All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, December 29th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: December 29, 2014
Guest: Clive Irving, Scott Mayerowitz, Brian Kavanaugh, Harry Siegel,
Nancy Giles, James Peterson, Michael Moynihan, Baratunde Thurston
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN:
TONY FERNANDES, AIRASIA CEO: We really can`t speculate. We don`t
really want to speculate.
HAYES: The disappearance from an AirAsia flight from Indonesia.
Tonight, what we know and what we don`t.
Then, Saturday, they turn their back on the mayor at a funeral. Today
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Honorable Bill de Blasio.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll have the latest on the ongoing clash between the mayor
and the police of New York City.
Plus, the third most powerful House Republican acknowledges speaking
at a white nationalist meeting.
And, from 2014`s rookie of the year, to the year`s biggest surprises.
RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: Some people are saying tonight it is the
biggest political upset in their lifetimes.
HAYES: It`s the second annual ALL IN award show spectacular, when ALL
IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. It`s nice to
be back at this desk.
It is passed daybreak right now in Southeast Asia where a third day of
searching is now underway for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, where it has lost
contact with air traffic control and disappeared over the Java Sea, after
departing from the Indonesian city of Surabaya, en route to Singapore, with
162 passengers and crew on board.
The stricken family members gathered at the airports in Surabaya and
Singapore, hoping and praying for some sign of good news.
Indonesia`s vice president told reporters that, "We have to be
prepared for the worst."
Dozens of ships and aircraft from at least five countries are
searching for signs of the aircraft with more help being offered. U.S. is
poised to join the effort after a request from the Indonesia government.
But the Pentagon saying, quote, "We stand ready to assist in any way
U.S. defense officials said today the USS Sampson, a destroyer
currently in the South China Sea will be heading to the search zone.
The vast majority of people on the flight, 149 passengers, and six of
the seven crew members, are from Indonesia. According to the State
Department, no Americans were on board.
Pilots from the aircraft, a twin-engine Airbus A320 seating up to 180
passengers, had requested it deviate from their flight path less than an
hour into the roughly two-hour flight and rise to a higher altitude, due to
stormy weather over the Java Sea. They lost contact with air traffic
control and dropped off radar shortly after making that request. Air
traffic controllers reportedly turned down the pilot`s request to climb
above the clouds because six other airliners were crowding the air space
and there was no room.
Unlike missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the fate of which remains
to this very day a complete and utter mystery, there is widespread
consensus that bad weather is what led to the loss of Flight 8501.
The head of Indonesia`s national search and rescue agency has already
offered a sober assessment of the aircraft`s fate, saying he believes it is
likely, quote, "at the bottom of the sea."
Joining me now, Clive Irving, contributor of "The Daily Beast", where
he specializes in aviation.
Clive, what do we know? What`s the latest in terms of the status of
the investigation at this point?
CLIVE IRVING, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, we know that they haven`t found
anything yet. We know that the size of the search force is going to
increase. But I think the very sad thing, here we are, this is the second
time in 10 months that we`re witnessing the enormous resources that need to
be deployed when a plane disappears into the ocean.
And the Indonesians and the Malaysians themselves don`t have the
sources to do this so now they have to call upon other nations, Australia,
the U.K., and the U.S. to give them those sources.
So, we`re going to go through this very, very sad experience once
again, a bit taken days, hopefully, in this case, any day throughout in the
week, to begin finding what we need to find in order to understand what
HAYES: In terms of the search area, as compared to MH370 which was so
vast as to essentially be endless, as we`ve learned now 10 months later, in
this case, it seems given how short the flight was compared to that flight,
given when it fell out of contact, where the weather pattern was, the
search area is far, far more manageable.
IRVING: Yes, it is more manageable. And we`ve got to remember,
there`s no mystery attached to why there`s no change, of course,
unexplained things like that, that they know roughly where it stopped
communicating. They don`t know where it fell into sea yet. But this is,
compared to the southern Indian Ocean where 370 disappeared in that vast,
unknown deep, this is a very well-known piece of ocean and it`s relatively
So, that when they find wreckage, it`s within diver`s reach. They
don`t have to have these very deep sea submersibles to go down there and
HAYES: There was -- I was reading about the thunderstorms and weather
patterns in that part of the world. It seems like they are uncommonly
intense. Someone described as some of the most intense in the world.
It always strikes me, when you`re in an airline, you`re in an airplane
and there is, you know, weather patterns and you get turbulence, it is
terrifying. But, also, kind of remarkable that planes seem as equipped as
they are to deal with the intensity of whether they can handle. What do we
know about the intensity whether here and what the record is for this kind
of aircraft in those sorts of weather patterns?
IRVING: Well, the pilots that have flown in those airlines for a very
long while, I talked to one the other day, say that this is not a very
unusual circumstance. That this area is notorious for that kind of
weather. As to your question about the durability and strengths of the
flame, there`s no case on record of any of the modern type airline which is
extremely well-designed and well-built, there`s no case of one of those
planes ever breaking up, as it were, in a storm.
HAYES: So, we have to think that there`s something compounded by the
weather, other than that, if history at least is any guide. Clive Irving -
IRVING: Well, all crashes are a combination of circumstances. And,
in this case, I think what you eve got a combination of is very severe
weather, and a very difficult situation for a pilot to deal with. We`re
only going to find out the situations of that when we find out what happens
to the plane.
HAYES: Clive Irving, thank you so much for your time.
If AirAsia Flight QZ8501 is indeed lost, it would mean that 762 people
have lost their lives in air accidents this year, making it the deadliest
year in world air travel since 2005. But 2014 actually had the lowest
number of accidents in modern aviation history, just eight if you count the
The fatality number driven by three very high profile apparent
disasters, all involved in carriers from Southeast Asia. Missing Malaysia
Airlines Flight 370, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over Ukraine,
and now, AirAsia QZ8501.
And even as it grapples with these apparent tragedies, Southeast Asia
is going through an astounding explosion in air travel, led by AirAsia and
its brass CEO Tony Fernandes, who brought the then-struggling airline with
business partners for just 25 cents in 2001, and is now grappling with what
he calls his worst nightmare. AirAsia put air travel within the reach of
millions of people in Southeast Asia, many of them in Indonesia, the
world`s most populous country. Now, within two decades, the Asia-Pacific
region is expected to count for 42 percent of total global passenger
Joining me now: Scott Mayerowitz, airline reporter for "The Associated
Press", who profiled Mr. Fernandes.
So, what has been happening in that part of the world in terms of this
incredible, almost unprecedented boom in air travel?
SCOTT MAYEROWITZ, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: This is the fastest growing
place for air travel anywhere in the world. And you got a few factors
going on. You`ve got economies that are doing well, and you`ve got a
growing middle class that`s now eager to flower.
The other thing is geography. If you look at Indonesia, it`s just
HAYES: There`s no way to get around other than that, right.
MAYEROWITZ: There are no trains, there really are no roads. So the
only way to get somewhere is to fly. Tony Fernandes was brilliant. He
came in, took the struggling airline, and basically said, I`m going to find
a way to beat the big guys at their business. Much like Southwest Airlines
did back in the U.S. in the `70s.
And he came in there and he`s connected all of these regions that you
would never thought to have connected before. He now has 42 million
passengers a year.
HAYES: Yes, and you`re talking about Indonesia, which is the fourth
most population in the world next to the U.S., we are three. An
archipelago of islands, there are no bridges, there aren`t tunnels,
obviously, both go very slowly. This is the way that people can get around
just in terms of internally the nation of Indonesia.
MAYEROWITZ: Yes. And the challenge can be keeping them on those
planes, you know? You got, as we`ve said, these three horrible disasters.
It`s the way to get around.
HAYES: So, that`s my question. So there`s two ways to look at this.
One is what a horrible run of bad luck. What a just freakish, cosmically
horrible sequence of accidents that happen to obstruct this part of the
world. The other is, you have three very deadly accidents, you`ve got an
air traffic system that is dealing with unprecedented capacity, perhaps
there is a relationship between the two, the infrastructure there from a
safety perspective is unable to handle the volume.
MAYEROWITZ: In this case, there`s no connection between the three
except for Malaysia and the ownership of AirAsia. However, you`re in this
region. If I were living there, I would be a little freaked out just by
having three crashes back-to-back like this. Now, Indonesia itself has had
some safety challenges. Back in 2007, the European Union actually banned
all these airlines, every one, from AirAsia to Lion Air to fly anywhere
within European. That ban has since been lifted.
HAYES: Wow. That`s pretty unprecedented, huh?
MAYEROWITZ: Yes, and that`s because they didn`t have confidence in
the safety precautions in Indonesia.
AirAsia, however, has had a great safety record. I don`t want this to
sound like they`re the problem.
MAYEROWITZ: But I will note that while the ban was lifted by the
European Union in 2009, Lion Air, which is the largest carrier actually in
Indonesia, is still prohibited from flying to Europe.
HAYES: It`s also another opportunity to sort of marvel at the fact
that the global airline system of safety works as well as it does
considering the kinds of growth cited in your article, the kinds of growth
all over the world. How quickly it`s scaling up. Also, hard-to-imagine
that it`s not going to have some kind of affect on how people feel about it
at that time in the world.
MAYEROWITZ: Yes, if you just look at the number of crashes, we`ve
actually had not that bad a year. It`s been horrible.
HAYES: It`s three massive ones. We don`t know the fate of this yet,
although it`s very hard at this point to imagine that it landed safety
MAYEROWITZ: If you look forward, every single week, the assembly
lines at Boeing, Airbus, and the regional jet carriers, Embraer and
Bombardier, are 28 jets out per week.
HAYES: I remember periods of time in which both of those companies
were essentially -- they were ringing the death kneel for both of them.
And now, it is boom times for both, because the amount of demand, globally,
are for the products they produce. And they aren`t a lot of places that
produce commercial jet liners. It`s basically those two, has never been
higher and they`re doing very well.
MAYEROWITZ: They`re doing well. This is record production phases
here and most of those jets are going to Southeast Asia to help these
Scott Mayerowitz, thank you very much.
MAYEROWITZ: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Just today, two days after some New York City
police officers turn their backs on the city`s mayor as he was speaking at
an officer`s funeral, Bill de Blasio spoke at an NYPD graduation ceremony
and we will tell you what happened there ahead.
HAYES: We have something very special in store for you later on the
show tonight. It`s the second annual ALL IN all awards special. Who will
win rookie of the year? We want to hear your votes on Twitter. Tweet at
me. Stay with me to find out mine.
HAYES: All eyes were on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio today, as he
addressed 884 new officers graduating from the New York Police Academy.
The ceremony, of course, coming just two days after de Blasio`s
relationship with the NYPD reached a new low.
On Saturday, as the world watched and as the mayor was delivering a
eulogy for murdered Police Officer Rafael Ramos, hundreds of officers
outside the church turned their backs to his image on a jumbotron. The
openly contentious gesture was jarring at such a solemn and overwhelmingly
sad occasion. It came after de Blasio called for a pause in the protest
around policing until two officers slain more than a week ago were finally
laid to rest.
The gesture from New York City police marked the second time in recent
days the mayor was publicly rebuked by some rank and file patrolman and
their union leadership, after the president of one police union explicitly
blamed de Blasio for two officers` murders, saying the mayor had blood on
Given that for our context, what happened at the police academy
graduation today turned out to be fairly tame. De Blasio taking a podium
to a smattering of boos mixed with applause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mayor of the city of New York, Bill de Blasio.
DE BLASIO: Thank you.
DE BLASIO: Congratulations, officers. It is an honor to call you
officers. You have reached this moment in your lives through hard work.
And I want to congratulate you all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: While a handful of audience members reportedly turned their
backs on the mayor, the overall response appeared to undercut the narrative
advanced by some police union leaders and some of city hall`s critics that
de Blasio has completely lost the confidence of his entire department.
For one, he appears to retain loyalty of his police commissioner, Bill
Bratton, who appeared beside him today and who has become something of an
emissary between the mayor and the police.
In an interview yesterday with CBS News, Bratton attempts to strike a
careful balance between his boss and his officers at NYPD.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BRATTON, NYPD COMMISSIONER: That funeral was held to honor
Officer Ramos and to bring politics, to bring issues into that event I
think was very inappropriate and I do not support it. At the same time, it
is reflective, unfortunately, of the feeling of some of our officers that
at this juncture, about not just the mayor but I think some of the many
issues afflicting this city this time and this particular police
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tomorrow, Mayor de Blasio will come face-to-face with some of
his biggest critics in the NYPD, when he meets with leaders of all five New
York police unions, including the man who says he has blood on his hands
for the murder of those two officers.
Joining me now, New York State Assembly member Brian Kavanaugh. He`s
a founder of the New York chapter of State Legislators Against Illegal
Guns, represents the district here in Manhattan.
How are you?
STATE ASSEMBLYMAN BRIAN KAVANAUGH (D), NEW YORK: Great. Thank you.
HAYES: Your father is a police officer?
KAVANAUGH: He`s a retired police officer.
HAYES: Retired police officer.
KAVANAUGH: He served for 33 years.
HAYES: He served thirty-three years, grew up in Staten Island, which
is basically cop land, here in New York, this borough with a high density
of police officers, police culture suffuses it.
What did you think of that moment on Saturday?
KAVANAUGH: Well, let me first say I do currently represent the
district in Manhattan, which is a very different district.
But, you know, I do think it was an unfortunate moment, as the police
commissioner said, to express the point of view about the mayor. It`s a
funeral. It`s a very tough time for our police department and for our
I think the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers understand that it`s
a time to stop and pause from politics and honor the memory of this officer
who has died. There will be another funeral coming up soon.
And, again, I think it`s unfortunate. I`m not going to tell any
individual police officer how to feel about the mayor or about the funeral.
But I do think it`s unfortunate to choose that as a moment to express what
is essentially a political point of view.
HAYES: Do you think there`s a kind of -- I mean, obviously, this is
an analogy that`s flawed in certain ways between the United States military
and police officers in New York City Police Department for a million
different reasons. There is a sort of idea of civilian control, right,
that it`s sort of important for the people in uniform who are sort of
defending the public, for it to be clear for whom they work, right, in a
sort of democratic republic.
And this seemed, in some ways, almost a rebuke to that. Like you
don`t control us, like we do what we want to do.
KAVANAUGH: I don`t want to over state that. I do think it`s
important that police officers understand that they need to respect the
democratically elected civilian leadership of this city. I think it`s
obviously also important that those of us in elected office and the general
public respect the police for the job they do. It`s an extraordinarily
It happens that in New York, we have a police department that is, in
many ways, the envy of the world. It is a police department that has
played a huge role in reducing crime levels in New York to levels that just
were unimaginable not so long ago, and incidentally, it is one of the most
diverse police departments in America.
And so, when I -- when I see police officers suggesting that the
elected leadership is sort of adamantly opposed to their leadership, that
concerns me. It also concerns me when I see protesters saying, you know,
suggesting that NYPD is synonymous with terrible things or racism or
anything else. We do need to tone down the rhetoric on both sides. We
need to understand that it is not -- the fact that the police represent us,
that they serve on behalf of us is both why we respect them so much, and
also, why we have to demand accountable.
HAYES: Well, a lot of people don`t feel represented. I mean, that`s
precisely the issue, right? I mean, and in terms of what you said in
reducing crime, I mean, this is what`s so remarkable, right? Incredible,
historical reduction in crime. We`ve seen a bunch of different eras and
different policies put in place and the crime keeps going down, including
essentially the dramatic reduction of stop and frisk, which police
commissioners are pointing to as the reason for the decline in crime, stop
and frisk going down, and crimes are going down in the same time.
KAVANAUGH: I think it`s important to recognize that stop and frisk
was a sort of late-in-the-game tactic deployed on a large scale by the NYPD
after almost a quarter century of year-on-year crime reduction. It was a
police department that was trying particularly to get more and more guns
off the street. We`ve had a tremendous success in New York at reducing gun
violence by reducing guns. And there were a few years where it was tried
on a massive level. That was found to be unconstitutional. It has been --
it was a campaign issue.
It`s also important to remember it was a policy of the police
leadership. It was not a policy implemented by rank and file police
officers on their own accord.
HAYES: Can I ask you this? In terms of turning the back, blood on
his hands, I still can`t figure, what exactly did Bill de Blasio do? What
exactly? Was it the speech after Garner when he said we had to talk to my
son Dante about how he might interact with them? Like, what exactly did he
do that makes people that upset that they would do something that dramatic?
KAVANAUGH: I cannot speak for angry police officers. I`ve talked to
a lot of police officers. I`m related to a lot of police officers.
But I would say there have been a lot of voices in this city that are
trying to suggest that you need to be either in one camp or the other. You
need to be with the police or you need to be against the police.
The tabloids have magnified that point of view every day. They`ve
suggested that the mayor has said some terrible things, that he`s done some
terrible things, many of which are just -- those reports are just plain
false. Every time some crazy person out there that says something bad
about police officers, it`s got a decent chance to be on the front page of
And so, o you`ve created the siege mentality. It is dangerous for a
society like ours to have a police department that is not trusted by our
community because they will be less effective at law enforcement. And it
is dangerous for police officers to feel afraid. We want to reduce the
tension. We want to reduce the extent at which police feel attacked
unjustly. And we also want to bring about a level of accountability that
we think is reasonable.
HAYES: Assembly Member Brian Kavanaugh, thank you. Appreciate it.
KAVANAUGH: Appreciate it. Thank you.
HAYES: As bad as things are right now between Bill de Blasio and the
NYPD, this is not the first time we`ve seen New York police revolt against
a city`s political leadership. This is very important. As de Blasio`s
office pointed out to reporters today, both of the mayor predecessors,
Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, were booed by audiences at police
academy graduations. When it comes to liberal mayor`s attempts to reform
the NYPD, this is far from the worst response by the police unions. In
1992, when Mayor David Dinkins proposed just creating an independent
civilian agency that would review of alleged NYPD misconduct, the
Patrolmen`s Benevolent Association convened a protest of around 10,000 off-
duty officers at city hall, which "The New York Times" called the most
unruly and angry police demonstration in recent memory.
According to "The Times`" accounts, some of the officers, quote,
"mounted automobiles and began raucous demonstrations, denting the cars,
while several thousand officers marched onto the Brooklyn Bridge, blocking
traffic in both directions." And the uniformed officers on site did,
quote, "virtually nothing to control the crowd."
As recently as 2011, New York police officers rallied in anger around
a group of colleagues who are indicted on over 1,600 criminal crimes from
ticket fixing to attempted robbery. The officers carrying signs, chanting
slogans against the district attorney and then Police Commissioner Ray
Kelly reportedly blocking and even shoving members of the press. That`s
Mr. Lynch right there who you`ve seen in the headlines recently.
All of which gave the unfortunate impression that officers held
themselves above the law, and against the political leaders elected by the
public to set police policy.
Joining me now is columnist and editor board member at "New York Daily
News", Harry Siegel.
This context strikes me as pretty important. This is - the New York
City police unions going to war against the mayor is more the norm than an
HARRY SIEGEL, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: That`s right. You`ve forgotten in
1992, the racial slurs that were openly and wildly hurled by cops. It`s a
more diverse department now. But this stuff gets ugly.
In the `70s, there were fliers and other things put out telling
tourists, don`t leave your apartment, you get killed. New York City is one
of them, (INAUDIBLE) they put out a follow up called who`s next.
Literally, they had off duty officers passing these out and saying don`t
leave your hotel, you will be raped, killed, robbed and die.
HAYES: Wait a second, New York City police officers off duty with a
flier saying, who`s next, walking around to unsuspecting tourists coming up
and saying, hey, I`m a New York police officer, I`m off-duty, don`t leave
your hotel, you will probably be killed?
SIEGEL: Correct. So, the police like to present themselves because
they`re civil servants and because of the job they had as like the last
line between society and anarchy. But that`s a lot harder to do in an
incredibly safe city.
HAYES: Right. That strikes me as a really interesting question here.
Is that the context that brings this -- that`s bringing all of this to a
point? I mean, you`ve got the national context of Ferguson. A huge
discussion about race, policing, police accountability, people killed,
unarmed black men killed at the hands of police, Eric Garner obviously,
then you`ve got Bill de Blasio who ran on this campaign that was just basic
kind of policy reform campaign. It was no fire-breathing campaign about
bring down the NYPD, right, and then you`ve got the fact that the city just
gets safer and safer every year. You know, no matter what policies are put
Do you think that partly, the NYPD worries that people are going to
take them for granted?
SIEGEL: Well, the environment shifted. After 20 years for applauded
for this drop, suddenly, isn`t it time to ease up? Do we still need high,
aggressive policing? And the honest answer is the police don`t entirely
know. They don`t know exactly what brought crime down, and they don`t know
what could change that dynamic. And that`s really worrisome.
But the interesting thing is this has gone farther than the union
leadership wanted. They didn`t want that to happen at the funeral, 200
cops out of 25,000 who were outside on the monitor, they riled up their
crowd. And things went just passed where they wanted. The two units that
have been the most aggressive have contracts coming up, Pat Lynch has an
election next year.
HAYES: And they`ve got a meeting tomorrow, right? What is the
meeting going to be like?
SIEGEL: It`s going to be, I think it`s really cooling off. It`s
noteworthy that it`s not just the five cop unions that other big labor
players are also going to be there. And I think it`s a sign for all these
institutional players, OK, let`s take a breath and step back and see if we
can reach some sort of workable dynamic here.
Look, cops complain a lot. Mullins, the head of the sergeant union,
earlier this year, said, threaten work slowdown openly, which is illegal in
New York, after de Blasio changed the pot policy in a very sensible way.
SIEGEL: And the same guy threatened a work slowdown because of Kelly,
stop and frisk, he called a quota. So, they go on. But the truth is,
we`re going to end the year with record-low murders, record lows on most
major crimes, police are still doing the job. A lot of this is noise. And
it`s still gotten a little nastier even than the unions wanted.
HAYES: Yes, it`s going to be very interesting to see. This is the
first year for Bill de Blasio, what direction this takes next. It`s a
fascinating sort of political experiment being run by the mayor here in New
Harry Siegel, thank you.
SIEGEL: Thank you.
HAYES: Did the third most powerful member of the House Republican
leadership speak at a conference hosted by a former KKK leader? We`ll talk
about that next.
HAYES: The office of House Majority Whip Representative Steve
Scalise, the third most powerful Republican in the House, is now
acknowledging to NBC News it is quote, "highly likely" that Scalise once
addressed a room of Neonazis and white supremacists. Before he was elected
to congress, Scalise was a state legislator in Louisiana and in 2002,
according to an account first unearthed yesterday by a Louisiana political
blogger named Lamar White Junior, Scalise addressed the European
American Unity and Rights Organization or EURO conference.
EURO was founded by former KKK leader David Duke and is considered a
hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which describes the group
like this, quote, "beyond hosting a website, whitecivilrights.com and
staging an occasional conference, EURO is a paper tiger, serving primarily
as a vehicle to publicize Duke`s writing and sell his books."
The Anti-Defamation League a bit more pointed writing that, quote,
"under the EURO name, Duke organizes conferences that bring together anti-
Semites and racists from around the globe.
Scalise`s possible appearance for the group first surfaced after that
Louisiana blogger unearthed and publicized an entry from the white
supremacist message board known as Storm Front, which purports to be an
account of Scalise`s 2002 speech.
It reads in part, "Representative Scalise brought into sharp focus the
dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the
community at the expense of graft within the Housing and Urban Development
Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race."
The same poster apparently went back to Storm Front a couple years
later and &wrote this, quote, "it was just announced that Representative
Steve Scalise will enter the race in the first congressional district.
Those that attended the EURO conference in New Orleans will recall that
Scalise was a speaker, offering his support for issues that are of concern
to us. I suppose if Duke does not make
the election for whatever reason, this gentleman would be a good
Now at first, staffers for Scalise said they weren`t sure whether he
the conference of Neo Nazis and white supremacists telling Politico that
he, quote, "doesn`t remember speaking to this group and we don`t have any
record of his agenda from `02."
But The Washington Post`s Robert Costa reports the night that
Congressman Scalise has confirmed through an adviser he did speak at the
Still, the congressman`s staff insists that, quote, "Scalise has never
affiliated be with the abhorrent group in question. The hate fueled
ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to
what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father a husband and a devoted
An aide to Scalise reiterated to NBC News tonight that at the time of
the 2002 speech, Scalise was traveling the state, quote, "speaking to
anyone who would listen about his opposition to a state tax plan."
Wee reached out to Congressman Scalise`s office for further comment
and have not heard back. We will keep you posted.
Joining me now, MSNBC political reporter Benji Sarlin.
Well, Benji in the annals of headlines, not sure if I addressed the
Neonazi conference is not the best one for a member of congress.
BENJI SARLIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, pretty much anything with
Neonazi conference in the headline, you want to avoid.
In this case, it comes at an awful time. Steve Scalise is pretty new
to leadership. He was elected to give conservatives a voice after many
complaints after Eric Cantor was voted out in a primary by a conservative
challenger. and this is just as he`s starting to take over, get into the
job. There`s not a lot necessarily propping him up if something like this
comes in and there more stuff starts to come out. And his response,
necessarily, isn`t great.
So this is definitely a serious crisis for him right now.
HAYES: So I imagine -- I mean, at first they said they didn`t know.
And now I imagine the story is going to be, look, we had no idea we were
talking to anybody. You throw a conference, we`re there talking about our
tax plan. How plausible is it that he just rolled up to the -- I think,
the Best Western, with no idea what the heck he was addressing?
SARLIN: Well, in general, it isn`t unheard of for a politician to
show up to some group and not exactly know what the full details are. But
in this case, there`s a sort of reaction of disbelief from a lot of
politicos on both sides of the aisle, especially in Louisiana. Because
this is different David Duke, this is not an obscure figure, this is
someone who was an international embarrassment for
the United States, but especially for Louisiana because he kept either
winning or running competitive elections in the state even though he was a
former Grand Wizard of the KKK.
This isn`t someone who was, like, some obscure French figure, maybe
you didn`t know he wrote something on a web site one time. It seems within
two minutes of walking into that hotel, you probably had a pretty good idea
of what was going on.
HAYES: Well, and also my understanding, and Robert Costa was tweeting
a lot of this saying there were some advance is the conference was a big
story, locally, the hotel had to kind of issue a repudiation in advance of
the conference. So there`s some reason to believe this was in the news
enough that you, you know, you
would know, plausibly, you`d have a good chance of knowing what you`re
Some people pointed out that a previous gathering in 2000 was actually
broadcast on C-SPAN it was seen as that newsworthy that C-SPAN would be
it, would be broadcasting it. I mean, this got press coverage at the time.
So perhaps it`s not completely impossible, but at the very least, it
makes you wonder how plugged into your own state`s politics you were, and
national politics in general that you didn`t notice this giant red flag
that David Duke is hosting the conference you`re speaking at.
HAYES: And the question now becomes what becomes of him. And someone
else is pointing out a sort of veteran Louisiana politico was pointing out
that this time of year has felled other people -- Bob Livingston, for
instance, had to resign right around this time a year. I think the phrase
this politico used was eaten alive by borg reporters.
This seems like this is a very big problem for the GOP leadership.
They`re all in recess, everyone is home right now. But they`re going to
have to come up with a statement. People are going to have to come up with
positions about what to
do about this.
SARLIN: yeah, and most people have sort of held their tongues so far.
I reached out to Speaker Boehner`s office for comment. They haven`t said
anything. I`m sure they`re monitoring the situation carefully waiting to
see if another shoe drops.
But we have a good parallel for this, which is Trent Lott who was
felled exactly the same way. And it was a bit of a slow burn, it`s not
like it immediately became a crisis for him. It took a little time after
he made comments praising Strom Thurmond`s segregationist presidential run.
And it was only after more news stories started coming out about prior
associations with white supremacist groups that things started to heat up.
That`s the situation that Scalise needs to worry about right now.
Already people are clearly picking through every statement he`s ever made
right now trying to figure out if there`s more dots to connect here.
HAYES: Benji Sarlin of MSNBC.com, thank you.
SARLIN: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, it is a very special time of year. And it`s the
second annual All In All Awards Special. And it`s next. Stick around.
HAYES: All right, this past year has been a rough one. But as we
discussed in last week`s silver lining show, there were some bright spots.
And, last year, around this time, we presented the first annual All In All
Awards Special. Tonight, we give you the second annual All In All Awards
Here to help me assign the awards, contributor to CBS Sunday Morning
Nancy Giles, director of Africana studies and associate professor of
English ad Lehigh University James Peterson, columnist for the Daily Beast
Michael Moynihan and CEO and co-founder of Cultivated Wit Baratunde
Thurston. It`s great to have you all here.
I like the rookie of the year category. Let`s start with you Nancy
Giles. Your nominee for rookie of the year.
NANCY GILES, CBS SUNDAY MORNING: Lupita Nyong`o because not only as
an actress, but as a fashion icon and as a beautiful brown-skinned woman
who, let`s face it, us brown-skinned girls haven`t gotten the love that we
deserve. And she set it forward in so many different ways.
HAYES: She was a real sensation this year.
GILES: Oh my god. Well, she was great in the movie, also.
HAYES: She was fantastic in the movie.
Although, I always just sort of worry about the horrible way in which
like it girls get named and then devoured by the Hollywood machine, which
is like any time.
BARATUNDE THURSTON, CULTIVATED WIT: That`s how they keep making them.
HAYES: That`s right. That`s what`s so depressing and cruel about the
whole thing. It`s like -- it like has this weird, internal logic where
it`s like all anyone wanted to talk about was Lupita, you know what I mean?
And I`m like...
JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: And five minutes later...
HAYES: Oh, god, what are they going to do to you? Where are they
going to discard you because they do that time and time again.
GILES: They do. But not many look like her, so I`m hoping that and
background is going to help her maintain.
THURSTON: It`ll increase her negotiating power just a little longer.
That`s what happen behind the scenes when people pop that`s probably going
to be good for her.
GILES: But you know what, she`s still not getting the same amount of
offers as white actress at all. I mean...
HAYES: I feel like this year was sort of an interesting year in terms
of race in Hollywood.
GILES: Why do you say that?
HAYES: Maybe it`s just the blogs I read.
And the emails, the private email correspondence of certain
GILES: Oh my god.
HAYES: And the Chris Rock -- and Chris Rock`s sort of recent round in
which I was just like he`s like a writer now.
THURSTON: He`s a columnist everywhere.
I can`t go to an internet website without finding Chris Rock...
HAYES: I know. We tried to book him and it was like, no, sorry.
He`s talked to everyone.
THURSTON: No, he`s been killing it. It`s been beautiful.
GILES: And a recent almost divorce, so...
HAYES: Your rookie of the year.
PETERSON: My rookie of the year is mayor of Newark, New Jersey Ras,
Baraka, the guy that succeeded Corey Booker. He had a really tough
political battle there with Shavar Jeffries. And people don`t know this,
but he`s the son of Aimiri Baraka. So he campaigned, lost his father,
still won the race. And for a lot of young people, people in my generation
in Newark, New Jersey, it`s a big victory. So Ras Baraka
HAYES: How is -- being the being in Newark seems like -- it`s like
the drummer for Led Zeppelin or like -- you know what I mean, like the
number -- it`s just -- it`s hard...
HAYES: You are not controlling the structural forces that are making
-- that are hurting Newark are not the things, necessarily, that mayors
controlling, by and large. And there you have to...
PETERSON: and that`s why it`s kind of a litmus test for how America
urban America, particularly when you think about all the challenges that
urban America faces, Newark is kind of the poster board for that. That`s
why the mayors of Newark always have such prominence, because they either
fail really horribly or
succeed really extraordinarily in terms of confronting...
HAYES: Or they succeed really extraordinarily politically without
THURSTON: How is his Klout score? How is he doing on Twitter?
PETERSON: You know, it`s interesting is that he`s been a lot quieter
on social media.
PETERSON: He`s always very inspirational on social media, but he`s
HAYES: It`s of course a reference to Corey Booker, the previous
Newark mayor who was...
PETERSON: All over Twitter all of the time.
THURSTON: Rescued people from a burning building.
HAYES: Via tweet.
PETERSON: I don`t think Mayor Baraka is going to be quite like Mayor
Booker that way.
HAYES: Michael, you`re rookie of the year.
MOYNIHAN: I didn`t -- if I had known I could pick actors and
MOYNIHAN: My communication was totally different. So I chose David
Bratt. I always want to say to say David Brent, by the way, from The
Office who pushed out Eric Cantor and who became a sort of libertarian in
the House and screwed up immigration reform and a whole bunch of other
things. There`s a lot of things that screwing up immigration reform, but
no I liked it when he came in and said I`m a libertarian. I`m opposed to
gay marriage, I`m opposed to immigration and I want to thank Jesus Christ
for getting me this.
But he did, he came up and said that Jesus got me elected. And if I
was a voter in Virginia, I would have been very insulted, because you know
it was me, not Jesus.
MOYNIHAN: So this new -- and it`s a weird thing for people like me
identify, partially, sometimes as libertarians, that these guys come in and
self-identify and make it difficult for the rest of us.
HAYES: Well, and the brand -- I feel like the brand has a certain
cachet right now, particularly among the sort of -- the voting primary base
of the Republican Party where you`re seeing them embrace the label, even if
they`re sort of kind of lineage politically isn`t what you exactly self
MOYNIHAN: Well, it`s exactly what so many libertarians who self-
identify were trying to get away from.
HAYES: That`s right.
MOYNIHAN: We`re not them, you know, I mean...
HAYES: Brad, also, I`ve got to say, like if you watch -- if you
observe politics, you like unexpected things.
Also, anytime someone beats someone that out spends them like 230 to
GILES: Oh, yeah.
HAYES: It`s kind of like when you did something right. Like whatever
it is, whatever your politics are...
THURSTON: There are also a tremendous amount of people who hate Eric
Cantor for a lot of different reasons.
HAYES: Baratunde, I want to get your nominee for the year right after
we take this quick break.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight, the New York Daily News is reporting
this hour that embattled Republican Congressman Michael Grimm of New York
has decided to resign his seat in the U.S. House. Just last week, he
pleaded guilty to one felony federal charge of filing false tax returns but
said he would not resign. Daily News cites unnamed sources reporting that
Grimm he changed his mind after
speaking today with House Speaker John Boehner.
Imagine how that conversation went.
According to the Daily News, Grimm plans to announce his resignation
tomorrow or Wednesday. We have not been able to independently verify the
Daily News reporting.
HAYES: All right, welcome back to the second annual All In All Awards
Still with me Nancy Giles, James Peterson, Michael Monyahan and
Baratunde, rookie of the year.
THURSTON: First of all, for Michael Grimm, sorry.
Rookie of the year, Senator Elizabeth Warren, things like she`s
actually shown us how to be a senator, not to necessarily pursue some other
office. She`s holding her ground in that office and demonstrating pretty
strongly like holding her commitments to the inequality issue, to the banks
getting a bailout with no strings attached and I like the way she`s holding
HAYES: She has proven herself to be an incredibly savvy, incredibly
adept politician in a way that I wouldn`t necessarily have anticipated.
THURSTON: No, she`s supposed to be this academic wonky...
HAYES: She`s new to it, right?
THURSTON: And she had a -- people forget, she had a rough campaign.
There was a long period where it was like learning curve was like very
apparent, because you walk into that thing, that is like the modern day
campaign. And even if you`re really smart, really accomplished, really
careful, really charismatic person you could get destroyed.
And she`s sort of like figured out the way.
HAYES: All right, next category is biggest surprise of the year.
Most surprising moment of the year. What have you got Nancy Giles?
GILES: OK, let`s see.
I didn`t realize you were going to come to me. Here we go -- oh, that
there were no indictments from either grand jury in Ferguson or in New York
City. And yes, some thought that Ferguson was maybe had some gray areas,
but Eric Garner, I mean, the tape...
HAYES: That was genuinely shocking.
GILES: It was -- I was shocked. I mean, I had friends who were like
oh thought it was going to go the right way? I was hurt and saddened and
just felt so depressed.
THURSTON: But when you -- was part to have that shock that it was New
THURSTON: But then was part of the answer that it was Staten Island?
GILES: Well, right. Right. You know, then, when I factored that in.
HAYES: Well, and part of it also -- I mean, I think the thing we`re
learning in terms of like whether it`s a surprise or not, right...
PETERSON: Broken system.
HAYES: Is that it`s a system by which it happens and also the fact --
I mean, when you start to drill real far down, right, it`s, like, police
have a lot of latitude in using a lot of force. Like, that`s the thing
that maybe, at the end we`re starting to sort of stare into maw of, which
is like there`s a lot of latitude built into the law and the system to let
them do a lot of things.
GILES: That grand jury is not like any kind of grand jury that exists
HAYES: Surprise of the year, James.
PETERSON: Aside from Beyonce dropping a 17 track music video album,
have to say the president`s move on Cuba. It was a huge surprise. You
couldn`t read the tea leaves and see that.
HAYES: That really felt e felt like it came out of nowhere.
HAYES: I will also add -- this is not a category, but best remote
insemination story of the year award goes to the U.S. government and Senate
MOYNIHAN: That`s always a very tough category.
HAYES: It`s always a competitive one...
MOYNIHAN: So competitive, that one.
HAYES: ...remote insemination that happened when an imprisoned Cuban
figure who was able to get his wife pregnant remotely thanks to the help...
THURSTON: Modern technology.
HAYES: Amazing thing.
Surprise of the year.
MOYNIHAN: I`m sorry to go back like I`m obsessed with Virginia
electoral politics, but Eric Cantor losing his job.
THURSTON: It was a huge shock.
MOYNIHAN: It was a huge shock.
A huge shock, you know, on the Garner...
HAYES: I would actually say those two moments were two of the moments
-- the Cantor loss and the Garner were the two of moments when I was
sitting and saying..
MOYNIHAN: I was actually shocked by that. I think most people
HAYES: All right, Baratunde, you`re going to give us your surprise
right after this break.
HAYES: Your the tease man.
HAYES: All right, we`re going to wrap up the second annual All In All
Nancy Giles, James Peterson, Michael Moynihan and Baratunde Thurston.
Baratunde, surprise of the year?
THURSTON: I kind of want to say Eric Cantor just for you, Michael.
But, no, for me, it goes back to Nancy Giles` comment about these verdicts.
But the protests. I`ve been surprised by the sustained commitment to civil
disobedience to relatively clear demands for whether it`s reform of the
grand jury process or more accountability for police use of force.
There`s something -- there`s always a rhythm to black people being
killed by cops. (inaudible) been broken by the statement of these
protests. And I think the Black Lives Matter, I Cant` Breathes of youthful
and diverse coalition is bigger and longer lasting than I expected.
HAYES: And it also -- I think it also felt like it -- it did not come
out of nowhere, but it felt to a lot of people like it did, you know what I
THURSTON: I think it was tipping point, some cumulative thing. And
then Bill Cosby reached a tipping point of a certain kind. That was also
like these things that`s always going on.
HAYES: That`s in the like disappointments of the year, ghastly and
All right, let`s do this category, most historically significant thing
that happened this year? So, when you look back in 2034 on what happened
this year, what`s your nominee?
GILES: Cuba. Cuba. I think that`s going to have a long lasting...
HAYES: It is a huge deal. It`s amazing, it didn`t even like -- it
like lasted half a news cycle. It`s like -- this has been a piece of
American minister of policy for six decades and it was like, yeah, they
wanted it gone.
GILES: What I love so much about the Cuba thing was just the logic of
if we`ve been doing the same thing for 50 years and it hasn`t worked, we
something else. And I can`t understand why...
THURSTON: That disappoints me in America, because we`re supposed to
GILES: Yeah, right.
HAYES: The definition of insanity.
THURSTON: I don`t know what to believe in any more.
PETERSON: I like to -- you know, the things that have happened around
legalization of marijuana I think we`ll look back at this year...
HAYES: As like this sort of tipping point...
PETERSON: The tipping point -- recreational use in Colorado,
decriminalization in D.C., decriminalization in Philadelphia. I mean, that
stuff is really, really big for the present reform movement, but also big
HAYES: I think 2014 is the beginning of the end of prohibition as
like a epochic marker.
MOYNIHAN: Unfortunately, I`m going repeat Cuba, definitely. I mean,
from 1959 to today, totally caught us by surprise. You know, we`ll see how
it shakes us out for Americans and when they can travel and how it will
shake up for Cubans.
I think this is the more important point that people often miss,
Americans have been liberated to travel to Cuba, thank god. The embargo
must go, too. It has not gone. People sometimes conflate these two
things. But unfortunately, the misery of the Cuban people existing under
the yoke of a dictatorship is not over, unfortunately.
HAYES: And that`s the question, is what this does there. Baratunde.
THURSTON: I get to go before the break?
THURSTON: Oh, wow.
HAYES: It`s the last thing in the show. That would be hilarious if I
teased it, tune in tomorrow night.
THURSTON: So, I`m going to piggy bag on the weed thing, but go a
little broader, you mentioned incarceration. I think that`s been a huge
thing. Prop 47 in California.
There are right and left both coming together around the same idea
that you can`t lock up a whole country.
HAYES: I`m not going to (inaudible) I`m just going to give my tweet
of the year, this is my tweet of the year, check it out. Can you put it up
there, guys? Tweet of the year, thank you. It`s from (inaudible),
"reporter Mr. President, what`s your favorite Wu Tang album? Obama: what
kind of question is, Biden grabs podium, Liquid Swords."
Nancy Giles, James Peterson, Michael Moynihan, Baratunde Thurston also
the right answer. Thank you. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel
Maddow show starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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