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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 8/30/2016

Guests: Molly Ball, Sam Seder, James West, Sarah Ziff, Nick Confessore, Charlie Pierce, Matt MacKowiak

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: August 30, 2016 Guest: Molly Ball, Sam Seder, James West, Sarah Ziff, Nick Confessore, Charlie Pierce, Matt MacKowiak

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


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been in 11 debates. I`d never debated before. My whole life is a debate.


HAYES (voice-over): Debate prep turns into a PSYOPs campaign.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We`ll be able to show up with a candidate who`s already been talking about policies.


HAYES (voice-over): Tonight we have Hillary Clinton`s first insight into how she is preparing to take on Donald Trump.



TRUMP: Let me talk. Quiet.


HAYES (voice-over): Plus, on the eve of his major speech on immigration, the new scandal over Trump Model Management and the mistreatment of foreign workers. Then on primary night, can Marco Rubio survive in Donald Trump`s party?


TRUMP: I think he`s an overrated person. I don`t think he`s going to make it.


HAYES (voice-over): And why the press has always wanted more from Hillary Clinton.


HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do feel like I`ve always been a fairly private person leading a public life.


HAYES (voice-over): Charlie Pierce on press conference gate, when ALL IN starts right now.

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. For much of this presidential campaign, Donald Trump has utterly failed to stay on message. The candidate regularly undermining his campaign`s best efforts with off- hand comments that have generated a seemingly endless string of controversies. But the past few weeks Trump has managed to steer clear of any truly disastrous ghasts. Sure, there have been boneheaded tweets and baffling policy inconsistencies, but there have also been no new fights with, say, the parents of a deceased soldier. No gratuitous insults of disabled reporters or a federal judge because of his heritage. And that`s due in no small part to his embrace of a device he once slammed as a sign of a candidate`s weakness.


TRUMP: I don`t believe in teleprompters. Although, it`s very easy. Oh, would I like to go up and stand and read a speech for half an hour and just leave. But you know what happens? You wouldn`t have sold-out crowds like we have outside.



TRUMP: I don`t use teleprompters. You know what I use? I don`t use teleprompters. I watched Hillary the other day. She has the biggest teleprompters I`ve ever seen. In fact, if you`re sitting on that side of the room or that side of the room, you can`t even see her.



TRUMP: I`ve always said, if you run for president, you shouldn`t be allowed to use teleprompters. You shouldn`t be allowed. Because you don`t even know if a guy`s smart. He`s reading, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much, this is wonderful, speed that teleprompter up, bah bah bah bah. I joke. I joke. But you shouldn`t be allowed to use teleprompters.


HAYES: Of course, that was then and this is now. Turns out Trump actually really likes his teleprompters these days. He has been using them almost full time in recent weeks and not just for speeches, but even at his rallies. Gone are the days of the freewheeling, unpredictable Trump campaign event. Now he`s just reading to everybody. In fact, Trump now uses a teleprompter far more than the average candidate. And his most ardent defenders, wary of yet another off-message gap, think it`s a good idea. FOX News host Sean Hannity who has repeatedly attacked President Obama for using a teleprompter thinks it`s absolutely fantastic when Trump uses one.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST, HANNITY: He gave two speeches.


HANNITY: This is what I think is the secret sauce. He only talked about Hillary and Obama. He was on prompter. I like him on prompter myself, my own personal preference. But he stayed on a very powerful Donald Trump message. It was totally him. And he made very powerful points. But he outlined the failures and offered solutions.


HAYES: But if the prompter keeps Trump from going off the rails, then there`s trouble ahead in what are by far the biggest events left in the campaign. The presidential debate`s kicking off less than four weeks from now, and there`s no teleprompter allowed. Hillary Clinton has been preparing intently for those debates, studying briefing books, holding mock debate sessions, and even according to the New York Times having her advisors consult the ghostwriter of Trump`s book, The Art of the Deal, to get insights about Trump`s deepest insecurities. At a recent fundraiser, according to ABC News, Clinton said she is, quote, not taking anything, anyone, or anyplace for granted, adding that she does not know which Donald Trump will show up. Trump appears to be taking his preparations far less seriously with reports he is declining to hold mock debates and is largely ignoring briefing books in favor of informal strategy sessions with Roger Ailes, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, and talk radio host Laura Ingraham. In an interview with MSNBC this afternoon, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway expressed confidence.


CONWAY: We`re really excited to get out on the debate stage, mainly because we`ll be able to show up with a candidate who`s already been talking about policies. I mean, I think people who actually want to know what Hillary Clinton thinks about all these issues literally has to tune into those debates to watch. And I think that`s a shame people have to wait until September 26th here in New York to listen to what Hillary Clinton believes -- unless you want to go to her website and click -- what she believes on different policies.


HAYES: Trump points to his success in the GOP primary debates, telling The Times, quote, I know who I am, and it got me here. A presidential debate is the ultimate off-prompter night. And in case you`ve forgotten, please enjoy this extended reminder of what that looked like in the primaries.


TRUMP: I don`t often agree with Marco, and I don`t often agree with Ted, but I can in this case. The weakest person on this stage by far on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush. They come out of an act of love, whether you like it or not.

JEB BUSH, FORMER FLA. GOVERNOR: So this, you know, is the standard operating procedure to disparage me. That`s fine. I don`t really care (INAUDIBLE) --

TRUMP: I don`t know, spend a little more money on the commercials. He also said about language --

BUSH: The simple fact is, I`ve laid out my plans in the race on immigration.

TRUMP: -- he said about language -- two days ago, he said he would take his pants off and moon everybody. And that`s fine, nobody reports that. He gets up and says that, and then he tells me, oh, my language was a little bit rough.



BUSH: You said in September 30th that ISIS was not a factor --

TRUMP: Am I talking or are you talking, Jeb?

BUSH: I`m talking right now.

TRUMP: You can go back.

BUSH: I`m talking.

TRUMP: You can go back. You`re not talking.

BUSH: I`m talking.

TRUMP: You interrupted me.

BUSH: September 30th, you said --

TRUMP: Are you going to apologize, Jeb? No. Am I allowed to finish?



TRUMP: I never attacked him on his look, and believe me, there`s plenty of subject matter right there. That I can tell you.



TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE), because you`re really getting beaten badly. I know you`re embarrassed, I know you`re embarrassed, but keep fighting, keep swinging, men. Swing for the fences.



TRUMP: I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago, and I will tell you --

JUNIOR SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FL.: I saw you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago.

TRUMP: -- it was a meltdown. I watched him melt down on the stage like I`d never seen anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s stay focused on the subject.

TRUMP: I thought he came out of the swimming pool.



RUBIO: All right, wait.

TRUMP: Don`t worry about it, little Marco.



JUNIOR SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TX.: Donald (INAUDIBLE) lying --

TRUMP: No, you`re the liar. You`re the lying guy up here. I`ve given my answer, lying Ted. I`ve given my answer.



TRUMP: I mean, first of all this guy`s a choke artist and this guy`s a liar.


BUSH: -- property from an elderly woman.

TRUMP: Let me talk. Let me talk. Quiet. A lot of times --



BUSH: I won the lottery when I was born 63 years ago and looked up and I saw my mom. My mom is the strongest woman I know. She`s just --

TRUMP: She should run.

BUSH: It`s not about my family or his family.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: I know it`s hard not to interrupt, but --

TRUMP: Yes, noted.

CRUZ: -- try.

TRUMP: But it`s not what you said (INAUDIBLE).

CRUZ: Breathe, breathe --

TRUMP: Lying Ted.

CRUZ: -- breathe.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s a matter of principal, and I`ll tell you --

TRUMP: You are the single biggest liar. You probably are worse than Jeb Bush.



TRUMP: This little guy has lied so much --

RUBIO: Here we go.

TRUMP: -- about my record.



BUSH: This is a tough business to run for president.

TRUMP: Oh, I know, you`re a tough guy, Jeb, I know.

BUSH: And we need to have a leader that is --

TRUMP: Real tough.

BUSH: You`re never going to be president of the United States by insulting --

TRUMP: You`re real tough.

BUSH: -- your way to the presidency.

TRUMP: Well, let`s see, I`m at 42 and you`re at three, so --

BUSH: Doesn`t matter.

TRUMP: -- so far I`m doing better.

BUSH: Doesn`t matter.



TRUMP: And he referred to my hands, if they`re small something else must be small. I guarantee you there`s no problem. I guarantee it. All right. OK.


HAYES: Now with that all in our heads, joining me now Molly Ball, political corresponder for The Atlantic. MSNBC contributor, Sam Seder host of the "MAJORITY REPORT". Molly, let me start with you. You know, here`s what I find fascinating in watching Trump over the last two weeks as he has been clearly more contained than at other periods. It`s watching someone walk very slowly and clumsily up a very obvious learning curve, and realizing there are reasons people do things a certain way. So all of the disparagement of the teleprompter is now by the boards because he had learned that if you just speak off the top of your head you get into trouble. And I`m curious to see if that lesson is imparted to him before he gets to the debates.

MOLLY BALL, CORRESPONDER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I don`t think we can say for sure that that lesson has been fully learned and internalized, right. I think there`s still a chance that Trump gets bored of the teleprompters or gets stir-crazy at the fact that he`s not getting let out of his box these days and decides to go for it again at one of these rallies. I think you may be giving him too much credit for impulse control. And all that we know, you know, from my reporting, from others` reporting, about the way he`s preparing for these debates is not by having said to his advisors, OK, you win, time to do the conventional candidate thing, give me the binders and the briefing books and the mock debates. He still believes that that spontaneity is his asset and that by getting up there and just sort of hogging the stage and the way that he did in the primaries -- I totally knew which clip you were going to end that Trump gag reel with, by the way. There was no question where that was going to end up. But, you know, that still seems to be his strategy in a lot of respects and I think the Clinton campaign is right to say he is relatively unpredictable because of that.

HAYES: By the way, I tip the cap to the great Brendan O`melia who put that together who is as fine an editor as they come --


HAYES: -- in this business. He`s very, very good at what he does. There`s also this thing -- Molly`s point here -- and we`ve noticed this happened before, which is that there`s a kind of, like, the restraint. We`ve seen him a number of times give a teleprompter speech and everyone being like, whew, all the people around him, oh, he`s getting back on -- and then he just can`t help it because he needs to kind of act out afterwards. And you wonder if building up this self-restraint for four weeks is going to mean he`s really unleashed in the debate.

SEDER: You know, I don`t think we`re going to see the same Trump that we saw in the Republican --

HAYES: You don`t?

SEDER: I think we`re going to see part of that. I think he`s going to go very hard at Hillary Clinton with things that we wouldn`t imagine another - -

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- candidate to say.

HAYES: Do you think we`ll see the insults? Do you think we`ll see the, like --

SEDER: I think we`re going to see --

HAYES: -- crooked Hillary to her face kind of thing?

SEDER: We may see crooked Hillary, but I think there`s going to be a lot about saying nobody trusts you, talking --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- about things about the Clinton Global Initiative --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- talking about maybe even, you know, the women that Bill Clinton was involved with.


SEDER: I mean, I think we`ll see that type of stuff. Really, in my mind it comes down to the moderators. Like --


SEDER: -- you know, what kind of debate is it? Is it one where they go and they start asking policy questions? Because he`s going to avoid that, and that`s going to be telling. Or is it going to be one, like, about the horse race and about what public polling suggests. That`s a big issue.

HAYES: Well, that`s a great point. And, Molly, we know those negotiations are ongoing. You can imagine how hard a bargain the Trump camp is probably driving on those. Maybe both camps, for all we know. But one of the things from those clips -- and I tip my cap to all the moderators who attempted to keep -- across every network and every venue, trying to keep these people in line. But the reason all those clips sound the way they do is because they`re running roughshod over the moderators. I mean, like, those clips are the moments in which they`re off the reins, and that`s another thing that`s going to be interesting to see.

BELL: Yes. I mean, I`m on the record favoring a debate with no moderators where the candidates just yell at each other for an hour and a half. I think that would be maximally enlightening. But, look, I think that Sam makes a good point that, like, the degree to which this gets brought down to the level of specifics is going to matter a lot.


BELL: Obviously, Hillary is preparing for this in the way a traditional candidate does, by memorizing every point of her 150-point policy plan on every single issue. And we saw her in the primary debates be relatively deft at, you know, bringing up the specifics and pinning down her opponents. But, you know, can Trump sort of do the overflowing volcano thing where he makes all that look sort of wimpy and lame by just being fun and surprising? And, you know, do you remember the very first Republican primary debate last August? There was all this hype that he was going to try to be subdued to show a different side of Trump. And he did the opposite.

HAYES: Right.

BELL: The very first question, they said would you vow to run as a Republican, he raised his hand to say no and everybody went, oh my god!

HAYES: Right.

BELL: So I think that, you know, Trump is going to be Trump.

HAYES: You`re shaking your head.

SEDER: Yes. I mean, look, I think that if Clinton is smart about this, she segues. Every time he attacks --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- she doesn`t get engaged in that, she simply pulls it off. I mean, you know, he gave her the key, which was, you know, when they said the whole thing about when they founded ISIS that he was just being sarcastic.

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: She could literally just say on every attack --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: We know you`re just being sarcastic here --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- but now I want to talk about policy --

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: -- because this is serious stuff. It is really going to be a function of her ability not to get engaged with what he`s doing and also, the tone that`s set by the moderators. I mean, they`re negotiating heavily as to who it will be, but I don`t know who I would want, if I was Trump. On some level, I would want maybe a (INAUDIBLE) --

HAYES: Someone to blame.

SEDER: Someone to blame.


SEDER: I wouldn`t want Megyn Kelly there.


SEDER: I wouldn`t want anybody --


SEDER: -- from FOX News. Because I think to a large extent those people also have something to prove, and it`s a different thing --

HAYES: That`s interesting.

SEDER: -- than proving what a so-called centrist --

HAYES: To Sam`s point about Clinton`s preparation, I mean, I keep coming back -- this has now sort of been lost to the sands of time -- but that Benghazi testimony, which was billed at the time as a kind of the closest version we had to a debate, right. In some ways -- people talk about wanting her to do press conferences. It was 11 hours, or whatever it was, of questions under oath, right, in congress. She acquitted herself quite well there, and partly she did because she didn`t lose her cool. That was sort of the whole secret sauce in that undertaking.

BELL: Yes. I mean, I think it`s hard to rattle Hillary Clinton, and that is her strength. Her weakness, I think, is coming across as just another conventional, scripted politician.

HAYES: Right.

BELL: That`s a line that Trump uses against her a lot. And I don`t think we can underestimate the appeal of his spontaneity, his seeming like a different kind of candidate. But yes, of course, you know, Hillary did a very good job in the primary debates, as she did in those hearings, of having an answer to every question. Sometimes it was, you know, too cute by half.

HAYES: Right.

BELL: Like when she said that the reason she supported Wall Street was because of 9/11, and people sort of went, huh?

HAYES: Right.

BELL: But she`s not going to not have an answer to any question that there is.

HAYES: Well, I`m looking forward to insults on her height as per his insults on Marco Rubio.


HAYES: I mean, that just gets the point that I think personal insults, to the extent they are marshaled are going to go over much differently in this context than they did --

SEDER: It`s the general electorate.


SEDER: It`s not the --


SEDER: -- Republican primary. There`s a big difference.

HAYES: Molly Ball and Sam Seder, thank you both. We have some breaking news. The Associated Press is reporting Marco Rubio -- that same Marco -- has won the Republican Senate primary in Florida. What a long, strange trip it`s been. And his challenger will be Patrick Murphy who has defeated Congressman Al Grayson. We`ll speak about those races and other (INAUDIBLE) contests tonight ahead. Plus, bombshell new reporting about Trump`s modeling agency, and while it relates to the nominee`s big immigration speech tomorrow. That story after the break. You don`t want to miss that one. But first, I said it before, I`ll say it again, the American politician having the best 2016 by far is Former Speaker of the House John Boehner. Tonight we have seven seconds of video posted to Twitter as proof. Please enjoy our installment of, I Wonder What John Boehner`s Up To.





TRUMP: We`re going to build a great wall on the border and we`re going to institute nationwide e-verify, stop illegal immigrants from accessing welfare and entitlements, and develop an exit entry -- and you know what that is -- exit entry system to ensure those who overstay their visas that they`re quickly removed.


HAYES: Donald Trump has promised to clarify his position on immigration in a much anticipated twice postponed big policy speech in Arizona tomorrow. So far he`s promised to build a wall while deporting millions of undocumented workers to, quote, protect jobs and benefits for hardworking American citizens. Even though as we`ve noted on this program, his business track record tells a different story. It`s been reported that Trump hired foreign workers for seasonal employment at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, claiming he just couldn`t find any Americans to fill the job. It`s been reported that Trump Tower was built by hundreds of undocumented Polish workers. And now on the eve of Trump`s big immigration speech, another stunning revelation, this time involving Trump Model Management. Founded in 1999 by Donald Trump, the company bills itself as one of New York City`s top modeling agencies and has, quote, a name that symbolizes success. Now in a new bombshell expose from Mother Jones, three former models, none of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time, claimed to have worked illegally on tourist visas for the Republican nominee`s modeling agency, and they claimed the company knew all about it. As Mother Jones reports, two of the former models said the company, quote, encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on custom forms about where they intended to live. The Trump agency representative reportedly told one of the models, quote, if they as you any questions, you`re just here for meetings. Meanwhile, some former Trump models say they barely made any money working for the agency because of the high fees for rent and other expenses that were charged by the company. According to the former models, Trump Model Management housed the women in a three-bedroom apartment in the East Village that at times could be occupied by as many as 11 or more people. "We`re herded into these small spaces," one model said. "The apartment was like a sweatshop." According to the models, the women were charged exorbitant rent compared to what was being charged at the time for similar spaces in the same neighborhood. Models also told Mother Jones that Trump Model Management sponsored only its most successful models for work visas. Those who didn`t cut it were sent home. Now we should note industry experts say these kinds of violations of immigration rules have been common and endemic in the fashion industry for a long time. We reached out to the Trump campaign for comment on this specific story and did not hear back. We also reached out to Trump Model Management, and they did not respond to our request for comment. Joining me now, the author of that incredible report, James West, Senior Journal Editor for Mother Jones, and former model Sarah Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, an advocacy group that fights for worker rights in the modeling industry. James, let me start with you. It`s a great piece of reporting. Walk me through how this works. Where do these women come from, how old are they, and what ends up happening?

JAMES WEST, SENIOR JOURNAL EDITOR, MOTHER JONES: And this is from every corner of the world, really, Eastern Europe, Europe, Britain, Canada, everywhere. Some as young as 14. Trump Model Management advertises on their website that that`s the minimum age limit. They come here sometimes on tourist visas. And you cannot work in the United States on a tourist visa. That, we know.

HAYES: Yes. I just want to be clear here. I mean, you have women on the record, named on the record, saying I went there on a tourist visa and I worked. It is a facial violation of immigration law. It is on its face a violation of immigration law.

WEST: So as you mentioned, two of these former models at Trump Model Management told me they were actually encouraged, instructed, send your portfolio ahead of time so that the customs agents don`t search through your bag to find them.

HAYES: So you don`t get caught lying to immigration?

WEST: Right. Dress down, use a different address on the federal immigration forms so that we don`t know where you are in New York City when you arrive.

HAYES: Again, I have to remind everyone, the core of this debate is about breaking the law. They broke the law, they broke the law, they broke the law, they broke the law. And we talk about immigrants who are undocumented. Sarah, this story reads like a sort of almost Dickensian kind of level of exploitation. I mean, it`s almost a sharecropper model insofar as they have a debt to their employer, they are paying the expenses to the employer, and the employer`s skimming off whatever they`re making. But this is completely commonplace in the industry.

SARAH ZIFF, FOUNDER, MODEL ALLIANCE: Oh, right. Yes. No, that`s exactly right. It`s a superficial industry that draws superficial criticism, but the problems run really deep. And I think that James`s report really captures that well. You know, many of these girls are actually working in debt to their agencies. And when you think that Donald Trump has been making between 1 and 5 million dollars a year, you know, off this agency where you have girls who are, you know, often young, you know, people who English might not be their first language. And they`re hoping to make it big, but very few people become the next Gisele or Kate Moss.

HAYES: They`re also entirely powerless. I mean, if you`re a 16-year-old who`s here on a visa for which you`ve lied and you`re paying your rent to your employer to whom you owe money, who are you going to run and tell --

WEST: Right.

HAYES: -- if they`re exploiting you?

WEST: Right. Somebody said, I was a sitting duck here in the U.S. Lived in constant fear of getting discovered by federal authorities for doing this. And all the time being charged up to $1,600 a month for a bunk bed with five other girls in one room -- and I use the word girls because these are sometimes girls --

HAYES: Right.

WEST: -- young women, teenagers -- and four in the other room chaperoned from the agency upstairs. The air conditioning`s broken, somebody urinates through the window --

HAYES: Right.

WEST: -- onto one of the beds. You know, I think people have, as you said, superficial understanding of this industry. But these are the real life labor conditions that operate under Trump Model Management.

HAYES: And you made the point in the piece that this has been profitable for Donald Trump. He has made money off this.

WEST: Right. This isn`t just any old company for Donald Trump. He actually owns an 85 percent stake in this. And if he --

HAYES: Yes. This isn`t one of those, like, fake things where he licenses his name.

WEST: Right.

HAYES: Like, he owns this company and runs it to this day.

WEST: Yes, as far as we`re aware. And we asked that to the company and according to the recent filings that we have, that`s certainly the case. And he`s noted for surrounding himself with beautiful models at gallant events, the launches of his brand name, signature businesses, they`re always there. In fact, Rachel Blais, whose on the record with us, she appeared on The Apprentice --

HAYES: Right.

WEST: -- Donald Trump`s own hit reality TV show, she says, as an undocumented worker.

HAYES: Now this sort of structure of exploitation, like, where does the money go and what ends up happening typically? I`m speaking more broadly now, right, because this is one example of a bunch of practices that are throughout the industry.

ZIFF: Right.

HAYES: What happens to people?

ZIFF: That`s a good question. I mean, I think if you look a the way that the industry`s structured, that Trump Model Management, like all of these agencies in new York, are actually acting as unlicensed employment agencies.

HAYES: Right.

ZIFF: Talent agencies have to abide by certain regulations, they have to abide by child labor laws and they have to be financially transparent and act in the best interest of their talent. Modeling agencies have been circumventing that by saying that they are not primarily booking models for jobs, they`re not employment agencies or talent agencies, which is a category of employment agency --

HAYES: Fascinating.

ZIFF: -- that they are management companies. And so they`re advising the models on their appearance or, you know, how to walk down the runway. But, like, the bookings are incidental.

HAYES: They`re like consultants as opposed to bosses, essentially, or agents.

ZIFF: Right. Well, in reality, you cannot get work as a legitimate fashion model without booking jobs through your agency.

HAYES: Right.

WEST: Right. And when you`ve seen these contracts, Chris --


WEST: -- these are exclusive contracts that operate --


WEST: -- exclusively. These models can`t work for any other agency while they`re here in the U.S.

HAYES: And how much are they making?

WEST: I mean, very little. I mean, Sarah can maybe help paint a picture of this, but it`s a couple hundred bucks a shoot.

HAYES: Right.

WEST: Twenty percent of that goes to the agency. And then you look down the list of the financial documents that we have in the piece at Mother Jones and you see sometimes mysterious fees. In the case of Alexia Palmer, a former Trump model, $4,000 for an administrative fee that --

HAYES: Just, yoink, out of the paycheck?

WEST: No one really knows what that`s for.

HAYES: Honestly, it really sounds more like indentured servitude or trafficking than it does anything else, I have to say. I mean, like --

ZIFF: Yes.

HAYES: -- obviously it is not that or not quite that --

ZIFF: Right.

HAYES: -- but it certainly bears, like, a very close resemblance to that. People should check out this story. I think it`s one of the sort of biggest bombshells of the campaign so far. Sarah Ziff, James West, thanks for making time tonight. I appreciate it.

WEST: Thanks a lot.

ZIFF: Thanks.

HAYES: Still to come, the obsession with Hillary Clinton`s lack of press conferences and the attack that she is hiding from the press. We`ll talk about that ahead.


HAYES: It has been just 13 days since Donald Trump named Breitbart Chairman Stephen Bannon as the new CEO of his campaign and pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager. And Bannon has certainly generated his share of press, from scrutiny of the Alt-Right website he ran with headlines like Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy and Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew. To numerous reports on his personal history, including a domestic violence charge, allegations from his ex-wife that he made anti-Semitic comments, and just today a Twenty Twelve interview criticizing Mitt Romney`s kids for their Mormon missionary service.


STEPHEN BANNON, CEO, TRUMP CAMPAIGN (voice-over): This is a guy who avoided military duty in Vietnam who has five sons who look like movie stars who have not served their country one day. Oh, but by the way --


BANNON (voice-over): -- all of them did their two years of Mormon missionary work, every one of them.


HAYES: By all ends count, Bannon and Conway have done a combined 25 TV interviews in the two weeks since they were brought on, 25 by Conway and zero by Bannon. And, you know, you can`t really fault the Trump campaign for not putting Stephen Bannon out there. Every campaign makes 100 decisions a day about what kinds of press opportunities to pursue or not pursue based on what they think will help their candidate. It`s hard to call that alone a scandal, but some are. We`ll tell you about that next.



CONWAY: She has such disrespect for you and your colleagues in the media. She won`t even have a press conference. 270 days. You could have had a baby by now. And you ought to be having a canary over the fact that this woman just won`t speak to the press.


HAYES: The Trump campaign is accusing Hillary Clinton of ducking ducking the news media. Right there, that quote was she won`t speak to the press.

They`ve been sending out regular reminders how many days it has been was since her last press conference. For it was on December 4 of last year when she only took a few questions from the press corps.

She did take questions earlier this month at a conference of journalists, but only from a few preselected reporters.

Now, her press secretary defended the lack of official press conferences to The New York Times, noting that Clinton has answered no shortage of questions in some 350 interviews on nearly every possible topic. NPR reviewed those 350 interviews, found that most of them have gone to national television outlets, that includes a brief phone interview with yours truly.

Joining me now, Charlie Pierce, writer at large for Esquire who argued in a recent piece, press conferences don`t actually matter anymore in a presidential election.

Charlie, you`re a long-standing member, in good standing, of the press corps, like me. I think we have a professional disposition to want to see candidates and politicians answer questions from the press. I think she should do a press conference, that`s basically my feeling about this matter. The vast majority of the press is calling for one. Are they wrong?

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: I don`t think they`re wrong. I think they`re asking for a fairly useless exercise, and it certainly is not an exercise that`s going to matter very much, I don`t think, to the country, which is trying to decide who to vote for president.

I have -- I mean, I firmly believe the last news that was made at a press conference was when Richard Nixon got cross ways with Dan Rather.

The formal press conference, which is basically what we`re talking about, the one person at a podium and a whole bunch of people spread out in front of them, it`s a tremendous home court advantage for whoever the person is behind the podium is, because at the very best, people watching at home are going to think that the media is either trivial or being mean. So, no, I don`t -- go ahead.

HAYES: So think -- so, you`re saying from a formal standpoint, you think one-on-one interviews are actually better.

PIERCE: Oh, I think they`re much better. One-on-one or two on one. I think the most revelatory interview a candidate gave was the foreign policy interview that Donald Trump gave to Maggie Haverbaman and David Sanger of The Times where we learned an awful lot about what Donald Trump knows and doesn`t know about the rest of the world. That doesn`t happen at a press conference.

HAYES: You made this interesting -- you cited this event that I had not known about, in the first piece you wrote about this, about a press conference in 1994, when Hillary Clinton was the first lady. It was called the pink suit press conference, in which she stood and took questions for 70 minutes on a variety of, at the time, pressing Clinton scandals. I think at that moment were cattle futures and travel gate. Here`s a little clip from that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a fundamental distrust of the Clintons in America?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I hope not. I mean, that would be something that I would regret very much. I do think that we are transition figures, if you will. We don`t fit easily into a lot of our preexisting categories.

Let me speak just about myself. I think that having been independent, having made decisions, it`s a little difficult for us as a country maybe to make the transition of having a woman like many of the women in this room, sitting in this house. So I do think that there is some of that.


HAYES: Here`s, Charlie why I found that so fascinating. I think she should do press conferences because I`m a journalists and I want candidates to talk to us as much as possible. She should come on the show for an hour or two hours, or however long she would like.

But the one argument I see made which is that she should do this so that people trust her, or that the press stops making -- this is 20 years ago. There`s going to be the same questions and the same scripts about her no matter what.

PIERCE: You`re exactly right. That press conference was set up to be what they called "until they drop" press conference, where she was going to sit there and answer questions until people didn`t have any more questions. And that was going to clear the decks of the Clinton scandals both phony and otherwise. It didn`t work real well.

It certainly didn`t clear up what the press keeps relentlessly reminding us is her trust deficit.

HAYES: And that -- it`s so fascinating to see that question then in 1994. Because that`s -- that meta question, right, there`s a substantive question about what happens to the Clinton Foundation donors or emails or whatever the issue is, and then there`s the meta question of why people don`t trust you, and you could bet dollars to donuts there will be four of those out of, seven, if there is a press conference.

Charlie Pierce, thanks for joining us as always. Appreciate it.

PIERCE; Still to come, Marco Rubio, America`s most unwilling candidate of the election cycle, refuses to commit to serving a full term if elected.

More on that, plus tonight`s thing one, thing two, is after this break.


HAYES: So thing one tonight is the alleged scoop that got part of the more gullible corners of the pro-Trump internet fired up. WikiLeaks supposedly released an internal memo from Hillary Clinton repremanding a polling group for not producing polls that skew in the campaigns favor. And here is the evidence.

From Hillary to Public Policy Polling. Your latest poll is unacceptable. We aren`t paying you $760,000 per month to show a 5 point lead. Are you trying to make Trump win? We will be ending our contract with your company unless results improve quickly.

Seems legit, right? No. It is obviously and laughably fake. The memo comes from this tweet, which shouts, WikiLeaks reveals shocking emails between Hillary campaign and PPP polls #riggedelection.

Now, this isn`t the first time this Twitter user has tried to shed light on the dark corruption of PPP. Just last week, they were on the case tweeting , "fraudulent poll alert. PPP polls is at it again, expose the fraud. Accompanied by that truly illuminating chart.

Now, based on the seeming glee in this user`s Twitter feed and the attention his memo has gotten, it seems pretty clear the tweets were meant as a parody of the ridiculous conspiracy theories saturating this campaign season.

In fact, in the replies to the screen grab, a lot of people called it out as being a fabrication. headlines of this season. That said, some were still fooled. You`ll never guess who re-tweeted it, none other than Republican nominee`s own son Donald Trump Jr.

So, naturally PPP received a variety of questions, which they seem only too happy to address. Their reaction is Thing Two in just 60 seconds.


HAYES: OK, so some Trump supporters were on the case today, trying to get to the bottom of this supposedly secret memo from Hillary Clinton to PPP about not skewing polls in their favor. Many people recognized it as a blatant hoax.

Donald Trump Jr was apparently not one of those people. So PPP was PP peppered with questions and had some fun with the responses. After retweeting the phony memo themselves and then retweeting a person and laughing at the quote, gullible Donald Trump Jr, they courageously brought to light another totally real memo Salon Simon Malloy exposed from a, quote, secret PPP polls meeting. IT includes this particularly colorful passage, "why is there a transcriptionist here? We transcribe all our secret meeting, replies poll boss. Oh, yes, I forgot. Secret meeting is now over. Murder the transcriptionist.

Hillary chimes in, I got this.

That one has not been retweeted by Donald Trump Jr yet.


HAYES: Senator Marco Rubio has won the Florida primary for his senate seat and will run against Congressman Patrick Murphy in November, who tonight defeated Congressman Alan Grayson in the Democratic primary for that senate seat.

Rubio finally decided to run after re-election, after making it clear several times he would not run for re-election.

In fact, Rubio`s journey has run quite a circular course. During his run for the presidency, The Washington Post famously reported that Rubio actually hated his job in the senate. He hates it, a long-time friend from Florida said, speaking anonymously to say what Rubio would not.

Rubio denied hating it. I don`t know hate is the right word, Rubio said in the interview. I`m frustrated.

In 2015, Rubio had one of the worst absentee rates of any senator, according to Gov Track, missing 35 percent of the Senate votes. It made him number one of all senators in missed votes, even the other senators running for president.

His average improved after he dropped his presidential bid in March 2016.

He later offered this explanation as to why he was missing so many Senate votes.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: When I miss a vote a time in Washington, it`s not because I`m on vacation, it`s because I`m running for president. I`m trying to get this country in the right direction.

In my four and a half years here, I`ve been deeply frustrated at the lack of progress on any major issue. And we`re not going to make progress unless we have the right person in the White House.

Flash forward to the demise of his presidential run where he said he would still not run for re-election.


RUBIO: I`m going to finish out my term in the senate over the next ten months. We`re going to work really hard here, and we have some things we want to achieve and then I`ll be a private citizen in January.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: and you`re not going to rethink this and file in April or May for this seat?

RUBIO: No, no, I`m not running for re-election to the senate. As I said, I`m going to finish my term here and then I`ll be a private citizen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You spent a week back home. I`m wondering if you changed your mind about running for re-election.

RUBIO: Nothing`s changed. Except that I`m late to go...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there`s no way you`ll be on the ballot?

RUBIO: Nothing`s changed from the last time I`ve spoken to you about this.


HAYES: So after pressure from his Republican senate colleagues who hope to retain that chamber in November elections, Rubio, well, relented.

But he also put an anti-Trump spin on it.


RUBIO: I feel compelled to not walk away from that opportunity. There was another choice available to us, that for my family would have been more comfortable and perhaps even more politically intelligent, but I just truly think that at this unique moment in our history, we need to have people in the senate that will stand up to the wrong ideas, no matter who wins.

But this decision was based on my desire to return to D.C. and really make a difference in the senate as it is, not as I wish it were. It`s a frustrating place to work sometimes, but we need people who will act as a check and balance no matter who wins this election.


HAYES: Yet earlier today, Rubio wouldn`t even commit to serving his full six year term if reelected.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you now commit to voters here in Florida that you will serve your entire six years if you`re elected?

RUBIO: No one can make that commitment, because you don`t know what the future is going to hold in your life personally or politically. I can commit to you this, that is if I am running to be a U.S. Senator, I`m fully prepared to allow the U.S. senate to be the last political office I ever hold.


HAYES: Now, despite all that, his run for re-election puts Republican Party in much better position of retaining the senate. We`ll take a look at the big picture when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: There have been frequent common sense predictions that Trump could prove to be a huge on down-ballot Republicans, increasing the Democrat Party`s chance of retaking the Senate. Right now, the Upshot election`s model in the New York Times gives Democrats a slight edge, a 56 percent likelihood of winning the Senate.

The reason those chances aren`t greater is that those state by state can and often times do diverge from preferences at the top of the ticket -- for instance, in the RealClearPolitics polling averages, Senator Marco Rubio leads challenger Congressman Patrick Murphy by nearly six points, even though Trump trails Clinton in Florida polling by nearly three points on average.

Joining me now, Republican strategist Matt MacKowiak, and MSNBC contributor Nick Confessore, political reporter for The New York Times.

And Matt, the Rubio story is sort of, I don`t know what the adjective for it is. It`s sort of sad,it`s sort of amusing in certain ways. I mean, he`s so insistent and almost sort of self-righteous about anyone that said, are you going to change your mind, no, no. And then ultimately, they just were like, we`re going to lose this seat if you don`t come back and now here he is and he`s poised to win.

MATT MACKOWIAK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yeah, I mean you`ve got to remember, his situation changed. I think he thought he had a really good chance to be the nominee. And Obviously the Chris Christie, Rubio back and forth of that debate really ended that, ended his chance to finish second in New Hampshire, which is what he expected, and then it put him in position where he was going to lose Florida. And he lost Florida in that primary.

And so let`s look at this honestly, he now has won his primary against a businessman, Trump-type candidate who spent $8 million. He won it with it looks like north of 70 percent. His team was hoping to be over 60 percent. And so that washes away that bad taste in his mouth of losing his own home state when he was running for president. Now gives him a chance to go back to the senate, to help try to keep the majority and keeps his future options open. That`s exactly what they want.

HAYES: It`s exactly keeps his options open as he was speaking to (inaudible) there.

The other -- the sort of Democratic version of Marco Rubio is Evan Bayh in Indiana, who gave his own kind of goodbye cruel world exit from the senate when he retired about how broken the institution is, then he took his turn lobbying and now he`s back because he was the best chance they had at retaining -- winning that seat.

NICK CONFESSORE, NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah, there are these kind of narratives like, you know, only I can serve the people. You know, I`ve been called back to serve. When in reality it`s like, it would be nice to do this again, be a senator again.

I do think that, this is a truism right, candidates do matter. Democrats have not been as good at recruiting candidates in a lot of these races. The cycle of Patrick Murphy is a flawed candidate. Ted Strickland is a bit of a retread -- they`re popular in some ways, but like again it`s this not this like bursting vibrant class of young up-and-comers that the GOP had in past years -- 2012.

HAYES: Yeah. They have had recruitment problems. And right now, the two places I think where. I mean, look, Strickland, who is the former governor of Ohio, you would think would be strong. He`s won statewide, obviously. He`s fairly popular. But he is running behind Portman. And the two races that keep popping out to me, are Ohio and Florida, because those look promising, very promising for Democrats at the beginning of this cycle and they now look to me like -- by no means out of reach, but they are uphill battles I think if you`re honestly reckoning with what the polling is saying -- Matt.

MACKOWIAK: Yeah, I think that`s right.

You know, look, from the Republican side, Republicans took Florida off the board by bringing Rubio back in, as you said. Democrats put Indiana in a good position with Bayh. Look, this is going to come down to Pennsylvania with Pat Toomey, it`s going to come down to New Hampshire with Kelly Ayotte. It looks like Wisconsin and Illinois are going to be lost for Republicans unless things change considerably.

So, this is going to be a one-seat thing either way. And keep in mind, if the Democrats win the White House, they have the tiebreaker. And so that gives them a little bit of a cushion.

HAYES: They only need to get to 50. Matt, here`s my question for you why would Republicans -- here`s my -- so Merrick Garland`s hanging out there, 300 days. He`s not even going to get -- it`s unprecedented to not even get a hearing. The argument was an argument of popular will, that despite the fact that the president is duly elected and still serving his term, the people have to weigh in.

Let`s say Democrats win the Senate. I`m sorry. Let`s say Democrats don`t win the senate, Republicans control it. Why would Republicans confirm any Hillary Supreme Court nominee?

MACKOWIAK: Well, they will. I mean, they`re not going to keep the Supreme Court at a 4-4 split for four years.

HAYES: Why not?

MACKOWIAK: No, you can do it through one term. They can push things off.

HAYES: I don`t understand the limiting condition.

MACKOWIAK: Well, look, you can`t have a 4-4 split for four years, that would be truly unprecedented.

HAYES: Well, you can just hope that someone dies.

MACKOWIAK: Look, I think that what is more likely to happen is Hillary doesn`t want a fight for the Supreme Court in her first 100 days. I think if she wins, she`s going to signal she will renominate Merrick Garland and I think they will pass his nomination through the lame duck. I think that is going to happen. I don`t know why Chuck Grassley signaled that today going in to two weeks of session in September. I think strategically that doesn`t make much sense.

HAYES: but you think that`s what they`re planning?

MACKOWIAK: I think that is the plan. No one would admit that now, but I think that`s likely to happen to, to try to clear the decks going into that first 100 days. Hillary doesn`t want a fight over the Supreme Court. It gets her nothing. She`s going to want to try to pass immigration reform, minimum wage increase, whatever else she wants to focus on.

HAYES: That`s interesting.

So, we`re talking about the Senate map, but of course there`s also presidential map, despite the fact that polls have come back to more kind of an equilibrium in that sort of five or six-point range, the state polling is still tough for Donald Trump. He`s -- two trips, he`s going to Everett, Washington tonight. Which is -- he`s going to be in Washington, a blue state.

And now that Washington Post has reported possibly going to Mexico tomorrow ahead of his big immigration speech.

CONFESSORE: It`s going to be a very short speech. He`s going to go and ask the president of Mexico to build the wall for him and pay for it. The president will say no. He`ll come back. The trip will be over.

HAYES: Like what can I do? I tried.

CONFESSORE: In past campaigns, we would see a candidate for either party go to a state to try to fake out the other candidate try to get them to spend some money in that state.

Washington is not in that model of a fake-out. It`s been outside a win for Republicans for years and years and years. I`m not sure why he spent a precious presidential candidate day in that place.

HAYES: Matt, I know this is a hobby horse of yours that you were talking about it being malpractice for him to do a rally in Austin, which he did. He`s done Austin, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi with Nigel Farage, which is my favorite event of the campaign so far; and now he`s in Everett, Washington.

What is the deal with this?

MACKOWIAK: I don`t know.

Look, I think trump`s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway has signaled that she inherited a schedule. She hasn`t been able to take full control of that. I think after Labor Day, she will have full control over that.

No more red state trips unless it`s fundraising, in and out. No more public rallies. The time is too precious.

Look, we`re now four weeks minus a day from the first debate. He should be doing debate prep tonight, mock debate, with videotape, reviewing it, learning from it. He`s going to have to fill 30 or 35 minutes, not 10 or 12 minutes at the first televised debate. And the stakes could not be higher at that first debate.

HAYES: Well, I wonder if they told him there were electoral votes in Mexico to get him to fly down there tomorrow.

Matt MacKowiak and Nick Confessore, thank you.

That is ALL IN for now.