The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/27/2016


Date: October 27, 2016

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I don`t think anybody had any idea that was
coming and we had obviously no notice and you did great with that.

CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Not to blow up our e-mail correspondence, but
thank you for your on-air fact checks and fact confirmation of something I
said, which I greatly appreciated.

MADDOW: You were wondering if there had been a previous news story about
Mike Pence`s pilot. There was, you sent it to you. You responded on air.
We can do a lot of things, but you can do more than me. Well done, my

HAYES: My favorite e-mail get, you were right. That`s my favorite.

MADDOW: I`ll send you one every day from here on out. Thanks, man. Well

And thanks to you at home for joining us tonight.

There is a lot of news, including a few stories that are still developing
as we speak. As Chris and I were just talking about there, in the last
hour, a plane carrying Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence in
fact skidded off the runway at New York`s LaGuardia airport.

Now, the important bottom line here is not only Governor Pence himself, but
everybody else on the plane is safe. Everybody is fine, there were no
injuries. That said, the plane did go off the runway and it chewed up the
runway pretty good over the course of this hard landing.

After the plane, the Mike Pence plane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia,
the airport was actually closed. LaGuardia was shut down after that
incident, so we are going to have a live report in just a moment with
someone who was on the plane. I will also refresh you on that news that
Chris alluded to last hour, that there was some very unusual news that we
reported just about exactly one month ago about the man who had previously
been the pilot for Mike Pence`s charter aircraft over the course of this

It`s weird that a vice presidential plane makes news once, let alone twice.
I`m sure it is coincidental, but there is a weird history with Mike Pence`s
plane and pilot. So, we`ll get into that over the next little bit,
including, as I said, a live report.

In addition, we`ve also been talking over the last few days about some
interesting political news out of Florida. We`ve been talking about the
Democratic Party somewhat inexplicably pulling out of the Marco Rubio
Senate race in Florida, even though that could be a winnable race for the
Democrats, for their Democratic candidate there, Patrick Murphy.

Well, tonight, we`ve got new late-breaking news that the Democrats might be
reconsidering that decision. The Democrats may be jumping back into that
Florida Senate race against Marco Rubio as of tonight. It`s very last
minute. It appears to be them jumping back in in a very big way. It`s
interesting. We`ve got details on that ahead.

We`ve also got tremendously good news tonight concerning the Obama family.
It`s news that is slightly more personal than it is political, but that`s
ahead tonight as well. So, there`s lots – lots coming up, including for
once some news that is more good than bad, which is always nice.

But we`re going to start tonight with some new tape that has never been
heard publicly before. It`s never been broadcast before. We`re going to
break this here live tonight with you.

And I have to tell you, you`ll be surprised to hear this, but this new tape
that has never been broadcast before, it is tape from the greatest baseball
player in New York.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was the best baseball player
in New York when I was young.


MADDOW: Do you recognize that voice? That`s a remarkable thing to have
learned today from this brand new tape that`s never been broadcast before.
It`s Donald Trump speaking.

He says, “When I was young,” so we`re thinking we`re talking about maybe he
was 17 or 16 years old, when he was 16 years old, that was 1962. That`s
the year the Yankees went to the World Series. They won the World Series.

The Yankees roster that year was like Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi
Berra, Whitey Ford. Even if you don`t know anything about baseball, you
know Mickey Mantle, right? We know these guys` names.

But it turns out none of them were the best baseball player in New York
that year. No, it was this other guy.


TRUMP: I was the best baseball player in New York when I was young.


MADDOW: Ahhh! This is the best tape we`ve gotten our hands on in a very
long time. This is incredible.

All right. This is from 2014. There is a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter
named Michael D`Antonio. Mr. D`Antonio ended up writing a book called “The
Truth About Trump”. But in preparing that book, he did hours and hours of
interviews with Donald Trump, just raw footage of them talking. Some of
those tapes have been obtained by “The New York Times.” “The New York
Times” has been doing a little bit of reporting on them recently but they
have not published this audio we are about to play.

And I don`t totally want to spoil it here, but arm chair psychologists,
start your engines. This is incredible.


TRUMP: I went to military academy, New York Military Academy for five
years, from the year before freshman.

INTERVIEWER: So eighth grade on?


INTERVIEWER: Whose idea was this?

TRUMP: Well, I was very rebellious and my parents thought it would be a
good idea. I was very rebellious. I loved to fight. I always love to

INTERVIEWER: Physical fights.

TRUMP: Yes, all kinds of fights. Physical.


TRUMP: All types of fights. Any kind of fight I loved it, including

And I was always the best athlete, something that nobody knew about me.
But one guy you should speak to before it`s too late, because he`s a pretty
old guy now, is Major Dobias. So when Dobias was a drill sergeant in the
Army, and these guys were rough. This guy was so rough.

In those days, they`d smack the hell out of you. You know, it`s not like
today where you smack somebody and you end up going to jail for the rest of
your life. So I went up there, I`ll never forget.

INTERVIEWER: Eighth grade?

TRUMP: And I`m standing there at military academy. This guy comes up and
he`s like a bulldog too, rough guy. He was a drill sergeant. Now they
call him Major Dobias. But when I first knew him he was Sergeant Dobias
right out of the Army.

And he was a rough guy, physically rough and mentally rough. He was also
my baseball coach. And he said things like stand up, and I went, “Give me
a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) break.” And this guy came at me. You would never
believe it. It was really fantastic.

INTERVIEWER: Did he rough you up?

TRUMP: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

INTERVIEWER: Grabbed you by the shirt?

TRUMP: Well, it doesn`t matter, but it was not like what happens today.
And you had to learn to survive. It was tough. It wasn`t today. Those
were rougher times. That was before Vietnam and these were guys that
didn`t take (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

You must call him, before it`s too late. Ask him about how was Trump as an
athlete? Because he said – he coached for many, many – it was like 35
years. He said Donald Trump was the best athlete I`ve ever coached.
Donald Trump was the best baseball player I`ve ever coached. So, you know,
just something to –

INTERVIEWER: When did you know that you were good?

TRUMP: Get them Dobias`s. I always knew I was good. I was always a good
athlete. I was always the best athlete.

INTERVIEWER: Like in first grade, if the kids had a game –

TRUMP: From before the first grade.

INTERVIEWER: You would be the best player.

TRUMP: Always the best player. And not only baseball, but every other
sport too. I was the best baseball player in New York when I was young.

And now, in those days, you know, you couldn`t play baseball because there
was no real – you know, it wasn`t a thing. Plus my father was in the real
estate business, which I didn`t want to go into. I wanted to go into
theater. I wanted to go into sports.

But I also know that was very limited because in those days, you couldn`t
even make any money being a great baseball player.

INTERVIEWER: Didn`t the Dodgers train at West Point a couple times, in the

TRUMP: Everybody wanted me to be a baseball player.


TRUMP: But I was a good at other things too. I was good at wrestling. I
was really good at football. I was a good – I was always good at sports.
I was always like the best at sports.


MADDOW: Always the best. At all sports. My favorite part of that, I love
the explanation for why, you know, nobody knows even now that he was the
greatest baseball player in New York.

He says, “When I was young, I was the best baseball player in New York when
I was young.” Now he says but, you know, in those days, baseball wasn`t
really a thing. I was the best baseball player in New York when I was
young. Now in those days, you couldn`t play baseball because there was no
real – you know, it wasn`t a thing. He says, in those days you couldn`t
even make any money being a baseball player.

Again, the time he`s talking about here is when he was in high school, like
1962, 1963. Yankees going to the World Series. Some of the best
remembered games of all time. Baseball, unequivocally the national
pastime. Mickey Mantle, a national hero.

But, you know, Donald Trump didn`t want to bother showing up all of those
lesser baseball players because baseball wasn`t really a thing then. We
didn`t really have leather covered balls, we just had rocks that we hid
into the cave art.

Baseball wasn`t a thing then? That`s why you weren`t?

Everybody wanted him to play but there wasn`t really a baseball

Donald Trump believes, not hyperbolically, not jokingly, but apparently in
all seriousness that he was the greatest baseball player in New York when
he was a young man. He was the best at that. He was the best at all of
sports. And why, Mr. Trump, were you the best?


TRUMP: I think you have a natural ability at things. I`m a big believer
in –


TRUMP: No, not nature. I`m a big believer in natural ability. I believe
in being prepared and all that stuff. But in many respects, the most
important thing is an innate ability.

INTERVIEWER: And you knew this as a kid?

TRUMP: No, I never thought of it as a kid.

INTERVIEWER: Do you think you had it even then?

TRUMP: Always.

INTERVIEWER: When you look back at yourself –

TRUMP: I had it. I always had it.


MADDOW: I always had it. I never had to work. Other people have to
prepare and do stuff, but I just came down from heaven, for example, as the
greatest baseball player in New York.


INTERVIEWER: Were you a good hitter?

TRUMP: The best.


MADDOW: I was the best hitter.

It gives you some insight, right? I mean, if that is how this presidential
candidate thinks of himself and has always thought of himself going back to
first grade – no, no, no, before first grade, I mean, if you understand
that that is how he thinks of himself, then it is not a surprise when he,
like, for example, today on the campaign trail tells a crowd of supporters
in Ohio that basically he is sick of this election. He is sick of all this
working to earn this presidency thing. He`s sick of it. Just give it to
me already.


TRUMP: What a difference. You know, what a difference this is. And just
thinking to myself right now, we should just cancel the election and just
give it to Trump, right? What are we having it for? Why are we having it


MADDOW: Just give it to Trump. What are we having it for? What are you
having this election for? I know.

If you think of yourself as a person who has never actually had to work for
anything because you were born innately great, you were born innately as
the great is athlete, if you were excellent at everything you ever tried
because you were born basically perfect, then why should you have to
compete for something. I deserve it by virtue of me being me.

So, it offers an insight. This tape from, the Trump biographer which
provided it to “The New York Times,” I think this is newsworthy tape, and I
think it is helpful to understanding how Donald Trump is running for
president now, because he on tape here talks in this very unguarded way
about how he sees himself and that is a rare thing we don`t usually ever
get from any candidate, let alone from him.

But there is another piece of this tape that has never been heard publicly
before, which we have got for you in just a second. And this other piece
of tape, I think this is just like a dart into the heart of today`s news.
And it`s on a subject that has only come up a little bit in the campaign so
far. It came up for an instant earlier in this campaign when Donald Trump
named Mike Pence to be his running mate.

One of the controversial things in Mike Pence`s record is that he is on
record being against women in the military. From the very beginning of him
running for Congress, Mike Pence was against not just women in combat, but
even women being in combat support units. He was even against women being
allowed to do basic training for the military.

Mike Pence wrote this creepy column in 1999 about young nubile 18-year-old
women in basic training. The column ends with this line, I kid you not,
“women in the military, bad idea.” That`s the bottom line of his column on
women in the military.

So, that`s on record already from Mike Pence, from Donald Trump`s running
mate, when Pence was a talk radio host, mounting his second run for
Congress. That was the time he lost running for Congress. That run most
remembered for Mike Pence using campaign contributions to pay for his
mortgage, his grocery bills, his car payment and his golfing fees. He let
his campaign donors pay for all that stuff.

I mean, if Mike Pence were running in any normal Republican, I think he
would have been a scandal as a running mate. I think things in his record
would have been a scandal and a problem for his running mate. I think it
is testament to Donald Trump that he is so controversial that picking Mike
Pence with Mike Pence`s record, it hasn`t given Donald Trump a single day
of heartburn in the entire campaign.

I mean, if in this campaign anybody could pay attention to Mike Pence for
more than ten seconds without passing out for lack of oxygen, this thing
from him about women in the military, bad idea, that would be a scandal,
right? That would be a problem for a campaign. Maybe it will be still
some day. For a long time, I felt like this issue has been a lurking
liability for Trump and Pence, just sort of waiting at some point to cause
them trouble.

Well, now, that trouble may finally be coming to pass, because now with
this new tape that we are about to broadcast for the first time ever, this
has never been heard publicly anywhere before, this is the first time
anywhere, here is Donald Trump not 16 years ago or 18 years ago when Mike
Pence was talking about this stuff, here`s Donald Trump two years ago in
2014, unprompted, answering a totally unrelated question and just deciding
to bring up voluntarily his Donald Trump opinion on women in the military.


INTERVIEWER: When you were young, what did you think of the `60s
counterculture, the hippies, the music? You didn`t do any of that stuff.

TRUMP: No, I wasn`t into it. It wasn`t that I wasn`t into it.

INTERVIEWER: What did you think?

TRUMP: Well, I went – I went to a military academy, which was from a
different planet, OK? We didn`t have that. And we didn`t have women in
the academy at that time.

Today, you have women, which is a whole other story, you know, women in the
army, and you see what`s going on. It`s like bedlam. It is bedlam. It`s
something that people aren`t talking about, but what`s going on is bedlam,
bringing women in the army.


MADDOW: Bringing women in the army, women in the military, it`s bedlam.

And his running mate says women in the military, bad idea. Ask military
families how they feel about that in a potential commander in chief. Ask
women in the military how they feel about that in a potential commander in
chief. Ask women in general how they feel about that.

Bringing women into the army, bedlam. It`s something people aren`t talking
about, but what`s going on is bedlam. Bringing women in the army, it`s

Women in the military, bad idea.

The two of them are in line on that question. It is, therefore, a
reasonable question to ask if Trump and Pence do get elected, will they
kick all women out of the military? They`re both on record saying it is a
terrible thing that women are in the military. It`s a terrible thing.
It`s even a disgusting thing.

We ought to go back to only men serving in the military. Is that what we
should do? This one has been lurking just under the surface for them for
quite a while now, but now, we`ve got it on tape. I would love to hear an
answer for this.


MADDOW: OK. Live here next, we`re going to have the latest on what just
happened at New York`s LaGuardia airport where Indiana Governor Mike
Pence`s plane has skidded off the runway and the airport has been shut
down. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this incident, but we are getting in
some crazy images of the actual runway.

Can you guys see those images there? Look at the tarmac. This is what
this hard landing, this skidding off the runway, look what it did to the
actual tarmac, to the actual concrete.

Again, this was a hard landing tonight, last hour involving the Republican
nominee for vice president and his campaign jet. We`ll talk with someone
who was on that flight when it went off the runway. Somebody who says
interestingly that this is not the first time Mike Pence`s plane has had a
really bad landing, which is an interesting thing. Why`s that? That`s


MADDOW: Nobody needed any more surprises, any more scores, any more
anxiety in this presidential election, but tonight, we got a real one, or
rather Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and the folks
traveling with him on his campaign plane got one.

Governor Pence`s plane skidded off the runway tonight at New York`s
LaGuardia airport. Everybody on board is fine, there were no injuries
reported including to Governor Pence or his family. We believe there were
between 30 and 40 people on board the governor`s jet, it`s a chartered 737.

Governor Pence, his wife, one of his kids, about 15 Secret Service agents
and about a dozen members of the press were on that plane. We also think
we saw Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas exit the plane after the hard

We heard from NBC`s Tom Costello this evening that a 737 usually comes in
for a landing at 155 miles an hour and when it`s a wet, slick night like
tonight, this kind of thing can happen. But the FAA and maybe the NTSB
will be looking into this incident to determine exactly what caused it

I`ll show you again, this is what the plane did to the tarmac at LaGuardia
as it slid off the runway. I didn`t know that that happened when you slid
off a runway. All the air traffic at LaGuardia was suspended for over an
hour in the wake of this incident.

We are told as soon as the plane came to a rest following its rough landing
and its slide into the grass with mud flying up and hitting the windows and
everything, we`re told Governor Pence immediately came to the back of the
plane to check that everybody was okay. God bless him, that`s the right
thing to do.

As you can see he`s fine. He also stopped with photos with first
responders in the rain. He had been scheduled to attend a fund-raiser in
New York City tonight but his spokesman said he missed that fundraiser, and
instead he is headed to his hotel for the night, absolutely totally

About an hour after the incident, the governor tweeted so thankful everyone
on our plane is safe, grateful for our first responders and the concern and
prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow.

Again, the most important thing here is no injuries as far as we know. But
certainly, some jangled nerves and some rushes of adrenaline and none of us
need any of that at this time.

Joining us now is a man onboard that plane, NBC News campaign embed Vaughn
Hillyard. He was on the plane when it slid off the runway tonight.

Vaughn, let me shake your hand. I`m glad you`re okay.


MADDOW: Were you scared?

HILLYARD: No. The crazy part is this wasn`t the first time – first time
we`ve gone off the runway, but we`ve had a lot of shaky incidents in the
past, where hard impact, tough landings. We actually pulled out the phone
this time and I snapped originally about ten seconds of video, which I`m
trying to get into the system here eventually for everybody.

But the crazy part was originally we had the hard impact and then we went
two or three seconds and that`s with we started to swerve off to the right.
And then all of a sudden we come to just a hard crashing stop. And that`s
when you looked out the window and you can see that the road was oddly
close to where the plane was at.

MADDOW: The road with cars on it.

HILLYARD: The road with cars, the Circle K across the street. That`s when
it became real. Yes.

MADDOW: So when you say you were trying to get tape, you were filming as
you were landing. Is that because you were expecting a hard landing
because you`ve had so many?

HILLYARD: It`s a joke. It`s a joke how long are we going to last. That`s
the part the fact that I`m on with you tonight is sort of the interesting
end of this. This camera, we`ve captured a lot of crazy things in this
campaign, but to get to the point where this is the news of the night was -

MADDOW: Wait a second. You`re saying it`s become a joke how long are we
going to last. You`re saying that the hard landings on the Pence campaign
plane specifically are so frequent and so notable that it`s a point of
discussion among the press corps?

HILLYARD: Yes. And I`ll be honest that I`ve never pursued that. We
haven`t pursued asking questions further about that because usually, we
don`t fly on private, I guess, charter flights on campaign. This is my
first campaign covering, so we just took it for granted.

MADDOW: Have you only had bad landings in the past in hard weather –
heavy weather?

HILLYARD: No. We landed in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, earlier and we had another
rough land wing where we hit. It felt like we went back into the air,
where everybody kind of held their breath for a second. You could see the
blue sky again. Of course, we didn`t go off the runway at that point. But

MADDOW: I`m just going to put this to you. I`ve got a – I went back and
looked at my earlier coverage about something involving the Mike Pence
campaign. I`m just going to put this to you and see if this resonates at
all for you, if you`re going to add anything to this.

I am sure this is just coincidental, but this is not the first time that we
on this show have talked about issues involving Mike Pence`s campaign
plane. And I`ve never been on that campaign plane so it`s not like I was
reporting a personal experience. It was late last month we learned that
the pilot, who is entrusted with the Trump campaign with flying the Pence
campaign and his press corps and his family and everything around the
country, he made news because he was fired for an unusual reason.

“The Guardian” was first to report that the pilot for the Pence plane until
one month ago was a retired police officer in addition to being Pence`s
pilot. He was the chairman of Donald Trump`s Florida law enforcement
coalition. And “The Guardian” reported that he was actively facing
criminal charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

In 2015, he had allegedly driven over a co-worker with his car three times
on purpose, causing the co-worker severe physical injuries.

His name is Vincent Caldera. He pled not guilty to those charges but it
turned out those weren`t the only charges against him. He was accused of a
similar incident in 2014. In that case, he was accused of driving into a
woman with his motorcycle on purpose and seriously injuring her. “The
Guardian” reported last month he hadn`t actually been formally charged in
relation to that episode because they hadn`t been able to locate him to
serve him with legal papers. Meanwhile, he`s flying the vice presidential
candidate around the country.

So that`s the pilot who got fired from the Pence campaign plane last month.
Do you know who they replaced him with?

HILLYARD: I do not know who the gentleman is. They switch people out.

MADDOW: So, it`s rotating?

HILLYARD: So it`s a rotating basis, yeah.

MADDOW: How old are you?


MADDOW: Have you done a lot of flying in your reporting job and in your
personal life?


MADDOW: Is the Pence campaign plane the only campaign plane on which you
have had hard landings like this?

HILLYARD: That`s accurate.

MADDOW: That`s really weird. Vaughn Hillyard, I don`t know what the
relationship is between these two halves of this story, but knowing that
this runway thing happened tonight after a series of hard landings that was
a topic of discussion by you guys, it weirds me out and we will try to get
to the bottom of it. And I`m glad that you`re okay.

HILLYARD: Thank you.

MADDOW: Yes, thanks. Appreciate it.

All right. NBC News campaign embed Vaughn Hillyard. He`s great.

All right. We`ll be right back.


MADDOW: On Monday night, the news about politics had a mystery component,
and the mystery was this. Why on earth has the Democratic Party pulled its
money out of the Florida Senate race? By all appearances, Marco Rubio
looks beatable in Florida. He is fresh off his own home state voters
humiliating him in the Republican primary this year. His Democratic
opponent, Congressman Patrick Murphy, is somewhere between two points down
and tied with Rubio in recent polls.

Murphy, the Democrat, has the endorsement of all four of Florida`s largest
newspapers, including the big ones that endorsed Marco Rubio before this
election. And perhaps most importantly, Hillary Clinton is doing great in
Florida. And the Democrats have a huge ground operation in Florida.

This is a Senate race that the Democrats could win. Why are they pulling

On Monday`s show, I put this mystery to Steve Schale, a veteran Democratic
operative in Florida. And he couldn`t explain it either. He told us here,
quote, “I think the momentum has definitely headed Murphy`s way and I don`t
understand the Democrats` decision.”

Well, tonight, the Democratic Party has apparently decided that they also
do not understand their decision. At least some Democrats have decided
that. A spokesman for the biggest super PAC supporting Senate Democrats
this year, one of the super PACs that previously pulled millions of dollars
in Florida ad buys earlier this month, that super PAC says tonight that
they have changed their minds about Marco Rubio versus Patrick Murphy.
They have changed their minds about pulling out. They have now decided
that they`re going to make a, quote, “seven-figure transfer into that
Florida Senate race to try to help out Patrick Murphy in his effort to oust
Marco Rubio from his Senate seat.”

Of course, it`s very late, right? A lot of people in Florida have already
voted. More than two million people have already voted in Florida. But if
I were Patrick Murphy`s campaign manager and I had a choice between getting
outside help late or getting outside help never, I`d pick late. I`d pick



girl and boy in America that there are no limits to what they can achieve
if they work hard and do right and believe in themselves. Seriously, is
there anyone more inspiring than Michelle Obama? And maybe, maybe it`s
especially meaningful to me because I do know something about first lady of
the United States.


MADDOW: Today, First Lady Hillary Clinton – former First Lady Hillary
Clinton and current First Lady Michelle Obama shared the stage at a
campaign event in North Carolina. This was their first appearance
together, an important one for Hillary Clinton because North Carolina`s
really, really important this year. And Michelle Obama is one of the most
beloved figures in all of American politics.

But there was one piece of business basically that transacted between
Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama today at this event. I think it got
largely overlooked among all the badly need good vibes at this event. But
what happened between them today, an announcement made by them today that
was a surprise announcement is something that I think is important and
fascinating and we`ve got it coming up straight ahead right at the end of
the show tonight.

It`s good news and we`ve pegged it right at the end of the show. Stay
tuned for that.



Reince Priebus are helping us out. We have a great relationship are the
RNC. Reince Priebus and I talk several times a day. He`s up here often to
help as are his top lieutenants. That`s been great because what we need as
a presidential nominee is the field operation, the data, certainly the
ground game. And the RNC came bearing gifts for its nominee this year. It
happens that it`s Donald Trump.


MADDOW: Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway talking about the great
relationship the Trump campaign has with the RNC. The RNC came bearing
gifts for the campaign this year.

Parties and their presidential candidates are supposed to have good
relationships. That`s part of the deal. That`s usually at least ideally
how it works. But that relationship, that coordination and the extent of
that coordination is something that is now materially important to the
breaking news that we reported here last night after the Democratic Party
last night filed papers in federal court in New Jersey asking that court to
hold the Republican Party in violation of an ancient consent decree that
dates back to the 1980s.

It dates back to an election in which the national Republican Party sent
basically vigilante poll watchers into minority precincts on the day of the
New Jersey governor`s race in 1981. A lot of them were off-duty cops and
sheriffs. Many of them wore guns, they wore these ballot security task
force arm bands and they patrolled voting sites in dozens of precincts that
had mostly minority voters.

And the Republicans did very, very, very narrowly win that governor`s race
in New Jersey that year. But the Democratic Party sued over this ballot
security task force thing. And the Democrats won that case. And the
Republicans signed on to a consent decree because of it.

And now, 35 years later, the Republican Party is still trying to get out
from under the legal restrictions that were put on them because of that

And in the midst of that, here`s what Donald Trump has been saying out on
the campaign trail.


TRUMP: We have a lot of law enforcement people working that day. We`re
hiring a lot of people. We`re putting a lot of law enforcement. We have
some great people here, some great leaders here of the Republican Party,
and they`re very concerned about that. And that`s the way we could lose
the state.

So important that you watch other communities, because we don`t want this
election stolen from us.

When I say watch, you know what I`m talking about, right? You know what
I`m talking about.


MADDOW: You know what I`m talking about. We`re going to have law
enforcement doing this. We don`t want this election stolen from us. We
have some great leaders of the Republican Party.

Donald Trump is not under a consent decree that dates back to the 1980s on
this subject. The RNC is under a consent decree that dates back to the
1980s on this subject. I mean, technically, Donald Trump himself can go
out and talk about all of this stuff, but the RNC under this consent
decree, they can`t take part in any of it. It has to be crystal clear that
there`s no working together here between the Trump campaign and the RNC on
issues of ballot integrity and poll watching on election day, particularly
when those efforts target minority districts.

If there is coordination, that may be a problem. The Democratic Party now
argues that would be a violation of that consent decree.


ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: I finally pulled aside Kellyanne Conway
and said, what is the campaign going to do? Is this the central strategy
to contest the election? She said she`s actively working with the
Republican national committee, the official party and campaign lawyers to
monitor precincts around the country. So, this isn`t just an outside
campaign and outside candidate. He`s tying himself to the Republican Party
with him.

and I will tell you that the Trump campaign and the Republican national
committee are working very, very closely with state governments and
secretary of state of states all over the country to ensure ballot


MADDOW: Working very, very, very, closely. I should say you just saw
Robert Costa reporting what he had heard from Kellyanne Conway saying that
the Trump campaign is actively working with the RNC to monitor precincts
around the country. After Kellyanne Conway told Robert Costa that and he
reported it here on MSNBC, Kellyanne Conway walked that statement back and
the RNC is aggressively denying this coordination.

But how about Mike Pence saying, right, that this ballot integrity is a
tremendous question this year and the RNC, the Republican National
Committee, is working very, very closely with the Trump campaign to ensure
ballot integrity. How about that? He didn`t walk that back.

Part of the DNC filing from last night alleges that the Republican Party
and the Trump campaign are sharing staff, they`re sharing resources,
they`re coordinating these things. There`s so much coordination that there
are no lines delineating where one starts and another ends.

The RNC, according to this complaint, quote, “commingled its staff and
resources with the Trump campaign and so it is impossible to separate the
two.” That`s what the Democratic Party is alleging.

And, arguably, that`s what they`re asking the court to determine. That`s
the crux of this whole thing. When the Trump campaign promises it`s going
to do this in these cities, as Trump says, inner cities in swing states, is
he talking about doing that alone or is the RNC involved?

Let me leave you with one more thing that seems relevant here. This is the
head of the RNC, Reince Priebus, speaking on Sunday.


INTERVIEWER: No, no, I don`t mean his response to the debate, just in
general when he goes out and says the election is rigged, he said it last

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I think he`s trying to also tell his folks
to watch out for this fraud that might occur.


MADDOW: “He`s trying to tell his folks to watch out for this fraud that
might occur,” says the head of the RNC. On one hand, Reince Priebus is
decoding Donald Trump there on CBS this weekend. On the other hand, I want
to know about the RNC and this threat to rig the election and this fraud
that might occur and whether the RNC is working on this.

Tell me more, Mr. Head of the Republican Party. Oh, you`re not here.

Let`s instead ask Ben Ginsberg, former general counsel and an MSNBC

You`re not regretting being here already, right, Ben?

will be fun.

MADDOW: I am not asking you to be Reince Priebus or to defend Reince

GINSBERG: I appreciate that.

MADDOW: But I do want you to give me your view on what`s going on right
now with this complaint. You`re the man who said that you could basically
guarantee that the Democrats were going to make this court filing once you
saw what the Trump campaign was talking about on the campaign trail.

GINSBERG: Yes, and what I added to that and what I sort of said directly
later in the evening was that in fact that activity was not taking place
because – well, I don`t want the RNC, but I do know that the RNC takes the
consent decree very seriously. What you have is some bad rhetoric, but not
the actions.

So the whole consent decree itself and the sort of muscling up in polling
places has been a black mark on the Republican Party. That has harmed it
not only reputationally, which is why the Democrats are pursuing this
consent decree, but also really politically. And so, all in all, this is a
moment that the Republican National Committee wants to get beyond so that
it can engage with its state parties in the permissible looking at the

An important component of being sure that the voters understand that the
election is fair and is not rigged and the practices in the polling places
are being conducted correctly.

MADDOW: That`s part of this that I`ve been trying to get a handle on. I`m
glad to hear you explain it that way, because on the one hand what the
Republican Party got nailed for in the `80s was comic book egregious, but I
haven`t really understood what – I`m assuming the Republican Party doesn`t
want to do the arm bands and off-duty cops with the guns in Trenton again,
right? I`m assuming, although we could – no, we won`t make that argument.

Let`s assume that the Republican Party doesn`t. What does the Republican
Party want to do that`s not racist, that`s not egregious, that`s not
suppressive, that they`re prohibited from doing by this consent decree?
Why do they feel so constrained?

GINSBERG: Every state, every state allows representatives of the political
parties or campaigns or a combination of the two to observe what goes on in
the polling place. That is a matter of being able to ensure the fairness
of elections. As a national party committee, it would be helpful for the
Republican National Committee to participate in those permissible, lawful
activities just as the Democratic National Committee does now.

MADDOW: And the DNC can do that now and the RNC because of that consent
decree, they can`t.

GINSBERG: Correct.

MADDOW: So, when you say that the RNC is not doing anything that might
violate that consent decree, they`re not doing any of this poll watching
stuff, they`re not working on it, they can`t be –

GINSBERG: They can give advice to the state parties, they tell their
personnel. I believe there was a memo that went out to all the committee
members telling them –

MADDOW: Don`t do it personally.

GINSBERG: Yes, don`t do it personally, right.

MADDOW: So, what about Mike Pence saying we`re working very closely with
the RNC on ballot integrity issues and making sure this isn`t stolen?

GINSBERG: Well, I don`t know, I can`t speak for him. I do know he made
that statement in august and we`re now in October and none of those
activities of the Republican National Committee personnel working in the
polling place, activities has taken place as far as I know or as far as the
Democrats could say.

MADDOW: Well, what about the RNC staff working basically in-house at the
Trump campaign now? You know, RNC like Sean Spicer has been working
basically in-house with the Trump campaign. If one of the things the Trump
campaign is doing is getting people to sign up to go be poll watchers, does
that mean that the RNC with having their staff inside the Trump campaign,
that they`re in effect participating in it?

GINSBERG: No, because I think the way they`re working it is that you`ve
got a sort of a unit, the field people, trying to get people in place to be
able to observe as they`re allowed to under state laws. I think the RNC
personnel have at least been given instructions to not participate in those

MADDOW: If you were there running the show at the RNC, I would believe
that they had been given those instructions. Hearing Mike Pence flap loose
lips on this subject, talk about this on national TV makes me think that
they are not being as careful about it as you would be as former RNC

GINSBERG: Reince can speak for himself, but what is 100 percent true is
that the Democrats do not cite in their show cause order any actual
activities by any RNC personnel. So, there`s a difference between
overheated political rhetoric and the actual activities.

MADDOW: Do we have to wait until election day to see those activities?

GINSBERG: No, I don`t think so. There`s a lot of people voting now, doing
early vote, doing absentee ballots. There are observers from both parties
and many campaigns watching that, and that helps validate the process.

MADDOW: Ben Ginsberg, thank you for helping us.

GINSBERG: Thank you for having me.

MADDOW: I find it absolutely – I mean, I realize it`s a little like, it`s
a little technical, but the stories behind it and the importance of what`s
behind it gives this so much heat and energy, we have already heard that
they`ve asked, the judge has asked for this to move really fast. They`ve
asked for the parties to be in court on Wednesday morning.

GINSBERG: There`s a long tradition of being in the federal district court
nowhere close to the elections.

MADDOW: Ben Ginsberg, thank you, my friend. It`s good to see you.

GINSBERG: Thank you. Always a pleasure.

MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.



CLINTON: Let`s be real. As our first African-American first lady, she`s
faced pressures I never did.


And she`s handled them with pure grace.


Seriously, is there anyone more inspiring than Michelle Obama?


And maybe, maybe it`s especially, especially meaningful to me, because I do
know something about being first lady of the United States.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: I say this everywhere I go, I admire and
respect Hillary. She has been a lawyer, a law professor, first lady of
Arkansas, first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator, secretary of
state. She has –



Yes. That`s right. Hillary doesn`t play.


MADDOW: Hillary doesn`t play. That was Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama
today in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

This is the first time they have done a joint campaign appearance. And, as
that was kind of, we played that bit there to give you a sense of the vibe
there. I think basically taking turns heaping praise on one another, and
this event was one of Hillary Clinton`s biggest events of the entire
campaign. There were apparently 14,000 people there at this North Carolina
rally today.

And this was a good one to choose to be a big one, because Michelle Obama
was there. Michelle Obama, one of the most beloved figures in politics
right now. One of the most popular figures in politics, certainly among
Democrats, particularly among African-American Democrats, and absolutely
key constituency for Hillary Clinton generally and for her trying to win in
North Carolina in general.

This might have been one of Hillary Clinton`s most important appearances to
date. And it was warm. And Hillary Clinton was at her best, and it was
probably one of the most effective things she has done.

But, what might be most important here is we got an answer to a question
that has been floating around the Obama family`s pending departure from the
White House. Now, this has not been covered widely today. Maybe everybody
else doesn`t see this as the biggest deal of the world. I fully recognize
that the fate of the free world does not hang on this question.

But, you know, it`s a stressful time. In this most stressful of elections,
we here at the show and we in my family have been chewing on our
fingernails a little bit, wondering with a little bit of actual stress
what`s going to happen to the White House vegetable garden. What is going
to happen to it? The kitchen garden planted by First Lady Michelle Obama,
this has been a passion of her time in the White House, for almost the
entire time she`s been there, she`s been building it up, maintaining it and
showing it off, recently expanding it.

And different presidents and their families do different things to the
White House, there are no guarantees that the next occupants will keep
anything that the last occupants of the White House did to the grounds.
The new president would be absolutely free to plow the vegetable garden
under, if they like, right?

Jimmy Carter, you want to put solar panels on the White House, Ronald
Reagan wants to take them down. I mean, wouldn`t really expect Melania
Trump or Bill Clinton to be out there tending to the turnips and harvesting
the okra? Really? Are they going to keep it?

As her time in the White House grows short, Michelle Obama has hardened the
garden`s defenses. We reported on this a little bit. This month, she
unveiled an expanded garden now twice its original size and it`s got hard
parts. They put in stone walkways and planters made from concrete and
steel and picnic tables and stuff.

First Lady Michelle Obama announced a multi-million dollar grant for
maintaining the garden, so the cost will not fall on the taxpayers, which
takes away an excuse if somebody ever wanted to get rid of the garden for
that reason. I think not incidentally, Michelle Obama also planted a
couple of crops that are in the ground now that won`t be ready for harvest
until the spring, when there`s a new president. What are you going to do?
Waste that food?

So, it`s been a discussion. Will the next president keep the garden or
paid paradise, put up a parking lot? Does the garden stay? Does the
garden go?

Today, we got an answer. At least if Hillary Clinton wins.


CLINTON: Now, she also planted an amazing vegetable garden at the White


And I can promise you, if I win, I will take good care of it, Michelle.



MADDOW: If Hillary Clinton wins the election, the garden lives! Look how
happy that makes Michelle Obama.

I don`t really totally understand why I`m so attached to this vegetable
garden, beyond the obvious reasons that I am a card-carrying member of the
liberal vegetable lobby. But if Michelle Obama`s final gift to the country
is a steady stream of images of Bill Clinton in gardening gear, you know,
tilling the soil, weeding, deadheading stuff – well, that would be a
legacy to celebrate.

That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.


Good morning, Lawrence.



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