it are traveling salesmen and maybe presidential candidates looking for votes in the central valley. and this is going to be the demonstration project for high speed rail. and it's going to be demonized as this, you know, train to nowhere. and that's a real problem, especially when you look at the climate benefits of high speed rail and when you look at what, you know, this will signal for whether right or wrong for what a high speed rail project can do. so i think that the people thinking about this green new
deal, which is only really in a resolution stage also need to think about international best practices, how to get agencies to work together, and how to, you know, build these things more cheaply than we normally do in the united states. >> it is enormously important if we're going to do this, and we need to build a tremendous amount of infrastructure to figure out how to do it better, more efficiently and cheaper or nothing of this is happening. vann newkirk and dayan, thank you for joining us. tomorrow night we have a special show. our correspondent entrance fanning out across the 2,000 mile southern border from the deserts to the cities to the tiny little hamlets, from the vast grandness of rio grande to the busiest land border crossing in the world in california. tomorrow night we'll be live in el paso, texas, for a special report on the reality of what is actually happening at this border. "all in" live at the border 8:00
p.m. eastern tomorrow night. that does it for us. i'm "all in" this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> i am excited for this trip for you, my friend. this is going to be amazing. >> yeah. we'll see you tomorrow night. thanks for joining us this hour. happy to have you with us. lots going on tonight. the week before christmas this past december, we thought that the president's national security adviser, his first national security adviser mike flynn was about to be sentenced. flynn had a sentencing date. the prosecution and the defense had both filed submissions with the court giving judge advice on what mike flynn's sentence should be. the appointed sentencing date arrived. mike flynn put on a suit, got in an suv, turned up in court. all the lawyers were there on both sides. it was time for us all to figure out in open court that day how much time mike flynn was going to serve in prison if he was going to get any prison time at all.