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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 8/12/2016

Guests: Pricey Harrison, Jamil Smith, Michelle Goldberg, Barney Frank, April Ryan, Jeremy Bird, David Cay Johnston

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 12, 2016 Guest: Pricey Harrison, Jamil Smith, Michelle Goldberg, Barney Frank, April Ryan, Jeremy Bird, David Cay Johnston


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

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So, I said, Obama is the founder of ISIS. The founder.

HAYES: Trump lets America in on the joke.

TRUMP: Obviously, I`m being sarcastic, but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.

HAYES: Tonight, serious trouble for Republicans in stunning new battleground polls, and why this was the worst week of the campaign for Donald Trump.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Don`t believe the garbage you read.

HAYES: Plus, Hillary Clinton releases her taxes.

TRUMP: You learn very little from tax returns.

HAYES: Why her opponent is refusing to do the same.

Then, the 2016 fever swamps.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Watch her reaction, because it`s -- it almost seems seizure-sque.

HAYES: The Alex Jonesification of the Republican nominee.

ALEX JONES, INFO WARS: It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later.

HAYES: All that and another massive overhaul of our Trump`s last ten list when ALL IN starts right now.


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

For a week that was supposed to turn it all around for the Trump campaign, the past few days could not have gone much worse. The culmination, new polling out today, that shows Trump falling further and further behind in key battleground states. According to the NBC News/"Wall Street Journal"/Marist poll, he trails Hillary Clinton by five in Florida, nine points in North Carolina, 13 points in Virginia, and a whopping 14 points in Colorado.

Since last conventions last month, Clinton has expanded her lead in every single one of those states, with the exception of Florida. Those new numbers cap off what`s been a devastating series of blunders since Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination in mid-July, including but not limited to, his outreach to Russian hackers and his attacks on the family of a slain Muslim American soldier.

All that was to come to an end this week, starting with Trump`s big economic his policy speech delivered a teleprompter, then his inflammatory comments about Second Amendment people somehow stopping Clinton.

And after that, his claim repeated over and over again that Clinton and President Obama were the co-founders of ISIS, not he clarified as a figure of speech, but the actual co-founders. This morning, Trump finally started to back away from that literal claim, writing on Twitter, "Ratings challenged CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama and Clinton the founder of ISIS and MVP. They don`t get sarcasm?"

You may recall, that was the same excuse he gave for having asked Russia to hack his opponent`s e-mails. But later, at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Trump seemed reluctant to give up his new turn of phrase.


TRUMP: So I said the founder of is, obviously being sarcastic. Then, then -- but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you. And they all said, he should not say that, that is not -- they should call him an enabler. Call him an enabler. He said enabler.

I said, that doesn`t sound the same. He`s an enabler. People would just say, what`s -- these people are the worst.


HAYES: On top of all the problems coming out of Trump`s mouth, there`s the problem of his campaign`s total lack of organization on the ground. According to reporting this week, campaign is yet to identify local leaders or even open a campaign office in a crucial Republican leaning county in southwest Ohio. Reportedly had just one field office opened in the entire state of Florida, its headquarters in Sarasota.

And if Trump himself revealed in interview last night, he`s still wholly uninterested in doing the work it takes to get voters to the polls.


TRUMP: I think we`re going to have tremendous voter turn-out, we`re going to have tremendous turnout from the evangelicals, from the miners, from the people that make our steel. I don`t know that we need to get out the vote. I think people that really want to vote, they`re going to get up, and get out and vote for Trump. And we`re going to make America great again.


HAYES: Trump`s amateurish campaign has abysmal poll numbers, his uncontrollable behavior giving way to panic amongst Republicans at large, some of who are already urging the party to cut its nominee loose.

Amid reporting he issued some kind of warning or ultimatum to Trump, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made a surprised appearance at Trump`s rally earlier today to reassure the public everything is completely fine.


PRIEBUS: We`re so honored to be working with Donald Trump and the campaign. Don`t believe the garbage you read. Let me tell you something, Donald Trump, the Republican Party, all of you, we`re going to put him in the White House and save this country together.


HAYES: Joining me now, former Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat from Massachusetts, now surrogate for the Clinton campaign and adviser on economic issues.

Mr. Frank, you were in politics for a long time. You know how to read a poll. You have a sense of how folks do and don`t get elected.

I mean, what is your -- what is your take-away from this past week?

BARNEY FRANK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN SURROGATE: This campaign has become almost random. Look, we understand. This is a man with no discipline, no capacity to think in a logical way, and I guess maybe that`s his business career, which he has probably exaggerated to some extent, has been a series of one-offs. He hasn`t had a serial development plan. He`s had this and that project, in which his outsized personality, in which he successfully marketed, is the glue.

But when it comes to trying to deal seriously, look, I thought in the clips you just played, the most interesting thing was when he mocked what they were saying, by trying to sound serious.

HAYES: Right.

FRANK: When Donald Trump tries to sound serious, he`s silly. I mean, he`s simply incapable of that. I tell you what I thought was a very revealing moment about his personality. It`s when John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, senator of New Hampshire, Paul Ryan, criticized his assault on that mother of the Muslim who was killed.

And he then -- and they all said, we wish he hadn`t said that, that was a terrible thing to say, but we`re still going to vote for him. They got some criticism.

Trump`s response was, that wasn`t good enough. Trump`s response was, I`m not going to support them. Look at the nature of that. They all said that they would support him, they would vote for him, but they wouldn`t completely agree with him, and he rejected that.

The personality of this man is just totally dysfunctional. And here`s the dilemma that Republicans have, though. There`s a strong number of people, small but devoted and they can`t repudiate him.

The only thing I would say is this, and it`s very encouraging about the American public. If you look at American history, 40 percent is the lowest any national candidate goes even in the worst of times. Barry Goldwater got 40 percent. George McGovern got 40 percent. Getting below 40 percent is virtually impossible.

Trump seems to be achieving this. And people say, how can he get away with this? Give the American people some credit. The Republican primary electorate messed up badly by nominating him. But at this point, with him getting the full exposure that he gets from not being part of a crowd, he`s losing worse than any major party candidate in American history because the American people at large don`t buy this act.

HAYES: I think that`s a valid point. I don`t know if we have those battleground polls so we can show again. I mean, the numbers we`re looking at here, we are in uncharted territory when we are talking about 32 percent, 31 percent for a major party nominee.

In Colorado, 32 percent. Virginia, 33 percent. That`s pretty much unheard of, for a major party nominee. This is -- I mean, I think it`s an important point because so much of the time has been spent about this kind of strange chemical magic he seems to have, and everything he does should backfire but it doesn`t.

But that was really about the electorate he was running in. Once he took it to the general, we`re seeing how it plays out.

FRANK: Two parts. In fantasy world, first of all, yes, it was a Republican electorate that had been led on by the Republican leadership. The Republican leadership can`t blame this entirely on the electorate when they encouraged the kind of irrationality and vile expressions of anger that helped Trump.

The other thing, American people are seeing Trump for the first time unsheltered. There was, when he was running against so many people, but you had had the Clinton/Sanders race. So, what we now have and I think -- I would have to look at this, what has public opinion said about Trump in that period once the two nominees were discovered because -- or decided. Because what we`re announcing, as the American people see Trump, unsheltered, not as part of a crowd, as one of the two candidates, he`s losing badly what he had before.

HAYES: All right. Former Congressman Barney Frank, always a pleasure. Thanks for coming by.

FRANK: Thank you.

HAYES: I`m joined now by April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, and Jeremy Bird, senior adviser to the Clinton campaign, national field director on President Obama`s 2012 re-election campaign.

And, Jeremy, if there`s one person in the country who`s got all of the math of these states, you know, embedded in their brain, it`s you. What do you -- I mean, when you look at these battleground polls out today, what is your reaction to them?

JEREMY BIRD, NATIONAL FIELD DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: Well, it`s just what you and the congressman were talking about. When you`re in a general election running and there`s two candidates head to head, you want to be in the mid 40s, flirting with 50 in battleground state polls, not in the low 30s, trying to get up to the mid 30s.

But I`ll say the one state in there that I thought was just fascinating is North Carolina plus nine. That`s unheard of territory for a Democratic candidate to be up nine in North Carolina at this stage in the election.

HAYES: Jeremy, quickly, a follow-up on that. Why is he over-performing Florida relative to other battleground states? I mean, I`d say, the battleground states he`s most overperforming are Iowa and Nevada, where it`s very close. It`s relatively close in Ohio, although she has a lead.

Florida`s interesting to me, because it doesn`t -- I can`t get quite around the math of the demographics such that, why he`s doing better there than say North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado.

BIRD: Yes. Now, look, I think there`s a lot of noise in the polls and we`ll see them go up and down in some of these states. But when you look at the totality of the states, right, and you look at the consistency over the last week of the polls, I think Florida is a state where being down five is astronomical in a general election. You know, that`s a state where we won by 120,000 votes in 2012. So, five points is a pretty large margin.

HAYES: That`s a good point.

April, I want to play this bit of sound now. Trump is -- has been banging the drum about the election being rigged. It`s pretty reckless and irresponsible talk. It does some very deep and toxic legitimizing things. Here he is talking about Pennsylvania tonight. Take a listen.


TRUMP: The only way we can lose, in my opinion -- I really mean this -- Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on. And we have to call up law enforcement, and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching. Because if we get cheated out of this election, if we get cheated out of a win in Pennsylvania, which is such a vital state, especially when I know what`s happening here, folks. I know.

She can`t beat what`s happening here. The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat.


TRUMP: Certain sections of the state, April. What do you think he`s talking about there?

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: In urban sections, of course.

And how are we cheating, when you talk about urban sections? I mean, we`re as a black community having issues when it comes to voting rights, violations, in many elections. So, that`s going to be very interesting to see that pan out if he does indeed lose Pennsylvania.

But I think even deeper than that, Chris, words have vibrations. His words have vibrations. I mean, early on in his campaigning, we saw him say something and I believe it was Minnesota, the state of Minnesota.

And I`ve said this before. There were some people who beat up a homeless man and spit on them using the words Donald Trump. And then we saw what happened in Chicago and you saw people on tape saying, if these protesters come back, we`re going to kill them. They used the words kill.

I mean, we`re seeing this, in his words, mean something to the people that follow him. But I`m going to say something. Both sides have a strategy. And it`s interesting, as you`re talking about these states, that Hillary Clinton could win, and on the Democratic side, this is not game-playing, this is not cheating, this is a serious strategy that they are trying to win the Oval Office for this election cycle. They`re saying, they have a new Southern strategy, the Democratic Party says.

They are saying that they could possibly win these Southern states, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Western Virginia.

HAYES: South Carolina was plus two yesterday for Donald Trump.

RYAN: But the issue, the reason why they think they can win is because they`re going to leave the gun issue alone right now. They say a lot of people in these states love guns. And they`re going to leave the gun issue alone, to possibly get over the top and win these states.

HAYES: Jeremy, you were shaking your head, sort of in disgust at that rift from Donald Trump, which I think is the appropriate reaction, frankly. I have to say, there`s something deeply, deeply poisonous about talking that way, both the racial coding of it, they`re going to steal it, and what it sets up in terms of a legitimacy problem afterward.

Why were you shaking your head?

BIRD: Well, yes, I think you hit it on the head. I mean, one, it`s -- there`s a racial tone to what he`s saying. But I think as importantly is as what he`s saying, he`s trying to delegitimize the election.

It`s very dangerous in a democracy to have that kind of language. And, obviously, you know, from everything he said this week, we know so much what he says is dangerous. But I think, usually when a candidate is blaming the media or claiming the other side is going to cheat before the election starts, they have an issue, but I think it`s really dangerous to be talking about the legitimacy of our democratic process.

HAYES: We should also point out, the polling average in Pennsylvania right now is 11 points. The guy is getting his clock cleaned by every single empirical metric. You don`t need to invent some massive conspiracy for to why he`s losing.

Thanks to April Ryan and Jeremy Bird for joining me. Appreciate it.

Coming up, we have several additions to the now infamous Trump`s last ten list that we keep here at ALL IN -- the things that are so bad they would have ended any other campaign. You don`t want to miss those updates.

But first, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine release their tax returns as Trump continues to peddle false reasons for why he won`t release his own. That`s next.


HAYES: Democratic candidates for president and vice president released their tax returns today. Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax returns, a joint return with former President Bill Clinton -- of course, her husband. They`ve now released returns dating back to 2007. And Tim Kaine and his wife released ten years of tax returns today.

Clinton reported $10.6 million in income for 2015, and they paid a combined effective rate of 43.2 percent in taxes, gave nearly 10 percent of their income to charity.

That puts a renewed spotlight on the Republican nominee to finally release his tax returns. And, in fact, today at a Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, some protesters held up tax forms. Trump repeatedly claims he can`t release his tax returns until his audit is complete, which is to put it simply not true.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were seeking a casino license in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you released returns even though you were under audit.

TRUMP: I am under audit now and as soon as the audit ends, I`ll release my returns. It`s a very simple thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your tax rate?

TRUMP: It`s none of your business. You`ll see it when I release, but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.


HAYES: Joining me now, David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, writing for "The Daily Beast", and author of "The Making of Donald Trump," which is out in book stores now.

Your reaction to -- you`ve looked at a lot of tax filings over the years of different politicians. Your reaction to the Clinton and Kaine filings today?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, THE DAILY BEAST: They`re absolutely routine sort of filings for the income levels they have. At the Clintons` level, there are in recent years, 12,000 to 18,000 households that make over $12 million a year and their tax burden is right what I would expect for that level. They tied, in effect, by giving away about 10 percent of their income.

And they don`t get any benefit from giving it to the Clinton Foundation. They don`t receive payroll salaries from it or anything else. So, pretty routine level.

The same thing for the Kaines. For their income level, around $300,000 a year, their tax burden is just about what you would expect.

HAYES: One point I wanted to make about the foundation, because there`s some confusion earlier. So, the Clintons had there -- the Clinton Foundation, which is the enormous entity that started as the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, became the Clinton Family Foundation, the Global Initiative. And then there`s the family`s personal foundation, which is not uncommon, wealthy families create their own foundations that are the sort of clearing house for charitable giving.

A lot of people saw the filing today and said, oh, they`re just giving it to the Clinton Foundation, and there`s allegations it`s corrupt, although I think that`s un-established. But this is a different thing. This is basically the way they use -- the vehicle they use for their household giving.

JOHNSTON: That`s right. Many people do it the way my wife and I do through a fund at our community foundation, the one that my wife happens to run.

But there are timing reasons you want to do that. The Clintons have had big variations in their income. So, if their income drops, their giving will probably drop, but they can continue supporting the charities they care about at a consistent level.

And these are endowment funds that they`re supporting, that is they`re permanent social capital and you pay out of that a portion each year. Ben Franklin started two funds over 200 years ago that are still providing scholarships.

HAYES: So, I don`t think we`re ever going to see Donald Trump`s taxes, because I think he`s made the probably correct calculation that the harm of not releasing them is less than the harm of releasing them. That`s basically your working assumption as well?

JOHNSTON: Well, yes, although I did write a speech for Donald Trump to get him elected, in which if he says, look, I haven`t paid income taxes in years. Lots of people like me don`t pay income taxes. That`s awful. You elect me and I`ll fix that. I think he could get a lot of votes.

Chris, I do want to point out one thing. There`s a similarity here in the tax returns of Hillary and Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney and his wife.

HAYES: And what is that?

JOHNSTON: Both -- they both paid nearly the maximum possible tax. Dick Cheney had clean tax returns. He never tried to play games with the government. Hillary Clinton and Bill some years ago, paid more than twice as much income tax because they were being so cautious. And I just find it interesting.

HAYES: This is actually one thing I find fascinating, because there`s this reputation of the Clintons skating close to the line, or making judgments that are later come back to bite them. And I think two great examples are -- the paid speaking engagements that Hillary Clinton did in the year in which it was evident she was going to run for office, she did Goldman Sachs, she did others, it`s unclear -- they didn`t really need the money, they could have done that, right? They could have done the cautious thing and not done it.

And on the Clinton e-mail, the private email server, again, they could have done the cautious thing and color within the lines, they didn`t.

On the taxes, they are very cautious. On the taxes, these looks like the tax returns of someone that knows they`re in the spotlight, knows people are going to look at it, and wants to completely color within the lines.

JOHNSTON: That`s right. And I don`t think there`s anything at all to be found in their tax returns. By the way, let`s not forget that Donald Trump gave speeches too, multilevel marketing organizations and others.

So, I make speeches for money, and I assume that you do, Chris. There`s nothing wrong with doing that. It`s enterprise.

HAYES: I do not now and there`s a reason for that. It`s NBC policy, which is a great policy, I have to say, that we can`t do that. And I think is the proper policy. If we do them, we have to give the money to charity.

David Cay Johnston and a little bit of NBC standards --

JOHNSTON: That`s what we do. We give our fees away.

HAYES: Thank you very much.

Coming up with Trump`s poll numbers in free fall, the right-wing conspiracy machine is working in overdrive. The latest bizarre Clinton attacks ahead.


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

It`s time to make room for new items. That means we bid farewell to the bottom half of this list. From number six, at times, Trump put out a call for Russian hackers to hack Hillary Clinton, through number ten when Trump claimed that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg`s mind is shot.

And that means old number one becomes the new number six, and it`s a big one, Trump`s attacks on the family of a slain army captain. Those are pretty rough.

The new number five is Trump`s claim he saw video of the plane that transported millions of dollars in cash. Later admitted that what he actually was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, that was being used a cable news B-roll.

Coming in at number four, Trump`s tweet that, quote, "many people are saying the Iranians killed the scientists who helped U.S. because of Hillary Clinton`s hacked emails." "The Washington Post" gave that appropriately four Pinocchios.

Number three, Trump`s suggestion that the second amendment people could do something about Clinton even after she was elected, which he later somewhat unconvincingly said he meant as using their unity of purpose to organize people to vote.

Number two, Trump`s repeated claims that President Obama is the founder of ISIS and also Hillary Clinton just for good measure, which he today tried to play off as a joke.

And the new number one, and this one rumbling through radar, so it`s an important one. Trump said he would be fine sending Americans accused of terrorism to Gitmo for military trials, which is unconstitutional on its very face. Though perhaps not a surprise from the candidate who said he would bring back waterboarding and more.

We will keep updating as circumstances dictate, which when it comes to Trump, they always do.



JONES: And I`ll tell you, it is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later. It is amazing. And it just shows how dialed in this guy is, and that`s why they`re so scared of him.


HAYES: The right-wing smear machine has gotten Alex Jonesified this election cycle, as we have been chronicling here. Jones is the conspiracy theorist and creator of the fringe website Info Wars. He believes the Newtown massacre was a false flag and the U.S. government is manufacturing gay people.

Here`s say sampling of Jones` vocal stylings.


JONES: I`m a pioneer. I`m an explorer. I`m a human. And I`m coming!

I`m animated. I`m alive. My heart`s big. It`s got hot blood going through it fast.

I like to fight too! I like to eat! I like to have children! I`m here!


HAYES: For the record, I like to eat and have children.

This year, Jones seen here wearing a lizard mask to discuss health care, has embraced Donald Trump fully, heaping praise on Republican nominee and his team for their apparent acknowledgment of his movement.

There`s no way the Trump people would have reached out to me a year and a half ago, if he wasn`t aware of the work, Jones told the New Republic. He`s been what you call a closet conspiracy theorist for 50 years. I think he`s been a chameleon in the system and now he sees the time to strike.

The conspiracy du jour, Hillary Clinton is harboring a secret medical condition. Last week, one Alex Jones acolyte and Info War writer posted his suspicions on YouTube, wondering if Clinton is suffering from a whole host of issues, including brain damage. Evidence supporting a theory, edited slow-mo looped video of Clinton that suggests she is dealing with a medical issue, even though the video in its full context shows Clinton was playfully reacting to reporters` questions.

Nevertheless, the Daily Beast points out, the Info Wars conspiracy theory quickly made its way into the talking points of Trump surrogates themselves. The Drudge Report then followed up by posing a six month old photo of Clinton slipping on stairs, along with references to a blood clot in 2012 and a broken elbow in 2009.

Donald rump suggesting himself suggesting this week in interviews and on the campaign trail that Clinton is such a mess that after campaign events she goes home and sleeps.

Perhaps no one has been flogging this baseless conspiracy on behalf of Donald Trump with as much fervor and devotion as good old Sean Hannity of Fox News. For an entire week, Hannity has been using his best WebMD super sleuthing skills, breathlessly voicing his concerns over Hillary Clinton`s health, to anyone who will listen, including the experts of the Fox News medical A-team.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Just out of fairness, I don`twant to show the video, but I`ve asked both of you to look at the video, where she seems to like -- some have said it`s like a mini seizure. You`ve got this twitching thing that she does in front of reporters that was really bad. There`s been a number of incidents.

What do you make of this twitching thing? It`s a violent, violent repetitive jerking of the head here.

Now, you can see, it`s uncontrollable. Watch the reporter pull back as she -- the reporter got scared. Is that video a seizure? Maybe?

What about some of the weird pauses she has, the coughing fits she has? There were moments when I`m literally watching her and I`m thinking, OK, the facial expressions are odd. Could that be impacted by a stroke or a TIA?


HANNITTY: Is there a possibility she had a mini stroke, a TIA?

Look at this video right here. Watch her reaction. Bbecause it`s -- I`m not -- it almost seems seizure-esque to me. Is that...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean there are types of seizures, like focal seizures, that sometimes can cause just one body part, but it would be very rare. I mean, typically seizures will generalize.

So I can`t say that`s a seizure. That could be stress.

HANNITY: Aren`t there many seizures like that, Dr. Segall (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I`m not a neurologist and I don`t think that looks like a seizure.

HANNITY: But then what would that be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I will say this...


HAYES: Joining me now, Charlie Pierce, writer at large for Esquire.

I mean, I guess you got to say one thing, you`ve got tip your cap to the medical A-team who basically refuses to play ball, which makes -- I mean, I have to say, cable news host to cable news host, it is rough when you set up a segment and the guests will not play ball with said segment. So, -- but I mean, at least they were sort of responsible.

But it`s like -- this has become a full-fledged obsession, not just for Sean Hannity, but for Drudge -- like they are all in on this total conspiracy theory that literally came from Info Wars.

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: First of all, Hayes, I`ll get you for this segment. It may take years and cost thousands of lives, but I`ll get you for this.

No, I think the really frightening thing about this, it`s not going to go away after the election.


PIERCE: Oh, no, it`s going to become an industry. And the lord above help Mrs. Clinton if she, you know, who knows.

HAYES: Slips, slips like a human being.

PIERCE: slips on an icy step. Yeah, exactly right -- is as clumsy as I am at one point or another.

Yeah, this is, you know, back in the day, when Bill Clinton was president, we had what James Carville called the puke funnel, where these like political type scandals would start in some weird European newspaper and get somehow make it across the Atlantic on the international idiot cable and get to here, and then it would appear on Trump and -- on Drudge and then it would go on. And somehow it would make it into the newspaper.

Most of that stuff was actually political. This is just nuts, OK? This is just completely crazy.

And by the way, it`s on behalf of a candidate who`s already presented us with this very weird note from his doctor saying he had the greatest blood work in the history of blood work.

HAYES: And we should say also, to me, there`s two things happening here. One is, if there used to be six degree was separation for someone like Alex Jones to a party`s nominee, there`s now one. There`s nothing -- there`s no middle man. It goes from Alex Jones and it shows up in Donald Trump`s mouth.

And the other thing about this is, you`re getting this glimpse of what the future will bring, which is, if Clinton wins and Trump loses, there is so much money to be made, eyeballs to be grabbed, in the burgeoning industry that there will be of basically Clinton conspiracy theories.

PIERCE: Yeah, and especially if as I think is going to happen and I actually dread this part, if he keeps selling this notion that the only way he loses is because somebody cheated, which is like running around an ammunition dump with a blowtorch.

Tonight, I guess he`s telling people in Pennsylvania to vote and then go to other precincts to make sure nobody cheats. That`s opening the door to all kinds of really bad stuff.

And that`s the stuff that`s not going to go away either.

HAYES: And that is going to be a persistent, that is going to be the the obsessive, again, should trends continue, we don`t know, a lot can happen in 90 days, but should they continue, that is going to be obsessive sort of singular focus of all these different apparatuses from Alex Jones to the Trump campaign and the sort of -- the Trump folks about spinning that conspiracy theory particularly.

PIERCE: Well, Alex Jones is just going to declare the entire election a false flag anyway, so he`s covered no matter who wins.

HAYES: And he`s going to do very well in the Clinton presidency. Everyone is going to be...

PIERCE: Well, if Trump gets elected, he`s going to be secretary of defense.

HAYES: Well, that`s true. He`s got nothing but up side.

Charlie Pierce, thanks as always.

PIERCE: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, the product that has seen an incredible rise in value this week, at least if you believe the Trump campaign and what that mystery product is. Ahead.


HAYES: If there`s one thing Donald Trump loves, it`s telling people they should give him money.


TRUMP: Come to the castle in Atlantic City, it`s more than a hotel, it`s a four-star resort.

My suits will guarantee you`re always boardroom ready.

My new game is Trump: The Game.

When it comes to great steaks, I`ve just raised the stakes.

At Trump University, we teach success. That`s what it`s all about -- success. It`s going to happen to you.

You have a great opportunity before you with ACN without any of the risks most entrepreneurs have to take. Believe me, it`s ultimately a dream come true.


HAYES: This week, Trump`s campaign began offering its supporters an exclusive deal on a product that, if you believe the campaign, has rapidly risen in value in just days. And that is thing two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Thing two tonight, Donald Trump has spent a lot of time telling people to buy things from him, as evidenced in this `90s ad for the Castle Hotel in Atlantic City, trying to make them feel like they`re getting a deal.

Well, this week, Trump rolled out a new product. On Tuesday, as noted on this show, Trump supporters received an email saying for just $35 they could receive one of these personalized gold executive membership cards. At the bottom, it said only supporters who have donated more than $100 are carrying them.

And Wednesday`s email was more explicit, $100 crossed out, $35 highlighted. So according to the campaign, it`s a $100 card, as you can see there in gold, but you`re getting the insider price of 35 bucks, shown there in red. But here`s where it gets interesting, according to this Trump Facebook ad on Thursday tweeted out by Aaron Gardner (ph) of Red State, the gold card membership list price is now $200. But the insider rate was just 72 bucks.

So if you look at the price chart, that gold card doubled in value overnight, yet supporters could still get a pretty great deal.

Now, if you didn`t pull the trigger yesterday, don`t worry, because TPM`s (ph) Josh Marshall tweeted this morning and circled for today only, team Trump -- get this -- is offering the card for just 49 bucks.

Which means, you are getting this $200 piece of paper, or plastic, for just a quarter of the price.

Now, if you`re thinking wow, what a deal. We should caution you, anything with that kind of volatility sounds like a pretty risky investment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Donald Trump`s comments and his positions on the issues may have finally been dragged down his party`s Senate and gubernatorial candidates. A vivid example of this appears to be taking place in North Carolina. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows Hillary Clinton with a nine-point advantage over Donald Trump.

When you take a look down ballot, a Republican incumbent Senator, Richard Burr, a man never thought to be in danger of losing his seat, who was ahead by seven points over his Democratic challenger Deborah Ross last month, is now trailing by two points among registered voters.

When you look even further down ballot at North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory who appeared on stage at a Trump rally just this week, he`s down seven points to his Democratic challenger, Roy Cooper.

Just to remind you, this is North Carolina, where after voting for Barack Obama in 2008, Republicans took control of the general assembly in 2010, then in 2012 the state voted for Mitt Romney, added enough seats to establish veto proof legislative majorities and won the governor`s mansion.

This year`s election may indicate a shift in the other direction.

Joining me now, Pricey Harrison, North Carolina Democratic state representative. And representative, you guys have had some whiplash down in North Carolina. 2008 it was this sort of amazing thing that North Carolina would ever go blue. The last five, six years, have been some of the most right-wing governance of any state in the entire country. What`s happening down there right now?

PRICEY, HARRISON, NORTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: well, we`re very encouraged that Secretary Clinton is doing so well in the polls and, as you mentioned, the down ballot races.

I think Trump`s divisive ways have turned off a lot of independent and moderate voters and many of the Republican women who had supported Republicans in the past. So it`s looking pretty good up and down the ballot.

HAYES: You`ve got -- McCory has been a controversial governor. He also -- unlike some other governors that are elected in off years -- I`m thinking of, say, Rick Scott down in Florida, he`s got to run in a presidential year. So he`s got a tougher road.

He is behind the very controversial HB2 bill down there, which is the sort of the trans-bathroom bill, among other things, the NB A has pulled out the all-star games. He`s been behind a lot of voter suppression activities. Is that coming back to bite him now?

HARRISON: It appears to be. He was elected by moderate Democrats and independents, and he has steered so far right I`m afraid he`s lost that electorate. And I`m not sure why he`s taken that tactic, because he has really moved much further extreme than the state can ever really tolerate.

HAYES: You`ve ALSO had two judicial smackdowns in that state. The voter ID law. A federal judge I mean really excoriating the state legislature, basically calling them racist, essentially, in the decision, and now the redistricting has been tossed out by a federal judge as well.

HARRISON: That is. And the the fourth redistricting decision that`s gone against the Republican legislative leaders. It`s -- I think they`ve overreached and I think they`re going to pay a penalty.

And we`ve also had a bit of a demographic shift in the state where we`re getting younger and more diverse and those tend to vote more liberally. So I think the trend is looking very good for North Carolina to turn blue in November.

HAYES: This is interesting, among potential voters who voted -- moved to the state between 2010 and 2015, 66 percent are between ages of 18 and 44, as opposed to 44 percent. So you`re getting a younger crop of people.

Finally, is Burr really in trouble? I mean, he was not on anyone`s early list for imperiled Republican incumbents, but that poll has a lot of people asking.

HARRISON: Well, the trend is certainly not in his favor. I served with Deborah Ross in the state house and she is a terrific, strong, articulate, candidate who I think is just whip smart and is about the best challenger would could have come up with. And I think she`s got a good chance of beating him.

HAYES: Yeah, that would be a big upset if that were to happen. And now, right now, it looks like it`s possibility.

Pricey Harrison, thanks for taking the time tonight. Appreciate it.

HARRISON: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: All right, what repeatedly bashing a popular president does to one`s poll numbers, next.



TRUMP: I think he`s the worst president maybe in the history of our country. I think he`s been a disaster. He`s been weak. He`s been ineffective. He`s probably the worst president in the history of our country.

He has been a disaster as a president. He will go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of our country. It is a mess.

He has done such a lousy job as president.


HAYES: Just a small sampling there of what Donald Trump thinks of President Obama`s record.

It`s a tricky proposition, because the Republican presidential nominee, bashing a Democratic president who is currently enjoying some of the highest approval ratings of his presidency. Take a look at President Obama`s current job approval ratings among registered voters in those crucial battleground states.

Now, look at his numbers compared to polling numbers in the same states for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump is trailing Clinton everywhere, and he`s way behind the president.

Joining me now, Slate columnist Michelle Goldberg and national senior correspondent for MTV News Jamil Smith.

I think, Jamil, one of the things that was so weird about the "Obama is the founder of ISIS" shtick this week, is that he`s picking a fight with a guy who is way more popular than even his opponent and he`s also not on the ballot.

JAMIL SMITH, MTV NEWS: And he`s doing so mainly to cater to people who he`s already won over. I mean, he`s not -- look, I mean, Trump needs to find the 270th electoral vote, and he hasn`t spent the entire general elections seeking it. He`s just trying to lock down the people who he already has, which makes absolutely no sense if you`re actually trying to win.

HAYES; There`s also -- yeah.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: I was going to say, it makes absolutely no sense if you read the polls and kind of read the research. But it makes sense if like Trump and like some of his followers, you look out at 15,000 or 20,000 people at this crowd and think that, how could I be losing, right?

And I think he thinks that, and some of the people who are most devoted to him think that. I see it all the time. They`re constantly tweeting these photographs of Clinton rallies and Trump rallies, and saying, look, it`s clearly -- it`s almost the kind of like demented mutant stepchild of un-skew the polls, right. It`s like, as if the whole election really is just about kind of who can get a big crowd yelling the loudest.

SMITH: I mean, they should ask the Bernie Sanders people.

HAYES: Right, exactly.

GOLDBERG: Right, but they think Bernie Sanders really won too.

HAYES: Right. That it was stolen.

That is part of it, right. Sam Seder had a great line the other night where he said it`s like a road comic who just like all that`s in front of him is the crowd in the room that night and getting laughs out of them. He`s not thinking of, like, anything past that.

But there`s also this -- there`s this fascinating thing happening, which is that you have this weird, the take-away from the election, in so many ways, has been about this anger amongst the American populous. And I think there`s a lot to it. And I think there`s a lot of ways you can look at the economic statistics of the recovery and say, yeah, there`s a lot of people left behind, a lot of people have lost a lot and not gotten back to where they were.

And yet at the same time, this like coalescing of like Barack Obama as popular president, as a sort of almost post-partisan figure. I mean, these numbers that are equivalent to Reagan.

Look at this, Reagan in `88 is at 53 percent, that`s where Barack Obama is right now. It`s sort of a fascinating -- it`s hard to kind of square those two things.

GOLDBERG: But don`t you think part of it is just the contrast that Barack Obama is such a contrast actually to both candidates. I mean, obviously he`s the antithesis to Donald Trump, and the reason that Donald Trump is a nominee is because he`s the antithesis of Barack Obama.

And then also -- I mean, Hillary Clinton. You know, Barack Obama is eloquent, inspiring, frank, candid, funny. He`s sort of everything that people -- even people who support Hillary Clinton kind of wish she could be.

So he`s this figure that -- and then you hear Republicans kind of saying, well, maybe Obama`s not as bad as we thought. Now that he`s on the way out, they can kind of look back fondly at thisman they`ve spent eight years trying to...

HAYES: Destroy.

GOLDBERG: Trying to destroy, yeah.

SMITH: And I think for voters, it`s really about the fact they don`t like either one of these candidates. I mean, you have both of these candidates really kind of sunk down in terms offavorability ratings.

HAYES: Although we should just as a sort of empirical note, Hillary Clinton`s favorability has been coming up the last two weeks.

SMITH: Oh, by no means is this a false equivalent.

But I`m saying, there`s a lot of people who don`t like both candidates. And so they look at Obama and they are saying, wow, you know we actually got it pretty good right now. Wow, we`re going to miss this guy.

HAYES: And I think that`s part of what the weird underlying dynamic of the race was that we have that speech that he gave at the convention was the sort of official passing of the torch, right?

SMITH: Yeah.

HAYES: And we`ve seen -- and I don`t think he`s the reason that the convention bounce happened, but that undoubtedly -- there`s a rocket pack on her back a bit, because he is popular and he has endorsed her, and that has credibility with a significant portion of the electorate at a time when there`s no credibility on the other side.

SMITH: I mean, I think -- also you have to look at the race factor, not just on the Trump side where he`s consistently berating Obama, because he`s bought fully in with the birther nonsense, but also on the Democratic side. You have a Democratic electorate that wants to protect the gains of the Obama presidency, especially the African-American electorate.

So what are they going to do? They`re going to look to make -- they`re going to see Trump as a threat and they`re going to make sure they consolidate that support.

HAYES: And in fact it`s even more -- I mean, this is what`s been fascinating, right. The support is more consolidated than it was even against Mitt Romney.

So, and this is something we`ve talked about a little bit on the show, which is you tend to think of a blow-out, a blow-out. It`s like, well, you lose, you get 95 percent of the black vote, or 99 percent, it`s all -- but it`s like, that actually matters. Like, those 4 percent are showing up in places like Georgia and South Carolina.

GOLDBERG: Right. And I mean, even more so, the kind of huge margins that she`s racking up among college-educated white women, the huge margins that she`s going to get among Hispanics. And so, part of it is that the whole premise of his campaign is that Barack Obama is an illegitimate president. That`s the reason that he...

HAYES: That`s how he launched himself into the political conscience.

GOLDBERG: Right. That`s the reason that he has the factor that he has.

HAYES: And he`s a foil to Barack Obama fundamentally.

GOLDBERG: Right. In every single way.

HAYES: The character that he plays on the public political stage, right.

GOLDBERG: And on some level, he cannot internalize that there is not a majority for that view.

HAYES: That`s exactly right. And that`s part of what`s killing him, right, because he has put himself as -- and that was part of what I think made that Republican National Convention speech so ineffective. Which is the whole idea is, this guy is the worst president literally in American history America is in the worst shape it`s been in in American history and I`m your savior. And the majority of Americans just do not feel that way.

GOLDBERG: Right. They think they are a silent majority, but they`re really like a very...

HAYES: A silent minority.

GOLDBERG: A very loud minority.

HAYES: They are.

Michelle Goldberg and Jamil Smith, thanks for being here tonight.

OK, before we go tonight, my kids are paying a special visit to the studio. And as a sacred tradition dictates, they have asked for some animal videos to be played on the show. My daughter Ryan requested a giraffe. Here is a video of a giraffe gallivanting around the Brookville Zoo in Illinois. Get down there.

And my son David asked for a cat. So here`s a cat playing the piano.

Not particularly melodic, but very cute.

Happy Friday everyone.

That is All In for this evening.