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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 8/24/2016

Guests: Robert Costa, Alexander Zaitchik, Michael Eric Dyson, Chris Murphy, Heather McGhee, Liam Donovan

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 24, 2016 Guest: Robert Costa, Alexander Zaitchik, Michael Eric Dyson, Chris Murphy, Heather McGhee, Liam Donovan

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


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: African-Americans are tired of being used by these phony politicians.


HAYES (voice-over): Donald Trump in Mississippi with Mr. Brexit himself?


NIGEL FERAGO, FORMER LEADER OF U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY: I tell you what, I think he`s going to win.


HAYES (voice-over): Tonight the latest strange twist in the Republicans` effort to resuscitate his campaign. Plus an ALL IN investigation.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: They call it the undercover Trump voter. But it`s real.


HAYES (voice-over): Is Donald Trump actually winning if you count secret Trump voters? Then Senator Chris Murphy on the latest Trump resistance to releasing his taxes.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CT.: It would be foolish to do.


HAYES (voice-over): The nexus of Hillary Clinton, EpiPens, and the Clinton Foundation. Another awkward introduction for Mike Pence.


HAYES (voice-over): And Heather McGhee on her incredible response to a C- SPAN caller.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m a white male, and I am prejudice. What can I do to change?


HAYES (voice-over): When ALL IN starts right now.

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In the latest perplexing move by his unorthodox campaign, Donald Trump is about to take the stage at a rally tonight in Jackson, Mississippi, a safely Republican state that Mitt Romney won by 12 points in 2012. The rally follows a $1,000 a plate fundraiser in Jackson, the city with the second highest percentage of African-Americans in the country. And Trump`s got some fairly counter-intuitive guests joining him there in the South: right-wing British politician Nigel Farage, the leading figure behind the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. He`s not officially endorsing, Farage says, but he and Trump both seem to recognize what their politics have in common. While promoting the successful leave campaign, Farage deployed xenophobic rhetoric and imagery to exploit voters fears about immigration. Imagery that has echoes in Trump`s first TV ad, which debuted last week. Farage writes his own column for Breitbart News, the inflammatory website whose chairman, Steve Bannon, just became the Trump campaign`s new CEO. Farage gave Bannon, in Breitbart, quote, a massive thanks after his side won the Brexit vote in June. And though Trump initially seemed to have no idea, literally, what Brexit was when a reporter asked his position a month before the referendum, he later applauded the vote to leave the EU and took credit for having predicted the outcome. A few days ago he tweeted, somewhat mysteriously, "They will soon be calling me Mr. Brexit." Trump is campaigning with Britain`s top xenophobe just as he embarks on a new strategy to counter the view held by many that he is racist, as the Washington Post puts it. Trump is reportedly planning trips to urban areas with stops at churches, charter schools and small businesses in black and Latino communities, including a possible visit to Detroit where Ben Carson would guide him on a tour of the impoverished neighborhoods where he grew up. And tomorrow morning at Trump Tower, Trump will be meeting with Latino and African-American activists from the Republican Leadership Initiative, which trains young people to work on campaigns. Earlier today, Trump made an economic pitch to Hispanic voters during a stop in Tampa, Florida, which is an actual battleground state. But he still hasn`t quite mastered how to address people of color.


TRUMP: Over the last three weeks, the polls with African-American folks and Spanish-speaking folks, the Hispanics, the Latinos, have gone way up, way up.


HAYES: For the record, that`s not accurate. Trump`s numbers with African- Americans are virtually unchanged since May back when he and Hillary Clinton were neck and neck in the polls. His support among Latinos has gone down. Trump has already been ostensibly trying to court black voters -- that`s what his campaign says -- having a targeting pitch to his sum speech. Yet he continues to talk about voter fraud in racially-coated language.


TRUMP: You`ve gotta get everybody to go out and watch and go out and vote. And when I say watch, you know what I`m talking about, right? You know what I`m talking about. I think you gotta go out and you gotta watch.


HAYES: As the New York Times notes in its rather pointed headline today, Trump`s description of black America is deeply offensive to many black Americans.


TRUMP: Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels that nobody`s seen. You could go to war zones in countries that we`re fighting, and it`s safer than living in some of our inner cities. I`ll be able to make sure that when you walk down the street in your inner city or wherever you are, you`re not going to be shot, your child isn`t going to be shot.


HAYES: Joined now by Robert Costa, national political reporter of the Washington Post and MSNBC political analyst. He was one of the hosts reporting this new outreach. I mean, Robert, I gotta say, Donald Trump in Mississippi, in Jackson, starting a new push for African-American voters with Nigel Farage seems to sum up all the strange contradictions in this moment in this campaign.

ROBERT COSTA, WASHINGTON POST: Chris, the appearance of Farage especially is telling, and it`s telling about the influence of Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart in Trump`s inner circle. I hear Bannon and Trump are speaking multiple times a day. And in the same way that Trump latched onto this populism, nationalism being promoted by Jeff Sessions and others on the hard-line right in the United States a year ago, now Bannon is encouraging Trump behind the scenes, based in my reporting, to latch onto what he sees as a populist, nationalist movement globally. And so Trump`s entering this final stage of the campaign trying to be almost a global populist figure.

HAYES: Yes. And yet at the same time, there`s this whole thing about how they are going to -- I mean, you got Nigel Farage, and Farage stands for a certain version of kind of keeping Britain pure -- folks can understand what that means or interpret it how they want -- and you`ve got him down in Mississippi. You`ve also got Trump`s advisor saying they really want to get out there and have him talking to voters of color and trying to get some of them back in the fold because his margins there are just horrendous.

COSTA: There`s a lot happening right now within Trump`s inner circle. And you talk to people close to Trump. And you have Kellyanne Conway talking to suburban voters and women voters and trying to get Trump to speak about regret and reaching out to different kinds of groups who Trump`s struggling with both in his internal polls and his external polls. You have Bannon trying to bring in Farage and really think about Trump in non-partisan terms, in pure populace terms globally and here in the United States. And it all comes as Trump is looking at this final, less than 80-day stretch of the election where he has to bounce back. He doesn`t want to lose his core, but as he`s bringing Nigel Farage to Mississippi, he`s also tweaking how he speaks about immigration.

HAYES: Yes, he is. And in fact there`s a little bit of news on that tonight as he`s starting to sound in a prerecorded town hall that`ll be airing, I suppose, later, that he`s starting to sound almost Jeb Bushian in the way that he talks about paying back taxes and if people have been here for 20 years and they`ve been good citizens, do you really want to kick them out? That was more or less the Jeb Bush position in the primary for which Donald Trump annihilated him.

COSTA: It`s a sign of how much Trump`s politics are driven by a nationalistic impulse but they`re not driven so much by an ideological compass. This is someone who doesn`t come out of the movement right. And so even when it comes to a core issue for him like immigration, he`s navigating it on non-traditional terms. And he`s not staying as close to the right position as a Jeff Sessions or an Ann Coulter. And even Ann Coulter herself, a top Trump ally coming out with a Trump book, she`s saying, what is Trump doing? This sounds like consultant speak. But this is who Trump is, he`s someone who`s walked into a movement rather than being someone who came out of its hot core.

HAYES: Yes, so I guess the question is if you`ve got Kellyanne Conway talking about suburban voters, you got Bannon who wants him to be, you know, the Nigel Farage of the U.S., of the (INAUDIBLE) or whatever, what exactly is this campaign`s message at this point? I thought I knew it when I went to the convention and I heard that speech, which was basically really doubling down on this sort of populist, ethno-nationalist approach. It`s unclear to me now what it is.

COSTA: Well, the thing you have to understand about Trump is that when you talk to his associates both in the campaign now and from previous years, he has a deep belief not guided by polling, that African-American voters, Latino voters, if they can connect with his wealth and success, can identify with him in the closing lap of the campaign. Of course, polls show he`s deeply unpopular. And this goes back especially to his time in 2011-2012 as the leader of the Bertha crusade. That hurt his numbers in a significant way with those voters. But Trump himself -- and this influences how his advisors operate -- believes he can win them back.

HAYES: Yes, it`s a tough bell to unring. Robert Costa, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

COSTA: Indeed. Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Joining me now is Alex Zaitchik. He`s a freelance journalist and author of The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump`s America, and Michael Eric Dyson, professor at Georgetown University, author of The Black Presidency. And Michael, let me begin with you. I thought The Times article did a pretty good job of laying out the way that these speeches that he has been giving about the sort of state of black America are sounding to people living in black America.

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Yes. It amplifies the worst bigotries that one might imagine. It also throws a harsh and crude spotlight on the inability of this particular presidential candidate to understand the fundamental truths of black life, to respect its radical diversity, its radical heterogeneity, black people are different. Although I must say that the tragic thing here is that people are wanting a presidential candidate to address poverty --

HAYES: Right.

DYSON: -- to address disproportionate concentration of crime, to talk about the lack of safety that African-American people face. The only problem is Donald Trump offers nothing to relieve those particular problems and everything to reinforce them. His uncritical celebration of a police state, his refusal to acknowledge the criminal justice system has been disproportionately unfair to African-American people, and again lumping all black people into a monolithic stew without understanding the differences and the conflicts and the internal machinations that constitute who we are as a community. So it`s not only the blind leading the blind, it`s those who are incapable of hearing the truths of black America.

HAYES: Right.

DYSON: That megaphone has been put to that lack of ability to hear, and what we hear is really chaos.

HAYES: Alex, you spent months, essentially if I understand the project of the book, just spending time with Trump supporters, right?


HAYES: Yes, OK. So how do you think these speeches, this language, this sort of, like, what do you have to lose, how are they hearing it? How do you think that`s resonating with them?

ZAITCHIK: I don`t think it`s necessarily adding any Trump voters. I don`t think there are a whole lot of people on the fence or within a mile of the fence waiting for this speech. But whether he`s losing people he already had, I would probably say it`s not going to hurt him that much. I mean, I don`t think these are people who are necessarily as consumed with race and immigration as some people --

HAYES: Really, you think so?

ZAITCHIK: Yes. I mean, obviously you can`t stereotype --

HAYES: Right.

ZAITCHIK: -- 13 million people, and I don`t want to replace one stereotype with another.

HAYES: Right.

ZAITCHIK: If I did have to come down on one side of the question of whether it`s racial or economic anxiety as a sort of primary driver of Trump support, I would have to come down on the economic side.

HAYES: That`s interesting. There`s this question, Michael, also, about whether -- you know, how much of this is performance for essentially affluent or suburban white voters, particularly white women, in places like the Georgia suburbs or in northern Virginia, or in the areas that are essentially the Boston suburbs and New Hampshire where he`s getting destroyed, and how much of this is about essentially trying to set this thing -- well, I think Jamelle Smith said this well yesterday, that voting for Trump in and of itself is not a racist act because people do not want to commit that.

DYSON: Right. Well, and it relates to the point that was just made by Brother Zaitchik in regard to -- it`s not a conscious choice of many white brothers and sisters. If you polled them and asked them, they would deny it. But isn`t that the lure of whiteness? Whiteness has been rendered invisible. It has been the default position of American identity so that whiteness and nation are seemed to be indissolubly linked. And as a result of that, you don`t have to talk about whiteness, all you have to do is talk about making America great again.

HAYES: Right.

DYSON: Black people hear those code words and they understand what they mean. And yes to your point, within African-American culture, understanding just what`s going on here, understanding the play that Donald Trump is making now. And let`s be real, many African-American people see this as, OK, Kellyanne Conway comes in and says, look, you`re leaving on the table a lot of potential black people who might resonate with you.

HAYES: Right.

DYSON: The only problem is they can`t resonate with a guy who doesn`t understand -- again, if he`s not ideological and if he`s only nationalist, as has been indicated, again, that doesn`t mean he`s contradicting the principles of white nationalism, that means --

HAYES: Right.

DYSON: -- he`s reinforcing them without being held to account. And Donald Trump I think is a massively gifted manipulator. And at the end of the day, there may be no there there, but what`s there at the end of the day is the status quo, and that status quo has not favored African-American people.

HAYES: So Alex so here`s the question, right, so we`re watching him do this thing on immigration, right, where -- people call the pivot. It looks more like a 180, or it might just be nothing because there`s no actual there there, right?


HAYES: And I think one thing we confuse is we think of Trump supporters and then the sort of Trump industrial complex, which is, like, the world of, like, Trump Twitter, Trump support, like Ann Coulter. Those aren`t necessarily the same worlds. So it`s like there`s a question about what the Trump industrial complex will do with the immigration (INAUDIBLE), and then there`s the question of the folks you talk to.


HAYES: What is your sense of how powerful this sort of border invasion stuff is for them?

ZAITCHIK: Well, what`s interesting is when I was on the border, that`s where I saw the most sort of self-awareness and critical thought with regard to Trump`s more extreme --


ZAITCHIK: -- immigration statements. People there just intuitively understand that the wall is an insane idea and completely unworkable and --

HAYES: And Congressman Blake Farenthold from Texas who represents part of the border said on my show on the air, yes, it`s ridiculous --


HAYES: -- and he supports Trump.

ZAITCHIK: I talked to dozens of Trump supporters on the border, ranchers, minutemen, hardcore Trump supporters, and they said as soon as he gets into office, he`s going to surround himself with advisors who will tell him, we just need boots on the ground, defense is (INAUDIBLE) --

HAYES: It is ridiculous.


HAYES: Right. And yet it`s a rallying cry, right? So that makes me think that he can walk away from some of this stuff, and those folks are going to be there because they`ve got some sense in their mind that when he gets elected it`s going to be OK.

ZAITCHIK: As long as they believe he`s still committed to the idea --

HAYES: Right.

ZAITCHIK: -- of a secure border, the wall itself is a metaphor. It doesn`t matter whether he actually follows through.

HAYES: All right. Alexander Zaitchik and Michael Eric Dyson, thank you gentlemen both. Appreciate it.

DYSON: Thank you.

ZAITCHIK: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, no longer able to stake success on polling, the Trump campaign`s latest winning tactic: undercover voters. I`ll explain ahead. But first, Donald Trump still refuses to release his tax returns, so lawmakers are taking drastic measures. Senator Chris Murphy joins me to talk about the latest effort right after this two-minute break.



SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Here`s what I think you`d find if Donald Trump`s tax returns come out. Because in at least a couple of instances in the `80s and `90s his tax returns did get produced and it showed that he paid no taxes. None. And he bragged about using every trick and artifice he can to pay no taxes.


HAYES: The issue of Donald Trump`s tax returns is not going away because right now he is and remains the only presidential candidate in modern history to refuse to release those returns. Trump has repeatedly claimed he can`t release his returns while they are being audited, an excuse repeated again this morning by his son, Eric Trump.


ERIC TRUMP, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: There is no tax attorney in the world who will tell you to release your tax returns while you`re under a standard routine audit. It would never happen. I mean, anybody who thinks that is in la-la land. It would be foolish to do. And honestly, I`m actually the biggest proponent of not doing it because he`s under a standard audit. You just don`t do that during that time.


HAYES: According to the IRS, an audit is no impediment to releasing tax returns to the public, a fact reiterated by Former IRS Commissioner and Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Fred Goldberg last night.


FRED GOLDBERG, FORMER IRS COMMISSIONER: There is zero risk that releasing the first two pages of his tax return, plus the Schedule A that shows charitable contributions -- that will have no impact whatsoever. And it`d tell the American people what they have a right to know. He`s put these issues in the public.


HAYES: The last time Trump`s tax returns became public was in 1981. And they were a report from New Jersey gambling regulators show that Trump had for at least two years in the late 1970`s taken advantage of a tax code provision popular with developers that allowed him to report negative income. There`s now been legislation introduced in the Senate, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns. My next guest supports that legislation.

Joining me now, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Why make this mandatory, why make this statutory under law? Or is this a campaign stunt?

MURPHY: Well, listen, I think had we thought 20 years ago that this precedent was going to be broken, we would have done it then. I admit that it`s a little uncomfortable to be talking about this legislation in the middle of a presidential cycle. But the risk to the American public of this information not being made public, I think, is incredible. It`s grave. And it`s because I think, frankly, that this might go much deeper than just a question of whether it would be embarrassing or politically damaging to Donald Trump for the American public to find out that for a series of years he perhaps paid no taxes. My worry is that there`s something much more insidious in those tax returns. And what we know is that his siblings have said that Donald Trump has been deeply invested in Russia and likely Russians have been deeply invested in him. If you try to sort through why he`s taken these really curious positions on matters of foreign policy, like denying that Russia ever invaded Ukraine, the answer may come in his tax returns. There may be some substantial connections between Russian oligarchs and Donald Trump. And that`s what`s most important for the American public to know. So that`s why this legislation is important. Because nobody`s going to be able to get a full picture of why he`s running for president, unless they can see his tax returns.

HAYES: Yes, you talk about this. There has been speculation about whatever financial ties there might be to Russia. There`s a quote from the child about the sort of investment there. They have responded in sort of non-denial denial ways about specifically what their financial posture is. It brings me to the sort of story that Donald Trump is telling to his audience tonight. There`s Nigel Farage there in Jackson, Mississippi, which I`m still trying to get my head around. And, you know, basically the story about the Clinton Foundation essentially being this pay-to-play favor-trading organization, and here he is talking about Hillary Clinton`s leadership of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton ran the state department like a failed leader in a third-world country. That`s what it`s run like, like a third-world country. She sold favors and access in exchange for cash.


HAYES: What do you say to that?

MURPHY: Well, that`s made up. It`s a complete lie. And in fact all of the emails that came out today that speak to the relationship and some of the conversations between the Clinton campaign and the Foundation, there`s nothing in them that suggest there was ever any kind of conduct like that that Trump alleges. But like just for one second, let`s think about what he`s actually alleging. He`s alleging that Hillary Clinton conducted herself in a manner such that people would give donations to try to cure worldwide AIDS and malaria, to try to combat childhood obesity, and there`s nothing that suggests she did that. But that stands in direct contrast to what we`re trying to discover about Donald Trump, which is that he actually may be running for president so that he can use the White House in order to enrich himself and his family personally. So it`s pretty rich in hypocrisy and irony that Donald Trump is making these allegations not anchored in fact when in fact he may be running for president to make himself personally richer.

HAYES: We should note in the campaign disclosure that his campaign bought $55,000 worth of his books. I want to ask you about Nigel Farage there. I mean, this is a figure who -- I mean, basically this Brexit happened and everyone associated with it has basically died politically in Britain. Nigel Farage is right now up at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, sort of being hailed. And what do you make of that? What do you make of this idea that there is this transnational, quote, nationalist movement and what the subtext of that is?

MURPHY: Well, it exists. It`s real. And whether you like it or not, part of the undercurrent of the campaign for England to leave the EU was a fear of people who look different from them --

HAYES: Right.

MURPHY: -- living amongst them. And of course that is what`s fueling Donald Trump`s rise. It`s a strange time to double down on that play, because we know that people who are making their decision up in the middle of the electorate are incredibly uncomfortable with the racism of Donald Trump and his campaign. And it probably just shows that his campaign has no idea what they`re doing. I mean, we try to read some, you know, specific and bold new strategy into Nigel Farage standing on stage. It, of course, is alienating swing voters who don`t want to hear anymore of that kind of rhetoric, and it suggests that actually this campaign is probably as directionless as ever.

HAYES: All right. I don`t know why I find it so bizarre and surreal that Nigel Farage is in Jackson, Mississippi, speaking in the midst of an American presidential campaign. It is truly bizarre. Senator Chris Murphy, thank you very much for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: Still ahead, friend of the show, personal friend in fact, Heather McGhee`s powerful response when a white man asked her how to overcome his prejudices. She`ll be here to talk about it coming up.


HAYES: All right. We were just talking about the Clinton Foundation and Senator Chris Murphy, and we talked about it last night. And part of the problem of accusations of conflict of interest against Hillary Clinton for her treatment of the donors of the Clinton Foundation is that there are so many of those donors in so many prominent positions. If you throw a dart at a news story, you`re likely to hit one. Here`s one example. The Clinton Foundation`s website lists the drug company Mylan Pharmaceuticals as one of its donors. According to press release -- also found on the Clinton Foundation`s website -- Mylan worked with the Clinton Foundation back in 2009 to lower the cost of antiretroviral drugs needed to help patients with HIV in developing countries. Yet today in a statement, Candidate Clinton blasted that very same company for what she called an outrageous price increase of one if its vital products, the EpiPen, calling it just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers. The EpiPen is an autoinjection device that is quite literally life-saving for millions of Americans with potentially deadly allergies. The drug inside of it is actually quite cheap, the device itself, hailed for its user-friendliness and ease with which a person can administer the correct dosage, is costly. The drug doesn`t last, so people need to purchase EpiPens, sold in a 2-Pak, regularly. That can add up. And now EpiPen`s manufacturer, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, is facing growing outrage following several steep price increases on its life-saving product.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2006, Mylan charged pharmacies $90 for an EpiPen 2- Pak. In 2010, the price was $150. Then $300, $400, $500, and now with a near monopoly, $608.

HAYES: At the center of the controversy, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch. As the price of the EpiPen increased, so did Bresch`s total compensation, which grew nearly 700 percent over the course of eight years. Now as Mylan Pharmaceuticals told NBC News, the change in price for EpiPens, quote, better reflects important product features than the value the product provides. Nevertheless, members of Congress are calling on Mylan to explain itself, which could potentially get awkward for CEO Heather Bresch, given she is the daughter of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. But perhaps all is not lost with the embattled drug company. Mylan got a rigorous defense this week from a guy who also understands the kind of situation they`re in.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, is currently under indictment for securities fraud. He was heavily criticized for his 5,000 percent hike of the malaria and HIV drug, Daraprim. Today he defended Mylan.

MARTIN SHLRELI, FORMER HEAD OF TURING PHARMACEUTICALS: Mylan`s the good guy. They have one product where they`re finally starting to make a little bit of money, and everyone`s going crazy over it.



HAYES: With Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton in national polls, and polls in most of the battleground states looking even worse for Trump, the Trump campaign and some Trump supporters have been trying to make the case that a man who loves to proclaim himself a winner isn`t actually losing.

One Trump backer telling BuzzFeed, quote, "I don`t believe in the polls. They ain`t called us."

Trump and his aides have been pointing to the size of Trump`s rallies to argue against the polls. Trump telling Fox, I actually think I`m going good. I have the biggest crowds. Nobody has ever had crowds like this.

And then there`s argument that voters simply aren`t telling pollsters the truth.


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: This is pretty up for grabs.

CHRIS WOOTEN, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I would bet it would go towards Trump. I think there`s a silent Trump thing going on right now, people that might not want to admit it.


HAYES: Now, that idea was morphally (ph) articulated by Trump`s campaign manager -- new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, in an interview with the UK`s Channel 4.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANGER: Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election.

UNIDENIFIED MALE: Why is that, do you think?

CONWAY: It`s because it`s become socially desirable, especially if you`re a college educated person in the United States of America to say that you`re against Donald Trump.

The hidden Trump vote in this country is a very significant proposition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been able to put a number on that group?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you think that is?

CONWAY: I can`t discuss it.


CONWAY: No. It`s a project we`re doing internally. I call it the undercover Trump voter. But it`s real.


HAYES: Now, I should point out Conway is reportedly saying the Channel 4 interview was taped many weeks ago and she knows they`re behind.

That doesn`t actually make her argument any less, well, problematic, or at least interesting. Conway is claiming that voters have been lying to pollsters because of the social stigma attached to telling the truth, a phenomenon in a very different, other context as the Bradley effect, that`s when white voters tell pollsters they`ll vote for a black candidate, but then they don`t actually do it.

Economist David Rothchild crunched the numbers and found there`s no evidence of a kind of Bradley effect in Trump general election polls.

And then there`s the more fundamental problem for the Trump campaign, which is that it`s effectively at odds with itself, seeking to push white turnout to record levels with explicit appeals to the politics of explicitly while resentment while simultaneously trying to make the case to people of color that Trump is on their side.

Joining me now, former GOP staffer Liam Donovan, a contributor of The National Review, whose Twitter feed has been essential reading for me this campaign. Good to have you, Liam.

LIAM DONOVAN, THE NATIONAL REVIEW: Thanks, Chris, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

HAYES: All right. So, you had this big tweet storm and the piece in the National Review basically says, look, you can`t have it both ways, essentially, right? What you cannot go after goosing essentially the white vote, particularly white non-college, as demographers call them, and the appeal you need to get them does what that makes it so hard to get other people.

DONOVAN: Right. I think it`s the bell that can`t be unrung, as you mentioned. I think you`re using this wedge and pushing on it and there`s an inherent tension there. And I think they appreciate that and that`s demonstrated by what they`ve tried to sort of reel back in, in, you know, the later -- the latest attacks they`ve taken trying to appeal to non- traditional GOP audiences and really it`s sort of a bank shot meant to appeal to the suburbs that they`ve lost.

So, I think their behavior is indicative of the fact that they realize what they have done. And they`re trying to undo the damage that was done. That`s just to get back to par.

HAYES: Yeah. That`s exactly right. The way I think about it is a runner who has drifted too far off first base and now the throw is coming behind them and they`re trying to get back -- they`re trying to get back to the base, right. I mean -- and I don`t mean the base in the political sense, they`re trying to get back to basically the spreads and numbers they need just among white college educated women, particularly, in those suburbs, to be at Romney levels.

DONOVAN: That`s exactly right. And I think, you know, for all the heat that Jeb Bush took about the sort of -- the paradox of, you have to be willing to take risks in the primary that might imperil you in the general, and you`ve seen the exact opposite, you know, I think the things that pay off in a Republican primary that we saw, are things that, you know, it`s not that voters weren`t paying attention there, it`s that they were and you`re seeing reflected in Trump`s numbers. It doesn`t appeal beyond a subset of a subset of the electorate.

HAYES: You know, there`s also -- what`s so weird to me, is that -- you know, I expected -- some of the things you`re seeing now, I expected at the convention. I remember when I got the early copy of that speech that he gave at the RNC, I thought to myself, wow, this is really -- this is the full Breitbart. This is the full -- they`re really going with this thing. They got this huge audience. They`ve got a chance to sort of reintroduce him and they`re going with this.

I mean, you gotta imagine that what has convinced them to try to take away is just the polling, right?


And I think that`s the fascinating thing, to watch the sort of two-step that you`re seeing you have now a new high command installed with Kellyanne Conway on one side -- sort of sitting on one side of his shoulder and Steve Bannon on the other. And it almost depends what side of bed he wakes up on, or maybe who he talked to last because there`s no consistency, there`s no coherence to it, which is probably too much to ask, because that haven`t been something we`ve observed throughout the campaign.

But it is hit or miss. Every other day, he`s got a new message. He`s softening, he`s not softening. He`s appealing -- you know, he`s Mr. Brexit -- he`s hanging out with Mr. Brexit in Jackson, Mississippi. This isn`t stuff that plays in swing counties in the electoral battlegrounds.

HAYES: Yeah. To me, it`s also interesting to watch what`s happening with immigration is someone coming in, and be like, I`m a disrupter, I`m going to knock it all down, and then sort of slowly learning, oh, right, there was a reason that -- it`s like campaign`s 101. Like, oh, yeah, that`s true. I guess you gotta court those voters that everyone`s been courting in every election going back for 20 years.

DONOVAN: Well, in fairness, he`s coming full circle here. These are the things that he was saying even into June he was saying they can stay. You know, the hard- working ones can stay. He sold a fantasy and it was a Rorcshach test for those that wanted that. But he was never saying -- he was never explicit or prescriptive with the policy, so he could have it both ways. And now you`re sort of seeing where, OK, people don`t care about the policy, they care about the fact that he was, you know, using incendiary language to refer to these people.

It`s more about feelings than it is about actual policy.

HAYES: But ultimately you have to have some kind of policy. You`re going to get nailed down in some direction.

DONOVAN: You`ve think. But I think his tendency has been -- he can`t share that with you, because he`d be giving up -- he`s the ultimate strategist. He`s playing 3D chess.

HAYES: Right. That`s the secret plan. Liam Donovan, thanks for your time. I appreciate it.

DONOVAN: Coming up, a stunning moment caught live on C-SPAN. A caller admits to his own racial prejudice and asks our friend, Heather McGhee, how to cure himself. That amazing tape, Heather McGhee and her amazing answer, are ahead.

Plus, yesterday it was Mike Pence at the barber shop. Today, he had to explain who he was at the sandwich shop. Thing One and Thing Two right after this break. Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, Mike Pence meets America. Last night, we brought you Mike Pence gets a haircut on the campaign trail in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the vice presidential candidate spent 27 minutes in the barber chair, a great opportunity to meet a local and perhaps pick up another swing state vote.

But after 27 minutes there was just one problem.


HENRY JONES, BARBER: It`s been a pleasure, young man.

PENCE: that`s great.

JONES: Now, your name was?

PENCE: Mike Pence.

JONES: Mike pence?

PENCE: Yes, sir.

I`m the governor of the state of Indiana.


PENCE: And I`m running for vice president of the United States.

JONES: Go ahead, man.

Whoa, man. Vice president?

PENCE: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

JONES: Oh, boy.

PENCE: Yes, sir.

I`m running with Donald Trump. So, I`m his running mate.

JONES: OK, all right.

PENCE: Just tapped me a month ago.


HAYES: And that was a little awkward, but it must have been a fluke.

Today`s episode, Mike Pence gets a sandwich. After ordering lunch in Winnies Tavern in Wilmington, North Carolina, Pence made the rounds with some local patrons.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. How are you?

PENCE: Mike Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice to meet you.

PEGGY: I`m Peggy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m Sandy Loveman (ph). Nice to meet you.

PENCE: Who this is?


PENCE: Cody, good to meet you, man. Appreciate you

Do you live here, too?

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: We do. We do. We`re from (inaudible).

PENCE: OK, just a little bit out of town?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About five hours. Yup. Nice to meet you.


HAYES: I love that, "little bit out of town?" "Yeah, about five hours."

Also Mike Pence appreciates Cody.

Can you guess how this one ends? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So, Mike Pence stopped into Winnies Tavern in Wilmington, North Carolina for a sandwich today. Worked the room with some lunch goers. After approaching this family, they pause their meal and engage in some police conversation, discuss the food at Winnies Tavern. But watch what happens right when they try to wrap up the conversation, they go back to their lunch.


PENCE: Do you live here, too?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do. We do. We`re from (inaudible).

PENCE: OK, just a little bit out of town?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, about five hours. Yup. Nice to meet you.

PENCE: I`m Donald Trump`s running mate.

I never assume people know that, so...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well we didn`t, but we do now.

PENCE: OK, good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice to meet you.

PENCE: Good, good.



HAYES: A fairly amazing thing happened on TV over the weekend, on C-SPAN, of all places, our friend Heather McGhee, the president of DEMOS, a progressive public policy organization, a frequent guest on this show, was on Washington Journal to talk about, well, public policy among other things. She was not there to give life advice to viewers, but watch what happened when one gentleman called in with a question.


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: I was hoping that you guess can help me change my mind about some things. I`m a white male and I am prejudiced. And the reason it is, is something I wasn`t taught, but it`s kinda something that I learned. When I opened up the papers, I get very discouraged at what young black males are doing to each other and the crime rate.

And I understand that they live in an environment with a lot of drugs, you have to get money for drugs, and it`s a deep issue that goes beyond that. But when I have these different fears, and I don`t want my fears to come true, you know, so I try to avoid that. And I come off as being prejudice. But I just have fears. I don`t like to be forced to like people. I like to be led to like people through example.

And what can I do to change, you know, to be a better American?


HEATHER MCGHEE, DEMOS: Thank you so much for being honest, and for opening up this conversation, because it`s simply one of the most important ones we have to have in this country.

And so, asking the question you asked, how do I get over my fears and my prejudices, is the question that all of us, and I will say people of all races and ethnicities and backgrounds, holds these fears and prejudices, most of them are actually unconscious, right. You say to yourself, I`m not prejudice, but of course we all have them.

And so your ability to just say, this is what I have, I have these fears and prejudices and I want to get over them, is one of the most powerful things that we can do right now at this moment in our history. So thank you.


HAYES: That`s the sort of thing you don`t see on TV every day, or any day. And when we return, we`re going to talk about it with Heather McGhee. Stay with us.



HAYES: So what can you do? Get to know black families who are not all -- and not even any majority are involved in crime and gangs. Turn off the news at night, because we know from -- sorry, Greta -- keep (inaudible) in the morning).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re not delivering the news, so it`s fine.

MCGHEE: Because we know that actually Nightly News and many media markets that have been studied actually over represents African-American crime and under-represents crimes that happen by white people.

Join a church, if you are a religious person that is a black church, or is a church that is interracial. Start to read about the history of the African-American community in this country. Foster conversation in your family and in your neighborhood, where you`re asking exactly those kinds of questions.

This fear of communities that we do not live near, we are still a very, very segregated country. Millions of white Americans live in places where they rarely see anyone of a different race. This fear and set of ideas that we only get from the worst possible news, it`s tearing us apart. And we know that in order to be the -- our name means the people of the nation, DEMOS, in order to be a DEMOS that is unite across lines of race and class and gender and age, we have to foster relationships. We have to get to know who one another actually is.


HAYES: Joining me now is that person, Heather McGhee, president of DEMOS, progressive public policy organization.

This thing is everywhere. It`s really like it`s gone -- as the kids say -- it`s gone viral.

Why? Why do you think this is getting shared so much?

MCGHEE: Well, I`ll tell you when I stepped off the set at C-SPAN, of course there were more callers, right. Of course, this is a call-in show. So I knew something special had happened. I myself was moved by his question, but I had no idea actually that it could possibly resonate this much.

And I think there are a few reasons. One, I think most -- you know, first and foremost, it was Gary from North Carolina, his bravery in saying that, right? I mean, it is, now we are at a moment where people are sort of choosing sides on race, and it seems like, you know, the sort of Fox News version of the racial discourse in this country is that African-Americans think there is racism and there are a million reasons why there aren`t.

And so it does feel like there`s sort of a vested interest in denying the existence of racism. And of course that`s so far from the truth, not only in our public policies, in our history, in our economy, in our politics, so very obviously, but also in our minds and our hearts.

And what i really wanted to get across was -- and again, this all happened very, very quickly, And I heard the call and something sort of came out in me, I wanted him to say, I wanted him to hear from me, from a black woman who works in politics, thank you for being brave enough to do what frankly many people of color work so hard to do, which is just get us to admit that racism exists, start the conversation.

HAYES: I thought that one of the things I thought was so fascinating was his quite apt self-awareness of the cause of this, which is reading the newspaper, I mean, like reading the newspaper -- I mean, the media that he was consuming was telling him, you know....


HAYES: And you can -- I mean, Breitbart, which -- whose campaign manager - - or one of the campaign heads is a person who basically is now running the Trump campaign, there`s a tag on Breitbart called black crime. You can go sort your Breitbart consumption by #blackcrime, and that`s not limited to them.

MCGHEE: No, it`s not.

There`s a very clear narrative that, you know, it`s in the alt-right, it`s Breitbart, but of course it`s also Fox, and of course it`s also Donald Trump, which is justifying racial inequality. And the thing that`s so important for us to remember, is that that`s not new, right. I mean, you know, I often try to put myself in the shoes of a white person in the era of segregation, and if I just sort of supported the way that life was ordered and the sort of my place in the world, would I have been just a totally different cartoonish evil type of person? Obviously not. These are many white Americans` grandparents and great-grandparents.

But in fact, you had to have been sort of surrounded by images, stories, myths, narratives that were excuses for why it was...

HAYES: They were justifications.

MCGHEE: They were justifications, and that`s of course where we are today.

HAYES: People did not go into lynch mobs because the person -- they didn`t tell themselves they`re a lynch mob because the person was black, they told themselves they were in a lynch mob because the person had committed a horrible crime. That`s what they were telling themselves.

I mean, and that story people tell themselves -- people tell themselves all sorts of stories.

MCGHEE: But right now, we`re at this moment, I think, when there`s an incredible opportunity...

HAYES: There is.

MCGHEE: ...for Americans to sort of reengage in this question of what it means to be American, who belongs, who deserves to be sort of inside the circle of human concern.

HAYES: And what we look like as a DEMOS, as a people.

I want to you respond to this -- so, you have Donald Trump is in Jackson, Mississippi, second highest majority black sort of population of black voters. You see the crowd there in Jackson, Mississippi, as they stream out.

Here`s something he said about Hillary Clinton and her racial politics. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.


MCGHEE: Yeah, um, so, to be fair, I that think most politicians see people as votes.

HAYES: votes, that`s right.

MCGHEE: But, you know, Donald Trump is at 0 to 1 percent with the African- American community for a reason, and whether it`s the way that he sort of burst onto the scene in New York as a slum lord who had to settle, you know, massive case of anti-black discrimination, to his leading and mainstreaming of birther movement.

There`s not much he can do to sort of unremind us of how he really feels about the black community.

HAYES: But I think what I love about that moment, and I have no idea who that guy is voting for or supporting, is that there`s Donald Trump, and he`s sort of rung the bell he`s going to ring.

But there`s millions of our fellow citizens who may be supporting him or not, and they can unring the bell. They can be different people in their racial attitudes tomorrow than they were yesterday.

MCGHEE: Yeah, absolutely.

HAYES: Heather McGhee, always a pleasure. Thank you.

MCGHEE: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.