March 9, 2018

It's fun to watch late night when someone like Maddow or Hayes come on. You get a bit of behind the scenes and a more casual dialogue than they can allow themselves on news programming. Last night's Chris Hayes appearance on Stephen Colbert's show was no exception. Chris Hayes all but declared that the Trump campaign specifically coordinated with Wikileaks/Russia to dampen the impact of the Access Hollywood tape.

Here's a partial transcript. (And yes, Chris, a lot of us turn on your show without watching Chris Matthews interrupt everyone on his.)

COLBERT: So big stories, as a newsman, is the Stormy Daniels lawsuit important or just, like, news candy?

HAYES: I think it actually is important. Two reasons. One, I think it's important because we're watching a coverup come unraveled in real-time and it's a microcosm of what I expect is something they have done a lot of. This is one instance of one n.d.a. That was signed that locked an inconvenient set of facts away from prying eyes. We found out about it after initial denials and we suspect there are others. There are mechanisms in architecture by which the trump campaign swept things under the rugs. The fact Michael cone was able to pony up $130,000 for something that seems like it's priced into Donald trump anyway, Donald Trump having an affair with an adult film actress is not mind-blowing, right.

COLBERT: Because a few weeks before he paid her the $130,000 was the access Hollywood bust.

HAYES: That's what freaked them out, a low point for the campaign, and that's the day Wikileaks publishes the first group of John Podesta e-mails which is the same day the access Hollywood tape came out. I think there is something interesting about the fact this got signed in the wake of the access Hollywood tape that suggests they were panicked about what the effect of the tape was, that makes me interested in the timing of the Wikileaks publishing.

COLBERT: There is an implication I want to tease out which is you think there is someone released the Hollywood access tape to bury --

HAYES: No, the other way around.

COLBERT: Go ahead. I think there's a plausible case that Wikileaks published it after the Access Hollywood. Why didn't they publish it the Friday afternoon?

COLBERT: That would take coordination to WikiLeaks and even the Russians that provided the e-mails to WikiLeaks. Are you into collusion, walks like a duck, talks like a duck, let's indict the duck? ( laughter )

HAYES: I don't know what I don't know. Here's what I would say, I started as a person who generally shies away from conspiracy theories, that thinks of coordinating a bunch of actors in secret is hard and stuff usually comes out. As the facts come in, the simplest explanation is everyone is running around acting guilty because they are guilty. Why is everyone lying to investigators? Why is everyone making stuff up and acting super guilty? They're acting super guilty because they are. Maybe they aren't. Maybe they're acting super guilty when they're innocent.

COLBERT: All are behaving the same way. The thing about the Trump administration which has proven true, whatever you think is happening is exactly what's happening.

HAYES: Correct. It's funny he fired Comey and then had two Russians at the White House with no notice to tell them he fired Comey and took the pressure off.

COLBERT: Yeah. Then he keeps trying to fire his attorney general. Then he tries to fire Mueller. Why is the president obstructing this inquiry? I don't know, maybe he has something to hide. No way of knowing other than him telling Lester Holt.

HAYES: If we could just get one more interview with Lester Holt.

COLBERT: Who's next to go? There's a 40% turnover in the trump administration, 42%.

HAYES: V high, if you had that on your show, it would be a problem.

COLBERT: What have you heard? ( laughter ) All these rumors, Tillerson's going to go, and Kelly's going to go. Who's next, do you think?

HAYES: The reporting indicates HR McMaster is maybe on the chopping block, so people are sort of angling for that. You know the thing Tillerson figured out which is one of the great ironies of Donald Trump a man who became famous on a show where he says "you're fired" as the catchphrase, he doesn't like to fire people. For all of the things he's terrible about, he can't fire people.

COLBERT: it's one of the few things I find positive about Donald Trump.

HAYES: I find it relatable. He's too much of a wimp to say, "you're fired."

COLBERT: If you like firing people, you're an asshole. ( laughter )

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