The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/12/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: October 12, 2016
Guest: Joe Capozzi, John Lapinski
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: This hour, beginning tonight with some breaking
news of new allegations from women who say they were groped by Donald Trump
without their consent. Now, I mean, the word grope should imply that there
wasn`t consent, but I`m just being extra sure we all know what we`re
talking about here.
I should also say that I have been looking forward to the time when
covering national politics no longer has to include a warning to clear the
little kids out of the room, but as of tonight. We are not there yet. So
I will give you a second to put headphones on junior.
OK. Since last Friday, since the release of the 2005 tape from “Access
Hollywood” showing lewd and frankly predatory remarks from Donald Trump
behind the scenes at a California TV shoot, that tape recording of him
talking about grabbing women in the genitals and kissing them without their
consent and getting away with it because he`s a star, ever since then, ever
since Friday, the hunt has been on for more tapes in various TV show
archives. More tapes that might show whether Donald Trump made a habit of
talking about women that way.
But the other we are now seeing, the thing that is breaking in multiple
news outlets tonight is women coming forward on their own to talk about
what they say is Donald Trump`s past behavior toward them. In real life,
not talking about stuff, not things he said, but physical actions he
allegedly took toward the various women who are speaking out tonight.
The “New York Times” posted this late this evening. It`s an account from
two different women who say they were groped by Donald Trump years ago.
One of the women worked at a real estate company that was headquartered at
Trump Towers in 2005.
I`m just going to read you exactly the way the “New York Times” has
reported this this evening. She named herself to the “Times,” she is named
Rachel Crooks. Miss Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate
investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan when she
encountered Mr. Trump outside an elevator in the building one morning in
2005. Aware that her company did business with Mr. Trump, she turned and
introduced herself to him. They shook hands but Mr. Trump would not let
go, she said.
Instead he began kissing her cheeks. Then she said, he kissed me directly
on the mouth. It did not feel like an accident, she said. It felt like a
violation. Shaken, the “New York Times” said, Miss Crooks returned to her
desk and immediately called her sister, Brianna Webb, in the small town in
Ohio where they grew up and told her what happened.
So that`s one of the accounts that`s in the “New York Times” tonight. I
mentioned that call to her sister in Ohio because this is clearly the way
that the “Times” is trying to corroborate some of these allegations,
whether the woman in question told other people about it at the time.
Obviously it`s to a certain extent going to be he said-she said if Donald
Trump denies that these things happened. But what they`re looking in terms
of checking out the veracity of this account is whether there is anything
contemporaneous that involved another person where they could recount this
woman saying something at the time, at the time when obviously Donald Trump
was not running for president.
So that`s one. Here`s the second one from the same “New York Times”
account. This one was from a woman named Jessica Leeds. More than three
decades ago, when she was a traveling business woman at a paper company,
Jessica Leeds says she sat beside Trump in a first class cabin of a flight
to New York. They had never met before. About 45 minutes after takeoff,
she recalled Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her.
According to Miss Leeds, Mr. Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his
hands up her skirt. He was like an octopus, she said. His hands were
everywhere. She fled to the back of the plane. Miss Leeds has told that
story to at least four people close to her who also spoke with the “New
Can I just ask control room if we have that video that we thought we`re
going to have? We`ve got a little clip of a video that was posted by the
“New York Times.” Again these are two named women who spoke with the
“Times” tonight, both recounting these incidents that happened a long time
ago. Here`s one of the women explaining a little bit about what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA LEEDS, CLAIMS DONALD TRUMP GROPED HER: If he had stuck with the
upper part of the body, I might not have gotten – I might not have gotten
that upset. But it`s when he started putting his hand up my skirt, and
that was it. That was it. I – I was out of there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Again, that`s one of the women who made these allegations about
Donald Trump`s behavior tonight in the “New York Times.” There`s two
things that I want to tell you about this “New York Times” report this
evening. And the first one is that Donald Trump is quite emphatically
denying these allegations.
Let me tell you again exactly how the “New York Times” characterized his
And this itself is sort of – it`s at least interesting. Quote, “In a
phone interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated Mr. Trump denied every
one of the women`s complaints. None of this ever took place, said Mr.
Trump, who began shouting at the “Times” reporter who was questioning him.
He said that the “Times” was making up the allegations to hurt him and that
he would sue the news organization if it reported the, quote, “You are a
disgusting human being.” He told the “Times” reporter as she questioned
him about the women`s claims.
So, again, that is one thing I want you to know about this “New York Times”
report tonight. The other thing I want to tell you is that NBC News and
MSNBC, we have not yet talked to these women ourselves. These are not
anonymous allegations. These women are naming themselves and again the
“Times” has done the leg work of talking to other people who these women
told these stories to.
We have not confirmed these reports directly with these women themselves.
I will tell you that just for my show, for my part we have reached out to
these women tonight who have named themselves in these articles to try to
talk with them. We have not yet succeeded in arranging some sort of
interview. But that`s what I can tell you in terms of how we have chased
down this story ourselves. That`s the “New York Times” side of it.
Shortly after the “New York Times” posted this tonight, which of course
went off like a rocket. We got another report from a different newspaper.
The “Palm Beach Post.” The “Palm Beach Post” is reporting the story of a
Florida woman who says that Donald Trump groped her. And again, this is an
identifiable person making the allegation under her own name. The article
includes photos of her, specifically from the time of her allegation, from
the time that she says Donald Trump groped her.
Her name is Mindy McGillivray. Forgive me if I`m pronouncing that wrong.
M-C-G-I-L-L-I-V-R-A-Y. She tells the “Palm Beach Post” tonight that she
was helping a photographer friend who was working in an official capacity
at Mr. Trump`s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago. It`s during a 2003 event.
Quoting from the “Palm Beach Post” quoting her, “All of a sudden I felt a
grab, a little nudge. I think it`s Ken`s camera bag. That was my first
instinct. I turn around and there`s Donald. He sort of looked away
quickly. I quickly turned back facing the musician who was appearing at
this event, Ray Charles, she says, and I`m stunned.
Miss McGillivray says she remembers saying to herself, OK, I`m going to say
something now and make a – am I going to say something now and make a
scene or be quiet? I chose to stay quiet.
Asked about the possibility that what she felt was maybe Donald Trump or
maybe just somebody accidentally bumping into her, Miss McGillivray said
no, this was a pretty good nudge, more of a grab. I was pretty close to
the center of my butt, she said. I was startled, I jumped.
Now the Trump campaign tonight has denied this allegation, too. In this
case the denial comes from not Mr. Trump himself but from Hope Hicks who
was the long-time spokesman for Mr. Trump. She tells the “Palm Beach
Paper,” quote, “There is no truth to this whatsoever. This allegation
lacks any merit or veracity.”
But both of these allegations again in two different publications involving
three different women who are now naming themselves, these have all just
been published within the last – just over the course of this evening.
Joining us now by phone is Joe Capozzi. He`s a reporter for the “Palm
Beach Post” who just broke this story. Mindy McGillivray and what she
alleges of what was a groping by Donald Trump without her consent at his
Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Mr. Capozzi, thanks very much for joining us. I really appreciate you
JOE CAPOZZI, PALM BEACH POST REPORTER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Let me ask you just in terms of the way that I characterized your
story and what Miss McGillivray – what she alleges. Did I basically get
that right in terms of what she says?
CAPOZZI: Yes, spot on.
CAPOZZI: That`s very accurate and you even pronounced her name correctly,
MADDOW: Pretty good. I`ve been working on it. You never get those things
right the first time. Let me just ask you in terms of your reportorial
assessment of what she`s telling you about whether it can be corroborated.
We`ve obviously got this denial from the Trump campaign. What do you make
of her story and how have you checked it out?
CAPOZZI: Well, you`re right, it`s he said-she said, but the interesting
thing is she was with a photographer friend, Bob Davidoff – Ken Davidoff,
Ken Davidoff, whose father Bob was a long time Palm Beach society
photographer. He was the preferred photographer for JFK when he was
president and lived on the island. So he kind of knew his way around. And
as soon as it happened, he – like, she pulled him aside and like, I think
he just grabbed my rear end, and Trump, of course, had looked away.
But the way she told it and just Ken corroborating the story, he didn`t
witness it, but he did corroborate her reaction and her demeanor right
after it happened.
It just led us to believe, you know, that this was a genuine – this was a
genuine encounter. Andy, you know, she could have reached out to the TMZs
or the supermarket tabloids but she didn`t do that. She talked with Ken
about what route they should take and she, you know, wanted to prevent this
from happening to other women, she thought about her own daughter, and she
did some soul searching before she reached out to us, which was late
yesterday afternoon. We had an initial conversation on the phone last
night and then we met in person today on – over lunch and she decided to
go with it.
MADDOW: Joe, let me just ask you, just to clarify, I think you stated this
clearly. I just want to make sure that I understand. She was with Mr.
Davidoff, the photographer, on the – at the occasion in which she says
this happened, and you talked to Mr. Davidoff to corroborate that at the
time she told him that it happened. He remembers at the time her telling
her when it happened. He didn`t witness it but he remembers her saying
something at the time, is that right?
CAPOZZI: Very clearly, yes. And I had lunch with both of them today.
CAPOZZI: And the stories were consistent. And she had gone to Mar-a-Lago
to help Ken on photo shoots for – at least five or six times and there
were two occasions where she had encounters with Mr. Trump but the one we
wrote was the most disturbing one to her.
MADDOW: Joe, let me ask you about, I guess, her motivations. You said
that you had – you had a meeting with her and then she made a decision
about doing this. You described her in your piece as being registered to
vote and having no party affiliation, but you also say that she reached out
both to you, both to the “Palm Beach Post” and also separately to the
Hillary Clinton campaign office locally where she lives.
Is there any reason – I mean, first of all, I`m happy that you`re showing
your work and letting us know that you know that about what she`s done with
this information. Is there any reason to believe that this is being –
that she`s being pushed out there by the Clinton campaign, that this comes
from any sort of – any sort of partisan or campaign place?
CAPOZZI: No, I don`t. I get the feeling where she was kind of going with
the flow, she wasn`t sure which approach to take. She wanted to get the
word out there. And they – Ken had reached out to me on text messaging
first and I was in a meeting working on a different story and I – it took
me two hours to get back to him. And when I did get back to him, they took
it upon themselves to go to what they thought was a Palm Beach County
Democratic office in the city of Lake Worth, and it turns out that that has
since been turned into a Hillary campaign office.
So I don`t know that they went there knowing that it was a Hillary campaign
office, but they did know that it was a county Democratic office.
MADDOW: OK. Joe Capozzi reporter for the “Palm Beach Post,” really
appreciate your time tonight. And I know this is breaking. You`ve got a
lot of demands on you. You helping us understand how you got this story is
really clarified. Thank you. Good luck.
CAPOZZI: My pleasure, Rachel. Thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks. Appreciate it.
All right. We got much more ahead including on this story. Again, one of
the things to keep in mind here, on this “Palm Beach Post” story, we do
have an official and categorical denial from Donald Trump`s campaign
spokesperson about the allegation that Joe Capozzi just reported, a woman
allegedly saying that she was groped against her will by Donald Trump at
his estate at Mar-a-Lago when she was working there at an event or with
somebody who was working there at the event. We do have a denial there.
The denial to the “New York Times” about these two other named women who
have come forward tonight and said that Donald Trump also physically groped
them in ways that they did not consent to and they did not like and they
did not want. The denial in that case is to the “New York Times” directly
from Donald Trump himself. The “Times” describing him as very agitated
when they called him for comment on this, saying he basically cursed out
their reporter and threatened to sue the “Times” over these allegations.
That apparently happened last night.
Gives us a little bit of window into Mr. Trump`s demeanor on the campaign
trail today perhaps. But we`ve got more in terms of the way Trump himself
and the campaign are responding which I think you will find to be of
interest. And that`s straight ahead, stay with us.
MADDOW: So are continuing to cover this breaking news tonight.
Allegations breaking in two different newspapers, in the “New York Times”
and the “Palm Beach Post.” Between those two stories three named women
coming forward to say that in the past, in years past, Donald Trump groped
them without their consent. One woman saying that Donald Trump put hands
on her in a way that was very upsetting to her and that she did not welcome
on an airplane years ago. Another woman saying that Donald Trump kissed
her without her concept immediately upon meeting her once at Trump Tower.
And a third woman saying that she was with someone who was working at an
event at Mar-a-Lago when Donald Trump groped her, again, without her
We`ve got the Trump campaign making an on-the-record denial through a
campaign spokesperson to the event that was – the alleged event that was
recounted in the “Palm Beach Post.” We`ve got Donald Trump himself angrily
denying the allegations that were in the “New York Times” story, but there
is more to say in terms of how the Trump campaign is responding to these
new allegations which are all popping tonight.
I do have some news that`s just broken in the last couple of minutes on
this, though, which is actually from the Clinton campaign. The Clinton
campaign has just now released to us a statement that is – that is their
response to this news tonight.
I`m just checking here to make sure because they are not stating explicitly
whether or not they`re responding to the “Palm Beach Post” or the “New York
Times,” or both, but I`ll tell you, it`s attributed to the communications
director for Clinton campaign, quote, “This disturbing story sadly fits
everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These
reports,” so perhaps that`s suggesting both “New York Times” and “Palm
Beach Post.” “These reports suggest that he lied on the debate stage and
that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape is more than just
Bragging about in the tape clearly is a reference to the “Access Hollywood”
video from 2005 which was released by “The Washington Post” on Friday.
Donald Trump on that tape admitting that was him speaking when he bragged
about kissing women without their consent and even grabbing them by their
genitals. When Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director of the
Clinton campaign, says these reporters suggest that Trump lied on the
debate stage that would presumably be referencing the moment on Sunday
night`s debate when Anderson Cooper pressed him on these allegations and
asked him if he had ever done the things he bragged about doing on that
“Access Hollywood” bus.
Donald Trump at the debate unequivocally said no, he had never done those
things. The Clinton campaign again suggesting tonight based on these
reports in the “New York Times” and the “Palm Beach Post” that that denial
from Donald Trump was a lie.
This is a continuing story. We`re going live to our reporter who`s coming
from the Trump campaign with more about how they are responding to this
tonight. That`s next. Stay with us.
MADDOW: OK. We`re continuing to cover this breaking news tonight. New
allegations surfacing against Donald Trump in two news papers, the “New
York Times” and the “Palm Beach Post.” Three women between those two
publications naming themselves, coming forward, not anonymously and
alleging that Donald Trump groped them in different circumstances in
different places in different years.
The Trump campaign is denying the report in the “Palm Beach Post.” Trump
himself is denying both reports in the “New York Times.”
After that “Access Hollywood” tape was released on Friday where Trump was
caught on tape talking about grabbing women by the genitals and being able
to get away with it because he`s a star, you might remember that the
campaign issued a terse statement afterwards, calling the whole thing
locker room banter. That statement said, “Bill Clinton has said far worse
to me on the golf course, not even close. I apologize if anyone was
That was the initial response on Friday night when “The Washington Post”
published that “Access Hollywood” tape. That night the campaign realized
that that would not be enough, that they were going to need to do more to
stem the political fallout from that tape. And so even after they released
that terse combative attacking short written statement, they thereafter
decided that Trump would need to release another statement. And that was
the statement that he made on camera. It was an apology. It was released
on Facebook shortly after midnight on Friday night.
It came more than eight hours after the initial reporting, after the
initial publication of that tape on “The Washington Post” Web site. So
that was what we saw from the Trump campaign, responding to allegations,
that they admitted to and apologized for ultimately, on Friday. Now it`s a
few days later, we`ve got these new allegations in the “Palm Beach Post”
and the “New York Times,” what strategy will the Trump campaign use this
time in the wake of this latest reporting?
Again, they are denying the allegations, but joining us now is NBC`s Ali
Vitali who is embedded with the Trump campaign and who is following the
story tonight in terms of how the Trump folks are dealing with it.
Ali, thanks – thanks for being with us tonight. How is the Trump campaign
reacting to this latest round of reporting both in the “Palm Beach Post”
and the “New York Times?”
ALI VITALI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rachel, you`ve really been
seeing it with the reactions that we`ve been seeing both the BuzzFeed story
earlier tonight about the pageant girls who are alleging that Trump walked
in on them when they were changing. Of course that unsubstantiated by NBC
News. But that`s a story that the Trump campaign has responded to again
saying that that`s not something that is true, and even questioning at that
point whether those allegations – the timing of those allegations and why
they`re coming out now.
You`re also seeing them categorically deny – Trump himself and his
campaign spokespeople deny the reports in the “New York Times” and other
outlets that are giving these kinds of stories that you`ve been responding
to this past hour.
I think, though, what`s interesting and what we`ve been seeing from Trump
surrogates in the aftermath of the 2005 tape is this. They`ve been saying
that this is locker room talk. Now that was Trump`s excuse and it`s
something that he brought up during the debate as well. But it`s something
that a lot of his surrogates have said look, this has all been talk, it
hasn`t been action. Trump has said that it had never happened. And that`s
why we`re able to stand by him and say that he`s still our nominee and we
still think he`s the best option to beat Hillary Clinton.
Now if this all part of that narrative that we`ve seen play out from the
2005 tape, obviously that presents a problem politically for a lot of these
people who have stood by him and said oh, well, I guess it might not just
be talk, it might actually be allegations of action and that`s where it
becomes, of course, a much different defense process, a much different
strategy. And of course the 2005 tape is one that the Trump campaign has
really been trying to gloss over when he`s on the trail.
It does not come up when he`s on the trail. Instead he`s been bashing the
Clintons, lashing out attacks against other Republicans, so largely the
strategy has been to put distance between the news that we saw this weekend
and of course the campaign trail as we`ve seen it the past few days,
MADDOW: Ali Vitali, let me just ask you one thing about something you just
mentioned, which we haven`t talked about yet on the show tonight. Again, I
think you`re exactly right to put that political focal point on this. That
it is one thing to defend against statements made, to deny that those
statements reflected any real world actions.
Donald Trump has made that denial explicitly. He did so on the debate
stage on Sunday night. That`s one thing. It is another thing to defend
yourself against alleged actions, alleged physically actions against real-
live women who are willing to put their names on their – on these
You mentioned pageant contestants saying that he barged in on them while
they were changing. Now this is something that`s come up a couple of
different ways. In the archives of Donald Trump talking on the Howard
Stern radio show, it`s one of the things that he jokes about, sort of brags
about with Howard Stern. He talks about owning a beauty pageant and – his
status as the owner of the pageant, giving him essentially cart blanch to
walk backstage while women are undressed, while women are changing, even
though there are no other women back there.
He`s – and men generally aren`t expected or allowed to be there. He can
do it because he`s the owner. We have seen him brag about doing that on
the radio. But now there are these new allegations that you point out,
they`re not – it`s not an NBC story. NBC hasn`t verified this. But there
are young women who were involved in his pageants who say that in fact that
wasn`t just talk, he did just that?
VITALI: Right. And that`s a BuzzFeed story that came out earlier today,
and another thing that the Trump campaign has categorically denied, and in
their statement denying that, they asked – they wondered why these stories
are becoming forth right now. Of course it is a time in the campaign where
we`re under 30 days left until the election. This is obviously a very
critical time for both campaigns to be coming out and making their case for
the American people. This is clearly not something the Trump campaign
wants to be bogged down in, but when you hear those allegations about –
from those pageant girls about Donald Trump saying that he can go in
because he owns the pageant, again those are just allegations but it does
fit the narrative from the 2005 tape where he says that because of his star
power he can essentially grab women without their consent, or kiss women or
And the problem with these stories for the Trump campaign is that the
allegations do lend to giving faces and giving names to that narrative that
was otherwise up until this point only talk and only locker room banter, as
the Trump campaign has been saying. So their excuse is clearly going to
have to change if we do in fact find out that these allegations are
substantiated, and that`s going to be something that clearly no campaign
wants to be dealing with from political perspective less than 30 days
But it`s also something a lot of voters are going to look at and have a
very human and I think non-partisan reaction to. Then again we`ve seen the
Trump voters make excuses for a lot of the controversies that we`ve seen
from him and I`m not sure if this one will be any different. It`s been a
year and a half of them kind of making excuses for other controversies that
we would think would end any other kind of campaign. And he`s clearly been
above the fray on that but I think with this, because it`s such a human
story and you`re going to start to see potentially some faces coming behind
it, and definitely some names that we`re already talking about, it does –
it does bring it to another level and it does bring the allegations to a
MADDOW: That`s right. Named women coming forward and saying this isn`t
something I saw, this is something that happened to me. He did it to me
and I can tell you about it in the first person. That`s – it`s of a
different magnitude at the human level.
Thanks, Ali. Ali Vitali, Trump campaign embed for NBC News. I really
appreciate you making yourself available on very short notice on this as
this story continues to break.
Again, what we`re following here is these new allegations in two
publications, “Palm Beach Post” and the “New York Times,” three women
between those two publications all claiming that Donald Trump groped them
without their consent. One on an airplane, one at Trump Tower and one at
Donald Trump`s Mar-a-Lago estate during an event there.
We`ve got more in terms of the way the Trump campaign is responding or in
fact is not responding to this tonight.
Plus also tonight still ahead, the director of elections for NBC News is
going to be joining us. He`s going to be joining us for a rare on-camera
interview. He does not do that much television but we`ve got some
exclusive new election news. It`s actually new data. That`s still ahead
tonight as well. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We`re continuing to cover this late breaking continually
developing story tonight where two newspapers are reporting two new rounds
of allegations against Donald Trump allegations from three different women
that Donald Trump groped them against their will.
One of the allegations was printed in the “Palm Beach Post.” We spoke to
the reporter who published that story, in that case, the groping allegation
was that Donald Trump at his estate in Mar-a-Lago grabbed a woman bodily
against her will.
The Trump campaign put out a statement categorically denying that
allegation calling it untrue. The other allegations are from two women who
spoke to the “New York Times” tonight. The “New York Times” published the
names of both of these women.
They both were willing to go on the record. They both spoke and did video
recordings for the “Times” about what they said were their experiences with
What`s interesting, particularly about the Donald Trump campaign response
to the “New York Times” allegations, again from two different women, one of
whom says Donald Trump groped her on an airplane.
Another one says that Donald Trump groped her at Trump Tower when she was
working as a receptionist at a different company in Trump Tower, not
working for Trump himself.
What`s interesting about the Trump response, the denial to those
allegations is that the denial apparently came from Mr. Trump himself
directly by phone last night.
This is quoting directly from the “New York Times” piece, in a phone
interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated Mr. Trump denied every one of
the women`s claims, none of this ever took place said Trump, who began
shouting at “The Times” reporter who is questioning him.
He said that “The Times” was making up the allegations to hurt him and that
he would sue the news organization if it reported them. Quote, “You are a
disgusting human being,” she told the “New York Times” reporter as she
questioned him about the women`s claims.
Joining us now for more on the Trump campaign and the candidate`s response
to these new allegations is our friend, Robert Costa, “Washington Post”
national political reporter, who`s had great access with the Trump campaign
and throughout this year`s politics. Bob, thank very much for being with
us tonight. Appreciate your time.
ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, “WASHINGTON POST” (via
telephone): Great to join you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Do we know anything further about the Trump campaign`s response,
how they are handling this? How this is landing with them?
COSTA: Actually we do. I just got off the phone with some of my top
sources close to Trump. And Donald Trump himself is in Miami tonight near
Doral, his property, but his campaign, I would describe it as all-out war
against the accusers, and especially against the media organizations that
are running the stories.
There is a sense among people close to Trump, not any kind of wavering or
nerves. I`m actually frankly surprised as I take notes in these
conversations about how combative the campaign remains tonight.
And I think you`re going to see more talk about former President Bill
Clinton`s past, some accusations that have been made of him in the past,
and this is a campaign at war.
MADDOW: When you say war against the media organizations that are
publishing these accusations, I have to imagine that the “New York Times”
and the “Palm Beach Post” expect that, given the way that Trump has
responded in the past to journalists and outlets that have reported
allegations against him in the past and even just negative stories about
him. When you say all-out war against the accusers, what do you mean by
COSTA: I`m not clear about that at the moment. I think what`s important
to recognize here is the dynamic around Donald Trump, he has Steven Bannon,
the former head of Breitbart, and he is running the Trump camp. He is
close Trump and he is furious I`m told in conversations tonight with his
There is talk even about litigation tonight. People close to Trump are
talking about possibly filing litigation against news organizations or
accusers. These are all discussions I`ve heard that are active tonight
And this is just minutes ago and the big picture here, is knowing all these
sources for two years now, is that Trump himself is telling his advisors
and his people, dig in, we`re fighting this, we`re not backing down.
MADDOW: Robert, you may not know this, but I just want to ask your
impression from talking to your sources. Is the source of that anger, that
sense of all-out war that you`re describing there, is that borne out of an
absolute devout, unwavering conviction that these allegations are false and
therefore this is pure politics and the people making these allegations
must be destroyed?
Is that where this is coming from? There`s no way this happened in real
life and that`s why we need to fight it so hard or is this coming from just
recognition whether or not it`s true of the potential political impact of
charges like this and this is just a fight for political survival
regardless of the voracity of the claims.
COSTA: I think this is a moment of fury, Rachel. I don`t like to
exaggerate anything in my reporting, but this is a campaign that I have
never seen this furious, I think they`re at the edge politically. They
know the party in many respects have abandoned them.
This is an isolated campaign. You have Bannon, and the anti-Clinton
investigators, Kellyanne Conway, even though many people have described her
as a moderating force within the campaign. You have to remember that she`s
also fiercely anti-Clinton.
She has been one of the proponents of bringing past accusers of President
Bill Clinton to the floor and make it part of the central campaign
strategy. That group is around Trump and that`s what`s happening.
MADDOW: Robert Costa of the “Washington Post,” you always have something
interesting to report, and you do always understate it if anything, I
really appreciate you sticking with this one and joining us on such short
notice, Bob. Thank you.
So it has turned into quite the news day around here, just over the last
few hours, again, we`re continuing to cover this breaking news story, we
do, I got to tell you, we do have some data here.
Some of it is publicly available data, some of it is data that only we have
exclusively tonight that can tell you why this is so politically nuclear
and what this could mean for the whole country.
We have got data in one specific state and data that is more widespread
that you have not heard anywhere else. And we have got that still ahead
tonight as this story continues to develop. Stay with us.
MADDOW: We`re continuing to cover this developing story tonight, with new
allegations made by three different women in three different parts of the
country. All saying that they were groped years ago by Donald Trump, one
saying she was groped by Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
Another woman saying she was groped by Donald Trump at work at Trump Tower.
Another woman saying that she was groped by Donald Trump the very first
time she met him when she was inadvertently seated next to him on an
The Trump campaign, Donald Trump himself are denying all these allegations
tonight, but they come at an intense time, particularly around this
particular issue for the Trump campaign, and that`s what I want to talk
about right now.
Do you want to see raw political power at work? I mean, even before these
new allegations against Trump, right, one woman speaking to the “Palm Beach
Post,” two women speaking to the “New York Times,” allegations we should
say that Trump denies vehemently.
Even before these new groping allegations tonight from three different
women, we can show you the raw political power of these sexual misconduct
allegations against Donald Trump which have risen in the past week and are
now taking center stage in this presidential race.
This is striking, look at this, this is the Marquette University poll
that`s just out in Wisconsin. What you`re looking at here is the bottom
line result of that poll. It`s Hillary Clinton plus 7 in Wisconsin, that`s
good news for Clinton in Wisconsin.
That`s not the big deal here. This Marquette poll was already in the field
before the “Access Hollywood” tape came out on Friday. They were already
interviewing voters on Thursday and on Friday before the tape came out on
Look at the day to day numbers. Clinton`s numbers, read it from the bottom
up, Clinton`s numbers go from 40 on Thursday to 44 on Friday, the day the
tape comes out to 49 on the weekend, after everybody saw the tape.
Trump`s numbers in contrast, read from the bottom up, they start at 41 on
Thursday, which is the day before the tape comes out, then on Friday, when
the tape comes out. He drops from 41 to 38, then over the weekend, he
falls down to 30 percent.
This is from Thursday to Sunday, before the tape comes out, Donald Trump is
actually winning that state by a point, by the time the poll rolls up on
Sunday, he`s not winning by a point anymore, he`s losing by 19 points, a
From the start of the poll on Thursday, to the end of the poll on Sunday, a
20-point swing thanks to that tape that came out on Friday, the “Access
And so, yes, I mean, if you average out the results for that poll, if you
look at all four days to get that bottom line number, it produces this
normal looking it`s positive result for Hillary Clinton. She`s plus 7 in
Wisconsin, that`s interesting.
But when you look at not just the snapshot, but the swing, those numbers
moving, overtime, thanks to exactly what we know moved them, thanks to that
tape, yes, that`s why that tape and these allegations of sexual misconduct
against Donald Trump that`s why they`re driving the Republican Party and
Donald Trump off a cliff and into the political abyss.
That`s why the tape made them start setting themselves on fire, even before
these new groping allegations from three different women in two different
newspapers came out tonight.
Have there not been anymore revelations in this category, had the “New York
Times” and the “Palm Beach Post” not broken these stories tonight about
these women alleging on the record that Donald Trump did to them exactly
what he bragged about doing to women in that “Access Hollywood” tape.
Had there been no further revelations, I think it would have been
reasonable to expect the extreme polling effect that we saw from the
“Access Hollywood” tape, I think it might have been reasonable to expect
that that might have worn off overtime, that those polls might have snap
back as the effect of that tape wore off.
Even with these new revelations tonight, let`s see how the Clinton campaign
and the Trump campaign handle them, maybe so the polls might snap back.
But you know what? It`s too late.
Because voting isn`t just happening sometime in the future, all right,
voting isn`t just happening next month when the effect of that tape and
these allegations tonight might have worn off. Voting is already happening
This is Ohio today. Swing state Ohio, see how these people are like half
partying, half walking down the street. Swing state Ohio, ecstatic voters
turning out to start voting early in person as of today.
People lined up before the doors opened and then poured in once the doors
did open in Hamilton County, Ohio today, and all over that state. Even if
you don`t count the places where absentee voting is already under way,
which is all over the country.
Even if you only count places where people are doing their in person, non-
absentee, normal voting, voting is happening already today in Ohio, in
Arizona, in Iowa, in New Mexico, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming, voting is
So if the tape and these sexual misconduct allegations against Donald
Trump, if they are fatal for Donald Trump, which is what it looks like,
then that killing is happening right now already. Not next month. Voters
are making their commitments right now.
And we have got the first significant data, actual data not polling that
tells us if that is in fact what`s happening right now. We have got that
exclusively here from multiple states with NBC`s elections chief next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: OK. This is one of those nights when things keep developing. So
let me just tell you what`s going on right now. We just got a brand-new
statement direct to NBC News about yet another allegation against Donald
Trump of unwanted touching in this case and unwanted – and unwelcome kiss
from Donald Trump to somebody did not want to be kissed by him.
That story we have yet to talk about tonight. This is yet another
allegation against Donald Trump. It`s also going to be the subject of an
interview tomorrow with a woman who said this happened on the “Today” show.
So I`ve got a couple of different things in the hopper right now. We`ve
got this new statement. We`ve got this new allegation. We just found out
what is going to be happening on the “Today” show tomorrow.
And we`ve got NBC`s election chief live here in the studio, and he never
does that, but he is here with us because we have new data. Please stay
with us. There is a lot going on.
MADDOW: I`m standing up, which is weird, but it`s for a good reason,
because joining us here now on set with a bunch of data is John Lapinski.
He is the director of NBC`s Election Unit. John, thank you very much for
JOHN LAPINSKI, DIRECTOR, NBC`S ELECTION UNIT: Thank you for having me.
MADDOW: NBC is working with Target Smart to get data on voter
registration, voter data in different states, but you`ve got specifically
data on who has voted already.
LAPINSKI: That`s exactly right.
MADDOW: OK, show me.
LAPINSKI: We have essentially what we see is what you had said. The
campaign is already under way. We`re going have a lot of people voting.
Maybe up to 40 million people voting before Election Day. And what we have
here is the first essentially half million votes that have already been
And so what we see, what we picked here is the number of battleground
states, states that we know that both, Clinton or Trump, have to win if
they want the get to 270, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, I mean, Wisconsin
which you just pointed out in your last segment already has 50,000 votes
MADDOW: Now a half million votes overall have been cast already on pace
compared to 2012?
LAPINSKI: Somewhat on pace. It looks like it`s on pace. That`s one of
the very important things, particularly for the Clinton campaign because
Obama did so well with the early voting in 2012, they want to meet those
MADDOW: OK, so this is 2012 voting. Not necessarily this time in the
campaign, but the total early and absentee voting from 2012?
LAPINSKI: This is the total. The reason why we want to put this is up a
baseline. Obama essentially tied the Election Day vote in 2012 and won the
early vote by about 7 points.
LAPINSKI: So his path to victory was really by getting people to come out
early. Again, Clinton wants to do this. What we see is over 10 percent of
the early voting places like Wisconsin and Virginia, key battlegrounds.
MADDOW: Can we put up what we know about who is turning out to vote in
these early states, these crucial states that you have identified here? Do
we have that breakdown in terms of voter registration data state by state?
LAPINSKI: We do actually have that. In the sense we can go to the next
slide here. One of the things that is really – what we really care about
most I think is looking at not how many people actually voted early, but
essentially how did the partisans break.
So what we`re able to do in these battleground states is come up with
people`s partisan identification. And one thing we know about partisan
identification, even though it`s not telling you exactly who they`re voting
for, in all our polling when we look at this data, about nine in ten
partisans support their candidate. So nine in ten Democrats would support
more actually this time around I think.
MADDOW: So this isn`t saying these are votes for Trump. These are
registered Republicans turning out to vote and it mostly correlates.
LAPINSKI: Exactly. It`s a pretty strong correlation. What essentially
either candidate are wanting to see here is like Clinton wants to see that
blue line above the red line.
MADDOW: Democrats kicking butt in this estimation. That`s a technical
term in Iowa, Virginia and Wisconsin in terms of the relative partisan
turnout. It looks close in Michigan and North Carolina and the Republicans
winning in Georgia and Florida.
LAPINSKI: What we`ve seen, Florida and North Carolina, a lot of the early
voting that happens in both of these states is still to come. So really we
have more as a percentage of the early vote in these other states.
Florida, especially since was rocked by the hurricane, it`s gotten off to a
We learned something about how many people registered in that`s state over
the next week with the extension happening. And in North Carolina, a lot
more of the early voting happens in person early voting versus some of
these other states.
So these numbers are actually even a little more favorable to Clinton than
you would think, just because, again, these two over here are in the early
MADDOW: OK. Well, we will keep an eye on this as we get further data.
Again, NBC and Target Smart working together to crunch these numbers. And
this, again, this is not polling.
LAPINSKI: This is actual people voting and we`re going to be tracking this
sort of essentially almost on a daily to weekly basis.
MADDOW: John Lapinski, NBC`s election chief. I know you hate being on
camera. Thank you for doing this for me.
LAPINSKI: Well, thank you for having me. I like to do it occasionally.
MADDOW: I stood up for you. Come on. All right, we`ll be right back.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: So we`re still following this breaking news tonight. Two women
telling the “New York Times” that Donald Trump groped them without their
consent years ago.
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