All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/20/2016

Jon Lovett, Erin Gloria Ryan, Joan Walsh, Charlie Sykes, Jason Johnson, Ezra Klein

Date: October 20, 2016
Guest: Jon Lovett, Erin Gloria Ryan, Joan Walsh, Charlie Sykes, Jason
Johnson, Ezra Klein



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What I`m saying is that I will
tell you at the time. I`ll keep you in suspense.

HAYES: Fired up and ready to go, Donald Trump now offering terms for a
conditional concession.

TRUMP: If I win.

HAYES: Tonight, the fallout from the final debate, and the latest
Republican Party chaos. Then -

TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.

HAYES: As another accuser comes forward, how Donald Trump`s nasty attack
played out with voters.

TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do, nobody.

ANNOUNCER: Plus, the Obama family fanned out across America again for

much closer here in this state. That`s why I`m here.

HAYES: And Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton just minutes from taking the
stage together again. We`ll go live to the Al Smith dinner when ALL IN
starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We are about an hour
away from a pretty remarkable and genuinely unpredictable moment in this
campaign, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump set to taking the stage at the
Al Smith charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. You`re
looking at a live shot right now. It`s a high-society event, where
presidential candidates, at least in the past, every four years, come
together to crack self-deprecating jokes, generally offer a reprieve from
the acrimony, the nastiness of the campaign trail. The candidates are
scheduled to speak within the hour, and we will bring you their remarks in
full when they happen, because this year, well, is very different. This
time around one of the presidential candidates has transgressed almost
every conceivable political norm, been repeatedly accused to sexual
assault, vowed to throw his opponent in jail if he wins, and just last
night, would not agree to accept the outcome of the election. This
afternoon, Trump held a campaign rally in Ohio and you`re never going to
guess, his take on who won last night`s debate.

TRUMP: Seriously, the debate last night was amazing, and everybody said I
won, including every single online poll and some had it at 90 and close to
90 percent, so that`s pretty good.

HAYES: All right. Many of Trump`s comments at the debate itself last
night, that one gets a rating of pants on fire. Those online polls he
mentions are utterly unscientific, basically meaningless click polls. In
two scientific polls, debate watchers, A.K.A, real polls, Clinton was
viewed as a winner by a double-digit margin. The consensus among
journalist end up nicely by this New Yorker cartoon, referencing an iconic
image of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston, and despite his spin
today, Trump, himself, did not appear super thrilled at the end of debate
last night as he tore a page out of his notepad. The most memorable and
probably the most damaging moment for Trump, who has repeatedly claimed the
election is rigged, came when he said this.


commitment that you will absolutely – sir, that will absolutely accept the
result of this election?

TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I`m not looking at anything now.
I`ll look at it at the time.


HAYES: That comment elicited audible gasp from the audience and an
outpouring of condemnation followed, much of it from Trump`s fellow
republicans. The coverage was harsh. Associated press reporting that
Trump was, quote, “Threatening to upend a basic pillar of American
democracy.” That`s in “THE LEAD” for AP story. While in the spin room,
Trump`s own running mate, Mike Pence and RNC chair Reince Priebus were
reduced to insisting that Trump, of course, didn`t mean what he, in fact,
had said, and would, in fact, accept the results of the election. And then
today, this.


TRUMP: Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a major announcement today. I
would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to
all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the
results of this great and historic Presidential Election if I win.


HAYES: Cheers. Rim shot. In Miami today, President Obama mocked Trump,
and once again, noted, it is impossible to rig a national election.


now, he`s already like, “Oh, the game`s rigged,” except today, he said, of
course, it`s not rigged if I win. I don`t know if Donald Trump has ever
been to an actual polling place where you have democrats and republicans
who are in charge of taking the votes. But, you know, he doesn`t even
worry if what he says is true. This is just about him worried that he`s


HAYES: Trump did make an effort to attempt to soften his rhetoric somewhat
after his “If I win” comment in Ohio today, Trump reading off a
teleprompter took a couple steps back from the ledge.


TRUMP: Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also
reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a
questionable result.


HAYES: That comment went largely unnoticed and did little to reverse the
damage. In fact, it`s starting to feel a little bit like Trump just wants
this all to be over. This afternoon in Ohio, Trump walked away from two
separate interviews with local news reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 19 days out from the election, you`ve been labeled a
racist, you`ve been called a sexist. How do you respond to that?


TRUMP: I am the least racist person you`ve ever met.


HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Robert Costa, national
political reporter of the Washington Post. And Robert, you`ve got a piece,
I believe with Philip Rucker, in the - in the paper that talks about the
reaction to that moment, particularly, last night, amongst the GOP. How
can you - how would you characterize the fallout from that sort of gasp-
inducing moment?

ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, Phil and I just filed that
story for tomorrow`s paper, and it`s a historic moment for the Republican
Party, because what Trump did on the debate stage has prompted a lot of
republicans who are in tough senate re-election races in house races across
the country to scramble right now to protect their seats, to protect their
places in congress as they think to themselves, there`s maybe a landslide
on the horizon, and they don`t want to get swept up.

HAYES: What is the thinking there about how they protect themselves? I
mean, we`ve been hearing this kind of thinking all throughout, and we heard
it particularly after that – the tape came out in which Trump is sort of
boasting of sexually assaulting women. We saw some people unendorse. I
mean, is it basically this same kind of what do I do, I`m caught between a
Trump base that likes Donald Trump and a general electorate that doesn`t
like him very much?

COSTA: Well, there were a flurry of statements today condemning Trump`s
position on the election, and questioning the legitimacy of the election,
you saw that from Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, John McCain in Arizona,
all these Battleground States where suburban voters and moderate voters
really have their ears up for this kind of issue. But the party, you`re
right, remains very intent about how exactly in these last 20 days to
handle Trump. You didn`t see speaker Ryan come out and make any kind of
statement nor leader McConnell in the senate, and that`s reflective of the
- of this tension and unease about how to deal with Trump in the final

HAYES: It was really striking to me, and particularly last night, after
that moment, it was a moment that in the moment as people were watching it,
they were watching in the room, they were watching on social media,
everyone understood. Chris Wallace, Hillary Clinton, everyone who was
watching it understood some line had been crossed, right? That you don`t
have the two most powerful republicans in the country, Mitch McConnell and
Paul Ryan, saying anything the day after their party`s nominee says, “I
would not respect - I would not necessarily collaborate in the peaceful
transfer of power.”

COSTA: Well, I think when you talk to people close to McConnell and Ryan,
they`re reluctant to engage in these kind of discussions at this moment,
because they believe their members in both chambers are out there fighting
their own races. The less said, the better, seems to be the strategy
coming out of Washington.

HAYES: And here`s another bit of context for Paul Ryan. Who – this is
Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, who represents views of the Republican Party,
among republicans, Donald Trump 51 percent, Paul Ryan 33 percent. Paul
Ryan has seen his favorability plummet among republicans just in the last
two weeks. The fact of the matter is, if you pick a fight with Donald
Trump among republican voters, Donald Trump will win.

COSTA: And it`s not just about the fight right at this moment, because if
you`re McConnell and Ryan, you have to deal with the Trump movement,
whatever its incarnation is, after the election should Trump be defeated.
You have a grievance movement that`s building within the American right. A
movement that`s populist and nationalist and not so much wrapped up in the
cult of personality around Trump. It`s a movement that is distancing
itself from traditional conservatism from movement conservatives. And if
you have movement conservatism at the heart of your party in these
congressional majorities, you want to preserve that as much as possible.
That`s why you see kind of a mute response from Capitol Hill.

HAYES: Yeah, you do wonder, is there anything that he could say that would
get a harsh rebuke or an unendorsement from Paul Ryan at this point?
Robert Costa, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

COSTA: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett who also served
as speechwriter for Hillary Clinton, her senate office, on the campaign
trail in her 2008 run for president. Well, let`s start - I want to talk
about the Al Smith dinner in a second because - bring up - I don`t know if
we have that live shot just to let people get a sense of the theatrics
around this, because it`s supposed to be this sort of light-hearted
evening, gentle ribbing, and I want to get your thoughts on that as someone
who`s written comedy, who worked on the roast of Donald Trump, that thanks
to you probably gave us this election. But first, your response to that
moment last night in the debate.

JON LOVETT, FORMER OBAMA SPEECHWRITER: My response? I mean, you know,
look, he is a bashless hamburglar, he is an authoritarian Mr. Potato Head.
So, you know, it`s - he is such a big baby, he is such a terrible person.
I also, you know -

HAYES: OK. Is that - is that totally - I`m going to bend over backwards
to be fair here. Is that just - are you whipped up in a moment of sort of
peep partisan concern and if I interviewed you four years ago, you would
have said the same thing about Mitt Romney.

LOVETT: So, I - that`s a great question. First of all, as you know, I am
a straight shooter while -

HAYES: Respected on both sides. Right. Yeah.

LOVETT: But I went back and I looked at some of my Mitt Romney language,
my Mitt Romney rhetoric, and you know what, in hindsight, it was exactly
right. But, you know, I wonder how much harm it`s doing to us as a country
to be debating these obvious things.

HAYES: Right. Yup.

LOVETT: That these fundamental basic things. And you know, it`s not
partisan to criticize Donald Trump for saying he should accept the results
of an election barring a kind of Bush versus Gore type situation, he
certainly didn`t mean that. He was talking about not accepting the
results, and by the way, him saying on - in whatever speech a day later to
clean it up that, “Oh, he only means he`s leaving himself - leaving some
options for this or that.” He doesn`t mean that, and we know he doesn`t
mean that, though, because in 2012, when Mitt Romney lost in a decisive
defeat, he went on Twitter and started calling for revolution. The guy is
not serious.

HAYES: Literally. I just want to be clear, that was not hyperbolic, he
literally used the word revolution.

LOVETT: We have to march - he wanted a march on Washington. Sadly, no one
showed up to follow Donald Trump.

HAYES: Well, this is the thing that I find -I find sort of psychologically
taxing about
this whole thing, is the constant revisionist gas lighting. the constant he
didn`t -

LOVETT: Right.

HAYES: He says something, 70 million people see him say something, and
then the people that are his hired flacks, Kellyanne Conway and company,
who are drawing whatever paychecks they are working to try to elect this
man to be the most powerful person in the entire world, then look you in
the eyes and say, he didn`t say what you heard him say broadcast live on
every single network in cable channel to 70 million people.

LOVETT: Yeah, I mean, it`s despicable. These are people that have sold
their souls in a terrible way. You know, Kellyanne Conway, it seems to me,
she seems quite smart, it seems like she`s trying to have it both ways now,
you know, she makes her little jokes. And it`s not funny. You know, this
is really serious what he`s doing. And these people that go on television
dependent - you know, we`re learning things - I`ve been saying, you know,
this election is like a fascist fire drill, and, you know, we`re
discovering that, like, the exits needs to be widened and, you know,
there`s not enough lighting along the - along the - along the hallways.
You know, there will be people, terrible people willing to defend anything
on television.

HAYES: Yeah.

LOVETT: They will say anything and we just have to account for that. And
it`s up to networks to do a better job of deciding who`s going to be on
television. And, you know, I sympathize because they`re great TV. I mean

HAYES: Right.

LOVETT: – these nut balls going on television will be like Donald Trump
is eight foot tall, shoots lightning out of his back, you know, et cetera.
You know, that`s great television, I guess, and it`s pretty - and people
love watching, I guess, these people get beat up. I mean, I watch it. I
watch it a lot.

HAYES: Well, that`s -

LOVETT: So - yeah.

HAYES: – and that`s part of - I mean, part of the theme in this whole
campaign is this sort of triumph of spectacle, and we`ve all sort of been
part of that, myself, included.

LOVETT: Right.

HAYES: And speaking of triumph and spectacle, if you had advice for
Hillary Clinton, you help write that sort of roasting at the White House
correspondents` dinner of Donald Trump, she`s going second tonight, Hillary
Clinton, she could basically take the gloves off. What would be your
advice for her tonight?

LOVETT: I think the key is - for these things is to be a little self-
deprecating to give yourself room to be as harsh as you want to be. That`s
always what we`ve done with President Obama`s speeches at the
correspondence dinner. You know, you get up there, you make a few jokes of
yourself, and the harder you are on yourself, the more kind of honest you
are about your flaw, the more liberty that gives you, the more degrees of
freedom you have to rip someone else to pieces.

HAYES: It`s like you take out – you take out the knife, and like you
gently nick yourself and then you just go around the entire room just
stabbing everyone in the chest is basically what you`re saying.

LOVETT: Yeah. I mean, look, if that`s - if that`s - if that`s the violent
metaphor you`d like for a couple of barbs, sure, fine. But - yeah, I mean,
I`m more fascinating about - fascinated about by what Trump`s going to do -

HAYES: I know.

LOVETT: – when he gets up there. I mean, what is this guy - he`s not
exactly going to - I don`t know. My - I have one little theory, which is
that, you know, you saw earlier today that some, you know, some incompetent
goon on his staff put out a press release that accidentally included the
language he wasn`t going to use.

HAYES: Right. Right. The ultimate - yeah.

LOVETT: And I have this feeling that those are jokes that he stuck in his
speech that he took out from his Al Smith.

HAYES: Yeah.

LOVETT: So, I think you may hear those wild jokes. But who are these
people? I want to know what good comedy writer is going to help Donald
Trump write a bunch of yuck-yucks.
Tonight? The guy is out of his mind. So, I`m not - I`m not (INAUDIBLE) I
think Donald Trump could be particularly gross tonight.

HAYES: Yeah. I think that`s fair. Jon Lovett, thanks for being with you.
I appreciate it

LOVETT: Thanks.

HAYES: Less than a day after a contentious debate, both candidates are set
to take the right there and what is meant as we said to be a light-hearted
affair. We`re keeping an eye in the Al Smith charity dinner here in Now
York. In the meantime, Donald Trump`s disastrous appeals to women voters
continues its downward spiral. His efforts becoming literally laughable.
We`ll play that after this two-minute break.


HAYES: Earlier today, yet another woman went public with a story of
unwanted physical contact by Donald Trump, Karena Virginia, that is the
tenth woman to come forward since last debate, says Trump humiliated and
groped her in 1998 after a U.S. Open tennis match. As I mentioned a moment
ago, Trump was asked about her today during a local news interview in Ohio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another woman came out today about the U.S. Open saying
you groped her today. Can you - can you answer allegations about that?

TRUMP: I know nothing about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About the U.S. Open allegations?


HAYES: Trump was asked about the growing number of allegations against him
at last night`s third and final debate. And this was how he defended
himself. Note the audience reaction.


WALLCE: Mr. Trump -

TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody, nobody has
more respect -

WALLACE: Please, everybody.


HAYES: According to GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who holds debate focus
groups with voters registering the reactions in real-time with those dials
which Lord knows if they mean anything, but let`s pretend they do for a
moment. “That line was Trump`s worst of the whole evening. Everyone
dialed it down, even his own supporters.” Minutes later, Trump reminded us
all just how much he respects women especially the one who could be the
first woman elected president. It came during an exchange on Clinton`s
plan to pay for Social Security by raising taxes on the wealthy.


contribution will go up as will Donald`s assuming he can`t figure out how
to get out of it. But what we want to do -

TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.


HAYES: Such a nasty woman. That almost certainly would have been the big
headline of the night had Trump not followed it by knocking down a pillar
of American democracy. By a margin of 13 debate watchers chose Hillary
Clinton as the clear winner, according to an instant poll from CNN/ORC. A
YouGov instant poll found similar results by a margin of 10 points. And
while men and women agreed on Clinton`s victory, there`s a clear gender
dynamic at work. Men giving her the win by a margin of just five points
compared to 16 points among women. And Clinton doesn`t just have Trump`s
performance to thank. She skillfully had his feet to the fire over his
conduct towards women and offered one of the strongest arguments to
reproductive rights we`ve ever seen on a national debate stage.


CLINTON: I do not think the United States government should be stepping in
and making those most personal of decisions.

TRUMP: You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth
month, on the final day, and that`s not acceptable.

CLINTON: Well, that is not what happens in these cases, and using that
kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate. You should meet with
some of the women that I`ve met with. Women I`ve known over the course of
my life. I`ve been to countries where governments either forced women to
have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear
children like they used to do in Romania, and I can tell you the government
has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in
accordance with their faith, with medical advice, and I will stand up for
that right.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Erin Gloria Ryan, she`s Senior Editor for The
Daily Beast, where she`s been writing on all of this. That moment struck
me as a really amazing moment. Partly because it was such a comprehensive
defense of abortion rights as opposed to sort of sitting ground safely
going rare, it was no business in the decision whatsoever.

actually – it was - it was nice, it was a relief as somebody who cares
about reproductive rights after two debates where we didn`t hear anything,
that Wallace got that out there right away. It was - it was a great answer
especially if you`re a proponent of pro-choice issues. It was also a great
answer if you`re a pro-life person because she really laid it out, you
know, she did not make any illusions about what she believes.

HAYES: That`s right. That`s right, it`s clarifying.

RYAN: Right.

HAYES: If you`re - and also to me, you know, there`s been this dynamic, I
think, that`s happened, it`s been particularly true in the second and third
debate more than the first in which it was sort of unanimously a wipeout,
right, emulated, that – I`ve seen a lot of men afterwards be like, “Oh,
it`s sort of even,” and then women be like, “It was not even at all, like,
he was terrible and she was great.”

RYAN: Right. Well, it`s sort of analogous to – remember in the second
debate, when Donald Trump and Hillary turned out to have the, like, almost
exactly the same amount of time speaking? And Donald Trump was like,
“Unfair, I have less time to talk than she does.” I think that, you know,
not to paint people with too broad a brush, but I think that men are maybe
accustom to getting more, and so, when things are even, they tend to
perceive it as being unfair. And maybe this is an unfair thing for me to
say, but that`s just been my experience and that`s sort of something that`s
born out, you know, studies that have been conducted about how much women
talk versus how much men talk.

HAYES: Right.

RYAN: Men think women talk a lot more than they actually do. I think, you
know, last night`s debate especially, you know, on issues that really
matter to women, it was - it was a landslide.

HAYES: Right, yes, and she was also clearly focused on that. I thought
that his exchange on – we have – you were at the press conference, I
understand it, the new woman who`s come forward with an allegation which
sounds very much in line with the other ones.

RYAN: Yeah.

HAYES: What did you think – I mean, to me, it seemed like he just had no
real answer in that point of the debate.

RYAN: Well, he sort of - he sort of spoke as though just because he says
something, everyone will just assume it`s true. And I think that`s kind of
in line with the kind of people that he`s surrounded himself with. He`s a
person that surrounded himself with people who agree with him, throughout
his career. And so now, you know – and so, if you would have said
anything in front of those people, they would have been like, “Yes, Donald,
that is true because you said it`s true, it must be so.” So, now, he`s in
front of a country that -

HAYES: Skeptical of him.

RYAN: – isn`t necessarily totally in favor of what he`s saying. And then
he can`t just come out and say, “These have been debunked.” How, Donald?
How have they been debunked? Who debunked them? How? How?

HAYES: Or even something - or even something as basically untrue is, “I
don`t know these women.” One of them was on “The Apprentice,” like, maybe
she`s not telling the truth, but you do know her. We all know that.

RYAN: You might not be Facebook friends.

HAYES: Right.

RYAN: But you definitely know this woman.

HAYES: Yeah, we saw you on TV together.

RYAN: Yeah, right, yeah.

HAYES: I also wonder like how much that – the moment of the nasty - the
nasty woman comment.

RYAN: Yeah.

HAYES: A bunch of – I saw a bunch of people immediately react, like, “Did
he really just say that? Truly do that?” How did that moment strike you
at the time?

RYAN: I mean, I am empty inside after this election. So, my reaction to
that was, like, “Oh, yes, he did it. He did it. He did it.”

HAYES: He said the thing that he`s been thinking.

RYAN: Right. and I – you know, and I wrote something about this last
week, where I think the one silver lining of Trump`s candidacy is that if
anybody questions the existence of sexism, now we have it. “Hey, here it
is, it`s Donald Trump.” People like this exist. This is a sexist person,
behaving in a sexist manner. This is a man who in the middle of – he
cannot help himself but interrupt his female competitor in a debate. He
can`t help himself but interject and insult her.

HAYES: And to belittle – the thing I always keep finding is, he really
likes belittling her with, like, saying, like, Bernie Sanders said this
mean thing about you, and John Podesta said this mean thing about you and
Barack Obama –

RYAN: He said that about Michelle Obama.

HAYES: Yeah, like, this negging as you call it. It is a - it is a real -
it is - it is one of the things I find most sort of unnerving about
watching these debates are just little - these little kind of passive
aggressive barbs.

RYAN: No, it reminded me of being in seventh grade, how, like, the alpha
female awful girl would try to undermine the – but Hillary Clinton`s not a
seventh grader.


RYAN: She`s been in public service for several decades, and that kind of
thing does not work on someone of her stature.

HAYES: Clearly. Erin Gloria Ryan, thank you for your time.

RYAN: Thank you.

HAYES: I appreciate it. We`re still awaiting the candidates` speeches
coming up, but first, how Donald Trump`s debate meltdowns were no accident,
but carefully provoked and carefully laid traps set by Hillary Clinton.
I`ll explain just ahead.



M. OBAMA: If 63 people in each precinct have gone the other way, Barack
would have won Arizona. And this year, we know it`s much closer here in
this state. That`s why I`m here.


HAYES: First lady Michelle Obama on the trail today in the unlikely
battleground of Arizona. Since Harry Truman won this (INAUDIBLE) in 1948,
Arizona has only gone blue one other time for Bill Clinton in his sizable
victory in 1996. But with Hillary Clinton currently beating Donald Trump
if you can believe it in the polling average in the state, her campaign is
now making a push adding $2 million in ad spending and sending high-profile
surrogates all this week. Today, Michelle Obama made a personal case
against Clinton`s opponent.


M. OBAMA: Maybe it`s easy for him to mock people with disabilities because
he`s unable to see their strength and their contributions, maybe that`s why
he demeans and humiliates women as if we`re objects meant solely for
pleasure and entertainment, rather than human beings worthy of love and
respect. He just doesn`t understand us. Maybe that`s why he calls
communities like the one where I was raised, “hell,” because he can`t see
all of the decent, hardworking folks like my parents who took those extra
shifts, paid their bills on time, folks who are raising amazing families,
sending kids to college. Maybe he doesn`t believe that people like us
really exists, because he does not see our shared humanity.


HAYES: After the break, Clinton`s strategy over three debates, how it`s
widened the gap and put states like Arizona in play.



TRUMP: From everything I see has no respect for this person.

CLINTON: Well, that`s because he`d rather have a puppet as president.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet. You`re the puppet.

CLINTON: It`s pretty clear you won`t admit…

TRUMP: No, you`re the puppet.


HAYES: You`re the puppet. You are.

Last night it was easy to see that Hillary Clinton had gotten under Donald
Trump`s skin during several key parts of the debate, and that wasn`t by
accident, it was by design. Clinton has carefully prepared, successfully
honed her three debate strategy for weeks, as one of our next guests, Ezra
Klein points out the Clinton campaign has coolly analyzed sprung trap after
trap to take advantage of them.

Weeks before the first debate, The New York Times reported team Clinton was
consulting with Tony Schwartz, ghost writer of the art of the deal, to come
up with ways to needle and undermine Trump. We also sought advice from
psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to
gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as a sole
adversary on the debate stage.

Cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused
him to lash out in less than presidential ways.

That strategy paid off. Just minutes before the end of the first
presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton triggered a week-long meltdown in
Trump world by bringing up former Miss Universe.


CLINTON: One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty
contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around
them. And he called this woman Miss Piggy, then he called her Miss
Housekeeping because she was Latina.

Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet…

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: …she`s going to vote this November.

TRUMP: OK, good.


HAYES: Joining me now editor-in-chief of Vox, Ezra Klein. His latest
piece is called Hillary Clinton`s three debate performances left the Trump
campaign in ruins, and Jason Johnson, politics editor the root, professor
of politics and communication at Morgan State University.

Ezra, you`ve been writing about this in a way that I have found really
illuminating, because
there is just this ubiquitous sense in pundit world that Hillary Clinton is
not a good politician, that she`s sort of winning by default, that if for
it were any other candidate, she would be in trouble.

And I think you`ve made this very good case that actually she`s pretty darn
good at what she does and the debates showcase that.

EZRA KLEIN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, VOX: Yeah, it`s surprising what we think, the
first woman to do something that`s nobody`s been able to do before that we
assume that she`s just doing it through luck as opposed to this was really
hard and it took a very unusual set of skills.

Look, Donald Trump is in many ways a very weak candidate. He is very
vulnerable. He is in his own ways fairly maniacal. But he`s also a guy
who triumphed over a 16 person Republican field in debate after debate
after debate, a Republican field that people broadly felt the conventional
wisdom held was the strongest really in history.

And by the way, at the end, it`s true, one-on-one debates are different
than big debates. But by the end, it was Kasich, Cruz and Trump and Trump
did not collapse there.

What Clinton has done in three debates is concoct and execute really very
consistently, very ruthlessly, a strategy to drive Trump crazy. Every
single time she begins by needling him, gets him by the 30-minute mark to
totally lose his presidential calm demeanor. He begins getting angrier and
angrier. She begins springing trap after trap. And by the end in every
single debate, you have something coming in the last half hour like you`re
such a nasty woman or the Alicia Machado moment
that becomes story for days or Trump deciding that he`s not going to
potentially honor the results of the election.

She has baited Trump into destroying himself on national television. It
was done strategically. It didn`t happen in the Republican primary. She
deserves credit for it.

HAYES: Yeah, the point, Jason, the point Ezra made, too, is that I mean,
there`s this thing about, like, oh, she`s – this sort of persona around
Hillary Clinton is like she`s a grinder, she, like, she is
overprepared, she spends too much time. And it`s like, she had that moment
in the first debate where she was, like, yeah, I did prepare.

And you saw that last night, the moment that I thought was her best moment,
aside from the abortion answer when he says – talking about the rigged.
And she laid out every time it goes his wrong way, it`s rigged. That was
the product of preparation.


I have said all along that she has played Donald Trump – it`s like Home
Alone or like an old Warner Brother cartoon, he falls in every single trap.
He falls in the bucket, his hair`s on fire, he falls out the window. She`s
laid all of this out.

You can`t do that by accident.

But I also think there`s this, and this is something that I think has fit
Hillary Clinton. There`s a lot of things you can say about her in the
negative, she is patient. She was patient with Bill Clinton, she was
patient when she ran for office, she was patient – and she knew that this
has to be – you can`t knock out Donald Trump in one fight. She had to do
this three steps. And I think she`s done an excellent job.

HAYES: Yeah, and Ezra, there`s also – obviously there`s sort of this
inescapable gendered frame to the whole thing, right. And you`ve written
about this and Matt and other people about the sort of archetype of a woman
getting sort of steam-rolled by a blustery dude in a meeting who doesn`t
know what he`s talking about, but she does. She does.

And it definitely has felt that way numerous times in these debates.

KLEIN: Yeah, she has used very much her gender to her advantage here. I
mean, one thing, too, about Donald Trump, he does not like being challenged
by women, that was part of why he – the
person in the Republican field he had the most trouble dealing with was
Carly Fiorina.

And here with Clinton, he has from the very beginning very clearly not
enjoyed being challenged by a woman on national television in this way.

But then on the other side, you`re absolutely right, there are a lot of
coded gender traits that get attached to her often negatively – that she`s
cautious, that she`s overprepared, that she`s too mannered in her speaking,
that she`s not authentic enough. There`s all this stuff about that she
doesn`t have that raw authentic charisma of someone like a Trump or even if
you go back to the Democratic primary
of Biden.

And she came out and used that to her advantage. She took on someone who
had the complete authenticity, and used her own preparation, used her own
care with what she was saying to present a
tremendous contrast to the American people between someone who you could
imagine in the very dangerous, very high-risk job of the presidency where
you don`t want to make mistakes or fly off the handing versus Trump who
might be a lot of fun to watch on reality television, but you don`t want
him being president.

JOHNSON: She embodied what we see Michelle Obama always saying. Like when
Michelle Obama, when the first lady gave a speech last week, she`s like,
look, that feeling that you get when men look at you, you know, if Hillary
Clinton is the woman that women want to be when they`re in that office and
in that environment when they want to get angry, when they want to scream,
she`s been doing this her entire career.

And something else to this I think is interesting. I mean, she`s had this
whole thing. The white suffragette coloring of her clothing is brilliant.
I mean, there`s history there. You look back at how suffragettes dressed,
she has a knowledge of history in a way.

And she hasn`t had to say I`m going to be the first woman president. She
did that in 2008. She`s like I`m going to be the most competent president
you`ve seen in the last 45 years and I`m a woman to boot.

HAYES: Yeah, and it`s amazing that we`ve ended up at this point, you know,
with a woman who is poised to break the biggest gender barrier in American
politics about sort of presidential, looking presidential and she, the one
thing that she unambiguously has trouncing her opponent in is precisely on
that terrain.

Ezra Klein and Jason Johnson, thanks for your time tonight, guys.

JOHNSON: Thanks.

KLEIN: Thank you.

HAYES: All right, we`re continuing to honor the Al Smith dinner now under
way. I have a knot in my stomach about this thing as it approaches.

Once the presidential candidates take the stage to gently mock each other,
we`ll bring it to you live. Like, ha, ha, she should be in jail, should
be quite an event. Stick around for that.

But first, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, starts right after this break.


HAYES: Thing one tonight, there were rumblings this might be coming: Trump
TV, a way for the candidate if and when he`s defeated or maybe even if he
became the president to monetize his post-candidacy life.

It was just a few days ago “The New York Times” reported that Donald J.
Trump`s son-in-law has discussed the possibility of a Trump-branded
television network with a friend who`s helped guide such deals.

And last night when I asked Mark Cuban about whether he was concerned about
what happens after the election considering all of Trump`s talk about a
rigged election, Cuban put it this way.


MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: To me, it`s interesting that a lot of
the tacts that he`s been taking, you know, rigged elections, everybody
working against him, that`s Breitbart`s marketing plan. I`m a big believer
that Steve Bannon is a lot smarter than Donald Trump and he`s really
driving this. I think Steve Bannon`s gotten to the point where he thinks
there`s a high probability that Donald will not win, so he`s playing this
whole thing out to the benefit of Breitbart

I`m telling you when you listen to Donald talk in his speeches, it`s almost
all far more beneficial for Breitbart.


HAYES: The suggestion was clear, Trump is paving the way for the Trump TV

But what if Trump TV already launched? About two hours after Mark Cuban
made those comments…


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: We`re doing free debate coverage, doing post-debate as
well. Stick around for that. We`ve got (inaudible). He is the…


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stein, like stein as in beer.


HAYES: Trump TV is here in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So, the Trump campaign called it a Facebook Live broadcast on
Donald Trump`s Facebook page. It began about 30 minutes before the debate,
hosted by Trump senior adviser Boris Epstein, and adviser Cliff Simms,
complete with Fox-ish graphic look, basically the birth of Trump TV.

The guests where other Trump campaign surrogates like former Arizona
governor Jan

And as you can see, since it was Facebook Live, you can give it a Thumbs up
or a heart or a smile. They even took commercial breaks, though in Trump
TV land the commercial breaks were comprised primarily of things like
Ivanka Trump asking for campaign donations.

But in the post-debate show, Trump TV really threw off the shackles of the
mainstream media.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, welcome back in. Donald Trump`s Facebook
Live post-debate coverage. And that`s what we`ll – this is legit
coverage. I don`t know what`s going on behind us, but this is the legit

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: The Kellyanne Conway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not too close to the mouth, boys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I was told. I got too excited. I got too excited.
We have Kellyanne with us.

So, here we are, while Kellyanne is getting micked up.

Let me tell you, the mood in the room from having just walked around a
little bit is a bit shell-shocked. The left-wing media cannot believe,
they cannot believe how well Donald Trump did tonight.


HAYES: Today, the Trump campaign claimed nearly 9 million video views of
the Facebook Live event, but as with any fledgling TV show, Trump TV has
already gotten its very first review of sorts. The New York Times saying
the Facebook live broadcast, quote, “was like state television produced by



AL SMITH IV: Before the dinner started, Donald went up to Hillary and
asked her how she was doing. And she replied, I`m fine, now get out of the
ladies` dressing room.

And Donald, even though there`s a man sitting next to you in a robe, you`re
not in the locker


HAYES: That was Al Smith IV moments ago kicking off the roasting ahead of
tonight`s main event. Any minute now Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will
deliver their own barbs on stage at the
Waldorf Astoria in Mmanhattan.

The Alford E. Smith dinner is an annual event going back more than 70 years
where presidential candidates traditionally appear every four years during
the presidential cycle.

The dinner, of course, is in honor of the former New York governor, first
Catholic nominee for president, and it`s intended to be an easy-going,
lighthearted affair, though the two people who will be front and center,
tonight they didn`t even shake hands at last night`s debate.

And for Trump, who was seen gritting his teeth following the debate, who
was down significantly in most polls and according to The New York Times it
will be seated on the dais with Eric
Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, whose office is currently has
an investigation into Mr.
Trump`s Foundation. It does seem unlikely that Trump will be in the mood
for a dinner that has taken on the air of a roast.


president would bring Joe Biden along this evening because he`ll laugh at

everybody`s minds. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since I
took office. I don`t have a joke here, I just thought it`d be useful to
remind everybody that the unemployment rate is the lowest it`s been since I
took office.


HAYES: Tonight`s dinner will be presided over by Cardinal Timothy Dolan
who is, of couse, the archbishop of New York. It`ll be seated between
Clinton and Trump. That`s the way these things always work.

When we come back, we`ll preview what promises to be quite a night.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Even in this room full of proud Manhattan
Democrats, I can`t shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for
me. I`m delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary.

OBAMA: It is an honor to be here with Al Smith. I obviously never knew
your great-grandfather, but from everything that Senator McCain has told
me, the two of them had a great time together before prohibition, so…


HAYES: Joing me now Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for The
Nation and MSNBC political analyst; and Charlie Sykes, conservative talk
radio host and MSNBC contributor.

So, Joan, I guess I`ll start with you. I`ve been thinking about this.
I`ve been thinking about this too much, but here`s my current thinking. I
think I`ve always disliked this tradition because it felt to me fake and it
felt this weird clubbiness and it felt to me like everyone was
acknowledging that they were
like the old cartoon with the sheepdog and the dog and punch in and like
actually we`re all part of the same team, we`re all like elites in tails.


HAYES: I still feel that way, but I also – the rancor and the norm
transgression of this election is making us see some value in us being like
we don`t actually want to put each other in jail, for instance. What`s
your feeling?

WALSH: But unfortunately, we do – he does.

HAYES: Well, that`s the problem. It is set against the backdrop of that.

WALSH: So surreal, it`s so surreal in so many ways. These two candidates
are so inappropriate for this setting in certain ways.

I mean, here you have this thrice-married libertine who brags about his
affairs and talks about grabbing women by their private parts, and then
she`s there after having made a really strong statement on abortion last
night. You remember that her husband was not invited to this dinner. He
didn`t come. Mondale had debate prep, because he was afraid of the
abortion politics.

HAYES: And Kerry didn`t go in `04, I think.

WALSH: Jimmy Carter got booed in 1980.

HAYES: That`s a great point. I hadn`t even thought of that. She gave
probably the most comprehensive full-throated defense of abortion rights
you ever heard.

WALSH: That we`ve heard on a presidential stage.

HAYES: Sitting next to Timothy Dolan the next night.

WALSH: And now she`s going to be sitting next to Timothy Dolan, but he
can`t feel much
better about the guy on the other side either having listened to his locker
room talk.

HAYES: Right, Charlie, what is your feeling about how they play this, I
think particularly from
Trump`s side, like does he have – I guess you can hire a good joke writer
to make you self-deprecating even if it`s not in your natural nature.

and graciousness are obviously not in Donald Trump`s skill set. I`m
watching the picture of this. You know, Archbishop Dolan used to be – I
mean, Cardinal Dolan used to be archbishop here in Milwaukee. And I`m
really trying to figure out what`s going through his mind right now, you
know, to the left of him and to the right of him, because he is a very,
very savvy guy. He knows everything that Hillary Clinton has said about
abortion. He knows what was in those WikiLeaks emails about the Catholic
Church. He has now illusions about Donald Trump`s character.

And it`s going to be fascinating to see how they play this out.

But I agree, there`s something just tone wrong of a dinner like this where
they all try to pretend
that what is happening right now, what happened last night didn`t happen.
And the only thing I can say is I hope they`re funny. I hope they have
good joke writers. I hope they raise a lot of money for
Catholic Charities, but it is going to be awkward.

HAYES: Yes, it is already awkward.

I mean, look…

SYKES: Very awkward.

HAYES: I mean, there`s two things that happened in the last two debates
that, to me, are sort of these big sort of big norm transgressions. I
mean, there`s been a ton of them throughout the campaign.

One is you would be in jail, right. So, the sort of direct threat to jail
your political opponent, which is one thing that happened.

Then last night was the, I`ll keep you in suspense about whether I`ll
accept the election results.

Those are two things that put stakes in the ground that say we`re not just
adversaries that are having a spirited debate, we`re enemies in some deep
existential space.

WALSH: We`re enemies in the battle for the soul of the country. And I
will not let you win in some fundamental way.

You know, I believe that this will – whatever happens in the election,
even if she wins by a
landslide, there will be a constant attempt to undermine her if not impeach

HAYES: He said last night she shouldn`t have been able to run. She should
have been disqualified for running for the president of the United States.

WALSH: Right. And so that`s his decision to make.

HAYES: Charlie – do you think – go ahead.

SYKES: Well, IO actually was speaking to a rather prominent Catholic
conservative today who was going to go to the event and decided at the last
minute for pretty much the same reasons that you
just articulated a little while ago, that it just seemed wrong, you know,
that you go through the motions
to normalize Donald Trump, to sit there and watch this charade.

And this person who had a chance to be at this dinner said, you know what?
This year I`m just not going to go. Nobody will probably notice, but it`s
my own personal little boycott.

HAYES: That is a great point. We keep using this word, and it`s gotten so
used, normalized,
which Charlie just used. It`s gotten so much it got stretched

But it`s sort of pertinent example, which is this is someone who in many
ways is unprecedented and abnormal figure in American politics who has
marched through all the normal institutions we have and in some ways that
can`t help but be normalizing.

WALSH: Right.

HAYES: Like he won a major party`s nomination. So, what are you going to
do, say, well no debates or say he`s, no, he`s not invited to the – like
the institutions exist for the slot of the person that wins one of the
major party.

WALSH: And he got the slot.

HAYES: And he got the slot.

WALSH: And, you know, as someone who – I`m happy that she`s there. I`m
happy that the church has opened up that little bit. So if I say that, she
can sit there even though she`s pro-choice, then I can`t really say he
shouldn`t have been invited.

HAYES: Yeah, that`s right. But that`s exactly the line that we`re all
dealing with, Charlie, I think, in this campaign. It`s lie, to me it`s
clear that there`s something sui generis distinct, novel and
unique about what Trump represents, but that`s sort of in the eye of the

WALSH: Right.

SYKES: Yeah, and I think that`s the mistake that is the mistake that
Republicans made. I think it`s the mistake the media has made, it`s a
mistake the establishment has made, which is try to wishful thinking to
make Donald Trump normal.

Look, I`m really fascinated to see what Cardinal Dolan does. He`s got that
genial. He`s a very, very friendly guy. He`s a really decent easy going
human being but he is also, you know, a guy that has a backbone of steel.

And it`s hard for me to imagine sitting between those two, not addressing
the elephant in the
room, not addressing the issues of character, not addressing the issues of

And I`m going to be really interested to know how he does it. He may do it
with a smile but
Cardinal Dolan is a tough guy.

HAYES: All right, Joan Walsh and Charlie Sykes, thanks for joining us.

That is All In for this evening.


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