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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/19/2016

Guests: Kristina Schake, Lucy Flores, Mark Cuban, A.J. Delgado, Rick Wilson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jennifer Granholm, Matt MacKowiak, Cornell Belcher, Eric Beach

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 19, 2016 Guest: Kristina Schake, Lucy Flores, Mark Cuban, A.J. Delgado, Rick Wilson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jennifer Granholm, Matt MacKowiak, Cornell Belcher, Eric Beach

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from the campus of beautiful University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Yes, it`s Nevada. Host of the third and final presidential debate of 2016, which kicks off here on MSNBC, just three hours from now. I`m Chris Hayes. Hillary Clinton`s campaign said it expects a "scorched-earth approach" tonight from Donald Trump.


SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We know what we`ll see from Donald Trump. But he`s sort of -- he`s sort of telegraphed a little bit, it`s going to be scorched earth. It`s going to be scorched earth. Donald Trump has made the entire campaign about going after people.


HAYES: Trump`s announced guests tonight include President Obama`s Trump- supporting half-brother, Malik Obama, Pat Smith whose son was killed in the Benghazi attacks, and former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, subject to the film, Lone Warrior who spoke at the Republican National Convention. Trump has also invited a woman who was briefly engaged in the 1990s to Ambassador Chris Stevens who was killed in the Benghazi attacks. Four people Trump calls angel moms whose relatives were killed by undocumented immigrants, and Leslie Millwee, who in a new interview with the website Breitbart today accused Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1980. Trump who skipped his debate walk-through this afternoon, enters tonight`s faceoff in a deep hole. Polling averages show Clinton leading by seven points nationally. A new Bloomberg poll has Clinton up by 9 points, 47 percent to 38 percent. In deep red Arizona, a new poll shows Clinton up on Trump by five, 39 percent to 34 percent. A new poll out of Utah shows trump trailing third- party challenger Evan McMullin and barely ahead of Clinton. According to Nate Silver, Clinton now has better chance to win Texas than Trump does to take his must-win state of Pennsylvania. And joining us now from inside the debate spin room, is MSNBC news correspondent Hallie Jackson.

Hallie, I have to imagine when the commissioner of presidential debates set forth the basic idea that could you bring guests to the debates, they did not foresee that they would be used for this kind of circus-like purpose.

HALLIE JACKSON, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: OK. So, a couple of points to make here, Chris, because in the last -- I`m on my phone, I`m not looking at the camera because I`m getting some information here, just in the last few minutes of a couple of additions to that guests list. One, I am told by a Trump source is Sarah Palin. She has been an invited guest now to the debate tonight, which is very interesting. They`re working to reach out to Palin`s folks to sort of second sourcing on that, but I`ll share that with you as it comes to me from a source inside the campaign. The other person, Mark Geist, who is a survivor of the attack in Benghazi. So, clearly, there is a strategy here to try to put these people in front of Hillary Clinton in the audience at the debate hall tonight. We`re not in the debate hall, we`re in the spin room which is down from where the debate is actually happening, where it`s all going down.

And when you talk about through the strategy behind this, and what this is all about, Clinton`s campaign is responding here. My colleague, Kristine Walker, and I`m paraphrasing, saying the Clinton team is essentially saying, "Hey, what Donald Trump is doing, it`s a political stunt. What Hillary Clinton is doing is bringing real people who illustrate issues that matter to her and to what she wants to talk about tonight." So, it is an - - it is certainly a dichotomy in strategies between these two candidates, Chris, and a contrast that will likely be reflected over on that stage, next to us, later on tonight.

HAYES: All right. Hallie Jackson, thanks for that update. Joining me now is Kristina Schake, she`s Deputy Communications Director for Hillary for America. And since I just spent 60 seconds on the guest list of Donald Trump, is there a similar guest list from the Clinton campaign?

KRISTINA SCHAKE, DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR HILLARY FOR AMERICA: You know, Hillary wanted to invite people that represent the fights of her life, the things that she`s taken on throughout her career in public service. She has a young man who`s here tonight who she met as a child. He came to the White House when she`s first lady, when she was advocating for Universal Health Insurance, and fighting to get children`s health insurance in this country. She is a young dreamer, she has people who really represent the fights of her life that she`s taken on, and the fights that she`ll take on as America`s president.

HAYES: So, as you face this down, right? I mean, look, in the -- in the second debate, I think, was a bizarrely dark chapter in American political history for a whole variety of reasons.


HAYES: You know, there`s some question about how much Clinton engages, and where -- what -- when she has the opportunity to pivot, to what she pivots, does she spend a lot of time on the now nine women on the record accusing Donald Trump of some sort of unwanted sexual contact or sexual groping or assault, or does she talk about immigration policy? I mean, how do you see that?

SCHAKE: You know, she has a very clear view of this, Chris. She knows that the debate so far, the two that have taken place have been very meaningful. People got to see these candidates face to face on the stage for the first time. They got to hear about their experience, their values, and what they would do as President of the United States. And Hillary came out as the winner of both of those debates. So, she (INAUDIBLE) tonight as a real opportunity for her. She gets to speak to millions of Americans, including millions of undecided voters about her real plans, what she would do as president, to create good paying jobs in this country, to make college more affordable. So, she`s going in there tonight, she knows, you know, Donald Trump can do whatever he -- she -- he wants. We understand that he`s run a certain kind of campaign and that`s his choice. But this is her last chance to talk in a debate format to millions of Americans, so she`s going to take that opportunity.

HAYES: Do you -- I`m going to ask you a personal question, which I doubt you`ll answer honestly, but I`ll ask it anyway. Do you hate -- do you hate him?

SCHAKE: Oh, my gosh, no. This is -- this is -- we have -- we understand this is about American voters. This isn`t about Donald Trump. This is about our country. And Hillary believes this is an opportunity to bring people together and get something done for this country. And that`s where her focus is.

HAYES: There`s going to be a lot of attention, I think, paid to two things by Donald Trump tonight. One will be, the mass hack of John Podesta`s e- mail -- private e-mail and the WikiLeaks that have been rolling out. The vast majority seem to me, fairly mundane. The workings of the campaign, although there`s some places in there, I think he`ll highlight what he view are controversial. And then, of course, notes from the FBI investigation to Hillary Clinton, the now famous quid pro quo line, which was about a -- which has been denied by both state and FBI.

SCHAKE: It`s been -- tonight, it`s been debunked by both the FBI and the state department. It`s also important to keep in mind that this happened after she left as Secretary of State. There`s really just nothing there.

HAYES: Right. So, the question. It sounds like -- do -- how much time does someone spend on the Bureaucratic fight over retroactive classification when 60 million people -- no really, you have 60 million people watching.

SCHAKE: You know, again, Chris. She is -- she will answer anyone`s question. She`ll answer Chris`s questions, whatever he brings up tonight, but again, this is a chance for her to talk about what she would do as president. She`s not going to miss that opportunity tonight.

HAYES: All right. Kristina Schake of Clinton campaign.

SCHAKE: Thank you.

HAYES: Appreciate you come by. Thank you very much. Joining me now, former Nevada Assembly woman, Lucy Flores, and MSNBC contributor Jon Ralston, political analyst at KTNV. The home crowd, look. Yeah. Wow! Lucy apparently brought an entourage.


HAYES: Here`s what I find so fascinating about being here for the final debate, Nevada is in some ways, I think, the paradigmatic swing state of this election for these reasons. It has two large constituencies that each side over performs among, right? So, it`s a very Latino state, it is also a state with a very relative or large percentage of what pollsters call non-college whites, right? White voters without a college education.

FLORES: Right.

HAYES: And for that reason, Jon, it seems to me, it has been really neck and neck, far longer than maybe you would have thought going in based on the over performance Hillary Clinton has had among Latinos throughout.

JON RALSTON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, POLITICAL ANALYST AT KTNV: Yeah. I mean, I`ve always thought the state leaned toward Hillary Clinton, Chris, because of what you talked about with the Latino voters and how well Obama did here in 2008 and 2012. But the words of Donald Trump are echoing in my ears from when he won the caucus, "I love the uneducated voters." Who says something like that, but that is one of the reasons because of Nevada`s demographics that Trump has been able to stay close, but he`s not anymore. There have been three polls out last 48 hours or so, that show Clinton ahead by six, six, and seven points, so she`s pulling --

HAYES: She`s pulling -- she`s pulling away.

RALSTON: I think she`s pulling away. And the real question here in Nevada, and I don`t know how much you want to talk about. This is what the down-ballot effect is going to be.

HAYES: Right.

RALSTON: Especially on what may be the most important U.S. senate race in the country, the race for Harry Reid`s seat. The only seat essentially the republicans have a chance to take.

HAYES: And that seat is extremely contested, and it gives you a window. I`ve been TV here. It`s crazy how many political ads there are. But for Catherine Cortez Masto, sort of, was sort of hand chosen successor by Harry Reid. She`s the democrat, she`s running against congressman Joe Heck. And Heck is -- and this is the exact thing that`s happening in senate races around the country.

FLORES: Right.

HAYES: The republican candidate outperforming Trump by seven points, somewhere around there. But there`s only so much you can outperform and keep your head above water.

FLORES: Right. Well, I think what`s really critical here is frankly, as Trump continues to plummet, he continues to drag down the rest of those candidates, and that`s very clearly happening here in Nevada. Based on the polls, now that you saw after Heck decided to disavow himself from Trump, where you now see that Catherine Cortez is actually pulling ahead. And frankly, the more he continues with his vile rhetoric against immigrants, against religious minorities, et cetera, the more he continues to being him, the better that people like Catherine Cortez Masto are going to continue to do.

HAYES: Well, that`s what -- and one of the things that I hope we get to tonight, it is remarkable to me, we`re 20 days before the election, somewhat improbably, immigration became a certain piece of this -- of this campaign in a way, I think, very few people anticipated, partly because of the extremely hard-line stance of Donald Trump. It hasn`t been discussed in the debate.

FLORES: Which is really important, because immigration was always cited as an important issue for the immigrant community and Latinos, but it was never actually polled at number one, it was always about jobs, the economy, education.

HAYES: Right.

FLORES: Now, it`s actually being polled at number one.

HAYES: Here?

FLORES: Yes, in the Latino decisions poll that just came out. In Nevada, you saw that immigration was actually the number one issue. So, -- and this is because -- this is because --

HAYES: Because of Trump.

FLORES: Absolutely.

HAYES: And we`ve seen, actually, in Ohio, Portman saying, now (INAUDIBLE) who`s winning that race and outperforming Trump in Ohio, flirting with the idea of a path to citizenship. You may actually see a kind of backlash effect to Trump in which he has managed to toxify his version of immigration policy for what happens in the fall.

RALSTON: Well, I think that`s right. You know, I also think that you could do a montage of all the different things that Donald Trump has said about immigrations since that press conference and in June of 2015, and how he`s tried to, you know, walk it back and go back the other way, Chris. What`s interesting about what Lucy Flores says about that Latino decisions poll, yes, immigration is number one, but again, in the senate race, Hillary Clinton is defeating in the presidential race in that poll, Donald Trump 72 to 17. In the senate race, Catherine Cortes Masto is defeating Joe Heck, 54 to 34.

HAYES: That`s the (INAUDIBLE) right.

RALSTON: That is fast.

HAYES: Lucy Flores and Jon Ralston, thank you very much.

FLORES: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Joining me now from the spin room, Mark Cuban who`s a guest of Hillary Clinton`s at tonight`s debate. And Mark, you`ve sort of emerged in this campaign as a -- as a kind of -- I don`t know what the proper term. A sort of freelance responder to Donald Trump. What do -- what do you expect to see tonight?

MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: Let`s just call -- let`s just call it what it is, Chris, "troll -- Trump troll extraordinaire."

HAYES: I was going to call that, but then I thought, well, maybe that`s sort of insulting, but I`m glad that you sort of --

CUBAN: It maybe, but it is what it is.

HAYES: -- grabbed that as a badge of -- a badge -- a badge of honor. What do you expect to see tonight?

CUBAN: I don`t know. I mean, to me, I think Donald is going to come out, at least trying to be a little bit presidential. And then, I think, the minute he takes the second or third punch, he`ll revert back to form, and that`s when things will get interesting.

HAYES: You know, you -- this now seems so long ago, because of how insane the cycle has been, that Trump`s tax returns, his business dealings, the three pages of the 1996 return that the New York Time acquired were really central, and that`s still there. I mean, if you`re thinking about how this man would be as president, how much do you still think about that, and sort of central learning about what his record has actually been?

CUBAN: Oh, it`s critical. Let`s not forget Trump University. To me, that`s even more of an indication. You`re talking, you know, 6,000 people that he took money from, and in return, gave nothing. And you know, that`s relatively recent. So, when you pull them all together, you know, you`ve got to really ask just how ethical is this man when it comes the dealing with, you know, every day people.

HAYES: You know, there`s something about watching this whole thing develop that`s been fascinating, which is how far you can get in life with a good sales pitch or with a sort of -- a kind of confident hustle without being cowed by folks and certain norms. I mean, I wonder if that`s a recognizable type to you from your business career.

CUBAN: You mean fake it `til you make it? Well, it starts when you --

HAYES: Yeah. Basically.

CUBAN: You know, you can`t get that far unless you start with, you know, a couple hundred million dollars from daddy. You know, a lot of people learn a lot, or could learn a lot if they could lose 50 something million dollars of their dad`s money by the time they`re 33. And that kind of gives you a little bit of a -- of a head start. So, for everyday people, I know in my experiences, you can`t -- you can fake it maybe for 10 minutes, but at some point, you got to deliver.

HAYES: Do you -- are you worried about what happens after this campaign, given the rhetoric that we`ve seen increasingly from the Trump folks about a rigged election?

CUBAN: You know, I`m glad you brought that up. You know, I`ve been trying to figure out what the benefit is to Donald for taking -- for taking that approach and discussing it being rigged. I can`t find one. But what I can find is a significant amount of benefit for Breitbart News. To me, it`s interesting that a lot of the attacks that`s he`s been taking, you know, rigged elections, you know, the -- everybody working against them, that`s Breitbart`s marketing plan. I`m a big believer that Steve Bannon is a lot smarter than Donald Trump, and he`s really driving this -- I think Steve Bannon has gotten to the point where he thinks there`s a high probability that Donald will not win. So, he`s playing this whole thing out to the benefit of Breitbart News. When you watch him tonight, you know, how many thinks he`s saying that Donald is saying that truly are Donald`s perspective and his positions, versus things that could they help Breitbart News? I`m telling you, when you listen to Donald talk in his speeches, it`s almost all far more beneficial for Breitbart.

HAYES: Interesting. Mark Cuban, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it, man.

CUBAN: My pleasure, Chris, any time.

HAYES: All right. We have a lot more to cover. Live here in Las Vegas, I`ll talk to member of the Trump campaign about the nominee warning of a rigged election, along with Rick Wilson, senior advisor for Independent candidate, Evan McMullin, and later, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the one and only, joins me to discuss the climate for Muslim Americans during this election. All of that and more coming up. Don`t go away.


HAYES: This morning on MSNBC, Republican Senator Steve Schmidt predicted an Election Day disaster, and not just for the man at the top of ticket, listen carefully what Steve Schmidt is predicting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the over/under on the Electoral College victory for Hillary Clinton?

STEVE SCHMIDT: I think she`s trending over 400.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trending over 400.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So democrats take the senate?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats take the house?

SCHMIDT: Close, they could take it. If they -- if this election was today, I think they`re down -- I think republicans are down 25 seats, as of today, with the trend line going in the wrong direction.


SCHMIDT: The poll numbers are not good on the internal numbers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really, for the house?

SCHMIDT: The panic is beginning.


HAYES: Joining me now, A.J. Delgado, Senior Adviser of the Trump campaign and Republican Political Strategist, Rick Wilson, Senior Adviser for Evan McMullin`s campaign. Alright. So, here`s my question to you.


HAYES: Why -- here, Republican Party folks are saying, "Look, Donald Trump needs to get out of the Breitbart cul-de-sac. He needs to stop doing fan service like inviting Malik Obama to troll the president, to sort of pump up his base and he needs to be reaching to the voters between the 40 percent and 38 percent, he`s at now, and the 46 or 47 he needs to win. Is that a legitimate complaint, you think?

DELGADO: Well, I take issue with the fact that you consider it trolling that he is inviting Mr. Obama. He`s a voter of interest who has chosen not to support the person that his brother recommends the nation`s supports. I think that`s of interest and it`s worth inviting him. As for Trump reaching out, he does that every day. He`s on the campaign trail every day. Two, three cities a day, sometimes, speaking to the American public on the issues that matter; jobs, the economy, trade, immigration, so he is doing that.

HAYES: But Kellyanne talks about like this in the (INAUDIBLE) campaign but the thing he`s been talking about a lot recently is the polls are rigged, this is all a grand conspiracy.

DELGADO: And the media spent the last two weeks talking about the scandalous allegations that have all been debunked.

HAYES: They have not all been debunked.

DELGADO: So, yes. Yes, they have. Well, which one has been proven credible? Name me one that`s credible.

HAYES: I think they`re all pretty credible.

DELGADO: Name me one.

HAYES: Stoynoff from "People" magazine who had six people contemporaneously come forward --

DELGADO: No, they corroborated --


HAYES: -- to say that she told them --

DELGADO: That she told them --

HAYES: -- at the time that this happened.

DELGADO: That she told them. Nobody has corroborated that it happened, just like --

HAYES: No one was in the room.

DELGADO: That`s not corroborating anything.

HAYES: That`s her standard?

DELGADO: That`s not corroborating anything.

HAYES: But this is the problem, this is what -- if he wants to litigate this tonight, this seems to be a disaster for him.

RICK WILSON, SENIOR ADVISER FOR EVAN MCMULLIN`S CAMPAIGN: Of course, it is. And look, this -- what you`ll really seeing here in this campaign, is the last twitches of a dying animal. This is Steve Bannon trying to poke this bear one last time to get it to do something that doesn`t result a complete political disaster. And the fact that they`re bringing all the stunt casting in tonight to try to quote, "Rattle Hillary Clinton." They tried it in the second debate, it didn`t do a damn thing to rattle her. In fact, he embarrassed himself more thoroughly than it was even imaginable. And if he does the same thing tonight, it`s going to continue the trend line that Steve was talking about earlier, where we`re looking at a situation where Donald Trump starts to collapse in states like Georgia and Texas. And in Utah today, a reliably red state, my guy Evan McMullin is now leading Donald Trump as a conservative with principle in the State of Utah. This is a guy who`s collapsing everywhere. Trump is not improving his position anywhere in the country right now.

HAYES: You guys think that`s not true?

DELGADO: Well -- and it has been a rough couple of weeks because of the media-driven narrative. I`m not going to dispute that, we have had a rough couple of weeks, but now, I think starting point that tonight`s debate --


HAYES: That was remarkably reality based.



WILSON: I`m so glad you said that.

HAYES: You were actually honest about where Trump`s been.

DELGADO: And we`re not a dying animal, by the way, we`re up a point in Rasmussen. We`re up in Ohio, a critical state, we`re leading there.

WILSON: You`re down in -- you`re -- even in Texas.


WILSON: You`re down in Georgia.


HAYES: Good. Great.


DELGADO: And get away from this media narrative of these false allegations that you`re just using as a distraction.

WILSON: But A.J., it`s not the media -- it`s not a media narrative, it`s the actual facts on the ground. The state polls for Donald Trump are collapsing across this country, across the board.

DELGADO: And we still have three weeks left to go.


WILSON: And Donald Trump does nothing -- Donald Trump has done nothing about the issues. He is completely fact-free and issue-free campaign. Every day is one other outrage of Donald --

DELGADO: See, that kind of -- that kind of blanket statement is all they have.

WILSON: Every day -- but every day --


HAYES: OK. Fine.

DELGADO: The only one on trade -- that has a real policy on trade.


WILSON: Well, yes. He`s -- you know what his policy is?

DELGADO: You know what`s fact-free, Hillary Clinton has nothing about --


WILSON: His policy is a completely bat shit bunkers, crazy protectionist trade plan that would lead to an economic global disaster.


HAYES: Hey. All right. Let`s just keep -- let`s keep the language appropriate.


HAYES: I know -- I know this campaign tends to do that to people, as we`ve seen. Sorry about that. It`s classic. OK. So -- but this is my point, right, like, OK, I think -- here`s what I feel like, I feel like Chris Wallace and Hillary Clinton, and you`re saying Donald Trump want to talk about the issues today. And I think -- like it`s going to be -- there`s going to be an opening for Donald Trump, right, like -- is he -- is he going to take the path to do that? He has not talked about his immigration policy in two debates so far, which is astounding to me.

DELGADO: The moderators haven`t brought it up on purpose --

HAYES: I agree.

DELGADO: -- because that`s his strongest issue.

HAYES: I agree that it`s strange that it hadn`t been a question, but it`s also something where you can take an opportunity, if you -- if that`s what you want to talk about --

DELGADO: And then he would be criticized for not answering the question directly.


WILSON: No, it`s called bridging (INAUDIBLE) technique in the debate where Donald Trump could ask -- answer question about the economy and say, "And by the way, on the subject of trade of which I wish to speak about, here are my three or four --


DELGADO: I look forward to when he pivots tonight to an issue of interest --


WILSON: Yes, yes, but what he is going to pivot to instead -- what he is going to pivot instead is saying things like, "Well, if crooked Hillary would look out at the audience at Barack Obama`s half-brother, it`s all these jerky, idiotic, small ball --

DELGADO: Did he reference the women during the last debate?

WILSON: Listen.


WILSON: You guys put that out there front and center. You guys put that out there front and center, and he knows --

DELGADO: Did he reference it? You said he is going to say, "Look at Barack Obama`s brother." at the last debate (INAUDIBLE) did he say look at the women?

WILSON: By the way, he was saying -- he couldn`t say look at the women because --

DELGADO: Why not?

WILSON: The moderator said, you`re not playing this game and Frank Fahrenkopf told your guys very directly, he told Rudy and he told Bannon very directly, you`re not playing this game, we`re not having them on the stage where you want them. These people are part of the Trump side show, the Trump`s spectacle that`s gone on for a year and a half now --

DELGADO: Trump spectacle. More GOP vote than any candidate in the history of --


WILSON: Where he has degraded American politics in such a way that you couldn`t -- if Donald Trump was working for the democrats, you couldn`t have been more destructive to (INAUDIBLE)

HAYES: Let me ask you this -- let me ask you this, do you think your -- that your candidate -- do you think that Donald Trump is being sabotaged by the GOP at this point?

DELGADO: No, we`re working well with them. No, I don`t think so.

HAYES: You don`t think so? And you don`t think that -- I mean, I saw --

DELGADO: Ryan has been great. No.

HAYES: Ryan`s favorability plummeted among republicans about 30 points in the week after, two weeks after he --

DELGADO: How`s Paul Ryan doing, by the way?

HAYES: What do you mean by that?

DELGADO: His favorability -- I don`t know. I want to know what Paul Ryan`s doing.

HAYES: But that`s my -- but that`s my point, is that his favorability -- Donald Trump and him got into a -- you know, Paul Ryan condemned him after the tape came out. His favorability among republicans plummeted dramatically. What does that say to you?

DELGADO: That republicans need Donald Trump, they need Donald Trump`s face. We keep talking about Donald Trump -- he`s helping draw out voters to the GOP. The people that will come out to cast a vote for Donald Trump then will also perhaps cast that down ballot vote for other republicans. It`s the GOP that needs Trump.

HAYES: Do you agree with Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, who said -- who said that she did not believe there`s widespread voter fraud?

DELGADO: Correct, and Mr. Trump agrees that`s not widespread.

HAYES: That`s not widespread?

DELGADO: We all agree on that. Yes.


WILSON: So that`s why Steve Bannon just hired the guy who (INAUDIBLE) black panther video eight years ago.

DELGADO: Well, because that`s not widespread doesn`t mean that it doesn`t happen. You know the difference, right?


WILSON: Listen. Here`s the thing.

DELGADO: Something that happened may not be widespread.

WILSON: Let`s go back on one thing you said a minute ago, republicans need Donald Trump, they need Donald Trump like they need herpes. They need Donald Trump like they need -- like they need --


DELGADO: Oh, play to the crowd. Oh, gees. Playing to the crowd.

WILSON: He is utterly poisonous to republicans and their brand. He is utterly poisonous to them.

HAYES: Right.

WILSON: This is a guy who --


DELGADO: That`s why he had more votes than any GOP nominee had ever had in a primary. A record breaking number of votes, he just get left out.


HAYES: I will say this. I will say this that A.J. did manage to get to the segment without cursing or mentioning an STD.

WILSON: Well, yeah.

HAYES: Which I think is --


HAYES: -- something that we`re hoping for tonight`s debate frankly if we can get through 90 minutes without either of those. A.J. Delgado and Rick Wilson, thank you both. I really appreciate it.

DELGADO: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Well, where are we now, folks? We have a lot more to come including the recap of the unshackled Trump campaign over in just the last 10 days in second debate. Plus, a very special guest Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins me right after this break.



KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, RETIRED NBA PLAYER: Hello, everyone. I`m Michael Jordan and I`m here with Hillary. I said that because I know Donald Trump couldn`t tell the difference.


HAYES: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got a big laugh at Donald Trump`s expense at the DNC this summer before the six-time champion and league most valuable player introduced himself properly, at which point he spoke about U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, an American Muslim soldier who died in combat while serving in Iraq.

Perhaps there`s no one more suited to reflect on the sacrifice of Muslims in this country than a man whose very, very public conversion to Islam, in his words, invited criticism of one`s intelligence, patriotism, and sanity. That was more than 40 years ago.

Still, today, discrimination persists for millions of Muslim Americans and have become a centerpiece in this campaign.

Joining me now, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA`s all-time leading scorer and New York Times best-selling author. It`s great to have you here.

ABDUL-JABBAR: It`s nice to be here. Thank you.

HAYES: You`ve taken a prominent role in this campaign. And you`re someone who has always had a very developed and engaged sense of politics. But you are engaged in electoral politics this time around in a way I don`t feel like you have recently. What is driving that?

ABDUL-JABBAR: I was just very concerned about the way things were going in our country with all the division and people, the hate speech that is started to grow up. And it has borne some fruit and it is very scary. I don`t like seeing that in my country and I wanted to do to what I could to speak to the issue.

HAYES: You know, the proposed ban of Muslims is something -- and I keep returning to in this campaign, because of everything that Donald Trump has done, to me that sticks out, but it is a proposed -- it`s an actual policy that he said he would institute as president. He is now massaged it at the margins. What do you think that that wasn`t the moment when we saw Republicans break with their nominee but later we have seen them break?

ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I think the republicans were not going to get upset until Mr. Trump started to alienate people who could win the election for them. So, when he said the things that he has said about the way that he treats women, women are the majority of our electorate. So, he annoys them he`s going to annoy a lot of people who can vote him in or out of office and he is seeing the results right now.

HAYES: And yet one of the things to me that`s been disturbing about this campaign, and I am curious about how much we`ll see discussed about tonight is just how much you can say and generalize about Muslim-Americans, how much you can get away saying they saw the bombs in San Bernardino, didn`t say anything, even though that`s not true.

I mean, do you feel like there is a certain latent bigotry, or explicit bigotry has been unmasked?

ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I think sometimes people really don`t realize how many targets there are out there. So, now that Muslims have been moved into the position of being targets, some people have really embraced that and started a whole new movement targeting Muslims.

HAYES: There is a line that Donald Trump uses in the speech about one people, one nation, saluting under one flag. And some people have interpreted it as a way of sort of rebuking Colin Kaepernick, and his protest of the national anthem. Donald Trump himself has spoken out about it.

Here is someone who is in the spotlight and took a bunch of stands were unpopular at the time. And I`m curious what you think as you watch thought play out.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I think the people who understand what our constitution is about and what the founding fathers had in mind, I think they will come to the forefront in vote the way that they`re supposed to vote. And this will pass, hopefully.

That is what I`m hoping, because I know my country and I know the people in it. For the most part, they`re decent people who can see what`s going on.

HAYES: So, you seem confident and upbeat how this is playing out as opposed to scarred and traumatized, which I talked to some people who were in latter camp.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I -- you can`t ever get through the whole day without dealing with certain negative aspects of what this campaign has drawn out of our population. But I think it is a good thing. We have to understand what the problems are before we can deal with them. And if we have people who really feel the way that some of these people feel, we have to do something about it.

HAYES: You know, Donald Trump obviously gets into a lot of feuds. After you had written something somewhat critical of him, he wrote you a note saying "Dear Kareem, now I know why the press always treated you so badly. They couldn`t stand you. The fact you don`t have a clue about life and what has to be done to make America great again! Best wishes, Donald Trump."

Is it weird to be on the receiving end of one of those?

ABDUL-JABBAR: Very much so, because I thought I was very much under his radar.

HAYES: Nothing gets past him. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a new book out called "Writings on the Wall." A phenomenal writer, I have to say. It`s great to have you with us. Thank you very much.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, it was nice talking with you.

HAYES: Really appreciate it.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Thank you.

HAYES: The last debate fell into the familiar territory of personal attacks. Will there be more of the same tonight. Plus the Clinton`s campaign`s plan to avoid a last-minute surprise from Trump. That and more ahead.


HAYES: Back in Las Vegas, Nevada, the site of the third and final, finally, final Trump-Clinton debate.

The first two debates clearly did not do Donald Trump many favors. As FiveThirtyEight`s Nate Silver was pointed out today, before the first debate, Hillary Clinton was only leading by an average of 1.5. That grew to 5.6 points just before the second debate. Now going into the third, she is 7.1 points ahead of Trump.

After the ugliness of particularly that second debate, just about everyone, possibly including the candidates, wants to see more sober discussion of actual policy. But given, well, the insanity of the Trump campaign over the past week and a half, it may be hard to get to those issues tonight.

We made a list of all that`s happened, inspired by a tweet storm by former Obama speechwriter John Fabreau. Since the last debate, Trump has been accused of unwanted physical contact by at least nine women, according to NBC News`s count, called those women liars and tools of the Clinton campaign implying some of them were too unattractive to assault, gone to war with the highest ranking member of his own party, House Speaker Paul Ryan, accused his opponent of taking drugs at the last debate, accused his opponent of participating in a global conspiracy with the international banks, and media elites to undermine U.S. sovereignty, accused a Mexican billionaire of fixing the U.S. election, alleged that widespread, systemic voter fraud is taking place, especially in quote, unquote, certain communities. This list, in all likelihood is not comprehensive.

Let`s bring in our panel: Republican strategist Matt Mackoviak, Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher, Eric Beech co-chairman of Great American PAC, that`s a super PAC supporting Donald Trump, and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm who is a senior adviser to the pro-Clinton PAC (inaudible) co-chair of Clinton`s transition team.

Let me start with you, Matt, because you had a tweet storm today about your -- so you`re someone I would put in, you`re sort of a never Trumper, right?


And I`ve been very resistant to taking that stand. I`ve been never Hillary from thebeginning but I`ve really resisted calling myself never Trump. But to me the tape and the groping allegations were just too much. And so I`m now never Trump and never Hillary. I`ll be personally voting for Evan McMullin in Texas.

HAYES: So you`re a Republican politico down in Austin. You have a bunch of clients. You`ve been in the game awhile. You had a sort of tweet storm today about -- I think from an institutional perspective of the Republican Party, as people are looking at internal polling, that`s freaking them out in down ballot races . What you want to see out of the debate.

MACKOWIAK: Well, I mean, what I want to see and what he`s capable of doing I think are two separate things.

That said, it would be good tonight if, number one, showed some contrition. It would be good if he put a vision out there of what the country would look like after four years. It would be good if he demonstrated real discipline and if he just sort of let the debate go into a policy area.

I mean, I think Chris Wallace tonight is going to focus, make Hillary answer some tough questions. I do. And maybe that may be really the first time, I think. And so, the more of Trump there is, the less you can let the news around Clinton dominate. If this campaign is about Trump, he loses. If it is about Hillary, she loses. The last few weeks it`s been all about Trump.

HAYES: Eric, what about this idea of contrition and discipline from Donald Trump?

ERIC BEACH, CO-CHAIRMAN, GREAT AMERICA PAC: I think he got into the election. He had five major issues which I believe he was in tune with the American people: talking about illegal immigration, talking about protecting the board. I know his rhetoric sometimes overstates what his positions are. But you know talking about his tax policies and creating jobs.

So I think he -- I agree with him in that we need to come back to those five policy issues. There is no bigger discrepancy between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton than on national security and creating jobs. He needs to get back to that message and being disciplined.

HAYES: And then at the same time it`s like -- today`s whole news cycle is driven by the cast of characters Donald Trump is bringing -- oh, here`s Malik Obama, you know, seen in a photo with a khafia (ph) that says Jerusalem will be ours from the river to the sea, which is a Hamas slogan.

You know -- here is a woman who, here it is. Jerusalem is ours from the river to the sea right there. That`s the sort of Hamas Khafia (ph) there.

There`s also a woman who was briefly engaged to Chris Stevens who tragically lost his life in Benghazi. A person whose family has asked this not be politicized. This woman who was engaged to him 17 years ago is being brought.

I mean, if that is the strategy, Cornell, it is not being shown in the run- up to the debate.

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: You know, I`m not going to be partisan here, but just -- we are campaign professionals, right. You`re behind, right? You`re way behind in a lot of states, right, so there are four or five things that you have to accomplish today. You have to turn this thing back around and make it, like you said, make this a referendum on Hillary. And -- but then the campaign goes out and they spend resources, resources they don`t have a lot of right going to get Barack Obama`s half-brother from Kenya?

And by the way, I assure you Hillary Clinton could care less.

HAYES: Absolutely.

By the way, just to be laser focused on the important facts of this, I think he lives in D.C. So, I don`t think it was...

MACKOWIAK: A cheaper charter flight.

So Eric made this point about immigration. Here`s one of the things I find so fascinating. The latest Fox News poll internals shows plummeting support for his immigration policy. That you may, Jennifer, you`re ending up in a situation where what we`ve learned about the way that people reason is they don`t think about the issues and then find the candidate, they find the candidate and then they deduce the issues.

And if you have a candidate who is toxic, that candidate can make issues that might have been working in the beginning toxic.


And in fact, and her contrast, today, she`s bringing a cast of characters you talked about earlier today, but it`s about immigration. She`s going to be talking about a path to citizenship. She`s also going to be talking about clean energy, we hope. She`s bringing the head of the League of Conservation Voters as one of her people that she`s invited.

I mean, the issues that she is talking about tonight are represented in the people that she`s inviting. And that`s why I think if this is on issues tonight, she totally wins, because she`s got a whole (inaudible) that people care about.

HAYES: Also, a demonstrable ability to talk about this for long periods of time.

I want to play a really fascinating piece of sound, a quote from Marco Rubio, about WikiLeaks, because I think obviously that`s going to come up tonight a lot as well as the investigation. We`re going to play that right after this break very quick. Don`t go anywhere. Panel is stick around. You come back, too.


HAYES: All right, we are back here on the campus of the beautiful University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A lot of folks are very excited about tonight`s debate which starts in just about two hours, I think.

All right. I want to play this bit of sound from Marco Rubio talking about WikiLeaks, because obviously, it has been this kind of weird thrum in the background of the campaign. There hasn`t been anything explosive in it. But every day there`s some new set of things. And because we`re all natural voyeurs, there`s nothing more fun than reading other people`s mail, they have gotten a lot of attention.

Here is what Marco Rubio had to say about it. Take a listen.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: I personally will not be talking about any revelation that`s come about solely as a result of WikiLeaks. Our intelligence officials who are not partisan people have told us, this is work of a foreign intelligence agency. And we cannot be a country where foreign intelligence agencies can interfere or influence our political process.

What I would say to my Republican colleagues, some of whom may be disappointed by the position I`ve taken is, today it is them. Tomorrow it could be us.

I think there is plenty of material in which to line up and take on Secretary Clinton. I think this one is an invitation for chaos and havoc in the future.


HAYES: What do you think, Eric?

BEACH: Yeah. I happen to agree. You don`t talk with the sourcing of information, but I do think there are some things that need to be questioned, and that come from the debate and comes from the media, but it also comes on turning this about, making it about Hillary Clinton, right.

HAYES: But what about it? I mean, so...

BEACH: But again, you look at, for example, we have Dorothy Woods, the wife of Ty Woods, as part of our group. And what happened in Benghazi? I know it`s been examined and examined, but there are some tidbits in there that actually lead to some things and that needs to be...

HAYES: But that`s what you think -- you think ultimately he needs pivot away from saying the women accusing him are too ugly to grope toward Benghazi.

BEACH: I think she pivot to basically five core issues, because he`s with the American people on all of those issues. And I think if he drives that and makes it more about what are her positions, you kept saying, oh, she`s going to talk about this. She`s going to talk about that.

But she hasn`t had to lay out an immigration plan. She hasn`t had to lay out what she`s going to do on health care. Is she just going to maintain the status quo?

HAYES: She did talk about it last time, though.

BEACH: Well, no, she didn`t. She said Donald Trump had to defend and be more substance than she did. So, I think if we can make it more about what she will offer to the American people, they may be disappointed. That`s what Donald Trump should do.

GRANHOLM: Chris, though, on this WikiLeaks issue, though, because what Marco Rubio said is absolutely right. I appreciate what you said about it, because Donald Trump has had the same briefings, right. He has been told that the Russians have hacked in. And he`s got to -- and I would wonder if she is going to put him on the spot tonight and say, will you acknowledge that our intelligence agencies have briefed you that the Russians have hacked in and didn`t this happen after you exhorted them to hack into email.

HAYES: Yeah, but we think the hack happened before he...

GRANHOLM: But the bottom line is you can trace this whole line of Donald Trump`s relationships to Russia and then ask the question, why is that it Vladimir Putin so wants you to be president?

HAYES: Well -- but here`s part of the issue to me, Matt, with sort of turning, this idea that like you`re going to make about it Hillary, right, this referendum on Hillary. It seems to me at this point 20 days before the election, it is all pricing to the stock. Like, yes, she has not great number in trustworthiness, for instance. There are all sorts of polling that shows that people associate her with sort of being an insider, all this stuff.

But that`s like priced in. I don`t think it is anything that you`re going to say to 55 million people tonight and think, oh, you know what, I hadn`t thought about that, but Hillary Clinton sure is an insider.

MACKOWIAK: If you remember back to the three week before the first debate, that was really probably the best three weeks Trump has had since the general election started, it`s because Hillary was on defense. The Labor Day FBI notes came out. She was on defense over the health question. Things like that.

The focus was on her. It got away...

HAYES: She was on defense -- let`s just be clear, she was on defense for having pneumonia.

MACKOWIAK: And transparency issues related to her health. But fine. My point, is, look, going forward. I agree with what Rubio said. I think it was very important for him to say it. And he is in a unique position to be able to say it.

HAYES: That`s interesting you agree.

MACKOWIAK: I do. I do. And honestly, and the point he made is, you know, they can go after Democrats now, but they may be going after Republicans next.

Russia should be a bipartisan issue. It should not be a partisan issue. That said, the FBI information that came out about the potential quid pro quo has nothing to do with WikiLeaks and that does raise important questions.

HAYES: You know, the FBI investigation, the notes which of have been released, right. And it was in the notes that one agents Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary of state of proposing a, quote, quid pro quo. That has been denied by the FBI and the State Department, although I`m sure there will be questions about it tonight.

Also, Hillary Clinton was gone by that point so it is sort of a retroactive conversation happening.

BELCHER: And the voters` eyes are glazing over, right.


GRANHOLM: How much time are you going to waste on that?

HAYES: I got bored just reading that.

Yes, thank you for saying that.

So, that`s also the other issue to me. And it relates to this question, right, of there is a certain degree of the kind of like Breitbart bubble, we call it, right, and this world. And we saw it in the first Clinton administration, the airstrip in Arkansas, the governor was running drugs out of, et cetera, et cetera. You can`t get 45, 46 percent of the electorate with that, right. You`ve got to give them something between 38 his floor and 46, they`ve got to -- those 8 percent have got to hear something.

BELCHER: But, see, I would argue at this point. And I know -- I`m going to be an outlier here. But I`ve been one a lot in my life. I`m going to argue here that when you look at what Trump is doing right now, because it doesn`t make any straight campaign sense. He is not trying to win November, he is trying win post-November.

I think there`s something where he will try to take a piece of your party along with him post-November.

GRANHOLM: I agree.

BELCHER: I really think i think doubling down on the hatred of -- doubling down on the birtherism, doubling down on all this nasty vile stuff. That helps him post-November.

GRANHOLM: He takes 30 million people with him to create this sort of nationalist party, and media network around that, and that`s what he is going to do.

BELCHER: We`ll wager on this.


BEACH: You`re comparing the Tea Party movement, or the ceiling is -- oh, these conspiracy theories. It`s not. It`s these anti-government -- he tried to that in the first debate for the first 30 minutes. He was pretty successful in trying to pin her as the establishment candidate, government candidate that`s been doing 30 years and has done nothing. If he wants to run as a change agent and make it a referendum on her that she can`t a change agent, because she`s been part of a broken system for 30 years, he should continue to do that.

And I think that ceiling of ant-government -- or we don`t trust government is a lot higher than we think.

HAYES: Well, here`s what`s fascinating, though. In many ways, right, Donald Trump has part of what allowed him to win that primary was sloughing off a lot of the kind of orthodoxy around anti-government, right. I mean, a 45 percent tariff isn`t anti-government. In fact, that`s a very muscular intervention in trade by the government. You were sort of saying that was -- he also one of the thing tonight, Chris Wallace wants to talk about is debt and entitlements, or as I call them social insurance. Donald Trump has been very clear he doesn`t want them cut.

So in a lot of ways what Trump has represented I think to his credit in terms of where he was able to find where the Republican voter was is that they weren`t that into the whole anti-government orthodoxy they`ve been fed from folks like Paul Ryan.

GRANHOLM: Or the deficit. I mean, if you look at his plans on the deficit, $13 trillion worth of deficit.

BEACH: I mean, he was more libertarian at least talking in the primary debates. He`s saying we`re not going to waste $20 billion, you know, we`re going to reform a broken system.

He even railed against super PACs, in terms of the political process. So, I mean, he had a message out there that weren`t necessarily just for outliers, but I think really for people that said, look, I`m tired of this system and I want to try something new. And he represented that.

HAYES: A lot of the message also was about immigrants and other folks who looked like would take your jobs.

I will say, though, that was a better message than, I would never have groped that woman because she`s not attractive enough.

Matt MacKowiak, Cornell Belcher, Eric Beach and Jennifer Granholm, thanks for your time.

We are live from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas leading up to the presidential debate.

Our coverage continues right after this break. Stick around.


HAYES: We are just two hours from the final presidential debate. But don`t go anywhere. Our special prime time coverage continues throughout the night leading up to the main event, which you can watch right here on MSNBC starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern. "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews is next.