All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
January 14, 2015
Guest: Jeremy Scahill, Ted Rall, Adrian Carrasquillo, Tara Dowdell, Brian
Murphy, Sam Seder
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sold out fast, 3 million copies.
HAYES: Publication day for the first edition of "Charlie Hebdo" since
the attack, as al Qaeda officially claims credit, and French prosecutors
arrest a comedian for a Facebook post.
Then, Republicans vote for mass deportations on the Hill.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Enough is enough.
HAYES: Rand Paul goes into attack mode, questioning the sanity of
another Romney campaign as he picks up a key endorsement of his own.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rand Paul is the best.
HAYES: And as a Virginia lawmaker wins his special election while
serving his jail sentence, we take a look at the greatest crooked
politicians of all time.
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has officially claimed credit are to
the massacre at the offices of satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" carried
out by two French brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, that left 11 dead and
11 more wounded. The 11-minute video released by AQAP shows senior leader
Nasir al-Ansi claiming the attack on "Charlie Hebdo" was ordered over its
insult over the Prophet Muhammad, with al-Ansi saying his group trained and
financed the operation.
He specifically cited U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who
was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011 as having coordinated the
On Friday, Jeremy Scahill of "The Intercept" citing a source within
the group broke the story that AQAP was claiming they had directed the
attacks as Scahill discussed on this show. But today marks the first time
AQAP has officially and definitively made that claim.
U.S. State Department today confirmed the authenticity of the AQAP
video, though the investigation into the link between the Kouachi brothers
and the jihadi is continuing.
AQAP has not presented any kind of definitive evidence that it was
responsible for the attack leading some to wonder about the level of
coordination, particularly since Anwar al Awlaki, who allegedly helped
coordinate the attack, was killed more than three years ago.
Also today, French newspaper "Le Parisien" reports that police have
identified a fourth suspect believe to have been an accomplice to Amedy
Coulibaly in the shooting of a police officer and the attack on a kosher
supermarket last week. According to the report, which has not been
confirmed by MSNBC, this fourth suspect, believed to have driven Coulibaly
to the supermarket may have already fled possibly to Syria.
MSNBC today obtained still from the surveillance camera inside the
kosher supermarket where Coulibaly murdered four Jewish hostages and
claimed affiliation with the "Charlie Hebdo" shooters. The video released
by AQAP today claiming credit for the "Charlie Hebdo" murders notably did
not claim credit for that supermarket attack.
Separately, ISIS, which has often been at odds with al Qaeda,
sometimes violently, released a video of its own today, praising the Paris
attacks and encouraging its followers to commit additional killings.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., an Ohio man was arrested for planning to
attack the U.S. Capitol. The man identified as 20-year-old Christopher
Cornell has allegedly posted comments online supporting ISIS and said he
wanted to go forward with violent jihad citing the encouragement of Anwar
al Awlaki. Cornell, who bought two assault-style rifles and 600 rounds of
ammunition was dealing with an undercover agent the entire time and was
never in a position to carry out his plan.
Joining me now is investigative reporter for "The Intercept", Jeremy
It`s good to have you back, Jeremy.
JEREMY SCAHILL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE INTERCEPT: Thank you.
HAYES: So, how much of this is the M.O. for how AQAP claims credit
for an attack, this kind of a video? Is this what we`ve seen before?
SCAHILL: Yes, this is -- I mean, this is textbook AQAP. What they
would normally do is issue a statement through Al Malahem media, which
we`ve seen now in this video, either in a form of an audio recording, more
recently in the form of highly produced videos, accompanied by a full text
translation in both English and Arabic, sometimes in other languages.
What was slightly different here and this shows a transformation of
AQAP`s methodology, when it comes to putting out their message, is that
they first did this, they sort of gave a hint of it on Twitter. Yes, we
got the statement before any other news outlet published it.
But if you follow what -- the sort of evolution of this, AQAP is
becoming much more social media savvy. They`re using out to more media
people and they`re using Twitter and other accounts a lot. They have their
own verification system. It`s not the blue check mark. It`s that they
will say I`m their official old school channels, hey, follow these Twitter
So, it`s their own validation --
HAYES: That`s the AQAP version of the blue check.
SCAHILL: They do not have a blue check point at this point, but they
have something like that.
HAYES: OK. Then the question becomes, well, do we believe them? I
mean, is there evidence? And you pointed that in past instances, they have
claimed credit and only released evidence many months later.
SCAHILL: Right. I`m pressing them in my interaction with AQAP
sources, I`m saying, look, it`s one thing for you to claim credit and, yes,
we all see the reports about them being in Yemen, and you`re telling me
both of the brothers were in Yemen. But in the past, you`ve released
photos and a marker video. You`ve shown in the case of the underwear
bomber, hey, this guy was with us in Yemen and we actually were the ones
who filmed his martyr video.
That hasn`t happened yet. My sense is that if we don`t see that kind
of proof -- and we still may.
SCAHILL: But let`s say that we don`t see that kind of proof, then
what`s likely here is that AQAP played some sort of a role in preparing at
least one, but probably both of the Kouachi brothers to do some sort of
attack in the future. And they may or may not have continued an encrypted
conversation with them over an extended period of time.
HAYES: OK. So, then the question becomes, they did not claim credit
for the attack in the kosher market. The question I think from sort of
30,000 feet, is like what kind of plot are we dealing with, and were the
two things coordinated or not? That seems like the big question for
investigators, for everyone who`s wondering about the extent of all this.
SCAHILL: Well, I mean, this gets complicated for the following
reason. We know that the Kouachi brothers knew Amedy Coulibaly going back
to at least 2010. There`s indications that it went back well beyond that,
that they had been involved in other cases to try to free prisoners, and
they have a lot of common associates. There are phone records that
apparently link wives of each of these two guys together. So, on the one
hand it looks like, hey, yes, it must be that they were coordinating.
There`s another possibility, though, which is that the Kouachi
brothers did go to AQAP and got trained in Yemen, that they came back, but
they were empowered to set up their own cell. This is a guy that they
knew, that they trusted on a micro-level. There are reports out of Belgium
today that he actually acquired 5,000 euro worth of weapons, including
weapons allegedly that were used in the "Charlie Hebdo" attack, which would
be the most concrete link that we have in terms of the guys working
SCAHILL: It`s also possible that Coulibaly was aware of the plot,
decided that he was going to do his own thing then, had some of the weapon
and went and shot up the kosher supermarket. It`s interesting that AQAP
said, we had nothing to do with that.
But there`s also internal politics here. If AQAP were to say, hey,
this was part of it, and Coulibaly had pledged his allegiance to Al-
Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph --
HAYES: Of --
SCAHILL: Of ISIS, that would have been saying, hey, we worked with
ISIS on this.
SCAHILL: So, part of this is political. And you don`t see this point
being made. But that`s a big part of why al-Ansi today, in a statement,
said it was a coincidence but we praise it, because he didn`t want to be
seen, and that would have sent the message in the Arabic speaking world,
didn`t want to be seen as being in concert with ISIS, because they`re
enemies right now.
HAYES: So, the final question here on al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula. They had been, American authorities said they view as the
biggest for threat for attacks domestically in the U.S. They have their
hands full --
SCAHILL: I would view deranged white people shooting up schools as
the biggest domestic threat in that case.
HAYES: That is a fair point.
So, the question about al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in terms of
where their focus is, whether it`s on Yemen, the Saudis, the West and the
U.S., will just as a sort of factual matter of where their attacks have
SCAHILL: I mean, they`ve been highly unsuccessful at carrying out
attacks. AQAP has. In "Inspire", the English language magazine, it`s like
90 percent of what they talk about. Let`s attack America, Britain, France.
In their Arabic language communications, they`re much more focused
internally on Yemen. Many, many more of their victims are Yemenis or other
Arabs, and Saudi Arabia, rather than the United States.
So, it`s the power of nightmares. Anwar al-Awlaki and "Inspire" give
American policymakers and English language people nightmares, but it`s
actually not the main goal driving.
HAYES: And the nightmares give them bragging rights, which is why
they do it.
SCAHILL: That`s why you want to take credit for this type of a thing,
even if you had an inconsequential or minor role in it.
HAYES: Jeremy Scahill, thanks a lot.
SCAHILL: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. The first issue of "Charlie Hebdo" since the
attack went on sale in Paris today and it sold out almost immediately, with
long lines forming at French newsstands early this morning, the print run
of the new issue dubbed the "survivors issue", already expanded from 60,000
to 3 million.
And today, the plan run was expanded even further with another 2
million copies to be printed. As noted by NBC`s Bill Neely, the combined 5
million copies make "Charlie Hebdo" the biggest selling newspaper in the
history of French publishing.
Here`s one cartoon from inside the new issue, which is full of
provocative images, shows a figure of death reading the magazine and
proclaiming, quote, "I`m subscribing."
The NBC Universal news group which include MSNBC has decided not to
show the cover of the issue which depicts Muhammad holding a sign
emblazoned with the words "Je Suis Charlie", a reference to message of
solidarity that took hold around the world about the attacks. The cover
also includes the words "all is forgiven".
NBC Universal news group said today that while it supports free speech
and a right of "Charlie Hebdo" to publish materials that may offend, quote,
"We make editorial decisions every day about what information to share with
the public, and pursuant to our policies and guidelines, we take care not
to offend our audience, particularly with regard to matters of race,
religion, and ethnicity." I should note for the record that I do not agree
with that decision.
Meanwhile, just three days after more than 3 million people marched in
solidarity with "Charlie Hebdo", and the principle of free speech, police
in France detained highly controversial French comedian and provocateur
Dieudonne M`bala M`bala over a Facebook comment in which he appeared to
claim allegiance with Amedy Coulibaly, the supermarket gunman.
Dieudonne is a well-known figure in France, already has convictions
for inciting anti-Semitism and he`s popularized in arm gesture that
resembles a Nazi salute.
The arrest of Dieudonne coming after a wave of celebrations of the
primacy of free speech serves as a perfect illustration the context of free
speech in Europe, particularly where there`s no First Amendment, all kinds
of speech are criminalized by the state.
Dieudonne was released today but will be put on trial next month for
justifying terrorism. He could face up to seven years in jail. At least
54 such cases have been open in France just since the terrorist attacks,
including 37 cases involving condoning terrorism, and 12 for threatening to
carry out terrorist attacks.
Joining me is someone who has pushed the limits of what`s considered
acceptable for publication here in the U.S., Ted Rall, editorial cartoonist
for "The Los Angeles Times."
Good to have you here, Ted.
TED RALL, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Likewise.
HAYES: OK. So, I guess first your response to the first issue of
"Charlie Hebdo". Muhammad on the cover, the decision by U.S. outlets to
publish or not publish.
RALL: Well, I think the solidarity argument that everybody should
print these things that has been going around on social media is a little
HAYES: I agree with you there as well. Continue.
RALL: I mean, if the right to free speech and free expression means
anything, we also have the right to not express ourselves in a way we don`t
feel like we have to have words stuffed down our throats or pictures.
That said, I think that journalism is about telling the truth. And if
cartoonists are killed over a cartoon, readers need to see, or viewers need
to see that cartoon in order to understand what exactly provoked this.
HAYES: So, there`s a distinction here between publishing as an act of
solidarity, as sort of ideological statement, and publishing as a
newsworthy thing that you need to see to understand the story.
HAYES: Yes, which is sort of where I come down the latter question.
In terms of this Dieudonne story, I mean, you couldn`t script it
better. There`s all these people, this growing backlash you`ve been seeing
among French commentators, and others, saying we`re talking about free
speech, but obviously the murder of these people is in a sort of singular
category. But we`re not talking about a country in which there`s something
like free speech, even as we understand in the U.S., where free speech is
restricted in other ways as well.
RALL: Well, that`s right. I mean, obviously, Europe has its own
unique history and France has its own history in World War II that
influences the anti-hate speech rhetoric. So, it`s a little different.
HAYES: Particularly, specifically the denial of Holocaust, for
instance, is a crime in France.
RALL: Right. You can see why they come down that way. In the United
States we have limited about libel. But they don`t have a First Amendment
in France. So, they don`t have as much free speech as we do.
In England, for example, there are the anti-libel laws are ferocious
and brutal. So, if you`re charged with libel, you`re guilty until proven
So, it`s a different tradition there, and the limits are different in
different countries. But to Americanize, it`s certainly hypocritical.
HAYES: There`s this question about sort of the role of the cartoon
particularly, and also the way someone called it a sacralizing "Charlie
Hebdo", which is this sort of extremely irreverent journal. What is your -
- you`re someone who has faced backlash, who`s been attacked for things
that people felt stepped over the line, how do you compare your situation
to their? And how do you understand this today?
RALL: Well, first and foremost, I mean, I`m sitting here talking to
you. I mean, 12 people, 17 people in total are dead. So, obviously,
nothing that I`ve gone through compares with that, and can`t.
But that said, every political cartoonist in the United States
receives death threats. And it`s kind of a miracle it hasn`t happened
before now. I mean, I`ve had police protection. It`s not uncommon. Many
of my peers can say the same thing.
So, it`s not -- the limits of free speech in the U.S. are in some ways
not incomparable to that. But that said, "Charlie Hebdo", I think the
cartoonists, and I knew some of the people who died, would laugh at the
idea that they have -- that they`ve had this amazing influence on the
culture. And that they prompted this massive conversation on free speech.
They would like it -- they would approve, think it was hilarious,
because they were so marginalized, even within the French media before this
happened. So, they only had 30,000 to 60,000 circulation, now they have 5
million circulation overnight. I mean, it`s funny, right?
HAYES: It is a remarkable thing to mention. As someone who has
worked in very small lefty publications on the second floor of buildings,
it is something to sort of shake your head at in amazement that this
publication is now this rallying cry for the world, from everyone from the
Saudi ambassador, right, to Republican members of Congress.
RALL: But we don`t choose our martyrs. I mean, that`s the thing.
They`re martyrs to free speech. If the cartoons hadn`t been outrageous and
profane, I don`t think anyone had been shot over them. I mean, these
controversies happen. They happen over the most outrageous speech. That`s
always the way it`s going to be.
I mean, we`re going to find ourselves having this debate about, do we
like these cartoons. But the thing is, if we go too far down that road,
we`re forgetting the fact that these cartoonists and these editors were
murdered over these cartoons. And they`re just ink on paper, colorizing
PhotoShop, that`s all they are.
HAYES: All right. Ted Rall, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
RALL: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: If Republicans are worried people are going to think they are
hostile to immigrants, they did not do themselves any favors today. I will
HAYES: Since we have been talking about freedom of speech tonight,
here`s one U.S. citizen, a Michigan man by the name of Dave Agema, who
exercised his First Amendment rights. Sharing on Facebook, what he or
someone he was quoting called very interesting article. From a white
supremacist newsletter, quote, "blacks are different by almost any measure
to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate
as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to
all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike."
That is a disgusting sentiment. Agema has since removed that post and
says it does not represent his opinion. Because David lives in America, he
can post a disgusting piece of garbage like that, and he will not face any
legal consequences which is an awesome thing about America.
But David Agema is also a member of the Republican National Committee.
So, he might face some social consequences, or political consequences.
"Time" magazine is reporting an effort under way among RNC members to expel
Agema for what they call his abhorrent views.
Of course, RNC Chair Reince Priebus is calling for Agema to resign for
an earlier string of offensive Facebook post almost a year ago. So far,
Dave Agema has not been willing to leave the party on his own.
All eyes are now on San Diego where RNC`s winter meeting is going on
this week and where Dave Agema`s Facebook habit is likely to be a hot
HAYES: House Republicans of the 114th Congress are now officially on
the record calling for mass deportation. By a vote of 236-191, Republicans
passed a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that included an
amendment to block the president`s executive actions on immigration that
would shield around 4 million people from being deported. The funding bill
would also end deferred action for the so-called DREAMers, that`s a program
that has stopped the deportation of some 600,000 undocumented immigrants
who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Even though the bill passed, there was enough concern for moderates
and Republican caucus, particularly about the optics of the DREAMer`s
deportation vote, that John Boehner took to the House floor to make his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: We do not take this action lightly. But simply, there is no
alternative. There`s not a dispute between the parties, or even between
the branches of our government. This executive overreach is an affront to
the rule of law, and to the Constitution itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans didn`t take this vote with lots of fanfare today.
It`s the type of thing they do chiefly, I think, to appease the base and
don`t tend to advertise. But they`ve got a big problem, because the people
they are antagonizing -- well, those people are watching.
Joining me now, "BuzzFeed" news reporter Adrian Carrasquillo, who`s
got a great piece in "BuzzFeed" about precisely this phenomenon.
So, they took this vote today. It was important to the base,
important to the caucus, I think. They don`t like the president`s
executive action. But they also understand that have this real problem
with Latino voters. They`re coming into a presidential cycle, and you
write today about their problem, the Univision problem.
What is the Univision problem for Republicans?
ADRIAN CARRASQUILLO, BUZZFEED NEWS: Well, number one, the problem is
that Univision reaches 96 percent of Hispanic adults in the country. They
also have 72 percent of an audience that is unduplicated, which means that
they don`t watch English language newscast. So, if the RNC, if the
Republicans want to reach Hispanics, they want to do so on Univision.
The problem is that Univision makes immigration a big issue on the
air. Jorge Ramos, their powerful anchor, he makes that a big issue,
whether he`s talking to Obama or whether he`s talking to Republicans, he
always brings up immigration. He brings up there. You know, what he`s
probably doing tonight is talking about what they passed today, to roll
back DACA and to roll back Obama`s executive actions.
So, the problem with Univision is that for Republicans, is that they
basically are trying to reach these voters, but in a way of talking about
immigration, they don`t want to talk about immigration.
So, they can`t pull off, you know, there`s this phrase dog whistle
politics, right, where you send a signal that only a certain group of
people can hear. They can`t pull off dog whistle politics because the
sound is heard by Latino media, Univision, Telemundo, and others, that
broadcast it, and they can`t sweep it under the rug.
CARRASQUILLO: They can`t sweep it under the rug. You know, I spoke
to Jorge Ramos and I spoke to some of the news executives over at
Univision, and they say that, you know, basically, they have a different
relationship with their audience than English language, you know, folks do,
with their media. They say, you know, Latinos are not represented in
Congress. There are only three Latino senators or 17 percent of the
So, what they`re basically saying is we`re going to talk about
immigration, we`re going to talk about this issue. You know, part -- what
upsets Republicans is when they get ad pitches, when Univision wants their
ad dollars in congressional competitive races, they say immigration is not
the number one issue. It`s jobs and economy, it`s education, it`s health
care, before immigration.
But when they get up there and when they talk to Ramos, or when they
talk on local affiliates, all they hear about is immigration questions.
HAYES: OK. So, now, this is set up -- this has set up a dramatic
confrontation at the White House, which issued a veto threat. And this is
over -- also over a piece of funding for the Department of Homeland
Security which has its own kind of political ramifications, if there is an
impasse over this. How do you think this plays out next?
CARRASQUILLO: You know, what was interesting to me, you know, Ramos
made sure that he reiterated, and he said, you know, you would think with
Republicans, you know, being very upset with there being Clinton ties with
Univision, with Haim Saban being a major donor for her, and being an owner
of Univision. That maybe Univision would back down a little bit.
But Ramos said was, I understand their concern. You know, if they`re
not on the right side with immigration, if they decide to not engage and
now roll back immigration action that Obama has passed, then he`s going to
keep talking about it. He`s going to keep asking about it.
And so, he says, if they lose the Latino vote, they`re going to lose
the White House again.
HAYES: Adrian Carrasquillo, thank you very much.
CARRASQUILLO: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Why are some of the most prominent evangelical
countries in this countries rushing to defend a fire chief in Atlanta.
I`ll tell you, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKLIN GRAHAM, SAMARITAN`S PURSE: Because of something he has
published for his men`s bible study, he is being persecuted for his -- what
I believe are his religious views. And this should not be tolerated. And
we need to come together and support men like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Franklin Graham, Ralph Reed and a host of prominent
evangelical activists and other Christian conservatives are rushing to the
defense of Calvin Cochran, recently fired chief of the Atlanta Fire
Department, charging his dismissal is a violation of freedom of religion
and freedom of speech.
Family Research Council even compared it to the recent events in
Paris, tweeting out, "the silencing of #CharlieHebdo and fire chief Calvin
Cochran is a threat to freedoms at all."
Yesterday, several hundred people, many bearing signs reading,
"Standing for our faith, religious freedom and freedom of the speech"
descended on the state capital in a rally to support Cochran. They also
tout a proposed religious liberty law called Preventing Government
Overreach on Religious Expression Act.
Fire chief Calvin Cochran was suspended back in November after a self-
published book he wrote and reportedly distributed to firefighters called,
"Who told you that you were naked", a line from the Book of Genesis.
Cochran`s book defines uncleanness is, quote, "whatever is the
opposite of purity, including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty,
bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion."
Though Cochran contends he did not give the book to anyone who did not
want it, a copy of the investigation into his firing obtained by "The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution" says, quote, "The book was distributed in the
workplace to at least nine individuals. Three of these officers stated the
book was given to them without a request on their part."
Ralph Reid and Franklin Graham, among others, insist Cochran is being
religiously discriminated against.
But Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says his decision to dismiss fire chief
Kelvin Cochran was about a violation of protocol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASIM REED, MAYOR OF ATLANTA: The bottom line is, he was fired
because he displayed bad judgment.
He never got permission from me. If you listen to all of the sound,
all of the noise, he never got permission from me to publish a book.
And I`ll go a little further. I can`t publish a book without
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From who?
REED: From the ethics board. And I`m the CEO of the city of Atlanta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Cochran says he did indeed get permission to write the book
from the ethics director, but the internal report that looked at the firing
part, "ethics officer Hixon did not approve publication of the book and had
no authority to grant such approval.
"She said she told him he would need to get the Mayor`s permission as
well as a formal opinion from the board of ethics."
The controversy has put the spotlight on Atlanta`s Mayor Kasim Reed.
It`s not a secret in the land of Georgia politics that Mayor Reed has his
eye`s on statewide office.
And since taking office in 2010, Reed has done a pretty good job of
charting a pretty noncontroversial path, Often reaching across the aisle to
work with the Governor -- Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal.
And now with outrage beating at his door, Reed, to his credit, is not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REED: Now I ran for office. I got elected to this job. I certainly
take my share of criticism and heat.
But, I`ve got a wife and a daughter at home. And crazy people calling
my house, hanging up the phone, calling my the Antichrist, saying I`m some
form of Muslim. And while I respect Muslims and other faiths, I`m not.
And these people are just taking it a bit too far. But let me tell you
something, if Kelvin Cochran wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ralph
Reed, God bless him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know a crucial component of any high-level public position
is that when you get the high-level position, you don`t give up your
beliefs, but you do give up the freedom to say whatever you want, in
I mean the fire chief certainly couldn`t publish a book that gave his
real thoughts about which neighborhoods in Atlanta he liked best.
And that may be one of the reasons why Mayor Reed said that he hired
Kelvin Cochran to put out fires, not to be at the center of one.
HAYES: For those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the term
`throwing shade`, it describes something like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS: She says, "I`m quick to check a bitch if she is out
Are you the bitch she`s singing about?
MARIAH CAREY: Don`t know. Don`t know what she`s singing. I didn`t know
she sang. I thought she rapped, or whatever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Mariah Carey throwing epic shade at fellow pop star
Nikki Minaj while the two were feuding quite noticeably as judges on
Now, when it comes to politics, there is only one person who can dish
it out like Mariah, Senator Rand Paul. Who has been throwing shade left and
right at some of his potential 2016 rivals.
Paul is in New Hampshire today, home to the first of the nation
primary, where he told a group of local lawmakers just what he thinks about
Mitt Romney`s apparent decision to run again. Quote, "it`s sort of what
Einstein said, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and
over again and expect a different result."
That`s after he described Romney as yesterday`s news in an interview
Monday with Fox news radio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: Yeah, I like him personally. I think
he`s a good person. I think he`s a great businessman. But, you know, that`s
yesterday`s news. He`s tried twice. I don`t really think that there is a
third time out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rand has had similarly unsparing words from some of the other
potential GOP candidates, calling Jeb Bush a big government Republican,
referring to recent comments by Marco Rubio as childish, and questioning
Chris Christie`s commitment to the Second Amendment.
The truth is, you can`t help but feel for the guy. Just three months
ago Rand Paul was on the cover of Time Magazine dubbed the most interesting
in politics. Now he finds himself fighting for coverage, in an ever-more
crowded GOP field.
As is everyone else trying to build momentum for a ran.
Fresh off a State of the State Address with distinctly national
overtones, Governor Christie visited South Carolina today, another early
primary state, to
attend the inauguration for Governor Nikki Haley.
While Ted Cruz will travel there this weekend to headline a Tea Party
GOP donor Foster Friess is launching a new effort to boost Rick
another presidential bid.
Friess, you may recall, almost single-handedly kept Santorum from the
race in 2012, though he may be more famous for comments on using aspirin
Tomorrow, Jeb Bush heads out to Southern California for a number
of fund-raising stops while Mitt Romney, Scott Walker and former Fox news
contributor Ben Carson will all be there on Friday to address an RNC
in San Diego.
Meanwhile, team Romney is working its own version of John Lennon`s
One long time adviser telling the Boston Globe that if Mitt had been
elected last time, quote, "there wouldn`t be an ISIS at all. Putin would
know his place in life. Domestically things would be in better shape."
Joining me now Manu Raju, senior congressional correspondent for
It does seem to be that Rand Paul`s take on this is more unsparingly
aggressive, or more shade-throwing than his colleagues.
MANU RAJU, POLICO: Yeah. And really -- as you pointed out with the
TIME magazine cover, last year Rand was viewed as sort of the front-runner.
Remember, Chris Christie was going through Bridgegate. We certainly didn`t
think that Jeb Bush was going to run, or Romney definitely didn`t look like
as a potential candidate. But those folks now looking like they are going
to run, and perhaps Christie survives this Bridgegate controversy, that
Rand wants to assume that title of that conservative rabble rouser, that
firebrand that helped him win the Republican nomination on the back of Tea
Party supporters back in 2010 in his Senate race against an establishment-
He clearly wants to follow that similar tight model and present
himself as kind of that true, small government conservative, and as he said
to me calling Jeb
Bush a big government Republican, someone who wants to exert more
Washington control, watch for him to do more of that as he tries to present
a contrast and try to show himself as sort of the fresh face for the
Whether that works, though, as you know, there`s a long way to go and
it`s an open question.
HAYES: It seems to me if you`re Rand Paul, you actually want the
market space for, quote, establishment Republican to get as crowded as
possible, right? You probably want Christie, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney all
running, all beating the crap out of each other to assume that mantle, all
fighting for the same donors so that you have a bigger target and also so
that that support is kind of divided, because right now there`s a very,
very intense competition to be the, quote, conservative insurgent.
RAJU: Yes. Then you could run in the alternative to the
And clearly, that was the problem for Rand last year, when there
wasn`t really that person who had running the establishment type candidate.
And you saw all of those attacks against Rand Paul`s foreign policy views,
those folks like everyone from Rick Perry criticizing him as an
isolationist, and that really -- a lot of those labels sort of stuck
against Rand and he had to be very aggressive in pushing back.
Now, the spotlight is not on him, he can be the aggressor. He does
not have to worry as much about the knives coming out against him. And he
can in turn kick those knives out and stick it in some of his candidates.
And clearly, that`s what he`s trying to do against Jeb and Romney. He`s
not afraid to throw those bombs
as he`s clearly shown.
HAYES: He also was doing this, I remember, during the run-up to the
midterms where he`s sort of attacking the Clintons -- as Bill Clinton was
going to come down and campaign for Alison Lundergren Grimes. It seems to
me there`s a certain kind of bravado here, which is just showing you can
take a punch right that all -- there`s all this messaging happening right
now in the invisible primaries, all these candidates essentially court
donors, try to lock them up, try to keep them away from other people.
And what you`re sending messages to a fairly small group of people
with disproportionate power about what kind of candidate you can be. And
if Republican donors are anything like Democratic donors, and I`ve talked
to more Democratic donors than Republican donors, they really like people
that can fight. That gets them very excited.
RAJU: Yeah. And they want to show someone who can sustain the heat
during the campaign trail, including that`s what Rand is trying to do.
He`s been -- every time he`s been attacked, whether it`s been the Rick
Perry thing, or Rubio, questioning him on foreign policy, Rand Paul has
been so aggressive in getting back and trying to get back on the offensive,
trying to show that if you want to attack me, I`m going to attack you even
And what he said to me about Marco Rubio, is very clear. He said
questioned him, of course, on the Sunday show saying that isn`t Rand is
just the biggest cheerleader of Obama`s foreign policy, if he wants to be
that way, great.
And I asked Rand about that, and he said, well, Rubio wants to be the
biggest cheerleader of Obama`s immigration policy, that`s his choice.
So Paul clearly recognizes he has to be able to show that he can take
a punch, and he can punch back, and he can change that narrative, that`s
clearly what donors want to see, and what voters want to see as well.
HAYES: My favorite beef in this is field, of course, Chris Christie
and Rand Paul who got into it, I think it was last year, in a highly
entertaining fashion. I imagine we`ll see more of that. Manu Raju, thank
you very much.
You know how sometimes at big family dinners, talk inevitably turns to
politics and someone says about politicians, they`re all crooks. Some of
them actually are. And this got us thinking, because there was a crook who
is a politician in the news.
And so we`re presenting nominees for the greatest crooked politics of
all-time. Don`t miss that.
HAYES: All right, this is going to sound like the setup for a joke,
but I promise you it is not. What if I told you a politician who was
serving time in jail was just reelected from jail. He had to report back
to jail before the votes were finished being counted. That happened and
that story is next.
HAYES: For the last two weeks, a delegate to the Virginia
legislature, Joseph D. Morrissey, former Democrat representing Henrico
County north of Richmond, has been campaigning by day for election to
regain his seat out there, shaking hands with people, and then returning to
his jail cell by night.
The odd arrangement, the product of a plea deal in which the man knows
as Fighting Joe Morrissey did not admit guilt, but conceded there was
sufficient evidence to convict him of a misdemeanor charge of contributing
to the delinquency
of a minor.
Fighting Joe Morrissey was sentenced to a year with six months of that
suspended. Morrissey resigned from office. However, he was allowed to
serve his six-month jail term under a work release program, whereby he
could leave jail during the day with electronic monitor, keep practicing
and run to regain his office in a special election.
The minor in question was 17 years old when she and he met in 2013, at
the foot and ankle center -- not making that up, it was the foot and ankle
center. The young woman was interested in law and Morrissey later gave her
a job at his law firm, some kind of relationship ensued. Both Morrissey
and the young woman deny having sexual intercourse, though the woman, it
should be said, is now pregnant.
But in a plea agreement, submitted to the circuit court of Henrico
County, the state submitted a series of text message between the two of
them as well as texts between them and others suggesting that they did,
indeed, have sexual
intercourse while she was still 17, a minor.
The state was prepared to use this purported text from the young
woman`s cell phone to a friend`s cell phone, which read, "OMG, so much I
have to tell you but the most important thing!!! I just [blanked] my boss
tonight in our office on the desk and on the floor."
You would think that running for office from a jail cell would present
both political and logistical obstacles to election, but yesterday, in the
day of the special election, here were the results.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, let`s take a look at the spread, Carla, as
Delegate Joe Morrissey sits in the Henrico County regional jail east behind
me. He won with about 42 percent of the votes tonight, but legislators are
out saying they aim to take the seat from him, the very seat he just won
DEL. JOE MORRISSEY, VIRGINIA: During this campaign, I promise like I
had for the last seven-and-a-half years that I would run a positive
The other opponent wrote -- sent out nine of the most hurtful, mean-
spirited pieces I`ve ever seen, sent over 100,000 robocalls that were mean,
and I said, we`re going that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Who`d have thought, they went negative on the guy in jail.
Both the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Virginia House have
expressed their displeasure with his win. Morrissey, after all, ran as an
independent. It would take a two-thirds vote of the 100 member House of
Delegates to expel Morrissey, that hasn`t happened in over a century.
Just for good measure, in addition to his current jail sentence,
Morrissey has already faced disbarment, his law license has been suspended
and revoked and he`s been in jail before for a courthouse fist fight.
Well, all this got us thinking, it turns out this is not the first
time a politician has run for election under a cloud of legal suspicion.
There are politicians under various stages of indictment and conviction,
post plea, in prison and post prison, who have successfully maintained
office or gotten back in.
And who, we ask, had the greatest record of victory against all odds?
Our candidates next.
HAYES: We`re back.
Joining me now with their picks for which politician is the greatest
comeback story is political consultant Tera Dowdell, assistant professor at
Baruch College Brian Murphy, and Majority Report host and MSNBC contributor
I had a lot of fun reading today about the various -- there`s about
five, in recent memory, seven or eight that are in the running, the most
recent being of course Michael Grimm, who I don`t think any of you are
nominating Michael Grimm. OK, I`ll hold off -- Michael Grimm is pretty
The things you`ve got to consider, reader, as you judge this --
reader, viewer, as you judge this, are basically how well they did, and how
much they had against them, you know what I mean? That`s what I think
you`ve got to think about.
So, you start first, who`s your nominee?
SAM SEDER, MAJORITY REPORT HOST: Hands down, OK, and I`m not just
saying this because I grew up 40 miles from his city, former mayor of
Island, Buddy Cianci...
HAYES: He was there while I lived in Providence.
SEDER: Well, that`s the thing is that he was a mayor a lot of
Providence, but in between that time -- well, first he was mayor from 1974
to 1984. He had to leave the mayorship, because Buddy became convinced
that a former family friend of
his, who was a family friend at the time, was having an affair with his ex-
wife, and he called him over to his house and was convinced that he was
having an affair with his wife, invited him over to his house, where his
bodyguard/policeman let him in, frisked the guy, and then proceeded in
front of Buddy Cianci`s own attorney to beat the guy, to burn him with a
cigarette over the course of three hours, and harass this guy.
Finally, the former attorney general of the state had to be called
over to the house to tell Buddy to stop doing that. And so he pleaded no
contest to the assault, but he was subsequently found -- basically he was a
felon at that point.
HAYES: Right. And he went to jail, right?
SEDER: No, he didn`t go to jail the first time...
HAYES: The first time -- I forget.
HAYES: But there was a law that he had actually pushed through that
said if you commit any type of crime like that, you can`t hold office, and
you can`t run again for three years.
So three years after his probation ends, he runs again. He wins.
He`s mayor over what many people consider the renaissance period of
Providence, Rhodes Island.
HAYES: You`ll never guess how it ends. Well, how does it end, Sam?
SEDER: I`ve got to say, kudos to Cianci, he didn`t assault anybody
else, he just ended up getting indicted on basically racketeering.
HAYES: Federal racketeering. Operation plunderdome.
SEDER: Exactly. And served I think it was five years. And then...
HAYES: Coda on this. Give me the last part.
SEDER: Wait three. He tries to run again in 2014 and lose, just
HAYES: That is a pretty good one.
So, the thing he did which was sort of quasi kidnap and torture the
guy that he thought...
SEDER: Now it was like kidnap and torture.
HAYES: But three years, and he wasn`t actually in jail.
HAYES: Right, OK.
So, next nominee, Brian Murphy?
BRIAN MURPHY, BARUCH COLLEGE: Edwin Edwards. It would be a crime if
Louisiana didn`t have a part in this conversation. It`s a great tradition
Edwin Edwards I like, because he has longevity. He`s the sixth
longest serving governor in the history of the republic.
HAYES: Not just Louisiana, let`s just be clear.
MURPHY: No, just in general. Like in the history of the United
States, this guy has served more days as governor than like everybody else
except for five people, right?
He -- what I like about this, too, is that he`s got longevity, he`s
got creativity, and he brings the family in, right? His wife is a part of
schemes, his son, when he`s eventually indicted, he goes down for 17
counts, son, 18. Thinking of the kids.
His wife and he are part of this scam called Koreagate, one of the
early gates, where they take money from some rice businessmen on behalf of
the Korean government. This is really early in his career. And this is
not like a big deal at all.
Later in the 80s...
HAYES: He totally survived that. Like, it`s no big deal.
He`d take money from these businesses, nothing happens, doesn`t get
convicted or anything and...
MURPHY: So the government is super moralistic for even looking into
In the 80s, he`s brought up on charges. he rides a mule to the
federal courthouse in downtown New Orleans.
Dowdell: Who doesn`t ride a mule?
MURPHY: Symbolic gesture. Mistrial, then acquittal.
HAYES: Just so we`re clear here, the evidence is pretty persuasive.
He gets a mistrial with one jury, gets an acquittal with the second jury.
And later it turned out the jurors stole towels from the hotel room.
and he said, I was acquitted by a jury of my peers.
MURPHY: Then, he runs against David Duke.
HAYES: Right, so then he loses after that, right?
HAYES: And then he makes his comeback. And he gets very lucky,
because people are saying, everyone knows you`re a crook Edwin Edwards,
you`re never going to -- even for Louisiana, you can`t possibly win again.
And he draws.
MURPHY: And he gets blessed to run against David Duke. And he can
run and say, vote for the lizard, not the wizard.
And he eventually -- Cleo Fields, former congressman, gets indicted
after being spotted on a videotape taking $20,000 in cash and stuffing it
in his pocket from Governor Edwards and that is the end of the career.
HAYES: Tara Dowdell?
TARA DOWDELL, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, I have to go with Michael
Grimm, or former rep Michael Grimm.
Now, he had 20 counts, not 17, but 20 counts. And he ticks off all
the boxes. We got illegally funneling campaign money through a corrupt and
HAYES: Right, let`s be clear, all of the illegal funneling of things
that reach around people like him, but he was not indicted for. That
didn`t even have anything to do with the counts he was actually facing.
DOWDELL: Exactly. Well, no, no, that was initially what the
investigation was about. But as they dug deeper, as they peeled back the
layers of that onion, it really started to stink.
So what we had here is we have the illegal funneling of campaign
contributions to a corrupt guy through many money from pornographers. So,
we get through that. And then you go even deeper -- you know, this is a
given, tax evasion, you know, that`s standard operating procedure.
HAYES: Hundreds of thousands of dollars, tax evasion for the business
that he`s running in Manhattan.
DOWDELL: Paying undocumented workers under the table in cash.
Now remember, that`s against the Republican Party, lying to federal
investigators. And here`s the kicker, this guy`s a former lawyer and
HAYES: Former FBI is the best part.
And here`s the thing about it, he doesn`t eke out a victory he wins
going away. He crushes his opponent.
OK, so I have to say, because none of you said it, that Marion Barry I
think has to figure in this. I mean, the guy -- he`s infamous, synonymous
with political humiliation. Of course that tape, smoking crack with a sex
worker, a famous proclamation by him about how he was set up.
Basically runs not from prison, but pretty close, like he`s out for I
think a few weeks, when he runs for city council, wins going away. Next
mayoral election, elected mayor of D.C. again and people at his obituary,
he died recently, basically people said, look, this guy is mayor for life.
All of this I think is a lesson, right, that people are complicated,
politics are complicated and what people will forgive and what they will
not forgive, is
complicated. And it`s a good reminder of that.
Tara Dowdell, Brian Murphy, Sam Seder, thank you all.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
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