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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 12/14/2015

Guests: Rick Tyler, McKay Coppins, Olivia Nuzzi, Zephyr Teachout, Todd Stern, Sam Seder, Josh Barro

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 14, 2015 Guest: Rick Tyler, McKay Coppins, Olivia Nuzzi, Zephyr Teachout, Todd Stern, Sam Seder, Josh Barro

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look at the way he`s dealt with the Senate, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac. HAYES: Donald Trump continues to surge as his main competition appeals to conspiracy theorists. SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Frank is a patriot. He loves this country. And he is clear-eyed about the incredible threat of radical Islamic terrorism. HAYES: Tonight, the fight on the right ahead of the debate. Plus, why billionaires are having a hard time pushing their chosen candidates to the front of the pack. And is there any reason to believe Donald Trump`s doctor`s claim the Republican front-runner will be the healthiest president ever? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medicine is not a science. HAYES: Plus, waiting for the jury in Baltimore in the case of Freddie Gray. President Obama and the world make history in Paris. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. On the eve of the final Republican debate of 2015. There`s new evidence that heading into the homestretch before Iowa and the voting begins, the race seems to be settling into a two-man contest, between long- time front-runner Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the only candidate who refuses to attack Donald Trump in public, at least for now. Trump just scored his highest level of natural support to date in a new poll from Monmouth University. He`s at 41 percent, a record in this cycle, way out ahead of his closest rivals. But his edge is much smaller in other new polls from NBC News and the "Wall Street Journal." Cruz now trailing by just five points within the margin of error. Look how much the race has shifted since that same poll was taken in late October. Cruz is up is 12 points while Ben Carson has plummeted 18 points and the much vaunted Marco Rubio has, well, barely budged. Likewise, Cruz seems to have seized the momentum in Iowa where the caucuses are now just a month and a half away. Two new polls show him in a statistical dead heat with Trump while a third from "Bloomberg Politics" and "Des Moines Register" has Cruz a full 10 points ahead. His poll results have been good enough to put Cruz right next to Trump on the debate stage tomorrow night for the first time. And with the tacit alliance between the two men now seemingly at an end, all eyes will be on how they handle each other. In the wake of Trump`s call to ban Muslims from entering the country, almost every Republican leader condemned the proposal except Ted Cruz who merely said that`s not my policy. He`s made a pretty explicit strategy of cozying up to Trump and his supporters. And in fact, today, Cruz was cozying up to the very person who appears to have inspired Trump`s Muslim ban. Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney who the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as, quote, "One of America`s most notorious Islamophobes." Earlier today, Cruz appeared by video at a conference hosted by Gaffney in Las Vegas, the site of tomorrow`s debate. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: I want to thank Frank Gaffney and the entire team at the Center for Security Policy for elevating these critical issues. Frank is a patriot. He loves this country. And he is clear-eyed about the incredible threat of radical Islamic terrorism. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Until recently, Trump was content to play nice until provoked. Then last week, we played you a leaked audio that came out of the "New York Times" of Cruz criticizing both Trump and Ben Carson at a private fund- raiser. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) CRUZ: People are looking for: who is prepared to be a commander in chief? Who understands the threats we face? Who am I comfortable having their finger on the button? Now, that`s a question of strength but it`s also a question of judgment. And I think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them. (END AUDIO CLIP) HAYES: And now, as far as Donald Trump is concerned, the gloves are off. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I have good judgment. I have great judgment. I would say I have far better judgment than Ted. And I think I have a really great temperament. He`s been so nice to me. I mean, I could say anything and he said, I agree, I agree. But I think the time will come to an end pretty soon. Do you notice he said it behind my back? Somebody taped that conversation. He said it behind my back. And that`s OK. Look, I don`t think he`s qualified to be president. CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Why not? TRUMP: Because I don`t think he has the right temperament. I don`t think he`s got the right judgment. WALLACE: What`s wrong with his temperament? TRUMP: You look at the way he`s dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there like a -- you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac. You`re never going to get things done that way. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: For the time being, at least Cruz is still resisting being involved in a fight. Alluding to that last comment from Trump today, he tweeted out the song "Maniac," the 1983 film "Flashdance", saying, quote, "my good friend Donald Trump and goodhearted maniacs everywhere." Joining me now, Rick Tyler, national spokesperson for Ted Cruz`s presidential campaign. Rick, I have to say, I find something so sort of stirringly breathtakingly cynical in almost a refreshing way about the way that Ted Cruz has dealt with Donald Trump, in which he`s basically said I will not criticize the guy, I don`t care how odious or contemptible what he says is, I won`t criticize him. How long is he going to stick with that strategy? RICK TYLER, NATL. SPOKESPERSON, CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT: Chris, it`s good to be with you. We haven`t criticized any of the candidates and nothing good has come -- HAYES: That`s not true. You have. Ted Cruz basically called Marco Rubio a neocon the other day. He has criticized Marco Rubio. He has criticized Marco Rubio just for the record. TYLER: He has criticized policy. And neocon was not meant as a pejorative. But he has not condemned anybody. And as it goes on, we will certainly defend and advance Senator Cruz`s positions and policies. But if people are looking for, you know, what Senator Cruz has described as a steel cage match, it`s not going to happen. HAYES: But here`s the question, right? I mean, I guess the message you`re sending, right? Is there`s no policy someone could float that Ted Cruz would feel motivated to condemn. Is that the basic -- sort of basic principle on which you`re operating? TYLER: I think that all these candidates -- this is a great field. You know, a lot of people who are on the stage very well qualified, have a lot of experience on the stage, it`s a great field to be running in and we`re glad to be running in it. It`s in dramatic contrast to the Democratic Party -- HAYES: Right, but that doesn`t answer the question. The question is, is the principle here that there is no -- there`s no proposal offered by another candidate that the senator would feel compelled to condemn, that he just won`t -- there`s nothing that someone would say that he would feel the essentially moral urge to say no, that`s wrong? TYLER: What I would say is that we have said where we disagree with policy differences but no, there`s been no proposal that`s been floated that we need to condemn. HAYES: So, you don`t think there`s nothing morally wrong or suspect about, say, banning Muslims? TYLER: I think it`s a practical pragmatic manner but people are very concerned that it seems that all the terrorist attacks from Fort Hood to Chattanooga to San Bernardino have come from radical Islamic terrorism. That`s just a fact. People are worried about that. HAYES: What about Dylann Roof in Charleston who murdered nine people for an ideology? TYLER: Well, there`s a lot of -- look, there`s no question that we`re at war with radical Islamic terrorism -- HAYES: I`m sorry, you didn`t answer the question. You said all of the attacks have come from jihadists and I understand you cited some. But Dylann Roof murdered nine people. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Why doesn`t that count? TYLER: It`s a tragedy. But what I was naming was the attacks that have come from radical Islamic terrorism, that`s an ideology that we`re at war with. And that`s something the president has not dealt with because he gets -- he`s confronted he says with a morning briefing every morning. He apparently doesn`t listen to it or read it or he doesn`t like to hear it because he continues to not accept who we`re at war with. And until we can name who we`re at war with, which is ISIS, which is driven by radical Islamic terrorism, you`re not going to be able to defeat it. HAYES: What do you think about the fact that ISIS is fighting other radical Islamic terrorists? TYLER: ISIS is an existential threat to the United States -- HAYES: But that`s my question. They`re also fighting, say, Nusra and al Qaeda. How do you make sense of that? TYLER: I don`t try to make sense of all the things evil people do. (LAUGHTER) TYLER: But when people are a threat to the United States, we need a policy to defeat ISIS. Not contain ISIS, not to put them in a corner and not to say we`re going to control them. You listen to the president talked about contain all the time. We need to defeat ISIS. And the president doesn`t talk about defeating them or winning against them or victory against them. He talks about containing them, which is a losing strategy. HAYES: Well, Senator Cruz had an interesting strategy. He said that he would direct the Department of Defense to destroy ISIS. Which seems awesome but also kind of question bagging, don`t you think? TYLER: Well, we haven`t had any effort to destroy ISIS in the last 16 months. The president spoke the other day and offered virtually nothing new, no strategy, no -- HAYES: We`ve had more than 10,000 air strikes, right? TYLER: It seems to be maybe a recent revelation. Sixteen months we`re ignoring this thing and we`re not defeating ISIS. We need to defeat ISIS. This president has utterly failed to do so. HAYES: Ten thousand air strikes isn`t nothing. Rick Tyler, thank you very much. TYLER: Appreciate it, Chris. HAYES: All right. I`m joined now by McKay Coppins, senior political writer for "BuzzFeed News" and author of the new book, "The Wilderness", Olivia Nuzzi, political correspondent for "The Daily Beast.". And, McKay, I do think -- there`s something to remarkable about Ted Cruz just going around saying -- it`s rare you that get a politician who just says the text, the subtext the way Ted Cruz is, in this case, basically being like I`m not going to insult this guy because he`s going to go away and I`m going to get his supporters and I don`t care what he says. I`m just going to keep -- and watching all this play out it`s sort of remarkable to see it happen in slow motion. MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED NEWS: I love how as you called it refreshing. In some kind of perverse way, it is refreshing. But I just want to zero in on something Rick just told you. Rick Tyler just said there are no proposals we need to condemn, we feel we need to condemn. Just to recap, Donald Trump has talked about shutting down mosques in the United States, creating a database of Muslims, terminating all Muslim immigration to the United States. I mean, you can say -- Senator Cruz can say these aren`t my policies and he shouldn`t be held accountable for them. But to say he doesn`t need -- none of these policies meet the standard where he needs to condemn them is kind of an astounding statement there by Rick. HAYES: And I think we should take -- Rick is a spokesperson for that campaign and I think we should take him at his word that he and his boss and the campaign doesn`t feel those are things worthy of condemnation because that`s -- Olivia, you did this great bit of reporting where you talked to Donald Trump donors, which was a really interesting tour into the minds of these individuals. What did you find there? OLIVIA NUZZI, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, what I found is Ted Cruz is probably right not to condemn any of Donald Trump`s policies because frankly there is nothing that is too far for Donald Trump`s donors. I called over 100 of them. I spoke to five of them. They love him. They don`t care what he says. Some of them said frankly what he says doesn`t matter to them because for them, it`s just about the fact that Donald Trump looks like someone who`s not going to let them get screwed over by the system because he hasn`t let himself be screwed over by the system. So, they think he`s just going to do things to benefit them. He`s going to make huge fabulous deals that will protect them as Americans. And they really believe him. They take him at his word for it. But again, Ted Cruz in terms of the politics of this I think is absolutely right. If he were to come out and condemn Donald Trump for any of his policies no matter how outrageous they are, how unconstitutional, how un-American, I don`t think it would help him in terms of getting Donald Trump`s supporters were he to ever leave this race. HAYES: So, in the sort of this test of conservative loyalty between Cruz and Trump which is now being essentially sort of cued up, today, criticism against Trump for his comments on Cruz came from two very influential voices. Marc Levine, right-wing talk radio host, and Rush Limbaugh, who both went after Trump for criticizing Cruz. McKay, how important is right-wing talk radio in Trump`s support and if they turn on him? COPPINS: It`s extremely important. But first of all, so my colleague Rosie Gray wrote a great story a few months ago about how talk radio more than cable news has been what`s kind of powered Trump`s rise on the right. And I would go further. I write about this in the book. That the talk radio establishment is part of kind of this right-wing counter- establishment that Trump has mastered. I think it matters a lot. And I also think that this isn`t a fluke. I think that at the end of the day, Ted Cruz actually is more ideologically, you know, acceptable to people like Rush and people like Levine, and while a lot of it is about attitude and noise and browbeating, at the end of the day, they do want an actual -- you know, at least those people you just named -- want an actual small government Tea Party conservative, which Donald Trump clearly is not. HAYES: Olivia, I`m reminded, there was a phrase back in the years of sort of global communism and leftists trying to navigate their relationship with, say, the Stalinist government, was no enemies to the left. You would refuse to criticize people to your left. And there`s a sort of quietism there. And Ted Cruz is basically taking the no enemies to my right position. Right? It doesn`t matter what you say out there. If you`re to his right, he`s never going to come at you. And so far, he has gotten in this position of drafting behind Trump where he seems perfectly poised. NUZZI: I think he`s just hoping that Trump will go away without him having to really confront Trump. And maybe that`s a smart policy and we don`t know at this point, frankly. But it seems so far to be working for him. I mean, if talk radio does turn on Trump and come to Cruz`s aid, I think that would be a huge blow to Trump`s chances. As McKay said, Rosie Gray wrote about this two months ago. Talk radio`s been influential for Trump`s rise. He`s been really in sync with talk radio. But may be at the end of the day, they do want someone like Cruz who`s in the Senate and who`s an evangelical, unlike Trump, you know, who`s just out there, saying, eh, he`s read the bible a few times. It`s his second favorite book, or his first favorite book after his own. HAYES: But one question, McKay, is he`s going to -- I mean, tomorrow night Trump will I think come after him. He`s going to have to respond, right? There`s a sort of toughness question if someone comes up and rhetorically socks you in the face and you don`t do anything. It doesn`t look good. COPPINS: No, I mean, this -- I agree. I actually think -- I think tomorrow night gives Cruz an opportunity to do something that literally no other Republican has been able to do yet. And almost no one who`s interviewed Trump so far has been able to do yet, which is to actually shut Trump down, just win one exchange. I mean, every single time in every debate, somebody tries to get into it with Trump, he ends up like no matter how foolish whatever Trump is saying -- HAYES: Or wrong. Like definitively incorrect he is. COPPINS: He ends up somehow seeming like the bigger, like more powerful guy. You know? So, I think Cruz has an opportunity. He is a debater. He`s very -- he`s very quick on his feet, I wonder if there`s a chance for Cruz to actually do that. I think it could be a big win for him. HAYES: Do you think so, Olivia? NUZZI: I think so. But Carly Fiorina had an exchange with Trump where I thought that she won. A lot of people -- HAYES: That`s true. NUZZI: -- thought she won. And in the end, it didn`t really matter. Carly Fiorina`s poll numbers went down -- COPPINS: Well, it briefly did. It briefly helped. HAYES: That`s an important thing to remember about debate, they can move numbers but they move them very briefly as Mitt Romney, winner of the first debate and loser of the presidency, can tell you. NUZZI: And I think at the end of the day the thing with Trump is he can say whatever he wants. He can say things that Ted Cruz can`t say. And I think that`s why he tends to win these battles. It`s because he can be as outrageous as he wants. HAYES: Yes, when you can say anything. Shamelessness, that`s what we`ve learned. Really, the thing we`ve learned more than anything is shamelessness is an incredibly adaptive feature in the modern political environment. And if you`re just like, if you kind of like one in a billion in your levels of shamelessness, you can get pretty far apparently. McKay Coppins, Olivia Nuzzi, thank you both. NUZZI: Thank you. COPPINS: Thank you. HAYES: Still ahead, why Republican billionaires just can`t buy elections like they want to. Plus, nearly 200 countries come together in an unprecedented agreement. But the real history had yet to be made. A look at that. And later, Donald Trump`s doctor says, and I quote, "If elected, Mr. Trump I can say unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." So, obviously we have to do some research on that. What we found and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Around 4:00 p.m. today, Jeb Bush waded into a very strange mystery currently unfolding in Las Vegas, the site of tomorrow`s GOP debate. After meeting with Nevada`s largest newspaper, Bush tweeted, "Just finished hour plus with the `Las Vegas Review Journal` editorial board. Only question left unanswered. Who owns the newspaper?" Huh. Here`s the back story. On Thursday, "The Las Vegas Review Journal" announced it had been bought by News Plus Media Capital Group LLC at a price of $140 million. But what was really strange is the article that ran the following night stating the buyer`s unidentified. A newly formed Delaware-based company made up of undisclosed financial backers with expertise in the media industry. The paper`s publisher told his staff that he has been assured the group will not meddle in the newspaper`s editorial content. Despite the reported assurance, there is rampant speculation about whether the paper was purchased for political influence, essentially Nevada is an early caucus state and a swing state. The Koch brothers, one rumored buyer, told "Fortune" today they did not purchase the paper. Sheldon Adelson, another rumored purchaser who owns the casino where tomorrow`s debate is taking place, has not responded to requests for comment. Tonight, it remains a mystery. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Back during the 2012 political campaign, Republican political consultant Karl Rove made a promise to wealthy Republican donors: give my super PAC your millions and I will use the money to get Mitt Romney elected president. As you probably know, that promise didn`t pan out for Karl Rove or for that matter, Mitt Romney, and it led to an infamous and humiliating election night meltdown by Rove live on FOX News when he refused to accept FOX News`s own call that President Obama had won the state of Ohio and thus the presidency. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Do you believe that Ohio has been settled? KARL ROVE: No, I don`t. And look, if we are calling this on the basis of 74 percent of the vote being in and when 77 percent is in, secretary of state website, I`ve got the director of the Ohio campaign for Romney on the other end of the line refreshing the page every few seconds, I don`t know what the outcome is going to be, but you should -- we`ve got to be careful about calling things when we have like 991 votes separating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote yet to count. Even if they have made it on the basis of select precincts, I`d be very cautious about intruding into this process. WALLACE: Well, folks. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: After that, you may remember FOX News host Megyn Kelly had to awkwardly walk down to the FOX News decision desk where the network`s number crunchers dismissed Rove`s concerns and affirmed their call. After that again humiliating, deeply humiliating 2012 loss, Republican mega donors made clear they were done with rove, as Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone, major GOP donor funder, to Gabe Sherman "New York Magazine", "I gave Rove $500,000. What did I get for it? Nothing." This time around, many of these mega donors are opting to keep control of their own money, on the theory they can spend it more effectively than consultants like Rove. Sherman reports one of those donors, California winemaker John Jordan now supports Republican candidates through his own super PAC, which applies a lesson Jordan has learned from winemaking. Yet as the floundering candidacy of Jeb Bush has illustrated, it isn`t that easy to buy the election of a specific candidate of your liking, particularly these days. This chart from last week shows ad spending versus poll numbers. As you can see, Donald Trump is dominating despite spending almost nothing on ads while bush down there in fifth place has just 4 percent support despite $32.5 million in ad dollars to boost him. Now, as fun as it can be to laugh at the inability of billionaires to outright buy presidential elections, and believe me, it`s very fun, it does not mean that money does not matter in politics, far from it. Joining me now to explain, Fordham law professor, Zephyr Teachout, CEO of the crowd funded super PAC,, which backs candidates who support campaign reform. So, I`ve seen a lot of folks -- it`s sort of an article of faith of conservatives on the right that liberals make up this idea that money buys outcomes in politics and a lot of them are pointing and saying look at Jeb Bush, this is the perfect example that you that liberals are wrong about money buying outcomes in politics. ZEPHYR TEACHOUT, FORDHAM LAW PROFESSOR: Yes, I mean, I think it`s really important to look at this as a machine as a whole. The whole primary and the whole election process as a machine. And the real question isn`t how money is spent. And there`s a lot of money that is very stupidly spent. HAYES: Yes. A lot of money. I mean, let`s just be clear, before we get to anything. Like people, consultants make a lot of money basically hoodwinking rich people, I mean, essentially. TEACHOUT: Right, and there`s a cottage industry right now especially after citizens united in saying, look, I`ve got a special sauce in terms of a way to spend money. But the key is actually not how it`s spent or on whom it is spent. You can`t make Jeb Bush a great candidate. HAYES: Turns out. TEACHOUT: Just by spending a lot of money on him. But the real corrupting influence is how the money is raised. And this summer, the Koch brothers, who so far aren`t spending on the presidential race, are still influencing it, because they had a meeting in southern California inviting Cruz, Rubio, all the candidates to let their views be known. And you`d have to be crazy to think that isn`t influencing the campaign`s internal policies. HAYES: Or even Sheldon Adelson, who has very well-known views on foreign policy, particularly Israel, where there`s all these articles written about who`s going to win the Sheldon Adelson primary. And, you know, like a plant growing toward the sunlight, right? Somehow the candidates` views start to sound a lot like Sheldon Adelson. TEACHOUT: Yes, I actually think one the better examples is something I think Paul Krugman pointed out a couple months ago, which is that all the Republican candidates have views on Social Security that do not make sense for their own base. HAYES: Right. TEACHOUT: That if you look at where Republican primary voters are, they like Social Security. And the only plausible explanation for why this alleged variety of candidates is all running away from one of the most popular programs of the most likely voters is because the super PAC donors and their own donors -- HAYES: And we should say, a notable exception to that is Donald Trump, who has been pretty defensive of Social Security benefits and who also isn`t getting a lot of money from super PACs and big donors. TEACHOUT: Yes. I mean, I don`t want to spend too much time on Trump. But there`s other dynamics in this race, including the rise of fascism and demagoguery. And I actually do think these are interrelated, because when a system is so deeply broken that you don`t -- HAYES: And manifestly corrupt. TEACHOUT: And manifestly corrupt. Then very strange things happen you can`t anticipate. HAYES: Now, let me say this. The one argument I do think that the folks who are sort of on the right may have in their favor right now is, I do wonder if there is something going on, we`ll see, about the effectiveness of television in political campaigns, because I do think before -- ten years ago, right, a political campaign consisted mostly of -- at the national level, big markets, was raise a lot of money, spend it all on ads and you would see the poll numbers would move. You`d hammer some of the -- it could be we`re entering an era in which the return to television in advertising are really diminishing because people`s attention are so fractured. TEACHOUT: I suspect that`s true. First of all, there`s a lot of awareness when there`s a television ad and sometimes online ads. You don`t feel the presence of the ad in the same way. I do think there`s kind of an obvious money ball moment that we`re going to see where candidates move online pretty quickly all at once. HAYES: Yes, and we can imagine the influence there being in some ways more effective and also more pernicious. You start getting people in your Facebook feed, maybe they`re paid to post this stuff in your Facebook feed. There`s all sorts of ways you could imagine utilizing the sort of tools of social media to influence opinion that are sort of sneakier and more effective. TEACHOUT: And there are harder to have things like, and I hereby endorse this Facebook moment, or the associations that are being put together. So, I think there`s something we have to watch out for there. But I think that`s right, that if you want to look for evidence of somewhat nonsensical ad spending, this election`s a good example of that. HAYES: Ultimately, I think that one of the big lessons I think we can take away from this is, is that there`s sometimes a presumption that rich people must know what they`re talking about because they made a lot of money. TEACHOUT: It`s actually why -- you know, one, there`s lots of reasons to be in favor of self-government and democracy, but one of the many ones is wealthy powerful people throughout world history have made idiotic decisions and we should not trust them. HAYES: It`s like the Jeb Bush campaign is like the analog to like the failing school system that the tech philanthropist swooped in to save and then test scores went down. Zephyr Teachout, thank you very much. TEACHOUT: Thank you. HAYES: Up next, the jury begins deliberations in the first trial in connection with the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. What happened inside the courtroom, that`s ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Tonight we are awaiting a verdict in one of the most watched criminal cases in the country. The first of six trials for the Baltimore police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.

After two weeks of dramatic testimony and legal arguments, the jury this afternoon began their deliberations. A verdict could come as early as tomorrow.

Officer William Porter has been charged with assault, misconduct in office, reckless endangerment and manslaughter. The central question at issue, does the officer -- the officer`s failure to secure Gray in a seat belt as required by department policy, and call a medic for the 25-year-old rise to criminal negligence?

During closing arguments, the prosecutor said that Porter, quote, "abused his power and failed his responsibilities." While Porter`s defense reminding group they`re, quote, "making a legal decision, not a moral, philosophical decision."

Meanwhile, Baltimore braces for a verdict. Nearly eight months following the death of Freddie Gray ripped through parts of the city, Baltimore police officers will all work 12-hour shifts this week.

This morning, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake activated the city`s emergency operations center. Hours later, Baltimore schools distributed a letter to parents and students, according to the Baltimore Sun, saying, quote, "student walkouts, vandalism, civil disorder and any form of violence are not acceptable under any circumstance, and that students who participate in such behaviors will face consequences."

The ACLU responded in part, arguing that participating in a walkout from school is a form of peaceful civil disobedience and should be handled by schools as any other unexcused absence is addressed.

The letter sent out by the school system like other preparations being made point to a deep anxiety about this, the first verdict.

Last Friday we aired an All In special report examining what`s happened in the months since Freddie Gray`s death. We spoke with everyone from residents and journalists to police activists and elected officials to find out where the city of Baltimore goes from here.

You can find that special and extended interviews on our website at ALLIN.MSNBC.COM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This agreement represents the best chance we`ve had to save the one planet that we`ve got. We may not live to see the full realization of our achievement, but that`s okay. What matters is that today we can be more confident that this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation, and that`s what I care about.


HAYES: For the first time in history, 195 nations have come together unanimously. The Marshall Islands to China. The democratic Republic of Congo to Saudi Arabia. From Madagascar to Brazil, to the U.S., Russia, India, Turkmenistan to approve the first global agreement to limit carbon emissions.

Its aim is to stop the world from heating up beyond two degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. That`s the outer temperature limit scientists say we can`t exceed if we are to avert catastrophic effects of climate change.

There`s even language in the agreement that pushes the world to be even more ambitious, to, quote, "pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Now, this has been hailed as a tremendous victory for the planet and for international diplomacy because nothing like it has ever been done before, at least on paper.

But just the fact that it got to a paper agreement was never foreordained. Negotiators blew past Friday`s deadline before resolving their issues and signing the landmark climate agreement amid great fanfare and celebration on Saturday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see no objections. The Paris agreement is adopted.


HAYES: And a big part of this can be chalked up to the work of the United States. Something President Obama pointed out in a tweet, quote, "This is huge. Almost every country in the world just signed on to the Paris agreement on climate change thanks to American leadership."

The question now, is this agreement just paper or will it lead to crucial steps needed to make it something truly historic? And joining me now, Todd Stern, special envoy for climate change for the U.S. state department. He headed the U.S. negotiating team in Paris.

Mr. Stern, you have been at this for six years, if I`m not mistaken, for a very long time. And there`s been lots of failures along the way and lots of bilateral meetings and lots of things that people thought were going to happen, didn`t come together. Why did this finally happen in Paris?

TODD STERN, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: Well, thanks, Chris, for the question, and I`m delighted to be here.

Look, this is an agreement that has been a long time in the making, as you say. The real start of this whole process was in Copenhagen in 2009. That didn`t work, although something very important happened in that agreement. It started to get countries in a mode of taking action together.

There were a number of these climate meetings happen every year. There were a number of meetings along the way. The mandate for this negotiation started in -- it was put together in 2011. And so we`ve been in a four-year negotiation going bit by bit, year by year, to get to the place we are at now. And as you said, this is an historic and enormously important agreement.

HAYES: So there`s been a range of reactions and there`s been a split among folks who sort of follow this, particularly sort of climate activists. A lot of them are praising it and saying it`s great. A lot of them saying it does too little. A lot of them worried about essentially enforceability.

My understanding is that countries all sort of come up with their own pledges, those pledges are public and they can be held to by sort of peer pressure and shaming. But, where is the accountability mechanism to make sure people hit their targets?

STERN: Well, look, there is -- two things about that.

First of all, it is very rare in agreements like this to have punitive measures to punish countries for non-enforcement. That was never in the cards. You couldn`t have gotten that from 195 currents all of whom have to agree, this is a consensus rule in order to get a deal done.

So what we do have, though, are legally blinding transparency regime which has requirements for all countries, developed and developing, to put forward -- to do reporting on their inventories and the measures they take to realize their targets and to have a strict review of those efforts through expert teams as well as peer review.

So you`ve got a system for the first time that will apply to all countries and that will hold people to account. And that`s important.

HAYES: So everyone -- the first ever essentially international reporting system for emissions and public targets, so that there`s both -- there`s both the information about how much people are emitting and whether they are hitting or missing their targets.

STERN: That`s absolutely right. It`s the first ever that applies to everybody.

Remember, this agreement is basically the not Kyoto. Kyoto was an agreement in 1997 that just applied targets and transparency regime to developed countries. That`s not going to work. That wasn`t going to work in an agreement that was going to apply to everybody.

So now we have for the first time, as you say, an agreement that involves targets being put forward by everybody, 186 countries have already put forward their targets. Absolutely an extraordinary number that nobody would have predicted a year ago.

HAYES: What are the consequences if the next American president decides to renounce this, essentially America were to elect someone who says either climate change is a hoax cooked up by international bureaucrats or it will hurt our competitiveness and publicly renounces these targets?

STERN: Well look, the reality is, Chris, that it is very rare to see that kind of thing happen. When a Democrat succeeds Republican, or a Republican succeeds a Democrat, it is the long historic practice in the United States for new administrations to follow the international commitments that their predecessors have made, and it`s an important thing and across a whole range of national security and foreign policy areas.

So this isn`t just a matter of climate change or the environment but this is a matter of the way business is generally done.

It`s important here. You`ve got an agreement that is not only about a tremendously important issue but also an agreement that has huge international support. It would be a very, very consequential thing for a new president to walk away from what happened, and it would be very unexpected.

At the same time, even if you don`t have a new president, any country -- it`s always international relations a country can pull out of an international agreement. But it is very rare and I don`t anticipate it happening no matter who`s the next president.

HAYES: Todd Stern, thank you very much.

STERN: Thank you.

HAYES: Donald Trump gets a note from his doctor, and rest assured, America, Donald Trump is really, truly extraordinarily healthy. In just absolutely remarkable health. Absolutely excellent. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: After five years spent in Taliban captivity, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl now faced the possibility of life in prison after the army ordered him to face a court martial on charges of accession and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering troops.

In June, 2009 Sergeant Bergdahl left his post in a remote area of Afghanistan, and, as he detailed in a series of phone calls reported by the Serial podcast, he realized his mistake almost immediately.


BOWE BERGDAHL, U.S. ARMY: Twenty minutes out I`m going, `Good grief, I`m in over my head... Suddenly, it really starts to sink in that I really did something bad. Or, not bad, but I really did something serious.


HAYES: Sergeant Bergdahl said he was heading for a different military base in an attempt to call attention to poor leadership of his platoon when he was captured by the Taliban and held for five years. He was released in exchange for five Taliban members detained in Guantanamo Bay last year and is currently on active duty.

Then today, despite the recommendation of a lesser charge, the army announced Bergdahl will face a general court-martial. His defense team expressed disappointment in the decision and called on congressional leaders and presidential hopefuls to stop calling their client a traitor.

Stating in a statement, quote, "we again ask that Donald Trump cease his prejudicial months-long campaign of defamation against our client."

No word yet on when the court-martial will start. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Donald J. Trump, presidential candidate, released his record of health today, as he described it. It was a letter from his doctor, Harold Bornstein, who was effusive, one might even say Trumpian in his praise.

It begins, "To whom my concern: I have been the personal physician of Donald J. Trump since 1980. His previous physician was my father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein. Over the past 39 years, I am pleased to report that Mr. Trump has had no significant medical problems. Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results. Actually his blood pressure, 110/65, and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent.

Over the past 12 months, he has lost at least 15 pounds. Mr. Trump takes 81 milligrams of aspirin daily and a low dose of statin. His PSA test score is .15, very low, his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.

Mr. Trump has suffered no form of cancer, has never had a hip, knee, or shoulder replacement or any other orthopedic surgery. His only other surgery was an appendectomy at age 10. His cardiovascular status is excellent. He has no history of ever using alcohol or tobacco products.

If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

Mr. Trump`s record of health made instant headlines like this one featuring a headshot of Trump along with a candid photo of Mr. Trump`s doctor. That doctor had mentioned Mr. Trump`s weight loss in a letter, no mention of Mr. Trump`s diet which Trump himself recently described this way.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love steak and hamburger and pasta and french fries. All the things we shouldn`t be eating. Bacon, eggs, steak. I don`t know. I hear good and bad. I hear good things and sometimes they come out with a report steak is great. Then, they come out you don`t know what you`re doing.

So the bottom line, they don`t know what you`re doing. So I eat I like.


HAYES: When we return, some dirty little secrets about presidential health, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My mother always said, when you`re eating pretzels, chew before you swallow. I hit the deck, and woke up and there was Barney and Spot.


HAYES: Not all presidential maladies are caused by pre-existing or acquired conditions. Some are caused by pretzels. President George W. Bush recovered quickly after choking on that pretzel, and momentarily losing consciousness in January 2002.

Joining me now, Josh Barro, MSNBC contributor and national domestic contributor for The Upshot at The New York Times. Sam Seder, MSNBC contributor and host of The Majority Report with Sam Seder which I always get wrong and say The Minority Report.

Healthiest president ever.

JOSH BARRO, THE UPSHOT: Yeah, well, Donald Trump, obviously.

HAYES: Obviously the healthiest ever. But after him?

BARRO: George W. Bush was actually quite healthy. Aside from that pretzel incident.

I think part of what this goes to is I feel like people really overrate this issue. Dwight Eisenhower had a bunch of very serious health troubles during his administration, spent a lot of time in the hospital, really couldn`t discharge his duties, but people like the Eisenhower administration, reflect on it favorably. So long as you build a good administration around and so long as your not on your death bed.

It`s not clear how much this stuff matters.

On the other hand, we`ve had some presidents who have been in great health and have done quite a bad job of it.

In the Bush administration -- remember, Dick Cheney had some be pretty significant health problems and it didn`t seem to interfere with him having a lot of power to exercise in that administration.

HAYES: My favorite historic trivia on this is the fact that JFK was obviously the image of vim and vigor, and youthful football tossing, was like an absolute trainwreck healthwise. He had Addison`s disease, terrible recurring back pain, ongoing trouble with allergies.

On April 17th, 1961 the day Cuban exiles landed at Bay of Pigs, the president needed 600 units of penicillin. I don`t even know what that could possibly mean.

As his brother, Robert Kennedy once quipped, if a mosquito bites my brother the mosquito dies.

SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTER: There`s a lot of political things going on. One is obviously Trump wants to sort of head off any attempt by Rubio to say that Rubio is full of vim and vigor.

HAYES: Right. A generational thing.

SEDER: There`s this whole generational thing. And Trump has really made an issue of high energy and low energy. In fact, if you watch that sort of famous Trump focus group from the other night, they all have adopted that sort of parlance of like, I don`t know about Rubio because he sort of doesn`t have the same energy level.

And I think that`s part of it, and I also think part of it is Paul Tsongas, who was a senator, ran for the Democratic primary in 1992.

BARRO: He won New Hampshire.

SEDER: He won New Hampshire, but he also -- there was some controversy as to whether or not he understated his health record or whether or not cancer had returned or was in him at a certain --

HAYES: When he was running.

SEDER: Yes. He ended up actually having been diagnosed with the cancer had returned by the time that Clinton had basically gotten inaugurated. He was dead by the end of the first term. And, there`s a lot of speculation as to, you know, if Tsongas had revealed, or if there was a sense the cancer was going to come back, would he have won New Hampshire, and if he hadn`t won New Hampshire would somebody else had? And then, Clinton`s whole comeback kid campaign --

HAYES: We`re also in this situation where McCain would have been the oldest I think person elected, right, for the first time? Reagan`s re-elect was older.

SEDER: But you have big stakes in terms of his vice president.

HAYES: Huge stakes, let`s remember. And you also have Hillary Clinton who is at the upper edge, right? And as people live longer we`re going to see people running into their late 60s, early 70s and there`s going to be concern about not just physical health but mental health.

There`s this huge fight happening over Ronald Reagan right now, between Bill O`Reilly and George Will about whether the guy was essentially all there.

BARRO: And Donald Trump would be the oldest president first inaugurated if he were to win this election. Not that he`s going to, but if he did.

But on the other hand --

HAYES: That is actually an amazing point to linger on for a second because I don`t think anyone thinks of him in that term.

BARRO: He`s high energy. He does seem pretty energetic, honestly. And then the other thing is is we talked about this so much in the context of Bob Dole, and it was is Bob Dole too old? It was a major theme in the 1996 election. But look at him now. Bob Dole is still around, still alive and kicking, still seems to be in good health.

If he had won, this would be 11 years after he would have finished his second term.

HAYES: And look at the justices.

SEDER: I would love to see the psychological, you know, check-out from a lot of these candidates frankly.

HAYES: That would be great if that were the next step, we basically said, look, we take physical and mental health seriously. We actually need a full psychological workup. Right? Like, my client is obviously a clinical narcissist.

SEDER: That`s the baseline.

HAYES: That would be the baseline for anyone.

SEDER: I think it would be interesting to see how many sociopaths, you know, are running for president at any given time.

HAYES: You also get into these sort of -- you get these sort of disclosure wars around it. you were talking about the Clinton medical record being the sort of object of conspiracy theories.

BARRO: So when Bob Dole was out there talking about what great health he was in, his campaign was also pushing why can`t we get more detail on Bill Clinton`s medical records? He was releasing these summaries of physicals not quite like the Trump thing, more like what Mitt Romney and other normal candidates put out that actually have data about what your cholesterol is and that sort of thing.

They`re like let`s see the record, let`s see what`s in Bill Clinton`s health history.

And then there were all these theories about what might have happened to Bill Clinton over the course of his life that you know, because if you don`t have those records you can speculate all sorts of things.

HAYES: And that happened to Hillary Clinton, right? When Hillary Clinton had the neurological issue there were a million conspiracy theories.

SEDER: And to be honest, if we`re really concerned about the health of these candidates, the idea that a doctor who`s been working -- the family has been working for Trump --

HAYES: Here`s my proposal. I think Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock should investigate every of the candidates, every one of them and then write a report.

Josh Barro and Sam Seder, thank you both.

That is All In for this evening, the Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.