Bomb suspect previously tweeted threats. TRANSCRIPT: 10/26/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Philippe Reines, Barbara Boxer, Ben Schreckinger, Michelle Goldberg, Leah Wright Rigeur, Matt Miller
Transcript:

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 26, 2018
Guest: Philippe Reines, Barbara Boxer, Ben Schreckinger, Michelle
Goldberg, Leah Wright Rigeur, Matt Miller

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: So what does the President think of this guy?
Because if you watch Trump and his rallies, he seems to light up at the
displace of a truly gung-ho Trumpites and the chants of “lock her up.” So
again, what does Donald Trump think about the man arrested today for
terrorizing the same list of enemies that come nastily dripping from his
own lips? That`s HARDBALL for now. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right
now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I`d love to be in command of this case when I
have the guy`s motive plastered all over his van.

HAYES: The suspect in the attempted bombing of twelve Democratic leaders
and supporters –

AMERICAN CROWD: Trump! Trump! Trump!

HAYES: A massive Trump fan, went to the President`s rallies and drives a
van covered in right-wing propaganda.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not see my face on the
van.

HAYES: Tonight, Trump defends his violent rhetoric.

TRUMP: I think I`ve been toned down. Do you want to know the truth, I
could really tone it up.

HAYES: While still attacking the media. Then –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are not hoax devices.

HAYES: The false flag narrative pushed by the President and his
supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama probably sent his to himself.

HAYES: And with 11 days until the election, a desperate push by
Republicans to change the subject.

TRUMP: We have to start the momentum again.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. He is being called
the MAGA bomber and tonight it is confirmed that the man authorities say
mailed at least 14 explosive devices to a dozen people including former
presidents, senior Democratic officials, and some of the most prominent
critics in the President was himself a devoted member of the cult of Trump.
Fifty-six-year-old Florida man Cesar Sayoc had a prolific social media
presence posting aggressive pro-Trump propaganda on Twitter and Facebook.
He also used the platforms to threaten the lives of people who have
criticized the President.

Sayoc`s van seized by authorities today was a virtual Trump mobile. The
windows covered in stickers and pro-Trump propaganda along with pictures of
the President`s political enemies with targets on their faces. Sayoc was
also apparently a frequent and enthusiastic crowd member at Donald Trump`s
MAGA rallies. His social media feeds featuring photos and video of him
attending multiple events.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You take a look at this people, you study these people.

CESAR SAYOC, MAIL BOMBER: Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: At this hour, the President is holding one of those MAGA rallies,
this one in Charlotte, North Carolina. Members of the crowd there have
been chanting CNN sucks and lock her up and many think the arrest of the
so-called MAGA bomber today is fake news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because somebody has a Trump sticker on their car
doesn`t mean they`re a Trump van.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama probably sent his to himself. And Hillary
Clinton probably sent hers to herself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I heard it something being Bernie Sanders
supporter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: OK. Shortly before Sayoc was taken into custody today, Trump gave
a nod to wacky hoax theorist who have been proliferating all around the
American riot claiming the GOPs political momentum had been slowed by this
bomb stuff and he put the word bomb in quotes, the President of the United
States, about this masked plot to bomb the most significant members of the
opposition party two weeks before an election. The President did that.
And then the President appeared before a MAGA hat-wearing crowd of a White
House where he laughed when someone shouted for one of the Bombers targets
George Soros to be put in jail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They`re called globalists. They like – they like the globe. I
like the globe – I like the globe too but we have to take care of our
people. We have to. Globalist –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lock him up.

TRUMP: Lock him up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Lock him up. The guy that someone tried to murder. Sayoc stands
accused of mailing pipe bombs 12 people, many of whom he had threatened
online. The list includes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros,
Eric Holder, John Brennan, Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, and Robert DeNiro.
Today, authorities said bombs were also sent to Cory Booker, Kamala Harris,
James Clapper, and Tom Steyer.

Sayoc has been charged with five federal crimes including illegal mailing
of explosives. Officials were able to find him thanks to in part to a
fingerprint discovered on one of the envelopes. The director of the FBI
today did not put bombs in quotes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: We can confirm that 13 IEDs were sent to
various individuals across the country. Each device consisted of roughly
six inches of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, some wiring and what is
known as energetic material which is essentially potential explosives and
material that give off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock,
or friction. Though we`re still analyzing the devices in our laboratory,
these are not hoax devices.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The 14th device was discovered after that news conference and we
should note there could be more. Before he left for the rally today, Trump
said that despite his inflammatory rhetoric, he deserved no blame for
apparent attempt to kill his political enemies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you to blame at all for what happened Mr.
President?

TRUMP: No, not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does it bother you at all?

TRUMP: Not at all. No. That`s – there`s no blame, there`s no anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me now is Philippe Raines who is a longtime adviser to
Hillary Clinton. Of course, one of the bomber`s targets. Philippe, I had
you on the program earlier in the week, we did not know the identity of the
bomber, we now do, your reaction.

PHILIPPE REINES, FORMER ADVISER TO HILLARY CLINTON: We didn`t know the
name of the bomber but we know who to blame. And I feel as strongly today
as did the other day. I mean this is pretty simple. He goes to his
rallies, he has the same 15 names that he recites over and over, he spews
vitriol at them, he works up the crowd, someone in crowd drives around in a
van-a-festo and then that person sends bombs the 13 of the 15. How can
anyone with a straight face say there`s not a direct connection?

And I think we`re not lawyers but it`s a simple test. But for Donald Trump
reciting these names, these names would not have received pipe bombs. And
it`s not just the 13 that have been sent. Now that he knows this is a
possibility, does anyone really think he`s going to stop? Of course, not.
And while he puts bombs in parentheses, we should be put in prison
parentheses.

HAYES: Wait a second. The people that the President, some of them who
were on that list, I mean Hillary Clinton for instance who you worked for,
you know, those are prominent political foes of the President. The
President and in any politician is going to be very lasing when talking
about political foes, describe to me what`s different here. What is
different qualitatively about how this President talks other than the sort
of normal rough and tumble of politics.

REINES: Well, there`s a difference between – there`s a reason why Maxine
Waters received a bomb and not Dick Durbin. There`s a reason why Robert De
Niro received a bomb and not Debra Messing. There`s a reason why these
people, in particular, are receiving bombs. He has, by the way, use the
word bomb in previous tweets and such. He is clearly by the nature of his
very election and the nature of his relationship with his supporters
especially these rallies, he is fomenting hate. He is riling them up and
now we are seeing a very acute result of it.

And by the way, this is not the only result we`ve seen. We`ve seen this in
small ways but hugely impactful in terms of racism, probably in terms of
domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse and on and on and on. He is
saying this. These things are happening. It is direct. I don`t know why
we`re over complicating this.

HAYES: I should note that they`re just dozens, probably too many to count
at this point of examples of racist taunts being chanted of people, racist
intimidation in which people invoke the name of the President as part of
the racist intimidation, the racist taunts, the racist assault. That`s
well-established and there`s dozens of those examples. I want to play you
a portion of what the President had to say tonight in his MAGA rally where
again, there were people in the crowd chanting CNN sucks, there were people
chanting lock her up, in which he talked about the assault and shooting of
Steve Scalise. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have seen an effort by the media in recent hours to use the
sinister actions of one individual to score political points against me and
the Republican Party. Yet when a Bernie Sanders supporter tried to murder
congressional Republicans and severely wounded a great man named Steve
Scalise and others, we did not use that heinous attempt at mass murder for
political gain because that would have been wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: What do you say?

REINES: He acts like he`s doing some kind of favor. I mean, what happened
to Steve Scalise is terrible. The person if he had not been shot and
killed should have been apprehended, punished, and put away. But there are
huge differences between these instances. First off, Steve Scalise was not
being taunted by Nancy Pelosi every time Nancy Pelosi is in front of a
television.

Second, no Democrat in any way ever challenged the legitimacy of it. We
didn`t say, oh well, you know, the bullet didn`t kill him so what`s the big
deal or I bet the Republicans staged this and shot themselves just for some
sympathy. We never did that. We would never do that. That is not who we
are. And that is the difference here.

If you and I probably spend too much time reading conspiracy theories, the
bombs didn`t go off so what`s the big deal. George Soros sent it to
himself. And my favorite is how would a Republican even have the addresses
of these people?

HAYES: Yes, there are – there were mainstream figures in the America.
Lou Dobbs comes to mind, a series of tweets he deleted –

REINES: Rush Limbaugh Ann Coulter –

HAYES: And Rush Limbaugh today talking about how the stickers weren`t sun-
faded enough to actually be there. And the President putting bombs in
quotes. I mean, they are basically false flagging even after the
apprehension in some cases. Philippe Reines, thanks for being with me
tonight.

REINES: No, thank you, Chris.

HAYES: For more, I want to bring in MSNBC Contributor Sam Seder, Host of
the podcast Majority Report and former Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of
California, Host of the Boxer podcast. Senator, I`ll start with you. This
feels like a new low, the level that we`ve reached in the country, the
development of this week, and the President`s response.

BARBARA BOXER (D), FORMER SENATOR, CALIFORNIA: Is this to me?

HAYES: Yes.

BOXER: OK. I think the President`s response is atrocious, it`s horrible
for this nation. You know, he and I are about the same age. I`m a little
older but we`re about the same vintage, and we lived through three
assassinations of leaders John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther
King. And to think that his response to this is to double down on going
after the press not to look at the people and say, you know what, I get
heated sometimes, if my rhetoric had anything to do with it –

We are dealing with someone who is a bully inside and out, has no
compassion didn`t even mention the names of two former presidents. We`ve
only had 45 and this bomber who did the act, let`s be clear he did the act,
the bomber did, the roadmap was the President of the United States and
everyone that he singled out for hatred.

So the politics of hatred, when practiced by a President, has resulted in a
nightmare for our nation and we have a President who has to be checked and
balanced in this next election.

HAYES: Sam.

SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, even if someone wants to make
the bizarre claim that there was no relationship between what Donald Trump
has been doing and what this guy did, Donald Trump`s actions after the fact
to not even call the former President of the United States, to not even
call the former Secretary of State, to not even to say like we are
committed to protecting the people is basically sending the message to the
other potential bombers out there hey, you know, I don`t blame you. I can
understand why you would do this. Hey – and B, I`m at the point like
where the outrage about Donald Trump is useless. There are people –

HAYES: He is who he is.

SEDER: There are people who have enabled him, who continue to enable him
for their own political and frankly money profit. And those people are
members of the Republican Party, they are the leadership of the Republican
Party –

HAYES: And the conservative establishment and the conservative media.

SEDER: And the conservative establishment, they heard when Donald Trump
said hey, if you beat up that protester I`ll cover your lawsuits. I mean,
they still rallied behind this guy. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, every
other Republican leadership should have to answer more than he does. They
need to come up and deal with it.

HAYES: Yes, what do you think of that, Senator?

BOXER: Well, absolutely. That`s why we are having an election.

HAYES: Right.

BOXER: It`s the Midterm. It`s not an election where Donald Trump is
physically on the ballot but his style of politics, the politics of fear,
and hate, and we see the result of that, that is on the ballot. And I have
to say this. There are many issues that are going to impact people. This
is one of them. We have to look deeper inside the Republican Party. Not
only are they enablers but they want to take away things from the people of
America, their Social Security, their Medicare, their health care. We are
not going to forget about that.

This man must be checked. And yes, it all lies with the House and Senate
leadership. We need to take back both the House and the Senate to restore
sanity to this country, to restore hope for this country.

SEDER: Well, I mean, first off, with all due respect to the former
Senator, that will not restore sanity in this country.

BOXER: Well, I don`t agree with you, sir. I don`t agree with you.

SEDER: The Democrats – OK, that`s fine. But the Democrats can take back
a House. But just like when Barack Obama thought that this would break the
fever, this is not going to break the fever. The establishment of this
country, we all know who they are, they sit and seats in these rooms as
well, they need to start holding the Republican leadership to account, not
just implore people to go and vote. This isn`t a question of people going
voting. You saw the assessments of those people in line at the – at the
valley. They thought it was you know Bernie Sanders or they thought that
Barack Obama had mailed this to themselves. The reporters in this country,
the establishment media figures who even entertained the notion of some
type of false equivalency –

HAYES: Or symmetry.

SEDER: – between upsetting the – Mitch McConnell at a restaurant, some
nameless person protesting at a restaurant versus the President of the
United States not even telling people of this country you shouldn`t have
done this –

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: – that nobody should do this, we are beyond – I mean, the
election is one thing, but make no mistake about it, sanity will not return
if the Democrats take the House or the Senate.

HAYES: Let me say –

BOXER: The election – the election isn`t one thing. The election is the
thing. You know, you can write your columns and I to be a reporter and I
love to write. You can go on television, the people have the power. You
got to take away the power from the Mitch McConnells, from the Paul Ryans,
from the Dean Hellers, and I could go on, and the only way to do that is to
vote. Because all this outrage doesn`t mean anything if the same people
are in power.

HAYES: I will say this. My own take on this is that it`s necessary but
not sufficient, right? Some sort of political check on power the President
and the Republican Party is necessary to contain the worst impulses. The
deeper pathologies that are on display, they`re on display for anything –
I mean, anyone that looks at those rallies, anyone that looks the way the
President conducts himself, conducts himself not as President but as a
human being, as a human being who rules of the earth with some sense of
humanity and empathy for fellow human beings is horrified.

Unless they are under the sway of this deeply, deeply toxic and
pathological cult that the President has built up. That`s what it is and
there is no symmetry in American politics between what has been created
there and the profound toxicity of it and anything else right now in
America life. Those are the facts and that`s the world we live in and it`s
going to be that way until something very, very profound changes in the
power structure of the country. Sam Seder and Barbara Boxer, thank you
both. I appreciate it.

SEDER: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, what we know about the Trump fanatic now under
arrest and charged with sending bombs to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton,
Democratic members of Congress and other critics of the President, that is
in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The suspect in the attempted bombing of Democratic officials and
leading critics of the President appears to be a pretty big fan of Donald
Trump. This as far as we can tell was Cesar Sayoc`s van in 2015,
nondescript, regular old white van. This, in contrast, is Sayoc`s van now.
The winters are covered in decals which appear to be – to be clear, custom
decals that he like printed out in the fix there praising Donald Trump but
particularly targeting opponents of Donald Trump using photos of specific
people and in some cases putting crosshairs over their faces.

Sayoc also attended Trump rallies including a rally in Florida last year
where he held up an anti-media sign and he`s not the only Trump rally goer
with such unusual viewpoints. Even today, people waiting for the
President`s rally in North Carolina refused to acknowledge that fellow
Trump supporter might be responsible for the attempted bombings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama probably sent his to himself. And Hillary
Clinton probably sent hers to herself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you don`t think this guy actually sent these bombs
to these –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, probably not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They probably had it done. They may have paid him to
do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These radical people on all sides, they can be people
that are problem creators. They create problems like people on the left
prey on people in the alt-right, and create them – it`s a two-way street
you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your reaction to the fact that A, they caught
the guy, but B, that he may seem to have some kind of pro-Trump sentiment
to him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that theory is ridiculous, honestly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Here with me now two reporters who know very well the viewpoints of
many of (INAUDIBLE) supporters, Ben Collins of NBC News and Ben
Schreckinger of Politico who has covered a lot of the rallies. Let me
start with you, Ben Collins. Just give us a sense of the sort of digital
world in which this individual was immersed.

BEN COLLINS, REPORTER, NBC NEWS: Sure. On Facebook, he was in lots of
pro-Trump Facebook groups, but he also – like it appears he was created
probably. He was the only friend of a page called kill George Soros,
right. So that`s where we`re at really. He spent a lot of time on Twitter
threatening people he didn`t like, sometimes private citizens he disagreed
with, sometimes George Soros who was again, he was a big fan of
threatening.

He was – it lived in an ecosystem online that is for some reason very much
allowed where you can just threaten random politicians all the time and
just get away with it because that`s how it is and that`s how it`s been.

HAYES: Rochelle Ritchie had this to say on October 11th. This is a woman
who appeared on Fox News, Political Analyst on Fox News. On October 11th
today I made comments about Kanye West and tweeted. I received a tweet
from this guy who is saying things such as hug your loved ones before you
leave your home, threatened to throw me in the swamp and the Everglades.
Twitter did not suspend the account, we should note, even though she filed
a report with them.

COLLINS: Yes, he also told George Soros that he will soon vanish. So like
– this guy had every red flag available on the Internet and it wasn`t
caught on to because honestly, it`s part of how people speak from that
side, from that really dark corner over the right.

HAYES: Ben Schreckinger, you`ve gone to Trump rallies, and one thing that
you hear all the time and I`ve sort of experienced this firsthand as well
during the campaign, the difference between people interacting with you is
like a person. Like hey, I`m an accountant, how are you, reporter, oh, and
then their behavior as part of the crowd.

BEN SCHRECKINGER, REPORTER, POLITICO: That`s right. If you meet someone
in line, if you`re out on the floor interviewing people, you tell them
you`re a reporter, they tend to be friendly, they tend to think it`s cool
that they`re talking to a reporter even if they may say that they distrust
the mainstream media. They still tend to be friendly and interact with you
like you`re a person. Once you`re inside that pen, once President gets
going about his gripes with the media, it`s like a switch has been flipped.
Things get ugly. There`s booing, there`s worse than booing. It`s like
night and day.

HAYES: What`s the worse than booing.

SCHRECKINGER: Jim Acosta I think mentioned recently last week seeing
someone do a motion like this, a throat-slitting motion at him. You hear
threats, you hear vile language, occasionally not always, but you do hear
that stuff and you do see things like what Jim Acosta saw last week.

HAYES: What is the – get our hands around like what is this dark corner
and how big is it? I mean that`s sort of what – because this is not like
– one of the things that was frightening me is like, oh I`ve encountered
many people as I make my way from the digital world indistinguishable, more
or less from this guy`s online presence.

COLLINS: Yes, I mean –

HAYES: It`s like not – it`s not like oh, I`ve never seen anything like
that. It`s like oh no, no, no, I`ve seen a lot like that.

COLLINS: If you spend enough time near it you`re just going to encounter
somebody like who pushes that rhetoric. They don`t make bombs and send it
to people and that`s the scary part right? You don`t – now you really
don`t know right? Are they going to be the person that sends a bomb in the
mail and that`s the issue is that you know, this place is – these people
are allowed to congregate these spaces and there`s no reflection going on
right now. So they always looking at – there`s a – the largest Trump
community on the web is on Reddit, it`s called the Donald. And they spent
the whole week calling a false flag right? And they figured out it wasn`t
a false flag, and at the end today was there any like – was – do they
look inward, did they think about this? No, they didn`t.

They said you know, we don`t have to apologize for this. This isn`t one of
them. And also the bombs, are not even supposed to go off so what`s the
big deal? So that`s like it`s not going to change. There`s not going to
look in and see like are we speaking too caustically to one another? That
is just how it is until somebody changes like the leadership in the country
or until the leadership in the country says we can`t do this, we can`t talk
like this.

HAYES: How distinct is this political ecology in your mind as a reporter,
Ben Schreckinger?

SCHRECKINGER: This is its own world, its own bubble. You go and talk to
believers in the queue conspiracy theories at the rallies. It`s like
someone who`s had a religious conversion experience. They tell you with
great certainty that Donald Trump and Robert Mueller are secretly working
together, that they have 50,000 sealed indictments of child molesters
prepared and ready to go. They do not listen to what is said in the
mainstream media. They listen to what they hear on Infowars. And many of
them take it as literal truth and have no doubt about it.

HAYES: And I want to be clear, conspiracy theories flourish in every
ideological corner of the internet. I get them in my e-mail from people
that watch this show who say things like maybe some conservatives are
paying off the caravan to which I reply no, that makes no sense. There`s
reporters there. That`s not true. You shouldn`t believe that, right? The
difference is that the President of the United States is conspiracy
theorists.

The person at the top of the entire pyramid who made his bones in American
public life and quite began his glide path for the presidency by lying
about the birth certificate of the President of the United States Barack
Obama, like it`s all at the top right. That`s the difference.

COLLINS: Right. That`s what we`re saying. If you were 30 miles outside
of a metropolis in this country, you will see a truck that looks like that
truck, or looks like that van.

HAYES: Or in the metropolis.

COLLINS: Exactly. And for 30 years you have no matter who the president
was, liberals would have that truck that said 9/11 was an inside job. The
difference is –

HAYES: I`ve seen that truck.

COLLINS: Exactly. The difference was there wasn`t somebody at the top who
is like maybe, I don`t know.

HAYES: There wasn`t a guy who`s the President of the United States who`s
getting briefings from the FBI presumably as a domestic terrorism incident
is playing out in the United States and 13 of the most high-profile figures
in the political opposition two weeks before an election have received
bombs who is saying bombs in quotation marks so all the people who are
reading threats about how it`s false flags can get the wink and a nod.
That`s what`s different. Ben Collins and Ben Schreckinger, thank you for
your time.

Ahead, the President denies any personal responsibility for the MAGA bomber
going so far as to defend his extreme and violent rhetoric. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you call President Obama or any of those
targeted to update them?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they wanted me to. I
think we`ll probably pass. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; Would you yourself pledge to tone down the rhetoric
for the next few days?

TRUMP: I think I`ve been toned down. If you want to know the truth. I
could really tone it up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: President Trump told reporters today, he thinks he could really
tone up his rhetoric even further. It`s pretty remarkable considering his
history of encouraging and praising violence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Knock the crap out of him, would you? Seriously. OK. Just knock
the hell – I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.

You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place
like this, they`d be
carried out on a stretcher, folks.

I`d like to punch him in the face, I`ll tell you.

Any guy that can do a body slam, he`s my kind of – he`s my guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That`s the man with the most powerful megaphone in the country,
possibly the world.

I`m joined now by NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

Michael, I have watched you on television, and I have read you, and I think
everyone is trying to articulate just how deeply abhorrent and anomalous
this behavior from this individual in this office is. Give it another
shot.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Right. Well, you know, I spend
my whole life looking for historical parallels, Chris, and I am striking
out because I`ve never seen a president encourage violence this way, so
unwilling to fulfill his role to unify the nation, and also just so lacking
in empathy.

You know, maybe one runner-up. You know, one thing I was reminded of
through all this, in the spring of 1972 George Wallace was campaigning for
the Democratic nomination for president. And he was shot in Maryland and
the news was brought to Richard Nixon and he was told that there was a
suspect, Arthur Bremmer who lived in Milwaukee. And just about Nixon`s
first reaction was, well, maybe we should get someone to plant literature
for George McGovern in Bremmer`s apartment so that people will think that
George McGovern was behind the shooting of Wallace.

HAYES: Wow.

BESCHLOSS: And the reason I`m reminded of this is not because there`s any
sign that Trump is, you know, thought of doing something like that, but the
stunning lack of empathy. And the immediate effort to just turn this into
politics. It`s just not in him, it`s not in his software to unify the
country. And, especially, you know, a little bit over a week before these
midterms, he`s so intoxicated with trying to unify his base and pit group
against group.

HAYES: But here`s the distinction, and I`m not the historian here, but
I`ve been thinking about
this too, going back and reading Nixon, Nixon would do all that covertly.

BESCHLOSS: Right.

HAYES: All of the dirty games and the dirty tricks, all covert. When he
went out and made a speech, he could plausibly pretend to care. He
understood the stations of the cross of American civic religion, that would
go through and say things about it`s a terrible tragedy and the riots and
this and that.

BESCHLOSS: Right.

HAYES: This president is incapable of doing that.

BESCHLOSS: Doesn`t know…

HAYES: The public performance is not within his register.

BESCHLOSS: Totally. It`s not – it`s not something he knows as part of
the presidency. And if he ever knew he doesn`t care.

And you`re a great scholar of Nixon, so I think you`re absolutely right
here.

And remember with the inaugural slogan was for Nixon in 1969, bring us
together. And I think for a moment at the beginning he meant it. But
Nixon`s instinct was to do the opposite, but nothing like this.

HAYES: I want to play another – another moment in the rally tonight,
which is this is a very
common rhetorical trope of the president that I find as menacing, or more
menacing even, than the explicit parts. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Maxine Waters. But I`m going to be nice tonight. So I won`t say
it. I won`t say it. I won`t say it. I`m going to be nice. I want them
to say he was so nice tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: What is that?

BESCHLOSS: What is that? He is completely indifferent to or maybe aware
of the fact that
he says things like that tonight, he may be causing violence against
someone like Maxine Waters by singling her out and by saying I`m going to
be nice tonight it`s sort of the point you were making about
Nixon, Chris, that any words he says, and he said a few words tonight that
looked good on paper. He obviously didn`t mean them. And by saying I`m
going to be nice he`s basically saying don`t take this seriously if I say
something that unifies.

HAYES: Yeah, exactly. He`s telling everyone don`t take it seriously. And
he`s also, to me, intimating every – he`s letting everyone fill in the
blanks in their mind, all the despicable things he said about Maxine
Waters, let`s take a moment and think of them again, again, on the day that
they apprehended a guy who`s going to those rallies, who sent two pipe
bombs to try to blow Maxine Waters up.

BESCHLOSS: We have never seen a president react to something like this in
such an unbelievably aberrant way. And it is very important in this time
now that we keep on remembering the way that normal presidents would have
reacted to this, you know, or Ronald Reagan, or Barack Obama, or a John F.
Kennedy, you know, if there was a reaction to something like this, it would
have been in public to try to unify the nation and make people feel safe,
enforce the rule of law, and also private feel for the person even if it
was a political adversary. That`s what America is. He doesn`t understand
that.

HAYES: Final question to you, what do you think historians, the Michael
Beschloss`s of the
future, when they`re writing about this period and this president in this
period, what their judgment will
be about his moment at this – his role in this moment in American
politics?

BESCHLOSS: I think they will say this exposed the kind of person he really
is. He can`t even pretend in public to be otherwise, can`t pretend to be a
unifier. And as bad as it is in public, it`s probably a good thing for him
that there are no Donald Trump tapes because, Chris, can you imagine what
he might have been saying in private about this the last 36 hours? I don`t
even want to imagine.

HAYES: Michael Beschloss, thank you for joining me.

BESCHLOSS: My pleasure.

HAYES: Up next, what the person in charge of homeland security was focused
on last night instead off the possible mass assassination attempt against
President Obama and other senior Democrats.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: All right, so even before today`s big news, the apprehension of the
suspect who allegedly sent these bombs, something extraordinary happened
last night. In the middle of a major domestic terrorism incident, as yet
unsolved to that point, the secretary of homeland security, you know,
tasked with looking out for security of the homeland, Kirstjen Nielsen,
went on Trump TV not to talk about the attempted assassination of an ex-
president and secretary of state and various critics of the president,
including senators, but in what looked like some kind bizarre joint
production to talk primarily about desperate migrants 1,000 miles away from
the United States who want to ask our
country for asylum.

Pretty blatant and cynical attempt to distract Americans from the actual
threat to the homeland
that was taking place at that very moment.

Here to talk about that stunning spectacle, former chief spokesperson for
the Department of Justice and an MSNBC justice analyst Matt Miller, and
former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler.

Matt, I`ll begin with you. I am still sort of gobsmacked that that
happened last night.

MATT MILLER, FORMER U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Yeah, me too.
And it was – you know, you saw really until today kind of a complete
abdication by everyone in the administration. You didn`t see the attorney
general out until today when they had this press conference.

There is a White House homeland security adviser, a former admiral, who is
currently serving
White House homeland security adviser, we haven`t heard from him all week
in the midst of this going on. That`s the person who typically would be
taking information from the Department of Justice, from the FBI as it`s
coming in, and feeding it to the president. We didn`t hear from him. We
didn`t hear from the secretary of homeland security. We didn`t hear from
anyone today until this plot was all wrapped up.

What we did hear is the president kind of spinning conspiracy theories this
morning after you
have to suspect the FBI and the Justice Department had already informed him
that they knew who the
suspect was and they knew his political leanings.

HAYES: Paul, in some ways it`s a testament I guess to the ways in which
Americans – American civil service can kind of function independent of any
demonstrable leadership on top that people were able to go about tracking
this person down because there are many career members of the
government who work very hard and take their job very seriously no matter
what the president is tweeting.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, this was a very good day for the
FBI, which it desperately needed. After the debacle of the Brett Kavanaugh
investigation, the bureau proved today that it knows how to investigate a
crime and find the perpetrator.

And so, you know, the point is that this is not a hoax. And I think
Director Wray`s comments today, to that effect, were a direct rebuke to the
president.

HAYES: Yes.

BUTLER: This is about a national emergency. This is about domestic
terrorism. This is not a hoax.

HAYES: You know, there was something else that happened in the last day
that`s been sort of ignored, I think, because everything else that
happened, the man went into a Krogers in Louisville, Kentucky. He shot two
African-Americans, killed them, tried to break into an African-American
church, and Adam Serwer (ph) at The Atlantic had this to say, “in the past
week, someone has tried to assassinate the leadership of the opposition
party with bombs, a white supremacist terrorist killed
two people and the DHS secretary is on Fox News discussing whether or not
the U.S. government is going to gun down unarmed Latino refugees – Matt.

MILLER: Yeah, that`s exactly right.

Look, this right wing terrorism like we saw the man who went into Kroger
who had tried to go into a black church and kill people, happens all the
time. I mean, there are incidents all the time. They get very little
coverage from the press. They get zero attention from the administration.

And you only have to think about what would happen is, say – say these
bombs weren`t sent to, you know, members of the Democratic Party, let`s say
they were sent to business leaders or random citizens and say that, you
know, ISIS had taken responsibility for them. You`d see the president
talking about this all the time. You`d see everyone in the administration
out talking and tweeting about it. You`d see a full scale effort, and
instead you saw none of that. You saw the administration actually trying
to change the subject away from a mass assassination attempt, a mass
terrorist attack.

And again, the president – you know, it`s even worse than that. I mean,
we talk about them changing the suspect. I think the president`s tweet
this morning was actually trying to fan the flames of a conspiracy theory.
So, it`s not just changing the subject, it`s the president coming out and
reading the script when he has to, saying the right words, but doing what
he`s done before. Doing – he`ll come out and read the words about, you
know, Russia interfered in our election, he`ll come out and read the words
that Neo-Nazi violence is unacceptable, but he always finds a way after the
fact to send the signal to supporters that they don`t really have to
believe that. They can cling onto the conspiracy theories that advantage
their side.

HAYES: Paul.

BUTLER: Yeah, and so what that means is that the president`s inflammatory
and violent rhetoric inspires these murderers and bad guys. Now, they
can`t use it as a formal defense, but it`s clear it`s obvious that he`s
inspired the conduct. And all these false flag theories that blame the
left, all they do is serve as distractions that make it harder for law
enforcement and embolden copy cats.

HAYES: Yeah, that`s the thing that I keep coming back to is that the sort
of wink, wink, nudge,
nudge, the rhetoric. And this as well, and this goes down to Nielsen, it`s
not just the president, this is why the Kirstjen Nielsen thing is to me
remarkable. Bill Shine, who was kicked out of Fox and rendered unhirable
anywhere else because of his alleged complicity in covering up sexual
harassment and sexual misconduct, he`s now working at the White House where
he sort of co-produces things with his former employer Fox.

And it`s not just the president, everyone around the president essentially
functions as cogs in
the wheels of sort of creating this sort of alternate distraction economy.

MILLER: Yeah, they create the alternate distraction economy and then
they`re also stuck in this place where they`re kind of bound by the
president`s words.

So, you saw Chris Wray today asked at the end of this press conference,
when did you brief the White House? A typical question that you would get.
Usually the answer would be we briefed the White House immediately when we
found this guy. Most White Houses would want the public to know that they
were on top of this and were managing it. But he couldn`t give that answer
because the answer is we briefed the White House last night, it would make
it clear the president were circulating conspiracy theory this morning.

So, you see this – the president`s, you know, kind of failure to treat
this seriously and the president saying things that aren`t true, kind of
permeate the administration where other people are stuck kind of covering
up the things he does or kind of carrying them out.

HAYES: Paul, as a former federal prosecutor, how much faith do you have in
the ability of
people throughout the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security,
who do work in the civil service, to function in this environment?

BUTLER: I mean, I think today we saw why we should have faith in the
ordinary women and men, the postal employees and law enforcement officers
who keep us safe.

This was CSI stuff, Chris. They knew about this bombing five days ago and
now we have the perpetrator. So we should give them a shoutout, even if
the president does not.

HAYES: I totally agree.

Matt Miller and Paul Butler, thank you for being here.

President Trump today made it clear he is concerned about the bomb threats
against his
critics. He`s concerned it could be a problem for Republicans in the
midterms. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Robert De Niro is one of the 12 people targeted by the so-called
MAGA bomber this week. The device was sent to his production office here
in New York. A retired NYPD detective who
works for De Niro noticed that the unopened package was similar to the
packages he had seen on the news and called the bomb squad.

In a statement, De Niro said I thank god no one has been hurt and I thank
the brave and resourceful security and law enforcement people for
protecting us.

There`s something more powerful than bombs and that`s your vote. People
must vote.

De Niro is not the only one with the midterms on the mind, the president is
doing his level best to move on from the attempted mass murder of senior
Democratic leaders and their supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think that we`re running a great campaign. People love what
we`re doing. They love what we`re saying. The Republicans had tremendous
momentum, and then of course this happened where all that you people talked
about was that, and rightfully so. It was big thing. Rightfully so. But
now we have to start the momentum again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me now, Leah Wright Rigeur, assistant professor of public
policy at the
Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Michelle Goldberg, a columnist
for The New York Times.

Michelle, I`ve been sort of – I find it sort of morbidly amusing the way
the degree to which both the president and his supporters have been so sort
of explicit about how bummed they are that this spate of terrorist violence
against the opposition has stopped people from talking about the migrants
in Central America.

Like, this is Lou Dobbs. He says fake news has just successfully changed
the narrative from the
onslaught of illegal immigrants and broken border security to suspicious
packages. Let`s get back to the left-wing driven caravans and the dims who
encourage them.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Right, so there is this sort of
like double helix of dishonesty, right, both in that this is all a
distortion – in that this mass assassination campaign is a distortion from
the real news. And also that the caravan poses any sort of danger to the
American people. I mean, that has been one of the most despicable things
in this period is that we`ve all talked about the caravan with this faux
savvy of is it bad for the Democrats? How should they talk about it? And
what has been lost is the fact that the president of the United States is
running a demagogic hate campaign against a group of desperate people who
are coming here and planning to turn themselves in at the border and ask
for asylum.

HAYES: Leah, there were sort of competing rallies tonight. I want to play
you this sound
from Barack Obama who was in Detroit tonight. He has been all over the
place. He was in Nevada. He is in Detroit tonight. And he is having a
rally about the midterms as well. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president said he -
- he was going to pass a middle class tax cut before the election.
Congress isn`t even in session before the election. Just made stuff up.
They all say they`ll protect your preexisting conditions. The current
Justice Department is in court right now trying to strike those protections
down. So that`s not spin, that`s not exaggeration, that`s just lying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: This has been the sort of playbook. And you can see Barack Obama
does a very good job of skewering it. But it is – we`ve been covering it
here, it has been sort of one of the main pillars of
the final message down the stretch.

LEAH WRIGHT RIGEUR, HARVARD: Right. It is the whole you`ve been
bamboozled, you`ve been led astray. And I think one of the things that
Barack Obama is doing is pointing out the fact that the president of the
United States has re-ignited a cultural war because it plays really, really
well with his base.

So we can see this with his response to the MAGA bomber, or, you know,
however we`re labeling him. We can also see this with the launch of saying
we`re putting 800 troops on the border in
anticipation of this caravan, which, you know, if it even makes it to the
United States border, may actually take months.

So really pointing out that this is all about smoke and mirrors. This is
all about dishing out a
little bit of snake oil. And in order to, you know, pull us away from the
fact that those promises – and it was interesting to see at the Trump
rally, there were signs about promises made, promises kept, well, actually
we know those promises made on the campaign trail haven`t actually been
kept. Trump is not pointing to actual hard concrete accomplishments aside
from perhaps the Kavanaugh hearing and a little bit of the tax bill because
there isn`t really much concrete to point to.

HAYES: Well, I also – I want to follow up on something you just said,
Michelle, and jumping off what Leah just said, that, you know, there is a
sense in which we know what the president is doing, right. So, this sort
of demagoguery down the stretch, the cultural war; but I do think there
sometimes this weird Jedi mind trick that happens to people like, oh, this
works. There is just not evidence that it does. I mean, yes, he got
elected, but it`s also the case that like in Virginia a year ago, Ed
Gillespie tried to do this, got his butt kicked.

The polling about the president right now is not good. The polling for
Republicans in competitive districts is not good. And we`re at a near high
point in the number of Americans who say they feel immigrants are positive
in America. If anything, there has been a backlash effect.

And I know you`ve been doing a lot of reporting out in these kind of swing
districts, and I wonder what you see there.

GOLDBERG: You know, I think it`s really hard to say because things are so
polarized.

HAYES: Right, exactly. It depends on who you talk you.

GOLDBERG: He is not trying to convince anyone, he just trying to keep his
rabid supporters in a hermetically sealed chamber of terror and lies. And
the question is whether people who are outside that chamber are kind of
sufficiently repelled to go out and vote against him.

And I think, you know, I`m here in Georgia which is one place that could
potentially do that. It`s astonishing that the Democratic candidate, an
African-American progressive woman is running even close to the kind of
Trump clone who is running for governor against her and so and could very
well win.

So there is a backlash against Trump, but at the same time, he has managed
to create this entire parallel world in which a lot of his followers don`t
really have to contend with any kind of contrary information and can
believe that these bedraggled migrants who are going to arrive at the
border in a month or so are some sort of invading army.

HAYES: You know, Leah, you wrote a really good book about black
conservatives, black Republicans specifically, and there was an event for
them today at the White House, which was a strange event. It felt like a
MAGA rally in the White House.

But I`m struck by the fact that often when people talk about the sort of
demagogic play the
president is doing, these identity politics, there are backlash effects as
well, right. It didn`t have to be the case that African-Americans voted
90-10 for Democrats, it was a response to a bunch of decisions and rhetoric
and policies taken by the Republican Party.

And the same pertains down the stretch of an election depending on your
messaging.

RIGEUR: Absolutely. And so, you know, Trump is pulling from this playbook
that worked really well for him in 2016, or enough for him to squeak out a
win in a national election, but that subsequently we`ve seen that that same
playbook when adopted on the ground hasn`t worked out so well for people,
you know, people running on the right or running, you know, pretty far
right or running as Trump Republicans.

So there are consequences. There hey be a backlash to the backlash. We
know that independents particularly across the country who are really,
really important in not just national elections, but in midterm elections
and local elections and state elections are kind of swayed by all of these
things that are going on.

On the one hand, they claim that they hate, you know, PC culture and they
don`t want a culture of censorship and things like that, but they also
really don`t like, you know, people going out and putting pipe bombs in
politicians mailboxes.

So, there`s a lot at play here. And of course it`s going to bubble up, you
know, in the closing days, in the last 10 days, 10, 11 days before an
election.

And, you know, for Trump, in particular, he is playing a really, really
risky game, but it`s also the only game he knows how to play.

HAYES: Yes. That`s right. And I think that`s the key part, like they are
playing this hand, because it`s the one available to them, Michelle.

GOLDBERG: Right. And I think that, you know, in terms of their own
confidence in their own message, they are kind of amok efforts at voter
suppression here and in many other states I think says something about
their confidence in their ability to win in a fair fight.

HAYES: All right, Leah Wright Rigeur and Michelle Goldberg, thank you for
joining us.

I should mention we have a new episode of our podcast out that talks about
a campaign issue that more and more progressives are getting behind,
Medicare for All. We know that it`s been a huge issue on the campaign
trail in a lot of races. What would it take to actually make that happen?
What does it actually look like?

Abdul El-Sayed has put a lot of thought about all that and gives such great
insight into the topic. You can find that episode anywhere you get your
podcasts.

I should mention, Abdul was a hugely popular guest suggestion by listeners
who tweeted using the hashtag #withpod. See, I told you we`re keeping an
eye on that.

Just let us know what you think. Don`t forget to rate and review as well.

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


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