21 days out from midterms. TRANSCRIPT: 10/16/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Nate Cohn, Ryan Costello, Liuba Grechen Shirley, Michelle Goldberg, Sam Seder, Chris Murphy
Transcript:

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 16, 2018
Guest: Nate Cohn, Ryan Costello, Liuba Grechen Shirley, Michelle Goldberg,
Sam Seder, Chris Murphy

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being
with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want you to vote. Pretend
I`m on the ballot.

HAYES: Three weeks from the last chance to put a check on Donald Trump.
Tonight there is new data and a new national message for Democrats.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Medicare, Social
Security, and Medicaid.

HAYES: Then as the President attacked Stormy Daniels –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President of the United States called a woman
with whom he had an alleged sexual relationship horse face.

HAYES: What we know about Michael Cohen`s conversations with Robert
Mueller. Plus, Senator Chris Murphy on the Trump P.R. offensive on behalf
of Saudi Arabia and the alarming convergence of the Grand Old Party with
far-right street violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop, stop!

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. We are now just 21
days, three weeks, from Midterm Elections that will reveal whether the
much-discussed a blue wave is real and whether it is big enough to deliver
one or even both houses of Congress the Democrats. Tonight new evidence
that should give Democrats some reason to worry and crucially light a fire
under those who believe Congress should be a check on Donald Trump and not
a rubber stamp. That evidence and analysis from NBC News and the New York
Times polling gurus in just a moment but first, the latest on the natural
landscape this three days – three weeks before Election Day.

FiveThirtyEight now estimating Democrats have an 84 percent chance to win
control the House and a 19 percent chance to beat the odds and take the
Senate. For their part, Trump the Republicans have been using combination
of fear-mongering and well, outright lying as they try to keep their grip
on power. Nowhere was the misrepresentation more rampant than when it
comes to health care. And debate last night for example in Arizona,
Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally who voted is a member of
Congress to repeal ObamaCare and weaken protections for people with pre-
existing conditions had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA: I`ve voted to protect people with pre-
existing conditions, to make sure insurance companies were forced to give
them health care. We cannot go back to where we were before ObamaCare
where people were one diagnosis away from going bankrupt because they could
not get access to health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: OK. But here`s what McSally actually voted for, a bill to replace
ObamaCare in which insurers would be able to charge people significantly
more if they had a pre-existing condition like heart disease, cancer,
diabetes or arthritis. Possibly they`re requiring people to pay thousands
of dollars extra every year to remain insured. Even more egregious was a
comment today from the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell who said
this with an entirely straight face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s going on with the debt?

MCCONNELL: It`s very disturbing and it`s just ruined by the three big
entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security, and
Medicaid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: There`s a lot there to unpack, but just that is the leader the
Republicans in the Senate promising to come for Medicare, Social Security,
and Medicaid if Republicans hold on to power. He added the deficit and
debt are “disappointing but it`s not a Republican problem which is an
impressive display of chutzpah since we just learned the deficit has
swelled to the largest it`s been in six years and that`s due largely if not
almost entirely to the tax cuts primarily for corporations and the rich the
Republicans push through while insisting time and time again and despite
all evidence to the contrary the bill would actually reduce the deficit.

Now, as for the Midterms, Democrats have reason for optimism particularly
in the House, an 11 point lead in the generic Congressional ballot
according to one recent poll and a massive really remarkable fundraising
advantage with 90 percent of Democrats in top races out raising their
Republican rivals. But GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam
donated $32 million to boost GOP candidates just last month alone. And
some new data from our own NBC News shop suggests uncertainty of where the
blue wave will materialize and a mixed a picture in battleground states.

To explain, I want to bring in John Lipinski Director of the NBC News
Elections Unit. Also with me Nate Cohn who covers elections polling and
demographics from the New York Times and has been doing remarkable work
polling competitive House races and Senate races. Good to have you both
here. The data on voter registration, you guys have this – all this data
on voter registration, what`s it look like?

JOHN LAPINSKI, DIRECTOR, NBC NEWS ELECTIONS UNIT: So one of the things
that we found that was really interesting was is that when we looked at the
2016 data versus the 2018 data, there was a lot of similarities. And so
the very first thing that we saw is when we looked at the number of
Democrats and Republicans actually registering from 2016-2018 they were
almost identical. And so what was really interesting we thought there was
is like you look at the numbers and looks like wow, it`s good news for the
Democrats because there`s more Democrats that are registering. But we said
the same thing in 2016.

HAYES: Right. Although we should also say it`s not quite apples to apples
because it`s a Midterm versus the presidential and you would expect
presidentials to push more people towards –

LAPINSKI: Absolutely. So in raw numbers, there`s actually less.

HAYES: Right.

LAPINSKI: They`re at about 25 million new people who have registered or
updated their status in 2018 versus about 40 million in 2016. So you`re
absolutely right, you`re going to get less. But what we really care about
is looking at the partisanship because when – you know it`s all about the
ground game, Chris. And so you know, what we really want to see is like
well what is the rate of Democrats versus Republicans actually registering
and they`re – you know, they`re strikingly similar from 2016 eight to 18.

HAYES: You have been – you guys have been polling in all these races and
you got this amazing thing where you`re doing these sort of live polls.
You can kind of watch them happen. There was a sort of narrative about the
kind of like Kavanaugh effect to this sort of catalyzing effect that it was
charging the Republican base. Now that we`re a week plus out from that,
what trends are you seeing now?

NATE COHN, CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I wish I could answer this
in a week actually. I feel like the last two days just watching the news,
I feel like these are the first two days that feel truly post Kavanaugh.

HAYES: Yes, I agree.

COHN: I would say though that in our polling we saw several seemingly
contradictory things that happened the same time. We saw support for
Kavanaugh plummet, we saw the president`s approval rating at the same time
tick up, and we saw that the Republicans started doing better in red and
conservative-leaning areas that has helped cushion their advantage in the
Senate. And while I wouldn`t say that it you know, materially undermined
Democratic chances of retaking the House, I do think it`s sort of you know,
protects the Republicans a bit against some of the worst-case scenarios
where maybe they could lose 50 seats or something like that.

And to be clear it`s quite possible that after another week I`ll come back
to you and say actually we`ve had a reversion back to what we sort of saw
before Kavanaugh and much more characteristics of the special elections of
the last year, right where Democrats routinely succeeded in breaking
through in deeply conservative areas.

HAYES: How – I mean, everyone I know if it has like 2016 PTSD in a
variety of different ways. I mean, obviously the there was a lot of people
were very confident that there was going to be one outcome, that was not
the outcome that happened. How well do you feel like you`re modeling this
race?

COHN: I think that there are some things that are really – I wouldn`t say
that they`re easy to get right but we have had a year of special and
general election since Trump.

HAYES: Which are like actual results which is a key thing.

COHN: They`re actual results, they`re actual turnouts and many of the
polls you know, were actually pretty good throughout that period for one
thing but you know, just out of that data we have a good sense of who`s
likely going to vote that in the past and who isn`t and there`s strong
evidence that turnout among well-educated voters and well-educated
Democrats in particular is going to be up a lot. So that`s one really
important thing that I think that we understand well.

But then I think is harder to understand this election is about individual
races. I mean in a presidential race we get dozens of polls of each of
these battleground districts. And so we`re like Clinton`s ahead by two and
four.

HAYES: Right.

COHN: The polls can be wrong but like we know what`s happening in Florida.
Today we cannot say that about really any of the House races and we
certainly can`t say much about you know, the races that will decide that.

HAYES: Well, and there`s huge gaps. And one other thing that`s
interesting with the voter registration data it`s another sort of form of
tangible data that we can get and there`s sort of differences in states
like Florida, Indiana, Montana, for instance where you`re not seeing the
same trends uniformly across states.

LAPINSKI: It is absolutely – that is actually 100 percent true. What
we`re seeing is in some places you know, the Democrats are doing great. So
for example, Tester, you know, when you`re actually looking at that
registration data, if we`re thinking about Senate races, his numbers are
way up from 2016 but then you go to Florida and the numbers are essentially
the same as 2016 and then you go to Indiana and Donnelly, that Democratic
numbers are actually down. And we`re seeing that – you know, again, we
poured into this perfect smart data we`re seeing that in Senate races,
we`re looking at out rate House races and we`re not seeing something that`s
uniform across the board.

And even as you said we had all these special elections and primaries and
everything in 2016, what we saw is a lot of sort of enthusiasm of people
who are regular general election voters. And what we`re seeing in this
registration data is something that maybe makes us take a little bit of a
step back thinking that maybe this wave that we you know, a lot of people
think that they might be seen maybe it`s certainly not a uniform one at
least from what we`re looking at the registration data we`re going to be
pouring into the early voting data in the next couple weeks to see what we
find.

HAYES: One thing we have seen is in Midterms recently that things have
moved in sort of increasingly natural ways particularly towards the end.
We saw that happen in 2006, we saw it happen in 2010, 2014. Is that you`re
sort of understanding of the basic structural facts of how politics and
elections work?

COHN: I think that`s a reasonable description of what has happened in some
recent cycles. I`m not sure whether I would be confident about saying
that`s how you know elections always work or how we can expect them to work
and we`re pretty late at this point. You know, in 2006 a lot of the wave
is it`s sort of broken by now. And the other thing I would note is that
there`s a distinction between what`s happening at the national level and
what happens in individual house races. And you know, the generic ballot
is well established to be very strong for the Democrats right now.

Does that mean that over the final few weeks as the Democrats deployed this
massive financial advantage that they will succeed in persuading on the
side of the voters to their side? I mean I think that`s quite possible but
it`s a sort of thing I think it`s hard to assume will happen just because
it`s happened in the past.

HAYES: All right, John Lipinski and Nick Cohn, thank you both for being
with me. We learned this week the tax cut Republicans passed largely to
the benefit of the rich in corporations led to an explosion the deficit
which jumps 17 percent as a tax cuts ate into government revenue. Now,
back when Republicans were pushing this very same plan, Mitch McConnell
insisted that cutting revenue to reward wealthy donors would have the
opposite effect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: I not only don`t think it will increase the deficit I think it
will be beyond revenue neutral. In other words, I think it will produce
more than enough to fill that gap.

I`m totally confident this is a revenue-neutral bill. I think it will be a
revenue producer.

I`m totally convinced this is a revenue neutral bill, actually a revenue
producer bill that`s going to get America moving again.

Well let me say, we would only have – the economy would only have to grow
four-tenths of one percent over ten years to fill that deficit gap. I`m
aware and totally confident this is a revenue neutral bill and probably a
revenue producer. I`m not somebody who believes you can just cut taxes
everywhere and get more revenue. I`m closer to the position of a deficit
hawk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: With me now Republican Representative Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania
who plans to retire from Congress at the end of this term. It`s good to
have you here in studio.

REP. RYAN COSTELLO (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you.

HAYES: Mitch McConnell was wrong.

COSTELLO: Well, he`d be right about the fact that if we grow at four-
tenths of a point on average higher over ten years you don`t have the
estimated trillion dollar deficit.

HAYES: Yes, if we grew it – if we grew at eight percent where we could
have all – we could all have ponies for everyone.

COSTELLO: Four-tenths is not that much on a ten-year average if you`re
combining it with some other pro-growth policies.

HAYES: What has happened so far is it is expanded the deficit, do you
agree?

COSTELLO: Yes.

HAYES: OK. Good. But – and that was also –

COSTELLO: Let`s also just some other caveats and –

HAYES: OK, but it has done that. I guess the other question here is
again, I don`t care personally because I think I`m like their deficit dove,
I don`t think it`s that big a deal honestly. But there was everyone
saying, I mean lots of independent analysts were saying this is a tax cut
this is not revenue neutral. It started out as it`s going to a tax reform,
it was going to be revenue neutral, it just wasn`t. And I guess what I
find a little frustrating is like Mitch McConnell and everyone ran around
saying it was when we all knew it wasn`t good enough.

COSTELLO: Well, a couple things. One, we didn`t know what the CBO
projection was going to be until it ultimately came out. I would take
issue with some of what the CBO projections are. I would also say that we
have over a hundred billion more in individual and payroll tax receipts
than we estimated and that we have more tax revenue in, we`re an all-time
high right now. All good facts. Those are good facts too.

HAYES: Yes. If you look at one side of the ledger, there`s more money,
but then if you look at the other side of ledger there`s hundreds of
billions of less money.

COSTELLO: Which is attributable for a couple reasons and two of which are
an increase in defense spending which we need. We talk about how important
NATO is, we do a lot around the world. Number two, we have higher interest
rates which is going to lead to our debt payments being higher and you will
remind me of –

HAYES: Well, so – but here`s the thing. Why do we have to pretend every
time like Republicans care about deficits? Like the record is very clear.
The deficits rise under Reagan, they rise under George W. Bush, they have
risen under Trump, they shrank during Bill Clinton and they shrank during
Barack Obama. Those are the about where the deficit was when they came
into office and where they left. And yet we all have to sort of pretend
that like Republicans care about the deficit. They clearly don`t which is
fine. But why not just be honest about that fact?

COSTELLO: I think – I think the debt that we have is very serious. I
think to look at where we are –

HAYES: But your actions don`t reflect that. That`s the thing. You can
say that sitting here with me but like you voted for the tax cuts, right?

COSTELLO: I did.

HAYES: Which is fine. You voted with the tax cuts but just own it. Like

COSTELLO: I`m owning it.

HAYES: Right.

COSTELLO: But I would also say to you –

HAYES: But that drove up the deficit.

COSTELLO: We are nine months into it. There`s a ten-year projection –

HAYES: I will make any bet you – I mean any bet you want, we play a
basketball game –

COSTELLO: We`ll do that.

HAYES: I will give to your favorite charity. Like name the let`s
benchmark year or –

COSTELLO: We`ll stick with basketball. We`ll stick with basketball.

HAYES: I mean, it will –

COSTELLO: Let`s look at a couple of years down the line to see where our
growth projections are because again, back to what leader McConnell did say
and he`s correct. If you take even one-tenth of a GDP point and average it
over ten years –

HAYES: Congressman, respectfully, that is magical thinking. But here`s
what we`re seeing.

COSTELLO: No, you have to assume –

HAYES: Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into the profits of
corporations, profits are up, right? They have gone into the pockets of
people at the top, right? There is some money that has gone to people who
are average family wage earners –

COSTELLO: Couple thousand dollars a year, the most average –

HAYES: It depends, right? But we have not seen any big wage growth. It`s
not like there`s been some massive investment –

COSTELLO: We have the highest wage growth in over ten years. We`ve had –

HAYES: It was 0.7 percent in the last quarter. It barely eked out.

COSTELLO: We`ve had there percent a year over.

HAYES: Yes, before inflation, it`s 2.6 percent inflation.

COSTELLO: Right.

HAYES: Right. so in real terms, it`s barely anything.

COSTELLO: Well, without it, we wouldn`t have – it would – we`d be below.

HAYES: So let me ask you this, you are here talking about the tax cuts
with me which I appreciate. You`re not running –

COSTELLO: I`m here to talk about whatever you want.

HAYES: Well, but here`s the thing. You`re not running for re-election and
I`ve got on YouTube all the time. I look at these competitive races. What
do you know, you`re a Republican trying to keep your seat in a competitive
race. You don`t hear about the tax bill. You barely hear about anything
substantive. What you hear about is that like Nancy Pelosi is going to
invite MS-13 over your house and Colin Kaepernick doesn`t you know, stand
up for the flag and Democrats are a mob and Nancy Pelosi 21 times. Isn`t
that weird that you guys have had the government for two years and are not
running on what you did?

COSTELLO: Isn`t it weird that Democrats are not even offering an agenda
right now? It`s simply we don`t like Trump. They have not rolled out any
sort of contract with America or anything of sort –

HAYES: But you`ve seen – you`ve seen the data on this, and again I`ve
been surprised by this. When you look at the YouTube ads, it`s all health
care. Every Democrat is running on health care.

COSTELLO: Yes.

HAYES: I mean, substantively, you could say they`re wrong about it, but
like they really are running on health care. It is strange to me that
Republicans who have had all three branches of government or two houses of
Congress and the White House are not running on the things that you guys
did which you seem to think are good.

COSTELLO: Well no, I think if you if you look historically when the
economy is going well –

HAYES: Yes.

COSTELLO: You can`t run the economy. People – no, I`m being serious.
People – it`s kind of baked into the cake.

HAYES: They priced it in.

COSTELLO: They really do. And you see this time and time again. And so
ultimately you have to go where your voters are and we have Republicans
running to the base and we have Democrats running to the base. We still
have a lot of centrist voters and that`s where I think to Nate`s point a
little while ago, there`s not a blue wave yet. I mean, a lot of things
could happen on Election Day and this generic ballot while it may be plus
10 or whatever it is, in a toss-up districts it`s like two or three or
four. Now, when we play basketball, I don`t know if it`s going to be a two
or three point game, Chris –

HAYES: Well, we`re going to play basketball and we`re also going to mark
the time when we get – I get to collect on my deficits debt. It`s great
to have you.

COSTELLO: Good to be with you. Thanks.

HAYES: Come back any time. All right, Congressman Peter King, a colleague
of Congressman Costello`s here is also Republican in New York. He has
represented his Long Island district for 25 years and largely defeated his
democratic opponents for years with total ease. If there is going to be a
big blue wave, it is a candidate like King long believed to be rock-solid
safe who will find themselves out of a job. With three weeks to the
Midterms, that looks like a possibility.

FiveThirtyEight now estimates that King`s Democratic challenger has a two
in seven chance of defeating King and flipping that seat blue and that
challenger Liuba Grechen Shirley who joins me now. I should note we also
invited Congressman King on the show. I wanted to talk to him for a long
time. His office did not respond.

You started out getting a lot of attention for this sort of remarkable
petition to the FEC. You`re a mom, you got two kids to be able to pay for
child care through the money that you`ve raised for the campaign. How does
that worked out because you won?

LIUBA GRECHEN SHIRLEY (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NEW YORK: Yes – no,
it`s worked out. It`s incredible because it`s actually changed the way
that people will run for office. There`s a reason that we have so many
millionaires in Congress. For an average working American to take a year
off of your life, give up your salary, pay your mortgage pay your taxes and
your school loans, and also pick up the cost of child care, it`s nearly
impossible which is why we have so many people in Washington who don`t
understand the issues that we live with every day.

And I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old. I ran the first six months
of the campaign with my kids till 3:30 every day when my mother would come
home she`s a teacher and she`d take them. I would be at campaign rallies
with a baby strapped to my chest and it`s difficult but we put this request
in, they approved it was bipartisan even, Fox News said it was the one
bipartisan thing they could agree with, and we`ve already seen women in
seven different states put in similar requests at the State Election
Commission.

HAYES: You have raised a lot of money. Did you outraise him in the last
quarter?

SHIRLEY: We outraised him in the last two quarters. This last quarter we
actually outraised him by more than half a million dollars with no
corporate PAC money.

HAYES: Yes, so where`s the – why are you being – why are you raising so
much money? How?

SHIRLEY: Because people are sick and tired of career politicians and
millionaires making really bad decisions for the rest of us. Peter King
has been in office since I was 12. He voted to take health care away from
74,000 people in our district. That`s one in ten. He didn`t protect us
against the tax bill in fact he said he was in basic agreement with the tax
bill and that there`s nothing wrong with cutting taxes on the top one
percent of people. He has –

HAYES: Would you repeal that – would you vote for repeal –

SHIRLEY: Yes, absolutely. We need real tax cuts for working Americans.
When we have tax cuts in corporations, we have more money in the hands of
corporate executives. They go out and buy yachts. When we have more money
in the hands of working Americans, we buy groceries. We start small
businesses. We are the job creators. And we have such inequality right
now that people are in my district are working three jobs to make ends
meet. And people are sick and tired of politics as usual and people voting
for their corporate donors.

Peter King has taken almost percent of his campaign contributions from
corporate PACs. When you take hundreds of thousands of dollars in the
healthcare industry and you vote to leave 74,000 people in your district
without health care, people start paying attention and that`s why we`re
able to raise the money.

HAYES: So this – I`ve watched some of your ads. It – this sort of is in
line with what I was just saying with Congressman Costello but you do seem
to – I mean, the tax cuts in health care bill which are the two big
domestic policy priorities of this Republican Congress. You are running
explicitly against what the Republicans did, like on substantive
legislature grounds.

SHIRLEY: Absolutely.

HAYES: Do you think that`s – do you think that`s winnable in your
district?

SHIRLEY: Our district has been ignored for so long. Last year I actually
asked Peter King if he would hold a town hall and he told me that a town
hall would diminish democracy. He said I`m on the news all the time,
everybody knows what I think about the issues. It`s time for –

HAYES: He actually –

SHIRLEY: He actually said that. He actually said –

HAYES: That`s a direct quote, diminish democracy.

SHIRLEY: It`s a direct quote, it will diminish democracy. It is –
there`s a recording of it and it`s a direct quote. He actually said last
week when a reporter asked him about the town – I organized a town hall
for him. Hundreds of people showed up. There`s a six-foot cardboard
cutout of Peter King in my attic right now and this is why I`m running
because I have had enough of having a representative who refuses to do the
job.

He doesn`t understand – he actually said last week at the Town Hall that I
held, he said I refused to succumb to mob rule. This is the new Republican
talking point. Mob rule to sit down and talk to your constituents and
answer questions about your voting record? That`s – you`re not doing the
job. And that`s why we`ve got Democrats supporting us, we`ve got
Republicans supporting us.

HAYES: Well, you`ve better in that district. You can`t win with just
Democrats in your district.

SHIRLEY: You know there are a lot of Democrats in our districts.

HAYES: Yes, registered, yes.

SHIRLEY: There are, but we have a lot of Republican support. People love
that we`re not taking any corporate PAC money. They love that we`re
talking about the issues and have these issues actually affect their bottom
line. Peter King has completely ignored the districts. When you knock on
doors, we`ve not done more than a hundred thousand doors. We knocked on
more than seven thousand doors in one day alone this week. When you knock
on doors, people don`t even know who Peter King is. They want to hear what
you`re going to do for their family.

HAYES: Right, Liuba Grechen Shirley, really great to have you here. Thank
you. Come back.

SHIRLEY: Thank you. Thank you very much.

HAYES: Coming up, the President of United States for the first time ever
responds to the allegation that he criminally conspired what this person
was trying to break the law. Plus, what we know about what Michael Cohen
is telling Robert Mueller in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Just hours ago, for the first time ever, the President was asked
directly about the testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen who swore
under oath in federal court that he paid hush money to two women at the
direction of then-Candidate Trump for the “principal purpose of influencing
the election and in violation of the law.” Now Jonathan Lemire of The
Associated Press asked Trump about this today. He accused Cohen of “lying
under oath, calling his claim “totally false” and deriving his longtime
personal attorney as a P.R. person who did small legal work.”

The President`s comments coming just one day after a new report in Vanity
Fair about what Michael Cohen has been up to since his guilty plea in
August. “Despite having no formal cooperation agreement with the
government, Cohen has willingly assisted and provided information critical
to several ongoing investigations according to two sources familiar with
the situation in a string of meetings that have exceeded more than 50 hours
in some. The author of that piece, Emily Jane Fox joins me now. 50 hours
seems like a lot.

EMILY JANE FOX, REPORTER, VANITY FAIR: 50 hours seem to maybe have gotten
under the skin of President Trump. That`s an unnerving number of hours.
Especially – look, the President may have said that Michael Cohen was a
P.R. person who did a small number of legal – small amount of legal work
from wherever it – whatever he said. It is true that Michael Cohen was
not the chief lawyer in the Trump Organization and it is true that Michael
Cohen was a spokesperson at times for the Trump Organization and apart from
the Trump campaign. That is not what Michael Cohen`s chief role was in the
Trump Organization. We heard a conversation –

HAYES: Yes, on the tape, you`re sure what his role was.

FOX: They`re literally talking about paying after off a woman. Now, I was
in court the day that Cohen pleaded guilty. It wasn`t voluntary for him to
get up and say that he was directed by a candidate who was President Trump
to make these payments to women and the charge and that he was pleading
guilty to. He didn`t have to say any of it. He had written down notes and
got up out of his chair and read that he was directed by the President to
make that payment. He was under oath.

There is no reason why someone would be under oath and voluntarily lie in a
court of law. The President is not under oath when he`s giving this
interview.

HAYES: Are you saying we should not take the President`s denials at face
value? He`s the president, I will remind you.

FOX: Has the President been truthful about the situation with Stormy
Daniels and the payments one time on the record from the begining?

HAYES: Not once. He has lied about it from the beginning.

FOX: So if past is any indication, would you think that he would all of a
sudden be being honest about this now when someone is under oath and they
are awaiting sentencing potentially serving up to 65 years in prison? Just
the balance of who has the incentive to lie and who was under oath and
really lies in Cohen`s favor in its instance.

HAYES: And presumably also you`ve got the Southern District New York who`s
coordinating the plea, who were not going to have him go up there and
perjure himself about what he did.

FOX: Well, certainly you would think by now someone would have raised
their hand and say, by the way this guy is perjuring himself. We would
have heard that. They – the guilty plea, would have been ripped up right
there. He wouldn`t been able to sign it.

HAYES: There was a lot of confusion. So Michael Cohen, pleas – and
there`s a question about does he have a cooperation agreement, right? He`s
pleaded guilty with these federal crimes, he`s implicated the president in
directing him to come with a federal crimes, he`s now sat down with
investigators for 50 hours. His sentencing has not happened yet, right? I
mean –

FOX: His sentencing happens in December.

HAYES: And presumably he`s hoping that the cooperation helps him on that.

FOX: So he does – from my reporting, he does not have an official
cooperating agreement but he has assisted and cooperated with investigators
both in the SDNY, the Special Counsel`s Office and also with New York State
who`s looking into –

HAYES: Tax issues.

FOX: Tax issues and the Trump Foundation.

HAYES: What are they talking about? What`s he telling them?

FOX: I don`t exactly know. I do know –

HAYES: But he has talked to Mueller`s team?

FOX: He has. He has talked to Mueller`s team. He has talked to the SDNY,
he`s talked to state officials and from my reporting, he is not holding
back in any of these conversations. He does not have a personal incentive
to hold back. He is trying to get the – he isn`t as cooperative as
possible because he`s facing a number of years in prison. And the more
cooperative you are, the more likely investigators are to say to the judge
who sentenced him, hey, this guy was really cooperative. If he didn`t hold
back, he was honest the whole way through. If the opposite is true, they
will –

HAYES: He`s screwed.

FOX: – they will –

HAYES: He has no leverage other than cooperation –

FOX: Exactly. So he is being cooperative.

HAYES: All right, Emily Jane Fox, thank you.

FOX: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Next Senator Chris Murphy wants to know why the President is
volunteering himself as the chief P.R. person for the Saudi government as
the world tries to find out what happened to missing journalist Jamal
Khashoggi. Senator Murphy joins me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: President Donald Trump just compared the possibility that Saudi
operatives murdered and dismembered a dissident journalist inside a
consulate with the judge he just appointed to the United States Supreme
Court.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Donald Trump said that the case of
missing Washington Post
columnist Jamal Khashoggi is another case of, quote, “guilty until proven
innocent.” And he said, quote, “we just went through that with Justice
Kavanaugh.”

Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. He has
not been seen since. Tonight, The New York Times reporting that one of the
suspects identified by Turkey in the
disappearance of Khashoggi was a frequent compaion of Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman. Three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the
Saudi crown prince`s security detail.

The news breaking just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with
the crown prince, Saudi officials, ostensibly to investigate Khashoggi`s
disappearance while President Trump appears to be laying the ground work
for the crown prince and other royals to deny any knowledge of what
actually happened in their own consulate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And it depends whether or not the king or the crown prince knew
about it, in my opinion. Number one, what happened, but whether or not
they knew about it. If they knew about it, that would be bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And joining me now Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut,
a member
of the foreign relations committee, who wrote about Saudi Arabia`s behavior
in a fantastic Washington Post op-ed.

Senator, I want to read to you what the president of the United States just
said about the evidence that appears quite significant that the Saudis
murdered Jamal Khashoggi. “I think we have to find out what happened
first. Here we go again with, you know, you`re guilty until proven
innocent. I don`t like that. We just went through that with Justice
Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I`m concerned.”

What do you think?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: So we`re comparing the standard to
select a Supreme Court justice to the standard to assess whether a U.S.
resident has been butchered in a Saudi consulate abroad. This is
bordering upon the surreal. And the fact of the matter is, the Saudis have
now had two weeks to give us any evidence that Khashoggi left. We have all
of this leaked reporting from the Turks suggesting that something truly
awful happened inside that consulate.

And I think we have to ask some questions now why, you know, our president
is volunteering himself as the chief PR agent for the Saudi government.
The Saudis didn`t have to leak the story, but maybe it was rogue agents
that carried out this likely murder, because the president of the United
States
was the one who floated it to the world.

And when this is all said and done, and we likely learn that something did
happen to Khashoggi, very terrible and gruesome inside that consulate,
we`re all going to have to ask ourselves why the president has volunteered
himself to do work that you would normally expect the Saudis to have to do
on their own.

HAYES: And there was also, today, Mike Pompeo, whose dispatched there.
And really appears – you know, he`s seen smiling with Mohammad bin Salman,
appearing to laugh. He releases a statement he thinks they`re really
committed to transparency. I mean, what is that?

MURPHY: I mean, just think of what`s happening here. The Saudis have
potentially killed a U.s. resident. And it`s not them coming to us to
apologize, it`s our secretary of state traveling to them. And the message
that that is sending is just so bonechilling.

Somehow U.S. arm sales have become other countries` leverage over us when,
in fact, arm sales should be our leverage over them. Other countries
should be pressing to stay in our good graces in order to be a recipient of
the most advanced and lethal weapons of the world. Instead, it appears
that when we sell another country weapons, w have to prostrate ourselves
before them. That`s a message that is going to be picked up by the rest of
the world with potentially really devastating consequences for U.S.
national security.

HAYES: Speaking of those arms sales, you have been very vocal about the
Saudi-led war in Yemen, which now threatens millions of people with famine,
is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, including
children being backed fully by the Trump administration.

Is this a moment to finally end U.S. support for that war?

MURPHY: So, I think it has to. I would, of course, make a case that the
U.S. support for the death of thousands of civilians inside Yemen is
reason enough to stop our support for the Saudi bombing campaign there.

But there is a direct connection, Chris. We have been relying on the
Saudis to represent to us that they aren`t intentionally killing civilians
inside Yemen. All of the evidence tells us different, but we have believed
them. We now have the Saudis telling us on the record that they didn`t
kill Jamal Khashoggi, and it appears that they did.

And so why believe them about what they`re telling us inside Yemen when
they`re clearly lying to us, or apparently lying about Khashoggi.

So, I think you can draw a link between the two. And I would imagine that
there is not support, Republican or Democrat, in the Senate and the House,
to continue arms sales for the Yemen bombing campaign.

HAYES: There`s some, I think, justified skepticism about Turkish
intelligence sources. Obviously, the Erdogan government itself has acted
in an authoritarian fashion. His thugs beat up Americans on the streets of
Washington, D.C. outside the Turkish embassy. It also seems like the Turks
have a lot of evidence. What is your understanding of what the Turkish
government is doing, because they seem to be escalating every time the
Trump administration and bin Salman try to kind of get their stories
straight?

MURPHY: So, the Turkish government does not have clean hands here. They
have been leaking information apparently without sharing all of it with
U.S. sources. And at some point we need them to show us all of their
cards.

There has been some reporting suggesting that the Turks may be holding
back, because they are
trying to cut some side deal with the Saudis maybe over the future of Saudi
relations with Qatar. They may be trying to reconcile Saudi Arabia and
Qatar and trying to do a deal by which they don`t release some of the tapes
if there is some agreement.

But the Turks need to give us what they have. And frankly it doesn`t seem
that the Trump administration is pressing the Turks very hard to give us
that information given how little Donald Trump seems to know and how much
news reporters know who are in touch with Turkish sources.

HAYES: It also seems entirely plausible that the president of the United
States and the Saudi
regime conclude that there were some rogue elements, it was an extradition
gone wrong and then the Turks leak a tape of the guy being murdered,
literally.

MURPHY: Right. And, you know, again, the Saudis have been on the record
over and over denying that anything happened inside the consulate.

HAYES: Right.

MURPHY: Telling the world that he left. And so even if they come up with
some story that suggests it was a rogue element of friends of the crown
prince who did this, we shouldn`t forget that they lied to the world…

HAYES: Right.

MURPHY: …for weeks telling us he actually left the consulate, which
should maybe cause us to doubt the sincerity of the news story whenever
that emerges.

HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, as always, thanks for your time.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: Ahead, what happened after a group of New York Republicans invited
a hate group to speak at an event. Sam Seder and Michelle Goldberg join me
to talk about the increasing Republican embrace of the far right.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s hard out there for a Trump supporter
looking for love, which is why we`ve seen a rise in dating websites for
Trump fans. They share a lot in common, these sites, like Trump.dating,
featuring the tagline “make dating great again,” which features photos of
people who are supposedly Trump supporters, but are really quote couples
standing in Times Square quarter by night free to download from the stock
photo website Shutter Stock.

And There`s Trumpsingles.com. Their tag line is “making dating great
again.” And the people they pretend are Trump supporters in love are
actually a young couple having dinner at a restaurant, $33 from iSTock
Photo.

Just yesterday, a brand new Trump dating app entered the scene, it`s called
Donald Daters. And they`re making America date again, because apparently
we`ve stopped dating.

As for their photo, well you can tell me if they look like Trump
supporters, but we do know that some real people signed up for Donald
Daters. And how we know that is Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: A brand new dating app launched yesterday, it`s called Donald
Daters, whch is sadly necessary according to the founder because, quote,
“many on the left choose party over love.” Heartbreaking but true.

The testimonials on the website are glowing. “Meeting people is hard
enough on regular dating apps, so being able to find a Republican match is
a big deal for me, “says Lance J from Michigan.

Apparently it`s like Trump version of Tinder, swipe right if you want to
lock her up, swipe left to build that wall.

And don`t worry, all your personal information is kept private. Yeah,
about that last part, someone kind of hacked it on the first day. Quote,
“a security researcher found issues with the app that
made it possible to download the entire user database, which included
user`s name, profile pictures, device type, their private messages,” ouch,
“and access tokens which can be used to take over accounts.” The site is
scrambling to implement new security protocols, but who would do something
like this to Donald Daters? The website Tech Crunch says the person who
hacked the database is a French researcher named Elliot Alderson, or it
could have been somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Police in New York are on the lookout for nine suspects of a far
right group and two
counterprotesters after a street brawl following an event in which the
founder of the far right group praised the assassination of a Japanese
socialist by a Japanese fascist and reenacted the assassination for those
in attendance.

And if that sounds bizarre, which it is, consider this event was held at
the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York. The founder of the far right
group, known as the Proud Guys, or the Happy Dudes, or something like that,
was invited invited to speak there.

We are talking about a group that not only spewed enough hate to be listed
as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, but which seems to
revel in its penchant for violent encounters. And yet Fox News shows the
speaker outside the event wielding his fake sword, but blames ANTIFA, the
long running left wing boogieman of the right. And all this comes amidst
the news cycle in which the right wing media sounds the alarm about
violence on the left and mob rule. And Republicans call out the Democratic
mob.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: This election is down to simple
things. Are you for what they did to Kavanaugh? Or are you for having
your government run by a mob or you for a sort of a rule of law, persons
presumed innocent. What kind of contry do you want and who do you want to
run it? Do you want these people who spit on me and yell at me being in
charge or do you want a more orderly process?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: But this the era of Trump, the mainstream establishment of the
Republican Party is inviting the street brawlers and insane conspiracy
theorists to speak at their events. And that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the FBI and the stat
Ipolice hate crime unit to investigate violence that erupted after the
founder of a far right group spoke at the Metropolitan Republican Club in
New York this past weekend and following another right wing group that
clashed with counterdemonstrators in Portland, Oregon this weekend. Police
now say that – those right wing protesters in an August demonstration were
armed and positioned on a rooftop with their guns.

Let`s bring in MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of Majority Report with
Sam Seder and MSNBC contributor Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist for The
New York Times. It is striking to watch this like sort of weirdly invented
like talking point about the mob just kind of come out of thin air in the
last two weeks when, you know, we should be clear there was a guy who is
liberal who shot up a bunch of Republican members of congress. There have
been some isolated incidents of left-wing political violence, but one of
the themes of the Trump years has been like basically fascist street
brawlers.

SAM SEDER, MAJORITY REPORT: Yeah. I mean not even just the Trump years.

HAYES: Right. That`s true.

SEDER: Go on to Twitter and look for David Nauert`s feed. He does work
with the Southern
Poverty Law Center. He rights about these eliminationists (ph). You know,
you can go find decades worth of events that are – I mean, yes, that
shooting of the congressman was horrible.

There are literally dozens like that of right-wingers doing a similar
thing.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Can I also – I guess it was six
months now, maybe five months ago which in Trump time I know is years, but
that he pardoned two members of a violent anti-government standoff, right?

HAYES: Sure.

GOLDBERG: I mean, he has been completely – the idea that Democrats or
that liberals are lawless when you have a president who encourages the
worst sort of lawless violence from his supporters and rewards it.

But also, I think in some ways that`s part of the point, right? Partly…

HAYES: Yes.

GOLDBERG: …it`s that Trump is master of projection. So, when he is
talking about Hillary
Clinton`s Foundation, he is really talking about his own foundation. He
accuses his enemies of everything that he is guilty of, and partly it`s you
know about something you talk about a lot who they
believe is supposed on the constrained by the law.

So to them angry right armed – angry armed white men are almost by
definition their patriots. They`re the heartland crying out in rage and
injustice, and angry women or angry people of color are almost a mob by
definition.

SEDER: But I don`t think there is anything particularly unique about this
time in terms of developing that narrative on the right, except for they
desperately need something to run on in the next month. And if they can
turn to it a culture war issue, that`s what they`ll do.

HAYES: It is amazing to watch Lindsey Graham sit there and say like this
is about do you want the people that spit on me – like, and it`s very
elemental, like do you want their people or our people running things,
which in some ways I guess is like admirably clear about what American
politics are.

GOLDBERG: Right. But I guess the fact that he sees these women who yelled
at him as being – and I guess they`re more threatening to him.

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: But the fact that he has – I mean, he`s a shameless person, but
he has no shame about the fact that here you have a president who urges,
openly urges his supporters to inflict violence on protester.

HAYES: Repeatedly.

GOLDBERG: You have the head of a far right street gang who is a regular
presence on Fox News and who is speak at a Republican club, you have no
comparable relationship. I mean, it would be inconceivable to imagine kind
of ANTIFA speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, or sitting here next to me
on your show, right. We have no comparable relationships on our side.

SEDER: None. And I would say also it`s a mistake I think to assume that
Lindsey Graham is being sincere.

HAYES: Right. Yes, right.

SEDER: I mean, that`s the important thing is that it looks hypocritical to
us, but it`s simply a tactic. I mean, they are trying to rally around –
this is because they`ve lost the salience of perhaps taking a knee during
the anthem. I mean, this is what they have stumbled on. This is what is
working. There is a unison – I can tell you that I`m heading to a
conference where I`m supposed to have a debate. They wanted to change the
– they wanted to change the debate that we were going to have from what
has the Trump administration provided for people to almost this very
type…

HAYES: Really?

SEDER: Yes.

HAYES: That is fascinating. That is fascinating.

SEDER: And it permeates the right. I mean, they`re very good at this.
They found a narrative…

GOLDBERG: And the right also love to think of themselves as victims.

HAYES: Yes. Of course.

GOLDBERG: They relish any opportunity to think of themselves as victims.
And I think they`re trying to turn one of the strengths that progressives
have now against themselves, which is you have a lot of activists engaged.
You have a lot of furious women who are willing to confront their
representatives in public, which is something you should be able to do in a
democracy, and they want to kind of delegitimize that.

HAYES: I should note Lindsey Graham then later clarified I guess he wasn`t
spit at, just to be clear. And also just in terms of the mainstreaming
here, this is a Republican State Senator named is Marty Goldman (ph) in
Brooklyn. It was one of his staffers, this was reported by Brooklyner
Today, who was – who organized this. Like this is a guy who works for a
Republican State Senator, a staffer of his – I think he was called a
campaign manager at one point – who invites this basically street brawl
gang.

SEDER: Right. It`s a gang. They`re a gang.

HAYES: They have like initiations and stuff.

SEDER: They have very odd initiations.

HAYES: Weird. It`s weird.

SEDER: And they train for fights. They look for fights. You need to
fight a certain amount to move up in their organization. I mean, this is a
for lack of better term a brown shirt organization.

HAYES: And that`s Marty Goldman (ph), Brooklyn state senator, Republican,
his staffer, good work inviting them.

Sam Seder and Michelle Goldberg.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: Thank you.

One last thing, if it`s Tuesday that means we have a new episode of our
podcast, “Why is This Happening?” Out this week`s guest, the amazing Carol
Anderson, author of White Rage, who has a new
book out titled “One Person, No Vote,” that is about the history of voter
suppression and the current manifestations of it going into the midterms.
Download it on Apple Podcast or anywhere else.

That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right
now. Good evening, Rachel.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
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