tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 2, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
biggest strength right now, the sense among democrats he's got the best chance of taking on trump. the candidates are going to spend it frantically pleading their case. every poll that looks like these two is probably the best closing message he's got. that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> it was a perfect call. >> damning new evidence about the president's orders in the ukraine scheme. >> get over it. >> tonight what we're learning from newly unredacted pentagon e-mails, why democrats are calling for more impeachment evidence and witnesses. and will republicans plow ahead with the cover-up? plus -- >> this will never, ever be a again gauzy. >> what we know about what happened at the u.s. embassy in iraq and why the president's policies are being blamed. then as another candidate leaves the race new fund-raising numbers that show wild
enthusiasm for the democratic field. and debunking one of the president's most repeated and brazen lies. >> we passed veterans choice. we just passed choice. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. a very happy new year. i'm chris hayes and we have new government documents tonight that give us more information just how directly involved the president was in what was likely ununlawful illegal withholding of course that's at the center of the impeachment that looms over the president. the documents are at the heart of why he's being imp r impeached and super incriminating on the merits and what they show about the cover-up because they show new evidence of a cover-up that was actively occurring as recently as two weeks ago. we have these documents because just security, a blog associated with nyu law school viewed unredacted copies of e-mails that had just been redacted and released before christmas. i should tell you nbc news has
not independently verified those e-mails. three things, though, stand out to me. one, it appears the e-mails were redacted not for some national security reasons but clearly as part of an effort to cover their tracks and cover it all up. two, the e-mails are damning showing the president personally directed the hold on the funds, and the people who were carrying out this scheme, president trump and his inner circle, knew it was sketchy and illegal. they did not tell the truth to other people in the government. they did not give explicit reasons. they hid the ball. they did not tell the public, they did not tell congress. now after they've been caught trump and his allies have been trying this audacious line of defense. everything's fine, nothing to see here, the ukraine call was perfect. that is not how they've been behaving up to and including right now. they are still stopping the american public from reading other documents and hearing other witnesses. and the reason they're doing that is because they know it was wrong, and then they got caught.
the third thing we're learning from these documents is this is something we here on the show have been banging on about. the hold on the funds the military aid to ukraine passed by congress, the hold on that money does not appear to be lawful. the people inside the department of defense, the lawyers charged with dotting the i's, crossing the t's had an important task which is to not break the law. the e-mails viewed showed by people in the dod raised red flag after red flag to the office of budget and management which is the office tasked on trump's hold on the aid. the people were worried that the pentagon ran the risk of breaking the law, breaking something called the impoundment control act. a fun fact about that law it was passed in 1974 in the wake of richard nixon's presidency, a guy most known of course for resigning due to the watergate
scandal. and during his presidency one of nixon's go-to moves was just to not spend money allocated by congress because of his own petty political feuds. congress had to step and reaffirm that indeed congress is the power of the purse and appropriations be spent as intended. that's what the law says, it's what the constitution says. in fact thank tuesday the just security report we learned dod officials were so aware of this law that the deputy defense secretary prepared a draft letter to the acting director of omb saying, quote, we have repeatedly advised omb officials that pauses beyond 2019 jeopardizes the ability prudently and fully consistent with the impoundment control act, or when you decode it what you're doing is illegal and we don't endorse it. then when the ukraine aid freeze was publicly reported at the end of august the omb general
counsel sent around talking points saying, no action was taken by omb that would preclude these funds by the end of the fiscal year. an acting pentagon controller responded, coat, i do not agree to the revised talking points. in other words, that's b.s. the last one is just inaccurate from the financial standpoint, something we've been consistently conveying for a few weeks. in other words your talking points are a lie, and now you're trying to lie back to us? for some reason her response which does not seem like a revelation caused by information or a security compromise, that response was redacted in a document released last month. interesting. perhaps the most damning evidence about president trump's cardination of the freeze came at the end of august after a meeting between secretary of state mike pompeo, esper and president trump, the political appointee coordinating the aid for omb told the dod controller,
quote, clear direction to the president of the united states to hold. president trump says to hold the aid. so now here we are, speaker nancy pelosi has held back turning over the articles of impeachment to the senate. in the trrtm we've learned more and more about incriminating evidence thanks to some incredible reporting. last week republican senator lisa murkowski of alaska said she was disturbed by senate majority leader mcconnell's statements he was coordinating the trial at the trump white house. republican senator susan collins of maine said she would be open to calling witnesses at senate trial. now the question is as damning reports like this continue to trickle out will the senate republicans plunge ahead with the cover-up or not? joining me now is the co-editor in chief of just security who broke this story and also a law professor who served to general counsel and what is the
significance of these documents to you? >> the one significance is it just fingers the president. there's that e-mail that says the president of the united states has a clear direction hold, the aid. this is after that draft letter that basically said to omb we need to go forward with the aid otherwise we're acting illegally. and the response is not it's legal, the president of the united states clearly directs you to hold the aid, and this is also -- >> by the way, that reveals a lot in and of itself because you have a lawyer saying the law controls here. we want to not break the law, so fyi, we're about to break the law and the response is not we're not going to break the law, no the president wants you to break the law essentially. >> it's difficult to read it any other way, and that's the response and dod is consistently telling the omb this is illegal, and if we don't move forward the
aid we will not be able to fully deliver the aid to ukraine. >> one of the things that comes through in this is it's of a piece everything we've seen, every time we see communications around this issue, there's all this cloak and dagger subterfuge, these cast of characters who are just trying to do their jobs and they're just not getting the full story because the people who are running the scheme are being super sketchy about it. >> super sketchy and the e-mails reveal that in this one particular senior, very senior member of the defense department, the controller is basically calling them out on it. she says at one point the general counsel of the omb is consistently mischaracterizing the internal process. and another time she says he consistently appears to misunderstand the process. and as you pointed out there's another point in which the general counsel of the omb
circulates talking points in response to politico breaking the ukraine aid was on hold, and she says your talking points are just not accurate, and we've been consistently telling this over weeks so you know it. >> there's this crazy gaslighting which reminds me of the infamous in which we said no quid pro quo, and she gets an e-mail saying as you know the president wanted a policy process to determine the best use of these funds. if you're unable to obligate the funds it would be dold's position and you're breaking the law, you can't do this they turn around to try to say it's your fault and she writes back you can't write back, i am speechless. >> we're thinking we might lead with that e-mail response by her because it's just such a bombshell. "the new york times" on sunday seem tuesday have some of the e-mails unredacted as well and they have that one, too, and we understand the context.
she's been telling this same person over at omb the entire time we will not be able to give them all the funds which ends up actually happening. they violate the deadline, and after they go back in congress in september to get 35 million back to be able to give it back to ukraine. >> there's something kind of sociopathic here. dod is saying, hello, hello this is wrong, this is illegal. and they're saying don't worry about it, the president wants it hold and then they try to turn it around and say it's your fault. >> and they try to do it in an e-mail, there was a record it was the dod's problem and obviously it was not. it's not embarrassing to the pentagon, it's highly embarrassing to the white house and omb when you get these fully unredacted documents. and like you say as well there's no provision for redacting the embarrassing parts. it's the provisions within these tecs but not this. >> it seems to me very clear based on -- if you compare the
redacted documents that were released to what you acquired at just security, that they redacted out things that were embarrassing or incriminating. >> that's right. we went through the redacted versions and fully unredacted versions, they selectively disclosed parts of the public to see and those paint a different picture and very misleading picture because you don't have all these bombshells otherwise. >> there were some foya filings for these documents. the law doesn't allow you to redact things that are embarrassing. >> and it's a court ordered foya release, so the justice department releases it to the center for public integrity and on december 20th they release them in this highly redacted blacked out versions selectively leave 'ing some of the text favorable to them. >> it's really wild when you
consider every time we get new documentary evidence it shows more and more how much this was at the direction of the president and how incriminating the entire thing is. >> ryan goodman, thank you very much. great work. joining me now for more on the case against president trump -- both are nbc contributors. i have to say two big pieces -- i did not expect over these two weeks to learn material facts. we learned from "the new york times" a kind of meeting and most senior political appointees and now we have these documents. it really does seem to me to push for more information and documents and witness testimony. >> absolutely. the notion that we should simply put our fingers in our ears and hum, just disregard all this information because it came out after the articles of
impeachment were voted on simply puts the senate in a position of facilitating the cover-up. of course this information has to come forward, and it didn't come forward because the government, the president was concealing it. so think one of two things has to happen. first of all, kudos to nancy pelosi for not sending those articles over. one, she either has to insist all of this information be sent forth in a senate trial or secondly hold the articles herself, open up new hearings, have this testimony heard, revise or supplement the report that was done at the end of the impeachment and potentially draw up new article of impeachment. there's a violation of the impoundment control act, the foya act, a violation of a court order to put forth these documents. there's lots of other potential crimes here and now we've discovered them, the notion we should simply brush it under the rug is preposterous.
>> betsey, one of the things so striking here also is we still don't have a real definitive accounting of the blocking of the aid, and this gets us closer to that. but even in this it's clear they're hiding the ball and you've got to ask, tell them why you were blocking the aid. >> one detail from "the new york times" very detailed story that came out earlier this week that i think people shouldn't overlook is they reported nick mulvaney used to lead the oval office when it was just trump and giuliani and they were talking about ukraine. and that would indicate that the president and his personal lawyer felt the conversations they were having about the u.s. relationship with that country were both very sensitive, they didn't want them to leak, and potentially also deeply meaningful to the future of the u.s. relationship with both ukraine and russia. one thing this whole episode also highlights i think that is
really significant i was chatting with a former trump administration official earlier today who said their view of trump is he never changes his mind, he makes up his mind, he decides what he wants, and then he just keeps pushing for it. and the longer he's in office and the more of the people who he sees as being loyalists to him, he has installed throughout government, the farther he's able to push to get what he wants done, and that's what we've seen in the case of this ukraine episode. the president getting credibly close to successfully pressuring a vulnerable democracy into giving him a political gift. >> and the culture clash, jennifer. this goes to the foundation of it. i mean, you have throughout the government -- these are people in some cases appointed by the president or volunteered some are civil servants, some are not, some are higher levels who are just trying to do the job of lawfully conducting and being essentially bullied away from that by the president and his
cronies. >> exactly and gaslighted. then accused of being the ones who are perpetrate tg. we saw in the impeachment hearings with top level people from the state department, we saw this to a degree with the ambassadors, the revolving door of ambassadors who came and left from ukraine, and now we're seeing it with the pentagon as well, and i think there are two points to keep in mind here. one, there is no excuse for these people not to testify. the controller, the general counsel of omb, for example, there's no privilege other than this cockamamie absolute immunity scheme that's already been shot down by the courts. and the second point is the excuse that some people including john bolton was using not to step forward was the pendency of a lawsuit run by his other client, charles cooperman, that case was dismissed. so there's no other fig leaf that a john bolton or others can
hide behind that says no, no, you don't have to testify. they are willfully engaged in a cover-up, they need to come forward or congress needs to pursue them. >> betsey, on the note of more information you reported on lev parnas, of course the indicted associate of giuliani who's reportedly volunteered his iphone to congress? >> that's right. parnas' lawyer set a letter to a federal judge asking this judge authorize him to share more material with congress he hasn't yet sent to the hill. there's currently a court order that blocks parnas from sharing any of the evidence that prosecutors with the doj seized from him with anyone besides himself. they're asking the judge to change that court order so that congress can receive an iphone 11 that parnas was using in the window of time he was art acting with giuliani as well as a pile of documents doj seized from parnas-home, so they're really pushing to be able to potentially get a new material.
>> thank you both. up next, just over 30 days until the first votes are cast in the democratic primary. today the field narrows and fund-raising numbers show tremendous enthusiasm among the democratic base. which candidate posted the biggest numbers so far after these two minutes. t numbers so r these two minutes. . miralax works with the water in your body to unblock your system naturally. and it doesn't cause bloating, cramping, gas, or sudden urgency. miralax. look for the pink cap.
yeah, that's what i'm afraid of. he knows exactly where we're going. my whole body is a compass. oh boy... the my account app makes today's xfinity customer service simple, easy, awesome. not my thing. as we're now just 32 days away from the first actual votes being cast the presidential field has shrunk again. william castro officially suspended his campaign today. housing secretary under president obama was the only latino candidate in the democratic race. also learned today the spiritual author and lecturer has laid off her entire staff according to a report and today is also a big day for fund-raising news. the first bits are not coincidently timed. we've got totals the candidates raised in the fourth quarter of
2019 made public today. senator sanders did better than any other 2020 candidate raising close to $35 million. andrew yang raised $16.5 million which a lot of money. the other campaigns have not yet released their fund-raising totals. but what these numbers tell us is for all the floating and nonlocalized sense of dread that seems to hangover the democratic primary particularly recently there continues to be tremendous enthusiasm demonstrated here by millions of people giving money to a variety of candidates across the spectrum. former senior advisor to president obama and hillary clinton's presidential campaign and the national political director. let me start with you on that note. i was sort of just struck by -- there's a lot of anxiety among democrats, a lot of nervousness, a lot of dread because they don't know what the outcome is going to be. all that said these fund-raising
numbers to me says about the level of investment and enthusiasm. what do you think? >> absolutely these numbers are massive and powerful. when you look back at the start of 2019 you heard from some folks saying there's no way we're going to be able to keep up this momentum and as you see not every single quarter, almost every single quarter these candidates continue our fund-raising totals and it shows how much our folks are increasingly paying attention and how motivated they are to take on trump. >> it's interesting one of the arguments the meta arguments in this primary has been actually about fund-raising, so been a line of division about big dollar fund-raising and swearing off and warren and sanders have done that, and buttigieg and biden have been doing fund-raising, do these numbers mean something for that debate to you? >> i actually thought buttigieg's numbers were very impressive for where hayes as
were bernie sanders. his numbers were very impressive as well. obviously he outraised the entire field. the kind of numbers he brought in 2015 and 2016, but also very impressive. but i think the crucial question here is we've actually had a debate in the debates about fund-raising, and i think one of the big questions that iowa will tell us is whether fund-raising matters more, the way you raise money matters more than electability itself. >> here's a question a slightly different version to me is the inputs versus the outputs. so raising money is both a sign of strength but the money is not to put points on the board. it's to spend, and the question i reel really have a genuine question. i don't know the answer and i'm curious to have you both wig in on this. what does the margealinal dollar get you in persuading these primary voters whether it's on
tv or digital, where do you think there's the most opportunity? >> first i think it's important candidates are being clear what their path to victory is and understanding that the democratic base is very broad and it's multiracial and multigenerational. in nevada for example specifically the latino community is not being prioritized in really important ways, then you're actually not serious about winning in nevada. and i also appreciate the way that julian castro did talk about early on the way in which these primaries are setup perhaps dim the light on the prominence voters of color should have. how much nuance is lacking when candidates -- pardon me, when analysts are looking at people of color, their candidate preferences and their underrepresentation in sort of traditional polling and how that
informs some of these fund-raising totals. >> it seems to me there is a palpable defense among democratic voters who are just stressed out and they feel like trump won the first time and joe biden said this thing today about sort of and he basically said -- one of his answers was hillary faced a lot of sexism which also seems a little uncomfort lk as kind of like normative self-endorsement about being a man, but that's some of the twisted decision making going into peoples calculations right now. >> i mean, we should be honest. we have a series of white men who are leading the pack, and women are supporting them in the polls, people of color are supporting them in the polls. nigh analysis of this is that people who feel attacked are actually the most concerned about electability. i think people who feel underattack by the trump
administration feel that it's an existential issue to ensure that trump is not re-elected. and so i think it's not surprising that lots of people are very focused on electability, and i appreciate -- i mean i also am concerned about the lack of diversity in the process here and that we're losing candidates of color. that's also happening because of support by voters and actually people of color make up a large percentage -- not a majority, but a large percentage of the democratic electorate, and they're not supporting these candidates which is a concern. democrats think the country is racist and sexist because we have donald trump as president and it is affecting your choice, and that is unfortunate but true. >> that last line i think is very true in terms of describing the sikaepsychology happening h. thank you for joining us.
the violent siege on a u.s. american embassy, reports just now breaking news of strikes that could be changing a lot. we're going to bring you all that and the latest, what's happening in baghdad after this. happening in baghdad after this. tom: my mom always told me actions speak louder than words. she was a school teacher. my dad joined the navy and helped prosecute the nazis in nuremberg. their values are why i walked away from my business, took the giving pledge to give my money to good causes, and why i spent the last ten years fighting corporate insiders who put profits over people. i'm tom steyer, and i approve this message. because, right now, america needs more than words. we need action.
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arguably the most important figure in iran. he has been active in syria, he has been active in the fight against isis. he's been active in iran, in lebanon, with hezbollah. if in fact if officials who said he has been killed presumably by the americans, if in fact that is accurate and it looks at this moment a lot of people are -- in the current tensions with thirannian government imagine for instance a revolutionary guard assassinating david petraeus in 2007, something on the order of that. joining me now just to talk about the latest reports and what we're hearing is cal perry who of course reported from iraq during the war and after. what do we know here? >> well, we know as you said that iraqi state television is reporting that the senior
commander has been killed and what they're saying in either an iraq attack or american drone attack. what we have not heard from yet is any official from the american government or iranian government. as you say it's almost impossible to imagine this would change irrevicably things between the united states and iran. this is one of the untouchable figures if you like inside iranian society. the israelis on multiple occasions in the last 10 to 15 years had considered or had put plans in motion to maybe killed some iranians and they were backed down by some americans. this has always been seen as a man you do not touch. he's a man who pops up in iranian news footage visiting hezbollah forces in iraq,
visiting and he's a huge figure in iran, probably the second most figure in iran. and we will know tonight this is the kind of strike, the kind of assassination that would dictate what we hear from the american president if in fact this is true, and again looking at screens here of middle east news networks, it certainly appears as though he's been killed in baghdad. >> i want you to stick with us. i want to bring in a speechwriter for john kerry and also worked in the vice president's office on national foreign policy particularly in the middle east, an area where you have a lot of expertise. what is the significance of this? >> i mean, this is just a seismic explosive development. tensions between america and iran since trump had walked out had been kind of at a slow boil
caught in between neither side wanted and a piece they couldn't consummate. this is whole new phase, a whole new level. and i don't think there's any real going back or -- >> will the iranians interpret this as essentially the declaration of a shooting war? >> you know, i think they probably still don't want to get into a full on shooting war but they are going to try to cause a tremendous amount of pain in response to this and probably view this as an escalation as one they have to counter with an escalation of their own. and they have networks and pinpoints that extend beyond the middle east. he himself is a man who has blood on his hands from people all across the middle east and is responsible for a great many deaths thousands of times over including iraqi protesters, peaceful protesters recently when he seemed to have traveled to the country and ordered killed by the iraqi militia.
so this is not a personal who americans should mourn in any way. but the question at the end of this is whether we're now on a slippery slope towards a much greater conflict with iran and the middle east is safer and him out of it but the way this has been done, if it's us, if it's accurate, if it's true could well lead us in a much more different place than we were before. >> as people sort of process this news and the players to them are little opaque, just step back and look at the contebs here, president trump ran on getting out of the nuclear deal with iran, he then did so. one of the arguments that opponents of the deal said, well, the deal's about nuclear weapons, but you haven't dealt with all these other things iranians are doing. right, we separated them out, but what seems to me has happened is since leaving the deal all the other stuff has gotten worse. there's been more provocation, worse violations and violence actually in the wake of the deal
than there was during the deal. >> iranian behavior in a lot of ways has been pretty steady throughout. you saw it in some cases and you see it now. what's different is this backdrop. i think there is an increase in aggressiveness and mas clagz on both sides. i think when you left the deal what you had were people warning you were going to have this kind of escalation. some of president trump's own advisers i'm sure told him if you left this deal, you would risk having folks get killed in iraq, and risk having folks get thrown out of iraq. >> this is one of the linchpins is that the iraqi government it's a shea dominated government, those protests you mentioned which have been happening over the last several months have largely been about corruption. you also got the architecture of malaysia officially part of the state but also sort of loyal to and backed by iran, a very tricky situation.
>> exactly. they're kind of hybrid actors. and on the one hand these were people who gathered from communities icross iraq to go fight isis. >> let's be clear we happen on the same side as them as they rolled back isis. >> on the other hand, attached to that same name the militias of iraq are also people who reported to him and not to the iraqi government. so iraq has a chronic and serious militia problem that iraq is going to have to deal with. it became an acute problem for the united states when we concluded it next to this max pressure campaign against iran. this is going to be a problem that's going to be with iraq for a long time to come. >> part of what's so breath taking here is this an assassination it appears of an official state guest of iraq. you've also got the head of another militia who appears to be killed in these reports.
i don't even know that's legal that we just kill someone in another state. >> yeah, it's a great question. american troops are in iraq at the invited presence to fight isis and train iraqi forces. when you have iranian backed militias attacking americans and launching rockets that kill americans, one could make an argument this is form of self-defense or preemption, but i think over time the bigger question is if we lose that invitation from the iraqi state which as you said is close to iran but also close to washington, if this killing causes us to lose that, we may be sacrificing to iraq. >> and as you know having reported from iraq, the sort of cross pressure of iraq which is next door to iran, which it's majority shea country, very connected to the regime and sort of more so as the years have gone on and more so it's an ally ostensibly of the u.s., that's been a very difficult thing for
iraq to negotiate, and if this report is true it got more difficult. >> for all intents and purposes for americans, for american soldiers who served in iraq was a top terrorist. this was one of the stories since the regime fell apart so did the communication between the u.s. and iran. this is most stark communication we have seen from president trump to the iranians since tensions had risen and now the iranians are in a position, we're certainly domestically, certainly in the eyes of iraq and syria and certainly in the eyes of lebanese hezbollah, they may feel they have to respond. it's going to take some time for this to sink in, but certainly the iranian government is going
to have to figure out how do they satisfy, how do they respond, who is the steady hand needed, and right now i think we can sort of all agree as we look at the jepolitics of what's going on, there is not that steady hand to step in. things were majorly ratcheted up tonight. and normally it's the u.s. urging calm. >> the other context here of course is you've got increasing pressure because of sanctions being ratcheted up, and protests with iran and protests in iraq met with incredibly intense force, deadly force, hundreds killed in the streets by those forces. you wonder about -- there's always sort of this question about war as a means of sort of tampering down domestic complaint, right, you sort of focus people on external enemies and how that shapes the context of politics there as this sinks in and ripples out. >> i think inside iran you can
expect a big rally around the flag. >> i think inside iraq it's going to be a much more complicated situation. he helped them fight isis but also responsible for the death of protesters. what one iraqi said to me is when one fights the grass gets trampled and they're caught in the middle in a big way and it's not good for iraq. >> at the center for american progress formally at the state department and the obama administration. thank you, gentlemen, both. the big news this evening iraqi state tv reporting that the head of the force, the iranian general has been killed in a strike along with the head of an iraqi militia backed by aran apparently in the same convoy, that's what reports indicate. we have no confirmation of that being the case. other folks speaking have seemed to confirm and we certainly have
no official notice from the american government although everyone assumes this was an undertaking if in fact it happened as i said before who has been a ruthless, bloody figure throughout the crescent of the middle east also a very, very powerful figure in iran, a very well-known figure publicly, and if in fact iraqi state tv is accurate on this, this represents a massive escalation in the military tensions between the u.s. and iran with iraq and we'll continue to follow that story. we'll be right back. t story. we'll be right back. it's time for the lowest prices of the season on
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there are down right apocalyptic images coming out of australia right now as the country is battling hundreds of fires burning for months now. the fires are currently consuming an area the size of west virginia. at least 17 people have been killed, 28 people are missing. thousands of people have had to be evacuated. more than a thousand homes and buildings have been lost. and this all comes amid a record drought. some areas in australia receiving their lowest levels of rainfall since 1902. this past year, 2019, was the hottest and driest year on record for the entire country. this past month, december as one of the two hottest months in australia ever. december also included the country's hottest day at record coming in at 107.4 degrees.
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they claim they saved lives but what they really did was make a impossible to prosecute a mass murders because of what we did to him ever came out in a krofl, the case is over. the guy planned 9/11 and instead of going to jail for the rest of his life the cia turned him into a recruiting tool for a war we're still fighting. >> secretary of state mike pouchl yo took to twitter recently to offer a negative review of the new amazon field which crunicals the effort to compile a definitive and comprehensive report of the cia's torture program in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. the staffers combed through more
than 3.6 million internal doj records for five years. they document in excruciating detail the various torture, its effectiveness and the ways in which the cia misled the public about the use of what it called enhanced interrogation techniques. despite obstruction and opposition a detailed executive summary of the report was released back in 2014. the full report remains classified to this day. secretary pompeo took issue with the new film dramatizing all this which includes disturbing scenes of torture perpetrated by the cia. pompeo watched i watched "the report," fiction. almost immediately a number of people disputed pompeo. claim the film is, quote, fiction. quote, i agree with secretary pompeo that terrorists are bad guy as are the people that conducted barbaric acts of torture and then misled congress
and the american people. i'm joined now by the man adam driver portrays in the film, daniel j. jones. the thank you for being with me. first, let me get you to respond to secretary pompeo since you were there for the real life events and have sort of watched the film come about. what would you say to the secretary of state? >> well, first of all, chris, thank you for having me on. largely i think the saerk's views are simplistic and uninformed. 6.3 million pages of cia records as you said, came up with 20 findings and conclusions. after those seven years that can be boiled down into three things basically. the cia interrogation techniques, the torture was ineffective. it led to detainees fabricating responses to get the cia to stop. and the cia misled repeatly over
a number of years the congress and the white house. and a major conclusion was the program was grossly mismanaged by the cia. there was virtually no accountability for wrongdoing over the years the program was active. >> one of the most remarkable features is the fact the cia threw $2 million at two guys to erect from nothing a torture program. what did you find about that? >> well, what we found is when the cia was given these authorities, and that was shortly after 9/11 on september 17, 2001 president bush signed a cover covert action memorandum. it said nothing about interrogation. over the number of months the cia explored what it should do with the detention of terrorists, should they be held on u.s. foreign military base, and eventually what the cia concluded up until march was
that this was not a job for the cia, and the cia had zero expertise in detaining people. and they weren't even discussing interrogations formally yet. but when the first cia detainee captured at the end of march, when he was captured in pakistan, the cia decided to take them into custody, the cia's custody and not provide him to another country for interrogation. initially that interrogation was led by the fbi and they obtained a significant amount using rapport bidding techniques. but that changed when these two contractors who were cia contractors at the agency at the time, went to the cia and said we have a program that we can use based off learned helplessness, which will allow detainees to provide secret information, specifically information on the next attack against the united states and operatives inside the united states. and this was basically billed on
an unfounded theory that was based on learned helplessness and the study was by -- who's at the university of pennsylvania and was really about dogs. >> you've got these two people running this operation which does include torture. and it ends up being -- as the character that plays you in the move, it essentially taints the prosecution for some of the most significant massed murderers who are apprehended but no case can be brought against them because the evidence was obtained through torture. >> that's absolutely right. if you look at the trial for the mastermind of 9/11, that is not even supposed to start until next january. and all the deliberations thus far have been about the use, the admissibility of evidence after these individuals have been tortured. and what we document, what the senate documents in that 7,000 page report, 500 pages which were released was the repeated
false information that these detainees provide just to get the torture to stop. so the argument is how can this information be admissible when many of our defendants admitted to things they did not do simply to get torture to end. >> i want to ask you this evening, we just broke the news about iraqi state tv talking about a possible air strike killing the iranian general, and if so representing what will be a major escalation in conflict with iran that has been simmering and boiling. your view of what the long war that we started in 2001 that has involved multiple countries, multiple fronts and has sort of cascaded from one military engagement and crisis to another. what it's done to the country, what it's done to the ability to conduct oversight. >> we were discussing whistle-blowers early on in the show. the importance of keeping our government accountable right now
to acting within the rule of law, acting within our values. there's no doubt we strayed after september 11th. in so many ways the united states has been a leader in human rights and just war, but we strayed. and i think now is an opportunity to readjust. we really need to get congress engaged right now in aggressive oversight. and that oversight is often enabled by whistle blowers, people within the government who see wrongdoing and have the courage to come forward. because they believe in their leadership, that the leadership will investigate wrongdoing and actually hold people accountable. >> did that happen in this case? people talk right now we're in the midst of waiting on an impeachment trial in the senate and i often feel like the last chapter in the bush administration, war on terror, really did not have a lot of accountability.
what's your view on that? >> absolutely. if you take the cia george tenant convinced george bush it was not worth looking back at the mistakes made on september 11th and we look at the destruction of the interrogation videotapes of cia agents torturing detainees, they were destroyed in 2005 against the instructions of the white house and cias own leadership. when those tapes were destroyed and it came to light only two years later the department of justice launched a major criminal probe. that criminal probe lasted until august of 2012, and that the end they decided they couldn't prosecute cia officials for destroying those tapes. but they did recommend to the cia that at least two cia professionals be held accountable for those actions. those two individuals were jose rodriguez and the current director of the cia, gena haspel. >> thank you so much for making time tonight. >> thank you so much, chris.
>> that is "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> how was your break? >> it was great. it was really great. it's going to be quite a year. i'm processing the news right now. i'm a little stunned by what appears to have been this air strike which if true is just an enormously consequential deal. >> exactly. and i have to say watching those ongoing reports as they are rolling in tonight trying to assess whether this really happened and what the sources of information here and everything, at this point it feels very like potentially huge, also very unsettled on the factual basis of what we're getting. we are obviously monitoring that. >> this year is going to be enormously consequential in so many ways, and i just am like -- starting this way is making me wonder what is coming. >> you know what? chin up. thanks, chris. and thanks to you at home