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Obama rallies for Democrats in key house races. TRANSCRIPT: 9/10/2018, All In w Chris Hayes

Guests: Asawin Suebsaeng, Anita Kumar, Isaac Chotiner, Chris Lu, Barbara McQuade

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 10, 2018 Guest: Asawin Suebsaeng, Anita Kumar, Isaac Chotiner, Chris Lu, Barbara McQuade

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN live from Michigan.


HAYES: One of the three states that put Trump over the top prepares itself for November 6th as a White House under siege battles of Woodward book.

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, FEAR: Some of the things Trump did and does jeopardize the real national security.

HAYES: The anonymous insider op-ed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should all top officials take a lie detector test and would you agree to take one?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would agree to take it in a heartbeat.

HAYES: Not to mention the 2018 Obama campaign.


HAYES: When ALL IN America 57 days out begins right now.


HAYES: Good evening from Michigan, I`m Chris Hayes coming to you from Conor O`Neill`s pub here in Ann Arbor. We are live -- we are live here 57 days from the most important midterm election in recent memory in one, of course, the key states that went for Donald Trump. We`re here to talk to voters and candidates about what`s driving them to the polls in the midterms namely Donald Trump. Much more on that ahead.

Meanwhile, over the last week, something seems to have shifted in the national conversation about the President. In the wake of The New York Times op-ed by an anonymous senior administration official and the first glimpses of Bob Woodward`s new book going behind the scenes of the White House, pollsters, lawmakers in the press, are now openly discussing the President`s lack of fitness for the office he holds. And according to Woodward in an interview this morning, the public has yet to fully grasp the danger we`re facing.


WOODWARD: Here`s the problem. This has not been treated seriously enough and the things -- some of the things Trump did and does jeopardize the real national security. This country does some things in the intelligence world which are so important to protect the country. They are astonishing. They are secret. They are called special access programs and he jeopardizes them.


HAYES: The President is by all accounts enraged about Woodward`s book and the anonymous op-ed which both portray seniors aides as trying to protect the country from its own president. But every time he tweets, the President only seems to substantiate accounts of his unhinged behavior. And it`s not just the tweets, today, former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released a new audio recording which she says was recorded nearly a year after the election. The audio she says is the President barging into a meeting to rant about Hillary Clinton.


TRUMP: I think Hillary is getting killed now with Russians. The real Russia story is Hillary and collusion. Somebody told me, Hope, you told me it was $9 million they spend on the phony report.


HOPE HICKS, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE: Yes, Someone just said. She`s far worse for the country than we thought if she didn`t know her own campaign was spending $9 million.

TRUMP: Did you see? Nobody knows who spent it. No, I hear it was nine. I heard it was 5.7 but now they say it was nine. It was spent through a law firm that way they can`t trace it. But they traced it. One thing in this business is they trace it. And yes, close to $9 million. I can`t even believe it. The reason a law firm is because this way you don`t have to give papers. But they found out. It`s definitely illegal and it`s illegal from campaign standpoint, from a campaign financial standpoint. So the whole Russia thing, I think, seems to have turned around. What do you think, Sarah?

SANDERS: Absolutely.


HAYES: Latest news cycle appears to be taking a toll according to poll, the analyst Harry Enten. There have been eight live interview polls finished in the last two weeks. All showing the President`s approval rating dropping from the last poll in some cases falling below 40 percent. For more on the chaos in the White House, I`m joined by Asawin Suebsaeng, White House Reporter from the Daily Beast and Anita Kumar, White House Correspondent for McClatchy. Asawin, the White House`s position on the Woodward book seems to be that the press is obsessed with it but they want to talk about it all the time.

ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, DAILY BEAST NO, ABSOLUTELY: And there`s not a single person more obsessed with the Bob Woodward book or the anonymous New York Times op-ed in this country than Donald J. Trump right now. In fact, it`s gotten to the point as Axios first reported and The Daily Beast can confirm that the President of the United States has been privately fuming about his former senior aides and officials, Gary Cohn his former top Economics Adviser and Rob Porter his former White House staff secretary. Both of whom apparently served as very big sources for the Bob Woodward book.

So this is yet another instance of the President the United States former members of his inner circles at least according to the President of the United States turning on him. And it`s sending him into a bit of a tizzy some would say.

HAYES: Anita, there was some reporting today that the staff inside the White House was working hard to focus the President`s attention on the hurricane currently bearing down for the Carolina coast amidst what his been characterized as a kind of grave obsession with the Woodward book and the op-ed.

ANITA KUMAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, MCCLATCHY: Yes, I mean the White House staff is really in a balancing act here. They want to and they need to because he`s the President of United States kind of say OK, we understand you`re upset about this, you want to know who wrote the op-ed, you want to know more about the Woodward, book but at the same time they kind of want to move it so that things are moving forward talking about the hurricane, looking forward to the midterms talking about the economy other things.

So they have to kind of appease them a little bit but kind of move the ball forward. And that`s why you haven`t seen a great big announcement on an investigation. The President talked about whether this should be an investigation and he thinks the Department of Justice should do that. But we haven`t seen an announcement of that and I hear from the White House from inside the White House that there`s not actually a big investigation into this, just beyond the president wanting to know who wrote the op-ed.

HAYES: Yes. Asawin, it was pretty telling today Sarah Huckabee Sanders giving a briefing for the first time I think in about two weeks. When she was pressed on what law was broken allegedly to start an investigation, she obviously couldn`t name one.

SUEBSAENG: I mean, yes. And this is yet another chapter in the long book and saga of how seemingly the entirety of the White House or at the very least it`s powerful and influential messaging and coms operation is wrapped around amplifying and placating the very specific grievances and public feuds of President Donald Trump which sort of hamstrings them to the point where if the President goes off the rails and says something wildly untrue, they have to wrap their messaging operation around it and work from that scratch and there`s no other way they can really do their jobs.

HAYES: Anita, you know, I think anyone that`s been paying very careful attention and trust the reports that have come from the White House sort of has a sense of how the president conducts himself behind closed doors. But it`s been interesting to see the tape Bob Woodward released of his president -- his phone call with the President, the tape from Omarosa, what is clear is that he is precisely the same way behind closed doors that he is on Twitter. There`s no -- there`s no sort of secret version of him.

KUMAR: Right, I`ve heard actually a lot of people observe that. That you know, what we see is what we get with him. And they`ve actually -- you know, aides that are close to him, aides and during the campaign and at the White House actually have said that. What you see is what you get with this president. So right, we see him on Twitter, we see him when he when he talks to the press sometimes or when he when he gives his rally speeches that he likes so much. That`s the guy that we`re seeing a glimpse of behind the scenes with Omarosa`s book and her videos with the Woodward book and all that we`re hearing. I mean, that`s what people are definitely saying.

HAYES: And Asawin, you know, there`s this conventional wisdom I think sometimes other president`s political standing which is that his base won`t leave them no matter what which I think ignores the fact there are marginal voters, there are persuadable folks, the margins matter. When you look at all the data, it really does appear the last few weeks have hurt his standing with the American electorate and I wonder if the White House recognizes that.

SUEBSAENG: Oh they absolutely recognize it. And the place where that fear manifests itself most palpably within Trump`s West Wing operation is in his political operation which includes senior aides such as Johnny deStefano and Bill Stepien who`s one of the main jobs is to oversee the White House operations in terms of what`s going on with the 2018 midterms right now.

And they know bracingly well that a big reason that the Democrats could very well take back the House if not the Senate this year is because of a grand antipathy towards Donald Trump and how that is absolutely galvanizing and energizing the Democratic base in a way that it hasn`t been for many years. So despite all the bluster and P.R. that the White House has been doing about how popular allegedly the President is and how they are not sweating the 2018 midterms, you can bet that they 100 percent are fearing a slaughter.

In fact, the word bloodbath and massacre come up frequently when you talk to these people inside the White House.

HAYES: All right, Asawin Suebsaeng and Anita Kumar, thank you both for your time.

SUEBSAENG: Thank you.

HAYES: For more on the Woodward book and what it means for the midterms, I`m joined by Isaac Chotiner, Staff Writer for Slate and Chris Lu former White House Cabinet Secretary under President Obama. And Isaac, you read and reviewed the Woodward book it was a great review in Slate and basically, the thesis was if you think that "adults are in charge behind the scenes, we`re screwed."

ISAAC CHOTINER, STAFF WRITER, SLATE: Yes. I mean, that`s the big takeaway from me from the book. I mean, we kind of know what type of president Trump is. As you say, there`s not much difference behind the scenes as there is on Twitter every day. But what Woodward really reveals in the book is that the supposed adults in the room, John Kelly, James Mattis the Secretary of Defense. These people are for various reasons just not really protecting us. And I think that there are a number of different reasons why that`s the case.

One is that in the case of someone like Kelly he agrees with the President has done on a lot of things. He doesn`t seem to particularly like immigrants or the media. In the case of someone like Mattis, he I think is probably a much more serious and adult person than the president but seems to have really no reading for the president or how to kind of constrict his behavior in any way in case he gets particularly dangerous. And so you come away from the book really feeling like there`s nobody out there protecting us.

HAYES: Part of the problem Chris and you worked in the White House in the Obama administration, you know the president is going to be the president. It is that this idea that`s emerged I think over the last few weeks as articulated in the op-ed and as articulated by sources of Bob Woodward`s which is this group of people can kind of you know, be a sort of rubber room to sort of insulate us from whatever manic fits the Commander-in-Chief has that he still is the President of the United States. There`s no replacing that.

CHRIS LU, FORMER CABINET MEMBER, OBAMA WHITE HOUSE: Well, that`s exactly right. And he -- you know Donald Trump has never been particularly good at turning the other cheek. But in this case, it would serve him well to do that because every day continues to tweet and harp on Donald -- on Bob Woodward, it becomes a distraction. It`s a self-inflicted wound. He should be talking about the economy. And even when he talks about the economy as he tried to today, he got the numbers all wrong.

He tweeted earlier today that the GDP was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in 100 years and by some estimates, it`s actually been higher 63 times including as recently as 2006. Even Fox News did a fact check on him. And so, if you want to know about the chaos within the White House, you look at the tweets, you look at the Omarosa tapes, this is a person who rambles, who jumps from topic to topic who has a disregard for facts and the truth, who embraces conspiracy theories, and as you heard on that tape you have senior White House staffers like Sarah Sanders who are enabling him.

HAYES: Isaac, I keep -- a lot of people are sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop in terms of crisis in terms of some big cataclysm and what do you say the people who would say well, look, I mean, you know, the economy`s doing pretty well and things are humming along and maybe it`s a testament to resiliency of the American system that this person could comport himself this way as recorded in these various documents and we`re still standing.

CHOTINER: Well, yes. I mean, we`re definitely still standing. We haven`t all gone up in a mushroom cloud or something but some really bad things have happened. People have been separated from their children at the border all kinds of things have happened that are just simply unacceptable.

I do think broadly speaking that the American government kind of chugs along and that things get dealt with in some you know, in some manner. But again you know, you look at the response to Puerto Rico, to the hurricane there, the number of people who died, bad things are happening. I mean, yes, the country is not just going to collapse on itself but you know, this is not a good situation.

HAYES: No. And Chris, the Puerto Rico situation I think is really front of mine right now. 3,000 Americans were left to die under this President`s watch. There has been no sustained investigation what happened and right now there`s a Category Four hurricane called Florence bearing down the Carolina coast that could be the worst to hit that area of the country in history. And you got to imagine now is a time for some presidential like attentional focus.

LU: Well, exactly right. Government is hard and it`s a simple blocking and tackling when you have a natural disaster like a hurricane. And what you saw in Puerto Rico is that when you have a president who has an inattention to details who doesn`t understand the mechanics of the government, he fails. He even failed to the optics.

Remember when he down -- went down to Puerto Rico, he`s lobbying paper towels into the crowd. He is applauding the fact that only a couple dozen people died. He said hey, this is at least not as bad as Katrina. Well, the final number showed it was actually worse than what Katrina was. So this is a president who doesn`t understand his role at this period of time is to bring the country together to understand the mechanics of how government work and to ensure that helps protect the American people and that`s dangerous.

HAYES: Yes, I thought that you know, that that recording that Omarosa Manigault played today of the president crashing a comms meeting to vent about Hillary Clinton and the Russians was sort of a perfect little microcosm of where his attention is. Isaac Chotiner and Chris Lu, great to have you both.

We are here in Michigan, one of these surprised states that went for Donald Trump in 2016. Tonight, we`ll have a report on the people who have gone from not voting last cycle to running for office this year. We also talked to the woman who wants to replace the Republican Governor Rick Snyder and I`ll talk to some of the Michiganders behind me about what they think while the vote coming in just 57 days.

And next, the Obama campaign rides again this time in Southern California. Ahead, why the places President Obama is choosing the campaign are just as interesting as what he said. I`ll explain right after this.



OBAMA: Where there`s a vacuum in our democracy when we are not participating we`re not paying attention, when we`re not stepping up other voices fill the void. But the good news is in two months we have a chance to restore some sanity in our politics. We have the chance to flip the House of Representatives and make sure the real checks and balances are welcome.


HAYES: The day after unloading on Donald Trump by name and accusing Republicans of "bending over backward" to protect the President, Barack Obama took the stage over the weekend in Orange County, California, a place that`s long been a Republican stronghold. The popular ex-president used his star power to boost the campaign of Democratic hopefuls running for seats in the state`s most competitive House races.

At least one member of the Trump administration has had just about enough of President Obama is unusual but not unprecedented campaign push.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: It was very disappointing to see President Obama break with the tradition of former presidents and become so political and roll out the same tired arguments that he and liberals have made over the last eight years.


HAYES: To talk more about the Obama campaign to take back the House I`m joined by Dave Wasserman, NBC News Contributor, Editor of the Cook Political Report and Cornell Belcher an MSNBC Political Analyst and a Democratic strategist. Dave, let me start with you. I thought it was so fascinating the president sort of enters the fray in Illinois and then he goes out on the road. The first place he goes are those contested races in Orange County which is just unthinkable very recently for a whole bunch of reasons. What do you think it says that that was the first place that he went?

DAVE WASSERMAN, NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Chris, there are two groups of voters who are up for grabs in these midterms. One is Hillary Republicans who came into the fold recently to vote for Hillary because they were turned off by Trump and then Trump Democrats who are mainly in the Midwest voted for Obama twice and then voted for Trump because they did not like Hillary Clinton.

And I found it interesting that Obama kicked off his campaign in Orange County California partially because he lost Orange County twice whereas Hillary Clinton won it. I think where he can be most hopeful is actually in those Trump Democratic districts where he can go in and talk about the economy and healthcare in a way that where Hillary Clinton wasn`t credible in 2016.

HAYES; But I think, Cornell, I think that the choice of Orange County which used to be you know as rock-ribbed right-wing as any place in the country which is now trending towards the Democrats, Clinton carried a lot of those contested seats. It`s a sort of example of the ways in which the political dynamics have changed both in terms of places and in terms of this president`s popularity as an ex-president versus the current president`s popularity as the incumbent.

CORNELL BELCHER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think that`s right. I think is about expanding the playing field. I think Democrats have an unprecedented, maybe once in a generation the opportunity to expand the playing field what we look at the way independent sort of moderate voters and especially college-educated women are breaking away from the Republicans.

I would add two groups to that -- to that at group also and that would be young people as well as minority voters who we saw you know pull back from the elections in 2016 and sit home or vote third party. You know, Obama is someone who can bring that energy and speak to -- speak to those people, you know, those groups in a way that no other Democrats can. Because you know, Chris, we talked about this before. You know, if Democrats have the 2010, the usual sort of midterm 2010 or 2014 electorate, it`s not going to be a good year.

But if we -- but if we see an electorate that is younger more diverse, it`s going to be -- I think it`s going to be a good year and Obama can speak to that but he also speaks to the moderate middle swath of the electorate. Let`s not forget that you know, Obama won back-to-back majorities but a lot of that was built on winning the middle of electorate. You know, he won moderate voters by 16 points in 2012.

HAYES: You know, Dave, you know, we`ve been watching President Trump go to these red states that he won by 20, 30 points and campaign for the Republican candidate in Senate, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana. It strikes me there are districts that are up for grabs where Barack Obama can come. And if you`re the incumbent there, Barbara Comstock in Virginia, Leonard Lance in New Jersey, you`re not -- you do not want President Obama to come to your district to campaign against you.

WASSERMAN: Well, probably not. Look the speeches Obama has given so far are really not that different from the speeches that he gave in 2014 when let`s face it, Obama voters largely stayed home. I think, where he can be effective is in reaching some of the swing voters who disliked both Clinton and Trump and wish that Obama were still president.

And I hate to break it to you but those swing voters, they don`t really care about Omarosa or who wrote the op-ed or many of the things that are talked about frequently on this network. They still care about health care premiums and their take home pay. And i think where Obama excels isn`t talking about how Republican legislation could impact voters directly.

HAYES: Yes. And I think that -- to Dave`s point, I mean I don`t think anyone neither seven candidates that were at that rally which I think is interesting, not a single one, Cornell, an incumbent politician which I think is also sort of a fascinating thing we`re at seeing the Democratic crop here. A lot of fresh faces, a lot of people running for office the first time, and generally those messages out in the contested races, to Dave`s point, they are about things like health care premiums and take-home pay.

BELCHER: There is if you look at where most Democrats are actually spending their advertising dollars, it`s around health care. And it is an issue that is -- that is front and center for a lot of these middle-class, a lot of these suburban voters and their premium is going up. And it`s a clear contrast with Democrats who want to sort of build and expand and reform the ACA and Republicans who have been voting to repeal. It is a -- it is a -- I can tell you, it`s a message that I`ve tested a couple times and for Democrats, it`s hard to beat that message.

But the other point about this is, Chris, Democrats don`t have to do negative advertising around Donald Trump. Every week Donald Trump is doing all the damage we need and he do it by -- all by himself.

HAYES: Yes, no one has to -- no one has to run ads about that. Dave Wasserman and Cornell Belcher, thanks for joining us.

WASSERMAN: Thank you.

BELCHER: Thank you.

HAYES: We have a lot more ahead live from Conor O`Neill`s Irish pub here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Still ahead, a judge has ruled that President of the United States must go under oath about his alleged sexual assault of a former Apprentice contestant. Why this is a very big deal and what we could learn next.


HAYES: All right, we are back here at Conor O`Neill`s pub in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 57 days before the first national election in the era of Donald Trump. Today the #MeToo movement once again reached the very highest levels of politics and entertainment. In one case those worlds colliding since the defendant is the President of the United States.

According to a recent court filing, President Trump will provide written answers under oath in the defamation lawsuit brought against him by former apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. In early 2017, President Trump called Zervos a liar for alleging that he had groped her and tried to kiss her back in 2007 when she was on the show.

And one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry, CBS CEO Les Moonves today stepped down from that post, actually stepped down last night after a second wave of allegations against him of sexual harassment and sexual assault reported by the New Yorkers Ronan Farrow. One dozen incidents are alleged spending three decades beginning the 1980s. NBC News has not independently confirmed the allegations.

Moonves told The New Yorker "the appalling accusations in this article are untrue. What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some twenty-five years ago before I came to CBS and I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women."

For more on all this particularly as it pertains to a sitting president, let`s bring an MSNBC Contributor Barbara McQuade, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan who lives here in Ann Arbor. It`s good to see you.

I felt like this story you know, it was one of these stories in another news environment would be huge page one news. The President of the United States is agreed to answer questions under oath in a civil suit.

BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN: Yes, you know, it might get a shrug because of all the other things that are going on but legally I think it`s really incredibly significant. There`s been all this talk about whether a sitting president can be indicted, but we`ve had decisions now that a sitting president can be sued in a civil case. We had the Clinton versus Jones case way back in the federal context, in the Zervos case. Now, we have the ruling that a case can go forward in a civil context. And now we see the president actually answering questions.

The judge has ordered him to sit for a deposition. This might be an effort, the agreement to answer the questions, to circumventing sitting for the deposition to be able to say, look, I`ve provided you with written answers, therefore you don`t need my deposition, because it`s a much more controlled environment when you write those written answers, your lawyer can participate and can help you draft and edit those responses to avoid problems.

HAYES: Right, because the whole concern that keeps being articulated by everyone close to the president, sometimes on the record in public, is you can`t let him talk because he lies whenever he talks. So you`ve got to help us out here and let us let him give written answers.

MCQUADE: Yeah, it sounds like he`s lawyers think he`s a human perjury trap. But when they`re involved, they can sit with him, they can write the answers, they can make sure they`re consistent with other things that have been written in the case. And that`s why I think Robert Mueller would much prefer to have him live. And I`m sure ultimately the lawyers in this case would prefer to have him live because then you can watch for tone and inflection, you can ask followup questions which is so incredibly important.

So, I imagine they`ll continue to fight for that deposition.

HAYES: I want to bring in also MSNBC contributor Megan Twohey, The New York Times investigative reporter who has filed breakthrough investigative pieces in the #metoo movement and on the president.

Megan, you`ve been following this case, it`s also interesting here that this is a defamation case, it`s not about the sort of underlying conduct, but it`s about the president coming out and saying this woman is a liar.

MEGAN TWOHEY, THE NEW YORK TIMES: That`s right. And one of the interesting things that`s interesting about a defamation case, is, a, there was no -- she was able to file this and meet sort of within the confines of the statute of limitations. So she`s filed a defamation lawsuit against the president saying that he basically inflicted harm on her when he called her -- and actually other women who stepped forward -- with accusations of sexual misconduct against him during the presidential race liars, fabricators, and in her case he said he had never even met her at the hotel where she alleges that the sexual misconduct took place.

And so, you know, this is a way by filing this lawsuit, a defamation lawsuit, it keeps these underlying allegations of sexual misconduct alive. And it actually, you know, as this sort of new decision that came out on Friday, this agreement that they`re going to move forward with written answers under oath by the end of the month, it demonstrates it will continue to be a major legal rat`s nest for the president moving forward.

HAYES: I thought of that when I was -- reached this passage in the Woodward book. Megan, I want you to respond to it. This is the president in the Woodward book giving advice to an unnamed friend who has been the subject of accusations of sexual harassment. He says, "you have to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women. If you admit anything and any culpability, then you`re dead. That was a big mistake you made. You didn`t come out guns blazing and just challenge them. You showed weakness. You`ve got to be strong. You`ve got to be aggressive. You`ve got to push back hard. You`ve got to deny anything that`s said of you. Never admit."

That`s exactly what he did when your stories came out in The New York Times.

TWOHEY: Yeah, that`s right. I think that it`s important to point out that these women who stepped forward with allegations against the president during the presidential race did so after the Access Hollywood tape was released in which he was caught on tape bragging in his own words about sexually assaulting women.

And so, you know, after that there were more than 10 women who came forward and said those weren`t just words. The president did that to me in various encounters stretching back decades.

These women didn`t know each other. This wasn`t -- there`s no evidence that this was coordinated or politically motivated, but the president did just what he described in the Woodward book. He came out guns blazing. He accused all the women of being liars. He threatened to sue them. He threatened to sue reporters like me who reported on these allegations.

And in an interesting turn of events, it was one the accusers who actually turned around and said, no, I`m going to sue you for calling me a liar.

HAYES: Finally, on Les Moonves news today and CBS, again two rounds of allegations, incredibly damning. One of the things we saw with Harvey Weinstein was first there were sort of employment and business consequences. Right, he`s fired from Miramax. And then civil suits. And then criminal, you know, he is arrested and charged criminally.

Some of the just things being described in Moonves, are if they indeed happened, are -- is criminal sexual assault, fairly cleanly.

What do you think his exposure now is legally, broadly speaking?

MCQUADE: Well, in terms of criminal charges it`s going to depend on when this happened. You know different places have different statutes of limitations, so depending on how long ago, there may or may not be potential criminal charges. Same with civil statutes.

Where President Trump gets himself into trouble is that aggressive denial, because that`s what led to the defamation lawsuit and he freshened the statute of limitations by making those allegations then.

So, Moonves has denied these allegation. So, if he goes so far as to call these women liars, he could actually expose himself to a civil suit.

HAYES: All right, Barbara McQuade here in Ann Arbor, and Megan Twohey, thank you very much. Appreciate it.


HAYES: All right, much to get to here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, including some original reporting with our very own and beloved Trymaine Lee. We`ll also talk to the woman who wants to replace Rick Snyder as the governor in this state and I`ll talk to some of the voters here with me at Connor O`Neal`s pub about what they`re thinking about just 57 days out.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to Miss America 2019. We have an amazing show tonight. So let`s kick it off with this year`s 51 candidates live in our parade of states.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a state with 84 percent of the U.S. freshwater, but none for residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Simoa.


HAYES: In case you missed that, that was Miss Michigan taking her moment of introduction at the Miss America pageant...


HAYES: call out the still ongoing water crisis in her home state. A lot of important stories happening in the Great Lakes State, which is why we`re here coming to you live from Michigan tonight and tomorrow. And on Wednesday, I`ll be hosting a special hour with film maker Michael Moore in Flint, his hometown.

We`ll talk to some of the voters who are fired up after not casting a ballot in the 2016 election. We`ll also have some exclusive clips from Moore`s highly anticipated new movie Fahrenheit 11/9.




Stop. Resist it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president`s powers here are beyond question.

MOORE: Ladies and gentlemen, the last president of the United States.


HAYES: So, tune in tomorrow night for another live show from the great state of Michigan. and Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern for ALL IN America: Michael Moore in Trump Country.


HAYES: We are live in Michigan tonight in Ann Arbor at Connor O`Neal`s, and in Flint tomorrow with a special town hall on Wednesday with Michael Moore.

Now, Michigan was one of the key battlegrounds for 2016 where Donald Trump narrowly won the state, in part, because of people who didn`t vote in the presidential election or even vote at all.

Our own Trymaine Lee talked to someone who went from not voting two years ago to being a candidate in the local race this year.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pull my name up, I`ve been a registered Democrat all my life. The first time I voted was in 1992. I was so excited to vote for Bill Clinton, because I was born in Arkansas as well.

I think voting is important. And your vote is so important you just can`t give it away.

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC: In 2016, you didn`t vote?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the presidential election. I had such a bad taste in my mouth about the whole entire thing. I was literally disgusted. And I`m not going to lie, I was supporting Hillary two years before she made the decision, but during the election, they did come to Flint and they made Flint a lot of promises, and the promises haven`t been fulfilled.

LEE: So Donald Trump wins during the campaign. I think you mentioned Flint and talking about some infrastructure plan to help save Flint.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came for that one photo op and he hasn`t mentioned Flint. He`s been in office two years now. I think Flint should have been the poster child for infrastructure.

LEE: Had people, in light of the crisis, been able to organize politically in terms of changing some of the dynamics that might have led to the problem in the first place?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most definitely. We have to put ourselves in these positions in seats to speak for regular folk that have been affected, that who know what it`s like to be sick, that knows what it feels like sit three hours in a line waiting for water, because you don`t have a choice, because you don`t even have a nickel in your house.

This midterm, especially for the city of Flint and Genesee County, is one of the most important mid-terms we`ve had in decades. I`m hoping that with that being said, that this can put that fire back under, not just the young folk, just folk in general.

LEE: Are you considering running or are you running or...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m definitely running. I am on the ballot for November. And, yes, it`s way out of my lane and league.

LEE: What position?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: County commissioner, second district. It`s about do you know your county and you can`t listen to what the people and folk and business owners want and need. And it may not always benefit you personally, but if it benefits the masses, I think you`ll be blessed with the things that fall in place.


HAYES: All right, we`re back here with Trymaine Lee who has been out in Michigan doing some field reporting.

You know, there is so much attention on the Trump/Obama voter, on the swing voter. If you look at states like Michigan, folks that just didn`t vote who had been voting before, are as big a piece of the mathematical puzzle.

LEE: That`s right. Spending any time in Flint -- and obviously it`s a special circumstance, but I heard one of two things consistently. One is that they cannot trust local politicians. They don`t believe anything they say. The city was poisoned, they believe, the leadership covered it up.

The second was that they feel abandoned by Democrats and Republicans, especially in tough working class city. And they feel like they`ve been abandoned over it for corporate interests, right. They put profit over people.

HAYES: I thought it was really interesting, too, what she was saying which is that we know that there was a very sort of cynical undertaking by the Trump campaign to suppress the vote, right? I mean, essentially to send the message being, like, eh, it`s all corrupt, it`s all fixed. And clearly that message did work in some cases.

LEE: Well, it resonates because in day to day life, right, people left out by their politicians.

HAYES: Particularly in that city.

LEE: Especially a place where people were poisoned. And that footage taken last week. There are still lines of cars that wrap around the block and down the highway simply for water and canned foods, and no one was there to protect them.

HAYES: And now she, though, is -- decided to run for county commissioner because she feels like she`s had a kind of political awakening in the wake of that election.

LEE: I hate to use the word resilience, because someone told me once that resilience is not a natural state. But the people of Flint are so resilient. They`re organizing around the vote. And people like Gina Luster (ph) said, you know what, if we want to make a change, we have to be that change.

HAYES: So, I want to talk to some folks here, because one of the things that we`ve seen over the -- particular last eight years, right, was that huge turnout in 2008, 2012, much more diminished in 2010 and 2014.

What`s your name?

UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: My name is Chelsea Renig (ph)

HAYES: And Chelsea (ph), you`re a law student here, is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: that`s correct.

HAYES: How would you say your level of engagement for the midterms is, like 1 to 10?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I mean, like 10 now.

HAYES: And has that been the case in the past or do you feel like the last two years has sort of clarified for you the importance of these kinds of elections?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was from like traditionally blue state, and then so moving to Michigan to come to school. And once Trump was elected, like I decided I was coming to law school. I was working as a barista before, and decided I couldn`t just sit down and do nothing. I applied to law school and got in here and now I`m really involved.

HAYES: Do you feel like it gave you some sort of sense of mission?


HAYES: And how about you? What`s your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maggie Turner (ph).

HAYES: All right, so Maggie, what is your 1 to 10 midterm engagement?


HAYES: 20, right.

And what does that mean? I mean, I know a lot of organizers and one of the things they`ll say is it can be really hard. Like you call people up, you cold call them and you say I want you to come out and do a volunteer shift. I want you to knock on some doors. And most people are like, ah, you know, I`m busy, and we`re all busy. What`s your level of engagement. How have you sort of changed in the way you think about these midterm elections.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, there is a level of emergency for these midterms like unlike anything that I felt over the last couple of years. We`re law students, like we said, we are getting people to volunteer, to help others register to vote. We`re getting them to canvas. We`re getting them to serve as neutral poll watchers to ensure that everyone has their rights.

HAYES: Have you done that stuff before?


HAYES: What has been surprising or interesting to you about starting to do that work, engage with people at that level?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just seeing the energy around these elections and seeing people react and step up to the plate and just the community around that.

HAYES: Yeah, there is an interesting community here.

I want to talk you, you women over here, yeah.

You were saying before you wanted to talk to me. Don`t act surprised now. What`s your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Linda Maloney (ph).


HAYES: So, how active are you right now or how focused are you on the mid terms?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we`ve both been very focused on the whole thing since Donald Trump took office. We marched in Washington, D.C.

HAYES: For the Women`s March?

UNIDENTIFIED FFEMALE: Yes, for the Women`s March.

We`ve been doing lots of things -- writing letters, and going to congressional offices, and yelling at our kids to vote.

HAYES: And is that something you`ve always done or is there a sort of particular intensity that happened post 2016.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s post-2016. So, you know, I joined the League of Women Voters getting people signing votes, promote the vote that`s going to be on the ballot in November, just went to learn how to register people to vote, learned about which is a, I guess, a competition that colleges are doing to register kids to vote.

So, yeah, just very excited to be helping.

But we`ve got to get people out to vote.

HAYES: This is the big question for the midterms, right, is who shows up, which electorate.

All right, thank you all. I think it`s a little snapshot. Obviously, I wouldn`t call this a scientifically representative sample.

We`ll be back with the gubernatorial candidate in the state of Michigan in just a few seconds. Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES: On a day chock full of bad polling news for the president, the White House is desperately touting the latest numbers on the economy, which to be fair look pretty good -- economic growth, low unemployment, inflation in check. But with the sinking presidential popularity, is that really what matters to most voters this year?

Here to help me answer that question, former member of the president`s council of economic advisers, the chief economist of the Department of Labor under President Obama Betsey Stevenson, and the Democratic nominee for governor Gretchen Whitmer, nice to have you.

So, I watched 50 minutes of the local news. I saw four RGA ads against you, that were basically made this case -- obviously, Michigan had a really rough -- got hit by the recession, and basically the case goes, things were bad, we`ve gotten so much better. We can`t go back if you elect Gretchen Whitmer. We`ll go back to the bad old days. What`s your response to that?

GRETCHEN WHITMER, DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN: They`re scared and they should be. You know, Michiganders are tired of government that doesn`t work for us. We`ve got roads that are falling apart. We`ve got communities that can`t drink their water. Our education system that used to be envy of the world is now in the bottom 10 in our country, and it`s lot because Betsy Devos` policies that have been here for a lot longer then the rest of the country has been seeing.

We`ve got work to do.

HAYES: So, I want to just follow up, though, because what you`ve got with Rick Snyder in 2010 was extreme austerity, right. I mean, big tax cuts and austerity, and the emergency manager was part of that system. It sounds to me like what you`re calling for is more spending, more investments in public goods.

WHITMER: Listen, we`re all paying more. We`re paying more to fix our cars. We`re paying to buy bottled water. We`re paying to hire tutors for our kids. We are paying under Republicans, we`re just doing it in a way that doesn`t actually fix the problem.

I offer a real plan for Michiganganders so that we can make this the state where our kids stay and our families thrive and other people come, too, for opportunity again. That`s the great legacy of this state. And today`s families deserve no less.

HAYES: The economy, it`s very interesting to watch the White House try to get traction on the economy, and I understand why they do. I mean, every president, right if you -- 3.9 percent unemployment, pretty robust growth you`re going to be touting it and saying, look, I did this. I did this. Why can`t I get credit?

Do you think the numbers are what they appear or are they worse than they appear?

BETSEY STEVENSON, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: Well, I think first of all, it`s hard to give him credit when what we`re talking about is a continuation of a very long period of expansion that began under President Obama, and we haven`t seen any sort of uptick or improvement, we`re just seeing more of the same.

The same is good, but he was on a great glide path. And there was one problem when he came to office, which is that we weren`t get anything wage growth. He hasn`t solved that problem. Workers are not seeing wage growth.

Last month, wage growth was zero, real wage growth, because the wages went up the exact same amount as the prices.

HAYES: It`s so funny, because I had someone on the show who touted the 2.9 percent wage growth, and I got an email immediately saying that was nominal. Inflation went up by 3 percent. It was zero in real dollar terms.

STEVENSON: Right. And so you know what the White House is now saying, well, you know, that`s because you`re thinking about the prices of consumer goods like food and energy and housing. Let`s use the prices that businesses face. They`re not going up by very much.

If we use those prices, then wages are going up.

HAYES: Do you think there`s a -- do you think that folks in Michigan, when you`re out campaigning, how did they describe their economic situation in terms of where they are in this recovery? Do they feel safer or do they still still feel squeezed?

WHITMER: I think they feel squeezed. You know, we have seen -- I have met so many families that haven`t had you know income, you know, change in their income in 10 years, a raise in 10 years. I meet people that are working a couple of minimum wage jobs and cannot make ends meet. No one should be working full time and living in poverty, and that`s what we have in a lot of communities.

On top of it, you see lack of paths to high wage skills, whether it`s unaffordable higher education, or it is a two-year degree that eludes them or lack of an opportunity to get into a skilled trade. You can make a good living right here in Michigan in all paths, but we`ve got to open them up, and that`s I think what levels the playing field that we`re missing.

HAYES: One way in which you could imperil -- right you talked about the glide path, right. So, there is things you could do if you really wanted to like blow it up. And there has been some fear the president would do that with the trade war, right, with the tariffs that are being -- obviously there is a lot of aluminum steel that comes into this state to make a lot of stuff. What effect do you see from that so far? And why hasn`t the effect been bigger?

STEVENSON: So we haven`t seen big effects yet, but when I talk to business owners, they say they`re starting to feel it. The question will be whether it starts showing up in real people`s pockets and jobs before the election or after.

But we`re on a path where that`s causing some problems. There is no way that raising tariffs is going to do anything except for hurt regular people because it`s going to cause the prices to go up. I mean, that is -- we know it`s a little bit of what we`re starting to see

HAYES: Yeah, is that -- what is your position as someone focused on Michigan about what has been happening on the trade front?

WHITMER: Well, I mean, Michigan workers can compete with anyone on the planet, but we`ve got to have a level playing field. And this theory that you can set international policy via tweet is just plain dumb, whether you`re a farmer in Michigan or you are an automaker or someone who is in that industry, we`re all paying a price for this will willy-nilly approach. We need a comprehensive approach that exports Michigan goods, not Michigan jobs.

HAYES: All right.

Well, we`ll see how much the feud with your neighbors to the north intensifies who is now becoming apparently public enemy number one.

Betsey Stevenson and Gretchen Whitmer, who is running for governor here on the Democratic ticket, thank you very much for joining us.

That is ALL IN this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.


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