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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript, 8/1/2016

Guests: Jeff Flake, Charlie Dent, Sarah Isgur Flores, Lawrence Wilkerson, Gabriel Sherman, Nate Silver

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 1, 2016 Guest: Jeff Flake, Charlie Dent, Sarah Isgur Flores, Lawrence Wilkerson, Gabriel Sherman, Nate Silver


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

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to stay. She probably -- maybe she wasn`t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.

HAYES: Donald Trump attacks a mother who lost her son in Iraq.

KHIZR KHAN, FATHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER: This person is total incapable of empathy. He is a black soul.

HAYES: As the backlash builds.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: To have Trump do what he did, I don`t know where the bounds are. I don`t know where the bottom is.

HAYES: What will it take for Republicans to repudiate Trump?

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: I can`t vote for Donald Trump.

HAYES: Then, Trump`s Putin policy.

TRUMP: He`s not going into Ukraine, okay? Just so you understand. He`s not going to go into Ukraine.

HAYES: Except Russia already annexed part of Ukraine two years ago. Lawrence Wilkerson is here on that.

Plus, the avalanche of allegations against the man who spent decades shaping the psychology of the American right, how the presidential debates could be in jeopardy, and why fire marshals are now enemy number one for Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Now because of your fire marshal, who I am not a fan of -- he`s probably a Democrat, probably a guy that doesn`t get it.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


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

And today, Donald Trump launched day four of his personal war on a grieving Muslim American family who lost their son in the war in Iraq and who would have been barred from immigrating to this country under Trump`s proposed Muslim ban. The Republican nominee`s vendetta against the parents of Army Captain Humayun Khan who died in 2004 after standing in the way of a car carrying a suicide bomb echoes his attacks on the judge overseeing a fraud case against Trump University, who Trump insisted was biased due to his Mexican heritage.

And it comes at a pivotal moment in the campaign. At least two new polls show Hillary Clinton with a widening lead over Trump, thanks to what appears to be a post-convention bounce.

Trump`s latest controversy started on the final night of the Democratic convention, where Khizr and Ghazala Khan gave powerful testimony on the contributions of American Muslims.


KHAN: Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country. Have you even read the United States Constitution?


I will -- I will gladly lend you my copy.


HAYES: In an interview taped the following day, Donald Trump countered with what seemed like a coded reference to the family`s religious tradition.


TRUMP: If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn`t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet.


HAYES: Responding to Trump`s implication that she was submissive or muzzled by her husband, Ghazala Khan published a column in the "The Washington Post", describing her son and her continued grieving over his loss.

She told my colleague Lawrence O`Donnell about her decision not to speak Thursday night.


GHAZALA KHAN, MOTHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER: I cannot see my son`s picture and I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. And that`s why when I saw the picture on my back, I couldn`t take it and I controlled myself at that time. So, it is very hard.


HAYES: Amid mounting backlash over Trump`s comments, his campaign went into damage control mode, releasing a statement calling Captain Khan, quote, "a hero to our country", and saying, "We should honor all who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe." Went on to say, quote, "While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, which is false."

Trump continued to harangue the Khans on Twitter yesterday. "I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war. Not me."

And again this morning, "This story is not about Mr. Khan who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather radical Islamic terrorism in the U.S. Get smart!"

In the meantime, some of Trump`s allies have begun a smear campaign of baseless and vicious innuendo against the Khan family. Based on zero evidence, Breitbart now claims Khizr Khan has connections to the Saudi Arabian government, to Clinton foundation, to terrorism. While Roger Stone, a long time Trump advisor and confidant who is unaffiliated with the campaign formally, tweeted that Khan is, quote, "a Muslim Brotherhood agent helping Hillary", linking to conspiracy theories about Sharia law infiltrating the U.S.

Trump`s remarks have been condemned by numerous veterans groups including the VFW, which hosted him at its national convention last week.

In an MSNBC on Friday, Khizr Khan, pled with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan to renounce their support for Donald Trump.


K. KHAN: There comes a time in a nation where an ethical, moral stand has to be taken regardless of the political cost. The only reason they`re not repudiating this, his behavior, his threat to our democracy, our decency, our foundation is just because of political consequences.


HAYES: McConnell and Ryan have both issued statements honoring the Khan family sacrifice and reiterating their opposition to Trump`s Muslim ban.

Senator John McCain once derided by Trump for having been a prisoner of war put out a long statement condemning Trump`s attacks on the Khans. Quote, "While our party bestowed him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us."

But all three of these individuals have declined to take back their endorsements of Donald Trump, which are still long standing and operable. I spoke a short time ago with Republican Senator Jeff Flake who serves with John McCain in Arizona and has not endorsed Trump.

I started by asking him how important he thought the Muslim ban was as the genesis of all this.


SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Well, that`s very important. When he made that statement, I think many Americans, many Republicans who are incensed by it, that`s when I went actually to a mosque that week here in Arizona and spoke about the contributions that Muslim Americans have made throughout the history of our country, fought in every war. They`ve been first responders to many of these terrorist attacks.

And this notion that we ought to have a religious test for people entering the country is just the antithesis of who we are as American. So, I do think that that`s what at the root of this and that`s what incensed the Khans so much.

HAYES: You used the phrase antithesis of who we are as Americans, and I can`t help but notice that your friend, your colleague, your fellow senator in Arizona, John McCain, who is up for reelection, who was personally insulted by Donald Trump way back in the beginning of this who put out a strong statement condemning Trump`s words about Mr. Khan is nonetheless supporting Donald Trump.

Is there a breaking point for your colleagues at which point they feel they can no longer abide this?

FLAKE: Well, I don`t want to speak for any of my colleagues. I can just say John McCain is a good man. And to stand by the Republican nominee I think it`s largely because he was that nominee eight years ago and he feels that it`s his duty and I respect that.

But I think some of us need to push back on these statements made by Donald Trump I think for the good of the party, for good of the country we need to because somebody making these kind of statements shouldn`t become president and I hope that he changes.

HAYES: Respectfully, sir, though, and I understand you don`t want to speak for your colleague John McCain. But just as a general principle here, it does seem to me that perhaps one`s duty to one`s party and some other moral commitments that a politician might have seem to be in conflict. At a certain point, we think -- I think we can all agree there are certain things that say a nominee of the party you support would say or support that would be out past what you could in good conscience continue to support. What is that line? If it has not been crossed yet, what could conceivably be the line that would cross that?

FLAKE: Like I said I don`t want to speak for anyone else. I think the Muslim ban for me was one of those lines. His criticism of John McCain and then some of the positions he`s taken. Not just the tone and tenor of the campaign, but the positions on immigration, for example. You know, just saying we`re going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. We in Arizona need meaningful immigration reform.

The statements made about NATO and our security arrangements with the European countries. You know, that -- we can`t have that position and move ahead. So, it`s not just the tone and tenor of the campaign, it`s the positions he`s taken and for me, he`s gone beyond and like I said many Republicans, I respect those who say, I`m going to support the nominee, we hope that he changes.

We have 100 days, 99 days left. It`s increasingly unlikely in my view that he`s going to change these positions but I hope he does.

HAYES: OK. But, sir, at a certain point what`s the line from Einstein about insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I mean, you know, we`re all -- we`ve all been observing this for now over a year. I mean, we know whether you like him or not, who this individual is. I mean, isn`t that just people lying to themselves and they say he might change?

FLAKE: Hope spreads eternal. And we have some time left and he chose a good running mate. Mike Pence is a good man. I hope he`s able to move him and move Donald Trump on some of these positions.

But when he continues to make statements like he did about the Khans, that becomes increasingly unlikely that he is going to change and I think that`s too bad for us.

HAYES: Finally, can I ask you, Senator, who you`ll be voting for for president this fall?

FLAKE: Well, I`ve said again and again, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. I know too much about her record. And I do think that some Republicans go far too far saying she ought to be locked up because when you say that, it doesn`t allow us to actually have the real debate on a number of topics that we ought to be having a debate on.

But, like I said, I can`t vote for Donald Trump given the things he said. I hope he changes. I still want to support our nominee. We`ll see who else is on the ballot.

HAYES: All right. You can always write in Jeff Flake. Senator, thank you very much.

FLAKE: Thank you.


HAYES: Joining me now, Congressman Charlie Dent, Republican from Pennsylvania.

Congressman, you tweeted this today, "Captain Khan was a hero who gave his life for the U.S. Anyone diminishing his valor or the loss by his mother and father should be condemned."

Who do you mean by "anyone"?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, obviously, I very much disagree with the comments of Donald Trump with respect to the Khans. You know, as a member of the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, I often looked at Abraham Lincoln at a time like this.

I`ve been too many funerals, too many funerals sadly of service members who died in Afghanistan or Iraq and I always go to Abraham Lincoln who said these individuals gave that last full measure of devotion. So, to criticize a family -- a Gold Star family that lost a loved one in the line of duty is just beyond the pale. It`s out of bounds. And that kind of comment is indefensible and it has to be condemned.

HAYES: And then what? I mean, have you decided on who you`re supporting in this presidential election yet?

DENT: Well, I have not endorsed the nominee and I`m not voting for Hillary Clinton. I`m not -- I said I never support Hillary. I have not endorsed the nominee. And that`s where I am and that`s where I continue to be as I`ve been on your show before and some other shows. I`ve said that given the incendiary comments from the POWs and John McCain to the disabled to Mexicans to women to the Muslim comments, to David Duke, to the Indiana judge, and now the Khan family, that has given me a lot of pause, as well as the policy contradictions.

You know, we`re also talking about Russia right now, too, and Ukraine and Crimea. And these policy contradictions and lack of specifics are also very troubling to me and that`s why I`ve not endorsed.

HAYES: Why are there not more people like you, Congressman? Why have the overwhelming majority of your colleagues endorsed despite the fact that I`d be willing to bet behind closed doors, the vast majority of them speak about him in similar terms, to the way you`re speaking about him now in public?

DENT: Well, it`s a good question, Chris.

Let me tell you, you know, I spent a lot of time in Congress now. I`m in my twelfth year, and I`ve taken grief for from some people saying that I am not sufficiently doctrinaire, I`m not pure enough and I don`t meet the litmus test criteria. But at the same time, some of those very same folks who are always trying to impose a purity test or litmus test are the first ones then to endorse a populist nominee who is not ideologically doctrinaire.

So, I really don`t understand how the same groups that were always criticizing folks like me and others for not being pure enough are quite happy to jump on board of a populist campaign that is anything but ideologically doctrinaire.

HAYES: What does that say to you about what the actual ideological core of the modern Republican Party is then? What is it? Why are they willing to go on?


DENT: Well, because I think one thing Donald Trump has done that I think we should take note of is he`s pulled back the curtain, so to speak --

HAYES: Sure has.

DENT: -- on the Republican primary voter. He`s pulled it back, and what he`s divulged is that many Republican primary voters are not in fact ideologically doctrinaire. They`re not getting up every day reading, you know, "National Review" or they`re not maybe fit that Ted Cruz profile. They`re not.

And they might be somewhat conservative. They`re conservative on some issues and less so on others. He`s pointed that out and I think that`s actually been helpful. But the way he`s gone about it I think has, you know, really, what`s caused me a lot of concern.

HAYES: All right. Congressman Charlie Dent, thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.

I`m joined now by Sarah Isgur Flores, former deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina, and MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC.

Two updates -- one is that Trump at his latest event basically indicated he thought Khan was opposed to him because he`s trying to keep Muslim terrorists out of the country. That was his objection. And I want to play for you this remarkable moment I thought at a Pence event today in Carson City, Nevada. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a military mom. My son is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.


GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Thank you, thank you. Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question for you, Mr. Pence, is time and time again Trump has disrespected our nation`s armed forces and veterans and is his disrespect for Mr. Khan and his family is just an example of that.


Will there ever be a point in time when you`re able to look at Trump in the eye and tell him enough is enough? You have a son in the military. How do you tolerate his disrespect?

PENCE: Well, I think --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What difference does it make?

PENCE: OK, that`s all right. That`s all right.

Folks, that`s what freedom looks like and that`s what freedom sounds like.


HAYES: Michael, your reaction to that?

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALSYT: Well, I think it`s a very powerful moment and I would love to -- I heard the rest of what Mike Pence had to say on that point because I think -- I think he is trying to maybe quietly get Donald Trump off of this.

Donald Trump opened up a can of worms that was so unnecessary to open up. The first part of the statement they put out today was all they should have ever said was, "We thank this Gold Star family for their sacrifice and their service to our nation," period. Do not engage, do not take on, do not go down that road because there is no win here.

And the fact that people were booing this mother of a soldier again sends the message out that the campaign is intolerant and not respectful of those who are making the sacrifice. And I just think it`s an ugly can of worms that they do not need to get into. Get off of this now, move on to talk about the economy, 1.5 percent growth that`s been reported as of Friday.

HAYES: Or the Muslim ban.

STEELE: The Muslim ban. All of that stuff is not part of the conversation.

HAYES: Well, but it is.

I mean, Sarah, here -- I want to make this point because I think it`s important to separate out policy from decency, right? So, let`s just be clear there are thousands of families in this country that have lost loved ones dear to them in the various wars we`ve been fighting now for 15 years. Some of them are Trump supporters. Some of them are Ted Cruz supporters. Some are Bernie Sanders supporters. They have every conceivable view on war and peace and every policy issue and there`s no Trump card -- not to invoke a pun -- because one of those families has that.

Let`s put that aside. The issue here to me just seems to be the fundamental one of decency, that he keeps filling this just basic -- take all ideology aside. Just comport yourself as a decent human being in the public sphere. That`s the test.

SARAH ISGUR FLORES, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR CARLY FIORINA: I think that`s right. From a political standpoint, they came out of the DNC convention, we knew Hillary would get some kind of bump out of that. The best way to tamp that down was to, again, make this a referendum on Hillary Clinton. Look at her Chris Wallace interview yesterday on FOX News. She - - even "The Washington Post" gave her four Pinocchios for her statement that Comey said he had been completely truthful to the American people.

If you look up the definition of "political malpractice", it has changed today. All it says is, "Look at the last 72 hours." It`s unbelievable we are still talking about this and, again to your point set aside the morality, the decency of it, just politically speaking, what in the world are we doing here?

HAYES: This is something he does, with consistency, consistently.

My question, Michael, is -- I guess we`re just going to do this for the next 100 days. He`s going to do things that people find odious that I`m sure people off the record say to you because they fundamentally have some continually beating heart of decency in their own chests, they find odious and repellent, and they`re going to tell you at the bar afterwards and just keeping, putting on a happy face in public. Is that the game for the next three months?

STEELE: It may be for a lot of people, but I think there`s a significant number of us out here who have been trying to help steer this thing away from what has become the thing it stuck in and that`s Donald Trump`s personal peeve. He takes these comments personally and feels he needs to respond.

And that`s not the way this works out. You know, let people express what they want to express. You don`t have to respond to everything that`s said to you or about you. There are central focuses that he needs to have right now -- the economy and Hillary, period.

HAYES: Good luck.

STEELE: There`s no other discussion the country has to have right now.

HAYES: Yes, good luck.

STEELE: I know.

HAYES: Sarah Isgur Flores and Michael Steele, thank you. We appreciate it.

STEELE: We try.

HAYES: Still to come, is Donald Trump skipping the presidential debates, his bizarre complaints about the schedule and what it might signal ahead.

But, first, Donald Trump`s authoritative claim that Putin will not go into Ukraine. There`s just one small but glaring factual problem with that. I`ll explain after this two-minute break.



TRUMP: He`s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He`s not going go into Ukraine. You can mark it down, put it down, you take it anyway you want.

INTERVIEWER: But he`s already there, isn`t he?

TRUMP: Well, he`s there in a certain way but I`m not there. You have Obama there and frankly that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama.


HAYES: That was Donald Trump in an interview talking about Russian President Vladimir Putin. The comments Trump made during that interview call into question two things -- one, what would Trump`s actual policy posture towards Russia be should he become president and, two, does he really know anything about what he`s talking about.

After being on the receiving end of a lot of criticism, Trump took to Twitter this morning to try to explain himself. "When I said in an interview that Putin is not going into Ukraine, you can mark it down, I`m saying if I`m president already in Crimea. Then he tweeted 13 minutes later, "So, with all of the Obama tough talk on Russia and the Ukraine, they have already taken Crimea and continue to push." That`s not what I said. It`s not actually what he said actually. But he followed up this afternoon in a rally in Columbus, Ohio.


TRUMP: A couple papers said, Donald Trump doesn`t realize that the Crimea was already taken. I know it -- two years ago approximately. OK? Approximately. It was taken during Obama`s watch.

So when I said -- believe me, Russia`s not going into Ukraine, all right? They`re not going into Ukraine. The person said, but they`re already in Ukraine I said, yes, well that was -- I mean, do if you want to go back, do you want to have World War III to get it back. That was during Obama`s watch.


HAYES: Of course, this isn`t the first time the Trump campaign or Trump himself has had to be on defense over Russia. The GOP platform on Ukraine was softened, something the Trump campaign denies they were involved in. Trump saying he had a relationship with Putin which he now denies, just to name a few. Trump`s statements on U.S.-Russia relations are to the extent you can impose some coherence on them largely actually somewhat defensible on the merits with some big exceptions.

But let`s be clear, they would get any Democrat accused of treason immediately and anyone else kicked out of the Republican Party.

Joining me now, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff at the State Department under General Colin Powell, currently a distinguished visiting professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary.

And, Colonel, what do you make of all of this?

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON, COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY: I`m going to surprise you and I say I thought all along that Donald Trump was smarter than a lot of people think he is and that his real purpose in life is to destroy the Republican Party.

One of your previous guests you asked the question, has he pulled the curtain back and shown the Republican Party? That`s precisely what he`s done. And in the process of making these outlandish statements and these policy pronouncements and so forth that just drive the national security elite nuts on both sides of the political aisle, he is showing the Republican Party for what it is. He`s showing the 20 percent to 30 percent of its electorate that is certifiable in any sociologist terms.

And what you saw with Mike Pence there, with the woman holding up the portrait of her son and talking about Trump`s comments with regard to other soldiers, Muslim soldiers in particular, that was a perfect example of it. Some of that audience was hooting at that woman. Hooting at that woman`s whose son is serving in the armed forces of the United States. That`s the Republican Party and Trump has revealed it.

HAYES: And part of what he`s revealed -- and I find this fascinating -- is when you talk about drives the foreign policy elite in both parties crazy is that, you know, there is a far larger base of folks inside the right in American politics and the Republican Party who basically don`t want any kind of foreign involvement that involves the U.S. military, right? They want strong rhetoric for bombing ISIS, but they don`t want -- they`re fine with the good relationship with Vladimir Putin and if he takes some Baltic States that`s fine, and I don`t think people realize how much of an appetite there was for that pullback on American foreign policy until Trump came along.

WILKERSON: Well, I`m not sure you`re not right about a significant portion of the American people in both parties and many of them independents. They are isolationist in the old sense of that term and they are increasingly that way today when they see the wars in Western Asia and the Middle East and so forth that are causing expenditure of funds, blood and pressure with no apparent results.

HAYES: You`ve been in that -- you`ve been if Foggy Bottom, you`ve worked by Colin Powell`s side. Part of what I`m curious to hear you say is just how -- how surprising, how terrifying it is you to just command -- forget ideology, his command and curiosity with respect to these central issues is just so apparently lacking when he talks about them in interviews.

WILKERSON: One side of me is stunned, as you suggest. The other side of me that`s the rational pragmatic actor says, hey, I know what`s happening here. What`s happening is the Republican Party is self-destructing before our eyes. That could be a healthy development.

I`m not sure I`m all that confident that Hillary Clinton in her most bellicose moments is going to be the best national security agent to be in the White House.

HAYES: Right.

WILKERSON: But at the same time, I`m quite sure that the Republicans haven`t given us an alternative. So, I hope this causes the American people and the structure to be changed in such a way that in 2020 -- which I think is going to be a far more important election -- I think this president is going to be a one-termer regardless of who he or she is, and I hope we have two viable political parties with two viable -- even more viable candidates to select from in 2020.

HAYES: All right. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, thank you for your time tonight, sir. I appreciate it.

WILKERSON: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Coming up, remember Trump`s last ten list we`ve been keeping on and off of all the mistakes or gaffes of Donald Trump`s campaign that would disqualify any other candidate? Well, it turns out if you`re swamped with convention coverage for two weeks, those stories really start to stack up. A massive update right after this short break.


HAYES: For months now, we`ve been doing a segment we call Trump`s last 10, a running tally of things that had literally any other candidate said or done them would probably end their campaign, but not Donald Trump.

Well, we`ve just wrapped up two weeks of convention coverage. And so, there`s a lot of catching up to do. Now, here`s what the board looked like when we last checked in over two weeks ago.

Now, take a look right now good and hard, commit it to memory, because right now, there is too much incoming to keep any of it.

So, let`s wipe the board clean and start with number 10. Trump`s claim that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg`s mind is shot after she criticized him in a few interviews.

Number nine: a Trump advisor saying he believes that Hillary Clinton committed treason by mishandling e-mails and that, quote, "anyone that commits treason should be shot." That adviser, Al Baldasaro (ph), is still with the Trump campaign and is now suggesting that Khizr Khan is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Number eight, Trump suggesting in an interview with The New York Times that in a Trump administration U.S. military support for NATO members would be conditional and dependent on whether those members met their financial obligations to the alliance.

Number seven, as he pledges to bring back American jobs, Trump is also at this moment reportedly seeking temporary visas to bring in foreign workers to work at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Number six, Trump calling on Russia in a directed address to the camera to cyber spy on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s email correspondence.

Number five, Trump calling retired four-star General John Allen, a failed general, following Allen`s endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Number four, Trump criticizing multiple fire marshals, accusing them of putting partisanship over safety. We`ll have more on that later.

Number three, Trump claiming he got a letter from the NFL discussing the debate schedule, which conflicts with two football games. The NFL says they never sent Trump such a letter. We`ll have more on that later, too.

Number two, Trumps comments about Putin not going into Ukraine even though, well, Russian troops have been there since 2014.

Number one, Trump`s repeated attacks on the family of a fallen soldier.

We will keep updating our Trump`s last 10 list as circumstances and events dictate and if recent history is any indication, we won`t have to wait too long.



CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Roger Ailes, is he helping you? Is he advising you?

TRUMP: Well, I don`t want to comment, but he`s been a friend of mine for a long time and I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he`s helped them and even recently and when they write books that are fairly recently released and they say wonderful things about him and now all of a sudden they`re saying these horrible things about him, it`s very sad, because he`s a very good person. I`ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. And, by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he`s done.


HAYES: It should be no surprise that Donald Trump has come to the defense of Roger Ailes. After all, Ailes is the man who has shaped the psychology of the American right and profited off of it for 20 years. He has produced its paranoia, cultivated its attacks, ushered in denial of credibility to anyone outside of his worldview as the head of Fox News. And its approach that Trump has down to a "T."

Now, Ailes resigned as chairman and CEO of Fox News less than two weeks ago receiving a $40 million plus payout amidst what appears to be now an absolute avalanche of allegations of systematic sexual harassment.

It all started with a lawsuit formally filed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Charlson alleging sexual harassment. That prompted an internal investigation and reporting of at least 25 women coming forward to investigators claiming harassment directly from Ailes.

Ailes, we should note, has denied any wrongdoing.

The person who has been chronicling and investigating all of the Ailes allegations foremost is Gabe Sherman, national affairs editor for New York Magazine. His latest piece details allegation of harassment of a former Fox News booker who says she was psychologically tortured by Ailes.

Gabe Sherman, great to have you here.

I have read this story now that you published this weekend numerous times. It is tremendously upsetting. I want to be clear that Ailes denies the allegations. These are allegations as they stand right now. But walk me through this woman`s story.

GABRIEL SHERMAN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Yeah, Chris, I think this story crosses the line. I`m not a lawyer, of course, I`m a reporter, but from sexual harassment to something more along the lines of sexual and psychological abuse.

This story is about a woman names Laurie Luhn met Roger Ailes on the 1988 George H.W. Bush campaign. She was a staffer on the campaign and after the campaign she went to work for the RNC and he offered to help her. And he put her on a retainer for his then communications company Ailes Communications, paying her $500 a month to do sort of odd jobs around Washington.

And very shortly thereafter they got into a sexual encounter and Roger Ailes videotaped her, according to Luhn, at this encounter and essentailly blackmailed her and said, that you know, I`m going to keep this in a safety deposit box just so we understand each other.

HAYES: According to her, he has her dance on camera, videotapes it and then takes the tape and says "I`m going to put this in video, so I have this on you."

SHERMAN: On you, yes.

HAYES: This is a start of what is essentially...

HAYES: A 20 year sexual dynamic -- I don`t even want to use the word relationship because it was so one-sided and such a distortion of power the way Roger Ailes used it against her. But basically in 1996 he brings her to Fox News. Again, according to Luhn, at Fox News he coerces her to having sexual encounters with him wherever he wants. He brings her to New York City, puts her up in Fox News paid hotel rooms, has encounters with her in a hotel, forces her into sexual encounters with another woman while he takes pictures of them.

HAYES: I should also say this, the arrangement required her, again, this is according to her -- you know, this is denied by Ailes -- the arrangement required her to do many things she`s horrified by including luring young female Fox employees into one on one situations with Ailes that Luhn knew could result in harassment. He`s a predator, she told me.

SHERMAN: Yeah, this was one of the most he had promoted her into a position where she was in charge of the entire booking department who, you know, the young producers who get the guests to come on the air. And Ailes took an interest in these bookers. He told her that he wanted "Roger`s Angels" and he wanted her to find him whores that she could hire. And she would schedule meetings with -- private meetings between these young staffers, girls in their early 20s, mid-20s, with Roger Ailes.

Essentially he was using her as a conduit to find new prey.

HAYES: I want to take a step back to see where we are on this. Of course, allegations are not by themselves definitive in any way. What are the number of women who have come forward with allegations as best as we can tell in line with this of sexual harassment?

SHERMAN: Well, my reporting shows that more than 25 women have spoken to the law firm hired by 21st Century Fox, that parent...

HAYES: 25?


And I`ve interviewed over 15 women myself who have had...

HAYES: Personally you have talked to?


So I mean, this is a pervasive pattern. I documented...

HAYES: 15 yourself? And some of them on the record.

SHERMAN: And we should point out these women who some of their experiences predate Fox, but we now know there are -- at least if you include Gretchen Carlson, three women who have come forward publicly to acknowledge being sexually harassed by Roger Ailes.

HAYES: So, we have three women publicly, reporting of 25 including to some reporting Megyn Kelly -- Paul Weiss, we don`t know if that`s true but that`s what reporting has indicated. She has not said one way or the other.

Three women who have publicly on the record made these allegations.


Is there similarity in these accounts from -- coming from these independent women that you`ve all talked to across the years of this man`s career.

SHERMAN: Yeah. I mean, this is what is so chilling is that these women are completely independent, they don`t know each other. And time and again they talk about how he wants them wear garters. He wants them to dance. He wants to take pictures of them. This is a sort of a pattern -- I guess a fetish that he has, according to these women, that builds credibility because there`s no reason why these women would share the same stories.

HAYES: This is someone who is the most powerful man in American media, arguably, for many years.

SHERMAN: Who ran a TV network that was the beacon of family values on the right so we should point out that contradiction.

HAYES: All right, Gabe Sherman, thank you so much for your time.

SHERMAN: Thank you.


Still ahead, how Donald Trump seems to be laying the groundwork for possibly skipping out on the debates and why it involves the NFL coming up.

But first, the 2016 Olympics gets under way in four days in Rio and for the first time in history, this is really cool, 10 athletes from four different countries will compete as an all-refugee team. All this week we`ll bring you profiles of these incredible athletes beginning tonight.


ANJELINA NADAI LOHALITH, OLYMPIAN: I was always running and when I hear my feet beating down on the ground I always like it.

When I was still very young I used to be home sick. Most of the time I used to cry. And even though they are still far, but I can`t wait until I can catch up with them.



HAYES: All right, thing one tonight, politicians aren`t necessarily known for being prompt to events but getting stuck in an elevator is a pretty good excuse, which is what happened to Donald Trump in Colorado on Friday. According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Springs fire department confirmed Trump`s event started late because he got stuck in a hotel elevator.

The fire department said in a statement that Trump was trapped inside with about 10 other people for 30 minutes. Firefighters opened the top elevator hatch and lowered a ladder to get everyone out of the elevator.

Now, how do you suppose Donald Trump thanked that fire department for helping them get to safety? That`s thing two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: OK. So on Friday, Donald Trump and 10 other people are rescued from an elevator by the Colorado Springs fire department. So, how does he thank that fire department? Shortly after the incident, he takes to the stage at his town hall and has this to say.


TRUMP: We have plenty of space here. We have thousands of people outside trying to get in and we have a fire marshal that said "oh, we can`t allow more people."

Now because of your fire marshal, who I am not a fan of -- he`s probably a Democrat, probably a guy that doesn`t get it.


HAYES: OK, so not exactly a thankful kind of thing but as a side note that fire marshal he`s referring to, Brett Lacy, who was named the Colorado Springs civilian of the year earlier this year for his response to the Planned Parenthood shooting last November, as far as Trump`s rally last Friday, Lacey said "look, organizers handed out too many tickets and there wasn`t enough space in the auditorium for that many people."

Now Donald Trump has since left Colorado and Brett Lacey behind today speaking in Columbus, Ohio and weirdly kicked off his speech by attacking the fire marshal there.


TRUMP: I have to tell you that the fire marshal, they turned away thousands of people, they turned away -- thank you very much. They turned away thousands of people.

Look at the size of this place.


HAYES: Columbus fire division battalion chief Steve Martin told NBC they met with the campaign and agreed on the capacity of the room ahead of time.

The question was out there, are leftist fire marshals conspiring to shrink the size of Donald Trump`s crowds? Tonight as he rallied in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the world waited to find out would a third fire marshal cross Trump? We got the answer moments ago. Apparently not.


TRUMP: I want to thank the fire marshal because obviously we have a great fire marshal here.




STEPHANOPOULOS: Let`s talk about debates. Are you going to accept the recommendations of the debate commission? Three debates, one VP debate?

TRUMP: Well, I`ll tell you what I don`t like, it`s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying this is ridiculous. Why are the debates against, because the NFL doesn`t want to go against the debates because the debates are going to be pretty massive from what I understand.

I don`t know how the dates were picked. I don`t know why those particular dates.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you don`t like the dates that are out there?

TRUMP: Well, I don`t like dates against -- you know, Hillary Clinton wants to be against the NFL. She doesn`t -- maybe like she did with Bernie Sanders where they were on Saturday nights when nobody is home.


HAYES: Trump in a taped interview this Friday laying the groundwork for the possibility he might not show up to the presidential debates.

Now, a few things to point out here. The first two general election debates are scheduled on the same night as NFL games, Monday September 26, Sunday, October 9, that is true.

As far as the NFL sending Trump a letter about the scheduling conflict, that is false. The league releasing a statement saying, quote, while we`d obviously wish the debate commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Trump.

Moreover the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced their general election debate schedule last September after consulting with both parties nearly seven months before the NFL released its schedule for the 2016 regular season.

In a statement released yesterday, the commission noted that, quote, as a point of reference in a four-year period, there are four general election debates, three presidential, one vice presidential and approximately 1,000 NFL games.

With the conventions behind us, the debates are the next big scheduled event in the general election that could upend the equilibrium of the race. We`ll talk about where that race stands right now with the one and only Nate Silver, next.


HAYES: A quick update to the segment we brought you just moments ago. Trump`s last ten running tally of things that had literally any other candidate said or done then that probably would end their campaigns. I`m not sure if this one qualifies, but here`s a new candidate because just moments ago we even got to that segment, Trump said this about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.


TRUMP: He made a deal with the devil. She`s the devil. He made a deal with the devil. It`s true.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton either literally or metaphorically the devil, depend on how charitably you want to interpret Donald Trump. We may have to update our list before the last one is even cold.

Joining me now to talk about where the race actually stands, Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-chief of 538.

All right, so -- a bunch of people said, look, polling gets very uncertain during the conventions. It`s sort of the most dynamic period. We had post- RNC polling that showed a bump. We`re now getting post-DNC polling. How would you characterize what we`ve learned about these two conventions?

NATE SILVER, 538: So, we learned that Clinton got a bigger bump than Trump. Where Trump had gained ground throughout the month of July because of Comey and the FBI, because of Dallas, I`m not sure what. But you go from down by seven points to three points. After the convention it was about tied. And now all of a sudden it bounded back to seven points right away.

So, this is one the bigger bumps potentially for Clinton since we`ve seen since 2000 when Al Gore got a big bump. 2004, Bush got a big bump in a convention that kind of resembled the kind of flag waving of the DNC in a lot of ways.

HAYES: You know, one of the things that -- one of the pieces of data I found interesting is Gallup doing some polling specifically on people`s reaction to the convention. Sso, we can look at the bumps and we can also look at this Gallup data.

This was on the Trump`s convention speech, which it said got the least positive reviews of any speech they`ve tested. I thought that was pretty eye-opening.

SILVER: Well, so he did gain a couple of points but it was people who were already inclined going to vote for Trump to begin with. He extended his lead among white, working class men. But that`s only about 20 percent of the electorate depending on how you define them exactly. And so, you know, that`s not enough. That`s not enough to have a winning coalition.

Whereas Clinton at her convention was able to both appeal to the Democratic voters who were not in her coalition yet and to reach out to swing voters. The last two days in Philadelphia were all about making her seem like the only, frankly, acceptable choice.

And so, you know, that`s what conventions are supposed to do. And I think we kind of see that maybe gravity exists in the selection after all. It`s not like we were all sitting there supporters in Cleveland saying, oh this is a great convention. We were saying this seems like...

HAYES: OK. So I sat there through Cleveland, I was there every day. And I thought to myself, well, this seems really dark to me and also sort of not -- this seems to not be reaching out to pull people in who aren`t already convinced, right?

So I watched this. But then I said, look, I`m not the target audience and I sort of know what my own politics are, maybe I`m wrong. And then he got this bump.

Now, we see this is Gallup -- this is the Gallpu polling on 36 percent said they were more likely to vote for Trump, 51 percent said they were less likely, a 50 point disadvantage, which is the worst they`ve ever found.

SILVER: And if you have a free commercial basically for four days and you actually turn more people off -- I mean, he really doubled down at the convention and kind of said the world is upside down now, spinning out of control. And if my hypothesis is right, then maybe I pull voters in.

But that`s why I think people are actually almost underestimating the significance of this convention bounce that Clinton is getting. Both because it`s quite on the large side, at least compared to recent conventions, but also because it kind of proves again that maybe the electorate isn`t that different than 2012 or 2008 and there are circumstances of events that can coalesce together -- and Trump can win. Believe me, Trump can win.

HAYES: Believe me. Believe me.

SILVER: Believe me.

The odds are lower and also the flip side of that is you could see a Clinton landslide instead.

HAYES: Well, what I think -- so here`s what I find interesting in this, I was sitting there watching this unveiling of what in some ways is both the new Republican Party and its message but also the continuation of a huge development of the Republican Party for years, this sort of forthright American ethno-nationalist paleo-conservative message and thinking to myself, huh, I don`t if this is a majority message in America in 2016 and thinking to myself. I don`t think it is. At least the polling we have indicates it is not.

There`s going to have to be something else if he`s going to win this race.

SILVER: Yeah, if you -- again, I think sometimes people overstate the importance of demographics because demographics can shift and there are a lot of working class voters, white working class voters. But I`ve never seen a candidate so lean in to his demographic problems. Usually it doesn`t merit as much as you would think because candidates counterreact. They`re trying like...

HAYES: Trying to find people outside the coalition to bring them in as opposed to just amp up that coalition.

HAYES: Plus losing the kind of picket fence suburban white voters, especially women, I mean, that was a huge part -- women with children was a big part of George W. Bush`s winning coalition twice over.

HAYES: And they went after them at that convention very effective.

Nate Silver, thank you.

That is in for ALL IN for this evening.