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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 5/20/2016

Guests: Brian Fallon, Betsy Woodruff, Karine Jean-Pierre, Kelsey Snell, Robert Traynham, Howard Dean

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 20, 2016 Guest: Brian Fallon, Betsy Woodruff, Karine Jean-Pierre, Kelsey Snell, Robert Traynham, Howard Dean


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC GUEST HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --


KORNACKI: Donald Trump is endorsed by the NRA as he takes on Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: The most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate ever to run for office.

KORNACKI: Then, as investigators search for what brought down EgyptAir Flight 804, speculation continues.

TRUMP: I can practically guarantee who blew it up.

KORNACKI: Plus, despite the daily jabs --



KORNACKI: Are Democrats more united now than they were eight years ago?

And breaking down the head-to-head polls, are Democrats underestimating Trump in the general election?

TRUMP: We`re going to win, win, win.

KORNACKI: ALL IN starts now.


KORNACKI: And good evening from New York. I`m Steve Kornacki, in for Chris Hayes.

Big news day on this Friday with developments in the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804. NBC News has confirmed data transmitted minutes before that plane fell off radar indicates that smoke was filling the front end of the plane and that systems were failing.

There are also big developments tonight in the presidential race. Donald Trump getting an endorsement from the NRA as he calls Hillary Clinton the most anti-gun candidate ever. We`re going to talk to her press secretary about that.

But we`re going to begin by bringing you up to date on a situation that happened earlier today at the White House. This is when a Secret Service agent shot a man as he approached a check point with a weapon.

NBC`s Jim Miklaszewski was at the White House during the incident. He joins us now with more.

So, Mick, what can you tell us on this?

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Steve, you know, it`s pretty calm and serene here tonight. But earlier today, this place erupted into sheer chaos.


MIKLASZEWSKI: On what has been a serene sunny afternoon, the White House grounds suddenly looked like a war zone. Shouts and shots fired rang out, as Secret Service scrambled to their post. One with a sniper rifle atop the White House. A lone man brandishing a handgun was spotted walking to the southwest corner of the White House grounds.

Taylor Kaitz (ph) couldn`t believe her eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had a gun out in plain sight. It wasn`t even hidden. He looked at me and kept walking.

MIKLASZEWSKI: The armed suspect was approaching a guard post when he was spotted by Secret Service officers.

Larry Samples (ph) said the officers shouted at the man to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop your gun. And he walked toward the officers. He just kept on walking in.

MIKLASZEWSKI: As the armed man drew closer, a Secret Service agent fired a single shot, striking the suspect in the chest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After they approached about the third in, they shot him.

MIKLASZEWSKI: The suspect was rushed to George Washington hospital, his condition unknown. Police soon discovered his vehicle parked several blocks away and searched it for any clues or a motive.


MIKLASZEWSKI: Now, federal officials are identifying the suspect as Jesse Olivieri of Ashland, Pennsylvania. And according to these officials, it appears that this was an attempted suicide by cop, that the suspect before he was taken to the hospital actually told authorities that he wanted to die. The D.C. police will be conducting the investigation into the shooting, but from what we`re hearing from most officials, this was a good shooting, that the officer who fired the shot was playing it by the books, Steve.

KORNACKI: All right. Jim Miklaszewski outside the White House, thanks for that.

And turning to the race for the White House now, Donald Trump today speaking at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky, where he did something he`s done a lot in this campaign. He told the crowd what it wants to hear even though it conflicts what with he said in the past.


TRUMP: The NRA has led the fight time and time again to protect our fundamental freedoms. This is an amazing group.


KORNACKI: That`s Trump today. But back in 2000 when he nearly ran for president as an independent, Trump wrote a book called "The America We Deserve," and in that book, he took on the NRA, writing, quote, "I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun."

In a speech to the NRA today, Trump said he would get rid of so-called "gun-free zones" if he becomes president. This despite the fact that many of his own properties, including Mar-a-Lago don`t allow guns.

But Trump is casting himself as completely in line with the NRA, and the group in turn offered Trump its endorsement.


TRUMP: To get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor.

My sons have been members of the NRA for many, many years. And they`re incredible. They have so many rifles, and so many guns, sometimes even I get a little bit concerned. I said that`s a lot.

There are 13 million right-to-carry permit holders in the United States. I happen to be one of them. In the past -- nobody knows that. Boy, would I surprise somebody if they hit Trump.


KORNACKI: Now, Trump also went hard after Hillary Clinton on guns, saying she would force vulnerable Americans to go defenseless in the face of violence around them, suggesting Clinton`s bodyguards should give up their firearms and calling her the most anti-gun candidate in history.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, just remember that. We`re not talking about change it. She wants to abolish the Second Amendment. So, we`re not going let that happen. I can tell you that right now.


KORNACKI: PolitiFact looked into that deeming it was false. They wrote, quote, "We found no evidence that Clinton has ever advocated for repealing or abolishing the Second Amendment."

Joining me now is Brian Fallon. He`s the national press secretary for Hillary for America.

Brian, thanks for joining us.

So, PolitiFact says that last claim there, she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. PolitiFact says that`s false, that`s not true. She hasn`t ever said anything along those lines. But I think looking into this, what that comment stems from, and he`s not the only conservative who`ve made this claim, there was a recording from Hillary Clinton at a fund-raiser a few minutes ago. She said at this fund-raiser, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.

From that comment grows claims like this from Donald Trump. What is the Supreme Court wrong when it comes to the Second Amendment?

BRIAN FALLON, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY FOR HILLARY FOR AMERICA: Well, you`re absolutely right what Donald Trump said today that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment is absolutely false and as you mentioned, fact checkers have discredited that claim.

She absolutely agrees with the idea that the Second Amendment allows for individuals to own a firearm, but she believes that while respecting that right, there is still room for common sense gun safety measures like universalizing background checks, like closing the Charleston loophole that allow Dylann Roof to murder those worshippers at Mother Emmanuel Church in South Carolina.

So, she absolutely respects the right as it was contemplated.


KORNACKI: OK. This is -- this is where the difference may be. The Heller case is the Supreme Court decision a few years ago. It struck down Washington, D.C.`s ban on handguns. It said gun ownership is an individual right. You disagree with that.

FALLON: Well, there were a lot of parts to that decision. It said, number one, there was an individual right to own a firearm, specifically, it contemplated the idea of having a firearm for the purposes of self-defense in your home. She doesn`t dispute that principle.

But the decision in Heller actually went beyond that and said that the D.C., for instance, the law that they passed that called for safe storage of firearms to prevent toddlers from getting access to guns that were stored inadequately in the home, they stuck down that and in doing so, opened the door to preventing localities across the country to customizing safety measures that would allow them to take proper precautions to ensure the safety, especially in highly densely populated areas.

And so, she thinks it went too far in terms of preventing places like New York from imposing common sense measures to ensure the safety of the population here.

KORNACKI: OK. So, again, this is a Supreme Court ruling, and this gets to another point that Trump makes in this speech today. He the other day put out a list of people he said, "If I`m president, one of these people will be my appointee to the Supreme Court when I get a chance to make an appointment. Supreme Court decides issues like we`re talking about right now. He called on Hillary Clinton on a speech today, put on her own list, who would she put on the court? Is that something you guys could do?

FALLON: Look, there will be a time for her to talk about who she would nominate. That`s when she`s president of the United States. I think she`s done quite far in identifying the standards she would use in terms of who she would look at in general.

But, look --

KORNACKI: But no names before the election.

FALLON: I doubt it. If you -- the issue right now is we have a nominee put forward by this president, Merrick Garland, who is an absolutely qualified individual than any normal circumstance should be confirmed by a unanimous margin and it`s just because Republicans --

KORNACKI: Could she put Merrick Garland up? If he doesn`t get confirmed this year, could she put him up next year?

FALLON: We will not entertain the premise that Republicans are going to be able to hold ranks here and deprive the president of a vote on this very confirmable nominee that he`s put forward. I think that Republicans have actually walked into a dead-end trap with this strategy that they`ve followed because essentially what it means is at the same time that so many of them are trying to distance themselves from Donald Trump, now they`re effectively running interference and saying that the option should be held open for him to pick this next nominee.

So I think that they`re going to find that this is an untenable situation and that before Hillary Clinton is sworn in, they`re going have to capitulate here and give this man a vote.

KORNACKI: Look, we showed at the start, Donald Trump has said very different things about guns than he`s saying right now. But in fairness, if you look at Hillary Clinton through the years, if you go back 16 years ago to when she ran for the Senate from New York, she was talking about a national gun registry, she was talking about raising the age for handgun ownership from 18 to 21.

Then when she ran in 2008, during the Pennsylvania primary, she was asked, do you still believe that in the gun registry? This is what she said back then.


MODERATOR: But do you still favor licensing and registration of handguns?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I favor is what works in New York. You know, we have a set of rules in New York City, and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certain will I not going to work in Montana.

So, for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they`re going to try to impose, I think, doesn`t make sense.


KORNACKI: And she also at a separate point in that campaign, she was asked point blank, are you backing off the call for national registry? She said yes. So, two different positions, 2000, 2008, now 2016. Where is she on that question? National gun registry? Is she for or against that?

FALLON: She is consistent with where she was in 2008. I think she`s rightfully said she needs to focus on things that right now that are so common sense that only an extreme ideological position like we heard from Donald Trump today could possibly be opposed to. So, if you`re talking universal background checks, if you`re talking about closing the Charleston loophole, if you`re talking about keeping individuals that are on the terror watch list from being able to purchase fire arms, these are things that we should be pressing in Congress right now, these are things that even as we pivot to a general election, she`s not going to be backing off of.

She`s going to be in Florida tomorrow speaking at the Trayvon Martin Foundation. She is right now moving into a general election posture. A lot of critics and commentators are suggesting or anticipating that she`s somehow going to get reluctant to discuss these issues, absolutely not. But she does think we need to prioritize the issues that right now has such strong support and it could really make a difference.

And, you know, I think it`s an important point to make that from a numbers perspective, these proposals have 70 percent, 80 percent of Americans in support of them. From a sheer number of perspective, there are more voters that support these measures but they don`t often prioritize and make them voting issues when it comes to the ballot box. President Obama has very eloquently said, Democrats and other independents, reasonable Republicans that support these common sense measures need to make it a voting issue and that is our calculation as well.

KORNACKI: All right. Brian Fallon from the Clinton campaign, thanks from the time.

KORNACKI: Thanks, Steve.

All right. And the NRA isn`t the only group on the right having a "come to Trump" moment these days. "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board which back in November wrote that, quote, "GOP voters will have to decide if they want to vote for their most protectionist nominee since Hoover." Well, that "Wall Street Journal" is now heaping praise on Trump`s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

The GOP elite are lining up behind Trump. That`s what "Politico" says, "declaring that the nerve Trump movement is over, and Trump himself is doing his part. He`s sending hand-written notes to never Trump conservatives including radio host Charlie Sykes who recently dubbed Trump, quote, "a cartoon version of every liberal stereotype of racist, sexist, xenophobic, know-nothing Republicans." Sykes, though, tweeting a note of Trump tweeting the words, "Here`s the note Donald Trump sent me yesterday. I thanked him for it, but still #neverTrumporHillary."

Joining me now is Betsy Woodruff. She`s political reporter at "The Daily Beast."

Betsy, thanks for taking a few minutes. Well, it`s interesting because when I look inside these polls, and we`ll talk more about the polls later in the show, but when I look inside them, I`m noticing a lot of Republican rank-and-file voters are already rallying around Donald Trump in that race against Clinton. I`m wondering, are they going to exert -- we talk so much about -- what will leaders say to the voters, but are those Republican grassroots voters exerting upward pressure on the Charlie Sykes of this world?

BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I think Charlie Sykes accepted. That`s what we`re seeing happen. The grassroots is actually leading the punitive conservative movement leadership.

I spoke earlier this week with a number of pro-life activists, just kind of quiet conversations, off the record, and heard from every single one of them that almost to a man pro-life leaders are coming around behind Donald Trump. Part of the reason for that, of course, is the support he has from grassroots conservatives.

Part of the reason also is that behind the scenes, he`s made some hires that have had significant impact on these folks. For instance, he recently picked up John Mashburn. He`s very well-respected in pro-life leadership circles. You know, a former Senate aide. The fact that he made that hire which happened with very little fanfare, I think, moved a lot of hearts and minds among these social conservative leaders.

So the reality is I think the Never Trump holdouts while they will exist, while I think Charlie Sykes is not going to change his mind, I think for the most part, never Trump votes are going to be few, far between, and not that influential in the general.

KORNACKI: Is it fair to say the best tool Donald Trump has going when it comes to uniting the Republican Party is the simple fact who his opponent is, Hillary Clinton?

WOODRUFF: Oh, yes, without a doubt. I mean, and I think that`s part of the reason the NRA speech went over so well, is that even though a lot of Second Amendment rights activists, a lot of sort of die hard pro-gun folks are very skeptical of the stances that Trump has taken in the past on guns, he`s night and day different than Hillary Clinton.

I mean, the reality is Clinton has spent the last entire primary cycle moving to the left on gun rights, you know, changing her rhetoric, changing her focus, spending more time in the debates, more time on the stump talking about her support for tougher gun laws and that`s something that registers with Republican primary voters. They`re not ignoring what`s going on. And she makes Trump sound, you know, pretty great just by comparison.

KORNACKI: All right. Betsy Woodruff with "The Daily Beast" -- thanks for the time.

WOODRUFF: Sure thing.

KORNACKI: All right. And still to come, with growing concerns over fractures in the Democratic Party, a reminder that it`s been worse. And it wasn`t that long ago that it was. I`ll explain that ahead.

But, first, was terrorism involved in the downing of EgyptAir Flight 804? We`re going to have all of today`s big developments in that story in two minutes.


KORNACKI: The investigation into what brought EgyptAir Flight 804 out of the sky continued today as naval crews in the Mediterranean discovered wreckage from the plane, including seats and luggage belonging to some of the 66 people who were on board. Data automatically transmitted from the flight just before it disappeared from radar showed smoke was detected in multiple locations including forward lavatory in the avionics compartment that controls the plane. That suggests there may have been a fire on board. Now, whether that fire was the result of a mechanical failure or something intentional like a bomb is still unknown at this hour.

Nevertheless, the presumptive Republican nominee says he already knows what happened. After tweeting early yesterday morning, that, quote, "looks like yet another terrorist attack", last night, while attending a fundraiser for Chris Christie, Donald Trump went even farther.


TRUMP: A plane got blown out of the sky. If anybody thinks it wasn`t blown out of the sky, you`re 100 percent wrong, folks, OK? You`re 100 percent wrong.


KORNACKI: And this morning on MSNBC, Trump defended his response to the Flight 804 disaster.


MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: It was very much generating hatred, focusing on the hatred and fear that terrorism brings to people and maybe perhaps that first tweet --


TRUMP: I can practically guarantee who blew it up.

BRZEZINSKI: Listen, listen -- Donald, listen to yourself right now.

TRUMP: The mindset of a weak Hillary Clinton, which is four more years of Obama`s not going to do it for our country, Mika.


KORNACKI: And joining me now, NBC News terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann.

So, Evan, just give us the facts here, would you? What do we know right now in terms of whether this is terrorism or not? There`s nothing definitive. Are there signs pointing one way or the other?

EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: Look, one of the curious things is this. The presumption obviously is that it`s terrorism, it could likely be ISIS. When ISIS does things like this, they tend to claim credit very quickly. In the case of the Russian airliner in Sinai, they claimed credit for that within ten hours. In this case, there`s been 48 hours or more since the crash of EgyptAir, their airliner. There`s been nothing at all from ISIS about this.

It`s not that there haven`t been communiques. They`ve been sending out communique after communique, video, talking about all sorts of stuff. They`ve been talking about attacking tanks in Syria. They`ve been talking about taking over India.

And yet, in all of this, they haven`t mentioned a scintilla about EgyptAir. Not a word. It`s very unusual. If ISIS did this, this is a rare occurrence for them. If it`s somebody else, the question is how and why.

KORNACKI: Are there other groups? I mean, we focus so much on ISIS. Are there other groups out there, though, that this would be plausible that they would want to do this?

KOHLMANN: Al Qaeda, you bet. You know, there`s another terrorist group out there that I think a lot of us have forgotten about that still wants to stay relevant in the game. And sure. What`s a great way of staying relevant in the game? To carry out an act of international terrorism, focused on international aviation, which is going to draw the attention of world media.

The problem is, why would al Qaeda try to bomb EgyptAir liner carrying mostly Egyptian Sunni Muslims? Al Qaeda is trying to win the admiration and loyalty of these people, as is ISIS. What purpose would this serve?

This is not going after an Egyptian police building. This is not going after an Egypt military. It`s not going after Russians who are vacationing in the Sinai. This is going after the constituency that ISIS and al Qaeda is looking to wound them.

So, in terms of logic, there isn`t a lot of logic here. That doesn`t mean it wasn`t terrorism. It could have been an error. They didn`t mean to carry it out like this. There`s something wrong here. This is not --

KORNACKI: Because you`re saying there`s no claims of credit right now, but when you look at the airline, the route originating in Paris, there`s been so much attention on extremism in Paris and in Europe in general, the nature of how this comes out, are there other signs here, though, that get you looking at it saying, gosh, this does have some of the hallmarks?

KOHLMANN: Well, look, there are extremists in Paris, there`s no doubt. There are extremists in France. Whether or not there are extremists who have access to sensitive areas at Charles de Gaulle Airport is an entirely different question.

Can ISIS recruit people to carry out suicide bombings in public, in public areas or shoot people in Paris? Yeah, we`ve seen that. Are they able to recruit people behind the scenes without the French government knowing about it? That`s dubious. It`s even more dubious if they were able to do that, if they had access to sensitive areas, why would they go after this target?

There are 747s, American airlines every day to Charles de Gaulle. That would seem to be an obvious target. An Air France airliner going to Cairo, who is carrying French nationals, that to me would seem to be an obvious target that would fits the ISIS or al Qaeda modus operandi.

This? It`s something strange.

KORNACKI: Quick question, though, a couple of years ago, there was a case of an EgyptAir flight that crashed here originating from the United States. It looked like the pilot just took it down intentionally. I know Egypt has never actually admitted that that`s what happened, even though that was the finding.

Given that history, how confident can we be in this case we`re going to get answers?

KOHLMANN: Look, I think the Egyptians, their sole purpose is to draw attention way from anything that would blame them, anything that puts the blame on their mechanics, their air crew, their staff. They don`t want that.

Now, if it turns out it was something at Charles de Gaulle, they can put that on somebody else. But the last thing they want is to be blamed for this.

So, yes. They`re going to push away from the idea that this was something mechanical because it was going to suggest that they weren`t taking care of their planes properly. We have to look at international investigators. What are the French investigators saying? Right now, what they`re saying we have absolutely no idea what brought this plane down. There are no clues. We do not know. That`s what we know.

KORNACKI: OK. Evan Kohlmann, NBC terrorism analyst -- thanks for your time.

KOHLMANN: Thank you.

KORNACKI: All right. Still to come, increasing concern over unity in the Democratic Party, but how different is the fight we`re seeing right now really from the fight in 2008. We`re going to dive into that just ahead.


KORNACKI: In April of last year, Hillary Clinton announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for president. In a couple of weeks after that, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont did the same. And the last time that happened when you had two Democrats who were vying for the nomination, well, there was an incumbent Democratic president. That was 16 years ago.

The 2000 Democratic primary between Al Gore and Bill Bradley. Gore, a former senator, challenging Gore, the sitting vice president. And Bradley getting walloped in that race. He lost every single primary and caucus he contested and he dropped out of the race early.


REPORTER: Bradley, who failed to win a single contest, pledged to support Vice President Gore as he goes forward saying there`s time for unity.

But referring to what was at time as contentious even personally negative battle between them, he said Gore will have to run, quote, "a better campaign in the fall".


KORNACKI: Now, the expectation when Clinton first entered the 2016 race was she was going to coast just like Gore had. That Sanders, a 77-year-old socialist, who`s not even a member of a Democratic Party, that he`d be lucky to put up even as much of a fight as poor Bill Bradley did back in 2000. It didn`t look like much of a contest at all.

And yet, it turns out the expectations were very wrong. And instead of Bradley-Gore, the Clinton Sanders race is ended up being compared to the Clinton/Obama race of 2008, which was the closest Democratic primary race in history.

What that says about how the Sanders race has exceeded expectations, that`s next.


KORNACKI: Tonight, with national polls tightening between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Democrats are becoming increasingly vocal about their concerns over party unity heading into the race against Donald Trump and the convention this summer. The city of Philadelphia saying it has awarded four demonstration permits for Bernie Sanders supporters at the Democratic convention this summer, the city saying it expects some 30,000 people.

That news amid reports that the DNC plans to offer Sanders a seat on a key convention platform committee.

The Clinton campaign however is projecting confidence, noting that her pledged delegate lead compared to Obama`s during this point in the 2008 primary is actually larger. That race, the 2008 race, has shockingly become the most apt comparison to this Clinton/Sanders primary.

And it`s a useful one, because as Democratic unity increasingly becomes a concern, it`s helpful to look back at where the Democatic Party at this very point in the race in 2008.

For example, it was in late May of 2008 that Clinton wrote what was at the time an unprecedent letter to Democratic super delegates asking them to support her even though she was going to finish the primaries with fewer pledged delegates than Barack Obama, pointing to her lead in the popular vote in her strength in head-to- head polling against John McCain. She asked super delegates to make her the nominee anyway. Does that sound familiar?

It was also in May of 2008 that Clinton stirred a loud and furious outcry from Obama`s campaign and even from many neutral Democrats when she invoked the June 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as a justification for staying in the Democratic race even though she was hopelessly behind in the pledged delegate count. She apologized for that, but still she vowed to fight for the nomination all the way to the convention.


CLINTON: There are some who wish that this election had ended months ago before you ever got a chance to vote. I am not one of them. The longer this election has gone on, the better I have done, so I am really excited about you voting here in Montana.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has stopped attacking Barack Obama, but the Clintons aren`t making any friends in his camp with gibes like this one.

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That`s the reason why there`s this frantic every to push her out because she`s winning the general election today and he`s not.


KORNACKI: Now these days it`s easy to forget what the world of Democratic politics felt like at that moment. We know now that for Democrats it all works out in the end. Hillary dropped out as soon as the primaries were over. She made her peace with Obama. He went on to win that fall easily. He brought her into the administration. No harm, no foul.

So, it`s easy to look back now and say, ah, that was kids` stuff back then. And to say that what we`re seeing now is somehow much different, much worse, totally different. Maybe it feels that way, but check out this comparison. In May of 2008, at this very same moment, only 60 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters said that they would vote for Obama if he was Democratic nominee, meaning that the full 40 percent of the Clinton backers in May of 2008 were not ready to do so.

Now, that was at this exact same moment in the Democratic campaign. Barely half of the losing candidate supporters ready to get on board with the winning candidate for the fall.

And today -- today, 72 percent of Sanders supporters say that they would vote for Clinton against Trump, meaning that only 28 percent aren`t ready to.

Democrats have their problems right now when it comes to unity, but by those numbers, you can`t say it`s worse now than it was in 2008, even if it doesn`t feel that way.

Joining me now, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee and an MSNBC political analyst. He`s supporting Hillary Clinton.

And, governor, you were the DNC chair when this moment we`re talking about played out. So, that comparison between May 2008 and May 2016, what do you make of that comparison?

HOWARD DEAN, FRM. DNC CHAIRMAN: It was abslutely much worse in 2008. I had to be the referee. All the Clinton people thought I was in the tank for Obama. Obama thought I was in the tank for Clinton, personally called me at one point. It was really tough. And there was this acronym called PUMA, which is party unity my something or other which was a group of women that would not vote for Obama under any circumstance, some of them actually did vote for McCain, so it was pretty heavy sweating back then.

You know, I think it was worse, but unfortunately we`ve got a ways to go here and we`ve got to get this ship righted now rather than later.

KORNACKI: Yeah. And when you look back to `08, a couple of things in that story jump out to me. I mean, right now we had the scenes in Nevada a couple of days ago. The Bernie Sanders supporters and then Clinton supporters saying they`re out of control.

In `08, you had Hillary Clinton making that comment about Bobby Kennedy and the Obama campaign saying she`s out of control.

The key there was Hillary Clinton said she was going go all the way to the convention right through the primary season, but a couple of days after that last primary she dropped out of the race, a couple of days after she endorsed Barack Obama.

Do you think Bernie Sanders for all his vows to go forward to the convention will follow that model?

DEAN: Well, no. Look, no two campaigns are ever the same. My guess is that Bernie will make a speech at the convention, probably have his name placed in nomination, although, I`m not sure about that.

But how this goes depends on what kind of a compromise they can come to in the platform. In terms of changing the rules for 2020, that`s more difficult. It`s very, very complicated and Bernie is kind of seeking an advantage. You know, he wants to get rid of what he calls the undemocratic closed primary, but he doesn`t want to get rid of even the more undemocratic caucuses, so that I think is going to get bogged down and left to the rules committee sometime in 2018.

But the platform matters and it`s really Bernie`s way to leave us his legacy. If she wins with his stuff in the platform, I think there are going to be a lot of people who want to enact that stuff because I think Bernie speaks for a lot of Democrats.

KORNACKI: Do you expect, though, some kind of statement? Because I`m trying to read between the lines what I`m hearing from the Sanders campaign now. And I hear them talking about going to the convention. It sounds like they`re making it contingent on taking the lead in the pledged delegate count, which isn`t going to happen mathematically.

But I heard Sanders in that speech the other night saying that it`s a steep hill, but we have the chance to maybe go forward to the convention, which I read as if he can`t catch her in the pledged delegate count, which he`s not going to, then he`ll come out in a few days and make some kind of statement that, hey, I`m not going to win. Maybe I`m still going to the convention, but I`m not going to win.

DEAN: Maybe. You know, I think it`s hard to tell. I think, you know, having been in a similar position to Bernie, Bernie got much deeper into the process than I did, but on the other hand I was the front-runner for a while, which he hasn`t been. So I think we both felt deeply angered and disappointed by the way it comes out. My guess is if anything like what I went through he`s going through is he`s of two minds. You know, he`s disappointed. He`s mad about what he considers to be an unfair process. I certainly was.

I basically Al Gore talked me off the ledge. I was ranting and raving to him one time. He supported me and he listened patiently to my ranting and raving and he said, look, Howard, in the end this is about the country, not you, and he was right.

So, I think Bernie ends up there, but you know, everybody has to go through their own process about what happens when you come this close.

KORNACKI: All right, former Vermont governor, former DNC chair Howard Dean, thanks for the time.

DEAN: Thank you.

KORNACKI: All right. And coming up, Donald Trump attacks Hillary Clinton, accusing her, quote, of bad judgment, but there could be a problem with one of the examples he uses, a pretty big problem.

And later, why new data out this week may end the notion that Clinton versus Trump will be a cake walk for the Democrats.



TRUMP: We have the biggest crowds by far; far bigger than Bernie, far bigger than anybody. We have the biggest crowds. He is second. And I think what happens, I believe his people, a large percentage of his people vote for Trump, you watch.


KORNACKI: Donald Trump has been insisting he can win over Bernie Sanders supporters in the general election largely due to their common ground on the issue of trade. And lately he`s been quoting Sanders on the campaign trail trying to repurpose one of his earlier attacks on Hillary Clinton.


TRUMP: He said that Hillary Clinton is unqualified to be the president of the United States. He said she suffers from bad judgment and she does. You look at so many of her decisions have been bad.


KORNACKI: Now, in a phone interview on MSNBC this morning, Trump was asked for a specific example of one of those so-called bad decisions.


JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: What`s the worst example of her -- you say she has horrible judgment.

TRUMP: Well, I can give you a lot of examples.

SCARBOROUGH: Just one of them.

TRUMP: But one of them is Libya. Libya was an example. Libya is a disaster. And by the way, just in case you have any questions, right now ISIS has taken the oil from Libya.

SCARBOROUGH: Would you have stayed out of Libya?

TRUMP: I would have stayed out of Libya, yeah.


KORNACKI: Trump has never held public office before, of course, so there`s no official record of votes on key policy questions so it could be hard to pin him down on his past positions. But in this case, he is on the record back in 2007 advocating a very specific course of action on Libya.

What Donald Trump said at the time about intervening in Libya, that`s coming up in 60 seconds.


KORNACKI: All right. According to Donald Trump, the 2011 intervention in Libya is an example of Hillary Clinton`s poor judgment. It`s a decision, he says, he himself never would have made.


TRUMP: Libya was an example. Libya is a disaster. And by the way, just in case you have any questions, right now ISIS has taken the oil from Libya.

SCARBOROUGH: Would you have stared out of Libya?

TRUMP: I would have stayed out of Libya, yeah.


KORNACKI: So that`s what Trump says today. But back at the time, back in 2011, Trump recorded a video at his office in Trump Tower and he shared his thoughts on what he thought the U.S. should do in Libya.

Buzzfeed dug up that video earlier this year and in it Trump takes a clear position in favor of going in.


TRUMP: I can`t believe what our country is doing. Gadhafi in Libya is killing thousands of people. Nobody knows how bad it is. And we`re sitting around. We have soldiers all over the Middle East, and we`re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage, and that`s what it is, it`s a carnage.

You talk about all of the things that have happened in history. This could be one of the worst.

Now, we should go in. We should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it and save these lives.



KORANCKI: Today there were major new developments in the crash of EgyptAir flight 804. The ACARS system designed to send automatic messages to help with the maintenance of the plane indicated smoke in a lavatory, smoke in the avionics bay and issues with several windows, also failure of some computer systems, all of this occurring within minutes of the plane`s erratic turns and loss of altitude -- within minutes, excuse me.

Meanwhile, the White House today addressed fear over a potential crisis here in the United States, the possible spread of the Zika virus with the coming of summer.

The CDC is monitoring 279 pregnant women who have tested positive for the Zika virus. The Zika virus infection during pregnancy could cause birth defects in infants. The CDC is aware of less than a dozen adverse outcomes so far.

President Obama said there was no need to panic, but that the Zika virus needs to be taken seriously. He criticized the House and the Senate for passing bills that provide significantly less than the $1.9 billion that the administration wants.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to get me a bill, it needs to get me a bill that has sufficient funds to do the job. They should not be going off on recess before this is done and understand that this is not something where we can build a wall to prevent -- mosquitos don`t go through customs to the extent that we`re not handling this thing on the front end, we`re going to have bigger problems on the back end.


KORNACKI: Joining me now Kelsey Snell, congressional reporter for The Washington Post.

So, Kelsey, look, everyone scared of Zika, doesn`t want Zika, wants to do something about it. The administration wants, what, $1.9 billion. The House and Senate are saying something different.

What is it that the House and Senate are saying? And do we have a sense these numbers -- I don`t know what they mean to people. What is the difference in practical terms between what the White House get for $1.9 billion and what we might get for less.

KELSEY SNELL, THE WASHINGTON POST: So, the House and Senate are proceeding down completely separate paths at this time. The House passed a bill that would provide about $600 million in funding through the end of this year. They would offset those funds with cuts to the NIH and moving more money over from the existing Ebola fund.

Whereas the Senate passed an amendment to a spending bill that would provide about $1.1 billion and it would give funding all the way through until September of next year.

The problem is the House doesn`t want to take up the $1.1 billion bill, because they say it isn`t offset with corresponding spending cuts.

It`s the same old spending fight they`ve been having for several years now. But, you know, the White House has said that they could get behind the 1.1 number that the Senate has passed if the House would get on board.

KORNACKI: All right. Kelsey Snell with the explanation from The Washington Post. Thanks for the time.

And up next, the hurdle Democrats did not see coming. Republicans are lining up behind Donald Trump. that means for the race this fall rght after this break.



SCARBOROUGH: The race is shaping up I would guess in a way a lot of traditional Democrats have to be pretty excited about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could no before thrilled. Every time he opens his mouth I just see the Democrats measuring up the drapes. We are in a very, very good position.


KORNACKI: As Donald Trump locked up the Republican nomination for president a lot of Democrats looked at him, a candidate who will say and tweet just about anything and decided that he would get trounced by Hillary Clinton in a general election matchup.

But this week two national polls, one by Rasmussen Reports, the one by Fox News found Trump up five and three points respectively on Hillary Clinton, and a third national poll released yesterday conducted by The New York Times CBS News does show Clinton leading, but a margin of six points over Trump, that`s down significantly from that same poll a month earlier.

Now, granted these are just three polls taken six months before the general election, but it`s not a good sign for Democrats looking for a cakewalk in November, especially considering that the Republican Party is beginning to coalesce around Trump and fast.

That same New York Times/CBS poll finding that 84 percent of Republican voters say they`ll support Trump in the general election, that`s on par with the number of Democrats behind Hillary Clinton.

Joining me now is Robert Traynham. He`s a former senior adviser to President Bush and an MSNBC political contributor; and Karine Jean-Pierre. She served as the deputy campaign manager for Martin O`Malley. She`s now spokesperson and senior adviser for MoveOn.

Well, Robert, this question of public unity. It was just a couple of weeks ago we were hearing all about Never Trump movement, fights all the way to the convention, third-party threats, maybe these voters will stay home. I look at that poll, though, and I`m saying I know there`s some leaders who are still holdouts, but it really looks like the rank and file of the Republican Party is behind Trump.

ROBERT TRAYNHAM FRM. ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH: It appears that way. And I`m not surprised by that, Steve. Good evening.

Look, the reality is, is that the vast majority of Republican voters look at Donald Trump and they look at Hillary Clinton and says, well, these are my choices, and, quite frankly, there is choice.

And the reason why is because I cannot foresee a Hillary Clinton in the White House on a number of issues.

Although Donald Trump may be imperfect, although Donald Trump may very well may not be the number one candidate, meaning in some Republican`s minds -- remember, Republicans had about 16 different candidates they could chose from over the last year or so, now that Donald Trump is the nominee, I think that I -- meaning a Republican voter out there, I think I can support Donald Trump going into the fall, because the other option is certainly not an option. That`s the rationale.

KORNACKI: And Karine, I mea, the talk about Trump as he locked up the Republican nomination was, well, look at this, he has historically high negative numbers, he`s done so much damage to his general election image in winning the Republican primary, that`s why Democrats were excited. But look at this, in this new poll, this CBS poll, it has Hillary Clinton leader -- sure Donald Trump`s got a 26 percent favorable score, that`s terrible, Hillary Clinton`s is sitting at 31 percent, it`s barely any better. They`re both over 50 in the not favorable category.

That says to me for all of Donald Trump`s flaws, I`m not sure Hillary Clinton is poised to really capitalize on them.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, MOVEON: Well, look, Steve it`s not going to be a cakewalk at all. This is -- it`s a divided country and for us to think that this was going to be a blowout, no way, Jose, is that going to happen.

But, look, I think what needs to happen is if you want -- the American people want to hear about real issues, right? And so they`re going to have to start talking about policies, things that matter to American folks, right, which is increasing minimum wage, which is making sure their continued sustainability with the economy.

So that`s what they`re going have to do in order to really help with their unfavorables, and that`s just the reality that we`re in now.

But because of a Donald Trump, we`re probably going to have a race to the bottom. And so that is the concern there as well is where`s this race going to go in the general -- once the general election is here.

KORNACKI: Well, and Karine, the other thing is when I look through a number of years back to today, I see Hillary Clinton -- that favorable number has changed through the years for her, but the common thread seems to be when she had run for president, it`s gone down.

It went down in 2008 and she lost the primary to Barack Obama. A lot of people at the start of that campaign said Hillary Clinton couldn`t be beaten. It went up when she was secretary of state. How she`s running for president again, and we see it`s back down there.

Does that say something, though, about -- you talk about all those issues that are important -- her ability to communicate those as a candidate, does that same something about her ability to communicate what you`re talking about?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, look. I think once we get into the general election, I think that will change. She`s, you know, trying to pivot there now, but we still have a primary to consider because Bernie Sanders has done a great job bringing in new voters and talking about those issues, which I think the Democratic Party will adopt.

So I think once that happens, the hope is it will all change and we`ll be in a different place.

KORNACKI: And, Robert -- yeah, go ahead, Robert.

TRAYNHAM: If I could interject for a second. When you take look at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it`s wonderful juxtaposition of someone who speaks in platitudes and someone that does speak on the issues.

To Karine`s point, I slightly disagree with her, because Hillary Clinton has been more substantive, she has been the more declarative, if you will, on the issues. And I think her unfavorables are saying people are saying, look, listen, I understand exactly where Hillary Clinton stands on the issues, I don`t agree with them. She does have a pretty strong stance on where she wants to take this country and I don`t agree with it.

Donald Trump on the other hand, which is an interesting juxtaposition, has not spoken out on the issues, but it doesn`t matter. What really matters with Donald Trump, at least with some Republican voters is that he`s a winner, he speaks declaratively. I don`t care about the politics. All I know is he`s not Hillary Clinton.

KORNACKI: And also, we saw Donald Trump numbers, Robert. In the Republican primary, his unfavorables with Republicans were very high at the beginning. He turned Republicans around. Can he do the same with general election voters or is that a different challenge, because you`re talking about a very different electorate?

TRAYNHAM: You`re exactly right. I mean, that`s a riddle that quite frankly I don`t think anyone knows the answer to. The reality is, is that the Republican base is not going to be enough mathematically to win some of these swing states Donald Trump has to win.

Donald Trump is a very unconventional candidate, we know that. But the map is very, very conventional. And at the end of the day, he`s got to win Ohio, he`s got win Florida, he`s probably got to win Colorado and in my opinion, he`s also got to win Virginia. And I just simply don`t know whether or not him speaking in these platitudes and really, really -- I just don`t know if he can do it.

KORNACKI: All right. Robert Traynham, and Karine Jean-Pierre, thanks for joining us tonight.

All right, that`s going to do it for All In this evening.