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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 5/18/2016

Guests: Charlie Sykes, Eric Boehlert, Barbara Res, Norm Ornstein, Xeni Jardin, Larry Wilmore

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 18, 2016 Guest: Charlie Sykes, Eric Boehlert, Barbara Res, Norm Ornstein, Xeni Jardin, Larry Wilmore


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

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would come with a list of really, really terrific, acceptable judges.

HAYES: Donald Trump names a conservative dream team.

TRUMP: That would be the probably the biggest breaking news and I`m very serious about that.

HAYES: Tonight, a Republican urging his party not to fall for the charm offensive, and how Democrats plan to fight a candidate who will say anything.

Then --


HAYES: More pushback on "The New York Times" report on Trump`s treatment of woman. Tonight, one of those women who are standing by her story joins me live.

Plus, assessing the damage of an ugly finish for Democrats.

And why we`ve been here before.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The last thing we need is somebody who gives up.

HAYES: And, laughing in the face of danger.

LARRY WILMORE, COMEDIAN: I can`t understand why everybody treats Donald Trump with kid gloves. And then I realize they`re the only gloves that will fit his stupid baby hands.

HAYES: My exclusive interview with the host of "The Nightly Show", Larry Wilmore, when ALL IN starts right now.


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

What has been unthinkable in the past 11 months since Donald Trump first ascended the escalator of Trump Tower to declare Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, is finally coming to pass.

Donald J. Trump is turning into a normal Republican candidate. The evidence is everywhere you look in the past 72 hours as the presumptive nominee revamps his campaign for the general election.

Less than a month ago, Trump was slamming the foreign policy establishment during his much anticipated address in Washington.


TRUMP: I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.

We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don`t know what they`re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in "The New York Times" or being watched on television.


HAYES: Today, he was meeting with one of those old people of the old foreign policy elites, Henry Kissinger, the architect and emblem of some of the country`s most disastrous interventions abroad, a man who cannot travel outside the U.S. without genuine fear of being detained for war crimes.

For his campaign, Trump has touted his independence from the political industrial class, relying on his own instincts instead of what he`s told to say.


TRUMP: I have much more money than all of them put together, including all of their PACs, times 10, times 20.

I don`t have a pollster. I don`t want a pollster. What do I need a pollster for? If the pollsters were any good, they`d be doing what we`re doing it, right? Don`t you think, right?


HAYES: Now, Trump is, wait for it, hiring a pollster, on his own, and not just any pollster but a veteran named Tony Fabrizio, who`s worked for the likes of Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Perhaps the main rationale for Trump`s campaign all along, a major factor in his defeat of 16 more experienced and better qualified candidates is the claim that he alone is not beholden to the money interests corrupting U.S. politics.


TRUMP: I`m self funding. I`m putting up my own money. I`m doing this. When I come up here, I come on my dime. When these other guys come up, they come up a whole different route. Just so you understand they`re totally controlled by the special interests, by the lobbyists. They`re totally controlled by people that put up their money, no good. It`s -- we`ve had it.


HAYES: Now, the self funding claim was never actually particularly true, but last night, the Trump campaign announced a joint fundraising agreement with the RNC allowing donors to make contributions up to almost $500,000 spread among the national party, national committee and party committees in 11 states.

And after defying a whole range of conservative orthodoxy from condemning trade deals to defending Planned Parenthood`s women health services, and after even recommending his sister, a pro-choice federal judge in New Jersey, to serve in the Supreme Court, well, today, Trump unveiled a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees, a group as traditionally conservative as you`d expect to get from Ted Cruz.

It`s almost as if Trump and his team didn`t have much do with choosing the people on the list. One of them, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, has been mocking Trump quite entertainingly on Twitter for months, including this one from last August, "can`t wait until Trump waits off his face and reveals a laughing Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

All this poses an interesting choice for Trump`s general election opponents as they develop a strategy to run against him. Do they define Trump as a Republican nominee who if elected will deliver on Republican favored agenda items like cutting taxes for the raise and blocking a minimum wage hike, and installing anti-abortion justices, or do they go after him as a uniquely unprepared candidate who poses a unique and genuine threat to the republic, a man who has no business being leader of the free world.

And if the stakes weren`t already high enough, a new FOX News poll out today shows Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton 45 to 42 percent, within the margin of error. The same poll had her leading by seven points just a month ago.

I`m joined now by Charlie Sykes, a conservative host of WTMJ Radio in Wisconsin, key member of one of the only successful Stop Trump coalitions in the country.

And, Charlie, you`ve written a letter to Reince Priebus and the RNC. I`m going to read an excerpt here. "Party unity and loyalty only go so far. Your job is not to carry water for the orange duce." Nice coinage.

"It is to somehow salvage the GOP. You need somehow to separate the fate of the Trumpism or risk redefining your party for a generation."

Why did you write the letter?

CHARLIE SYKES, CONSERVATIVE HOST: Well, first of all, I like Reince Priebus. Reince Priebus is a friend of mine. I want to urge him, do not be clown yourself like some other people have done.

There`s this unique thing that happens to people that get drawn into the Trump orbit. They are corrupted and they are diminished.

Reince Priebus has a job to do. He`s got to make it clear that Trumpism is not Republicanism, or at least recognize and I know a lot of these guys in the establishment are thinking they can control Donald Trump or they can mold Donald Trump, and I`m trying to warn them, look, you are strapping yourself on to an unguided missile.

And I hope that Reince Priebus understood that was tough love. Don`t go there. You don`t want to spend the next six months, you know, making defenses and rationalizations or saying people don`t care about this or that because you don`t know what you`re getting.

HAYES: Well, with respect, Charlie, I mean, the man has won the nomination of the Republican Party. There is no way to disentangle Trumpism from Republicanism. He is the leader of the Republican Party, not in some symbolic sense. In the actual sense that he went out and won the votes and was decided to be the nominee for the party.

SYKES: Yes, that`s true. He has won the nomination and now there`s a fight for the soul of the party.

My point to Reince Priebus was, look, you don`t need to be the Trump campaign. You know, focus on the rest of the down ballot, make sure that the down ballot is not wiped out by this election, but also, you know, think long term. This is the party of Ronald Reagan. This is the party of Abraham Lincoln.

You k now, yes, right now, we`re renting it out to Donald Trump but you have to think long term. Reince Priebus is a Wisconsin. He`s a fellow cheese head like me, and we talked this afternoon and I said this was tough love, and he said, I`m trying to walk the tightrope line here.

But I don`t want to see other Republicans making the sort of same mistake, making that march of shame through the Sunday morning talk show. I don`t want to see Paul Ryan doing that in six weeks.

HAYES: Well, that is well said. I mean, look, here`s what`s happening right now as far as I can tell, and you tell me if I`m wrong, he is making these sort of things towards party unity, things that the Republican establishment want to hear, he`s going to repeal Dodd-Frank, he`s put out a list of Supreme Court picks, including your wife, Dianne Sykes, who is a highly respected conservative jurists on the federal appeals court.

What is the resistance going to last? Is everyone going to be making the march of shame? Are you going to be back in this program in five months telling me, well, actually Trump?

SYKES: No, I cannot imagine this. By the way, that list of judges is outstanding, there`s no question about it. They would all make great justices. But the question that I think conservatives have to ask themselves, is that a promise or is that a suggestion because this is the last week we`ve seen Donald Trump walk back virtually everything he said?

HAYES: Right.

SYKES: He is turning out to be a very much a political chameleon. So, the question is, how much faith are you going to put in these things? I mean, if I believe these things, I might do it, but I do not believe these things.

HAYES: Do you have faith in your fellow conservative and fellow members of the Never Trump movement that they won`t be doing the march of shame, because one of my favorite game sort of internal guessing games is predicting like when David Brooks and George Will are going to write their inevitable actually Trump columns?

SYKES: Yes, I`m having a hard time imagining those two guys doing that. But this has been a year of surprises and a lot of disillusionment. So, let`s just say that I`m not putting all my chips on consistency there.

But I do think that what you`re seeing is that Donald Trump is doing things that are necessary but not sufficient to win over some conservatives.

HAYES: Right.

SYKES: But, again, you`re only one tweet away, you are hostage to the next tweet.

HAYES: Right.

SYKES: So, yes, you want Donald Trump to be an adult, but is he going do it? I don`t know.

HAYES: Also like you say, I mean, character is prior to all of this, right? If you don`t believe any of it is legitimate, then you have no reason to embrace it.

Charlie Sykes, thank you very much for joining me. Appreciate it.

SYKES: Thanks.

HAYES: Joining me now, Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at progressive media watch dog, Media Matters for America. And you guys are part of an umbrella of organizations that have connections to the Clinton campaign, their super PACs.

Here is my question for you. There is I think when Charlie gets this key point, right, which is, is Donald Trump a Republican? Is he a Mitt Romney? Is he a different kind of billionaire than Mitt Romney but the fundamentally same, or is he some unique, novel, different kind of threat and that is a choice the Clinton campaign is wrestling with right now?

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Well, in terms of the Republican Party, he`s a complete alien. Charlie had it right and that here`s poor Reince Priebus going on the Sunday shows this week and saying, what about this article with Donald Trump and women and Reince saying, well, nobody cares about politicians and their women. No one cares about their background.

This has been the cornerstone of the Republican Party. Bill Clinton`s sex life has been a cornerstone for 25 years.


BOEHLERT: And now, this poor guy has to do the walk of shame. Well, nobody cares. It`s already started and it`s beyond that.

But it`s a hybrid. It`s an alien -- he`s overtaken the Republican Party. The people who run campaigns for the Republican Party probably aren`t getting their phone calls returned and that`s the panic. They have literally no idea what Donald Trump is going to do on a day to day, hour to hour basis. And so, yes, he`s trying to turn into Mitt Romney for 24 hours. He`s going to be the messenger, but it`s all going to blow up two days from now.

HAYES: So, here`s the night that Trump became the presumptive nominee, here`s what Podesta put out to the Clinton campaign. "Fundamentally, our next president will need to keep our country safe and help working families get ahead at home. Trump is not prepared to do either. He`s too divisive, lacks the temperament. Donald Trump is simply too big a risk."

This is sort of in the ballpark of the guy is a loose cannon we`ve heard Hillary Clinton use that, which is fundamentally a character critique but strikes me as a little bit of a weak tea and still strikes me this is a political article, "Clinton campaign wrestles with how to attack Trump."

They have not landed on a line of attack against him.

BOEHLERT: No, because it`s early and I think they`re going to see how it plays. That`s a sort of an opening call, like this guy should not be president, we cannot trust him and they`re going to take it from there.

But also, you know, Democrats are not going to swift boated by any of this nonsense that Trump throws out. They`re not going to sort of sit back and just say, well, we`re Democrats, we`re really not going to fight back.

If he wants a fight, there will be a fight, but there`s --

HAYES: That`s a promise.

BOEHLERT: I mean, they`re not going to be spectators. It`s just not going to happen this time.

HAYES: Right. But the question then becomes, what train are you fighting on? And I think one thing I think that is interesting about watching him adopt some of these orthodoxies is a lot of that orthodoxy I don`t think is particularly popular, right? The Ryan budget was an albatross around the neck of Mitt Romney. To the extent that Medicare cuts is something they can manage to convince Donald Trump to run on, that`s a net negative for Donald Trump.

The problem though is, if you cannot predict what he actually stands for day to day, how do you run a campaign that`s against him in any substantive sense?

BOEHLERT: Well, look, some of this is going to have to do with the press, right? That`s what Media Matters does. I mean, poor Al Gore was tagged as a liar for nine months because the press found some anecdotal evidence that he exaggerated.

This should be the clarion call of the portrait of Donald Trump. I mean, he is a serial liar. That should be the center really of the press portrait. Instead, we get, he`s authentic, he`s a straight shooter, and things like that.

So, I think the Clinton campaign will do what it has to do but some of the responsibility is on the press to tell it like it is. If this guy cannot tell the truth for more than three minutes at a time, that should be a center part of the press coverage.


BOEHLERT: So that the campaign will be through a prism of the press and will be through a prism of these campaigns knocking heads.

HAYES: What do you think of this latest FOX poll? I mean, obviously, there`s outliers. I think it`s pretty clear, though, there`s been a movement of his direction as a result of consolidating the nomination.

BOEHLERT: Yes, I think. I`m not sure, I`d have to go back, there`s usually a convention bump and there`s usually --

HAYES: Getting the nomination.

BOEHLERT: You get a nomination bump. Hillary Clinton is still part of an ongoing primary, so that will be --

HAYES: There`s a lot of people looking at 45 and 42 at home right now who are feeling some heart palpitations. I`m just saying. I`m not saying they should. I am saying, descriptively it is the case.

BOEHLERT: I would not -- I would not dismiss any poll at this point. But that said, it`s going to be an electoral victory state by state.

HAYES: Eric Boehlert, thanks a lot.

Still to come, the Democratic divide gets fierce. Are Sanders supporters Bernie or bust?

Plus, my interview with "The Nightly Show" host Larry Wilmore on trying to find comedy in this Trump-driven election cycle.

But, first, what it was like to be a woman working with and for Donald Trump for nearly 20 years. I`m joined with Barbara Res who Trump is now calling nasty just after the break.

We`ll be back with her in two minutes.



TRUMP: I have been amazing with respect to the hiring of women. This building was built as the head person who is fantastic by a woman and that was at a time when you didn`t see that in the construction trade. It was totally unique.


HAYES: Donald Trump loves to boast about his history of hiring women, including the woman he hired in 1980 to oversee the construction of Trump Tower, a woman by the name of Barbara Res. She`s pictured here in the far right in this outtake from a 1989 photo shoot for "Savvy Women Magazine", showing Trump with his arms around some of the women who worked for him.

Res was featured in that blockbuster "New York Times" story released this weekend on how Trump behaved with women in private and in the workplace. It`s a story the Trump campaign has been pushing back against hard since it was released, including this morning when Trump`s daughter Ivanka lambasted the story in an interview with CBS.


IVANKA TRUMP: I found it to be disturbing based on the facts as I know them and obviously I very much know them both in the capacity as a daughter and in the capacity as an executive who has worked alongside of him at this company for over a decade. Look, I`m not in every interaction my father has, but he`s not a groper. It`s not who he is. And I`ve known my father obviously my whole life and he has total respect for women.


HAYES: In "The Times" story, Barbara Res expressed gratitude to Trump for hiring her to lead the construction of Trump Tower, over the objections of Trump`s father who reportedly did not believe a woman belonged in the job.

She also suggested Trump was unduly focused on the physical attributes of his female employees, including Res, who said that after she gained a significant amount of weight, she endured a stinging workplace observation about her own body from Mr. Trump. "You like your candy", she recalled him telling her. "It was him reminding her that I was overweight."

Yesterday, Trump lashed out at Res personally on Twitter, suggesting that she was ungrateful for what he had given her. Quote, "I gave a woman named Barbara Res a top New York construction job when that was unheard of and now she`s nasty. So much for nice. Thank you."

Joining me now is engineer and attorney Barbara Res. She has a new book out. It`s called "All Alone in the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of the Construction Industry".

It`s great pleasure to have you here.


HAYES: All right. OK. Let`s start with, you want to respond to him saying that you`re nasty or you`re being nasty, you`re not being grateful enough for him giving you the job?

RES: Well, he gave me the job but I earned my keep in spades, I would say. I mean, he made a lot of money off of me. So, we`re pretty even on that score.

HAYES: You, in the article, seem to have kind of a complicated feeling towards him.

RES: Yes.

HAYES: Tell me a little bit, it feels a little like your attitude towards him changed overtime and you feel like he changed in terms of how he behaved towards women.

RES: Yes, he changed in how he behaved towards me and he changed in how he behaved women, in general, as I perceived it. Initially, we were very close and he was very reserved in his way of talking about women and things like that, and very respectful of women.

Later on, he got a little different. He started acting a little bit like macho, and he did the "Playboy" shoot, which I was appalled at, and honestly took that very badly.

And then, all of a sudden, he started talking about women and he was leering at the women in the office. So, he actually changed in the way he was treating women. And a lot of that had to do, I think, with Ivana and their breakup because she -- they were pretty close knit and she kept him under control.

HAYES: So, you think when he got out of that marriage, he started to sort of display more of a kind of objectification of women or making comments about them in the workplace and things like that.

RES: Yes, absolutely.

HAYES: There`s this fascinating quote to me. He says, "I know you`re a woman in a man`s world, and while men tend to be better than women," which itself is interesting, "a good woman is better than ten good men. He thought he was really complimenting me."

What did he mean by that?

RES: Well, put it in context. I mean, it was 1980 and things have changed since then and there was a general male chauvinism especially in the construction industry. I mean, not even ten years before, woman had been barred from construction sites because I showed up to look at some work that I have done and planned at the construction site.

So, in the context of the times, he was right that women were not in the business and his thinking was that women would have to be smarter and work harder to be as good as the men. And so, a good woman was better than ten good men. He actually believed that.

HAYES: So, he felt like actually the sort of obstacles he faced meant that he could get more value out of you sort of as an employer?

RES: Absolutely.

HAYES: You watched this campaign unfold. You`ve watched him talk about women in certain ways. Where are you politically in terms of this campaign? I mean, is this someone that you would vote for for president of the United States?

RES: No, no, he has to be stopped.

HAYES: You feel that way.

RES: Yes, absolutely. Yes --

HAYES: You feel this person that you once -- this person that you once felt a kind of kinship for, a person that you worked on a very important project with, a person with whom you broke this very important barrier, I mean, what you did was really monumental, you used the term "he has to be stopped". That`s how you feel about him?

RES: I absolutely believe that, yes.


RES: Because for one thing, I think he`ll put our country back 30 years. I think he`ll be bad for our country. I don`t think he has the experience to be president or the political knowledge to be president to begin with.

But his policies are very backward. They`re very anti-women. They`re very anti-immigrant. They`re very anti-progress.

Now, I have lots of friends who are Republicans, people that will vote for him. It has nothing to do with our kinship. It has to do with our politics.

HAYES: What do you tell people in your daily life when you are talking about this when he comes up now as a sort of center of the political conversation?

RES: Well, they always ask me what he`s really like. So, I --


HAYES: What`s your answer to that? What`s he really like?

RES: He`s better than some and worse than others.


RES: I`ve worked for a lot of big developers. They`re all smart. They`re all shrewd. They all try to cheat the subcontractors, you know?

So, he fits in that group and he`s a very smart guy. He`s a quick study.

HAYES: That`s --

RES: I mean, he`s on the ball and he`s very directed and motivated. He`s just going in the wrong direction.

HAYES: All right. Barbara Res, fascinating. Thank you very much.

She has a book that`s called "All Alone in the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of the Construction". It`s about all of the kind of barriers for women in construction. Her personal experience, a fascinating read.

Thank you for being with me tonight.

RES: Thank you so much.

HAYES: Up next, what Hillary Clinton said nearly eight years ago to the day that caused a massive up roar when asked why she wasn`t suspending her campaign. That tape is after this very short break.


HAYES: The day was May 20th, 2008. Democrats in Oregon and Kentucky were heading to the polls, and Hillary Clinton was promising supporters despite a tough road ahead, she was not dropping out.


REPORTER: Hillary Clinton says she is not giving up.

CLINTON: The last thing we need is somebody who gives up and quits as our next president.

REPORTER: Having all but lost the delegate race to Obama, Clinton`s goal now is a symbolic victory in the popular vote counted disputed elections in Michigan and Florida.


HAYES: After winning Kentucky and losing Oregon to then-Senator Barack Obama, discussion turned to how Obama could win over Clinton`s voters in the general election.


REPORTER: With her or without her, Obama needs to win over Clinton`s followers to get to the White House.

DIANE BICKERS: You really antagonize people when you`re not fair and this election has not been fair.


HAYES: Without a clear path to the nomination, Clinton continued to be pressed why she refused to drop out.


REPORTER: She made the comment today before a newspaper editorial board in South Dakota. When asked about the length of the primary campaign, she responded this way.

CLINTON: You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I don`t understand it.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton quickly said she regretted the remark and had no intention of offending the Kennedy family and Obama and in two weeks she dropped out of the race. By late June, she made good on that pledge, joining Barack Obama in a town called Unity, New Hampshire.


CLINTON: Today, our hearts are set on the same destination for America. Today, we are coming together for the same goal: to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.


HAYES: The question now eight years later is are we simply in the same brutal part of the election cycle we saw in 2008 with unity just around the corner, or is the divide between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton something different. We`ll show you the incredible show of force from Bernie or bust supporters at a Sanders rally last night, just after the break.


HAYES: That was a remarkable scene last night at Bernie Sanders` rally in Southern California with a reported 11,000 people there. Thousands of people chanting "Bernie or bust." It`s a phrase that has a specific meaning in this race. "Feel the Bern" is one thing, but "Bernie or bust" is the rallying cry of the most hardcore Sanders supporters; people who say they will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee -- the Democratic equivalent of the "Never Trumpers." Now, at this point, it`s unclear how representative that is of Sanders supporters as a whole. But, that massive "Bernie or bust" chant came during a raucous speech from the Senator, which included an ultimatum of sorts to the Democratic Party, and on the heels of a pretty combative statement from Sanders about his supporters conduct at the State Democratic Convention over the weekend in Nevada.

Today, while Sanders took a less aggressive stance towards Clinton on the stump, his campaign continued to go after the party pretty hard, accusing DNC officials of hostility towards the Sanders campaign. That position has many Democrats, gurning themselves for a tough general election, worried. Vice President Joe Biden, however, today seem unfazed.


REPORTER: What about Bernie Sanders and his supporters? Are you at all concerned?

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT: No, I`m not. Bernie Sanders is a good guy. Bernie Sanders is -- I think we should -- look, I think let Bernie run the race. I`m confident that Bernie will be supportive if Hillary wins, which the numbers indicate will happen. And so I`m not -- I`m not worried. There`s no fundamental split or anything in the Democratic Party.


HAYES: Joining me now, Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, conservative think tank; a man who has covered and studied the Republican party`s lurch to the right over the years.

So Joe Biden seems unfazed. You were tweeting today with Tad Devine, just somewhat plaintively begging him to cut it out. Why are you concerned?

NORM ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: You know, I -- first, Tad is a long-time Democratic Party operative who is generally more pragmatic than Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager. But I think, you know, there`s a danger here that if you focus on the idea that the democratic party`s process is utterly illegitimate, that the nomination was stolen from you, then even if Bernie does what Joe Biden suggested and pivots to saying "We can`t have Donald Trump as President", you`re going to create a breach that`s going to have a lot of people, who otherwise might vote, deciding not to or believing that the process is so illegitimate that the nominee is illegitimate. And that takes the kind of tension that you always have -- and the rough and tumble -- in these nomination contests that can get very bitter towards the end.

We saw it with Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton in 1992; with Bill Bradley and Al Gore in 2000. But it ends up getting damped down -- not being tamped down in quite the same way. And frankly, Chris, I`m also a little worried about Bernie, whom I like. You know, he`s going to go back to Senate. Is he going to be a hero and a leader of this movement or will he be a pariah to his colleagues and a whole lot of people who otherwise would support him? Not a good thing.

HAYES: Well, so here`s -- so if you go back to 2008 -- because it`s interesting to look at this time line. I mean, it was around this time when things did get pretty intense. It was clear mathematically -- and let`s just be clear, Hillary Clinton`s -- Barack Obama was leading Hillary Clinton by about one-third of what she`s leading Bernie Sanders, so he had a thinner margin and people still recognized she couldn`t overtake him. But there was a lot of process complaints. I was in the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, D.C. when they fought over Michigan and Florida, which had violated the primary calendar and this big fight. And there was people screaming in that room saying "This being stolen" and "This is illegitimate." You know, you had all of that and then, you know, ultimately it went away.

ORNSTEIN: Sure. And I think anybody who suggests that Bernie should drop out now -- that`s a mistake. He has every right to go all the way through to California, but in a deeply divided and tribal political environment and with the social media the way they are now, the opportunity to damp down the potential for violence -- for really ugly behavior; the kinds of things that could get far worse than we saw in Nevada and could seriously disrupt the convention in Philadelphia -- you need to tone it down a bit - - to ratchet it down a bit, and to understand if you tell your supporters that you`re still likely to win when you`re behind by 3 million votes -- and 3 million votes there`s nothing about a chicanery in a party that creates that kind of a gap -- you`re playing with fire. And that, I think, is the problem here. Stay in the race, fight a vigorous contest, be plenty tough, but you`ve got to tone it down.

HAYES: All right. Norm Ornstein, thanks for joining me. Appreciate it.


HAYES: Up next, it`s becoming Bernie Sanders` rallying cry that he`s polling stronger against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton. After the break, why one poll from the 2012 presidential race might help explain why.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Virtually every national and state poll taken in the last six weeks -- in all of those polls we are defeating Donald Trump. In almost every case, whether it is a national poll or a state poll, we do much better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton.


HAYES: Recurring theme in the ongoing battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has been Sanders` apparent strength against the presumptive republican nominee, Donald Trump. It`s a case made by Sanders himself again and again, and as we previously showed on this program, it`s a claim borne out by the evidence if you judge by polling alone. As you see here, in national polls Sanders repeatedly outperforms Clinton in head-to-head matchups against Donald Trump. In this brand new Fox News poll, Clinton trails Trump, but Sanders is still leading him.

Now, there are various theories about why that is the case -- that Sanders is, indeed, a stronger match against Donald Trump, or that Sanders has not had to suffer through traditional negative ads in this election cycle so far -- ads that would dampen those poll numbers. But, polls are funny. During the 2012 election, there was a similar comparative poll conducted and there was a Democrat who was running stronger against Mitt Romney than President Obama was just days before the election. Obama was barely beating Mitt Romney in this poll, but this mystery democrat was winning. Who was that Democrat? The big reveal in just 60 seconds.


HAYES: So four years ago, there were plenty of polls in the run up to the general election in the head-to-head match-up between the incumbent president, Barack Obama, and the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. And since Obama had basically run unopposed in the primary, it was exceedingly rare for polls to show how another Democrat might fare against Mitt Romney in a general election. There was a poll conducted in late October 2012, just days before the election, showing a Democrat other than Obama performing better against Romney in a hypothetical matchup.

In that YouGov poll, President Obama was leading Romney by a statistically insignificant one percentage point -- 48 to 47 percent among likely voters. In that same poll, there was a Democrat beating Romney by a healthy six points in a hypothetical matchup, and that person was then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. She was leading Romney 51 to 45 percent, a truly impressive margin, particular compared to the President`s head-to-head match-up. YouGov even titled this piece "What if? The Hillary effect", and speculated her better performance may simply have been that she had not been President for four years with all the baggage that entails.

This time around it is Hillary Clinton representing the closest thing to the weight of incumbency, with Bernie Sanders as the fresh outsider.


HAYES: Today a group of conservatives met with Facebook co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, after a piece in Gizmodo citing an anonymous source - - a former Facebook contractor -- who said that workers suppressed conservative content on the website`s trending news section. There were also claims that Facebook`s so-called news curators chose which stories to inject into trending topics. The claim lit a fire under conservative media, which already tends to have a bit of a persecution complex. Zuckerberg says the company is conducting a full investigation into the allegations, but has so far found no evidence this report is true. Just over an hour ago, Zuckerberg posted a statement on Facebook about the meeting which reads, in part, "I know many conservatives don`t trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias. We wanted to hear their concerns, personally, and have an open conversation about how we can build trust."

Joining me now is Xeni Jardin, she is co-editor of Xeni, there are two things in this initial report. One was the sort of -- the claim that there was a kind of political agenda at work, and that was by one anonymous (inaudible). The other was the revelation that the trending algorithm isn`t an algorithm; it`s a bunch of people sitting there and pulling stories into the list, right?

XENI JARDIN, CO-EDITOR, BOINGBOING.NET: Pay no attention to the trending algorithm people behind the curtain.

HAYES: Exactly.

JARDIN: Well, no, those of us who are -- who work in online publishing -- I`m part of a small group of people who run, and we`ve been around forever -- we learned -- over the past couple of years we`ve seen our traffic ebb and flow on Facebook. They now account for like 40 percent of all traffic that goes to news sites. I think it`s great that these conservative news personalities were up in arms about this because the story is way bigger.

I don`t think that Facebook -- I think it`s very unlikely that anybody at Facebook who is employed there now is doing anything to actively up or down vote stories based on ideological bent. But I do think that Facebook is so much more powerful than any individual news organization. You know, yes, they`re entitled to the same kinds of first amendment protections that MSNBC, or the New York Times, or whatever is entitled to, but Facebook now controls news in a way that no other company in American history has. I think that should be a concern to everybody. It`s not really the free and open internet at all -- it`s Facebook.

HAYES: That -- this is, to me, the this is the crucial point here is there`s the ideological suppression, which may have been going on; but, more broadly, it`s the fact that they have a tremendous amount of power and it`s power they don`t want to, apparently, own up to in the same way the New York Times -- you understand the editors who are at the top of that organization are controlling what you seeing in the New York times. That`s not the deal Facebook is making on its surface with the user.

JARDIN: Right. There`s no transparency. Facebook is clearly pay to play. If you are a publisher and you want your message out there, you need to pay them. If you like -- for instance, Boing Boing`s page on Facebook -- you`re not going to see everything we publish unless we pay Facebook for it. I think, especially the younger generation of internet users is just not buying that. It`s a form of effective censorship, even if they don`t intend to be evil.

HAYES: That`s such a good point about the -- particularly coming from the open web in which we all grew up, which is basically dead. Xeni Jardin, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

JARDIN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, what does the host of Comedy Central`s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore really think of Donald Trump and this year`s presidential race? I`ll ask him when he joins me here at the desk right after this break.



LARRY WILMORE, HOST, THE NIGHTLY SHOW: We know go live to Trump`s hair.


WILMORE: How`s it going Trump -- Trump`s hair?

UNKNOWN MALE: Hey, Larry. Look at me. I`m a terrible racist, Larry.

WILMORE: Yeah, yeah. Okay, Trump`s hair, how can you justify being on this man`s head?

UNKNOWN MALE: Hey, Larry, I am just I`m trying to make America -- you know, what, I can`t do this. I can`t do it?

WILMORE: Mike, what are you doing?

UNKNOWN MALE: It`s not funny anymore, Larry. I mean, this man is an abomination of a human being. (Expletive) Trump.


HAYES: All right, one of the things that distinguishes the Nightly Show from other late night shows, aside from the fact it`s currently one of only two late night comedy shows with a black host, is that Larry Wilmore doesn`t seem to mock and humiliate his target`s (inaudible) with the arm`s length that you are used to. That was largely the aim of his predecessors, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in that slot. Now, don`t get me wrong, the Nightly Show is funny, but for Wilmore, a comedian hosting a comedy show -- it isn`t always about the punch line. In fact, during a segment last September, after Trump proposed his total and completed shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S., Wilmore seemed less preoccupied with the jokes all together.


WILMORE: This is ugly. That`s the only word I can come up with for this - - ugly. And to the GOP candidates and pundits who are calling him out now -- "I can`t believe you said this and" -- no, stop acting like you`re so (expletive) surprised. Just stop it. Trump`s been saying this (expletive) since the day he called Mexicans rapists, all right? That`s how he began his campaign. And when people tell you who they are, believe them. Trump, you had me at Mexican rapists.


WILMORE: For the most part, the Nightly Show is a pretty straight-forward late night show -- there`s an opening monologue, celebrity guests, there`s a panel round table. But he`s also doing something rare. He`s putting the audience in the position of not knowing, in crucial moments, whether they should laugh or not. Joining me now, Larry Wilmore, host of the Nightly Show. Good to have you here.

WILMORE: Thanks, Chris. I want to make it clear, yes, it is okay to laugh, audience; yes.

HAYES: You should laugh. Well -- so, this is what -- this is what I -- I find this interesting because I think you clearly care about this stuff. You`re a long time comedian and comedy writer and you`ve got an incredible resume as a joke writer. But there`s also lots of moments in your show where it`s unclear if I`m -- like if you`re -- if that`s a joke or you`re just like "This is messed up."

WILMORE: Yeah, well, I think the -- one of the theses of our show, you know, to use another non-comic term -- in the beginning was we`re going to keep it 100, which means we`re going to keep it 100 percent real. And sometimes when we`re keeping it 100 percent real, it`s not always a glib response to a situation. Sometimes it`s a (sound) response and then after you (sound), you know, then you find the comedy after that. But sometimes you got to go in there and, as we say, keep it real and then do your comedy around it.

HAYES: How do you feel watching this campaign unfold? Like, you keep hearing this line -- you`ll hear it again and again -- like "Oh, it`s not funny anymore. It stopped being funny." Hillary Clinton was on Jimmy Fallon saying "Well (inaudible) not funny." And my feeling doing this job that it`s both not funny and very funny all the time.

WILMORE: Yeah, it`s both. I mean, it`s funny because it`s absurd.

HAYES: Right.

WILMORE: It`s not funny because it`s like "Oh, he`s so clever and witty."

HAYES: "Oh, that`s adorable."

WILMORE: Yeah, you know, it`s like "Oh, I can`t believe what he`s saying. Isn`t he a witty man?" No, it`s absurd because I believe this fool is running for president we`re all laughing at this, but laughing in the wrong way. And it`s almost like a mockery is being made of the whole -- the whole idea of running for president is what it feels like. So we`re laughing at this, but we`re laughing -- first we were laughing kind of uncomfortably, not thinking that this could ever happen, right? So our laughs were all free and happy.

HAYES: They were free laughs. That`s a great way of putting it.

WILMORE: Yeah, "He`s never going to be president -- haha." And then it was an uncomfortable laugh -- "This might just happen but let`s keep laughing." And now it`s a very scared, frightened laugh.

HAYES: It`s like -- it`s gallows humor.

WILMORE: Exactly. Literally.

HAYES: It`s gotten -- mean that`s --

WILMORE: Right, except we feel America is getting into the gallows right now. That`s the problem.

HAYES: See, that`s a dark, gallows joke.

WILMORE: Yes. But, Chris, we have no choice but to laugh. What are we going to do, start sobbing and say "It`s over. There`s nothing we can do."

HAYES: That`s my -- you know, I have to say, my humor has gotten -- working in this job, or just, like, in that news cycle every day which, of course, you`re in in a slightly different way -- your humor gets pretty dark because you`re constantly dealing with that flow of news, a lot of which is terrible news about --

WILMORE: Oh, absolutely. Jon Stewart called it "turd mining". He says, you know, you spend all this time mining turds and after a while that smell is all around you, you know? It`s hard to get out of that. So it can be depressing but that`s -- the good thing about having to do a comedy show is you`re forced to find the humor, and find the fun, and that kind of thing. And, thank god, there are always some crazy stories that are just ridiculous.

HAYES: Right. Yeah, that`s right.

WILMORE: Which is good. So we get a relief from that. But, then, like that clip is -- sometimes -- and, you know, it`s not even so much the story. Sometimes there are moments, like when I feel like I just have to keep it real for a second -- not for too long, but just for an instant, you know?

HAYES: What does that mean? When you say -- what does that -- where does that feeling of fidelity to keeping it real come from? Like, what does that mean to you as an ethic for the show?

WILMORE: Well, it means a number of things. One was as a reaction to what was before. And, like, Stephen Colbert did a character -- and he was --

HAYES: It was the opposite of keeping it real. It was --

WILMORE: That`s exactly right. He was doing irony and he was using that to do satire. And I thought, as a response to that, we should do the complete opposite. We should embrace realism to a whole different degree, like be extra real, if you will -- uber real, if one were -- you know? And so embracing that ethic gives our show just a completely different feel from the beginning you know? And the fact of -- part of our show was built as a conversation where we`re actually talking about the issues, so now it`s not satirical; it`s a completely different tone. It`s real talk about something.

HAYES: Right.

WILMORE: So part of the show is satire and part of it is just real talk where you`re finding humanity and humor in a situation.

HAYES: You know, the keeping it real makes me think of the White House Correspondents` Dinner performance which --

WILMORE: I kept it 1,000 there.

HAYES: You kept it 1,000. You kept it 10,000.

WILMORE: Oh, thank you, Chris. Coming from Chris.

HAYES: Yeah, exactly. And I thought -- one of the things I thought was most interesting --

WILMORE: By the way, you keep it 1,000 on this show, by the way.

HAYES: Thank you. Thank you. That means a lot to me.

WILMORE: All the time.

HAYES: That does mean a lot.

WILMORE: No, I really appreciate it. It`s nice to just tune in and go "Yeah, go on. Give it to them Chris."

HAYES: One of the things that struck me about watching you up there with the President of the United States, and it being his last White House Correspondents` Dinner is just that, like, I don`t know if we have gotten our heads around what the end of the Obama presidency means, and I feel like that`s -- I`m saying as a white person -- I feel like it`s particularly true of black America where no one`s gone through the transition of going from a black president to a white president before, just the way that no one had gone from going from a white president to a black president.

WILMORE: I don`t know if America is ready for a white president. I think it`s a very good question that you bring up. We should reexamine this and, possibly, redo this whole process over. "Do we really want these black people moving out of the neighborhood" is the question America should be asking itself, you know? Yeah, there`s going to be separation anxiety with this family. We don`t know how -- I think the Obama administration is going to be looked at completely different in the years to come. People said that about the Bush administration but, I don`t know, there`s not been --

HAYES: No, I think history will be very unfavorable.

WILMORE: There`s not been much revisionism -- and there`s isn`t much revisionism as far as presidents go. I think Truman got a lot of it; LBJ to a certain extent, but some of that was mixed, right, because of Vietnam and everything. Nixon for a while and then it went back where it should be.

HAYES: That`s true -- that`s a well -- yeah.

WILMORE: Clinton`s taking an interesting turn down, which is kind of interesting, you know? But, I think Obama`s going to go way up. I really do, because a lot of this crap that`s surrounding it is just going to be gone, you know?

HAYES: Ta-Nehisi Coates and I have this -- have talked about this and we -- our -- we always say to each other, like, 60 years from now, the most right wing version of like a tea party congressman, will be releasing their statement on Barack Obama Day, talking about how great Barack Obama was and citing his 2004 speech of like "No red America/blue America" -- like citing him as this, like, figure of great acumenical universal admiration.

WILMORE: I thinks it`s quite possible that that would happen. I mean, let`s be honest, Ronald Reagan would be a Democrat today.

HAYES: Right.

WILMORE: I mean, they`d call him a RINO and all these terms.

HAYES: That might be true, particularly with immigration.

WILMORE: Well, just --

HAYES: Yeah.

WILMORE: Amnesty alone -- he wouldn`t last a day in the Republican Party.

HAYES: Yeah, he would get run out.

WILMORE: Absolutely.

HAYES: Larry Wilmore, great pleasure to have you here.

WILMORE: Oh, my pleasure, Chris.

HAYES: Come by any time you`re in the neighborhood.

WILMORE: Yeah, let`s (inaudible). Let`s mix it up, Chris. Come on.

HAYES: All right, that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. That was awesome.

HAYES: Hey, thanks. That was fun.

MADDOW: That was really, really fun. I loved that.