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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 5/5/2016

Guests: Charlie Dent, Betsy Woodruff, Mitch Stewart, Leon Wolf

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 5, 2016 Guest: Charlie Dent, Betsy Woodruff, Mitch Stewart, Leon Wolf


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I pretty much have some conservatives other than some people who want to get publicity for themselves.

HAYES: The presumptive nominee gets no presumptive support from the Republican speaker of the House.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I`m just not ready to do that at this point. I`m not there right now.

HAYES: Tonight, the growing number of top Republicans who still aren`t quite ready for Trump.

Plus, why Donald Trump is rewriting the art of the pivot, your first all-in guide to the 2016 electoral map. From vaccines to birth certificates to "The National Enquirer."

TRUMP: What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting?

HAYES: The compelling case that the only thing Trump believes is the last conspiracy theory he read.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Infowars is devastating the Trumpian opposition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump himself told me that he`s seen so many of your supporters and listeners at his rallies.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

And tonight, Donald Trump is taking a victory lap in West Virginia. His first stop on the campaign trail as the presumptive Republican nominee.


TRUMP: I actually wish the primaries were not over. It`s no fun this way. I want the primaries to keep going. But everything`s out, I`m the only one left, that`s OK, right? Right?


HAYES: Normal election year this would be the point in the race where the whole GOP rallies together to get a jump start on attacking the Democratic candidate. This is the year of Trump, anything but normal. And instead today, the number one Republican in Washington, House Speaker Paul Ryan, said he`s not ready to support his party`s presumptive nominee.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. Speaker, you have said throughout this process that you will support the Republican presidential nominee, now you have a presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Will you support him?

RYAN: Well -- to be perfectly candid with you I`m not ready to do that at this point. I`m not there right now. I think that he needs to do more to unify this party, to bring all wings of the Republican party together, and then to go forward and to appeal to all Americans and every walk of life, every background.


HAYES: Trump responded in a statement, "I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan`s agenda. Perhaps in the future, we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They`ve been treated so badly for so long it is about time for politicians to put them first!" Exclamation point.

Paul Ryan is not the only prominent Republican to withhold his support for Donald Trump. The last two Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush have no plans to endorse him, a spokesman told "The Texas tribune."

Neither of the last two presidential nominees, John McCain, Mitt Romney, are planning to attend the convention in Cleveland to pass the proverbial baton.

All of which complicates Trump`s current efforts to consolidate the GOP behind him and prepare for his general election battle.

There`s one aspect of this transition for which Trump may be better prepared than any other candidate. Here`s how Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom described it in 2012.


ERIC FEHRNSTROM, ROMNEY ADVISER: I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It`s almost like an etch-a-sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.


HAYES: Those comments were mocked as a gaffe by Romney`s rivals. If anything it was a Washington gaffe, the kind where someone accidentally reveals the truth.

And in just the last day, Trump has already put his etch a sketch to good use. Asked on CNBC this morning to reconcile his populist message with his massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, Trump backed off his own proposal.


TRUMP: I`m not necessarily a huge fan of that. I`m so much more into the middle class who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country. And you know, when you put out a tax plan, you are going to start negotiating. You`re not going to say, OK, this is our tax plan, lots of luck. There`s going to be negotiation back and forth. And I can see that going up.


HAYES: It`s a whole new conception of the campaign policy paper, not a statement of principles, but he`s starting point for negotiation, likewise minimum wage. This is how he answered a minimum wage question at a debate last fall.


TRUMP: Wages too high. We`re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it. But we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard, and they have to get into that upper stratum.


HAYES: And this was Donald Trump in an interview yesterday.


TRUMP: I`m actually looking at that because I`m very different from most Republicans. You have to have something that you can live on.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: If you`re a president, what would you recommend?

TRUMP: I`m not looking at it --

BLITZER: But you`re open to raising the minimum wage?

TRUMP: I`m hope to doing something with it because I don`t like that. But what I really do like is bring our jobs back.


HAYES: Now, we`ve seen Trump change his positions countless times before, even taking multiple sides of an issue over the course of a single day, sometimes seemingly in a single interview. That`s what happens with a candidate who simply has instincts and not beliefs and no record from ever having served in public office.

It poses a real problem for his political opponents as Clinton`s super PAC founder David Brock told me last night.


DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER OF A PRO-CLINTON SUPER PAC: I`ve always been one who has not been salivating to run against Donald Trump because of the slipperiness, because there`s no public records of the kind of research we do, it can`t be on votes, there is no public record. And I believe there`s no ideological core and that he can and will say anything.


HAYES: No issue illustrates this problem better than the Iraq war. For the past 14 years, Hillary Clinton`s been trying to justify and apologize for her vote to authorize the war in 2002 as a senator from New York.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, never having had to vote or make any kind of formal decision on the war, has been able to invent a story about opposing it from the start. As BuzzFeed`s Ben Smith wrote yesterday, Trump has been allowed to get away with it despite any evidence he was gung-ho about the invasion.

There are a couple of issues Trump seems to recognize that are too potent and central to his brand to modify. FOX News last night.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Vicente Fox coming up later on the program, got any message for the former president of Mexico?

TRUMP: Yes, get your money ready because you`re going to pay for the wall.

O`REILLY: You`re not backing off that, right?

TRUMP: No, of course not.


HAYES: Summarily, Trump was asked yesterday if he stands by his proposal to ban Muslims coming into this country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the general election, assuming you make it that far, you`ll raise that as another issue?

TRUMP: Well, I don`t know fit hurts me or not. I really don`t know, I don`t care fit hurts me. I`m doing the right thing when I do this. And whether it`s Muslim or whether it`s something else, I mean, I have to do the right thing. And that`s the way I`ve been guided.


HAYES: It`s not too hard to see why he`s sticking with the Muslim ban. In every single state police bee that`s been asked about it in exit polls, over 60 percent of GOP voters supported Trump`s proposal.

I`m joined now by Congressman Charlie Dent, Republican from Pennsylvania, who endorsed John Kasich for president.

Congressman, thank you for joining me. Let`s start on that. Do you support a ban on all Muslims coming into the U.S.?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: No, I do not. I think that would be very counterproductive. We`re a country that was founded on the First Amendment, freedom of association, freedom of religion, and that kind of proposal flies in the face of the American tradition.

You know, I`ve worked with people like -- had the opportunity to meet with people like King Hussein of Jordan, a moderate Muslim. We need moderate Muslims like him to feel they`re welcome in the United States. He`s a great ally. We have a lot of Muslim friend in the world who are very threatened by radical Islamists and I think we need to show support for them.

HAYES: In Trump`s defense he said this might be a loophole for his rich Muslim friends from the Gulf.

There`s a slide that was treated by Mike Murphy, presentation at Harvard Kennedy School, Mike Murphy, of course, ran the Jeb super PAC. He described the Republicans as breaking into Vichy Republicans, V for what is going to happen, survival Republicans, I`ll get back to you with my answer, and resistance Republicans, third party are party actively undermined the GOP nominee.

Which of those three groups do you fall into?

DENT: I`d say I probably the middle group at the moment. I said yesterday --

HAYES: Wait a second, I want to be clear. You`re a survival Republican, meaning you`ll get back to me with your answer on whether you support Trump?

DENT: No, here`s my answer. Here`s my answer -- I am not prepared to support Donald Trump at this time. I said that yesterday. I supported John Kasich because I felt he had a forward-looking, aspirational message that brought out the best of all of us and he was a candidate who I could be proud to support.

And right now, you know, I need to be convinced. Donald Trump, he has a lot of fence-mending to do. He has a lot of work to do, frankly. Like I said, a lot of people, a lot of Americans, are going to need to be convinced and I include myself as one of them.

So, that`s where I am right now. The ball is in his court.

HAYES: You sound a lot like your colleague, Speaker Ryan, did today, basically. Similar sort of thing. I`m not there yet, he has to kind of mend fences.

What exactly specifically would that look like? Would that be recanting some of the proposals he`s put forward? Would that be sketching out more policy details? Like, what are you actually looking for?

DENT: Well, I want to see a candidate who`s going to be more presidential. And certainly, many of the comments -- I have been critical of the many of the comments he has made the last several months, whether it was on Hispanics, Muslims, women, the David Duke fiasco, the abortion comments. I`ve had great concerns.

But also many of the public policy positions he has announced have been sparse and often conflicting, and, you know, particularly on foreign policy. I was concerned when I heard the foreign policy speech about America First. I mean, that has a lot of connotations, that movement that were not very positive action back in the 1930s.

And to make that the centerpiece of your foreign policy? That concerned me. Or the day of the attack, the Islamist -- the ISIS attack in Belgium, he was talking about withdrawing from NATO.

And I believe that NATO is the foundation of the transatlantic alliance. And it`s essential to American national security policy. We should have been reassuring our allies on that day, not talking about pulling back.

I mean, those are the kinds of issues I`m concerned with Donald Trump and the nuclearization of the Pacific Rim. We`re talking about South Korea and Japan nuclearizing. I think there`s just a misguided policy here.

HAYES: So, Congressman, you`ve just given me a pretty cogent and detailed run of all the things that you find lacking about him. I guess my question to you and your colleagues and Paul Ryan is, if he came around on all of those things simultaneously, would you be able to trust it as anything more than just the latest feint of this campaign?

DENT: Well, I mean, the thing about Donald Trump, and I`ve said this sometime ago back in January, that you had -- Donald Trump was ideologically malleable, scattered, maybe unmoored in some cases. You had Ted Cruz out there who was ideologically very, very rigid. And I expressed concern about that.

But my point was that a person who`s more ideologically malleable might be easier to work with from a congressional perspective. But since that time, obviously, we`ve heard more statements and I`ve been concerned about the lack of substantive policy proposals that he has advanced. And often in many cases conflicting or contradictory positions. Obviously he`s reversed his position on several occasions.

HAYES: Congressman, it`s going to be a long six months. Thank you very much for joining me. I appreciate it.

DENT: Sure is. You bet, thank you.

HAYES: Joining me, MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of "The Majority Report", Sam Seder, and Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter for "The Daily Beast."

It`s a tough one. The problem for all of them is, if Mr. Dent, Congressman Dent`s position, Paul Ryan, and others, is I`ve got to see more, you`ve seen the guy. For ten months.

SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Not just ten months.

HAYES: Right. The idea that --

SEDER: He`s got to prove to us that he`s an empty vessel and he will allow us to fill him up and then he`s got to prove to us he`s going to retain what we fill into that empty vessel.

HAYES: Exactly.

SEDER: Frankly, this is where I think the strategy, whoever the Democratic nominee is, this is the first part of their strategy. They should be -- every day, I want to know if Paul Ryan is with Donald Trump. I want to know if Mitt Romney is with Donald Trump. You glue them to him first and show that they`re reluctant to get even closer to this guy. I mean, if the leader of your party won`t get near your presidential candidate, why should a voter?

HAYES: That is -- I mean, Betsy, that is yes actually thought the Ryan thing was pretty surprising. I don`t know if it`s an opening move in an extended negotiation or my most cynical view, tell me what you think of this, they want to make sure the things that those folks really care about, like making sure there are tax cuts for the top earners, that he is going to sign on to and do away with all this ending free trade talk.

BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: I think beyond that also, Paul Ryan is giving cover for moderate Republicans who are in trouble in the Senate.

HAYES: Right.

WOODRUFF: Kelly Ayotte just recently said she supports Trump but isn`t endorsing him which is some linguistic gymnastics that are quite impressive. The fact that Paul Ryan has come out and said, maybe I might back him but I`m not sure, provides a lot of political cover for folks like Rob Portman, Charlie Kirk, who actually have a significant amount to lose in this case.

So, he`s kind of putting himself forward as I guess the whipping boy, if you will. I think that could pay dividends especially in terms of Republicans having any shot whatsoever at keeping the Senate.

HAYES: Yes, I don`t think -- I think you`re exactly right about what he`s thinking. Sam, your point is, we already saw this in the primary. The whole election was about Trump. So you would -- didn`t matter who, particularly when there were 17 in the field, Bobby Jindal, what`s up? What do you think of what Trump said?

SEDER: Right.

HAYES: It drove them crazy, understand plea. I`m here to talk about my tax proposals. No, no, Trump called Mexicans rapists, what do you think of that? That is every one of the congressional races, every single one of them. Every House race and every Senate race is going to be that.

SEDER: And I actually think to a large extent, at least until September, October, that`s what the presidential election should be. I mean, why address this guy directly? He is a joke. I mean, literally a joke.

HAYES: The guy who`s going to be the nominee of one of the two major parties --

SEDER: That`s right. Andrew Dice Clay used to fill stadiums, he`s still a joke. I mean, the guy is a joke, you`re running for president and you`re serious and that`s the thing you want to communicate, that he`s not a serious person who could be an actual president, then you`ve got to put every other Republican out there and have them deliver that message.

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- because it is almost beneath a legitimate candidate to actually have to address him, at least now, I think.

HAYES: And there is a big opening, Betsy, with having people like Mitt Romney and John McCain and the last two Republican presidents basically -- this is not endorsing him, this is unprecedented as far as I can tell. I was doing a little research today. And it`s not -- there aren`t records department of this but as far as I can tell, we`ve never seen something like this amount of rejection from previous presidents or nominees for the current nominee.

WOODRUFF: Yes, and we`ve also -- it`s extraordinary to see a nominee whose unfavorable ratings are as high as Donald Trump`s are. The reality is this election really doesn`t make sense.

Of course, it`s also unprecedented that an inductee of the World Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame would be running for president. There`s not a lot of historical continuity when you talk about this race.

One thing I think is important, to sort of put in this context, not only are Republican Party leaders going to have trouble making peace with Trump, Trump`s going to have trouble making peace with himself. I mean, look, over the last 24 hours or so, we`ve seen him have to start worrying about fund-raising. That gets to a very core premise of his argument for why he should be president. He says he doesn`t need that dirty money from those evil lobbyists.

But all of a sudden, as soon as he`s their nominee, he`s having to make friends with these guys. That`s a big change for him. That`s going to be really tough.

HAYES: This gets to the etch-a-sketch thing. David Brock made this point, I hadn`t thought about it this way. What`s entirely novel about this is you have a person who`s going to be the nominee with literally no record of public service. It`s one thing to change your mind and say, I`ll give this interview to Wolf Blitzer but talking to Bill O`Reilly I said a different thing.

People say you flip-flop, but you can`t do that with votes, you can`t do that with vetoes, you can`t do that with budgets you sign. Traditionally what happens when someone runs for president is, you look at their record, Romney squirming on Romneycare. That`s different from Mitt Romney once saying in an interview, I support this thing, which is easy to cast off. He owned it.

Donald Trump owns no policy.

SEDER: Well, he owns no policy and he hasn`t run on policy, but I think you touched on this last night. And I think we were saying this early in the campaign. The ideology that he promotes is really just the disposition.

HAYES: That`s right.

SEDER: Really sort of just -- there`s some nativism, there`s some racism underlying there. It comes through --

HAYES: It`s an attitude.

SEDER: -- as anti-PC, it`s an attitude. The problem to a certain extent, everybody`s waiting for him to show a more presidential attitude --

HAYES: That`s the attitude he has.

SEDER: That`s the attitude he has, but if he changes it he loses his luster.

HAYES: Right, right, that`s going to be interesting to watch. Sam Seder and Betsy Woodruff, thank you both.

Still to come, Trump says he won`t self-fund as Betsy was saying his general election campaign. Was he self-funding to begin with?

But, first, is it possible for Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in a general election fight? We`ll break down the electoral map in just two minutes. Do not go anywhere.


HAYES: It is now fairly clear the 2016 race for president will be fought between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There are many people saying there is no way Trump could beat Clinton head to head and those proclamations are usually followed immediately by others saying that Trump and his campaign should not be underestimated.

So, lucky for us, there is some actual data to look at so you can make your own judgment. You can look at the national polls which on average show Clinton winning by over 6 points. But, of course, as we learn in 2000, elections are won and lost in the states and by the Electoral College, not national majorities.

Now, this is Mitt Romney`s electoral map in 2012. Romney`s map was John McCain`s plus Indiana and North Carolina. And yet as you see, still not enough to become president.

The question is, what states does Donald Trump carry that McCain and Romney couldn`t et to win the Republican party, their first ticket to the White House, in over a decade, almost a decade?

With me to go through different scenarios, Mitch Stewart, battleground states director for Obama`s 2012 campaign, former senior adviser for ready for Hillary, founding partner of 270 Strategies, and the man I spent election night with in 2008 in Richmond, Virginia.

All right. Mitch, let`s start -- show the Mitt Romney map again, right? This is the 2012 map of what happened in 2012. Now, the toss-up states. Let`s go through what we think the toss-up states are.

MITCH STEWART, OBAMA CAMPAIGN 2012 BATTLEGROUND STATES DIRECTOR: So, 2012 we basically had ten battleground states. Starting West, going East, you had Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, and then at that point Michigan was considered relatively safe. We went to Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and then Florida.

HAYES: OK, so that`s -- you think that in this race, Trump/Clinton, you`re looking at the same turf more or less? Or do you think Michigan becomes a battleground state?

STEWART: I think the 2012 map will be the foundation for where these races will play out. I do think that Michigan, we had an artificial boost in 2012 because of how weak that specific candidate was for that state, as you remember the auto bailout. Some of the statements that Mitt Romney made even though his father was governor there almost disqualified immediately in Michigan.

Michigan should be a closer state. I suspect in 2016, it will be.

HAYES: That is interesting. I had not thought of that. So you think he actually ran below essentially generic Republican in Michigan, Mitt Romney, mostly because of the auto bailout thing?

STEWART: Yes, if you look at what`s happened in the legislature in Michigan, the governor, given what`s happened in Flint, that may change. But it`s a state that should be much closer than it has been in presidentials.

HAYES: So, now, let`s look -- the clearest path seems to me of a Trump victory would be all Romney states plus what?

STEWART: Well, you can look at Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania for Democrats is basically Florida for Republicans, 20 electoral votes, extremely important, a table setter. Before you win Ohio, Virginia, other states, you have to make sure you take care of business in Pennsylvania.

And so, if Trump were to outperform previous Republican nominees in the rust belt states -- Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio -- it would totally change the electorate. So, you can see, if he won Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Florida, he`s likely to be our next president.

HAYES: But Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, winning all three of those just to be clear, that`s a heavy lift.

STEWART: Well, and Pennsylvania has gone Democratic I think the last six presidential elections in a row. Because of the work that happened in 2008 during the primary, and the work that`s continued since, there`s almost a million more registered Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania. So, it`s a very, very, very tall order for him to do that. But that is probably his most plausible path to 270.

HAYES: So, flip it around. People saying Clinton is going to win a blowout. What would a blowout look like? It would be Obama`s 2008 map plus what else?

STEWART: Well, you could see a scenario where Arizona should be in play, specifically against this candidate. And you could have a twofer if you`re a Democrat. Not only can you flip it in a presidential, you could also knock out John McCain.

You could see a scenario where Georgia is in play. You could see a scenario where Missouri is in play. It`s a state we barely lost in 2008. So you can see those three states, maybe one or two other outliers. To me that`s sort of the expansion map. That`s the best-case scenario for Democrats.

HAYES: Arizona`s going to be really interesting to watch because of this candidate, because of the immigration politics, because of the demographic accelerant from 2008 to 2016, and because John McCain`s in cycle, that is going to be interesting to see if there`s an operation in Arizona.

Mitch Stewart, one of the best minds on all of this, thank you so much.

STEWART: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, with some Republicans rejecting Trump and others distancing themselves, we`ll show you some of the people who are all about a Trump nomination, some remarkable video right after this break.



ALEX JONES, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: I`m being totally real, the gloves are off, OK, for all you (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You want the real Alex Jones? We`re coming for you with information warfare and peace, love and liberty. Your time is up just like Ceausescu.


HAYES: Ceausescu was shot by a firing squad and that is a small part the deeply rant posted and deleted this week by syndicated radio host and founder Alex Jones, who pushes a huge array of fringe conspiracy theories, including the 9/11 attacks, the Boston marathon bombings, and massive shootings in America including Sandy Hook are false flag operation busy our government our evil fourths planning to take over the world.

In that latest rant, Jones accuses columnist George Will of sexually assaulting America, the Constitution specifically, although Jones says it more colorfully. He colorfully tells Will to kill himself.

The reason Jones was angry is Will had written an anti-Trump column and Alex Jones really likes Donald Trump. And it is not a one-way relationship. In December, Trump sat down for a 30-minute interview with Jones in which Jones defended Trump`s baseless claim that thousands of American Muslims were seen celebrating the September 11th attacks.


TRUMP: Your reputation`s amazing. I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed, I hope. And I think we`ll be speaking a lot.


HAYES: Your reputation`s amazing. Now, that interview was set up by infamous long-time Trump ally Roger Stone who in April said he would disclose the hotels and room numbers of anti-Trump delegates to the Republican convention.

Yesterday, Stone appeared on Jones` show.


JONES: My crew, I`m telling you, is good for two or three points he`s got especially. Infowars is devastating the Trumpian opposition.

ROGER STONE: In fact, Donald Trump himself told me that he`s seen so many of your supporters and listeners at his rallies, he loves the Hillary for Prison T-shirts, he knows exactly wear they came from.

So, Alex, I`m certain he is grateful for your support and the support of other patriots --


HAYES: Later in the show, conspiracy theorists for Trump. The Republican presumptive nominee`s support for and elevation of the lunatic fringe of American life. That`s coming up.


JONES: The average show on Fox has a million --




TRUMP: I`m self-funding. I`m putting up my own money.

And by the way, I`m a self-funder.

I`m self-funding my campaign. I`m the only one in either party self- funding my campaign.

I`m self-funding my campaign. Nobody`s going be taking care of me. I don`t want anybody`s money.

I said, you know, I`m self-funding my campaign. I`m putting my own money in, right.

When you take that money, those people own you.


HAYES: One of the central arguments of the Trump campaign thus far and one that distinguished him from his Republican rivals, particularly his arch enemy in the primaries Jeb Bush, was that unlike all these shills who were basically puppets of their donors, according to him, he was, quote, self- funding.

Now even then that claim wasn`t actually precisely true as stated succinctly by the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump lent his campaign $36 million of the $47 million he spent on the primaries for March with the rest coming mostly from small donations.

And since it`s a loan, that money can be paid back if, for instance, he were to start fund-raising. And now even the veneer of so-called self- funding is gone. Trump told the Wall Street Journal, quote, "I`ll be putting up money but won`t be completely self-funding."

Trump will basically be raising a ton of money and he will do it in all the traditional ways. His campaign is beginning the process of setting up a joint fund-raising committee with RNC at about the same point in the election cycle that Mitt Romney did that in his 2012 run.

Trump has hired a finance chairman, Steve Mnuchin, a hedge fund manager who`s given more to Democrats than Republicans and who has professional ties to Democratic donor George Soros.

And Trump has praised the new co-chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC Ed Rollins. Trump says he will soon decide whether or not to openly condone that super PAC.

The Super PAC called The Great America PAC can certainly exist and help his election, whether he claims to like it or not.


TRUMP: I will make a decision fairly soon as to that. I mean, do I want to sell a couple of buildings and self-fund? I don`t know that I want to do that necessarily. But I really won`t be asking for money for myself, I`ll be asking for money for the party.


HAYES: The very same morning in an interview with on Fox and Friends, Trump said, quote, "all I have to do is sell a building," unquote, though it was unclear if he might have been joking.

And a fact check, money that Trump raises jointly for the RNC would be used for both the presidential race and down-ballot races. So, when says I really won`t be asking money for myself, it has the same degree of accuracy as I`m self-funding.

Joining me now, Sam Stein, senior politics editor at the Huffington Post.

I suppose Sam this was inevitable, because it was always clear to me the guy was never going to liquidate enough assets to actually spend the half a billion to a billion dollars that it might take for this race.

What comes with this now? A, can he pull it off. Can he raise the money? And all of a sudden now he`s got donors to answer to.

SAM STEIN, HUFFINTGON POST: True. I`m waiting to see if he`ll drop that talking point, because he`s been very crafty at saying things that are demonstrably untrue and just going with it. So, we`ll see if that talking point goes by the wayside. But it means that he`s got to get off the trail, attend fundraisers, make some phone calls, do all the sort of day- to-day activity that candidates really do hate and that he`s been pretty free of because of all the money that was coming in with basically small donor money.

And he has to do it because campaigns are a fortune. I mean, you said $500 million to $1 billion, it`s going to be probably closer to $1 billion this time. And it`s not just his candidacy it depends on, it`s the entire party and the down-ballot races that needed him to help raise money for RNC.

So, this was going to happen, it was just a matter of when.

HAYES: And yet you`ve got the situation where his relationship to those down-ballot candidates, to the party, still remains somewhat frosty. Here`s the New York Times on making some calls yesterday.

Over the last two days more than 70 Republican governors, senators, representatives, officials and donors were contacted directly or through aides for comments about Mr. Trump, only about 20 replied with many aides saying their bosses did not want to take a stand yet.

That`s -- I mean, I don`t know how that shakes out.

STEIN: They somehow don`t have cell phone service when they`re on recess, right?

HAYES: I`m sorry, I can`t...

STEIN: I just don`t -- I`m under a bridge forever.

I think, keep in mind, there`s a frosty relationship not just with these candidates down-ballot, but also with the fund-raising community that traditionally supports the Republican nominee. You know, he will have connections from his financial ties to begin with, but there are a lot of donors who do feel emotional attachment to the candidates that they support, and specifically Jeb Bush, who took it on the chin through the primary because of Donald Trump, who will probably be hesitant to go ahead and write checks for the guy.

Now, will they flip to Clinton? I don`t think so. Politico is reporting tonight that supporters of Hillary Clinton`s campaign are reaching out in sort of a crafty move. But they might just write checks for senate races and call it a day.

HAYES: I`m really curious to see also if he then ends up with the problems that come with the donor class. Part what was made him formidable in that primary was his violation of all kinds of donor class heresies, whether that was on trade, whether that was on Social Security, and, quote, "entitlement" cuts. Now you wonder if basically he ends up in the box of Republican donor class orthodoxy, because he`s got to raise money from the same people.

STEIN: Well, he`s so unpredictable that it`s impossible to say what he`s going to do once he gets this money. I don`t think he`s -- he doesn`t strike me as the type who feels like he`s beholden to anybody, let alone donors. But he does sort of eliminate one of the talking points he could have used against Hillary Clinton. I`m sure he`s going to still try to do it. But when your national finance chair is a hedge fund guy who donated to Hillary Clinton, is tied to George Soros, it kind of complicates the attack you`re going to make on the presumptive likely Democratic nominee, not presumptive yet.

HAYES: all right. Sam Stein, thank you very much.

STEIN: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up next, a curious response for the presumptive Republican nominee about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. What he said and what he wouldn`t say right after this break.


HAYES: As we noted on the show last night, if and when Donald Trump is formally nominated by the Republican Party, he is able to start receiving regular classified intelligence briefings from U.S. officials.

Trump told The Washington Post he is eager for those briefings to begin, but not everyone is thrilled including at least one member of the senate foreign relations committee, Chris Murphy, who told Buzzfeed today Trump has no moral or ethical grounding. He wouldn`t think twice of taking classified information and putting it in the public realm if he thought it served his political purposes.

Senator Murphy isn`t only concerned about Trump`s handling of sensitive information. Noting Trump`s praise for Putin in the past he said, megalomaniacs find each other, I guess. I suspect Trump looks at Putin and sees a lot of himself. And added, you can just feel Putin reeling Trump in right now.

Now, yesterday Trump was asked about how he would deal with Putin. And amidst his rosy predictions this was his response...


TRUMP: I think I`ll have a good relationship with him. So far we`re off to a good start. He said Trump is a genius, okay? I would have a good -- I think I`ll have a good...

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Have you ever met with him? Have you ever spoken with him?

TRUMP: I don`t want to say.


HAYES: I don`t want to say. You might think that`s an odd response, but I`ll give you 60 seconds to figure out why he won`t give an answer. Stay with me.


HAYES: So, why would Trump dodge the very basic question have you ever met or spoken to Vladimir Putin? You might recall that this is something Trump has actually spoken about before. He actually answered this question unprompted last November.


TRUMP: If Putin wants to go in and I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.

But you know that.


HAYES: It wasn`t hard to figure out Trump didn`t get to know Putin very well that night because Putin`s interview for 60 Minutes was taped in Russia and Trump`s segment was filmed in Trump`s New York apartment, which is not in Russia.

And after Trump was widely ridiculed for that bald-faced lie, he was forced to admit the truth.


BILL O`REILLY, HOST, O`REILLY FACTOR: Some clarification, I need some stuff clarified tonight. Do you know Putin personally? Do you know him?

TRUMP: No, I don`t. I was on 60 Minutes with him four weeks ago. I didn`t shoot it at the same time. I mean, they did him, then they did me in different segments.

O`REILLY: so you never met him?

TRUMP: And it was a very successful show.

No, no, I didn`t meet him, no.


HAYES: It was a very successful show.

It may have been a lie, but at least the show rated well, a sentence that sadly sums up the entire Trump campaign so far.



TRUMP: I`m thinking about the miners all over this country. We`re going to put the miners back to work. we`re going to put the miners back to work! We`re going to get those mines open.


HAYES: Donald Trump campaigning in West Virginia earlier, promising to bring coal jobs back to the state. While some in the crowd held signs reading "Trump digs coal."

Trump speaking to for an enthusiastic crowd in Charleston was also endorsed by the West Virginia Coal Association and presented with a hard hat. That`s him miming digging coal.

A stark contrast, the reception Hillary Clinton got in the Mountain State earlier this week. She was greeted by protests, getting blowback for comments she made in March. Clinton noting, quote, "we`re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business" while speaking more broadly about creating clean energy jobs in areas that are previously dependent on coal.

That context was, of course, lost.

The comments appeared in an ad for a conservative judge running for state Supreme Court in West Virginia. And Hillary Clinton herself was confronted at a roundtable by a coal miner who lost his job. That miner attended Donald Trump`s rally earlier tonight.

And Clinton, who beat Barack Obama in West Virginia in 2008 by 41 points in the primary, is now trailing Bernie Sanders ahead of next week`s primary. Sanders, who is campaigning across the state today, has pledged $41 billion for fossil fuel workers to receive clean energy job training. Clinton has proposed a similar $30 billion lifeline.

Because, and here`s the reality, those coal jobs are not coming back. Over the past three decades, American coal jobs have seen steady decline. And to see the impact of that kind of decline firsthand in 2014 we traveled to the heart of coal country, Harland County, Kentucky, a place where poverty has gripped the region for as long as coal has defined it.

I spoke with one unemployed mine worker there who blamed the loss of coal jobs on the EPA, a sentiment that many in the region share.

And it`s true, President Obama`s environmental agenda is at odds with the coal industry. Fossil fuel fired power-plants, which include coal, are one of the biggest sources of man-made CO2 emissions in the U.S. In June of 2014, the EPA proposed a rule that will cut carbon emissions from existing coal plants by up to 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

The Supreme Court has since put the rule on hold temporarily while it`s challenged.

But most of what has kill off coal jobs in the U.S. can`t be put on environmental regulation. Fracking has unleashed a natural gas boom, making it difficult for coal to compete on price. And as technology has improved, coal companies are able to rely on fewer and fewer workers to get the job of mining coal done.

One retired miner in Harland County explained to me the role of mechanization.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s come to the point now where they don`t do underground mining if they can get away with it. They do mountaintop removal and surface mining.

You can mine a whole mountainside, and I`m talking about a whole mountainside, within a year or two with around seven to 12 people.


HAYES: So no, no matter what Donald Trump says, coal jobs are not coming back to coal country. And in the era of climate change, anyone selling the people of Appalachia, or anywhere else for that matter, on a return to coal is selling a lie.


HAYES: We talked earlier in the show about Donald Trump`s changing positions. But one area where he`s been really quite consistent is in his flirtation with, openness towards, and sometimes seemingly outright belief in a variety of debunked, implausible and/or preposterous conspiracy theories.

This is a man who effectively launched his political career with a sustained public campaign alleging the president of the United States was actually a secret Kenyan whose true birth certificate had been hidden away by a shadowy cabal involved in a decades-long cover-up.


TRUMP: You are not allowed to be a president if you`re not born in this country. He may not have been born in this country.

And I`ll tell you what, three weeks ago I thought he was born in this country. Right now I have some real doubts.

I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they`re finding.

Trump doesn`t discuss his birtherism much anymore, but in his presidential campaign he`s offered a new set of baseless conspiracy theories, most recently involving Ted Cruz`s father.


TRUMP: His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald`s being, you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous.

He took two pigs, they chopped them open, took the bullets that were going to go and shoot these men, took the bullets, the 50 bullets, dropped them in the pigs, swished them around so there was blood all over those bullets.

Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, the child, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.

I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.


HAYES: Just to be clear, that`s not true.

Joining me, Leon Wolf, managing editor of the conservative web site; Benji Sarlin, political reporter at MSNBC.

And Benji, you had a piece about this, about the kind of obsession that he seems to have with conspiracy theories.

BENJI SARLIN, MSNBC POLITICAL CORREPSONDENT: That`s right, Chris. This is something that`s been going back years. If you can find a conspiracy theory behind something. He`ll just leap to it. And one of the most famous examples that`s talked about less is that it`s not just that he wants to build a border wall with Mexico or kick out all the immigrants, it`s that the reason he thinks we need this is because there`s a shadowy plot by the Mexican government to push criminals and quote, unquote, "rapists" into America.

There is just no factual basis for this. And the source Trump cited when pressed in a debate was, quote, border patrol people that he had talked to at the border. That`s it.

So, this gets to a deeper thing, it`s not just that Trump has all these often very race-baiting conspiracy theories, it`s that it speaks to what he considers a credible source. He tweeted for example that he, quote, an "extremely credible source" called him up and told him that Obama`s birth certificate was a fraud.

After he shared fake statistics claiming that black people are murdering white people at incredible rates, he said I retweeted and expert when he was asked on Fox News about it. The expert was @seansean252 on Twitter. And he just kept insisting this was a credible source.

You know, presidents have to make decisions often between intelligence sources, between advisers about what they can trust, what`s credible. And this really throws that into question in a way that`s never been true of a major party nominee.

Leon, you know, let me ask you this. And I should note that you`re not Ben Howell who I had on the other night.

Leon WOLF, REDSTATE.COM: Right. Thanks. Appreciate that.

HAYES: Who I enjoyed talking to.

You know, there`s this whole world of conspiracist, parts of the conservative media -- Matt Drudge particularly really promotes conspiracy theories, Alex Jones, these are all big Trump supporters. How did this thing grow to be as big as it is?

WOLF: Aw now, come on, Chris.

First of all, I got to say, polls have shown almost half of Democrat voters are 9/11 truthers. So, let`s put that out there.

But I will grant you that the whole Alex Jones movement thing exists. And you know, it`s disturbing. And I think that it`s not really necessarily ideological thing. I think that it`s really more quite frankly of an organic brain thing.

I think that it`s some people are just predisposed and hardwired to believe conspiracies in really the less evidence for it the more they`re inclined to believe it. It`s almost as though their brain is wired in a completely different way from the rest of us.

HAYES: But here`s the thing, and you brought up 9/11 truthers. And I remember that truthers were absolutely a visible part of the left coalition, particularly after 9/11. Any event I went to there were some truthers there.

And what happened with truthers was that there was -- the people that are sort of the leaders of that movement, I mean, everyone from Noam Chomsky to The Nation basically said, no, we don`t want you. We`re not going to flirt with you. We`re not going to openly embrace you. There was a concerted effort to sort of quarantine and cordon off those people. And I fundamentally don`t think the same thing has happened on the right, particularly because Matt Drudge has the power he has to because he loves this stuff.

WOLF: Well, listen, I`m not in a position to throw rocks at 9/11 truthers because Donald Trump is one at this point.

But I will say this, the one thing I remember in 2008, John Edwards was confronted by a truther at one of his rallies and instead of saying "that`s ridiculous, we don`t believe in that," he pulled out a notebook and thoughtfully wrote it down what this person was saying about how the towers fell, and he said, "You know, I`m going to get back to you on that."

So, I do remember some courting of the 9/11 truthers.

HAYES: Yes, but it was not -- they never -- the Democratic Party never nominated a truther. They did not nominate...

WOLF: That`s fair.

HAYES: They did not nominate someone who went around telling the American people that Barack Obama was a secret Kenyan and that there had been a massive conspiracy to hide his true birth certificate which was a preposterous racist theory, that was the guy`s introduction to public life.

WOLF: Chris, I don`t know what to tell you. You know, I feel like I put it all on the mat to stop Donald Trump from becoming the nominee, but here we are.

HAYES: Well, Benji, how much of this do you think is actually held views of Donald Trump? I mean, there`s lots of things he does that I feel are performance or shtick or essentially playing for what i think frankly he views as the rubes.

This seems to me like fundamental to his character. Like before he was ever in public life, he was into this stuff.

SARLIN: Well, to some degree it almost doesn`t matter how much he believes it or not, you know? We can only go by what he outright says.

But I will say there are cases where it seems to really inform the policy.

Now, the biggest example I`ll give you is this signature policy, a ban on all Muslim entry into the United States. Now, where did this come from? Well, Trump explained when he announced it. He cited work by Frank Gaffney, a crazy anti-Sharia conspiracist who spread rumors that everyone from Grover Norquist to Hillary Clinton`s top aide who about a wild Islamist conspiracy and he cited that as a specific reason for his ban, that his research was so compelling.

So the idea that this is just removed and this is just for show, it gets pretty serious when that`s his actual signature issue and he`s standing next to this conspiracy theorist.

HAYES: Leon Wolf and Benji Sarlin, thank you gentlemen for being with me here tonight.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.