Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 19, 2016 Guest: Shadi Hamid, Tommy Vietor, Elizabeth Warren, Betsy Woodruff, Michael Steele, Josh Barro
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "ALL IN" --
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let us be vigilant but not afraid.
HAYES: Two candidates, two different responses to terror.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news.
CLINTON: A sobering reminder that we need steady leadership in a dangerous world.
HAYES (voice-over): We`ll have the latest on the bombing investigation and what we know about the suspect in custody. Then, after stumping for Clinton this weekend --
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASS.: Donald Trump has more support from Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan than he does the leadership of the Republican Party.
HAYES (voice-over): My interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren.
WARREN: You just really wonder what kind of vision Donald Trump has for this country.
HAYES (voice-over): Plus, despite years of denials --
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don`t get involved in traffic studies, I don`t get involved in lane closures, I didn`t work the cones.
HAYES (voice-over): -- federal prosecutors say Chris Christie knew about Bridgegate. And setting the record straight.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole birther thing is over.
HAYES (voice-over): The GOP`s new birther conspiracies.
OBAMA: In other breaking news, the world is round, not flat.
HAYES (voice-over): When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, the man suspected of planting multiple explosive devices around the New York metropolitan area has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. Those charges stem from this morning`s gun battle with police in which he was shot multiple times and two officers were lightly injured. The capture of Ahmed Rahami, aged 28, includes a large-scale manhunt and a tense weekend in certain parts of the nation`s largest city. The fallout has only just begun to impact the presidential race. More on that in a moment. This morning, hours after identifying Rahami as a person of interest and taking the extraordinary step of asking the public for help via text alert, police responded to a call about a man sleeping in the doorway of a bar in Linden, New Jersey. When officers arrived and told him to show his hands, he opened fire. Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Afghanistan was struck by multiple police bullets and apprehended just after 11:00 am, reportedly conscious and awake. Through an incredibly fortunate set of circumstances, what could have been a mass casualty event ultimately took a much milder human toll. The chain of events began just after 9:30 on Saturday morning when a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, along the route of a charity race benefiting the Marine Corps. The start of the race had been delayed, and no one was injured. Later on Saturday around 8:30 pm, another blast struck West 23rd Street, Manhattan, wounding 29 people in the area. All of them are already out of the hospital, and miraculously not a single person was killed. Less than three hours later, a second similar device, apparently a pressure cooker bomb, was discovered just a few blocks away on 27th Street. That device was taken into police custody and later turned over to the FBI. And last night at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, two homeless men found a backpack in a garbage can containing five undetonated bombs. One of the devices exploded in the middle of the night as it was being examined by a bomb robot, but no one was hurt. President Obama in New York City for the UN General Assembly thanked local law enforcement for safely bringing the suspect into custody.
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OBAMA: For us to be able to apprehend a suspect in just a little over 24 hours after an event takes place like this, it is outstanding police work, outstanding law enforcement work. I in particular want to give a heartfelt thanks to the New Jersey police officers who were able to apprehend this individual. I had a chance to talk to them briefly before I came down to my meetings here. They were in good spirits. And I communicated to them how appreciative the American people were as well as people in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin has been working this story all day. Ayman, tell us a little bit about how police were in a relatively quick period of time able to apprehend this individual.
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, I mean, by any measure of the word this was a lightning fast investigation, really, with two parts. One, identifying the suspect, identifying the man that they wanted. And two, ultimately apprehending him here on the street behind me. The first part of that was tremendous amount of intelligence work, investigative work, starting from the scene of the explosions with things like the surveillance footage that put Ahmad Khan Rahami on the scene of that block where the two explosives were identified, the pressure cooker and that explosion that actually detonated. Also, fingerprints. A cell phone ping that traced back to one of his cell phones, led police to identify him as a person of interest. And ultimately when they went to his house in Elizabeth not too far away from where we are, spoke to his family that was leaving trying to cross the Verrazano Bridge. They were able to get more intelligence, more information that led them to put out that all- notice bulletin, if you will, to police departments across the tri-state area. That was the first part of the investigation. The second part really almost kind of happened by chance on the street here right behind me. And that was because a bar owner coming to that bar early this morning saw a man that was sleeping in his doorway. He thought he was a homeless person. He called the police. The police showed up at the doorway. And the police officer that arrived there immediately knew that that was the suspect they were looking for.
MOHYELDIN: He said he recognized him because of his beard, he told him to show him his hands. And when the man that was lying on the ground reached for his jacket and pulled out a gun, shot the police officer twice, the police officer then rang out shots fired on the radio. And that triggered a massive police crush onto the area here where a shootout ensued, ultimately leading to the apprehension of Ahmad Khan Rahami.
HAYES: All right. Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you for that update tonight, really appreciate it. A minute after the explosion in Manhattan on Saturday night, before we had any definitive, confirmed, concrete idea what had happened, Donald Trump stepped off a plane in Colorado and announced his own conclusions about the blast.
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TRUMP: I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York, and nobody knows exactly what`s going on. But, boy, we are living in a time. We better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough. Just happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump has gotten out over his skis like this before, including calling the down Egypt air flight -- remember that -- in May a terrorist attack. Four months later, I should note, investigators still have not determined what actually happened. In this case, however, Trump turns out to have gotten it right. And he, not surprisingly, couldn`t help but take a victory lap this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP (voice-over): I was criticized for calling it correctly. What I said was exactly correct. I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news. But what I said was exactly correct. And everybody says, while he was right, he called it too soon. OK, give me a break.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: While Trump praised the great job by law enforcement in a tweet, repeating his frequent line that without them we don`t have a country, he also accused police of refusing to stop active terrorist plots because the police are too scared of political correctness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP (voice-over): Our local police, they know who a lot of these people are. They`re afraid to do anything about it because they don`t want to be accused of profiling and they don`t want to be accused of all sorts of things. Look what`s going on. Do we really have a choice? We`re trying to be so politically correct in our country --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Mm-hmm.
TRUMP: -- and this is only going to get worse. This isn`t going to get better. And I`ve been talking to you guys for years --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You have.
TRUMP (voice-over): -- and I`ve been saying it. This is only going to get worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After giving fairly restrained statements about the bombings over the weekend, this morning at a press conference Hillary Clinton laid into Trump for his rhetoric.
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CLINTON: We know that Donald Trump`s comments have been used online for recruitment of terrorists. We`ve heard that from Former CIA Director Michael Hayden. He said Donald Trump is being used as a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists. We also know from the former head of our counterterrorism center, Matt Olsen, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Aid of comfort, of course, a phrase the Constitution uses to describe treason. Trump later hit back at Clinton during a rally in Florida, using what seems to have become his favorite response to any criticism, a variation on, "I know you are, but what am I?"
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Obama/Clinton have been silent about Islamic terrorism for many years. That`s not lessened the recruiting, but it`s increased it. That`s what`s really happened. It`s increased -- weakness invites aggression. We`re weak. Weakness invites aggression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Shadi Hamid, he`s senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Changing the World, as well as Tommy Vietor, he`s former national security spokesman for President Obama. And, Shadi, let me start with you. First of all, let`s start with this idea that the key in all of this is the magical words Islamic terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism, that if you say that, that instantly alters the entire trajectory of the problem that the U.S. and so many other nations face.
SHADI HAMID, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: So, I mean, I have to say it`s really bizarre that we`re focusing so much on how to arrange words in describing terrorism, which all of us as Americans are against. And Trump has made this into a national conversation about whether to include the word Islamic or radical, and that`s quite frankly a distraction from actually doing the work to fight terrorism. Talking about our long-term, strategic vision in the Middle East, that`s what we as a nation should be discussing. So it`s remarkable to me that -- it`s not just Trump. It`s many Republicans who are obsessed with these particular words. And I think that it also shows that many Republicans and Trump in particular don`t really care about whether or not they`re alienating Muslim majority countries that are allies or Muslims throughout the world by using this kind of inflammatory language. And I think that radical Islam, as a phrase, has become a kind of stand-in for anti-Muslim bigotry. And we have to push back against that, not encourage it.
HAYES: Tommy, part of what makes this part of the broader argument Donald Trump is making, right, is basically that the solutions aren`t complicated, they`re simple. That is the case. I mean, Obama`s weak and I`m tough. When I`m in office, we`re going to clear it up, folks, we`re going to get tough, we`re going to knock the hell out of them and, you know, you`ve just got to say the magic words. I mean, how do you respond when the actual answer is that it`s very complicated and hard?
TOMMY VIETOR, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY SPOKESPERSON: Yes. I mean, to Shadi`s point, I mean, Scott Shane is a great reporter at the New York Time, did a piece over the weekend where he looked back at Anwar al- Awlaki`s writings. He was one of the best propagandists Al-Qaeda ever had. And he, you know, wrote a piece about how in many ways Trump`s rhetoric is making al-Awlaki`s vision of a war of the West against Islam come true. So in many ways, Trump is actually making the job of counterterrorism professionals harder. I think Clinton`s response was far more measured. She talked about vigilance and resilience. And those are things in the near-term that are important to talk about in terms of how we respond to an event like this, sort of preparing the country for the fact that, you know, there will at times be attacks against our country. But the problem is, you know, his actions -- sort of saying we`re going to racially profile all Muslims, banning them all from coming into the country. Telling Syrian refugees, some of the most desperate people on the face of the planet that they have no place here, that we will not help them, that is going to make recruiting much easier for ISIS and for Al-Qaeda.
HAYES: I hear this now, it`s bizarre that we enter into a news cycle in which it`s like, well, who is ISIS voting for? And I should just stipulate that American voters should make up their mind about who they want to vote for independent of who it turns out that ISIS may or may not support. I just want to make that clear. That said, as a sort of factual and descriptive matter, Shadi, you were responding today to Hillary Clinton`s sort of assessment of ISIS essentially rooting for a Trump victory and saying it is not an outlandish claim.
HAMID: Yes. It shouldn`t be a provocative claim. As a factual matter, Hillary Clinton is correct. And current and former ISIS members have said that they prefer Trump. And they`ve said this to researchers who work on this issue. Also, Trump has made an appearance in at least two ISIS videos. So, I mean, it`s not a mystery. We don`t have to speculate. That`s clear. I think it`s also intuitive. And, you know, Chris, as you`re saying, ISIS wants to promote a clash of civilizations. They benefit from an atmosphere of conflict, division, and polarization. And who else promotes a narrative of polarization and division? Donald Trump does. And what ISIS really wants to do, they want Muslims in the West to feel like they don`t fully belong as citizens. They want to draw on that alienation to promote lone wolf attacks. And I worry that we`re falling into this trap. And that`s what always happens after terrorist --
HAMID: -- attacks, that there`s an upsurge of anti-Muslim sentiment, which Trump is really playing into. But that only benefits ISIS. And they want the rise of the far-right in Europe and the U.S.
HAYES: Tommy, having worked in the White House and been sort of part of the national security decision-making process and all that means what do you think about when you think about Donald Trump sitting in the situation room, say, after some -- God forbid -- terrible attack on the U.S. and what that could look like, what it could mean?
VIETOR: There`s an enormous push on presidents after a crisis like this to do something, whatever that may be. To show action, just demonstrate some sort of resolve, to blow something up. I think, you know, what makes me so scared about Trump is just how easily he can be baited. Just how erratic he is, just how willing he is to lash out, to throw out crazy ideas about, you know, getting tough, profiling an entire religion, you know, banning an entire religion from the country. And I think, you know, his inability to sort of be measured, to show any restraint is what`s probably the scariest thing about his candidacy.
HAYES: All right, Shadi Hamid and Tommy Vietor, thank you for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
VIETOR: Thanks, Chris.
HAMID: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, the blatant lie the GOP has now committed to, full spectrum, to telling in an attempt to protect their nominee. It`s so easily proven wrong. We`ll do just that ahead. But first, my interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren about the New York metro area bombing, Donald Trump, that unbelievable Wells Fargo fraud story, and so much more. That interview is right after this two-minute break, so do not go anywhere.
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WARREN: Donald Trump has repeatedly invited his followers to commit a terrible act of violence on his opponent. He has invited them to kill another human being more than once. What kind of a man does that? What kind of a man tries to hurt someone else or to get others to hurt someone else? I`ll tell you. It`s a nasty little bully who can`t win in a fair fight and who will never be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Elizabeth Warren out on the trail yesterday campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Ohio, key swing state where polls are extremely close. She reminded base voters the Democratic has probably the most progressive domestic agenda in a very long time, if not ever. Something that often gets lost in the coverage of this campaign because so much of it revolves around what insane thing Donald Trump has just said or tweeted. Warren is also out touting the work of the government bureau that she conceived and helped create. That`s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau whose investigators caught over 5,000 of Wells Fargo`s employees gaming the bank`s incentive program, engaging in widespread fraud and deception by setting up millions of accounts for customers without the customer`s knowledge. The scheme went on for five years, according to Bloomberg yielded 2.4 million dollars in fees out of pockets of the bank`s customers. Tomorrow the Senate Banking Committee is holding a hearing to grill the CEO of Wells Fargo about this. We`ll get to that. But first, I spoke to Senator Warren. I asked her to react to the news of the bombing today and Trump`s lamenting that the suspect is being granted his constitutional rights.
WARREN: You just really wonder what kind of vision Donald Trump has for this country. This is what we fight for. We fight for our Constitution. We fight for our basic humanity. And Donald Trump says, let`s throw all that out the window and let`s do the maximum amount of fearmongering. Let`s do the maximum amount of turn each other against each other. That`s what Donald Trump wants. Because for Donald Trump, this is all politics all the time. And that`s why it is he cannot be president of the United States.
HAYES: You had some very strong words on the trail about his comments about, you know, taking the guns away from the secret service and --
HAYES: -- quote, we`ll see what happens. I mean, do you think he`s actually intimating, suggesting, hinting or urging violence?
WARREN: What else do you think he means when he says, let the secret service lay down their arms, then let`s see what happens. Of course he is. And I`m sorry, for me, that`s not even wink-wink, nod-nod. This is Donald Trump saying, hey, there`s another way to deal here and I -- you know, again, this kind of goes back to this question about what kind of a human being are we talking about? So he`s losing to Hillary Clinton and his answer is to say, somebody should get out there and do violence? You know, and look, I get it. Campaigns are a time of heated rhetoric, people can get excited, they can overreach, they can say things they don`t mean. But Donald Trump has now done this twice. And he`s been called out for it both times. And when you do it twice, it seems to me pretty clear what your motivation is here. So I think it`s just one more example of why Donald Trump not only shouldn`t be president but is truly disqualified to be president.
HAYES: I watched your appearance on the stump this weekend. And I was struck. In some ways it was almost beamed from an alternate dimension. And the reason I say that is because Donald Trump has been such an idiosyncratic force in this election.
HAYES: His policies can be so impossible at times to pin down.
HAYES: -- he doesn`t seem to really care one way or another. He`ll say one thing, he`ll backtrack. You were laying out a sort of Democratic policy domestic agenda --
HAYES: -- on the stump. Do you think there`s been too little attention paid to that? What is that, what is the elevator pitch to people when you get down to the brass tacks of what a Hillary Clinton presidency looks like?
WARREN: So, look, I took my swing, you know, at Donald Trump a couple of times. But at the end of the day the reason to vote for Hillary Clinton -- and all the places I go, to vote for Ted Strickland in Ohio, to vote for Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, to vote for our Democratic Senate candidates and our House candidates, it`s because we really do have ideas about how we build a future. Donald Trump believes that the way we build a future is the same way the Republicans believe. And that is, hey, let those who are rich and powerful have more money and more power and somehow it`s going to trickle down for everyone else. We`ve now tried that for 35 years, and it has been a complete catastrophe for this country. The Democrats are saying, we know how to do this. We know how to regulate financial institutions so they don`t bring our economy down, and we know how to make the investments in expanding opportunity. Opportunity not just for some of us, but for all of us. And that`s a big part of what my speech was about. The pieces of that, the pieces that Hillary Clinton has run on, the pieces that I believe she should win on, and then the pieces that the rest of us have got to make sure that she is able to enact once she`s president of the United States.
HAYES: You just touched on financial regulation.
WARREN: I did.
HAYES: It strikes me there`s this sort of perfect little microcosm of this issue in the Wells Fargo situation in which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was your brainchild, which you sort of shepherded into being, was instrumental in discovering widespread, systemic fraud. Wells Fargo`s now been caught, they`re going to have to give money back to customers, and there`s going to be hearings tomorrow. And that is a bureau that is, I understand, at the head of the line to be destroyed under a Republican presidency.
WARREN: Yes. And I think that`s no surprise. So Donald Trump has said first day of a Donald Trump residency, he wants to roll back all of Dodd- Frank, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans in both the House and the Senate are moving forward bills to try to leash up the watchdog and pull at its teeth so that there won`t be another Wells Fargo. And when I say won`t be another Wells Fargo, I don`t mean that there won`t be giant banks cheating people. No, that will continue to happen. There just won`t be a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to call them out. That`s what it is the Republicans and the giant Wall Street banks want. And that`s, for me, a big part of what this election is about. It`s about fighting back against that and saying, we cannot run this country just for those at the top, we cannot run it just for Wall Street, we have to run it for all of us. And the Wells Fargo example, you`re exactly right, that`s it in a microcosm.
HAYES: Having reported on the Hill during Dodd-Frank and followed this (INAUDIBLE) --
HAYES: -- you could write a 500-page book about the efforts to kill off that thing. The fact that it`s functioning and working is sort of an astounding --
WARREN: I know.
HAYES: -- modern-day miracle in D.C. governance. Well, Senator Elizabeth Warren, thanks for your time.
WARREN: You bet. It`s so good to be here.
HAYES: Coming up, there was one defining moment this weekend where the GOP officially -- officially -- became the party of Trump. What that was, ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: The most important issue is did I know anything about the plan to close these lanes, did I authorize it, did I know about it, did I approve it, did I have any knowledge of it beforehand? And the answer is still the same, it`s unequivocally no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Absolutely not. There is one thing Governor Chris Christie has been consistent on, and that is that he had no part in and no knowledge of the lane closures of the George Washington Bridge in September of 2013, which was allegedly done by his subordinate as retribution for the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for refusing to endorse Chris Christie`s reelection bid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I worked the cones, actually, on that.
CHRISTIE: Unbeknownst to everybody, I was actually the guy out there. I was in overalls and a hat, so I wasn`t -- but I actually was the guy working the cones out there. I don`t get involved in traffic studies, I don`t get involved in lane closures, I didn`t work the cones. Just so we`re clear on that, that was sarcastic. I would never have come out here four or five weeks ago and made a joke about these lane closures if I had ever had an inkling that anyone on my staff would have been so stupid. I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution. And I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here regardless of what the facts ultimately uncover. And so we have nothing to hide, and this administration has nothing to hide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But today on the first day of a trial of his Former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly and Former Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority, Bill Baroni, there was one thing that the prosecution and the defense agreed on: Chris Christie knew. He knew about the lane closures as they happened. In opening statements as detailed by the New York Times, prosecutors of the United States Attorney`s Office said that two of the alleged coconspirators in the case, David Wildstein, Bill Baroni, had bragged to the governor about the lane closings and that they had been done to mess with the mayor of Fort Lee because he had declined in treaties to endorse the governor`s reelection. Defense lawyers have also said Mr. Christie knew. So if the prosecution and the defense in this federal courthouse are right, Chris Christie has been lying through his teeth about this all along. Which is why perhaps it might not surprise some people to see Christie, when asked about Donald Trump and birtherism, say this:
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CHRISTIE: After the president presented his birth certificate, Donald has said, you know, he was born in the United States and that`s the end of the issue. It was a contentious issue. It`s just not true that he kept it up for five years.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Sure he did.
CHRISTIE: It`s just simply not true.
TAPPER: It is true.
CHRISTIE: No, Jake, it wasn`t like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is demonstrably untrue. I mean, unless you were literally born yesterday, you saw Donald Trump continue to question the president`s legitimacy for the last five years. But Christie is not alone in trying to rewrite the history that we all saw with our own eyes. In fact, it appears the GOP has in total committed itself to telling a boldface lie such as this to save Donald Trump from himself. That`s next.
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KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This started with Hillary Clinton`s campaign, number one. Number two, it was Donald Trump who put the issue to rest when he got President Obama to release his birth certificate years later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Donald Trump`s campaign manager and his surrogates keep repeating this lie that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement and that Trump finished it.
Now, this is not just false, I have to say, in a normal campaign kind of way. It`s more like a bad jedi mind trick, akin to Trump surrogates fanning out across the air waves to tell us that Donald Trump would actually be the first woman president and Hillary Clinton is the one who has gone through numerous bankruptcies and once mocked a disabled reporter.
So just for the record since we all live in this, the actual, real world of facts. Here are the number of times Hillary Clinton called for Barack Obama to release his birth certificate. Zero. Over a five-year period, Trump did it regularly. He opined on the subject, dozens of times, sometimes sticking with the subject the birth certificate, other times branching out to issues such as Obama possibly being a secret Muslim.
Here are the number of times that Hillary Clinton tweeted that Obama should release his birth certificate. Zero. At least 36 times Trump tweeted birther conspiracy nonsense.
Here is the number of times Clinton darkly intimated that the president of the United States had a state office holder murdered in a plane crash to cover up his birth certificate. Zero.
Trump, however, once tweeted, "how amazing the state health director who verified copies of Obama`s birth certificate died in plane crash today. All others lived."
And aside for a moment, think just for an instant about how a plot to kill one person in a plane crash would work.
Here are the number of times Hillary Clinton offered a reward for Barack Obama to show his college transcripts and his passport application. Zero.
Donald Trump, of course, did all that.
Joining me now is MSNBC contributor Josh Barro, senior editor of Business Insider. I mean, I guess I think they -- they must think that this sort of gas lighting en masse is going to work because it will muddy the waters enough.
JOSH BARRO, BUSINESS INSIDER: Yeah. And you see all sorts of things with Mike Pence today being like, oh, our campaign is not about insults, it`s the other campaign that`s all about insults.
HAYES: Yes, I want to read this, actually. This is Mike Pence today actually said this: "the other campaign seems to be an avalanche of insults. This campaign is not about insults on our side, it`s about ideas."
This is after he called Robert Gates a clown this weekend. Insulted Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, and CNN.
BARRO: Yeah. And then it`s I have the best temperament. Basically whatever criticisms Hillary Clinton throws at him, he just throw them right back at Hillary as though they were about her.
And the thing is, I think, you know, these are not just lies, they are transparentally ridiculous lies. The reason he gets away with this is supporters know he`s lying when he says these things. They think that they are looking at him -- and you see this in press interviews and from pollsters. It`s not like Trump supporters by and large think Donald Trump is perfect. They admit, oh, he goes too far, oh, what he said was ridiculous. This idea that he has on immigration is too extreme, but I don`t think he`s really going to do that when he`s president.
And then the flip side of it is the voters who really want the extreme immigration stuff when he talks about a softening, that`s just for the media. He`s going to do this thing. He`s going to do.
So I think there is a toleration among his voters for the idea that a lot of the things that he`s not going to say are true, and that`s why when it becomes total obvious he`s lying, that doesn`t damage his brand.
HAYES: And then you see -- I mean, Jake Tapper in the interview is a perfect example. He`s literally as Chris Christie is saying these things saying, well, it`s not true. It`s not true. I mean, he`s doing right thing, right.
But you sort of see this sort of real existential problem, particularly with the birther thing, right. You saw the press kind of revolt en masse. And they are still revolting saying we were there. We know this. You cannot tell us. I mean, we`re going to get to a point where he`s going to look in Lester Holt at the first debate and be like, I was actually a senator from New York. What is Lester Holt going to say, like -- it`s like talking to a person who actually clinically not sane.
BARRO: Well, and so I think one thing we`re learning here is because I see on Twitter all the time all these people being like why doesn`t the media hold Trump accountable on his tax returns. It`s like, we`ve asked. We`ve demanded over and over and over and over. We can`t compel him to release them.
Similarly when people lie about things, one of the main things that restrains people from lying when they`re revealed as liars is shame that they like...
HAYES: People don`t like being seen as liars.
BARRO: Right. They know the game is up. They know it`s been proved they lied and they have to apologize. They feel -- but Donald Trump, because he is incapable of shame is actually demonstrating something very dangerous, which is just that if you insist you didn`t do anything wrong, you can get away with a lot of things, even when it`s obvious to everyone that you did something wrong and other people only don`t get away with it because they give up.
HAYES: You know, this plan about shame I think is key, because people have to understand that so much of the restraints on power are these sort of concessions of norms. We`ve seen this in this campaign just lay waste to them.
Jonathan Martin had a pretty good essay on this in The New York Time. People have to think about this seriously in the context of the presidency. I mean, you know, Mad Iglesias (ph) once had this thought experiment about how like a president could have like one of his -- one of the people worked for him like murdered, the Senate majority leader in the House and then pardon him. Like, that would -- the consitutional house -- like, he could pardon anyone he wants, but he wouldn`t do that, because it`s horrible and would like -- people need to understand how much the norms are restraining whatever it is that the presidency does.
BARRO: Right. And in general it will be in much more banal ways than what you just described...
HAYES: Yes, obviously, yes. That`s it.
BARRO: And therefore it won`t generate the outrage that it should.
I feel two different -- there`s a good and a bad thing about Trump being the embodiment of this. One, is Trump is such an unusual figure, if he looses, I don`t think somebody can just step into his shoes and replicate exactly what he`s done. I think his bizarre personality is a key element of the political movement that he`s led. On the other hand, he might win this election and become president and he can do the thing only he could do.
HAYES: Josh Barro, thank you very much.
Still to come, President Obama responds to Donald Trump`s birther comments while giving an impassioned pitch to black voters this weekend. We`ll play his remarks, ahead. You do not want to miss those if you haven`t seen them.
First, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts right after this break.
HAYES: All right, Thing One tonight, journalist Kurt Eichenwald joined me last week to talk about his huge cover story from Newsweek in which he investigated the Trump organization`s myriad business connections focusing particularly on their international business ties.
Eichenwald looked at Trump`s opportunities for enrichment, the concerning associations he has overseas and these unprecedented conflicts of interest for the potential president of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KURT EICHENWALD, NEWSWEEK: 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 interests of the United States. And there has never ever in the history of America been a scenario like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Since then, his son Donald Trump Jr. claimed that if his father did release his tax returns, it would just raise too many questions, a departure we should note from their previous line that he wasn`t releasing the returns because of an audit.
Trump Jr. also implored voters not to worry about any conflicts between the potential President Trump and the Trump business saying, and I quote, it doesn`t matter. Trust me.
Shockingly enough, trust me just wasn`t doing it for some people. Today, a surprising group of voices signed an open letter urging Donald Trump to disclose what those foreign business interests are. Whose names are on that list? That`s Thing Two in just 60 seconds.
HAYES: At this point, it should be established Donald Trump`s lack of transparency is unprecedented. And now after Kurt Eichenwald`s explosive cover story investigating the Trump organization`s foreign business connections, over 50 former government officials and national security figures, sent an open letter to Trump titled "A Call for Transparency" calling for him to reveal the nature of his foreign business relationships, specifically citing Eichenwald`s article. They wrote Mr. Trump has shown poor judgment with regard to whom he has associated with overseas in order to further his best interests. We did no do not know all the facts in the Newsweek article are accurate. The best way too dispel any doubts would be with a full and complete disclosure.
The signers of the letter include people like Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy secretary of defense under President George W. Bush, one of the architects of the Iraq war, as well as Bush`s former secretary of homeland security Michael Chertoff, Michel Morell, former acting director and deputy director of the CIA and President Bush`s intelligence briefer.
The letter is signed by Clinton supporters, big names in the GOP and other former Bush staffers across the political spectrum calling for Donald Trump to disclose his international business ties, writing, "our policies must be motivated exclusively by what`s in America`s best interests, not by the financial interests of our president.
So sorry, Don Junior, they are not just going to take your word for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I don`t know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole birther thing is over. I mean, ISIL, North Korea, poverty, climate change, none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate.
(END VDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Obama serving Donald Trump some snark on Saturday night at the annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Awards dinner. He also served some fire in a speech that built to a stinging condemnation of the GOP nominee, a rousing calls to elect Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP0
OBAMA: You may have heard Hillary`s opponent in this election say that there`s never been a worse time to be a black person. I mean, he missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow, but we got a museum for him to visit. So he can tune in.
If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake, all the progress we have made is at stake in this election. My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot.
There`s no such thing as a vote that doesn`t matter. It all matters. And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff, go vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: When we come back, GOP completes its capitulation to Trump with an official call to bar his Republican detractors from even running for office. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald, do you think there should be retribution and they should not be allowed to run again?
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well they signed a contract, Brian. The contract is so clear. It is so clear. It said I will endorse the person that, you know wins the primaries, right?
These people all want to run in four years, right. If I were the head of the Republican Party, I would say you can`t do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s Donald Trump this morning suggesting Republicans whose signed the loyal pledge to back the eventual presidential nominee but have yet to endorse Trump they should be barred from running as Republican in the future, a proposal that sounds pretty nuts, until you consider the fact that just yesterday, the actual chair of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, basically said the same thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: People agree to support the nominee that took part in our process. They used tools from the RNC. They agreed to support the nominee. They took part in our process. We`re a private party, we`re not a public entity. Those people need to get on board. And if they`re thinking they`re going to run again someday, I think we are going to evaluate the process of the nomination process and I don`t think it is going to be that easy for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich have all declined to support Trump with Kasich just yesterday calling on Trump to apologize to the president of the United States for pushing the racist conspiracy theory that he was not an actual American.
Last night, Kasich`s chief strategist John Weaver, released a blistering response to Priebus which read in part, quote, the idea of a greater purpose beyond oneself may be alien to political party bosses like Reince Priebus, but it is at the center of everything Governor Kasich does. He will not be bullied by a Kenosha political operative that is unable to stand up for core principles or beliefs."
Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele, who is trying not to smile at that description of his successor, former chair of the RNC; along with Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter of the Daily Beast.
Michael Steele, Kenosha political operative is pretty good.
MICHAEL STEELE, FRM.RNC CHAIR: Oh, it`s good. It`s good.
HAYES: Let`s just, whether this is smart or not. I mean, this doesn`t seem like an actual thing that the Republican Party can do, because could it ban people from seeking the nomination?
STEELE: No. No. And look, you don`t even want to go down that road, to even intimate that you are somehow going to penalize someone who for principled reasons is not supporting the current nominee of the party from running in four years. It is not who we are as a party. And I think that that`s a real problem. And I think Mr. Weaver`s response and the response of other Republicans since then have made it very clear. You don`t want to open up that door.
HAYES: Betsy, it struck me that Reince saying this really was this sort of official moment. I mean, obviously it`s been Trump`s party. He won the nomination. There was the RNC in which it was, you know it was the Republican Party, and him. But there is something about Preibus making these comments that made me feel like, OK, this is now -- it is officially Trump`s party. It is his party to the extent that the head of the GOP is essentially floating the idea of a purge of dissident members of the party, like some, some sort of factional communist dispute back in the last century.
BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: Right. The RNC has gone full Trump. I think his interview on CBS on Sunday was an important moment for that. But his comments about essentially barring three prominent Republicans from running for president again weren`t the only moment in that particular interview that Priebus very much embraced some of the most wacky things about Trump. Priebus also defended Trump`s birther explanation. He suggested that Trump had a valid reason for saying Hillary Clinton started the birther movement, which is not true -- which is false.
But Priebus endorsed that. He got on board with that argument. And that`s perhaps even more significant, the fact that the head of this party is suggesting that Trump`s birther fever dream was somehow valid and worthy of dignifying.
HAYES: You know, Michael, I have been basically saying from the beginning I said I think the outcome of this election will be in the normal range, meaning somewhere in the -- around what the last two were depending on whoever wins, right. And the idea there is that partisan polarization is just so powerful a force. It is the gravitational pull in American politics. And I think the most interesting thing we`re seeing in the polling now, 86 percent of Republicans support Trump, 90 percent of Democrats support Clinton. It`s almost to the point you could just put anyone head of a major party and they would, they would get, have between 40 and 45 percent of the vote.
STEELE: Yeah, they fall to type. And that`s the expectation that the political operatives, whether they`re from Kenosha or New York, have about this process. And that`s, that`s the expectation of how it plays out.
Here`s the variable in this race. The variable is that independent undecided voter. The variable is the candidate we know as Donald Trump. There are some variables that can take the numbers that you have just cited and kind of turn them on their head a little bit when it comes to turnout, when it comes to a lot of the things that you are going to expect to see in 50 days occur for both of these parties.
And that`s -- again, here`s the problem. When you start throwing around threats like that two things come to mind, one, you want the governor of Ohio to play in this election cycle. Why? Because he has to turn out that vote for your guy.
HAYES: It`s so nuts. I mean, you`ve got -- I mean, that`s -- you have got no Republican in however long has ever won the presidency without Ohio, which John Kasich loved to talk about in every barn he was in New Hampshire. And you`ve got the sitting governor, who is a Republican, in the state where you had your convention, who is quite popular.
STEELE: Very popular.
HAYES: He`s like 20 points above water approval rating, like, go out and pick a fight with this guy.
And Betsy, let`s keep in mind, it is the Republican Party apparatus that is going to be doing all the things that Michael talked about, GOTV. It is the party apparatus entirely that`s basically got that -- that has that sort of division of labor.
WOODRUFF: Right, without a doubt. And the RNC has spent the last couple of years trying to build up a more aggressive get out the vote operation, more aggressive data operation. They spent ton of money on it. They`ve been talking it up among reporters for years.
That said there are a couple of little gaps. One story I wrote a few months back, I called up African-American Republican leaders. And they said they feel like the RNC really hadn`t delivered on outreach to black voters. That was one particular area where they said, look, the RNC committed to having certain number of staff, to investing more, particularly in urban media. And they just didn`t do it. That`s what my reporting showed.
The reality is that this is a base election. And if you`re the Republican Party trying to get new voters from demographics that don`t historically back you up that well, maybe it doesn`t make sense...
STEELE: They ain`t our base.
WOODRUFF: That`s what...
HAYES: All right, so Michael, are you angling to return to take the job of the Kenosha political operative?
STEELE: Oh, hell no. That ship is gone, baby. No. I don`t think that that`s in my future cards at all.
HAYES: Yeah, you can go be the one to enforce the ideological purge and the great bloodletting that will come.
STEELE: Hey, Chris, they tried to do a litmus test when I was chairman of the party and I said no, no, no that will not happen on my watch. You have to fire me first. Well, guess...
HAYES: Here you are.
STEELE; Here I am.
HAYES: Michael Steele, Betsy Woodruff, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.
That is All In for this evening, the Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END