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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/20/2016

Guests: Jon Lovett, Erin Gloria Ryan, Joan Walsh, Charlie Sykes, Jason Johnson, Ezra Klein

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 20, 2016 Guest: Jon Lovett, Erin Gloria Ryan, Joan Walsh, Charlie Sykes, Jason Johnson, Ezra Klein



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What I`m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I`ll keep you in suspense.

HAYES: Fired up and ready to go, Donald Trump now offering terms for a conditional concession.

TRUMP: If I win.

HAYES: Tonight, the fallout from the final debate, and the latest Republican Party chaos. Then -

TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.

HAYES: As another accuser comes forward, how Donald Trump`s nasty attack played out with voters.

TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do, nobody.

ANNOUNCER: Plus, the Obama family fanned out across America again for Hillary.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: This year, we know it`s much closer here in this state. That`s why I`m here.

HAYES: And Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton just minutes from taking the stage together again. We`ll go live to the Al Smith dinner when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We are about an hour away from a pretty remarkable and genuinely unpredictable moment in this campaign, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump set to taking the stage at the Al Smith charity dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. You`re looking at a live shot right now. It`s a high-society event, where presidential candidates, at least in the past, every four years, come together to crack self-deprecating jokes, generally offer a reprieve from the acrimony, the nastiness of the campaign trail. The candidates are scheduled to speak within the hour, and we will bring you their remarks in full when they happen, because this year, well, is very different. This time around one of the presidential candidates has transgressed almost every conceivable political norm, been repeatedly accused to sexual assault, vowed to throw his opponent in jail if he wins, and just last night, would not agree to accept the outcome of the election. This afternoon, Trump held a campaign rally in Ohio and you`re never going to guess, his take on who won last night`s debate.

TRUMP: Seriously, the debate last night was amazing, and everybody said I won, including every single online poll and some had it at 90 and close to 90 percent, so that`s pretty good.

HAYES: All right. Many of Trump`s comments at the debate itself last night, that one gets a rating of pants on fire. Those online polls he mentions are utterly unscientific, basically meaningless click polls. In two scientific polls, debate watchers, A.K.A, real polls, Clinton was viewed as a winner by a double-digit margin. The consensus among journalist end up nicely by this New Yorker cartoon, referencing an iconic image of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston, and despite his spin today, Trump, himself, did not appear super thrilled at the end of debate last night as he tore a page out of his notepad. The most memorable and probably the most damaging moment for Trump, who has repeatedly claimed the election is rigged, came when he said this.


CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely -- sir, that will absolutely accept the result of this election?

TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I`m not looking at anything now. I`ll look at it at the time.


HAYES: That comment elicited audible gasp from the audience and an outpouring of condemnation followed, much of it from Trump`s fellow republicans. The coverage was harsh. Associated press reporting that Trump was, quote, "Threatening to upend a basic pillar of American democracy." That`s in "THE LEAD" for AP story. While in the spin room, Trump`s own running mate, Mike Pence and RNC chair Reince Priebus were reduced to insisting that Trump, of course, didn`t mean what he, in fact, had said, and would, in fact, accept the results of the election. And then today, this.


TRUMP: Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a major announcement today. I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic Presidential Election if I win.


HAYES: Cheers. Rim shot. In Miami today, President Obama mocked Trump, and once again, noted, it is impossible to rig a national election.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re just starting to vote now, he`s already like, "Oh, the game`s rigged," except today, he said, of course, it`s not rigged if I win. I don`t know if Donald Trump has ever been to an actual polling place where you have democrats and republicans who are in charge of taking the votes. But, you know, he doesn`t even worry if what he says is true. This is just about him worried that he`s losing.


HAYES: Trump did make an effort to attempt to soften his rhetoric somewhat after his "If I win" comment in Ohio today, Trump reading off a teleprompter took a couple steps back from the ledge.


TRUMP: Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.


HAYES: That comment went largely unnoticed and did little to reverse the damage. In fact, it`s starting to feel a little bit like Trump just wants this all to be over. This afternoon in Ohio, Trump walked away from two separate interviews with local news reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 19 days out from the election, you`ve been labeled a racist, you`ve been called a sexist. How do you respond to that?


TRUMP: I am the least racist person you`ve ever met.


HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Robert Costa, national political reporter of the Washington Post. And Robert, you`ve got a piece, I believe with Philip Rucker, in the - in the paper that talks about the reaction to that moment, particularly, last night, amongst the GOP. How can you - how would you characterize the fallout from that sort of gasp- inducing moment?

ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, Phil and I just filed that story for tomorrow`s paper, and it`s a historic moment for the Republican Party, because what Trump did on the debate stage has prompted a lot of republicans who are in tough senate re-election races in house races across the country to scramble right now to protect their seats, to protect their places in congress as they think to themselves, there`s maybe a landslide on the horizon, and they don`t want to get swept up.

HAYES: What is the thinking there about how they protect themselves? I mean, we`ve been hearing this kind of thinking all throughout, and we heard it particularly after that -- the tape came out in which Trump is sort of boasting of sexually assaulting women. We saw some people unendorse. I mean, is it basically this same kind of what do I do, I`m caught between a Trump base that likes Donald Trump and a general electorate that doesn`t like him very much?

COSTA: Well, there were a flurry of statements today condemning Trump`s position on the election, and questioning the legitimacy of the election, you saw that from Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, John McCain in Arizona, all these Battleground States where suburban voters and moderate voters really have their ears up for this kind of issue. But the party, you`re right, remains very intent about how exactly in these last 20 days to handle Trump. You didn`t see speaker Ryan come out and make any kind of statement nor leader McConnell in the senate, and that`s reflective of the - of this tension and unease about how to deal with Trump in the final days.

HAYES: It was really striking to me, and particularly last night, after that moment, it was a moment that in the moment as people were watching it, they were watching in the room, they were watching on social media, everyone understood. Chris Wallace, Hillary Clinton, everyone who was watching it understood some line had been crossed, right? That you don`t have the two most powerful republicans in the country, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, saying anything the day after their party`s nominee says, "I would not respect - I would not necessarily collaborate in the peaceful transfer of power."

COSTA: Well, I think when you talk to people close to McConnell and Ryan, they`re reluctant to engage in these kind of discussions at this moment, because they believe their members in both chambers are out there fighting their own races. The less said, the better, seems to be the strategy coming out of Washington.

HAYES: And here`s another bit of context for Paul Ryan. Who -- this is Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, who represents views of the Republican Party, among republicans, Donald Trump 51 percent, Paul Ryan 33 percent. Paul Ryan has seen his favorability plummet among republicans just in the last two weeks. The fact of the matter is, if you pick a fight with Donald Trump among republican voters, Donald Trump will win.

COSTA: And it`s not just about the fight right at this moment, because if you`re McConnell and Ryan, you have to deal with the Trump movement, whatever its incarnation is, after the election should Trump be defeated. You have a grievance movement that`s building within the American right. A movement that`s populist and nationalist and not so much wrapped up in the cult of personality around Trump. It`s a movement that is distancing itself from traditional conservatism from movement conservatives. And if you have movement conservatism at the heart of your party in these congressional majorities, you want to preserve that as much as possible. That`s why you see kind of a mute response from Capitol Hill.

HAYES: Yeah, you do wonder, is there anything that he could say that would get a harsh rebuke or an unendorsement from Paul Ryan at this point? Robert Costa, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

COSTA: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett who also served as speechwriter for Hillary Clinton, her senate office, on the campaign trail in her 2008 run for president. Well, let`s start - I want to talk about the Al Smith dinner in a second because - bring up - I don`t know if we have that live shot just to let people get a sense of the theatrics around this, because it`s supposed to be this sort of light-hearted evening, gentle ribbing, and I want to get your thoughts on that as someone who`s written comedy, who worked on the roast of Donald Trump, that thanks to you probably gave us this election. But first, your response to that moment last night in the debate.

JON LOVETT, FORMER OBAMA SPEECHWRITER: My response? I mean, you know, look, he is a bashless hamburglar, he is an authoritarian Mr. Potato Head. So, you know, it`s - he is such a big baby, he is such a terrible person. I also, you know -

HAYES: OK. Is that - is that totally - I`m going to bend over backwards to be fair here. Is that just - are you whipped up in a moment of sort of peep partisan concern and if I interviewed you four years ago, you would have said the same thing about Mitt Romney.

LOVETT: So, I - that`s a great question. First of all, as you know, I am a straight shooter while -

HAYES: Respected on both sides. Right. Yeah.

LOVETT: But I went back and I looked at some of my Mitt Romney language, my Mitt Romney rhetoric, and you know what, in hindsight, it was exactly right. But, you know, I wonder how much harm it`s doing to us as a country to be debating these obvious things.

HAYES: Right. Yup.

LOVETT: That these fundamental basic things. And you know, it`s not partisan to criticize Donald Trump for saying he should accept the results of an election barring a kind of Bush versus Gore type situation, he certainly didn`t mean that. He was talking about not accepting the results, and by the way, him saying on - in whatever speech a day later to clean it up that, "Oh, he only means he`s leaving himself - leaving some options for this or that." He doesn`t mean that, and we know he doesn`t mean that, though, because in 2012, when Mitt Romney lost in a decisive defeat, he went on Twitter and started calling for revolution. The guy is not serious.

HAYES: Literally. I just want to be clear, that was not hyperbolic, he literally used the word revolution.

LOVETT: We have to march - he wanted a march on Washington. Sadly, no one showed up to follow Donald Trump.

HAYES: Well, this is the thing that I find -I find sort of psychologically taxing about this whole thing, is the constant revisionist gas lighting. the constant he didn`t -

LOVETT: Right.

HAYES: He says something, 70 million people see him say something, and then the people that are his hired flacks, Kellyanne Conway and company, who are drawing whatever paychecks they are working to try to elect this man to be the most powerful person in the entire world, then look you in the eyes and say, he didn`t say what you heard him say broadcast live on every single network in cable channel to 70 million people.

LOVETT: Yeah, I mean, it`s despicable. These are people that have sold their souls in a terrible way. You know, Kellyanne Conway, it seems to me, she seems quite smart, it seems like she`s trying to have it both ways now, you know, she makes her little jokes. And it`s not funny. You know, this is really serious what he`s doing. And these people that go on television dependent - you know, we`re learning things - I`ve been saying, you know, this election is like a fascist fire drill, and, you know, we`re discovering that, like, the exits needs to be widened and, you know, there`s not enough lighting along the - along the - along the hallways. You know, there will be people, terrible people willing to defend anything on television.

HAYES: Yeah.

LOVETT: They will say anything and we just have to account for that. And it`s up to networks to do a better job of deciding who`s going to be on television. And, you know, I sympathize because they`re great TV. I mean -

HAYES: Right.

LOVETT: -- these nut balls going on television will be like Donald Trump is eight foot tall, shoots lightning out of his back, you know, et cetera. You know, that`s great television, I guess, and it`s pretty - and people love watching, I guess, these people get beat up. I mean, I watch it. I watch it a lot.

HAYES: Well, that`s -

LOVETT: So - yeah.

HAYES: -- and that`s part of - I mean, part of the theme in this whole campaign is this sort of triumph of spectacle, and we`ve all sort of been part of that, myself, included.

LOVETT: Right.

HAYES: And speaking of triumph and spectacle, if you had advice for Hillary Clinton, you help write that sort of roasting at the White House correspondents` dinner of Donald Trump, she`s going second tonight, Hillary Clinton, she could basically take the gloves off. What would be your advice for her tonight?

LOVETT: I think the key is - for these things is to be a little self- deprecating to give yourself room to be as harsh as you want to be. That`s always what we`ve done with President Obama`s speeches at the correspondence dinner. You know, you get up there, you make a few jokes of yourself, and the harder you are on yourself, the more kind of honest you are about your flaw, the more liberty that gives you, the more degrees of freedom you have to rip someone else to pieces.

HAYES: It`s like you take out -- you take out the knife, and like you gently nick yourself and then you just go around the entire room just stabbing everyone in the chest is basically what you`re saying.

LOVETT: Yeah. I mean, look, if that`s - if that`s - if that`s the violent metaphor you`d like for a couple of barbs, sure, fine. But - yeah, I mean, I`m more fascinating about - fascinated about by what Trump`s going to do -

HAYES: I know.

LOVETT: -- when he gets up there. I mean, what is this guy - he`s not exactly going to - I don`t know. My - I have one little theory, which is that, you know, you saw earlier today that some, you know, some incompetent goon on his staff put out a press release that accidentally included the language he wasn`t going to use.

HAYES: Right. Right. The ultimate - yeah.

LOVETT: And I have this feeling that those are jokes that he stuck in his speech that he took out from his Al Smith.

HAYES: Yeah.

LOVETT: So, I think you may hear those wild jokes. But who are these people? I want to know what good comedy writer is going to help Donald Trump write a bunch of yuck-yucks. Tonight? The guy is out of his mind. So, I`m not - I`m not (INAUDIBLE) I think Donald Trump could be particularly gross tonight.

HAYES: Yeah. I think that`s fair. Jon Lovett, thanks for being with you. I appreciate it

LOVETT: Thanks.

HAYES: Less than a day after a contentious debate, both candidates are set to take the right there and what is meant as we said to be a light-hearted affair. We`re keeping an eye in the Al Smith charity dinner here in Now York. In the meantime, Donald Trump`s disastrous appeals to women voters continues its downward spiral. His efforts becoming literally laughable. We`ll play that after this two-minute break.


HAYES: Earlier today, yet another woman went public with a story of unwanted physical contact by Donald Trump, Karena Virginia, that is the tenth woman to come forward since last debate, says Trump humiliated and groped her in 1998 after a U.S. Open tennis match. As I mentioned a moment ago, Trump was asked about her today during a local news interview in Ohio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another woman came out today about the U.S. Open saying you groped her today. Can you - can you answer allegations about that?

TRUMP: I know nothing about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About the U.S. Open allegations?


HAYES: Trump was asked about the growing number of allegations against him at last night`s third and final debate. And this was how he defended himself. Note the audience reaction.


WALLCE: Mr. Trump -

TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody, nobody has more respect -

WALLACE: Please, everybody.


HAYES: According to GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who holds debate focus groups with voters registering the reactions in real-time with those dials which Lord knows if they mean anything, but let`s pretend they do for a moment. "That line was Trump`s worst of the whole evening. Everyone dialed it down, even his own supporters." Minutes later, Trump reminded us all just how much he respects women especially the one who could be the first woman elected president. It came during an exchange on Clinton`s plan to pay for Social Security by raising taxes on the wealthy.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: My Social Security payroll contribution will go up as will Donald`s assuming he can`t figure out how to get out of it. But what we want to do -

TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.


HAYES: Such a nasty woman. That almost certainly would have been the big headline of the night had Trump not followed it by knocking down a pillar of American democracy. By a margin of 13 debate watchers chose Hillary Clinton as the clear winner, according to an instant poll from CNN/ORC. A YouGov instant poll found similar results by a margin of 10 points. And while men and women agreed on Clinton`s victory, there`s a clear gender dynamic at work. Men giving her the win by a margin of just five points compared to 16 points among women. And Clinton doesn`t just have Trump`s performance to thank. She skillfully had his feet to the fire over his conduct towards women and offered one of the strongest arguments to reproductive rights we`ve ever seen on a national debate stage.


CLINTON: I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions.

TRUMP: You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day, and that`s not acceptable.

CLINTON: Well, that is not what happens in these cases, and using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate. You should meet with some of the women that I`ve met with. Women I`ve known over the course of my life. I`ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions, like they used to do in China, or forced women to bear children like they used to do in Romania, and I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice, and I will stand up for that right.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Erin Gloria Ryan, she`s Senior Editor for The Daily Beast, where she`s been writing on all of this. That moment struck me as a really amazing moment. Partly because it was such a comprehensive defense of abortion rights as opposed to sort of sitting ground safely going rare, it was no business in the decision whatsoever.

ERIN GLORIA RYAN, SENIOR EDITOR FOR THE DAILY BEAST: Right. It was actually -- it was - it was nice, it was a relief as somebody who cares about reproductive rights after two debates where we didn`t hear anything, that Wallace got that out there right away. It was - it was a great answer especially if you`re a proponent of pro-choice issues. It was also a great answer if you`re a pro-life person because she really laid it out, you know, she did not make any illusions about what she believes.

HAYES: That`s right. That`s right, it`s clarifying.

RYAN: Right.

HAYES: If you`re - and also to me, you know, there`s been this dynamic, I think, that`s happened, it`s been particularly true in the second and third debate more than the first in which it was sort of unanimously a wipeout, right, emulated, that -- I`ve seen a lot of men afterwards be like, "Oh, it`s sort of even," and then women be like, "It was not even at all, like, he was terrible and she was great."

RYAN: Right. Well, it`s sort of analogous to -- remember in the second debate, when Donald Trump and Hillary turned out to have the, like, almost exactly the same amount of time speaking? And Donald Trump was like, "Unfair, I have less time to talk than she does." I think that, you know, not to paint people with too broad a brush, but I think that men are maybe accustom to getting more, and so, when things are even, they tend to perceive it as being unfair. And maybe this is an unfair thing for me to say, but that`s just been my experience and that`s sort of something that`s born out, you know, studies that have been conducted about how much women talk versus how much men talk.

HAYES: Right.

RYAN: Men think women talk a lot more than they actually do. I think, you know, last night`s debate especially, you know, on issues that really matter to women, it was - it was a landslide.

HAYES: Right, yes, and she was also clearly focused on that. I thought that his exchange on -- we have -- you were at the press conference, I understand it, the new woman who`s come forward with an allegation which sounds very much in line with the other ones.

RYAN: Yeah.

HAYES: What did you think -- I mean, to me, it seemed like he just had no real answer in that point of the debate.

RYAN: Well, he sort of - he sort of spoke as though just because he says something, everyone will just assume it`s true. And I think that`s kind of in line with the kind of people that he`s surrounded himself with. He`s a person that surrounded himself with people who agree with him, throughout his career. And so now, you know -- and so, if you would have said anything in front of those people, they would have been like, "Yes, Donald, that is true because you said it`s true, it must be so." So, now, he`s in front of a country that -

HAYES: Skeptical of him.

RYAN: -- isn`t necessarily totally in favor of what he`s saying. And then he can`t just come out and say, "These have been debunked." How, Donald? How have they been debunked? Who debunked them? How? How?

HAYES: Or even something - or even something as basically untrue is, "I don`t know these women." One of them was on "The Apprentice," like, maybe she`s not telling the truth, but you do know her. We all know that.

RYAN: You might not be Facebook friends.

HAYES: Right.

RYAN: But you definitely know this woman.

HAYES: Yeah, we saw you on TV together.

RYAN: Yeah, right, yeah.

HAYES: I also wonder like how much that -- the moment of the nasty - the nasty woman comment.

RYAN: Yeah.

HAYES: A bunch of -- I saw a bunch of people immediately react, like, "Did he really just say that? Truly do that?" How did that moment strike you at the time?

RYAN: I mean, I am empty inside after this election. So, my reaction to that was, like, "Oh, yes, he did it. He did it. He did it."

HAYES: He said the thing that he`s been thinking.

RYAN: Right. and I -- you know, and I wrote something about this last week, where I think the one silver lining of Trump`s candidacy is that if anybody questions the existence of sexism, now we have it. "Hey, here it is, it`s Donald Trump." People like this exist. This is a sexist person, behaving in a sexist manner. This is a man who in the middle of -- he cannot help himself but interrupt his female competitor in a debate. He can`t help himself but interject and insult her.

HAYES: And to belittle -- the thing I always keep finding is, he really likes belittling her with, like, saying, like, Bernie Sanders said this mean thing about you, and John Podesta said this mean thing about you and Barack Obama --

RYAN: He said that about Michelle Obama.

HAYES: Yeah, like, this negging as you call it. It is a - it is a real - it is - it is one of the things I find most sort of unnerving about watching these debates are just little - these little kind of passive aggressive barbs.

RYAN: No, it reminded me of being in seventh grade, how, like, the alpha female awful girl would try to undermine the -- but Hillary Clinton`s not a seventh grader.


RYAN: She`s been in public service for several decades, and that kind of thing does not work on someone of her stature.

HAYES: Clearly. Erin Gloria Ryan, thank you for your time.

RYAN: Thank you.

HAYES: I appreciate it. We`re still awaiting the candidates` speeches coming up, but first, how Donald Trump`s debate meltdowns were no accident, but carefully provoked and carefully laid traps set by Hillary Clinton. I`ll explain just ahead.



M. OBAMA: If 63 people in each precinct have gone the other way, Barack would have won Arizona. And this year, we know it`s much closer here in this state. That`s why I`m here.


HAYES: First lady Michelle Obama on the trail today in the unlikely battleground of Arizona. Since Harry Truman won this (INAUDIBLE) in 1948, Arizona has only gone blue one other time for Bill Clinton in his sizable victory in 1996. But with Hillary Clinton currently beating Donald Trump if you can believe it in the polling average in the state, her campaign is now making a push adding $2 million in ad spending and sending high-profile surrogates all this week. Today, Michelle Obama made a personal case against Clinton`s opponent.


M. OBAMA: Maybe it`s easy for him to mock people with disabilities because he`s unable to see their strength and their contributions, maybe that`s why he demeans and humiliates women as if we`re objects meant solely for pleasure and entertainment, rather than human beings worthy of love and respect. He just doesn`t understand us. Maybe that`s why he calls communities like the one where I was raised, "hell," because he can`t see all of the decent, hardworking folks like my parents who took those extra shifts, paid their bills on time, folks who are raising amazing families, sending kids to college. Maybe he doesn`t believe that people like us really exists, because he does not see our shared humanity.


HAYES: After the break, Clinton`s strategy over three debates, how it`s widened the gap and put states like Arizona in play.



TRUMP: From everything I see has no respect for this person.

CLINTON: Well, that`s because he`d rather have a puppet as president.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet. You`re the puppet.

CLINTON: It`s pretty clear you won`t admit...

TRUMP: No, you`re the puppet.


HAYES: You`re the puppet. You are.

Last night it was easy to see that Hillary Clinton had gotten under Donald Trump`s skin during several key parts of the debate, and that wasn`t by accident, it was by design. Clinton has carefully prepared, successfully honed her three debate strategy for weeks, as one of our next guests, Ezra Klein points out the Clinton campaign has coolly analyzed sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.

Weeks before the first debate, The New York Times reported team Clinton was consulting with Tony Schwartz, ghost writer of the art of the deal, to come up with ways to needle and undermine Trump. We also sought advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as a sole adversary on the debate stage.

Cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less than presidential ways.

That strategy paid off. Just minutes before the end of the first presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton triggered a week-long meltdown in Trump world by bringing up former Miss Universe.


CLINTON: One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman Miss Piggy, then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina.

Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet...

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: ...she`s going to vote this November.

TRUMP: OK, good.


HAYES: Joining me now editor-in-chief of Vox, Ezra Klein. His latest piece is called Hillary Clinton`s three debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins, and Jason Johnson, politics editor the root, professor of politics and communication at Morgan State University.

Ezra, you`ve been writing about this in a way that I have found really illuminating, because there is just this ubiquitous sense in pundit world that Hillary Clinton is not a good politician, that she`s sort of winning by default, that if for it were any other candidate, she would be in trouble.

And I think you`ve made this very good case that actually she`s pretty darn good at what she does and the debates showcase that.

EZRA KLEIN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, VOX: Yeah, it`s surprising what we think, the first woman to do something that`s nobody`s been able to do before that we assume that she`s just doing it through luck as opposed to this was really hard and it took a very unusual set of skills.

Look, Donald Trump is in many ways a very weak candidate. He is very vulnerable. He is in his own ways fairly maniacal. But he`s also a guy who triumphed over a 16 person Republican field in debate after debate after debate, a Republican field that people broadly felt the conventional wisdom held was the strongest really in history.

And by the way, at the end, it`s true, one-on-one debates are different than big debates. But by the end, it was Kasich, Cruz and Trump and Trump did not collapse there.

What Clinton has done in three debates is concoct and execute really very consistently, very ruthlessly, a strategy to drive Trump crazy. Every single time she begins by needling him, gets him by the 30-minute mark to totally lose his presidential calm demeanor. He begins getting angrier and angrier. She begins springing trap after trap. And by the end in every single debate, you have something coming in the last half hour like you`re such a nasty woman or the Alicia Machado moment that becomes story for days or Trump deciding that he`s not going to potentially honor the results of the election.

She has baited Trump into destroying himself on national television. It was done strategically. It didn`t happen in the Republican primary. She deserves credit for it.

HAYES: Yeah, the point, Jason, the point Ezra made, too, is that I mean, there`s this thing about, like, oh, she`s -- this sort of persona around Hillary Clinton is like she`s a grinder, she, like, she is overprepared, she spends too much time. And it`s like, she had that moment in the first debate where she was, like, yeah, I did prepare.

And you saw that last night, the moment that I thought was her best moment, aside from the abortion answer when he says -- talking about the rigged. And she laid out every time it goes his wrong way, it`s rigged. That was the product of preparation.


I have said all along that she has played Donald Trump -- it`s like Home Alone or like an old Warner Brother cartoon, he falls in every single trap. He falls in the bucket, his hair`s on fire, he falls out the window. She`s laid all of this out.

You can`t do that by accident.

But I also think there`s this, and this is something that I think has fit Hillary Clinton. There`s a lot of things you can say about her in the negative, she is patient. She was patient with Bill Clinton, she was patient when she ran for office, she was patient -- and she knew that this has to be -- you can`t knock out Donald Trump in one fight. She had to do this three steps. And I think she`s done an excellent job.

HAYES: Yeah, and Ezra, there`s also -- obviously there`s sort of this inescapable gendered frame to the whole thing, right. And you`ve written about this and Matt and other people about the sort of archetype of a woman getting sort of steam-rolled by a blustery dude in a meeting who doesn`t know what he`s talking about, but she does. She does.

And it definitely has felt that way numerous times in these debates.

KLEIN: Yeah, she has used very much her gender to her advantage here. I mean, one thing, too, about Donald Trump, he does not like being challenged by women, that was part of why he -- the person in the Republican field he had the most trouble dealing with was Carly Fiorina.

And here with Clinton, he has from the very beginning very clearly not enjoyed being challenged by a woman on national television in this way.

But then on the other side, you`re absolutely right, there are a lot of coded gender traits that get attached to her often negatively -- that she`s cautious, that she`s overprepared, that she`s too mannered in her speaking, that she`s not authentic enough. There`s all this stuff about that she doesn`t have that raw authentic charisma of someone like a Trump or even if you go back to the Democratic primary of Biden.

And she came out and used that to her advantage. She took on someone who had the complete authenticity, and used her own preparation, used her own care with what she was saying to present a tremendous contrast to the American people between someone who you could imagine in the very dangerous, very high-risk job of the presidency where you don`t want to make mistakes or fly off the handing versus Trump who might be a lot of fun to watch on reality television, but you don`t want him being president.

JOHNSON: She embodied what we see Michelle Obama always saying. Like when Michelle Obama, when the first lady gave a speech last week, she`s like, look, that feeling that you get when men look at you, you know, if Hillary Clinton is the woman that women want to be when they`re in that office and in that environment when they want to get angry, when they want to scream, she`s been doing this her entire career.

And something else to this I think is interesting. I mean, she`s had this whole thing. The white suffragette coloring of her clothing is brilliant. I mean, there`s history there. You look back at how suffragettes dressed, she has a knowledge of history in a way.

And she hasn`t had to say I`m going to be the first woman president. She did that in 2008. She`s like I`m going to be the most competent president you`ve seen in the last 45 years and I`m a woman to boot.

HAYES: Yeah, and it`s amazing that we`ve ended up at this point, you know, with a woman who is poised to break the biggest gender barrier in American politics about sort of presidential, looking presidential and she, the one thing that she unambiguously has trouncing her opponent in is precisely on that terrain.

Ezra Klein and Jason Johnson, thanks for your time tonight, guys.

JOHNSON: Thanks.

KLEIN: Thank you.

HAYES: All right, we`re continuing to honor the Al Smith dinner now under way. I have a knot in my stomach about this thing as it approaches.

Once the presidential candidates take the stage to gently mock each other, we`ll bring it to you live. Like, ha, ha, she should be in jail, should be quite an event. Stick around for that.

But first, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, starts right after this break.


HAYES: Thing one tonight, there were rumblings this might be coming: Trump TV, a way for the candidate if and when he`s defeated or maybe even if he became the president to monetize his post-candidacy life.

It was just a few days ago "The New York Times" reported that Donald J. Trump`s son-in-law has discussed the possibility of a Trump-branded television network with a friend who`s helped guide such deals.

And last night when I asked Mark Cuban about whether he was concerned about what happens after the election considering all of Trump`s talk about a rigged election, Cuban put it this way.


MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: To me, it`s interesting that a lot of the tacts that he`s been taking, you know, rigged elections, everybody working against him, 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`s 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.

I`m telling you when you listen to Donald talk in his speeches, it`s almost all far more beneficial for Breitbart.


HAYES: The suggestion was clear, Trump is paving the way for the Trump TV audience.

But what if Trump TV already launched? About two hours after Mark Cuban made those comments...


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: We`re doing free debate coverage, doing post-debate as well. Stick around for that. We`ve got (inaudible). He is the...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stein, like stein as in beer.


HAYES: Trump TV is here in 60 seconds.


HAYES: So, the Trump campaign called it a Facebook Live broadcast on Donald Trump`s Facebook page. It began about 30 minutes before the debate, hosted by Trump senior adviser Boris Epstein, and adviser Cliff Simms, complete with Fox-ish graphic look, basically the birth of Trump TV.

The guests where other Trump campaign surrogates like former Arizona governor Jan Brewer.

And as you can see, since it was Facebook Live, you can give it a Thumbs up or a heart or a smile. They even took commercial breaks, though in Trump TV land the commercial breaks were comprised primarily of things like Ivanka Trump asking for campaign donations.

But in the post-debate show, Trump TV really threw off the shackles of the mainstream media.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, welcome back in. Donald Trump`s Facebook Live post-debate coverage. And that`s what we`ll -- this is legit coverage. I don`t know what`s going on behind us, but this is the legit coverage.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: The Kellyanne Conway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not too close to the mouth, boys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I was told. I got too excited. I got too excited. We have Kellyanne with us.

So, here we are, while Kellyanne is getting micked up.

Let me tell you, the mood in the room from having just walked around a little bit is a bit shell-shocked. The left-wing media cannot believe, they cannot believe how well Donald Trump did tonight.


HAYES: Today, the Trump campaign claimed nearly 9 million video views of the Facebook Live event, but as with any fledgling TV show, Trump TV has already gotten its very first review of sorts. The New York Times saying the Facebook live broadcast, quote, "was like state television produced by QVC."



AL SMITH IV: Before the dinner started, Donald went up to Hillary and asked her how she was doing. And she replied, I`m fine, now get out of the ladies` dressing room.

And Donald, even though there`s a man sitting next to you in a robe, you`re not in the locker room.


HAYES: That was Al Smith IV moments ago kicking off the roasting ahead of tonight`s main event. Any minute now Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will deliver their own barbs on stage at the Waldorf Astoria in Mmanhattan.

The Alford E. Smith dinner is an annual event going back more than 70 years where presidential candidates traditionally appear every four years during the presidential cycle.

The dinner, of course, is in honor of the former New York governor, first Catholic nominee for president, and it`s intended to be an easy-going, lighthearted affair, though the two people who will be front and center, tonight they didn`t even shake hands at last night`s debate.

And for Trump, who was seen gritting his teeth following the debate, who was down significantly in most polls and according to The New York Times it will be seated on the dais with Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, whose office is currently has an investigation into Mr. Trump`s Foundation. It does seem unlikely that Trump will be in the mood for a dinner that has taken on the air of a roast.


MITT ROMNEY, FRM. GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: I was actually hoping the president would bring Joe Biden along this evening because he`ll laugh at anything.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Of course, the economy`s on everybody`s minds. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since I took office. I don`t have a joke here, I just thought it`d be useful to remind everybody that the unemployment rate is the lowest it`s been since I took office.


HAYES: Tonight`s dinner will be presided over by Cardinal Timothy Dolan who is, of couse, the archbishop of New York. It`ll be seated between Clinton and Trump. That`s the way these things always work.

When we come back, we`ll preview what promises to be quite a night.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats, I can`t shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me. I`m delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary.

OBAMA: It is an honor to be here with Al Smith. I obviously never knew your great-grandfather, but from everything that Senator McCain has told me, the two of them had a great time together before prohibition, so...


HAYES: Joing me now Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for The Nation and MSNBC political analyst; and Charlie Sykes, conservative talk radio host and MSNBC contributor.

So, Joan, I guess I`ll start with you. I`ve been thinking about this. I`ve been thinking about this too much, but here`s my current thinking. I think I`ve always disliked this tradition because it felt to me fake and it felt this weird clubbiness and it felt to me like everyone was acknowledging that they were like the old cartoon with the sheepdog and the dog and punch in and like actually we`re all part of the same team, we`re all like elites in tails.


HAYES: I still feel that way, but I also -- the rancor and the norm transgression of this election is making us see some value in us being like we don`t actually want to put each other in jail, for instance. What`s your feeling?

WALSH: But unfortunately, we do -- he does.

HAYES: Well, that`s the problem. It is set against the backdrop of that.

WALSH: So surreal, it`s so surreal in so many ways. These two candidates are so inappropriate for this setting in certain ways.

I mean, here you have this thrice-married libertine who brags about his affairs and talks about grabbing women by their private parts, and then she`s there after having made a really strong statement on abortion last night. You remember that her husband was not invited to this dinner. He didn`t come. Mondale had debate prep, because he was afraid of the abortion politics.

HAYES: And Kerry didn`t go in `04, I think.

WALSH: Jimmy Carter got booed in 1980.

HAYES: That`s a great point. I hadn`t even thought of that. She gave probably the most comprehensive full-throated defense of abortion rights you ever heard.

WALSH: That we`ve heard on a presidential stage.

HAYES: Sitting next to Timothy Dolan the next night.

WALSH: And now she`s going to be sitting next to Timothy Dolan, but he can`t feel much better about the guy on the other side either having listened to his locker room talk.

HAYES: Right, Charlie, what is your feeling about how they play this, I think particularly from Trump`s side, like does he have -- I guess you can hire a good joke writer to make you self-deprecating even if it`s not in your natural nature.

CHARLIE SYKES, CONSERVATIVE RADIO SHOW HOST: Yes. Self-deprecating humor and graciousness are obviously not in Donald Trump`s skill set. I`m watching the picture of this. You know, Archbishop Dolan used to be -- I mean, Cardinal Dolan used to be archbishop here in Milwaukee. And I`m really trying to figure out what`s going through his mind right now, you know, to the left of him and to the right of him, because he is a very, very savvy guy. He knows everything that Hillary Clinton has said about abortion. He knows what was in those WikiLeaks emails about the Catholic Church. He has now illusions about Donald Trump`s character.

And it`s going to be fascinating to see how they play this out.

But I agree, there`s something just tone wrong of a dinner like this where they all try to pretend that what is happening right now, what happened last night didn`t happen. And the only thing I can say is I hope they`re funny. I hope they have good joke writers. I hope they raise a lot of money for Catholic Charities, but it is going to be awkward.

HAYES: Yes, it is already awkward.

I mean, look...

SYKES: Very awkward.

HAYES: I mean, there`s two things that happened in the last two debates that, to me, are sort of these big sort of big norm transgressions. I mean, there`s been a ton of them throughout the campaign.

One is you would be in jail, right. So, the sort of direct threat to jail your political opponent, which is one thing that happened.

Then last night was the, I`ll keep you in suspense about whether I`ll accept the election results.

Those are two things that put stakes in the ground that say we`re not just adversaries that are having a spirited debate, we`re enemies in some deep existential space.

WALSH: We`re enemies in the battle for the soul of the country. And I will not let you win in some fundamental way.

You know, I believe that this will -- whatever happens in the election, even if she wins by a landslide, there will be a constant attempt to undermine her if not impeach her.

HAYES: He said last night she shouldn`t have been able to run. She should have been disqualified for running for the president of the United States.

WALSH: Right. And so that`s his decision to make.

HAYES: Charlie -- do you think -- go ahead.

SYKES: Well, IO actually was speaking to a rather prominent Catholic conservative today who was going to go to the event and decided at the last minute for pretty much the same reasons that you just articulated a little while ago, that it just seemed wrong, you know, that you go through the motions to normalize Donald Trump, to sit there and watch this charade.

And this person who had a chance to be at this dinner said, you know what? This year I`m just not going to go. Nobody will probably notice, but it`s my own personal little boycott.

HAYES: That is a great point. We keep using this word, and it`s gotten so used, normalized, which Charlie just used. It`s gotten so much it got stretched semantically.

But it`s sort of pertinent example, which is this is someone who in many ways is unprecedented and abnormal figure in American politics who has marched through all the normal institutions we have and in some ways that can`t help but be normalizing.

WALSH: Right.

HAYES: Like he won a major party`s nomination. So, what are you going to do, say, well no debates or say he`s, no, he`s not invited to the -- like the institutions exist for the slot of the person that wins one of the major party.

WALSH: And he got the slot.

HAYES: And he got the slot.

WALSH: And, you know, as someone who -- I`m happy that she`s there. I`m happy that the church has opened up that little bit. So if I say that, she can sit there even though she`s pro-choice, then I can`t really say he shouldn`t have been invited.

HAYES: Yeah, that`s right. But that`s exactly the line that we`re all dealing with, Charlie, I think, in this campaign. It`s lie, to me it`s clear that there`s something sui generis distinct, novel and unique about what Trump represents, but that`s sort of in the eye of the beholder.

WALSH: Right.

SYKES: Yeah, and I think that`s the mistake that is the mistake that Republicans made. I think it`s the mistake the media has made, it`s a mistake the establishment has made, which is try to wishful thinking to make Donald Trump normal.

Look, I`m really fascinated to see what Cardinal Dolan does. He`s got that genial. He`s a very, very friendly guy. He`s a really decent easy going human being but he is also, you know, a guy that has a backbone of steel.

And it`s hard for me to imagine sitting between those two, not addressing the elephant in the room, not addressing the issues of character, not addressing the issues of values.

And I`m going to be really interested to know how he does it. He may do it with a smile but Cardinal Dolan is a tough guy.

HAYES: All right, Joan Walsh and Charlie Sykes, thanks for joining us.

That is All In for this evening.