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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/06/15

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Jason Cone, John Merrill, Dave Zirin

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think everybody just ought to give him the space to decide what`s best for him and his family. HAYES: Team Clinton prepares an oppo file on the vice president and an explosive new report claims Joe Biden himself leaked the story of his son`s dying wish. Tonight, the fight for the Democratic nomination gets intense. Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders on guns, trade and what divides the Democratic field. Then, are black voters being unfairly disenfranchised in Alabama? Tonight, my exclusive interview with Alabama`s secretary of state. And Draft Kings, Fan Duels and the scandal plaguing the multibillion dollar world of fantasy sports. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re not playing fantasy sports and you`re not playing FanDuel, you are crazy. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. A bombshell today in the early but escalating battle between the Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and the man who could still turn the race upside down if he decides to run, Vice President Joe Biden. Since the devastating death of Biden`s son Beau to brain cancer in late May at age 46, there`s been growing speculation a steady drip of stories suggesting the vice president may make a late entry to the Democratic primary. Former advisor to Beau going to work for the Draft Biden super PAC reports that the vice president taking meetings with influential Democrats and adjusting his schedule to make contact with key constituencies. His supporters starting to assemble a campaign infrastructure, even Biden himself claiming he still is trying to make up his mind. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and two, they can look at the folks out there and say, I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this. And I`d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joe Biden is now the hamlet of American politics paralyzed in the face of that elemental question to run or not to run. And it all started more or less in the Maureen Dowd column in "The New York Times" back in August, describing Beau Biden on his deathbed urging his father to get in the race, quote, "Beau was losing his nouns, and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed. But he had a mission, he tried to make his father promise to run, arguing the White House should not revert to the Clintons, the country would be better off with Biden values." Today, "Politico" ran a very interesting report that Biden himself was the source of that story on Beau`s dying wish, the implication being Biden meant to manipulate his audience into considering a Biden candidacy. Note the subtitle, "The vice president is mourning. He`s also calculating." The Biden camp won`t confirm or deny he was Dowd`s source, but it strongly disputes the article`s connotations. The spokesperson telling NBC News, "The bottom line in the political story is that it is categorically false and the characterization is offensive." Now, as Biden speculation is reaching a fever pitch ahead of next month`s filing deadlines, the Clinton campaign is getting ready for every eventuality. "New York Magazine" reporting today the campaign putting together an opposition research file on the vice president with material on his ties to Wall Street, his alleged reluctance to support the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and his role in the Anita Hill saga of the early 1990s. It`s a perfectly reasonable move for a campaign whose support would take a hit if Biden were to jump in. In fact, one of the most overlooked dynamics in the Democratic race thus far has been that the Hillary Clinton`s poll numbers started to soften just as Biden fever kicked into gear, his popularity began to grow and he begun to become included in polling. You can see that play out in the latest NBC News poll of Iowa Democrats, as we showed you yesterday. Without Biden in the mix, Clinton holds an 11-point lead over Sanders, when Biden is in the poll, Clinton`s lead shrinks to five points. The concern for Democrats now if Biden does indeed decide to run, when two reveal candidates have such a similar profile in many ways, so little disagreement on the issues, things tend to get very personal and very ugly very fast. I`m joined now by Jonathan Alter, columnist for "The Daily Beast" and MSNBC political analyst, and Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for "The Nation", also an MSNBC political analyst. What is going on? I mean, what do you make of this? Honestly, I read that story today and I was like, that`s a doozy. I don`t know what to do with this. JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don`t know what to do with it either. I have no idea, although when I read the original Dowd column, I thought it sounded like he could be the source for it. Or, you know, he was telling a lot of people this story in a lot of detail and she had. You know, I think -- my heart goes out to Joe Biden. I love the man. He`s entitled to run. He would be a wonderful candidate. It`s a little late. But the reason it`s late is because his son was sick and died. So I have a hard time holding that against him. What Democrats will hold against him if he was the source for that story is taking it to Maureen Dowd who then turned around and portrayed it in the most debilitating way to Hillary Clinton the notion of Biden values being better than Clinton values, a woman who has attacked not just the Clintons but his friend Barack Obama for years and years and years in the most personal and vicious terms. Why choose her? Why open your test run that way that`s going to be depicted not as you would be a great candidate, but that this woman would lower the office? That`s wrong. HAYES: What do you think? JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I just don`t think that`s what happened. I mean, I know both of them. And he was grieving. I highly doubt that he held a meeting with his staff. Who should we plant this with? Should it be Maureen Dowd? No, they`ve known each other for 25 years well. I think that they both -- they were just having a conversation. I imagine that later, Maureen went back to him or his staff and said -- WALSH: I would hope so. ALTER: -- can I use this if it`s not attributed. And they probably were thinking about other things and said sure. It doesn`t have the feel to me, I know it looks this way to "Politico", but based on my own experience, it doesn`t have the feel of a calculated move. WALSH: You know what? ALTER: By Joe Biden to run up a trial balloon with Maureen Dowd shortly after his son died. HAYES: Let me say two things. It is unquestionably the case in the wake of I think a very genuine outpouring of grief in the wake of Beau`s horribly really tragic death, people feel more warmly about Joe Biden. I think that`s a natural thing. WALSH: Absolutely. HAYES: We see -- look at the favorability numbers. I mean, Joe Biden`s favorability starts rocketing up. It crosses from unfavorable to favorable right in the wake of his son`s death. That`s a natural expression of grief, right? WALSH: Right. HAYES: The other thing I think about this is to me, it`s all about the falseness of our expectation of authenticity which is to say when you`re talking about Hillary Clinton and when you`re talking about Joe Biden who have been in public life for four decades each of them, there`s no such thing as calculating on one side and authentic on the other. That`s who they are as whole people. This idea that like, oh, the evil Joe Biden is doing this and the authentic -- no, this is who they are. They are politicians and think all the time how everything is going to read. WALSH: I actually think that Jonathan and I could be both be right about this in the accepts they may well have had a conversation that started out as a private conversation, but then she decided to use it and somebody gave her permission to use it, if indeed that`s how it happened. And this is a person who is really responsible for some of the worst narratives about both the Clintons and President Obama in journalism right now. ALTER: But I don`t think Biden should if held responsible for the fact that Maureen Dowd turned it into an anti-Hillary column. WALSH: I guess I do. (CROSSTALK) ALTER: It`s very easy to say after the fact that he chose her as assassin on that story. WALSH: I`d never use that word. ALTER: I just don`t think that that`s the way their conversation -- I don`t have any proof. HAYES: Here`s the question then. More broadly. ALTER: It`s too close to beau`s death. WALSH: To be calculating. HAYES: Here`s the question. The question then is this to me is, you know, these are people that were both in the Barack Obama administration. They`re people that ran against each other in 2008. They are two people who substantively, there`s not a huge amount of daylight between them. They`ll find areas of disagreement but broadly sort of in line, right? This is not Bernie Sanders we`re talking about who has a sort of distinct ideological political record. How can it be anything but very personal very quickly if Joe Biden gets in this race? There`s no other place -- ALTER: Really nasty. This is worrying Democrats and what I assume the Biden people understand is that you get all kinds of breaks before you get in but the press wants what they can`t have. (LAUGHTER) ALTER: Once -- then he will come down on him like a ton of bricks. This is a taste of that. Today is a taste. He`s going to get hit hard by the press. All of the sympathy for Beau will go away. HAYES: Right -- because you`re running for president. That`s -- ALTER: Right. And he`s not really -- hasn`t really been a first rate candidate in those last two outings. I covered him in 1988 and in 2008. He`s a great guy. WALSH: Right. ALTER: He`s not a great candidate. So, you know, and when you don`t have the great candidate skills and she doesn`t have them either, then you end up kind of overcompensating which she`s now doing now on Kevin McCarthy story. They overcompensate. And then it gets nastier because they really don`t have control of their switch blade. HAYES: In some ways we saw that I think with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008 who the difference came down should there be a mandate or not. That was ultimately -- WALSH: Iraq war vote -- (CROSSTALK) HAYES: And obviously the Iraq war vote. WALSH: They`re very close. I guess the other thing, you know, in the cycle today that you alluded to is this New York magazine story, very well reported, that she`s got opposition research on him. Can I just take issue with the term opposition research? This man has a record. He is a little close to the credit card companies. He made it tougher to declare bankruptcy. He did not call corroborating witnesses for Anita Hill. He did let Republican senators savage that woman. So, there`s plenty of things you can criticize him on fairly. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: And my feeling about the article was there were some people trying to sell this like the devious Clintons are at it again. If you`re running for city council in Akron, Ohio, and you find out a guy is going to run against you, you look up his record. WALSH: And they`re not going to this garbage. They`re talking about genuine -- ALTER: It is a little bit silly that she`s -- apparently the oppo was saying, well, he wasn`t really forgetting bin Laden. HAYES: That I think is going to be barking up the wrong tree. ALTER: She wasn`t either. She was 50/50 on it. That was her line at the time. HAYES: Jonathan Alter, Joan Walsh, great to have you both here. Happy birthday, Jonathan. Still to come -- go Cubs. Still to come, Bernie Sanders calls Barack Obama`s trade deal disastrous. I ask him where he thinks the president went wrong. My interview with the senator, ahead. Later, Alabama, a state with a strict voter ID law shutters DMV in several heavily black counties. But, first, several candidates are asked to react about the shooting in Oregon. Some of their responses have been down right offensive. We`ll have those stories and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Presidential candidates tonight are continuing to weigh in on last week`s horrifying mass shooting in Oregon. While the Democratic presidential candidates call for tighter gun safety legislation, a number of Republicans including Donald Trump and Jeb Bush have essentially argued there is nothing we can do. And some of the GOP candidates have found people to blame. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who is averaging less than 1 percent in polls but still technically running for president decided to heap scorn upon the father of the gunman demanding he apologize for the shooting. And Ben Carson, who is in second place nationally, took to Facebook to accuse liberals of using the shooting to advance a political agenda, writing I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away. It gets worse. This morning, Carson was asked on FOX News what he would if someone pointed a gun at him and asked about his religion as the Oregon shooter is alleged to have done with some of his victims. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not only would I probably not cooperate with them, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say hey, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can`t get us all. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: As Ben Carson should know, people didn`t simply, quote, "cooperate" with the shooter. A tremendously brave Army veteran named Chris Mintz was among those who tried to stop him and protect others. Mintz sustained multiple gunshot wounds but thankfully survived. The broader implication in Carson`s words is that the people who were murdered that day were somehow complicit in their own massacre. Cooperating which is I must say, a truly odious thing to say. And while Ben Carson imagines that he somehow would have been able to stop the shooter had he been there, there is nothing in this world nothing cheaper than the bravery of a hypothetical. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CARSON: Because you`re not connected with the money. Well, you know -- (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The first Democratic presidential debate is just one week away. Some real areas of disagreement are finally starting to emerge between the leading candidates. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton unveiled a gun control proposal that included a call to repeal legislation that protects gun makers and dealers from being sued by victims of gun violence. Bernie Sanders who has come under fire for his past votes on gun control legislation voted in favor of that legislation specifically in 2005. And after yesterday`s announcement, the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries have reached a deal on the very controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Trade. Sanders lambasted TPP as a disastrous Wall Street handout that will hurt consumers and cost Americans jobs. Hillary Clinton promoted TPP as secretary of state on numerous occasion, though she currently isn`t saying whether or not she supports it. A short time ago, I asked Sanders about TPP and specifically how he would try to stop it. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you stop it by organizing the American people. I think most of whom understand that our previous trade ingredients of which TPP is just another one have been disastrous for the middle class and working families. They`ve been written by corporate America. The result is that since 2001, Chris, we have lost 60,000 factories in America, millions of decent paying jobs, a lot of it attributable to disastrous trade policies. Truth is, the American worker should not have to compete against people all over the world who are making pennies an hour. CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Here`s the question I think a lot of folks who are watching this are going to have because what`s going to happen is the president like did he for the passage of fast track is going to go around and he`s going to say, look, this is in the best interests of American workers and you have my word on this because I am someone who cares about American workers and cares about growing the middle class and share the same values as you. Is the president wrong? Is he being deceitful? How -- what is your account of why President Barack Obama wants this deal so badly? SANDERS: I`m not going to psychoanalyze Barack Obama. I worked with him on that issue. He`s a friend. On this issue, he`s wrong. Bill Clinton was wrong on NAFTA. Republicans were wrong on PNTR with China. You know, I think if you look at the history of trade agreements, Chris, what you find, they are written by Wall Street. They are written by corporate America. They`re written by the drug companies, written by -- they have been in my view a disaster for the American worker. And now the president differs, and he will tell you why he differs. On this issue, I think he is wrong. HAYES: Hillary -- SANDERS: I think virtually every union in this country that virtually all of them oppose this agreement. Elizabeth Warren and I will help lead the effort to defeat it. HAYES: Hillary Clinton, of course, is also running for president in the Democratic primary. SANDERS: I`ve heard about that. HAYES: Yes. (LAUGHTER) HAYES: Yes. I imagine you have. Well, she -- obviously she was with the State Department while state officials were negotiating part of this. She said she did not negotiate it. She has not announced a position. Do you anticipate this being a big issue at that first primary debate next week? SANDERS: Yes, I mean, it is a -- Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a lot of issues. We disagree on Wall Street and what we should do. Whether or not we bring back Glass-Steagall or break up the large banks. We disagree about how high the minimum wage should go. I think it should go to 15 bucks an hour. We disagree about our college plans. I think mine is more simple is, providing free tuition at public colleges and universities and we disagree on trade. I believe she hasn`t come up with an opinion yet, but my views are pretty clear. I think -- I`m against it. HAYES: Do you disagree and guns? Is that an area where you count yourself as disagreeing? SANDERS: Well, let me tell you something, you know, because I`ve heard a lot about this. I come from a state that has virtually no gun control at all. Yet, I`ve cast some very, very difficult votes in favor of strong gun control. I mean, you`re looking at a guy who was a congressman who voted for strong background checks, instant background checks. I want to see them made even stronger. You`re looking at a guy who voted against the so- called gun show loophole which is a disaster, and allowing guns to get into the hands of people who should not have it. You`re voting against a guy, remember, from a state which has almost no gun control to ban semi-automatic rifles which in my view are only designed to kill people. And I`ll tell you something else when you talk about guns. We`ve got a deal with the so-called straw man provision where people can walk in, buy guns and sell it to somebody who should not have the guns. I`ll tell you something else, Chris. HAYES: Yes? SANDERS: Not only do we need strong control, in my view we need a revolution in mental health in this country. I believe you have thousands of people walking the streets of America today who are suicidal, who are homicidal. They cannot get the care they need when they need it. And we have to address that issue, as well. So I think you`re looking at a combination of things, count me in as somebody who believes this that very strongly and somebody, by the way, just to set the record straight -- HAYES: Yes? SANDERS: -- has a D-minus voting record from the NRA. HAYES: Let me ask you this. You`ve got a bill that you`ve been working on called the Workplace Democracy Act. It`s similar to a piece of legislation I remember covering closely in 2009 which is called the Employee Free Choice Act. It would streamline the process for unionization. It would make it much easier to form a union if a majority of workers sign a card. Here`s my question to you. Bernie Sanders gets inaugurated January 2017. The odds are likely he has either one or two Republican Houses of Congress. If that thing couldn`t get passed with the largest Democratic majority since the Goldwater election in `64, how -- what is this is other than a piece of paper? SANDERS: It`s a lot more than a piece of paper because if I get elected -- first of all, if I get elected president, it would mean that there is a massive voter turnout, young people, working people voting in ways they haven`t voted in many, many years. Therefore, the likelihood of the Republicans controlling the Senate will be less. The House, who knows? But let me tell you this. If I get elected it`s because people believe in the need for a political revolution. They understand that Congress is controlled by big money interests. They want fundamental changes. And that means millions of people are prepared to stand up and make sure the Congress represents working people rather than the billionaire class. So, that is the -- that is the basis of why I believe we can get legislation like this, legislation to raise the minimum wage, legislation to create millions of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure because millions of people will then be involved in the political process giving the Republican Party an offer they can`t refuse. That is if they don`t do what the middle class needs, they`re going to be out on the streets. HAYES: You just talked about your NRA grade of D-minus. I have this question for you -- if you were to grade the Bernie Sanders campaign on building the kind of multiracial coalition that is necessary to succeed in a Democratic primary deep into this contest, past Iowa and New Hampshire, which aren`t necessarily reflective of the party`s voters, what grade would you give the Sanders campaign thus far in building that kind of coalition? SANDERS: Chris, when we started this campaign and I was on your show I think very early on -- HAYES: Yes. SANDERS: -- we were at 3 percent, 4 percent, 5 percent in the polls. We have move very, very significantly. And I think most observers now say, hey, guess what, Bernie Sanders is a serious candidate. If your question is do we need to do more outreach to the Latino and African-American community? The answer is absolutely. But one of the things that we are going to be able to do because 650,000 people are record breaking number have contributed to our campaign is we are going to have the resources to develop a strong organization in South Carolina, Nevada, and the states that follow. And I think we are going to be successful in reaching out to the African-American community because we have not only -- you know, do I have a strong record of standing up for African-American community but more importantly, we have an economic agenda, a social justice agenda, a criminal justice agenda which I think will make sense to the African-American community once they hear it. Our job is to get out and talk to as many people as we can and we`re building that organization right now. HAYES: All right. Bernie Sanders, always a pleasure, Senator. Thank you very much. SANDERS: Thank you, Chris. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: All right. Coming up, the explanation behind the fatal U.S. airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital changes again. We will have that update next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: For the fourth time in as many days, there`s been a change in the official story of what happened this weekend when a U.S. airstrike hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, killing 22 medical staff and patients. First, U.S. forces said an airstrike against individuals threatening the force may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. By Sunday, the airstrike was being described as being against insurgents who were directly firing on U.S. service members. Then, yesterday, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, said it was Afghan force who`s had called for U.S. air support. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEN. JOHN CAMPBELL, COMMANDER U.S. FORCES, AFGHANISTAN: We have now learned 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. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That was where we left things yesterday. Details shifted again today when at a previously scheduled Senate hearing on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, General Campbell clarified that U.S. Special Operations Forces were also on the ground in close vicinity to the hospital. The general suggested they were the one who, in fact, called in the air strike. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAMPBELL: Afghan forces on the ground requested air support from our forces on the ground. But as I said in my opening statement, even though the Afghans request that support, it still has to go through a rigorous U.S. procedure to enable fires to go on the ground. We had a special operations unit that was in close vicinity that was talking to the aircraft that delivered those fires. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: In his opening statement today, General Campbell stressed the air strike request had moved up the U.S. chain of command. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAMBELL: On Saturday morning, our forces provided close air support to Afghan forces at their request. To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fires was a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command. A hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Earlier tonight, I spoke with the executive director of Doctors Without Boarders in the United States, Jason Cone, and I asked him to react to the succession of official explanations of the attack. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JASON CONE, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: I think for us it reinforces the fact we need an independent embargo investigation into this bombing. We need someone who is not conflicted by being a party to the conflict meaning NATO, U.S. forces, or Afghan forces, and I think the sequence of events we`ve heard over the last 72 hours since the bombing took place Saturday morning just lends more credibility, I think, to our claim that we need really an independent body to look into this. HAYES: Who would that be? What would satisfy you guys? CONE: We`re still trying to understand exactly what that might look like, but I think it`s just critical that the U.S. government accepts some kind of international inquiry. I think there`s a huge opportunity for the U.S. government -- for the Obama administration, to recognize the special nature of this event. The real grave attack on humanitarian law and the fact that we presume that this is a war crime until an independent inquiry tells us otherwise. HAYES: You work for an organization that operates in some of the most dangerous places in the world, 365 days a year. How often does something like this happen, or how anomalous is this? CONE: Half of our work is in real active conflict zones. We have teams on the ground in places like Yemen, Syria, South Sudan. It`s what we do. We understand that. But we work within the context of humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions, which is the fact that a hospital is supposed to be a protected space and supposed to be a place where patients, even excombatants who are wounded can get treated. This is one of the worst attacks in our 44-year history as an organization. Certainly, the single loss of life from this bombing is like nothing we`ve experienced before, both in terms of staff and patients. And so yes, while our teams face really difficult challenges, they`re under bombardment in Yemen today, in many locations and in other places in Syria, as well. That said, we`ve never had such a sort of targeted attack. I mean, the amount of ordinates that was dropped on the bombing of that single hospital structure in a compound, not having any of the other buildings touched, the fact we had warned U.S. officials and Afghan officials about the location of the hospital, been there for four years, treated tens of thousands of patients every year, it was a known structure. For us, that`s the shock given the amount of transparency we had in terms of what we were doing, who we were treating at that hospital. HAYES: Is that a standard procedure? I mean right now, you`re operating in Yemen and in Syria. Two of the most intensely violent battle zones in the world. Is that what you do? Is that standard procedure that whatever sides in the conflict, you say look, this is where we are. CONE: Absolutely. Transparency is our best protection. The fact that we`re there just to provide medical care based on need, regardless of religion, politics, ethnicity. That`s our safety. We don`t use armed guards, we have to just be very clear -- HAYES: You don`t use armed guards? CONE: No. Absolutely not. Our transparency about what our intentions are is our greatest safety for our teams on the ground. HAYES: The people that you lost, can you tell us what kind of folks these were? CONE: They were incredibly dedicated staff. I mean, you know, it`s hard to think about. These are people who have worked in our hospital in Kunduz, most of them since it was opened in 2011. Even after the bombing took place, they did everything they could to treat the wounded, including their colleagues, one of our staff died on essentially an office table that they turned into a makeshift operating table, and so they did everything they could. They`ve done and they treated close to 400 wounded up to this attack, just in the past week in that hospital. And I think one of the biggest losses besides our staff and our patients that were killed immediately in the bombing is the fact right now in Kunduz, an active war zone, there is no hospital for people to turn to. HAYES: Alright, Jason Cone, Doctors Without Boarders, it`s really a pleasure. CONE: Thank you very much. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Up next, I`ll talk to Alabama secretary of state about recent DMV closures and allegations they could disproportionately impact the ability of black voters to vote. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Last week, the state of Alabama shut the doors at 31 DMV locations. The move came after deep cuts in the state`s budget. The closures are just not about DMVs or money. They are about voting. Because you see, in 2011, Alabama`s Republican controlled state legislature passed a voter I.D. law that made it illegal to vote in the state with a government issued photo I.D. The law was slated to go into effect three years later, only one problem, Alabama hadn`t submitted the law for preclearance to the justice department, as was required at the time by the Voting Rights Act. But then the summer of 2013 everything changed when a county in Alabama won a landmark case. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news from the Supreme Court where justices have just struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the most important civil rights law in the country. The courts 5-4 ruling in Shelby County versus Holder prestates and municipalities with a history of racial discrimination from having to clear changes in voting procedures with the federal government, effectively ending the practice. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The same day, literally within hours of the Supreme Court striking down heart of V.R.A, Alabama officials announced the 2011 voter I.D. law that now no longer needed preclearance would be going ahead as planned. Which brings us to the today, to the closing of 31 DMV locations, many in the state`s historic Black Belt region. According to local political commentator, Kyle Whitmire, depending on which counties you count as being in Alabama`s Black Belt, either 12 or 15, Black Belt counties soon won`t have a place to get a drivers license. And while 22 of the 31 offices are in majority white counties according to journalist, John Archibald, quote, "every single county in which blacks make up more than 75% of registered voters will see their driver`s license office closed." Every one. And of the ten counties that went most heavily for Obama during the last election, a whooping eight, all but two counties, had their DMV locations closed this past week. Alabama secretary of state said the closures will not leave citizens without a place to receive the required I.D. card to vote, noting that all 67 counties have a board of registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. For Alabama congress woman, Terri Sewell, those assurances are not enough. Yesterday she wrote a letter to the justice department asking for an investigation into the closures. Joining me now, from Burmingham, Alabama, is Alabama`s Secretary of State John Merrill. Mr. Merrill, thank you for joining us. I got to start with this, you understand, given the history of voter suppression in the South, given the fights to the Voting Rights Act, why people might look at this and be very, very suspicious about just what is going on there. JOHN MERRILL, ALABAMA SECRETARY OF STATE: Certainly I understand that. Without a doubt. However, one of the things we have to make sure that people understand is that we are being very aggressive in reaching out and trying to touch each and every person that is eligible to vote but may not be registered. And if they`re not registered to vote, we want them to be registered to vote and we want them to have a qualified government-issued photo I.D. HAYES: How are you doing that? What does that mean being very aggressive? You have a mobile unit going around to different counties? MERRILL: We do. First of all, Chris, we have a location in each one of the 67 counties that is open each and every day, that the courthouse is open, where people can go in their own home county and get a qualified government issued photo I.D. at no cost. And then we have the mobile unit -- HAYES: Mr. Merrill, let me talk about that for a moment. These voter I.D.s, these are voting only I.D.s. They allow you to vote. You can get them, they`re free, no cost. MERRILL: That`s correct. HAYES: What kind of I.D. do you have? MERRILL: I have a driver`s license. And that`s what I show when I go vote. Just like most of the people in the state do. HAYES: That`s right. And the pain of going to get spend a day to get an I.D. is paid off by the fact that driver`s license is a useful document. MERRILL: Wait. When you go to the board of register`s office there`s no wait. When you go to get a driver`s license in some of our counties there`s a tremendous wait. All the counties that you`re talking about, Chris, were all limited in the number of hours that were offered in a particular time, and, all of them were not open each and every day. Some of them were only once or twice a month for that period of time for people to go in and have a driver`s test administered. HAYES: Sure. Well, here`s the issue. Let`s assume for the moment that the intentions are pure here. Can you assure people watching that there will not be a disparate racial impact of this effect that fundamentally -- MERRILL: Absolutely, and let me tell you why -- HAYES: You can guarantee that numerically? MERRILL: This is not a black, white issue. This is a rural issue. If you look at the closures that have occurred, all of the counties that were affected in our state were all rural. If you look at the demographic nature for our state, you would see that by standard, 52 of the 67 counties in Alabama are deemed rural. So obviously, it`s going to be a rural issue. HAYES: Understood. MERRILL: And 11 of those counties that are affected do have predominantly black populations. HAYES: And, the question is can you -- I mean this is the question, right? Can you say here look, we are going to keep track of these numbers, and we will be able to show if we were subjected later on to Voting Rights Act scrutiny about disparate impact, that there was not a disparate impact of this closing? You can be confident of that? MERRILL: Absolutely, because one of the other things we`re doing, Chris, is we are sending that mobile unit to each and every county and making sure that everybody has an opportunity outside of the county seat to register to vote. We`re sending them to festivals, we`re sending them to schools, we`re sending them to churches. We`re going out on Saturdays and Sundays. We`re sending them to Walmart. We`re doing it to ensure that each and every person is exposed to the opportunity with publicity so they know far in advance that they`re coming, and we`re doing it to make sure that people are aware that when they had that opportunity, they can take advantage of it. HAYES: Let me ask you this, that mobile unit, how many I.D.s has that mobile unit issued this year? MERRILL: That mobile unit has only issued 29 I.D.s this year, and total this year in the entire state, we`ve issued 1,442 units. HAYES: My understanding was that about 250,000 eligible voters without I.D.s in your state. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, thank you much for joining me. I really appreciate it. MERRILL: Yes sir. It`s good to be with you. HAYES: Alright, coming up, the shocking scandal of possible insider trading rocks the multibillion dollar administrative of fantasy sports. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: In the aftermath of historic flooding in South Carolina, Senator and 2016 presidential hopeful, Lindsey Graham is asking for the federal government to help out financially, that even though he voted against similar funding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a contradiction he is now having to answer for. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LINDSEY GRAHAM, SENATOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: Rather than putting a price tag on it, let`s just get through this thing and whatever it costs it costs. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your critics are already saying you want federal funding to help the people of South Carolina, but, correct me if I`m wrong, you voted against that federal funding package for the folks in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy. GRAHAM: Oh, I`m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don`t really remember that -- me voting that way. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a big relief package that apparently you and a lot of other southern senators and representatives voted against. GRAHAM: Well, anyway, I don`t really recall that, but I`d be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no if I did. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Luckily we were able to do just that by using Google and in fact he did. Senator Graham was one of the 36 senators, all Republican, who voted against the Sandy Aid Bill in January 2013. Later today, Senator Graham revealed he voted that way because of pork, telling the conservative Newsmax, quote, "the reason I voted against the 60 billion dollar package was because it was full of stuff unrelated to Hurricane Sandy... I`m not going to ask people to help South Carolina in that fashion. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve deposited a total of 35 dollars on Fan Dual and won over 2 million. ANNOUNCER: Fantasy football is almost here and Fan Dual`s one-week leads are paying out 2 billion dollars this year, more money to more winners than any other sight. ANNOUNCER: Use promo code kick to play and get free entry into the millionaire grand final. Be crowned a fantasy football millionaire. Get to Draft ANNOUNCER: At Draft Kings we play for glory, for bragging rights, for fantasy football supremacy, but we also pay for this, the giant check. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: I don`t know about you, but a few months ago I had never heard of Fan Duel or Draft Kings. By now, you too have seen the TV ads, and as I sit here and talk to you tonight, I`d say about 90 percent of the advertising that that I see is these two entities. It`s like nothing I have ever seen. There`s a reason they`re spending all this money, which is, they have a lot of money to spend. This summer, Fox network`s group led a 300 million dollar venture funding round for daily fantasy sports start up, Draft Kings. The move followed the 275 million dollars that rival online fantasy sports start up, Fan Duel raised. I should note, NBC Sports, and MSNBC`s parent company, Comcast, are among the investors in Fan Duel. As of July, Fan Duel and Draft Kings hit respective evaluations of 1.3 and 1.2 billion dollars. These start up are worth so much money because they basically figured out a way to let people bet on pro sports legally outside of Las Vegas. The conceit isn`t I`m going to put 25 bucks on the Seahawks to beat the Lions. Instead, it`s saying, I`m going to pay a 25 dollar entry fee and draft a fantasy team for this week, meaning I`m going to put together a team of players, get points based on how well those players perform that week, and if I have the most points, I can win a cash prize. If that sounds like gambling on sports, that`s because it`s gambling on sports. Just not technically placing a bet on the outcome of games, which is basically how federal law sees it. You see, in 2006, although congress made internet gambling illegal, an exemption was carved out for fantasy sports because they`re perceived as games of skill rather than chance, betting on a team to win. Now, you might think that with all these entry fees and prize money sloshing around in a multibillion dollar industry with no real regulation in place where gamblers are always looking for an edge, there`s a real chance for -- I don`t know -- a scandal to break that will draw the attention of government. When we come back, I will bring you that scandal. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: So, New York Times headline yesterday was, Scandal Erupts in Unregulated World of Fantasy Sports, or, to put it another way, a fantasy sports scandal that could amount to essentially, insider trading. Here`s what happened. Draft Kings employee, Ethan Haskell, inadvertently released data from the company`s "Millionaire Maker" contest that showed he had access to data that could provide players with a tactical edge. And that same week that, that employee won a 350,000 dollar prize at rival fantasy site, Fan Duel. In a statement released today, Draft Kings said they had completed a thorough investigation, found this employee could not have used the information in question to make decisions about his lineup. Fantasy companies have access to valuable data, and since that data could give players a higher chance of winning prize money, in Fan Duels case, 2 billion dollars in prize money this year, this could give employees with access to that data at these companies, a real incentive to use insider knowledge to gain advantage over their competition. Today the New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, opened an inquiry to Draft Kings and Fan Duel, demanding internal data and the information on how they prevent fraud. Joining me, Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation, host of Edge of Sports Radio for Sirius XM, and Dave, when I saw that article I was like, I felt like I saw this coming at some point. DAVE ZIRIN, EDGE OF SPORTS: Yeah, I mean, who could have thought that stormy clouds would produce rain? Look, these companies constitute and have been exposed today as operating a rigged scam designed to separate fans from their money. But it`s bigger than just the fact that Fan Duel and Draft Kings are unregulated and untaxed operations. It`s much bigger than that. It`s who their partners are. It`s worth knowing that the NBA last year announced that they now have an ownership stake in Fan Duel. Draft Kings is in a three-year partnership with the National Football League and is showering ESPN with millions of dollars, and two NFL owners, Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, both own stakes in Draft Kings. And, guess what, The Patriots and The Cowboys are playing this weekend, making it the Draft Kings Swindle Bowl for people that to tune in. HAYES: But Dave, let me say this. When you say these are scams, I want to be clear about this. I actually personally have no problem with people betting on sports. ZIRIN: Nor do I. HAYES: Go ahead, right? The issue to me and when you say separate people from their money, poker does that, casinos do that. A ton of things separate people from their money. To me, if this thing`s going to exist in the current legal loophole, the idea that employees are looking at data and then going to the rival site and knowing whatever the whole herd is doing they can basically place a team to bet against the field, that cannot stand. Right? Someone has to do something. ZIRIN: And why it separates fans from their money is that the people who win, people with the insider knowledge who are winning, and we do not know how deep it goes because it`s untaxed and unregulated, that`s money being taken away from people who are trying to win this stuff on an honest gambler`s way. And, of course, the house always wins. That`s what gambling is all about. But we`re not even allowed to call this gambling thanks to the U.S. congress. So, a lot of this is understanding it as gambling because the sports world historically has been absolutely allergic to gambling. That`s why Pete Rose still has his nose pressed up against Cooperstown, because they hate -- that`s why there`s no pro team in Las Vegas. And yet, they found a loophole for themselves to profit off of gambling, and that`s what makes it so odious. HAYES: You know, that is what`s so fascinating about this phenomenon. I mean, they`ve gotten very big very quickly. They`re spending a huge amount of money on advertising. They are partnering with everyone, and fundamentally, what they`re doing, it is gambling. ZIRIN: It`s gambling. HAYES: That`s what it is. And I don`t have a problem with that, people can gamble if they want to gamble, as long as it`s on the up and up. That`s what makes this situation so bizarre is that everyone is partnered with them. If a scandal starts to move through this, that`s going to touch a lot of folks. ZIRIN: And, also, the way ESPN has done it is that they have very credible reporters, with very sterling reputations, who are talking about Draft Kings. Like, this morning on Mike and Mike radio, they talked about Calvin Johnson`s touch down that wasn`t in the game last night, and remarked how much this particular person on Draft Kings could have won if he had scored. So a lot of people`s credibility is on the line. And there`s a lot of skin in the game around these corporations. And, if they come up dirty, a lot of people are going to look dirty too, and a lot of fans are going to be really angry, and the government as you mentioned is already taking a very close look. HAYES: Yeah, and one of the things that these -- both of these companies have to do, it would seem to me, is at the very least, they have to show demonstrably to the people that use their services, that pay for it, that their own employees aren`t essentially using their information to play. I mean, they need to release data about are your employees essentially the people that are making a killing on the other rival site? ZIRIN: And, the last point, I mean look, this is not a game of skill. I mean, poker requires more skill than doing this. You`re just betting on which player might have a good week when a lot of other people are betting on the same player, so you`re hoping for a market inefficiency where you manage to pick someone who wasn`t. Calling this a game of skill is like calling a hot dog vegetarian because nobody knows the content of the meat. HAYES: Alright, Dave Zirin, as always, a pleasure. Appreciate it, man. ZIRIN: Thank you. HAYES: Alright, and that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow starts right now with the one and only Steve Kornacki in for Rachel. Good evening, Steve. Congratulations on your new role here. It`s all very exciting. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END