Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 8/26/2016
Date: August 26, 2016
Guest: Jamil Smith, Caitlin Huey-Burns, Jeanne Zaino, Hector Sanchez, Sean
Jackson, Sarah Posner
JOY REID, GUEST HOST: I know you are, but what am I?
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Joy Reid in New York, sitting in for Chris Matthews, who
has the night off.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continued to trade blows today over
charges of racism and bigotry. It comes a day after Clinton accused Trump
of stoking and encouraging racist voices. Calling in to “MORNING JOE”
today, she said Trump is taking hate groups and making them mainstream and
helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: From the start, he has built
his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He`s questioned the citizenship of
President Obama. He has a disturbing pattern of courting white
supremacists. He`s been sued for housing discrimination against
communities of color. He`s attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage.
He`s promised mass deportation force.
And what I want to make clear is this. A man with a long history of racial
discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the
pages of supermarket tabloids and these kind of white supremacist, white
nationalist, anti-Semitic groups should never run our government our
command our military.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For his part, Donald Trump doubled down on calling Clinton a bigot.
Here he is last night on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She is a bigot. Because you look
at what`s happening to the inner cities, you look at what`s happening to
African-Americans and Hispanics in this country, where she talks all the
time – she`s talking – look at the vets, where she said the vets are
being treated essentially just fine, that it`s overexaggerated what`s
happening to the vets not so long ago.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: How is she bigoted? Bigoted is having hatred toward
a particular group.
TRUMP: Because she`s selling them down the tubes. Because she`s not doing
anything for those communities. She talks a good game.
COOPER: So you`re saying she has hatred or…
TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted…
TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted because she knows they`re not going to
COOPER: You`re saying she`s personally bigoted.
TRUMP: Oh, she is. Of course she is. Her policies – they`re her
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: All that, and it`s not even Labor Day.
With 74 days to go before the election, where can things possibly go from
here? Jonathan Capehart is an opinion writer for “The Washington Post,”
David Corn is Washington bureau chief for “Mother Jones” and Robert Costa
is national political reporter for “The Washington Post,” and all are MSNBC
And Robert, I`ll start with you. You`ve now had the direct tying of the
alt-right and right nationalist sort of elements to Donald Trump by Hillary
Clinton. And the Trump campaign – are they surprised, nonplused? What is
their reaction to the fact that Republicans have not come forward to refute
what Hillary Clinton is saying?
ROBERT COSTA, “WASHINGTON POST,” MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: What we`ve seen
from the Trump campaign in recent days is an effort to try to improve
Trump`s numbers with minority voters, talk about upcoming outreach to black
voters in particular, as well as Latino voters. And those overtures have
come in the way Trump has been talking about softening, possibly, his
And so what we`re seeing is a Trump campaign with a new leadership team
trying to adjust to the barrage that`s coming from Brooklyn and from
Secretary Clinton, and it`s going to continue to come. They know that.
REID: And Robert, but do they – are they reaching out to members of the
RNC? I mean, you`ve got Sean Spicer working part-time out of Trump Tower.
Are they expecting elected Republicans to come forward and defend him?
Because so far, I mean, Chuck Todd has called it the sound of silence.
COSTA: It`s a fair assessment because based on my reporting, Joy, the RNC
is intertwined with the Trump campaign, with Sean Spicer and Reince
Priebus, financially, politically. They`re all on the same boat. They`re
going to ride it until November.
But when it comes to Capitol Hill and the vulnerable House members for the
GOP, the vulnerable Senate races, they`re much more reluctant to come out
now with just 75 days before the election and to engage in any kind of
defensive effort for Donald Trump, especially on an issue like race.
REID: Yes. Absolutely. Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a bigot, by
the way, didn`t sit well with some of his supporters. Dr. Ben Carson told
the DailyBeast today, “I don`t generally get into the name-calling thing.
I kind of left that behind in the 3rd grade. I certainly don`t encourage
it because the issues that we`re facing are incredibly important for us and
for the future generations.” And he threw in, “That`s what people do when
they don`t have anything to talk about.”
Meanwhile, Sean Spicer, the aforementioned chief strategist and
communications director for the RNC, who has indeed been working out of
Trump Tower part-time as part of the coordinated campaign, had this to say
earlier on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC: Do you think Hillary Clinton`s a bigot?
SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIR.: No. I mean, I think some of the
policies that she`s supported have not helped the African-Americans, but I
think anybody who knows me – I just don`t tend to use certain words. But
again, I`m not – so I don`t – that`s not something that I might
personally say, no.
RUHLE: Why go after her saying she`s a bigot? Many people have said it
just doesn`t make sense.
SPICER: Well, I think he looks at what she has said about him and he`s
looked at the policies, and he`s concluded that this is how he`s going to
label her. That`s up for him. He`s running for president of the United
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Jonathan Capehart, you know, the “I know you are, but what am I”
strategy does work in grade school, the “I`m rubber, you`re glue,” et
cetera. But you saw the plain discomfort of Sean Spicer, who`s now working
with Donald Trump, trying to elect him president.
Your opinion that Republicans writ large have said absolutely nothing in
defense of Donald Trump as he`s being labeled this way by Hillary Clinton.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, “WASHINGTON POST,” MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well,
because it`s difficult to defend the indefensible. This is a man who`s run
a campaign for 14 months – from the moment he got off that down escalator
and stepped to the microphones in Trump Tower in the lobby on June 16th,
2015, he said Mexicans are rapists, and it went further downhill from there
seemingly every week of his campaign for the next 14 months.
So if you`re a Republican and this person is now the nominee of your party,
and the Democratic nominee lays out a brief against your nominee, and –
that are based on facts, there`s no way – that you can`t even refute, why
would you put yourself out in front to defend – like I said, to defend the
REID: And meanwhile, in her speech yesterday, Hillary Clinton did cite
other examples, twisting the knife a little more, Republican leaders in the
past who stood up to racist elements in their own party. Let`s take a
watch – take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Twenty years ago, when Bob Dole accepted the Republican
nomination, he pointed to the exits in the convention hall and told any
racists in the party to get out. The week after 9/11, George W. Bush went
to a mosque and declared for everyone to hear that, Muslims love America,
just as much as I do.
In 2008, John McCain told his own supporters that they were wrong about the
man he was trying to defeat. Senator McCain made sure they knew Barack
Obama, he said, is an American citizen and a decent person.
We need that kind of leadership again!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: So David Corn, this definitely feels like triangulation jujitsu,
REID: You`ve got Hillary Clinton now saying, Come to me, Republicans,
because I think that he is not like you, sort of separating them from
Donald Trump even as they are silently, I guess, sort of walking away from
him. What do you make of it?
DAVID CORN, “MOTHER JONES,” MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: We`ve reached a
pretty absurd situation when Donald Trump gets out there and says, Hillary
Clinton`s a bigot. She`s a bigot. You know she`s a bigot. She`s a bigot.
Like you`re a bigot, Joy, Jonathan`s a bigot, I`m a bigot, maybe even
Robert`s a bigot. It`s just a word he uses, and then the media has to sort
of cover it – Today, the candidates traded charges about who`s a bigot –
when actually, it`s his record that`s been sort of on trial.
And we keep – I keep reminding people that before he got to the
nomination, he was known for being the champion of birtherism, which was a
racist charge. It`s been race all along from him, whether it`s immigration
or attacking and trying to delegitimize the first black president.
And yet we`re still trying to figure out how to deal with a person who is
acting like a crazy man – I mean, I don`t know how else to put it –
because you know, his interview with Anderson Cooper last night, you saw it
again and again, Anderson said, Well, you may not like his policies – her
policies, but does that make her a bigot? Yes, she`s a bigot.
You know, there`s no logic here, and there`s no way, as Jonathan said, that
Republicans can defend it. And the question to people like Sean Spicer is,
OK, you`re not going to defend the use of this word and won`t use it
yourself, but why are you still with Trump? How can you countenance a
nominee like this?
REID: And Robert, you know, the term “bigot,” calling Hillary Clinton that
– that was not an off-the-cuff Donald Trump remark. It was actually
written into his prepared remarks. He read it off the teleprompter.
So talk a little bit about this. Hillary Clinton has made an issue of
Steve Bannon, who is now the CEO of the Trump campaign, the alt-right, sort
of one of the kind of features of it, is turning this idea of racism back
on people of color, back on liberals, back on Democrats. It`s something
even Andrew Breitbart was into.
Who is now running this message? Is this Donald Trump leading a message
where he wants to go in on Hillary Clinton and attempt to tie her to
racism, or is this that alt-right faction in his campaign leading him
COSTA: There are intense discussions around Donald Trump about how to
proceed with his candidacy, with his message. It`s not being dominated by
a particular person, but there`s an orbit around him – Rudy Giuliani,
Steve Bannon, New Jersey governor Christie, Kellyanne Conway – and it`s
about who`s with him at Trump Tower, who`s on the phone with him, who`s on
the plane with him.
And these people are telling him, on some fronts, to moderate and soften
his pitch. And others, like Sessions, are more reflective of that populist
nationalist core of the Trump campaign. And this is something Trump`s
navigating, sometimes almost like he`s in the political dark, trying to
figure out how to win without losing who he is with his campaign.
REID: And Jonathan, that actually is kind of alarming because it sounds
like Trump is sort of being blown by the winds whichever direction they`re
blowing strongest inside of his inner circle. Is there a coherent core
here, or is this a campaign that`s sort of being led by the loudest voice
in the moment?
CAPEHART: But that gets to the key thing. You used the right word,
“core.” You don`t get blown around, you don`t get swayed from one minute
to the other if you have a solid core, if you have a foundation that you
His signature issue has been immigration – build the wall, deport 11
million people. Today, could someone please explain to me exactly what his
immigration plan is because it`s hardened, it`s softened, it`s gone away,
it`s come back, all within the space of four days.
So if he can`t stick to his core message, if he plays the room and tries to
figure out what the room wants to hear in terms of getting applause or
getting laughter, well, then you`re going to go wherever they want to hear
it. So one day, we`re not going to build the wall, I`m not going to build
– next day, it`s, You know what? No one`s applauding for me. Let`s build
the wall, and you get the cheers.
He – this is – to me, it seems like Donald Trump and his campaign is in a
very desperate moment, so desperate that his immigration plan is nonsense
and this outreach to African-Americans and Latino voters, quite frankly, is
a fool`s errand at this point.
REID: And Robert, then answer that question. You`re covering this
campaign from the inside. I mean, what is his immigration policy? At one
point, I think he asked the audience to applaud for whether they want him
to do the deportations or not. Like, he`s actually polling the audience to
get his policy.
Do you know at this point what the Donald Trump immigration plan is?
COSTA: What we`re watching in real-time – and we experience this every
day as reporters – is a candidate who hitched himself to this populist
right-wing element of the Republican Party more than a year ago and has
ever since really associated with that wing and embraced that wing.
But that wing has never been who Trump really is. It hasn`t been something
that he`s cultivated throughout his life or during his political career.
It`s something he found, he embraced and he`s held onto.
But now in this final chapter of the campaign, he`s going back and
rethinking, does he really need to embrace this populist right-wing part of
the party as much as he has.
REID: I`m going to give the last word to David Corn because, you know,
Robert is much more polite about calling them populists and right wing. I
mean, we – everyone sort of understands what Breitbart and Steve Bannon
are, and they are alt-right. He claims to be alt-right. Are – is –
would you agree that Donald Trump doesn`t have a natural affinity with them
CORN: I think, certainly, from the birther days on, which – you know,
which we now have four or five years here, he has had a natural affinity.
But I think the big issue here is that Donald Trump I think, ultimately,
doesn`t care about anything other than Donald Trump. After a year of
talking about immigration, he doesn`t know what his policy is. He doesn`t
seem to be even interested in figuring out what to do about 11 million
people here. He thought he had an answer. Now he doesn`t know.
He`s not talked about policy. He says he`s going to fix the education
system, fix the inner cities. He doesn`t really care. It`s just about
presentation and about Donald Trump. The one thing he cares about are
polls and how well he`s doing, how many people at the rallies. Those are
the details you get from a Donald Trump speech, nothing about policy or
anything that matters to anybody else.
REID: Yes, I think that Jonathan Capehart is also right, he also does care
about applause. If he cares about polls, he can`t be having a good week
because they ain`t looking good.
Jonathan Capehart, David Corn and Robert Costa, thank you guys very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Joy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Joy.
REID: Coming up, minority report. We`re going to take a look back at
Trump`s week in outreach efforts and see whether his apparent attempts to
woo minority voters has any chance at all of succeeding.
Plus alt-right. What is this movement exactly? And does it have ties to
the Trump campaign? I`ve got two reporters with all the details.
And flip or flop? Well, just where does Donald Trump stand on immigration?
The answer gets more confusing every day. We`ll try to unpack the
statements made by the candidate who based his campaign on building a wall
and making Mexico pay for it.
And finally, this Friday night, the HARDBALL roundtable will tell me and
you at home something we don`t know.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
REID: Hillary Clinton is planning some on all-star support in the coming
weeks. On September 1st, Vice President Joe Biden campaigns with Clinton
and Tim Kaine. They`ll be in Ohio, around the Cleveland area. And later
in the month, President Obama will hit the trail, campaigning with Clinton
in Philadelphia on September 13th.
We`ll be right back.
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL. Donald Trump continues his ostensible
pitch to black and Hispanic voters, or to white suburban voters by way of
voters of color, depending on your point of view, with a pitch centering on
the one-liner “What have you got to lose?”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You see it all the time, the inner
cities, parents walking with their beautiful child and they get shot.
They`re shot. Their child is shot, often killed. Folks, what do you have
To those hurting and suffering and left behind, I say what do you have to
lose by trying something new? What do you have to lose by voting for
Donald Trump for president?
You can go to war zones in countries that we`re fighting, and it`s safer
than living in some of our inner cities! They`re run by the Democrats.
What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: I`ll straighten it out. I`ll straighten it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: But according to a recent NBC on-line tracking poll, only 8 percent
of black voters and 22 percent of Hispanic voters support Trump. And of
course, he`s making these pitches in front of nearly all-white audiences
while avoiding opportunities to speak directly to communities of color.
Today, Hillary Clinton released an ad criticizing Trump`s approach.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a great relationship with the blacks. I have always had a
great relationship with the blacks.
What the hell do you have to lose?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For more, I`m joined by Sean Jackson (ph), Trump supporter and
chairman of the Republican Caucus of Florida, and Hector Sanchez (ph),
chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. Gentlemen, thank you
for being here.
And, Sean, I want to start with you. You are from Florida. I lived in
Florida for quite a long time. Would you consider the majority of black
communities to be essentially urban hellholes, the way Donald Trump has
SEAN JACKSON, BLACK REPUBLICAN CAUCUS OF FLORIDA: Well, Joy, with all due
respect, I don`t think you can say that Mr. Trump has classified all black
communities as – quote, unquote – “urban hellholes.”
But it is apparent that whenever you go into inner cities across Florida –
and I myself was born and raised in the inner city, specifically in West
Palm Beach, Florida – you can see a lot of blight. And the sad part about
it is, you know what, a lot of municipalities like that have areas within
cities like that, such as West Palm Beach, are all Democratically ran
So, Mr. Trump has a very valid point.
REID: Well, let me ask you this question. Do you think that saying – he
has really only talked about communities of color as being places that are
hellscapes, in his description. You get shot, you can`t walk down the
He`s made it sound like there`s really no good taking place in urban
communities. You yourself have had some challenges with the way the Trump
campaign has outreached to black voters in Florida. You were ushered out
of a Donald Trump rally, or not allowed to be backstage. You have said on
the record that you felt that his campaign manager in Florida doesn`t know
anything about black outreach and doesn`t care about it.
Are you saying that the Trump outreach effort makes sense?
JACKSON: So, let`s be clear. I was not ousted out of the Trump rally,
And, number two, there`s nothing uncommon about anyone, whether it be in
the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign, for that matter, having
differences of opinions with various staffers.
Yes, I had a difference of opinion at one point with a senior staffer.
However, she and I work very well and very closely together to make sure
that we do deliver the black vote for Mr. Trump in November.
REID: Essentially, that`s different from what you have been saying about
that outreach effort in the past. You recently told “The Miami New Times”
– this is your quote – “I have been saying repeatedly that you cannot go
into a black community in the ninth hour of a campaign and ask them to vote
for a GOP candidate. You have to have a vested interest in time and in
your financial effort for the whole campaign, not just the last hundred
Have you changed your mind about that?
JACKSON: You are absolutely right. You are absolutely right.
And Mr. Trump has a clear and concise vested interest in the black
community, hence the reason why you hear him talking so much about how he
wants to go into inner-city communities that have all of the blight and the
REID: How come he hasn`t done so? He`s been running for president for a
year. He`s only speaking in front of white audiences.
JACKSON: Joy, he`s in the process of doing that now, just like Hillary
Clinton is in the process of refudiating everything that Mr. Trump says by
trying to make him out to be the bigot.
The truth of the matter is when Mr. Trump made it clear that she was a
bigot, you know what?
REID: You think she is a bigot? You think Hillary Clinton is a bigot?
JACKSON: Is that the word that I would use? Probably not.
JACKSON: However, her tendencies over the years have aligned up with the
REID: So, you do think – you think that Hillary Clinton is a bigot, in
JACKSON: I have said that – I said that her…
REID: You just said – you just basically said.
JACKSON: Joy, I said that the things that she has done in her 27 year-
career as a politician have aligned up with that term bigot.
REID: That`s very interesting. All right. So you are on board with
Donald Trump`s basically description of Hillary Clinton as a bigot.
JACKSON: What I am – no, Joy, what I am on board with is the fact that
Hillary Clinton has called black men super predators, and Hillary Clinton
has worked alongside with her husband, Bill Clinton, to incarcerate more
black men in the history of any other law in this nation`s history. That`s
what I`m on board with.
REID: Let me get Hector Sanchez in. I`m sorry.
I want you to get in as well, Hector.
HECTOR SANCHEZ, NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA: Yes. No, thank you
for the invitation, Joy.
SANCHEZ: And let me start by saying that we have a very serious concern as
a community with these constant attacks on Latinos and immigrants in the
nation, all this constant bigotry towards our community.
And it`s because it`s having a real impact in our community. Bullying
against our children in schools is increasing. Hate crimes against Latinos
in the nation is increasing. Racial profiling against Latinos is
increasing in the nation.
So, we can see that all this rhetoric and all these attacks on our
community are really affecting and increasing the vulnerability of our
families in the nation. So, we are asking and we are demanding candidate
Trump to stop the attacks on our community and come to the table, meet with
He really wants to meet with the most important Latino leaders in the
nation, he really wants to discuss real policy priorities at the table, a
nonpartisan table, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is hoping, we
invite him to come here. We invite him to tell us where he stands on all
the policy priorities that we have in our public policy agenda here on the
And that`s where we want to take this discussion. We are very concerned
about his takes on immigration. What are his takes on immigration? Build
a wall? Deport all the 11 million undocumented workers?
Well, let me tell you what I know about those 11 million undocumented
workers. Entire sectors of the economy depend on the hard work of these
I have seen and I have witnessed the conditions of these workers. I have
witnessed and seen the conditions in the hotels, in the factories, in the
different industries that depend on these hard workers. So, when they say
that they are stealing from other people, I say nobody should work under
these horrible conditions, where constant violation of labor rights, human
rights and civil rights are – constantly happen.
So, it`s time to come to the table. It`s time to have real solid policy
discussions. And it`s time to really win the Latino vote. We are inviting
all the campaigns to discuss and come to talk to us. Some of the campaigns
have been extremely responsive and engaging of the process.
REID: And you haven`t had the – let me ask you this real quick question,
George W. Bush did actually quite well. He got 44 percent of the Latino
vote. And you only had 22 percent among the Hispanic community, or 27
percent for Mitt Romney. How much damage do you think, very briefly, that
Donald Trump is doing with Hispanic voters with the rhetoric that you have
SANCHEZ: It`s very clear damage. As I say, his rhetoric has had a serious
negative impact in our community.
But it`s the beauty of democracy. We invite the presidential candidates to
engage with us. We need for them to understand, what are the policy
priorities of the Latino community in the nation? So, we invited the
Clinton campaign. They responded. Senator Clinton came and met with us.
They responded to the questionnaire.
We are asking Mr. Trump to come and meet with us to discuss and understand
our policy priorities.
SANCHEZ: We also ask him to respond to a questionnaire that we are going
to release to Latino voters in the nation.
REID: Absolutely. And we will try to keep up with you on whether he does
Sean, I want to let you back in, because one of the other issues is
surrogates. And you talked about some of the past comments that Hillary
Clinton has made that she`s actually apologized for. I`m not sure if
Donald Trump has apologized for some of his past comments.
REID: But let`s talk about some of his surrogates.
REID: Hold on a second.
Maine Governor Paul LePage has come under fire for some of this
questionable remarks. And according to “The Portland Press Herald,” the
governor was accused of making racially insensitive comments, saying photos
that he`s collected of drug dealers in Maine show that more than 90 percent
of them are black or Hispanic.
And when a Democratic lawmaker questioned the remarks, the governor left an
explicit message on his voice-mail.
Take a quick listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Mr. Gattine, this is Governor Paul Richard
I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist,
you (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And I want to talk to you. You – I want you to
prove that I`m a racist.
I have spent my life helping black people. And you little son of a bitch
socialist (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I need you to just friggin` – I want you
to record this and make it public, because I`m after you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
REID: Now, later this afternoon, the governor, we should say, did
apologize for the vulgarity in that voice-mail.
But, Sean, do you think that it would help Donald Trump to repudiate and
distance himself from people like Governor LePage, like Joe Arpaio, like
Rudy Giuliani, who are so toxic to people of color?
JACKSON: Well, first and foremost, let me respond to Hector, because I
find it very offensive that he is so misleading.
Mr. Trump has made it very clear and has taken a lot of time in recent
weeks to court the Hispanic community.
REID: Hold on a second. Hold on a second. We are going to let him talk
too, but I want you to answer my question quickly first.
Do you think that Donald Trump should repudiate people like Governor
LePage, who has made disparaging remarks about African-Americans, should
repudiate people like Rudy Giuliani, who is his adviser, who the African-
American community feels has been – nothing but hostility toward
particularly African-Americans? Should he repudiate people like that if he
wants to do this outreach?
JACKSON: What I will say, Joy, is that no one, yourself included, should
be holding Mr. Trump accountable or responsible for the words that come out
of other persons` mouths.
REID: But you just a moment ago tried to hold Hillary Clinton responsible
for her husband`s policies when he was president.
JACKSON: For her words. For her words, Joy. For her words.
REID: No, for her husband`s policy. You said she incarcerated – you said
she incarcerated millions of African-Americans. When did she do that?
JACKSON: Joy, when you go back to Mrs. Clinton`s comments over the
REID: Did she incarcerate millions of African-Americans? You wanted to
hold her responsible for that policy.
JACKSON: Joy, please. You know what? This is – Joy, you know what?
With all due respect, it`s commentary like this that is part of the ugly
discourse of politics, because you know, as well as I do, that Mrs. Clinton
over the years has made it quite clear that she supported, protected and
defended her husband`s legislation.
REID: As did half of the Congressional Black Caucus.
JACKSON: If she was so apologetic for supporting that legislation…
REID: As did the Congressional Black Caucus.
JACKSON: … that, when she was the United States senator from New York,
what she would have done was made it a point to introduce and create
legislation that would have in fact counteracted what her husband`s
policies put in place.
REID: Let me work Sean back in.
But I want to very quickly – you have not yet answered my question whether
or not, yes or no, you think that Donald Trump should repudiate people who
are associated with him who make bigoted statements, quite frankly, to
include the alt-right that`s in his campaign. Should he repudiate that,
yes or no?
And then we`re going to let Hector back in.
JACKSON: Like I said, I have already answered the question.
REID: OK. You say no. All right. Let`s go on.
JACKSON: No, I didn`t say no. So, don`t put words in my mouth. Thank
REID: OK. All right, well, good. Let`s move on, Sean.
SANCHEZ: Let me just take charge of this.
We are very worried with some of the people that are working with the Trump
campaign. You mentioned some of the names, Sensenbrenner, Sheriff Arpaio.
I know that I was at the Republican Convention on the first day. And just
hearing some of these messages, these divisive messages, these constant
attacks against our community, against immigrants, against Latinos, against
minorities, it`s not the kind of nation that we want, and it`s not the kind
of nation that we are.
We need real solid policy proposals. We need to understand where the
campaign stands on immigration reform. There is going to be a speech on
immigration reform. We want to understand exactly where they are. Do we
have a bill that we can consider, like a bipartisan bill that we had?
SANCHEZ: What is going to happen with DAPA and DACA? What is going to
happen with all the fantastic workers, undocumented workers that we have in
SANCHEZ: What are the economic policies, education, et cetera?
SANCHEZ: Those are the questions that we need to be answering, instead of
getting in all this ugly debate. That`s not the kind of nation that we
SANCHEZ: But I can tell you something very clear.
REID: Very quickly.
SANCHEZ: At a time when the Latino community is under attack, civic
participation is the response. We are going to come out in historical
And we`re educating our families. And I can tell you that we are
organizing our communities all over the nation, and this is going to be a
historical election for the Latino vote.
REID: Yes. Well, it is going to be a very interesting.
JACKSON: Can I ask a question?
REID: We are out of time. But thank you both. We will have you both
Sean Jackson and Hector Sanchez, thank you very much.
JACKSON: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Thank you.
REID: And coming up: The alt-right has made headlines this week in the
presidential campaign. And we will look at just who this group is and what
they want when we return.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Ayman Mohyeldin. Here`s what`s
The Food and Drug Administration said today all blood donations should be
tested for Zika. The new guidance comes as Florida is dealing with an
increasing threat from the virus.
Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. and Russia may be closing in on
a deal to end the war in Syria. The cease-fire agreement would also allow
for humanitarian aid and a political transition.
Italian officials now say the death toll from an earthquake there has risen
to at least 281. A state funeral will be held tomorrow for several of the
victims – now back to HARDBALL.
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Donald Trump`s new campaign CEO doesn`t come from your traditional school
of political strategists. Steve Bannon, the chair of Breitbart Media, has
bragged that his online news site is the go-to place for the alt-right, a
term that before the last couple of weeks most Americans had never even
Sarah Posner of “Mother Jones interviewed Bannon this summer. She writes:
“`We are the platform for the alt-right,` Bannon told me proudly when I
interviewed him at the Republican National Convention in July. Though
disavowed by every other major conservative outlet, the alt-right has been
Bannon`s target audience ever since he took over Breitbart News from its
late founder, Andrew Breitbart, four years ago. Under Bannon`s leadership,
the site has plunged into the fever swamps of conservatism, cheering white
nationalist groups as an eclectic mix of renegades, accusing President
Obama of importing more hating Muslims and waging an incessant war against
the purveyors of political correctness.”
But just what exactly is the alt-right?
Well, Sarah Posner is an Investigative Fund reporter and the author of that
“Mother Jones” story. And Benjy Sarlin is a political reporter for MSNBC.
Thank you for being here.
And, Sarah, I`m going to back to you in a moment to talk a little bit about
– more about Steve Bannon.
But, Benjy, I want to start with you just give us like a working definition
BENJY SARLIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: So, the trouble is that it`s sort of a
loose term. It`s not like it`s one organization with a leader.
So it includes a lot of different groups. The term itself comes under a
specific group of white nationalists who have this kind of general war on
multiculturalism, on immigration, groups that combat hate. Like, Anti-
Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, they pretty much say they
are the same as white supremacists. They would slightly disagree with
But it also includes people who just generally rail against political
correctness or feminism. Or, you know, it includes subsets like for
example, Gamergate, which is young white men mostly who are upset that
there`s too many minorities and women invading their video games.
So, it can be a very broad term.
And I guess the big sort of issue with them is that they target traditional
conservatism and Republicanism as sort of weakening white culture, I guess
you would say.
Their idea is that there`s all these taboo topics, topics that they want to
bring up, but you can`t talk about because Republicans are too squeamish
about issues of race and religion and identity.
So, this could include people who are upset, kind of extreme anti-Sharia
activists who think there`s a Muslim conspiracy everywhere. It could
include people who are worried about demographic changes as a result of
immigration and say Republicans won`t talk about this. You could get a
wide bunch of people under that rubric.
And, Sarah, one of these sort of interesting sort of aspects of it that I
think a lot of people have been alarmed by is this perception that there`s
a lot of anti-Semitism linked to it…
SARAH POSNER, “MOTHER JONES”: Right.
REID: … along with the anti-multiculturalism, anti-immigration fervor.
Kind of give us a little bit of the background in that.
POSNER: Well, Ben Shapiro, who was editor at large at Breitbart until
earlier this year, after he left Breitbart, he was assaulted on Twitter and
other venues with anti-Semitic, really horrible, “send you to the ovens”
kind of rhetoric and imagery on Twitter, which is also something that other
Jewish journalists, including other Jewish conservative journalists, have
experienced from the alt-right online.
And Shapiro even had, after the birth of his second child, and he tweeted
out the news of the birth of his child, and somebody tweeted at him, “To
the ovens with the four of you,” your entire family.
I asked Bannon about that when I met with him in Cleveland in July. And
instead of saying something like, “I`m sorry that this happened to my
former employee, Ben Shapiro,” he kind of dismissed it and said that
Shapiro was a whiner.
So – and I feel like this has not been addressed by the alt-right or by
Breitbart or by the Trump campaign. If you recall, the journalist Julia
Ioffe wrote a profile of Melania Trump in “GQ” several months ago, and she
received a similar treatment on Twitter and on the phone and e-mail.
And when Melania Trump was asked about it, she said that these people had
been provoked by Ioffe.
And there`s been an international sort of component to it, Benjy, as well.
Let`s play a little bit of Nigel Farage, who was the leader of UKIP in the
U.K. that led the Brexit fight, stumping for Donald Trump in, of all
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIGEL FARAGE, FORMER U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY LEADER: We reached those
people who have never voted in their lives but believe by going out and
voting for Brexit, they could take back control of their country, take back
control of their borders and get back their pride and self-respect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Are there deliberate connections between groups like you
(INAUDIBLE), even the Putin-ite sort of factions around the world and the
BENJY SARLIN, NBC NEWS: There`s definitely kind of a global international
component to this. Now, here, these have been kind of fringe groups but we
had expressions of this in Europe for a long time in far right parties.
One figure is very popular in the alt-right Geert Wilders, who is a
politician who is called for banning the Koran and deporting Muslims pretty
much en masse. There are a lot of expressions of it in Europe that, you
know, have been kind of imported, a bit of a global exchange program, if
you will, between extremists abroad and extremist at home.
REID: Yes, very interesting, and we could talk for hours about it because
the Putin fetishism and all the other stuff. But it is now part of the
Republican Party. So, that`s great. Sara Pozner (ph) and Benjy Sarlin,
thank you both.
And coming up, flip or flop. Donald Trump`s changing stance on immigration
seems to have confused supporters and critics alike. We`ll take a look
back in the week of Trump, next.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: They`ll pay back taxes. They have
to pay taxes. There`s no amnesty, as such. There`s no amnesty.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Right.
TRUMP: But we work with them.
I`ve had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come
up to me and they`ve said, Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person
that`s been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and the family out, it`s
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So, if you haven`t committed a crime and you
have been here for 15 years, you have a family here, you have a job here,
will you be deported?
TRUMP: We are going to see what happens once we strengthen up our border
but there`s a very good chance the answer could be yes. We`re going to see
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
REID: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Now, as you can see there, over the course of the week, Donald Trump has
sent mixed signals when it comes to his stance on immigration, confusing
supporters and opponents alike.
So, what is Trump`s position and does it matter to his supporters if it`s
changed? Just this hour, Trump called in to FOX News and here`s his answer
when asked whether he believes in amnesty and whether he`s softening his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you believe in amnesty and are you softening your
TRUMP: My stance is very strong. It`s going to remain very strong. There
will be no amnesty. There`s no legalization. We are going to build a
wall. It`s going to be a tremendous powerful wall. We are going to have
great technology along with the wall and we are going to stop people from
Day one, we`re going to get all of the gang members and the gang leaders
and the drug dealers and all of these people that have illegally crossed
and they have been in our country, we are going to get them out very, very,
very fast. And we will number one, I have to secure and we have to secure
the border. We are going to secure the border like it`s never been secured
We are going to stop the drugs from coming in. We are going to stop
certain people, criminal elements, from coming in, and then we shall see
what we shall see.
(END VIDEO CLI)
REID: And with me now, tonight`s roundtable, Caitlyn Huey-Burns, political
reporter for “Real Clear Politics”, Jamil Smith, senior national
correspondent for MTV News, Jeanne Zaino, aha, professor of campaign
management at NYU and a strategy adviser for applied economics.
And, of course, I asked you that right before and mess it up. I jinxed
myself. Okay, giggly over here that`s laughing to my right, Jamil Smith.
Donald Trump went from the softening –
JAMIL SMITH, MTV NEWS SR. NATL. CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
REID: – to saying it`s not a softening, it`s a hardening. He is now
strong and he`s got a strong and powerful wall.
Do you now understand the powerful and strong strategy and strategery of
the man who is no longer softening?
SMITH: I don`t think anybody does. I mean, there is no strategy here.
Frankly, what he`s doing is simply giving signals to his base that he`s
strong whenever there`s any kind of perception of weakness, because this
whole campaign is built on the toxic masculine ideal of strength. So any
time you use any kind of perceived weakness, he has to show some strength.
There`s nothing about policy here. It`s just about perception.
REID: And, Jeanne, I have to turn to you on this, but you are our
strategist at the table. When you are advising a candidate and they are
building a brand essentially which is what politics is, you did have this
sort of tug-of-war that`s apparent inside of Trump world, where you`ve got
the Kellyanne Conway faction saying he needs to be softer, he needs to
appeal to women. So, he did the softening. He said the words it`s a
Now, he seems to have recoiled from all of the I guess the rest of us sort
of giggling and saying the softening over and over and over again, and he
now hears what sounds like weakness and sort of the alt-right part of his
world is pulling him back toward trying to be strong and macho, saying it`s
a powerful wall. Is there a way to do both of those two things in one
JEANNE ZAINO, POLLSTER: Kellyanne Conway has to be hitting her head
against the wall at this point that she`s got him out there saying that he
is going to take – be a softer gentler Donald Trump one day and several
hours later, he has changed his mind because there`s nothing Donald Trump
likes less than being criticized.
So, the minute he was criticized, you saw him as you mentioned recoil. But
I would just say we should all take a step back and look at what he`s done.
This is somebody who claimed not to be a politician, to be an outsider. He
spent the last year threatening 12 million people that he was going to rip
them from their families and send them away, put them in jail. They were
going to be gone.
Now all of a sudden, for political reasons only, because there`s no other
reason he would do this, he has now changed his mind twice in the last 48
hours. That is politics through and through. It is a disaster for a
strategist and for Kellyanne Conway and this campaign.
REID: And it is difficult, right, because, Caitlyn, when we were waiting
for a speech it was supposed to take place on Thursday where he would lay
out his strategy ostensibly. Now that`s been delayed. They say it`s
coming in the next few weeks. Do you detect within the campaign, is there
an internal debate over whether he should do the softening or not do the
softening or is Donald Trump just not clear on what he wants to do?
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: I think Donald Trump is not clear
on what he wants to do. I actually wouldn`t be surprised if they kept this
kind of ambiguous, so you have kind of the two pillars of his plan. You
have the wall pertaining to border security. He`s been adamant about that,
keeping up that chant.
But on the issue of deportation, he has been I think intentionally
ambiguous or at least that`s the advice coming from his campaign, because
you have, of course, Republican primary voters who supported him in the
primary. Pew Research found only 60 percent of those adamant Trump
supporters associate immigrants with criminality. And so, that`s kind of
where he`s going with the crime issue.
And then, of course, you have a majority of Republicans who didn`t support
Trump in the primary, so people who supported Cruz and Kasich was the last
time this was measured. They did not support the deportation efforts.
REID: He`s trying to walk that back.
HUEY-BURNS: Those are such hard things to reconcile for this candidate in
REID: Yes, indeed.
All right. The roundtable is sticking with us. And up next, these three
will tell me something I don`t know.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
REID: OK, Donald Trump`s personal doctor, who wrote, “If elected, Mr.
Trump, I can state, unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever
elected to the presidency,” told NBC News today that he wrote a letter
about Trump`s health in just five minutes. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, DONALD TRUMP`S DOCTOR: I thought about it all day,
and at the end, I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed, so I try
to get four or five lines best as possible, that they would be happy with.
It was while the driver waited for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: You see how good we are to you.
HARDBALL is back after this. It`s amazing.
REID: And we`re back.
Jamil, tell me something I don`t know.
SMITH: The Central Park Five ad is now a campaign issue. Jeff Sessions a
couple of weeks back was on a Birmingham radio station, defending Trump`s
stance on law and order and he used the famous full page ad that Trump
placed in 1989 to condemn five black and Hispanic teenagers for committing
a crime which they did not commit and calling for the death penalty. So,
to me, that puts it on the table and I`m actually surprised that Hillary
didn`t use it yesterday.
REID: Yes, Jeff Sessions has his own very interesting colorful history
about, Google that, on race.
Let`s go, Caitlin.
HUEY-BURNS: Donald Trump came out with an ad this week and it has all his
schedules and lots of different prices you can win and trivia and all those
sorts of things. It`s interesting because apps are used by campaigns to
collect data on people and this is smart for the campaign to do.
HUEY-BURNS: But apparently, when you sign in, you give access, or you can
give access to all of your contacts and there have been reports today about
privacy concerns. So, keep an eye on that. That`s interesting.
REID: So, you have to watch your data, because Trump might get it. OK,
Jeanne, tell me something I don`t know.
ZAINO: Well, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump talk about bringing
manufacturing jobs back to the United States and the truth is, they aren`t
coming back and the reason is not because corporations won`t return, it`s
because jobs are being automated and a recent study by Applied Economics,
52 percent of manufacturing jobs can be automated. So, it`s something that
has to be talked about, artificial intelligence is coming down the pike.
Nobody on the campaign trail or in the public sector is talking about how
we do this and help this people out there who don`t have the skills and
these companies are going to automate.
REID: And retail too.
REID: Thank you so much to my roundtable: Jamil Smith, Caitlin Huey-Burns
and Jeanne Zaino.
HARDBALL is back after this.
REID: That is HARDBALL for now. Thanks for joining us. I`ll see you
tomorrow and Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time for “A.M. JOY”.
Tomorrow, we have the man who had the interesting phone call from Paula
page, plus more on the alt-right.
“ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES” starts right now.
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