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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/05/15

Guests: Mark Follman, Spencer Ackerman, Olivia Nuzzi, Josh Barro

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So far as I know, the gun industry and gun sellers are the only business in America that is totally free of liability for their behavior. HAYES: Hillary Clinton picks a political fight over guns as her rival draws record crowds in Boston. (CHANTING) HAYES: Then, chaos in the House GOP. A man who once spoke to white supremacists runs for leader. And a Tea Party candidate jumps into the speaker race. REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: I want to change the trajectory we`re on. HAYES: Plus, new insight into what would cause the Republican 2016 front-runner to drop out. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not a masochist. And if I was dropping in the polls where I saw that I wasn`t going to win, why would I continue? HAYES: And embracing an albatross. News the Bush campaign might deploy W. into South Carolina. JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Jeb is different than George and Jeb is who he is. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. After nine people were murdered in last week`s school shooting in Oregon, the Democratic presidential candidates are answering President Obama`s call to break the cycle of inaction on gun safety. Putting the issue front and center on the campaign trail and giving Hillary Clinton a rare opportunity to come at Bernie Sanders from the left. At a town hall today in New Hampshire, Clinton made a strong case for new government action to take on gun violence in America. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: On the Republican side, Mr. Trump was asked about it and said something like, you know, things like that happen in the world. And Governor Bush said, yes, stuff happens. No. That`s an admission of defeat and surrender to a problem that is killing 33,000 Americans. It`s time for us to say, "Wait a minute, we`re better than this, our country is better than this." (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Among other steps, her plan would tighten the loophole for gun shows and internet sales, close what`s being called the Charleston loophole, which allows someone with an incomplete background check to still make a purchase, reference to Dylann Roof`s acquisition of a gun, and block domestic abusers from being able to buy guns. The aggressive new proposal comes at a time when Bernie Sanders continues to draw huge crowds and polls particular well in the first in the nation New Hampshire primary and when another potential candidate, Vice President Joe Biden, might still jump in and steal a chunk of Hillary Clinton`s support. Sanders is extending his New Hampshire lead into another month, running now nine points ahead of Clinton among Democratic primary voters in a new poll out just today. While Clinton is still ahead in Iowa, beating Sanders 47 percent to 36 percent. That margin shrinks significantly when you add Joe Biden to the mix. And Clinton`s support alone drops from 47 percent to just 33 percent. This weekend, Bernie Sanders held a massive rally of about 20,000 people in Boston. Double the number who turned out to see Barack Obama himself at a similar event in 2007. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a huge crowd. And let me thank the many thousands of people who are outside, who are unable to get in. Thank you. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Gun control may be the one issue where Clinton can reliably challenge Bernie Sanders` progressive bona fides. He represents the state of Vermont and famously voted against the 1993 Brady Bill requiring among other things background checks for gun purchases. In 2005, he voted for a lesser-known bill, granting immunity from prosecution to gun dealers and manufacturers, something Clinton specifically singles out in her new proposal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The gun industry and gun sellers are the only business in America that is totally free of liability for their behavior. Nobody else. Nobody else is given that immunity. I mean, that just illustrates the extremism that has taken over this debate. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid, author of the new book "Fracture: Barack Obama, Clintons, and the Racial Divide," which is a fantastic chronicle of the last contested primary in the Democratic Party. I recommend it to everyone. I`m actually working my way through it right now and learning a lot. I did not predict guns would be front and center in this Democratic primary in the way it is now, A, and, B, the sort of focus of a real kind of emerging policy fight. JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And also, I think one of the things that has changed in our politics is there are now actually grassroots groups with some heft behind them that are keeping the issue front and center and that are planning to get actively involved in 2016. I`ve just come from the 10-year anniversary celebration for Color of Change. They`re planning to jump into this in a big way under their criminal justice reform banner. Obviously, have Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and other groups that are pretty organized and that are looking for policies. Interestingly enough, you mentioned Bernie Sanders. Their campaign is now coming out and endorsing a lot of gun control measures that Sanders, the senator, in the past has been opposed to. HAYES: Well, this is -- I remember "Slate" wrote a piece sort of early on attacking Bernie Sanders` record on guns. In fairness to him, it has been mixed. There are some things he voted for, some things he voted against. But what I think is surprising is that it`s not the record you would associate with Bernie Sanders when you look at how sort of thoroughly progressive he`s been on other issues. This is a place where there`s weakness. And I thought the specific calling out of this liability issue by Hillary Clinton as a proposal obviously was not done accidentally. They know Bernie Sanders has that vote and they know that in a week or so when they have that first debate he`s going to have to defend it. REID: It`s going to come because Bernie Sanders has set himself up as the guy that`s going to go at corporate America, that`s the toughest on corporate America, but on this one issue -- (CROSSTALK) HAYES: That`s why it`s such a hard vote. That`s exactly why. REID: So now you have seen the Sander campaign say he`s for closing that gun show loophole, he`s for stricter background checks, et cetera. But absolutely, he`s going to have to answer for that in the debate. And as you said in the setup and you were absolutely right, it`s the one place where Hillary Clinton can be extremely aggressive from Bernie Sanders` left. HAYES: In terms of the political dynamics, we should also say Martin O`Malley has a four-point platform on this slightly different from Hillary Clinton`s to what Bernie Sanders said, but fairly aggressive. There are two articles today that caught my eye when you think about how this Clinton-Sanders race is emerging, particularly with the effect that 2008 race you wrote this great book about. You have this headline today, in rural America, a startling prospect, voters Obama lost look to Sanders. I thought that was an interesting piece in certain ways. There`s, you know, I think a pretty obvious -- people will obviously think there`s a racial component to that. There`s also the fact that Bernie Sanders, he`s got the Brooklyn accent, he`s got the kind of lefty politics. The guy`s been in politics in a very rural state for a long time, like he knows how to talk to rural voters. That`s what he`s been doing for decades. REID: That`s what he`s been doing for decades. But don`t forget that Hillary Clinton was the first lady of Arkansas, an also very rural state. She also understands the gun issue. She did sort of come from that I`m going after the working-class white vote. That was the tack she wound up taking once Barack Obama took the black vote off the table for her campaign in 2008. So, they`re an interesting two people to go at it not to mention Martin O`Malley`s got all these issues with criminal justice reform where he was governor in the state of Maryland. It`s an interesting dynamic. But one of the sort of central tenets of what I was writing about in my book really is this roaring back of the white left really quite frankly. The McGovernite left is back in a big way, but it`s bigenerational. You have this older white left that`s really looking to Bernie Sanders but also a new sort of young emerging left that was activated by Barack Obama that is looking to Bernie Sanders as the way to get that actual reform they feel they didn`t get after the 2008 -- HAYES: When you`re looking at how do I game my way out if you`re playing the video game of assembling sufficient delegates to win a Republican primary -- Democratic primary, right, black voters, particularly black women are just sort of demographic cornerstone. It`s not true in New Hampshire and Iowa. And so, the early coverage tends to gloss that. But if you`re talking about South Carolina, that`s how Barack Obama won South Carolina and if I were the Clinton people, this is the one thing that would really give me pause. This is Clinton`s African-American support, down among black Democrats 31 percent from July to October. You can see that sharp line there on the right. That is the thing if you`re the Clinton campaign, you can deal with losing New Hampshire, there`s a lot of things you can deal with. The thing you can`t deal is that. REID: You can lose Iowa and New Hampshire and be comfortable as long as you are guaranteed you are going to come back and win. Their firewall is South Carolina. They need African-American voters. What`s really interesting is that Hillary Clinton, what she still lacks is really sort of almost an endorser, who is going to be the person that for her says you`re OK, the way that Joe Biden said to white working- class voters that Barack Obama is OK? Where are her surrogates? I find it fascinating. She`s got Wendy Davis on board. She`s got people like Howard Dean on board. She`s got a lot of good surrogates for white voters. I`m wondering when she`s going to start to deploy some African- American surrogates. HAYES: Very interesting question. Joy Reid, always a pleasure. Read that book. REID: Thank you. HAYES: All right. Policy proposals like the ones we`ve been mentioning on gun safety are increasingly meeting with a counterargument from guns rights maximalists that there`s nothing we can do to prevent kind of mass shooting we saw in Oregon last week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: You have people that are mentally ill and they have problems and they`re going to slip through the cracks and no matter how you do it, no matter how you try it and if you go back 2,000 years and if you go forward 2 million years, you`re going to have problems. I can tell you that people say oh, we`re going to stop it. It doesn`t work that way. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That`s a pretty fatalistic way of look at gun violence in America, especially from a presidential candidate. It`s largely contradicted by the research and experience of psychologists, law enforcements officials and other experts, who are working to understand what makes the mostly white male perpetrators of mass shooting snap and how to see the warnings signs. Their work is a subject of the new "Mother Jones" cover story, "Inside the Race to Stop the Next Mass Shooter". And I`m joined by the editor, "Mother Jones" national affairs editor, Mark Follman. Mark, you`ve been doing fantastic reporting, sustained reporting for several years now on mass shootings. First, let`s talk about the distinctness of these two problems. There`s a gun problem in America, a gun fatality problem, there`s a gun violence problem, and then there is a mass shooting problem. How to think about that final category which is numerically small but part of what I think has precipitated such horror among the American populace. MARK FOLLMAN, MOTHER JONES: Right. Well, one of the things you`ll hear when mass shootings come up and get all the attention they do in the media, including again last week with what happened in Oregon is that, you know, this is a tiny fraction of our overall problem with gun violence and a lot of people argue that this should not drive policy. And yet, these events have an enormous impact on us psychologically, financially, in the local communities where they happen. They`re just absolutely devastating. So, there is -- you know, the flip side of that is there is an imperative to shape policy around it. And you know, while the politicians seem to do nothing over and over, there`s actually this growing legion of people behind the scenes in law enforcement and in mental health who are scrambling trying to stop these attacks from occurring. And there`s just some remarkable paradoxes to it. It`s relatively unknown. And you know, in some ways it`s the only serious thing that`s going on in our country to try to mitigate the problem. HAYES: Tell me what you encounter in your reporting about what solutions there might be or what the folks that have devoted themselves to this have discovered. FOLLMAN: So, the article focuses on a strategy that`s known as threat assessment. It`s been around actually for quite some time, almost three decades. But it`s been developing pretty rapidly the last few years and growing. It`s essentially law enforcement officials and mental health experts working hand in hand to try to prevent violent crimes like mass shootings from happening. The way they do this is it essentially starts with a tip about somebody who`s creating anxiety or fear at the local level and if it gets to what`s called a threat assessment team, this group of law enforcement and mental health professionals get together and quickly try to analyze the situation to gather as much information as possible, as they can about the individual, and then they try to intervene in the most constructive way possible. And one of the most fascinating aspects of it is this is by and large social and mental health interventions. It rarely involves arrest and prosecution. And even when there are national law enforcement agencies involved, there`s a whole unit of the FBI that`s been doing this increasingly for the last few years, and as the head of that unit told me for this story, their goal is prevention, not prosecution. In the vast majority of cases, that`s what they try to do. HAYES: Yes. You know, when I first started the piece and you started to talk about threat assessment I sort of immediately had this kind of, you know, "Minority Report" kind of feeling, right, like are we going to get into the world of pre-crime. Even when we throw around the term of mental illness in the wake of this, I mean, there`s literally tens of millions of people who, quote, "have mental illness". Look at all the people on SSRIs, right? So that category just seems like almost a useless one in its largest way. This is something much, much more sort of focused and rigorous. FOLLMAN: Right. And that is a really key point, Chris, that not only is the mental health profile far too broad to be meaningful for trying to stop these types of crimes, it`s one of many, many factors that they look at and it takes into account itself the context of every single case, the current circumstances of the person of concern. That has a lot to do with the level of concern with threat assessment teams and how they go about trying to intervene. And that is a key distinction. It`s not in a sense pre-crime. At least in what I`m seen in my reporting, looking into this for months and talking to many people who are doing it. Again, what they`re trying to do is really get people off what they call this pathway to violence, where if someone is creating concern that they might carry out an attack like this. And often it is the kind of young males that we see carrying out these crimes. What can be done to try to steer them in a different direction. That`s the imperative of it. HAYES: There`s also this broader question, right? When you zoom out past mass shootings, something you`ve been reporting on. I mean, it just is the case that more guns mean more gun fatalities. And that`s true as a sort of correlation across states, particularly when you look at suicides and homicides, and that`s a sort of iron law that I think people are pretty reticent, particularly on the kind of gun right side of this to acknowledge. FOLLMAN: Oh, absolutely. And the data just becomes clearer and clearer. And with this threat too, and in particular with mass shootings, I think in the months of reporting the story one of the most troubling discoveries for me was learning that the copycat factor, the copycat problem is actually far more serious than many people realize. It`s something that many of us who`ve studied this issue have long known in a basic sense and suspected, but the research that is emerging now from the FBI, which studies this problem, and from forensic psychologists shows that there are many cases where people who not only do this crime, who carry out mass shootings, but also the many hundreds of people who may be considering it, many of them are influenced by what they see on television and on the news about the people who commit the crimes. It`s, you know, sensationalized to the potent where they`re really kind of getting juice from it, as one of the people I spoke with described it. HAYES: All right. Mark Follman, great article. Check it out. Coming up next, desperate times for Jeb Bush`s campaign. And after thus far distancing himself from the Bush legacy, why he`s thinking of bringing George W. to the front lines. And later the scramble in the GOP house. Why John Boehner is delaying votes for leadership. Plus, the United States bombs a Doctors Without Border hospital in Afghanistan. We will look at the changing story of just how and why it happened. Those stories and more ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Many, many people in the world of media and advertising and to a somewhat lesser extent politics are absolutely obsessed with knowing just what it is that millennials want and crave. Well, Fusion, a network aimed at that very group, is working to answer that question. They`ve done something novel and very smart. They`re exclusively polling people aged 18 to 35 years old so they can actually get detailed polling, particularly cross-tab data on the group and today they released another batch of results, finding out that millennials overwhelmingly want a path to legal status for many documented (ph) immigrants. A stunning 81 percent of people aged 18 to 35 said they favor a pathway to legal status for undocumented aliens who have children who are U.S. citizens. That is the group targeted by the 2014 executive action signed by the president that is on hold by the courts. And that number jumps up to 91 percent in polling people just aged 18 to 21. And that is the type of result that if you are, say, a Republican political strategist should give you a pit in the bottom of your stomach, either that or a desperate hope that none of these people come out to vote. The state of a party in trouble with young people and the maybe potential possible decline of Donald Trump, all that coming up. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Make America great again, right? (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Your brother`s administration gave us Barack Obama because it was such a disaster, those last three months, that Abraham Lincoln couldn`t have been elected. BUSH: You know what? As it relates to my brother, there`s one thing I know for sure. He kept us safe. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I don`t know if you remember, Donald -- you remember the rubble -- (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Jeb Bush managed to fire up the crowd with that line at the last debate. But moments like that have been relatively few and far between. And the lack of enthusiasm continues to show up in the polls. The latest NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll from New Hampshire has Jeb at 11 percent. That double-digit support is a teensy bit of good news considering the same poll in Iowa has him at 7 percent and the latest Pew Research national poll has him at 4 percent, which I think it`s safe to say is not where the Jeb Bush campaign thought he would be at this point in the cycle, because going into this election one of Jeb`s biggest strengths was his donor network and the Bush political machine, which conceivably would give Jeb the ability to lock up a whole bunch of key elites inside the Republican Party. And in the theory this would then give Jeb Bush the room to run in the primaries without having to tack sharply to the right and take on positions that might be toxic later to voters in the general election. Or as Jeb Bush himself put it last year, the candidate should also be willing to lose the primary to win the general. But as he struggles in the polls, his campaign is considering bringing in the 43rd president and America`s most polarizing amateur painter, George W. Bush. According to "The New York Times," advisers to Jeb Bush in the early primary state of South Carolina have asked national campaign officials to call in W. with the idea that bush 43 could help his brother shore up support among conservatives. A "New York Times"/CBS poll in may found 71 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of George Bush. But for a candidate who has thus far tried very hard to distance himself from his brother and whose campaign slogan famously doesn`t even use the family name, the question is, will this help cement his status as a dynasty candidate running on his brother`s record? Joining me now Michael Steele, MSNBC political analyst, former head of the Republican National Committee. Michael Steele, bringing W. in to South Carolina, good idea, bad idea? MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it`s actually a good idea for him. I think it -- as you noted, President Bush still has a lot of good cachet with rank-and-file Republicans, particularly in the Southern base of the party. And it says to me that Jeb is looking to play in the South, that he actually wants to be competitive in a state like South Carolina where, you know, conventional wisdom says skip that and go on to the next state. So, I think the campaign realizes a couple of things which you pointed out. One, that their back`s up against the proverbial wall in terms of where their donors` expectations are and where they are in the polls. But I also think they probably see a further pathway to sort of galvanize some new energy for themselves, coming out of the South. HAYES: You know, I agree with you, actually. As a sheer question of strategy, I think there`s basically nothing to lose. And part of the reason -- STEELE: Right. HAYES: -- is you`re not going to fool anyone about who your brother is when it comes to the general election. STEELE: Right. HAYES: Like the idea that oh, they`re going to totally bust you, the Democrats are going to bust you because they`re going to show a picture of the two of you guys together in South Carolina. Like yes, we all know. That`s not news to anyone. STEELE: That`s your brother? HAYES: Right. STEELE: Who knew? HAYES: That`s not a surprise. So just lean into it would be my advice. I mean, there is a base -- part of the problem, right? For him is that there is a radically different views of the Bush presidency among the Republican base, particularly Southern Republicans, South Carolina Republicans, and the country at large. But you`re going to have to -- I think at this point, it`s cross that bridge when you come to it territory for Jeb Bush. STEELE: Absolutely. Yes, he has to -- look, this is about winning a primary right now. This is, you know, notwithstanding what he said about losing the primary to win the general. He realizes he needs to actually win the primary. So this is all part of I think a new strategy to sort of create some energy in some different spaces in this process that hopefully will have some ripple effect in places like New Hampshire where the polls are starting to look good. Iowa. Again, he`s not going to compete directly. But, look, every little bit helps to create the kind of momentum he thought he otherwise would have. HAYES: You know, one of the most fascinating dynamics of this election so far has been the way that kind of donor back seat driving has - - it was your job to get back seat driven by donors -- STEELE: Yes. HAYES: -- for a certain period of your life and clearly you`re still not over it. But the thing is on the one side, the upside for the Jeb Bush thing is we`ve got this huge donor network, we can raise all this money, we can scare people. The downside is that that many more phone calls from some dude that made a fortune in insurance who thinks he knows exactly how many points of advertising to buy in Des Moines, that you`ve got to deal with and who says I need to see some numbers. STEELE: Have you had one of those phone calls before? Because that`s exactly what it is. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Yes, I`ve reported on a lot of those. I`ve watched those phone calls happen. But that is a problem, right? Because at an objective level you think this guy can survive, he`s got money, he`s got the name. But this is a kind of self-fulfilling panic we`ve already seen it take down, say, Scott Walker, among donors. STEELE: Well, what took down Scott Walker was a million-dollar a month burn. HAYES: Right, that`s true. STEELE: The donors are like are you kidding me? At this point you`re spending a million dollars a month and you`re losing ground in Iowa? So, yes, there`s that side of it. I think for Jeb, and this is something people need to be mindful of, and I give the campaign a lot of credit for it. And I have some concerns about the people that are around him and what they`re saying to him because the Jeb Bush that I`ve gotten to know over the years is not the guy I see right now. I`m still waiting for him to show up and actually run for president. But set that aside. What they`re doing is the smart stuff of laying the ground where it matters to get the delegates they`re going to need to lock down the nomination. Let me give you a little push into the future and tell you what`s going to happen. You right now have a situation that`s been created by the change in the schedule that comes between February and March 15th. All of those delegates that are being selected are proportional. What incentive does anybody have to get out of this race? Notwithstanding what happens in the first four states. But Super Duper Tuesday with an SEC primary thrown on top of it, the big kahuna of races that fall the following Thursday after the Super Tuesday race. There`s a huge group of states that are now moving up into that window between March 1st and March 15th. And Jeb Bush knows that, and they`re mining those delegates. HAYES: The problem is that logic extends to some other people including a certain self-funding candidate who currently leads the race. Michael Steele, it is always a pleasure. Thank you. STEELE: You got, it buddy. HAYES: All right. Up next, the latest on the deadly floods in South Carolina and why we can expect to see more and more scenes like this in our very near future. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Tonight, mandatory evacuations are under way in Richland County, South Carolina, where yet another dam opened up this afternoon, sending water rushing into surrounding lake communities. Local county sheriff telling NBC News that dams in the area are breaching so quickly officials can`t keep track. The president tonight signed a disaster declaration for several South Carolina counties, after at least nine people have been killed in the catastrophic flooding that shattered rainfall records across the state. And, at this moment tens of thousands of people are still without water and power. Although the bulk of the rain appears to have passed and dams continue to be vulnerable, evacuations are still under way and officials are working to free trapped residents. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIKKI HALEY, GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: The good news is that we are getting into the assessment and recovery mode. So a lot of that is where we can start to assess the damage to really start making some good decisions on how we can go and get people back into a protected situation but also back into a recovery situation. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: So far some 200 rescues have been performed and over 500 roads and bridges remain closed. Over 1,000 national guardsmen are on duty. Meanwhile, Hurricane Joaquin, which did the most damage in the Carolinas, has been downgraded to a category 1 storm, with up to 85-mile- per-hour winds. The flooding, which submerged almost the entire state of South Carolina, is the type of extreme weather event that climate models predict we`ll be increasingly seeing more of. Which is truly terrifying to think about. As the extraordinary becomes more ordinary with each passing day. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Early Saturday morning in Kunduz, Afghanistan an American aircraft, an AC-130 gunship, repeatedly bombed a hospital being run by the Nobel prize-winning group Doctors Without Borders, the humanitarian organization that operates in war zones throughout the world without discrimination toward those they treat. Kunduz has been recently overtaken by the Taliban, and Afghanistan and American forces were in the process of retaking it. The bombing of the hospital killed 22 people. 12 of the staff of Doctors Without Borders and 10 patients. 19 more staff members and 18 other patients or caretakers were injured, according to the communications manager for Doctors Without Borders. And, according to Doctors Without Borders, the GPS location of that hospital had already been provided to U.S. forces. The personnel at the facility frantically called U.S. military officials during the strike. The strikes continues in a sustained manner for 30 more minutes. In the wake of the bombing a series of explanations emerged about what exactly happened. A statement from Bagram, Afghanistan headquarters read, quote, "U.S. forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz city at 2:15 am local time, October 3rd, against individuals threatening the force. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility." The Afghan Ministry of Defense said early Sunday that Taliban fighters had attacked the hospital and were using the building as a human shield. Later that day NATO issued a statement saying U.S. forces had conducted an airstrike against insurgents who were directly firing upon U.S. service members who were advising Afghan forces in Kunduz. But today, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, offered a notably different explanation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GENERAL JOHN CAMBELL, COMMANDER OF U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN: We have now learned that on October 3rd Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions, and asked for air support from U.S. forces. An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat, and several civilians were accidentally struck. This is different from the initial reports, which indicated that U.S. forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: In a statement, President Obama had immediately expressed his condolences, and today White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that three investigations were under way. Understandably, Doctors Without Borders is highly skeptical. Its latest statement reading in part, "with such constant discrepancies in the U.S. and Afghan reports of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical." United Nations human rights chief said the incident could amount to a war crime. Joining me now, Spencer Ackerman, National Security Editor of The Guardian. So, here`s my understanding of what we know now. Originally, the idea was we accidentally hit this that was near the target. Now it`s very clear this was the target. SPENCER ACKERMAN, THE GUARDIAN: This was absolutely the target. This was something that General Campbell obfuscated. This was something that initial reports from the U.S. military in Afghanistan just simply euphemistically referred to as the vicinity of the place where U.S. -- the U.S. air campaign was happening in Kunduz. But now, according to Campbell and from the Afghan interior ministry, we had some indication of this before, this was a place where Afghans on the ground who the U.S. was supporting from the air specifically called in to strike. And now the recriminations are beginning in which the U.S. has to account for why was that airstrike approved? Who approved it? How was it that the Afghans would be allowed to call it an airstrike on a hospital that, as Doctors Without Borders have said, all through the weekend, the GPS coordinates before this campaign occurred, had been provided to the U.S., to the Afghans and apparently the Taliban. The U.S. started out by suggesting they didn`t even know this facility was hit while saying it may have hit a Doctors Without Borders field hospital. This has been a situation in which the U.S. has changed its story materially three times in as many days. HAYES: There is also a troubling quote I think I saw from someone in the Afghan government, essentially saying something along the lines of yeah, there were Taliban in there -- ACKERMAN: -- 10 to 15 terrorists were inside the building. Immediately suggesting -- HAYES: That we knew it was a hospital and that there were Taliban there, and hey, that`s the way war goes. But, I think from a U.S. perspective at least, I would imagine that the rules of engagement don`t allow you to bomb a Doctors Without Borders hospital. ACKERMAN: They don`t. And this was something that Campbell was asked about during a ten-minute press conference in which he managed to say very little and apologize even less. If there`s such a thing as a non-denial denial, this might have to be considered a not accountability He`s repeatedly asked about the rules of engagement and doesn`t materially say anything about what in fact would be allowed, whether this is the sort of thing that would be allowed, and whether they will change. He simply said that operations in Kunduz to retake the city from the Taliban, which is an astonishing thing to just consider in 2015, that a major Afghan city after 14 years of brutal costly war has now fallen to what looked until recently like a force so rough that it was lying for over two years about the continued existence of its long-time leader, will still go on because the city is not, contrary to what the Afghans had said, I want to say either Wednesdayish or -- Tuesdayish or Wednesdayish, had actually retaken the city. So this is still going to go on, and now Kunduz is, for all intents and purposes, without a hospital. HAYES: You know, two things strike me here aside from the horrible tragedy of these people who do incredible work in terrible circumstances. One, the down side of, quote, providing air support, which sounds very anodyne when you talk about it, right? We know stories from the earliest days of the Afghan war, from the drone (inaudible) in Pakistan, where, things are called in for reasons other than what necessarily is the best tactical move, right? And number two, how many of these have happened to random families in Afghanistan that don`t have the Twitter account and Nobel Prize of Doctors Without Borders? ACKERMAN: Well, we know how many times it`s happened. It`s happened over 1,000 times over a 14-year period. I`m blanking on the actual stats. Mike Azanko with the Council on Foreign Relations has compiled this in Afghanistan. It looks in fact like civilian deaths from air strikes -- from U.S. airstrikes, are actually rising as troop levels have fallen, probably because of the lack of ground engagements and probably because of the increased need for a weaker Afghan military on the ground to supplement with airstrikes. But look, anodyne words like air campaign or even calling in airstrikes as you mentioned, conceal a tremendous amount. They conceal the horror that is a war conducted from the air. They conceal the sheer terror that air bomb -- that aerial bombing ultimately inflicts, and is part of its purpose regardless of how targeted or restricted it occurs. Doctors Without -- first of all, three children in that hospital died in that airstrike. Doctors Without Borders survivors of that airstrike talked about watching patients burn in their beds. HAYES: Spencer Ackerman, thank you very much. ACKERMAN: Thank you. HAYES: Alright, still ahead, Donald Trump explains his campaign strategy if it ever looks like he might not get the nomination. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) GRACE LEE BOGGS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: People want revolution but don`t know what it is. They want something to make their lives more meaningful, and to make life more healthy for all of us. HAYES: Philosopher, author and civil rights icon Grace Lee Boggs died. She was 100 years old. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she became a militant social justice advocate, fighting in labor movements, for tenant`s rights, for Black power, for women`s rights, and for neighborhoods in her hometown of Detroit for over seven decades. The president and first lady expressed their sadness at the passing of Grace Lee Boggs in a statement tonight that read in part, "Grace`s passion for helping others and her work to rejuvenate communities that had fallen on hard times spanned her remarkable 100-year life, and will continue to inspire generations to come." End of statement. And I say, rest in power, Grace. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The congressman who spent the start of this year trying to explain away a 2002 speech to a white supremacist group says he has the votes to secure the number two spot in the GOP house leadership. You`ll remember Louisiana Republican Steve Scalese, currently the house majority whip, reportedly told donors yesterday he has locked up the votes to become majority leader. Scalese had to fend off calls to resign at the start of the year after he admitted having spoken to a gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders in 2002, at a convention for an organization founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke. Scalese maintained he had been unaware of the group`s politics. Scalese appeared to be on track but elected majority leader in house GOP leadership elections on Thursday, but a twist. Today, outgoing speaker John Boehner announced he would delay those planned elections until after a new speaker is chosen to replace him. There are now three declared candidates for Boehner`s job. Kevin McCarthy, the Boehner approved favorite, widely seen as aligned with the establishment. Jason Chaffetz, the Planned Parenthood antagonist, who launched his bid yesterday with a promise to unite the caucus and bring a more confrontational tone. And, back bencher Daniel Webster, a long shot who gathered all of 12 votes in a previous speaker bid. McCarthy seemed to be a shoo-in until last Tuesday, when he went on Fox News and seemed to confirm Democrats` allegations that the exceedingly long-running house Benghazi committee is nothing more than a taxpayer funded political operation to damage Hillary Clinton`s poll numbers. Chaffetz pounced on the gaffe, first calling on McCarthy to apologize for his comment and then pivoting to cast McCarthy as a poor communicator. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JASON CHAFFETZ, HOUSE RERESENTATIVE, UTAH: We have not taken our message and our communications to the American people and won the fight at that level. And that has to change. It`s just -- it was the nature of John Boehner. It`s not necessarily the strongest suit for Kevin McCarthy. We all have talents and things we can use better than others, and I`d like to fill that role in part to win the communications battle. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Democrats on the Benghazi committee, meanwhile, have gone on the offensive in the wake of McCarthy`s comments, today announcing their plan to go over the head of the committee`s Republican majority and just begin releasing witness interview transcripts to the public, in order to combat what they call selective leaks of inaccurate and incomplete information in an effort to attack Clinton with unsubstantiated or debunked allegation. Clinton is supposed to testify before the committee on October 22nd, and this morning at a Today Show town hall, she made quite clear how little she thinks of it all. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans. I would have never done that, and if I were president and there were Republicans or Democrats who were thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: When we come back, we`ll discuss the GOP presidential candidate who did not pay staffers and vendors from a previous losing campaign for years, and whose former operations director defended the candidate by arguing, and I`m quoting here, "if we didn`t win, why do you deserve to get paid?" That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Number one, I`m not a masochist, and, if I was dropping in the polls to where I saw that I wasn`t going to win, why would I continue? And it`s funny -- maybe it`s like, not like me because it`s the power of positive thinking and I`m a very positive person, I`m a positive thinker -- but, the truth is, I`m a realist. If I were doing poorly, if I saw myself going down, if you would stop calling me because you no longer have any interest in Trump because he has no chance, I`d go back to my business. I have no problem with that. HAYES: Oh my god, Donald Trump handing over control of how long to run to Chuck Todd in the interview. New polls out from NBC News today still show Donald Trump leading the GOP pack, but his lead appears to be shrinking. The poll shows Trump with a 5-point lead over Ben Carson in Iowa at 24 percent, down from a 7-point lead a month ago. His lead in New Hampshire, which was 16 points one month ago, now stands at just 5 points over second place Carly Fiorina. Joining me now, Olivia Nuzzi, political correspondent for The Daily Beast, and MSNBC contributor, Josh Barro, a corespondent for the Upshot at New York Times, and -- Carly Fiorina, who is surging in New Hampshire, no question, and I think actually is the kind of candidate who has a shot there. She has got this money problem that -- I`ve seen this now reported numerous times over the years, but this quote, she basically stiffed a lot of people that worked for her and a lot of vendors. And this is John Cross, her operations director for her (inaudible) who says, well basically like, why, if we didn`t win, why do you deserve to get paid? This is from someone who, let`s be clear was fired and got a huge golden parachute. JOSH BARRO, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah. And, the other thing is is that these people sat without payments for years until Carly decided she was going to run for president and then quickly wrote a check to her old campaign committee from the losing campaign so she could pay off all of these vendors, because she was going to be to need to be in the good graces of Republican vendors again. So -- HAYES: Including in the lead of that article, a guy who died who worked for her, whose widow couldn`t get his last paycheck, to be clear? BARRO: Yeah, I mean, I guess the one defense is that this stuff is not that uncommon from losing campaigns, especially losing campaigns where the person is leaving politics and doesn`t need to maintain interest. HAYES: Ding ding ding ding. Let me say this, if more common is to vendors than staff. That`s the other part of it? BARRO: But the other thing is that, you know, legally, she didn`t have an obligation no pay these people. It`s a campaign committee, it`s not her personal obligation. But, on the other hand, she`s gone after Donald Trump for having businesses file bankruptcy four times. But again, you know, the bankruptcy code exists. That`s perfectly legal. She didn`t have a legal obligation to pay these people, necessarily, but it doesn`t necessarily reflect well on her. HAYES: Olivia, you`ve got a piece with The Daily Beast about another Carly Fiorina operation, which is what you call her mystery foundation. The Fiorina Foundation is (inaudible) that has distributed funds to Planned Parenthood, and the Fiorina Foundation doesn`t appear to exist -- Explain. OLIVIA NUZZI, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, it`s not really a foundation in the way you and/or I might think of a foundation. It`s actually, an account in something called a donor advice fund. Anyone can make the account, you could make the Chris Hayes Foundation, I could make the Pizza Rat Foundation. It`s not really a foundation but, it`s very secretive and we don`t know how much Carly Fiorina is holding this secret account. And, the thing about these donor advice funds, the reason why people like them, is that they are anonymous, they get a lot of tax benefits from using them. They also don`t have to decide right away what they do with the money they donate to charity. They give all this money, if you know that within the next ten years, you`re going to donate $100,000 to charity, you can give it to this donor advised funds, you get the immediate tax deduction for the full amount, and, you don`t have to decide, you know, for ten years, for a century, what you do where that money. It may never go to charity in your lifetime, and it doesn`t really matter. HAYES: The other great thing about it is that a hedge, right, if you don`t want to give it to something politically toxic, but you`re not quite sure what is going to be politically toxic. If you give them money, you get the write off, you`re giving to charity, then you sort of figure out, is that okay to give to them? NUZZI: Exactly. So, the Koch brothers in 2013 it came out The Independent reported that they were funding this network of a climate change denying think tanks and activists. And that`s why I think people are sort of skeptical at how non-transparent donor advice funds are, because they don`t actually -- no one knows actually what, whose bank rolling what. You only see the donor advice funds file one 990 form for all of their donors. They could have hundreds or thousands or donors and you don`t see actually who is directing the money to go where. You just see where it ends up. So, I found that the donor advice fund that Carly Fiorina uses, donated half a million dollars to Planned Parenthood from 2011 to 2013, and her campaign, of course, says that it doesn`t implicate her money to have in this fund, it doesn`t really matter that they donate to Planned Parenthood. But, my question is, if you are an extremely pro-life candidate, the way Carly Fiorina is, and you oppose the government funding to Planned Parenthood to the extent that you want to shut down the government over it, why would you elect to put your money in a fund that does exactly that? Why would you not just put it in a fund that vows never to do that? HAYES: Plus, all the argument of anti-abortion activists is, of course, that money is fundable, right? And, this is why all this Byzantine segregation of funds is necessary, so that there`s not the moral taint on those funds. This seems like an example. Josh, I thought that the Trump response to Chuck Todd`s question about -- was so honest, so obvious, and also so clearly him foaming the runway for what he`s going to get out. BARRO: Maybe. I think the media has been a little bit too enthusiastic about this for a couple of reasons. One is that I`ve also seen him talk about this specifically in the context of Rand Paul, where he was like, you know, if I was down at 2 percent -- HAYES: Yeah. If it`s hopeless, you quit. BARRO: There`s a lot of room for him to drop in the polls while still being a serious contender. But again, I go back to the bankruptcies, Donald Trump is a guy who knows about cutting his loses. He gets away from deals that are failing. He knows if you once think something is a good idea, that doesn`t mean you have to be committed to it. So, I think if it truly looked hopeless to him, he would get out. But I think, you know, people have this idea that he might drop out if he fell to 2nd place in the polls. HAYES: Olivia, my -- I feel like we`re in the new equilibrium now, which I think the summer of Trump is over, but he`s not also going to be a 2% candidate. There is a basis report that going to stay there? NUZZI: There is no evidence to support the idea that Trump is a self aware person. So, I mean, you know, any time a poll comes out that shows his support sort of siphoning off, he denies it. He says that it`s not a real poll. It`s not really happening. So who knows that it won`t take him getting to 8 or 5 percent, or 4 percent even, before he starts to realize maybe he`s in a little bit of trouble. HAYES: Olivia Nuzzi, Josh Barro, thank you both. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END