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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 9/14/2016

Guests: Kurt Eichenwald, Jonathan Chait, Rebecca Traister, Sabrina Siddiqui, Malcolm Nance, James Fallows

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 14, 2016 Guest: Kurt Eichenwald, Jonathan Chait, Rebecca Traister, Sabrina Siddiqui, Malcolm Nance, James Fallows

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


DR. OZ, HOST, THE DR. OZ SHOW: If your health is as strong as it seems from your review of systems, why not share your medical records?

(END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES (voice-over): We now know Donald Trump`s weight loss plan.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Should I do it? I don`t care. Should I do it?


HAYES (voice-over): Well, what do we really know about his personal business interests?


TRUMP: Somebody said, well, do you have a conflict?


HAYES (voice-over): Tonight, a bombshell report from Newsweek on the Trump Organization`s foreign entanglements and the threat they could pose to national security. Reporter Kurt Eichenwald joins me live. Plus, Jonathan Chait and Rebecca Traister on the false equivalence of Clinton versus Trump. Malcolm Nance on what we know about the DNC hack, the Colin Powell hack, and possible Russian meddling in our election. And in Flint, Michigan:


TRUMP: Hillary failed on the economy.


HAYES (voice-over): How Donald Trump`s photo op blew off the rails.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton --



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I invited you here to thank us for what we`ve done in Flint --

TRUMP: Oh, oh, OK, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- not give a political speech.


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

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. And from the day he clinched the Republican nomination, it has always been the case that Donald Trump had a very good chance of becoming the next president of the United States. And now with Election Day just 55 days away, polls show his chances are improving. The race is tight, and it`s real, and it could really happen. And while we in the media have paid more attention to Donald Trump than perhaps any candidate in modern history or recent memory, following him, parsing his every often absurd, inflammatory, racist, offensive, bigoted or flatly untrue utterance, we actually know very little about what matters most when it comes to what sort of president he would be. In fact, in a crucial respect, he is both the most covered and least- known candidate in decades. And that`s because no major party presidential nominee since Wendell Wilkie, more than 75 years ago has had less of a public record than Donald Trump. He has never served a day in public office, never cast a vote, never signed a budget, never issued a veto. The only record he has is in his business dealings, which fall under the umbrella of the Trump Organization. But the Trump Organization is not a public company. It is a private conglomerate. It does not file forms with the SEC. We cannot look into its earning statements. Nearly everything about it is sealed in a vault that Donald Trump will not show us. Now we have gotten glimpses into that vault occasionally, thanks to lawsuits and leaks and the hard work of reporters and the bravery of whistleblowers. We know that a 1973 suit against Trump and the Trump Organization claimed that superintendents of Trump properties would mark African-American applications with C for colored. We know he bankrupted his Atlantic City casinos, but still managed to walk away with millions. We know that hundreds of people, carpenters, dishwashers, painters, his own lawyers, say he did not pay them for their work. We know about the failed businesses: Trump Airlines, Trump Magazine, Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks. We know about the fraud suits against Trump University, the plagiarized lessons at the Trump Institute, the alleged impropriety at the Trump Foundation. But here`s what we do not know. To whom does he owe money? To whom does he owe favors? With whom is he secretly partnered? Who is holding an economic gun to his head as he is poised to potentially become the single most powerful person in the world? That information can only be found in the tax returns that he refuses to show. Hillary Clinton often gets criticized for being secretive, even by some of her ostensible allies. But think about that charge for a second and then think about the reality. Her tax returns are public, the donors to the Clinton Foundation are public, her record as Secretary of State, as a senator, as First Lady, most of it - - almost all of it -- public. Hillary Clinton is perhaps more than anyone in American life a truly public figure. And Donald Trump for all his bluster and his interviews on Howard Stern is truly a private one. We don`t know his creditors, his sources of income, his potential conflicts of interest. We don`t know the things that really matter, and we aren`t going to know. As he illustrated today with his little stunt with his health records, Donald Trump only doles out information selectively. He only offers up the stuff he can spin. Everything else, no matter how important, is off limits. This is a man who won`t even turn over a record of the charities he`s written checks to, one suspects because it would make him look terrible. And that is just one tiny corner of his entire financial dealings. So the question becomes what should we assume about what Trump won`t tell us? Now we know how the press generally treats Hillary Clinton in this regard. Anything she keeps private is assumed to be nefarious or embarrassing. If it is not disclosed, it must be corrupt or criminal, part of a grand cover-up. This is true even when she just got sick and tried to power through. No matter how much Hillary Clinton reveals, she rarely, it seems, gets the benefit of the doubt. And yet when it comes to Trump`s tax returns -- which are, we should be clear, the single set of documents that could reveal the actual business record of a man whose only career has been business, a document that would show performance and potential conflicts he would face as president of the United States, conflicts that could quite clearly pose a fundamental threat to the interests of the nation -- Donald Trump wants the benefit of the doubt. He expects it. And for the most part, somehow he`s gotten it. Today we had a window into just how much is at stake if Donald Trump becomes president in a bombshell piece in Newsweek. Journalist Kurt Eichenwald explores how the Trump Organization`s business ties, including to criminals, could upend U.S. national security. Eichenwald writing, if Trump moves into the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company during or even after his presidency, almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires. Joining me now is Kurt Eichenwald. Kurt, the piece goes through -- I want to first sort of sketch out at the kind of highest level the basic thrusts of the piece, which are about Donald Trump`s business dealings overseas and just what kind of potential conflicts they would raise for a Donald Trump presidency.

KURT EICHENWALD, SENIOR WRITER, NEWSWEEK: OK. Well, the primary thing here is you`ve got Trump has about 500 different partnerships, entities that are subsidiaries of the Trump Organization. Many of those have partners that are overseas or domestic. I focus on the overseas ones. And every time I was able to track one down, every time I was able to look at them, these were people who were tied to governments very closely, much more so than you would find in the United States. They were involved in illegal activities. Their interests were not aligned with the interests of the United States of America. So you have a situation where Donald Trump is going to have to choose. He`s going to have to choose a partner who is giving him money, who is giving his kids money, or the interest of the United States. And there has never, ever in the history of America been a scenario like that.

HAYES: Yes. I want to focus on that, just how unprecedented this is. Because I think one of the things that happens with Donald Trump is we become so sort of used to his presence as a political figure, and he won the primary and he`s a major party nominee. When we think about, well, he won`t release his tax returns. I mean, if he`s elected, he will take the oath of office on January 20th. And there is no precedent or even really ground rules as far as I can tell for how someone with extensive and private business dealings would conduct those business dealings while being the president of the United States when those business dealings may at every turn, whether it`s a Russian development deal or something in Dubai, present some conflict to the interests of the United States.

EICHENWALD: Yes. It`s never happened. I mean, one of the deals I talk about is one that they struck in Azerbaijan. And it`s a deal with -- their partner there is the son of a major government figure, a minister in the Azerbaijani government who American intelligence has identified as a man who was laundering money for the Iranian military. That is the father of Donald Trump`s business partner. So is Donald Trump going to lean on his partner, is he going to lean on intelligence, is he going to lean on the Azerbaijani government? What choice is he going to make, or is he just simply going to say, I`m not going to worry about this, let the money flow in. And, you know, again, in the story I go through in detail a number of them. But all told, I look at 15 different partnerships, and all of them had these kinds of conflicts.

HAYES: There is also the fact that, as you talk -- there`s all these subsidiaries. But a lot of this is -- my understanding is you`re working off the fairly sparse filings that we have from him that are the FEC filings, am I correct about that?

EICHENWALD: Well, that`s one element. I mean, the major thing I had to do was track down people overseas who knew things about Donald Trump, who had worked with Donald Trump, who had worked with his organization. These are not --

HAYES: You don`t have a blueprint for all this stuff?


HAYES: You actually have to go start calling around Turkey to find out who the major people are involved with a deal in this regard?

EICHENWALD: Yes. And actually, I mean, the story says, which I find sort of -- it was sort of bizarre, but I did say it, that one of the main sources who hooked me up with people in Turkey was an Arab financier. And so, you know, you`re crossing over different areas in order to get the information. But, you know, people in different parts of the world are terrified. And, you know, one of the elements here that I find the most outrageous, and I think you really touched on in the opening here -- you know, I was alone. This is the low hanging fruit. What is Donald Trump`s business, what is this private corporation? And, you know, the press is waiting for Donald Trump to reveal information to them. And he`ll say, I`m going to have records this week -- oh, no, I`m not. I`ll release it here - - oh, no, I`m not. People got to learn. He is not going to --


EICHENWALD: -- release anything. And until we start digging in, like I had to with this story on this company, we`re not going to know who this man is even when he walks into the oval office, if it gets there.

HAYES: Now obviously it`s unprecedented at the presidential level, but it`s not unprecedented at other levels, Dick Cheney, CEO of Haliburton, Michael Bloomberg in New York City. And in those cases you have selling stakes, blind trusts, some sort of arm`s length arrangement such that the enterprising question can be sort of firewalled off from these important decisions of state. I mean, Trump says he`ll just give it to his kids. What do you think of that as a possible ethical solution to this incredible list of possible conflicts?

EICHENWALD: It`s absurd. You know, Donald Trump is a smart guy in business. He knows what a blind trust is, and he`s saying I`ll put the company in a blind trust. A blind trust is when you take a series of investments, a portfolio of investments, turn them over to an independent person who then does the trading for you.

HAYES: Right.

EICHENWALD: You don`t know what`s in them. If I say I am sticking the Trump Organization into a blind trust, well, that will be the most transparent thing in Donald Trump`s life is that blind trust.

HAYES: Right.

EICHENWALD: We know what`s in it, it`s the Trump Organization.

HAYES: Right.

EICHENWALD: Plus, it`s supposed to be somebody independent. He`s saying, I`ll let my kids manage it. Now --

HAYES: It will be the family business.


HAYES: That`s right.

EICHENWALD: Exactly. And, you know, Ivanka Trump went on another network this morning and said, oh, we`ll take care of the problem, we`re a private company, we`ll choose the deals to avoid these kinds of issues, which is ridiculous. We`re saying now that Donald Trump`s family is going to decide, you know, which issues can raise national security questions to the United States.

HAYES: With no transparency into them. With no possible --


HAYES: As far as we know, no disclosure.

EICHENWALD: I mean, unless Donald Trump starts calling her up and sharing, you know, classified intelligence to let her know which ones not to do business with, it`s absurd, and we won`t even know what`s going on.

HAYES: All right. Kurt Eichenwald, a really amazing piece of reporting. It`s up at Just sort of the tip of the iceberg when you think about the sort of unprecedented universe that we`re entering into. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

EICHENWALD: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Still to come, the latest polling shows a tightening race. And Democrats are, frankly, freaking out a little. I have text messages on my phone to prove it. Is there a reason for liberals to panic and for those on the Trump train to feel triumphant? We`ll talk about that ahead. But first, the standards to the two candidates, how they`ve been applied so far. I`ll talk about that with Jonathan Chait and Rebecca Traister right after this break.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton is not a perfect politician, fair to say. It is no understatement, though, to say the gulf between Clinton and Trump, when it comes to at least on paper their qualifications and their temperament and really just about every other factor you can imagine, that the gulf between the two is seriously wide. In New York Magazine recently, Jonathan Chait explored the dynamics of the American political system and coverage that produce the state of the race. He writes, Clinton is viewed as the near equivalent of Trump, a grotesque buffoon who has committed what would normally be considered a campaign defining gap, the parade of approximately once a day for 15 months require the convergence of several factors. Here to break down those factors, Jonathan Chait, author of the forthcoming book, Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied his Critics and Transformed America. So what are those factors, Jonathan?

JONATHAN CHAIT, COMMENTATOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Oh, well, I wrote that a few days ago. But, look, the main factor I would say is that the news media is just not equipped to handle a candidate like Trump. And you can`t really blame them because they`ve never had a candidate like Trump and you can`t expect them to get it completely right the first time. But Trump breaks all the rules and all the conventions of American journalism, which are mostly structured around the assumption that both of your candidates will be relatively similar. So you can allot equivalent amounts of space and coverage for both candidates and get about the same amounts of news, instead of having one candidate who on any given day will give you seven reasons why he should never absolutely be president no matter what, which just don`t happen to normal candidates.

HAYES: Yes. We`ve gotten a bunch of examples just in the past week. I mean, I --

CHAIT: Right.

HAYES: -- was going back over Mitt Romney coverage and sort of comparing it, right. So there would be Romney gaps, like he would say things that were awkward, like the trees are the right size. He said that in a speech in Michigan --

CHAIT: Right.

HAYES: -- which was, like, sort of funny. And Donald Trump the other days said we should shoot an Iranian troop that made a rude gesture. Which as far as I could tell -- I was, like, doing a little analysis --


HAYES: -- got less coverage than trees are the --

CHAIT: Right.

HAYES: -- right size.

CHAIT: And to be honest, I didn`t even hear that one. And I spend ten hours a day reading news. I didn`t even hear that one. I can give you another example. Rudy Giuliani, close advisor, he was asked about Trump`s plan to steal Iraq`s oil and was asked, isn`t that a war crime? He said basically anything is legal within war, right. I mean, if Putin came out and said there`s no such thing as war crimes, it would be a huge scandal. Even Putin, right?

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: But, like, Rudy Giuliani, well, it`s just another day in the Trump campaign.

HAYES: But part of this -- I mean, so here`s the sort of response that I`m seeing from folks, right?


HAYES: Is all you liberals are freaking out, you`re being nervous Nellies, A, and B, you`re just trying to work the rest because your candidate`s in a tight race. And your beef should be with the American people because he`s got support of, you know, between 40 and 46 percent of the American people depending on the --


HAYES: -- polling of that particular day.


HAYES: And this is just standard whining. This happens every four years. There`s nothing new here.

CHAIT: That`s not all wrong. The whining does happen every four years. The American people do have some blame, and the media isn`t doing a terrible job. But I don`t think that the average person who`s following the campaign in a non-professional way is really getting the sense that Trump is just a completely different kind of candidate and that this is recognized not just by partisans of Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: There are a lot of Republicans who cannot believe that he is even a plausible president and are really terrified that he`ll be elected.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, the Colin Powell emails, which we`re going to cover a little later in the show --

CHAIT: That`s right.

HAYES: -- are sort of perfect because, you know, he`s got some sort of nasty things to say about Hillary Clinton but also says he respects her, she`s worked her whole time, and then he calls --


HAYES: -- you know, Donald Trump a disgrace and a racist. And you`ve got this sort of asymmetry that sort of suffuses everything. Even in just the resumes or the historical anomaly of this person having no public service record.


HAYES: But you can`t -- how do you deal with that, night in, night out?

CHAIT: Well, that`s more your job.

HAYES: Yes. Well, we try.

CHAIT: No, I think you`re doing a great job. But the fact is --

HAYES: Thank you, Jon.

CHAIT: -- most people don`t watch news like this --


CHAIT: -- this detailed. And it`s very smart. But most people aren`t watching this kind of intelligent coverage on a nightly basis. What you need are signals for the majority of the voters who really only will catch a little bit on their cable TV --

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: -- out of the corner of their eye and something in their Facebook feed, and that`s it.

HAYES: All right, Jonathan Chait, thanks for being here. Appreciate it.

CHAIT: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now, Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large from New York Magazine, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation. So someone had this tweet today -- I want to give him credit, I think it was Dan Diamond on Twitter -- said, the health disclosure situation is the perfect microcosm to the election. Hillary Clinton has disclosed more objectively between -- right? So she had first her letter, not this dashed off sort of preposterous thing. Now she disclosed more medical records today. Again, we`ll talk about that. She`s disclosed more, and yet she`s under a greater cloud of suspicion.

TRAISTER: Always. Always. I mean, this is in part the story of Hillary Clinton. And in part it`s because she`s been in public life for so long, because -- I mean, there are all kinds of reasons. There are whole infrastructures, generations of journalists at this point have been tasked with investigating her. She`s been under all kinds of FBI investigations, Congressional investigations, it`s all part of how we know so much about her. The medical records --

HAYES: That`s right. The reason we -- right.

TRAISTER: Right. So the medical records are an example of this. You know, always she`s to some degree she`s been asked to put more out front now. This creates a whole series of complications. She is defensive about that. This is how we also get into situations like where she tries to have a private email server or where she doesn`t just acknowledge that she`s suffering from pneumonia --

HAYES: Pneumonia. Exactly.

TRAISTER: -- and winds up, you know, stumbling into a car creating the worst piece of video I`ve seen, right?

HAYES: Right.

TRAISTER: So it`s not as though all blame goes in one direction.


TRAISTER: But it certainly fits a pattern that we see across the board with Hillary, which is that there are infrastructures in place to constantly be demanding of her disclosures, and any remaining mystery becomes suspicious.

HAYES: Well, and I also think -- I mean, to get back to what we were talking (INAUDIBLE), right? I mean, I always thought about this -- a key moment of American public life was when Rumsfeld and Abu Ghraib came out. And everyone said, well, Rumsfeld`s done, he`s got to resign.


HAYES: And he just didn`t resign. And then at a certain point, it`s like, everyone just tires themselves out and then Rumsfeld`s still there, right?


HAYES: You know, you`ve seen the same thing with Merrick Garland, right? They nominate Merrick Garland, then says we`re not going to do it, and then, you know -- Trump, he doesn`t ever give the first piece in the breadcrumb trail --


HAYES: -- right? Whereas Hillary Clinton -- exactly. So we now have a whole --

TRAISTER: She`s eagerly giving a little something, right.

HAYES: -- bunch of State Department emails --


HAYES: -- right? We have --


HAYES: -- medical records. We start to get these breadcrumb trail pieces, and that inevitably sort of --

TRAISTER: Well, and it gives more material --

HAYES: That`s right.

TRAISTER: -- and inevitably in any amount of material you`re going to find something that is interesting or reportable, and then it`s like, we found this interesting thing and --

HAYES: So in Trump`s case, right, he could produce a letter from the IRS saying he`s under audit.


HAYES: But he`s not going to do that.

TRAISTER: He`s not going to do that.


HAYES: Because what would happen if he did that? Other things would follow.


HAYES: And yet it seems to be Hillary Clinton gets -- I mean, that`s why we -- the paradox of her as this private person, I think, who doesn`t like the press, about whom we know more than anyone.

TRAISTER: Right. But this is also where I think once you follow this trail, if you`re Hillary Clinton, is where you can get the -- I mean, there`s almost nothing she can do. Because she can`t not give it either. If she doesn`t give anything over, it would only --

HAYES: Absolutely.

TRAISTER: -- more fully enhance, you know, that she`s got something to hide. So, you know, what`s she going to do?

HAYES: Everyone this week was like, I got to see your blood pressure. I have to see your -- America demanded --

TRAISTER: Right. Which now I know. Which by the way, far better than mine. Especially today, it`s far better than mine.

HAYES: Yes, that`s right.

TRAISTER: A hundred over 75. So jealous.

HAYES: I always said this would be the statin election. I think --


HAYES: -- that it`s all going to come down to statins. But, I mean, and so that`s exactly right. This week was a sort of microcosm to me about dilemma, whereas, you know, the -- whatever she gives is not enough and yet she has to give. And also she doesn`t want to. And the resistance is palpable and makes people think that she`s being secretive.

TRAISTER: And makes people angry.

HAYES: Right, exactly.

TRAISTER: Right. And then she`s secretive about something, everybody`s like, ah-ha, I knew she was secretive about something. Right.


TRAISTER: She`s a walking self-fulfilling prophecy at various points.

HAYES: How do you feel about where this election is right now, as someone who has covered her for as long as you have, you wrote a book about 2008, you wrote a big profile of her.

TRAISTER: I mean, it is in line with some of my more anxious expectations. It`s not surprising to me. I never thought that that post-convention bump was going to hold.


TRAISTER: I have never for one second of this election and certainly not in 2008 when everybody said it then, thought she was inevitable. We have never elected a woman president in this country ever, in 240 years we`ve never before nominated one. There is nothing inevitable about her. She`s a deeply complicated politician and our reactions to her are incredibly complicated. As a left-leaning Democrat, I`m terrified, but I`ve been terrified for over a year at this point. And I also would say that Hillary Clinton is traditionally at her best when she`s in an underdog position. There is a small degree --


TRAISTER: -- to which the polls are tightening right now -- it`s probably pretty good for her going into the first degree.

HAYES: This was true in the Benghazi testimony, it was true in the New Hampshire performance, it was true in the latter part of that 2008 campaign when she had her strongest debates and did her best, almost narrowed the gap.


HAYES: This has been -- yes. Rebecca Traister, thanks for being here with me.

TRAISTER: Thank you.

HAYES: Appreciate it. Coming up, the hacking of Colin Powell`s email. Just the latest in a series of continued and sustained hacks of political figures, private citizens and organizations. I`ll talk with Malcolm Nance about what we know and who might be behind it, ahead.


COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: -- system has impressed the most aggressive --



HAYES: As she prepares for her return to the campaign trail tomorrow, Hillary Clinton released, as I was just mentioning, a new letter from her doctor revealing that a chest scan, picked up a mild, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia in her right lung. Quoting that letter, she is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. Clinton`s doctor also reported the candidate is in excellent mental condition, concluding she continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States. Clinton`s running mate, Tim Kaine, releasing a letter from his physician today as well. Both letters are online for the public to read. Donald Trump also has a doctor`s note following a recent physical, but no one has seen it except for TV`s Dr. Oz. And as of this morning, it was unclear whether the candidate would be sharing the results with anyone at all.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s going to go on Dr. Oz today, but that he is not going to release the results of his physical. Why is that?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, MANAGER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: On a TV show? I don`t think that he should --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But that was the original plan, wasn`t it?

CONWAY: No. He was going to talk about the fact that he had a physical and what the results are or what the doctor may have told him to date.


HAYES: OK. But once the candidate sat down to tape the interview with Dr. Oz, which will air tomorrow, the campaign`s plan was apparently jettisoned, Trump asking the studio audience whether he should release his medical records.


DR. OZ: If your health is as strong as it seems from your review of systems, why not share your medical records? Why not let the --

TRUMP: Well, I have really no problem in doing it. I have it right here. I mean, should I do it? I don`t care. Should I do it? It`s two letters, one is the report and the other is from Lenox Hill Hospital --

DR. OZ: May I see them?

TRUMP: -- saying -- yes, sure.

DR. OZ: So these are the reports -- this is from --

TRUMP: Those are all the tests that were just done last week.


HAYES: Just to be clear, that was Dr. Oz`s studio audience voting on whether he should give those letters to Dr. Oz. Now the physical was reportedly conducted by this man. You might remember him. That`s Dr. Harold Bornstein. He`s the author of the now infamous letter stating that if Trump were to win the White House, he`d be -- and I`m quoting Dr. Bornstein -- the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. As for what else was revealed at Trump`s latest physical, audience members at today`s Dr. Oz taping shared details.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): His bloodwork, normal, Trump says. Cancer screenings yearly. His diet? Trump likes fast food, one audience member tells NBC News, because at least he knows what`s in it. Adding, as for exercise, that apparently comes on the campaign trail when Trump moves his arms during speeches.


HAYES: Dr. Oz sat down with NBC`s Kate Snow after the show taping.


KATE SNOW, NBC HOST: He weighs 230 pounds.

DR. OZ: Mm-hmm.

SNOW: He`s told you that he eats fast food all the time, doesn`t really exercise.

DR. OZ: Hmm.

SNOW: How can you pronounce somebody like that fit to be president?

DR. OZ: He gets a lot of physical activity, he argues. And he can`t argue with the test results. But again, as a doctor, all I can do is assess what I`m given.


HAYES: I don`t even know what`s going on here, OK. At this point in time, the only person we know for certain has seen the Republican presidential nominee`s medical information is Dr. Oz. The rest of us just have to take Donald Trump`s word for it, I guess. And as the candidate himself alluded to earlier this week, perhaps he would only be sharing the good stuff.


TRUMP (voice-over): So sometime during the week, I`ll be handing out a paper with very large numbers, a very detailed, hopefully good statistics. I`ve been -- you know, I feel very confident, otherwise I probably wouldn`t be telling you I did this, right?



HAYES: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is in the news today against his will for his private thoughts of the presidential candidates revealed in personal emails leaked online by hackers.

In a 2014 email exchange, he said of Hillary Clinton, "I would rather not have to vote for her, although she`s a friend I respect."

"A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational."

He goes on to cite a tabloid report on Bill Clinton`s sex life.

Powell is far more withering about Donald Trump, who he called a national disgrace, and an international pariah.

In multiple emails, he comments on Trump`s leadership of the birther movement calling it racist. Writing in one, quote, "there`s nothing he can say that will sway black voters. He takes us for idiots. He can never overcome what he tried to do to Obama with his search for the birth certificate hoping to force Obama out of the presidency."

A senior U.S. intelligence official tells NBC News the site where the emails were posted,, not affiliated with WikiLeaks, is believed to be a conduit for Russian intelligence. This is just the latest trove of hacked emails to disrupt the presidential race. There were those internal DNC emails released just before the Democratic convention which revealed institutional bias against Bernie Sanders and led to the ouster of party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

That leak was claimed by a hacker who goes by the moniker Gucifer2.0. Widely believed to have been made up by the Russian government in an attempt to coverup their own hack.

Just yesterday that same hacker released more DNC documents, including one containing what appears to be the personal cell phone number for vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine. According to a memo obtained by Politico, hackers are also targeting state democratic party officials and have successfully breached and impersonated some of them.

Interim DNC chair Donna Brazile did not mince words when she -- who she holds responsible, quote, "the DNC is the victim of a crime, an illegal cyber attack by Russian state sponsored agents who seek to harm the Democratic Party and progressive groups in an effort to influence the presidential election. There`s one person who stands to benefit from these criminal acts and that is Donald Trump.

It`s not just a Democratic Party and other public officials being targeted.. Not long after Russian athletes were barred from the Rio Olympics for doping, Russian hackers posted what they say are the drug testing records of gymnast Simone Biles and tennis star Serena Williams.

I`m joined now by Malcolm Nance, 35 year career naval intelligence officer, now an MSNBC terrorism analyst.

So, here`s my question, Malcolm, I find it as a non-expert citizen making sense of the news. you`ve got people saying this was the Russians. This was the Russianss. I don`t know. Why should I D why is that not jumping to conclusions that are not supported by the evidence? Convince me that there`s a reason to think this is concentrated effort by the Russians to essentially impact the U.S. election.

MALCOLM NANCE, TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, there`s a lot of evidence. And as a matter of fact, you know, you don`t have to believe just what one or two people say. Virtually all of the top cyber security companies in the United States: Crowd Strike, Mandiant, others have been studying these groups and have been watching the fingerprints of two very large groups. Richard Engel spoke about them a little earlier.

There`s actually three wings to this hacking world from the Russians. There`s Russian intelligence, which operates twos different hacking groups, I`ll use the simplified names D Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. Then you have cyber criminals who are also involved in these hackings. We call them criminal bears. And then there`s these militia, these free wheeling pro- Russian people who do hackings. We call them militia bears.

These three bera wings all have had fingerprints at one time or another. But ATP 28 and ATP 29, which is advanced persistent threat, which are actually these packages of data left behind by the two Soviet agencies, the FSB, formally known as the KGB, and the GRU, their fingerprints have been over hacks all throughout the world.

We`ve identified them in Estonia when they took down part of the Estonian internet system; Georgia, the Ukraine D German intelligence identified them as hacking. The German parliament. We`ve even seen them do false flag attacks pretending that they were ISIS`s cyber caliphate army.

ATP 28 and 29, these two Russian intelligence agency hacking packages are very well known and their fingerprints were all over every aspect of the DNC, DCCC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, Colin Powell`s WikiLeaks appears to be their conduit for getting information out and Guchifer2.0 and this other group DCLeaks are just fronts for this intelligence operation.

HAYES: All right, so then what does this mean? I mean, I find it D like I don`t even know who is doing it. When I think about Colin Powell, who is a public figure but also a private citizen, when I think about Simone Biles`s medical records being hacked, it just profounding unsettling to me the idea of this sort of dystopian future we`re entering into of all this information being essentially in the hands of lord knows who for whatever purposes.

NANCE: Well, what`s actually happening here is a very largescale strategic political warfare operation against the United States that`s being carried out by Russia. And Russia D you know, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the one agency that never changed was the KGB. They just changed their initials from FSB D you know, FSK, then the FSB. And they were lead by the spymaster in chief, who is actually running Russia right now, Vladimir Putin, former director of the KGB.

These operations are integral part in their political process. And they`ve carried out operations through D you know, throughout eastern Europe called Compromat (ph), where they try to compromise political groups and individuals either through blackmail or through operations.

And in this term, of an operation, they are trying to put their scale on the thumb D not really, they`re actually putting their hand on the thumb and they want an outcome for one person in this election, and that`s Donald Trump.

HAYES; All right, Malcolm Nance, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

Still to come, the Democratic panic. Is Donald Trump polling too close for compfort for Democrats? And how the debates could change the race ahead.

But first, tonight`s Thing one, Thing two right after this break.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump made a stop in Flint, Michigan today, touring the now dormant water treatment plant there before delivering brief remarks at a nearby Methodist Church. Let`s just say things could have gone better.


TRUMP: Hillary failed on the economy just like she`s failed on foreign policy, or anything she touched didn`t work here. Nothing. Not Hillary Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we done in Flint, not give a political speech.

TRUMP: OK. OK. That`s good�


TRUMP: Flint`s pain is a result of so many different failures.


HAYES: That was after the church cutting off the Republican nominee for attacking Hillary Clinton instead of talking about Flint, of course, which is still, I should say, in the midst of a water crisis.

Trump, then, proceeded to talk about the Flint water crisis, though he didn`t detail any specific policies, or initiatives he would pursue to make Flint`s water safe. There`s one thing he has been clear on, as he told the Detroid News last week, this is a situation that would never happened if I were president. That`s the same answer he gave to NBC`s affiliate in Flint.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would your administration do with the water crisis? Because it is still ongoing, because the people of Flint can D they still cannot drink the water.

TRUMP: Well, first of all, it would have never happened because it was so ridiculous. In order to save a small amount of money, they redo the whole thing. And now it`s a disaster.


HAYES: But the Flint water crisis isn`t the only thing Trump has said would not have happened if he were president. In fact, far from it. And that is Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: Trump has repeatedly said the Flint water crisis would not have happened if he were president, but that`s not the only thing Trump has claimed would not have taken place if he were president.


TRUMP: Those people that knocked down the World Trade Center, most likely, under the Trump policy, wouldn`t have been here to knock down the World Trade Center, just so you understand.

I think the World Trade Center would be standing, I will tell you, because if you read my book "The America We Deserve," I have a whole, you know, paragraph or two about Osama bin Laden.

I mean, he said he`s trouble, he`s big trouble. And believe me, I would have done something.

I would have been tougher on terrorism. Bin Laden would have been caught a long time ago before he was ultimately caught.

I gave a very good answer over the weekend to one of the shows on Russia going into the Ukraine. I said very simply, they`re not going to do it on my watch.

If I would have landed in Cuba D first of all, I would have made a much better deal than he made.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Why do you think Mr. Khan is going after you?

TRUMP: I can say this, if I was president D because his son died 12 years ago D if I were president, his son wouldn`t have died, because I wouldn`t have been in war if I was president back then. There would have been no war for Iraq, I can tell you that.



HAYES: For Democrats nervous that Trump is getting too close for comfort, it has become easier of late to focus on certain polls and get really worried. For instance, latest CNN/ORC poll in Ohio and Florida have Trump ahead by 5 points and 3 points respectively. Bloomberg poll in Ohio has Trump up by 5 points. Nationally, the polling average continues to tighten. And election forecasting site that any self-respecting warrior follows, 538, shows Trump now rising to better than one in three chance of winning the election.

However, brand new national poll from Quinnipiac shows Clinton holding on to a 5 point lead. And while many tracking polls show Clinton suffering some days of bad polling right after the weekend, it is nothing in the realm of falling off the cliff.

Having said all that, we might all agree, particularly after what we`ve seen so far in this presidential cycle, anything can happen, which is what makes the debates even more important.

We`ll discuss the epic face-off next.


HAYES: The first presidential debate is now 12 days away and the much anticipated night that could have an actual effect on the trajectory of the race. The contrast between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not be much greater. Hillary Clinton is a fairly seasoned debater. We can expect her to be informed and methodical.

But she has, over the course of her debate career, often struggled when attacked.


CLINTON: The fact is, most people watching tonight want to know what we`ve done and what we will do. That`s why I am laying out a specific agenda that will make progress, get more jobs.

I think that Donald Trump`s bigotry, his bullying, his bluster, are not going to wear well on the American people.

I have said�



HAYES: Donald Trump, of course, got a crash course in debates during the Republican primaries. He is unpredictable and prone to bluster, but has a style that did prove highly effective in that crowded primary field.


TRUMP: And honestly, Megan, if you don`t like it, I`m sorry. I`ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me.

Every said it was going to be three hours, three-and-a-half D including them. And in about two minutes, I renegotiated it down to two hours so we can get the hell out of here.

Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake, all right.

They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.


HAYES: Joining me now, national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows who has written an epic piece on the Trump-Clinton faceoff; and Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter for The Guardian.

And James, let me start with you, this has now D become a kind of quadrennial tradition in which James Fallows at The Atlantic sort of preps up, bones up on all the debate performances of the two people and sort of writes his kind of big scouting report. What did you find?

JAMES FALLOWS, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I found that I guess the main thing, your clips of Trump in the primaries remind of how important his debate performances were to his success through the primary field.

I guess one of the main points I convey is how different the prospect that`s ahead 12 days from now is from what Trump did in the primaries, mainly because D and you as the host of a show would appreciate it this uniquely. If it`s a 10 person debate field, each one of those people is scrambling for precious air time, to get in any zinger saying war was a lie, great deal, little Marco, low energy Jeb, that`s what people remember. It`s really different when it`s two people head-to-head, which Trump has never in his life done.

HAYES: You know, Sabrina, to me the thing I keep thinking about, what we have seen happen successfully the Trump campaign in the last several weeks, is to contain him enough not to say things that are D not to pursue, say, vendettas against the family of a fallen U.S. soldier, or a sustained racist attack on sitting federal judge. And because everything else he`s done is within the boundaries of those outlier kind of D well, not outlier, but extreme versions of offensive behavior, they`ve kept him on a leash, essentially.

But he`s not going to be on a leash on the debate. And this is him just tonight getting D he`s not on prompter, this is him taking a shot at Hillary Clinton`s health in a way that I think he had successfully avoided all week. Take a listen.


TRUMP: You think this is so easy in this beautiful room that`s 122 degrees. I don`t know, folks. You think Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour and do this? I don`t know. I don`t think so. I don`t think so.


HAYES: And I just Sabrina, I saw that clip D by the way, a reporter says it was very chilly in the room. I saw that clip, and I thought, oh, we`re now going to D he`s now not going to have any prompter, and we`re going to get back to sort of 200 proof Trump here.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Right, there`s so many unknowns that are associated with Donald Trump. And I think the biggest risk is always that he`s just going to say something offensive to Hillary Clinton, a personal insult, or really just reveal of course that he really doesn`t have nearly the same depth in terms of policy knowledge, there is just no comparison between the two nominees.

At the same time, I do think there`s something concerning about the standards that you`ve been talking about during your show with how these two candidates are covered. And any time that Donald Trump is even mildly coherent or shows even the slightest bit of message discipline, it`s regarded as this big victory for him. And I think it will be concerning if he`s able to show that version of himself in the debates and so Hillary Clinton who is a very seasoned debater and does have a deep grasp of the issues, if that gets overshadowed in the media coverage of who is a winner and who isn`t based on Donald Trump just being a more contained version of himself.

HAYES: Yeah, what do you think of that, James? You`re nodding your head.

FALLOWS: Yes. I think we`re back into the 12 dimensional chess game that does interest all of us. And I think it interests the campaigns. I`m not sure how much it matters to much of the electorate, because they`re going to see, you know, for the first time ever these two people, these two very, very different people head to head. It probably will be the most watched event in TV history, exceeding OJ and the MASH finale, and all the rest.

And so I think that while there is the expectations game factor. And Hillary Clinton should do better in this circumstance because it plays to her strength. I think that it also will be judged just on its raw performance and whether she can make him, you know, look bad in either emotional or an intellectual way.

HAYES: Yeah. And Sabrina, my D I keep having this idea that it will be really interesting if he had a debate where he just said, look, we have litigated a lot about you two as individuals, whether that`s the emails, whether that`s Trump University, we`re not going to talk about any D no questions tonight on that, we`re just doing policy tonight, because I think that would be fascinating. I mean, in some ways, I think you could say that benefits Hillary Clinton, but in other ways Donald Trump`s laundry list of offensive statements and all this stuff D and you just put both those things to the side, that`s the thing I`m sort of most interested in watching.

SIDDIQUI: And I think as James mentioned, that will very much play to Hillary Clinton`s strength. The Democratic debates were very much substantive on policy, and that`s where she was able to really excel, even coming in under some degree of pressure with a lot of the narrative around Bernie Sanders being a bigger threat than she had anticipated.

And you also saw that kind of calm, collected demeanor in that 11 hour Benghazi hearing where, a gain, she was able to really walk through very pressing national security concerns and just do it even with flashes of empathy and humor.

So, if that`s the Hillary Clinton that we see, I think that will play a really well in the eyes of the broader public.

HAYES; Yeah, James, do you think Trump can pull off policy in these debates?

FALLOWS: You know, he`s 70 years old. He does not seem to be a really devoted student of the briefing books. And so I think that if he were to try to D I mean, I`m thinking of some field that I know nothing about, let`s say policy in central Africa, or opera. I knew that 10 days from now I was going to be on stage before dozens of scores of millions of people and had to fill long minutes with answers, I just wouldn`t even try.

HAYES: Right, yeah, I think that is absolutely prescient. James Fallows, Sabrina Siddiqui, thank you both.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Shows starts right now.