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21 days out from midterms. TRANSCRIPT: 10/16/2018, All In w Chris Hayes.

Guests: Nate Cohn, Ryan Costello, Liuba Grechen Shirley, Michelle Goldberg, Sam Seder, Chris Murphy

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 16, 2018 Guest: Nate Cohn, Ryan Costello, Liuba Grechen Shirley, Michelle Goldberg, Sam Seder, Chris Murphy

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



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want you to vote. Pretend I`m on the ballot.

HAYES: Three weeks from the last chance to put a check on Donald Trump. Tonight there is new data and a new national message for Democrats.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

HAYES: Then as the President attacked Stormy Daniels --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President of the United States called a woman with whom he had an alleged sexual relationship horse face.

HAYES: What we know about Michael Cohen`s conversations with Robert Mueller. Plus, Senator Chris Murphy on the Trump P.R. offensive on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the alarming convergence of the Grand Old Party with far-right street violence.


HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. We are now just 21 days, three weeks, from Midterm Elections that will reveal whether the much-discussed a blue wave is real and whether it is big enough to deliver one or even both houses of Congress the Democrats. Tonight new evidence that should give Democrats some reason to worry and crucially light a fire under those who believe Congress should be a check on Donald Trump and not a rubber stamp. That evidence and analysis from NBC News and the New York Times polling gurus in just a moment but first, the latest on the natural landscape this three days -- three weeks before Election Day.

FiveThirtyEight now estimating Democrats have an 84 percent chance to win control the House and a 19 percent chance to beat the odds and take the Senate. For their part, Trump the Republicans have been using combination of fear-mongering and well, outright lying as they try to keep their grip on power. Nowhere was the misrepresentation more rampant than when it comes to health care. And debate last night for example in Arizona, Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally who voted is a member of Congress to repeal ObamaCare and weaken protections for people with pre- existing conditions had this to say.


REP. MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA: I`ve voted to protect people with pre- existing conditions, to make sure insurance companies were forced to give them health care. We cannot go back to where we were before ObamaCare where people were one diagnosis away from going bankrupt because they could not get access to health care.


HAYES: OK. But here`s what McSally actually voted for, a bill to replace ObamaCare in which insurers would be able to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or arthritis. Possibly they`re requiring people to pay thousands of dollars extra every year to remain insured. Even more egregious was a comment today from the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell who said this with an entirely straight face.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s going on with the debt?

MCCONNELL: It`s very disturbing and it`s just ruined by the three big entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.


HAYES: There`s a lot there to unpack, but just that is the leader the Republicans in the Senate promising to come for Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid if Republicans hold on to power. He added the deficit and debt are "disappointing but it`s not a Republican problem which is an impressive display of chutzpah since we just learned the deficit has swelled to the largest it`s been in six years and that`s due largely if not almost entirely to the tax cuts primarily for corporations and the rich the Republicans push through while insisting time and time again and despite all evidence to the contrary the bill would actually reduce the deficit.

Now, as for the Midterms, Democrats have reason for optimism particularly in the House, an 11 point lead in the generic Congressional ballot according to one recent poll and a massive really remarkable fundraising advantage with 90 percent of Democrats in top races out raising their Republican rivals. But GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam donated $32 million to boost GOP candidates just last month alone. And some new data from our own NBC News shop suggests uncertainty of where the blue wave will materialize and a mixed a picture in battleground states.

To explain, I want to bring in John Lipinski Director of the NBC News Elections Unit. Also with me Nate Cohn who covers elections polling and demographics from the New York Times and has been doing remarkable work polling competitive House races and Senate races. Good to have you both here. The data on voter registration, you guys have this -- all this data on voter registration, what`s it look like?

JOHN LAPINSKI, DIRECTOR, NBC NEWS ELECTIONS UNIT: So one of the things that we found that was really interesting was is that when we looked at the 2016 data versus the 2018 data, there was a lot of similarities. And so the very first thing that we saw is when we looked at the number of Democrats and Republicans actually registering from 2016-2018 they were almost identical. And so what was really interesting we thought there was is like you look at the numbers and looks like wow, it`s good news for the Democrats because there`s more Democrats that are registering. But we said the same thing in 2016.

HAYES: Right. Although we should also say it`s not quite apples to apples because it`s a Midterm versus the presidential and you would expect presidentials to push more people towards --

LAPINSKI: Absolutely. So in raw numbers, there`s actually less.

HAYES: Right.

LAPINSKI: They`re at about 25 million new people who have registered or updated their status in 2018 versus about 40 million in 2016. So you`re absolutely right, you`re going to get less. But what we really care about is looking at the partisanship because when -- you know it`s all about the ground game, Chris. And so you know, what we really want to see is like well what is the rate of Democrats versus Republicans actually registering and they`re -- you know, they`re strikingly similar from 2016 eight to 18.

HAYES: You have been -- you guys have been polling in all these races and you got this amazing thing where you`re doing these sort of live polls. You can kind of watch them happen. There was a sort of narrative about the kind of like Kavanaugh effect to this sort of catalyzing effect that it was charging the Republican base. Now that we`re a week plus out from that, what trends are you seeing now?

NATE COHN, CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I wish I could answer this in a week actually. I feel like the last two days just watching the news, I feel like these are the first two days that feel truly post Kavanaugh.

HAYES: Yes, I agree.

COHN: I would say though that in our polling we saw several seemingly contradictory things that happened the same time. We saw support for Kavanaugh plummet, we saw the president`s approval rating at the same time tick up, and we saw that the Republicans started doing better in red and conservative-leaning areas that has helped cushion their advantage in the Senate. And while I wouldn`t say that it you know, materially undermined Democratic chances of retaking the House, I do think it`s sort of you know, protects the Republicans a bit against some of the worst-case scenarios where maybe they could lose 50 seats or something like that.

And to be clear it`s quite possible that after another week I`ll come back to you and say actually we`ve had a reversion back to what we sort of saw before Kavanaugh and much more characteristics of the special elections of the last year, right where Democrats routinely succeeded in breaking through in deeply conservative areas.

HAYES: How -- I mean, everyone I know if it has like 2016 PTSD in a variety of different ways. I mean, obviously the there was a lot of people were very confident that there was going to be one outcome, that was not the outcome that happened. How well do you feel like you`re modeling this race?

COHN: I think that there are some things that are really -- I wouldn`t say that they`re easy to get right but we have had a year of special and general election since Trump.

HAYES: Which are like actual results which is a key thing.

COHN: They`re actual results, they`re actual turnouts and many of the polls you know, were actually pretty good throughout that period for one thing but you know, just out of that data we have a good sense of who`s likely going to vote that in the past and who isn`t and there`s strong evidence that turnout among well-educated voters and well-educated Democrats in particular is going to be up a lot. So that`s one really important thing that I think that we understand well.

But then I think is harder to understand this election is about individual races. I mean in a presidential race we get dozens of polls of each of these battleground districts. And so we`re like Clinton`s ahead by two and four.

HAYES: Right.

COHN: The polls can be wrong but like we know what`s happening in Florida. Today we cannot say that about really any of the House races and we certainly can`t say much about you know, the races that will decide that.

HAYES: Well, and there`s huge gaps. And one other thing that`s interesting with the voter registration data it`s another sort of form of tangible data that we can get and there`s sort of differences in states like Florida, Indiana, Montana, for instance where you`re not seeing the same trends uniformly across states.

LAPINSKI: It is absolutely -- that is actually 100 percent true. What we`re seeing is in some places you know, the Democrats are doing great. So for example, Tester, you know, when you`re actually looking at that registration data, if we`re thinking about Senate races, his numbers are way up from 2016 but then you go to Florida and the numbers are essentially the same as 2016 and then you go to Indiana and Donnelly, that Democratic numbers are actually down. And we`re seeing that -- you know, again, we poured into this perfect smart data we`re seeing that in Senate races, we`re looking at out rate House races and we`re not seeing something that`s uniform across the board.

And even as you said we had all these special elections and primaries and everything in 2016, what we saw is a lot of sort of enthusiasm of people who are regular general election voters. And what we`re seeing in this registration data is something that maybe makes us take a little bit of a step back thinking that maybe this wave that we you know, a lot of people think that they might be seen maybe it`s certainly not a uniform one at least from what we`re looking at the registration data we`re going to be pouring into the early voting data in the next couple weeks to see what we find.

HAYES: One thing we have seen is in Midterms recently that things have moved in sort of increasingly natural ways particularly towards the end. We saw that happen in 2006, we saw it happen in 2010, 2014. Is that you`re sort of understanding of the basic structural facts of how politics and elections work?

COHN: I think that`s a reasonable description of what has happened in some recent cycles. I`m not sure whether I would be confident about saying that`s how you know elections always work or how we can expect them to work and we`re pretty late at this point. You know, in 2006 a lot of the wave is it`s sort of broken by now. And the other thing I would note is that there`s a distinction between what`s happening at the national level and what happens in individual house races. And you know, the generic ballot is well established to be very strong for the Democrats right now.

Does that mean that over the final few weeks as the Democrats deployed this massive financial advantage that they will succeed in persuading on the side of the voters to their side? I mean I think that`s quite possible but it`s a sort of thing I think it`s hard to assume will happen just because it`s happened in the past.

HAYES: All right, John Lipinski and Nick Cohn, thank you both for being with me. We learned this week the tax cut Republicans passed largely to the benefit of the rich in corporations led to an explosion the deficit which jumps 17 percent as a tax cuts ate into government revenue. Now, back when Republicans were pushing this very same plan, Mitch McConnell insisted that cutting revenue to reward wealthy donors would have the opposite effect.


MCCONNELL: I not only don`t think it will increase the deficit I think it will be beyond revenue neutral. In other words, I think it will produce more than enough to fill that gap.

I`m totally confident this is a revenue-neutral bill. I think it will be a revenue producer.

I`m totally convinced this is a revenue neutral bill, actually a revenue producer bill that`s going to get America moving again.

Well let me say, we would only have -- the economy would only have to grow four-tenths of one percent over ten years to fill that deficit gap. I`m aware and totally confident this is a revenue neutral bill and probably a revenue producer. I`m not somebody who believes you can just cut taxes everywhere and get more revenue. I`m closer to the position of a deficit hawk.


HAYES: With me now Republican Representative Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania who plans to retire from Congress at the end of this term. It`s good to have you here in studio.

REP. RYAN COSTELLO (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you.

HAYES: Mitch McConnell was wrong.

COSTELLO: Well, he`d be right about the fact that if we grow at four- tenths of a point on average higher over ten years you don`t have the estimated trillion dollar deficit.

HAYES: Yes, if we grew it -- if we grew at eight percent where we could have all -- we could all have ponies for everyone.

COSTELLO: Four-tenths is not that much on a ten-year average if you`re combining it with some other pro-growth policies.

HAYES: What has happened so far is it is expanded the deficit, do you agree?


HAYES: OK. Good. But -- and that was also --

COSTELLO: Let`s also just some other caveats and --

HAYES: OK, but it has done that. I guess the other question here is again, I don`t care personally because I think I`m like their deficit dove, I don`t think it`s that big a deal honestly. But there was everyone saying, I mean lots of independent analysts were saying this is a tax cut this is not revenue neutral. It started out as it`s going to a tax reform, it was going to be revenue neutral, it just wasn`t. And I guess what I find a little frustrating is like Mitch McConnell and everyone ran around saying it was when we all knew it wasn`t good enough.

COSTELLO: Well, a couple things. One, we didn`t know what the CBO projection was going to be until it ultimately came out. I would take issue with some of what the CBO projections are. I would also say that we have over a hundred billion more in individual and payroll tax receipts than we estimated and that we have more tax revenue in, we`re an all-time high right now. All good facts. Those are good facts too.

HAYES: Yes. If you look at one side of the ledger, there`s more money, but then if you look at the other side of ledger there`s hundreds of billions of less money.

COSTELLO: Which is attributable for a couple reasons and two of which are an increase in defense spending which we need. We talk about how important NATO is, we do a lot around the world. Number two, we have higher interest rates which is going to lead to our debt payments being higher and you will remind me of --

HAYES: Well, so -- but here`s the thing. Why do we have to pretend every time like Republicans care about deficits? Like the record is very clear. The deficits rise under Reagan, they rise under George W. Bush, they have risen under Trump, they shrank during Bill Clinton and they shrank during Barack Obama. Those are the about where the deficit was when they came into office and where they left. And yet we all have to sort of pretend that like Republicans care about the deficit. They clearly don`t which is fine. But why not just be honest about that fact?

COSTELLO: I think -- I think the debt that we have is very serious. I think to look at where we are --

HAYES: But your actions don`t reflect that. That`s the thing. You can say that sitting here with me but like you voted for the tax cuts, right?


HAYES: Which is fine. You voted with the tax cuts but just own it. Like --

COSTELLO: I`m owning it.

HAYES: Right.

COSTELLO: But I would also say to you --

HAYES: But that drove up the deficit.

COSTELLO: We are nine months into it. There`s a ten-year projection --

HAYES: I will make any bet you -- I mean any bet you want, we play a basketball game --

COSTELLO: We`ll do that.

HAYES: I will give to your favorite charity. Like name the let`s benchmark year or --

COSTELLO: We`ll stick with basketball. We`ll stick with basketball.

HAYES: I mean, it will --

COSTELLO: Let`s look at a couple of years down the line to see where our growth projections are because again, back to what leader McConnell did say and he`s correct. If you take even one-tenth of a GDP point and average it over ten years --

HAYES: Congressman, respectfully, that is magical thinking. But here`s what we`re seeing.

COSTELLO: No, you have to assume --

HAYES: Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into the profits of corporations, profits are up, right? They have gone into the pockets of people at the top, right? There is some money that has gone to people who are average family wage earners --

COSTELLO: Couple thousand dollars a year, the most average --

HAYES: It depends, right? But we have not seen any big wage growth. It`s not like there`s been some massive investment --

COSTELLO: We have the highest wage growth in over ten years. We`ve had --

HAYES: It was 0.7 percent in the last quarter. It barely eked out.

COSTELLO: We`ve had there percent a year over.

HAYES: Yes, before inflation, it`s 2.6 percent inflation.


HAYES: Right. so in real terms, it`s barely anything.

COSTELLO: Well, without it, we wouldn`t have -- it would -- we`d be below.

HAYES: So let me ask you this, you are here talking about the tax cuts with me which I appreciate. You`re not running --

COSTELLO: I`m here to talk about whatever you want.

HAYES: Well, but here`s the thing. You`re not running for re-election and I`ve got on YouTube all the time. I look at these competitive races. What do you know, you`re a Republican trying to keep your seat in a competitive race. You don`t hear about the tax bill. You barely hear about anything substantive. What you hear about is that like Nancy Pelosi is going to invite MS-13 over your house and Colin Kaepernick doesn`t you know, stand up for the flag and Democrats are a mob and Nancy Pelosi 21 times. Isn`t that weird that you guys have had the government for two years and are not running on what you did?

COSTELLO: Isn`t it weird that Democrats are not even offering an agenda right now? It`s simply we don`t like Trump. They have not rolled out any sort of contract with America or anything of sort --

HAYES: But you`ve seen -- you`ve seen the data on this, and again I`ve been surprised by this. When you look at the YouTube ads, it`s all health care. Every Democrat is running on health care.


HAYES: I mean, substantively, you could say they`re wrong about it, but like they really are running on health care. It is strange to me that Republicans who have had all three branches of government or two houses of Congress and the White House are not running on the things that you guys did which you seem to think are good.

COSTELLO: Well no, I think if you if you look historically when the economy is going well --


COSTELLO: You can`t run the economy. People -- no, I`m being serious. People -- it`s kind of baked into the cake.

HAYES: They priced it in.

COSTELLO: They really do. And you see this time and time again. And so ultimately you have to go where your voters are and we have Republicans running to the base and we have Democrats running to the base. We still have a lot of centrist voters and that`s where I think to Nate`s point a little while ago, there`s not a blue wave yet. I mean, a lot of things could happen on Election Day and this generic ballot while it may be plus 10 or whatever it is, in a toss-up districts it`s like two or three or four. Now, when we play basketball, I don`t know if it`s going to be a two or three point game, Chris --

HAYES: Well, we`re going to play basketball and we`re also going to mark the time when we get -- I get to collect on my deficits debt. It`s great to have you.

COSTELLO: Good to be with you. Thanks.

HAYES: Come back any time. All right, Congressman Peter King, a colleague of Congressman Costello`s here is also Republican in New York. He has represented his Long Island district for 25 years and largely defeated his democratic opponents for years with total ease. If there is going to be a big blue wave, it is a candidate like King long believed to be rock-solid safe who will find themselves out of a job. With three weeks to the Midterms, that looks like a possibility.

FiveThirtyEight now estimates that King`s Democratic challenger has a two in seven chance of defeating King and flipping that seat blue and that challenger Liuba Grechen Shirley who joins me now. I should note we also invited Congressman King on the show. I wanted to talk to him for a long time. His office did not respond.

You started out getting a lot of attention for this sort of remarkable petition to the FEC. You`re a mom, you got two kids to be able to pay for child care through the money that you`ve raised for the campaign. How does that worked out because you won?

LIUBA GRECHEN SHIRLEY (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NEW YORK: Yes -- no, it`s worked out. It`s incredible because it`s actually changed the way that people will run for office. There`s a reason that we have so many millionaires in Congress. For an average working American to take a year off of your life, give up your salary, pay your mortgage pay your taxes and your school loans, and also pick up the cost of child care, it`s nearly impossible which is why we have so many people in Washington who don`t understand the issues that we live with every day.

And I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old. I ran the first six months of the campaign with my kids till 3:30 every day when my mother would come home she`s a teacher and she`d take them. I would be at campaign rallies with a baby strapped to my chest and it`s difficult but we put this request in, they approved it was bipartisan even, Fox News said it was the one bipartisan thing they could agree with, and we`ve already seen women in seven different states put in similar requests at the State Election Commission.

HAYES: You have raised a lot of money. Did you outraise him in the last quarter?

SHIRLEY: We outraised him in the last two quarters. This last quarter we actually outraised him by more than half a million dollars with no corporate PAC money.

HAYES: Yes, so where`s the -- why are you being -- why are you raising so much money? How?

SHIRLEY: Because people are sick and tired of career politicians and millionaires making really bad decisions for the rest of us. Peter King has been in office since I was 12. He voted to take health care away from 74,000 people in our district. That`s one in ten. He didn`t protect us against the tax bill in fact he said he was in basic agreement with the tax bill and that there`s nothing wrong with cutting taxes on the top one percent of people. He has --

HAYES: Would you repeal that -- would you vote for repeal --

SHIRLEY: Yes, absolutely. We need real tax cuts for working Americans. When we have tax cuts in corporations, we have more money in the hands of corporate executives. They go out and buy yachts. When we have more money in the hands of working Americans, we buy groceries. We start small businesses. We are the job creators. And we have such inequality right now that people are in my district are working three jobs to make ends meet. And people are sick and tired of politics as usual and people voting for their corporate donors.

Peter King has taken almost percent of his campaign contributions from corporate PACs. When you take hundreds of thousands of dollars in the healthcare industry and you vote to leave 74,000 people in your district without health care, people start paying attention and that`s why we`re able to raise the money.

HAYES: So this -- I`ve watched some of your ads. It -- this sort of is in line with what I was just saying with Congressman Costello but you do seem to -- I mean, the tax cuts in health care bill which are the two big domestic policy priorities of this Republican Congress. You are running explicitly against what the Republicans did, like on substantive legislature grounds.

SHIRLEY: Absolutely.

HAYES: Do you think that`s -- do you think that`s winnable in your district?

SHIRLEY: Our district has been ignored for so long. Last year I actually asked Peter King if he would hold a town hall and he told me that a town hall would diminish democracy. He said I`m on the news all the time, everybody knows what I think about the issues. It`s time for --

HAYES: He actually --

SHIRLEY: He actually said that. He actually said --

HAYES: That`s a direct quote, diminish democracy.

SHIRLEY: It`s a direct quote, it will diminish democracy. It is -- there`s a recording of it and it`s a direct quote. He actually said last week when a reporter asked him about the town -- I organized a town hall for him. Hundreds of people showed up. There`s a six-foot cardboard cutout of Peter King in my attic right now and this is why I`m running because I have had enough of having a representative who refuses to do the job.

He doesn`t understand -- he actually said last week at the Town Hall that I held, he said I refused to succumb to mob rule. This is the new Republican talking point. Mob rule to sit down and talk to your constituents and answer questions about your voting record? That`s -- you`re not doing the job. And that`s why we`ve got Democrats supporting us, we`ve got Republicans supporting us.

HAYES: Well, you`ve better in that district. You can`t win with just Democrats in your district.

SHIRLEY: You know there are a lot of Democrats in our districts.

HAYES: Yes, registered, yes.

SHIRLEY: There are, but we have a lot of Republican support. People love that we`re not taking any corporate PAC money. They love that we`re talking about the issues and have these issues actually affect their bottom line. Peter King has completely ignored the districts. When you knock on doors, we`ve not done more than a hundred thousand doors. We knocked on more than seven thousand doors in one day alone this week. When you knock on doors, people don`t even know who Peter King is. They want to hear what you`re going to do for their family.

HAYES: Right, Liuba Grechen Shirley, really great to have you here. Thank you. Come back.

SHIRLEY: Thank you. Thank you very much.

HAYES: Coming up, the President of United States for the first time ever responds to the allegation that he criminally conspired what this person was trying to break the law. Plus, what we know about what Michael Cohen is telling Robert Mueller in two minutes.


HAYES: Just hours ago, for the first time ever, the President was asked directly about the testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen who swore under oath in federal court that he paid hush money to two women at the direction of then-Candidate Trump for the "principal purpose of influencing the election and in violation of the law." Now Jonathan Lemire of The Associated Press asked Trump about this today. He accused Cohen of "lying under oath, calling his claim "totally false" and deriving his longtime personal attorney as a P.R. person who did small legal work."

The President`s comments coming just one day after a new report in Vanity Fair about what Michael Cohen has been up to since his guilty plea in August. "Despite having no formal cooperation agreement with the government, Cohen has willingly assisted and provided information critical to several ongoing investigations according to two sources familiar with the situation in a string of meetings that have exceeded more than 50 hours in some. The author of that piece, Emily Jane Fox joins me now. 50 hours seems like a lot.

EMILY JANE FOX, REPORTER, VANITY FAIR: 50 hours seem to maybe have gotten under the skin of President Trump. That`s an unnerving number of hours. Especially -- look, the President may have said that Michael Cohen was a P.R. person who did a small number of legal -- small amount of legal work from wherever it -- whatever he said. It is true that Michael Cohen was not the chief lawyer in the Trump Organization and it is true that Michael Cohen was a spokesperson at times for the Trump Organization and apart from the Trump campaign. That is not what Michael Cohen`s chief role was in the Trump Organization. We heard a conversation --

HAYES: Yes, on the tape, you`re sure what his role was.

FOX: They`re literally talking about paying after off a woman. Now, I was in court the day that Cohen pleaded guilty. It wasn`t voluntary for him to get up and say that he was directed by a candidate who was President Trump to make these payments to women and the charge and that he was pleading guilty to. He didn`t have to say any of it. He had written down notes and got up out of his chair and read that he was directed by the President to make that payment. He was under oath.

There is no reason why someone would be under oath and voluntarily lie in a court of law. The President is not under oath when he`s giving this interview.

HAYES: Are you saying we should not take the President`s denials at face value? He`s the president, I will remind you.

FOX: Has the President been truthful about the situation with Stormy Daniels and the payments one time on the record from the begining?

HAYES: Not once. He has lied about it from the beginning.

FOX: So if past is any indication, would you think that he would all of a sudden be being honest about this now when someone is under oath and they are awaiting sentencing potentially serving up to 65 years in prison? Just the balance of who has the incentive to lie and who was under oath and really lies in Cohen`s favor in its instance.

HAYES: And presumably also you`ve got the Southern District New York who`s coordinating the plea, who were not going to have him go up there and perjure himself about what he did.

FOX: Well, certainly you would think by now someone would have raised their hand and say, by the way this guy is perjuring himself. We would have heard that. They -- the guilty plea, would have been ripped up right there. He wouldn`t been able to sign it.

HAYES: There was a lot of confusion. So Michael Cohen, pleas -- and there`s a question about does he have a cooperation agreement, right? He`s pleaded guilty with these federal crimes, he`s implicated the president in directing him to come with a federal crimes, he`s now sat down with investigators for 50 hours. His sentencing has not happened yet, right? I mean --

FOX: His sentencing happens in December.

HAYES: And presumably he`s hoping that the cooperation helps him on that.

FOX: So he does -- from my reporting, he does not have an official cooperating agreement but he has assisted and cooperated with investigators both in the SDNY, the Special Counsel`s Office and also with New York State who`s looking into --

HAYES: Tax issues.

FOX: Tax issues and the Trump Foundation.

HAYES: What are they talking about? What`s he telling them?

FOX: I don`t exactly know. I do know --

HAYES: But he has talked to Mueller`s team?

FOX: He has. He has talked to Mueller`s team. He has talked to the SDNY, he`s talked to state officials and from my reporting, he is not holding back in any of these conversations. He does not have a personal incentive to hold back. He is trying to get the -- he isn`t as cooperative as possible because he`s facing a number of years in prison. And the more cooperative you are, the more likely investigators are to say to the judge who sentenced him, hey, this guy was really cooperative. If he didn`t hold back, he was honest the whole way through. If the opposite is true, they will --

HAYES: He`s screwed.

FOX: -- they will --

HAYES: He has no leverage other than cooperation --

FOX: Exactly. So he is being cooperative.

HAYES: All right, Emily Jane Fox, thank you.

FOX: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Next Senator Chris Murphy wants to know why the President is volunteering himself as the chief P.R. person for the Saudi government as the world tries to find out what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Senator Murphy joins me next.


HAYES: President Donald Trump just compared the possibility that Saudi operatives murdered and dismembered a dissident journalist inside a consulate with the judge he just appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Donald Trump said that the case of missing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is another case of, quote, "guilty until proven innocent." And he said, quote, "we just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh."

Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. He has not been seen since. Tonight, The New York Times reporting that one of the suspects identified by Turkey in the disappearance of Khashoggi was a frequent compaion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the Saudi crown prince`s security detail.

The news breaking just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the crown prince, Saudi officials, ostensibly to investigate Khashoggi`s disappearance while President Trump appears to be laying the ground work for the crown prince and other royals to deny any knowledge of what actually happened in their own consulate.


TRUMP: And it depends whether or not the king or the crown prince knew about it, in my opinion. Number one, what happened, but whether or not they knew about it. If they knew about it, that would be bad.


HAYES: And joining me now Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a member of the foreign relations committee, who wrote about Saudi Arabia`s behavior in a fantastic Washington Post op-ed.

Senator, I want to read to you what the president of the United States just said about the evidence that appears quite significant that the Saudis murdered Jamal Khashoggi. "I think we have to find out what happened first. Here we go again with, you know, you`re guilty until proven innocent. I don`t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I`m concerned."

What do you think?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: So we`re comparing the standard to select a Supreme Court justice to the standard to assess whether a U.S. resident has been butchered in a Saudi consulate abroad. This is bordering upon the surreal. And the fact of the matter is, the Saudis have now had two weeks to give us any evidence that Khashoggi left. We have all of this leaked reporting from the Turks suggesting that something truly awful happened inside that consulate.

And I think we have to ask some questions now why, you know, our president is volunteering himself as the chief PR agent for the Saudi government. The Saudis didn`t have to leak the story, but maybe it was rogue agents that carried out this likely murder, because the president of the United States was the one who floated it to the world.

And when this is all said and done, and we likely learn that something did happen to Khashoggi, very terrible and gruesome inside that consulate, we`re all going to have to ask ourselves why the president has volunteered himself to do work that you would normally expect the Saudis to have to do on their own.

HAYES: And there was also, today, Mike Pompeo, whose dispatched there. And really appears -- you know, he`s seen smiling with Mohammad bin Salman, appearing to laugh. He releases a statement he thinks they`re really committed to transparency. I mean, what is that?

MURPHY: I mean, just think of what`s happening here. The Saudis have potentially killed a U.s. resident. And it`s not them coming to us to apologize, it`s our secretary of state traveling to them. And the message that that is sending is just so bonechilling.

Somehow U.S. arm sales have become other countries` leverage over us when, in fact, arm sales should be our leverage over them. Other countries should be pressing to stay in our good graces in order to be a recipient of the most advanced and lethal weapons of the world. Instead, it appears that when we sell another country weapons, w have to prostrate ourselves before them. That`s a message that is going to be picked up by the rest of the world with potentially really devastating consequences for U.S. national security.

HAYES: Speaking of those arms sales, you have been very vocal about the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which now threatens millions of people with famine, is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, including children being backed fully by the Trump administration.

Is this a moment to finally end U.S. support for that war?

MURPHY: So, I think it has to. I would, of course, make a case that the U.S. support for the death of thousands of civilians inside Yemen is reason enough to stop our support for the Saudi bombing campaign there.

But there is a direct connection, Chris. We have been relying on the Saudis to represent to us that they aren`t intentionally killing civilians inside Yemen. All of the evidence tells us different, but we have believed them. We now have the Saudis telling us on the record that they didn`t kill Jamal Khashoggi, and it appears that they did.

And so why believe them about what they`re telling us inside Yemen when they`re clearly lying to us, or apparently lying about Khashoggi.

So, I think you can draw a link between the two. And I would imagine that there is not support, Republican or Democrat, in the Senate and the House, to continue arms sales for the Yemen bombing campaign.

HAYES: There`s some, I think, justified skepticism about Turkish intelligence sources. Obviously, the Erdogan government itself has acted in an authoritarian fashion. His thugs beat up Americans on the streets of Washington, D.C. outside the Turkish embassy. It also seems like the Turks have a lot of evidence. What is your understanding of what the Turkish government is doing, because they seem to be escalating every time the Trump administration and bin Salman try to kind of get their stories straight?

MURPHY: So, the Turkish government does not have clean hands here. They have been leaking information apparently without sharing all of it with U.S. sources. And at some point we need them to show us all of their cards.

There has been some reporting suggesting that the Turks may be holding back, because they are trying to cut some side deal with the Saudis maybe over the future of Saudi relations with Qatar. They may be trying to reconcile Saudi Arabia and Qatar and trying to do a deal by which they don`t release some of the tapes if there is some agreement.

But the Turks need to give us what they have. And frankly it doesn`t seem that the Trump administration is pressing the Turks very hard to give us that information given how little Donald Trump seems to know and how much news reporters know who are in touch with Turkish sources.

HAYES: It also seems entirely plausible that the president of the United States and the Saudi regime conclude that there were some rogue elements, it was an extradition gone wrong and then the Turks leak a tape of the guy being murdered, literally.

MURPHY: Right. And, you know, again, the Saudis have been on the record over and over denying that anything happened inside the consulate.

HAYES: Right.

MURPHY: Telling the world that he left. And so even if they come up with some story that suggests it was a rogue element of friends of the crown prince who did this, we shouldn`t forget that they lied to the world...

HAYES: Right.

MURPHY: ...for weeks telling us he actually left the consulate, which should maybe cause us to doubt the sincerity of the news story whenever that emerges.

HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, as always, thanks for your time.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: Ahead, what happened after a group of New York Republicans invited a hate group to speak at an event. Sam Seder and Michelle Goldberg join me to talk about the increasing Republican embrace of the far right.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s hard out there for a Trump supporter looking for love, which is why we`ve seen a rise in dating websites for Trump fans. They share a lot in common, these sites, like, featuring the tagline "make dating great again," which features photos of people who are supposedly Trump supporters, but are really quote couples standing in Times Square quarter by night free to download from the stock photo website Shutter Stock.

And There`s Their tag line is "making dating great again." And the people they pretend are Trump supporters in love are actually a young couple having dinner at a restaurant, $33 from iSTock Photo.

Just yesterday, a brand new Trump dating app entered the scene, it`s called Donald Daters. And they`re making America date again, because apparently we`ve stopped dating.

As for their photo, well you can tell me if they look like Trump supporters, but we do know that some real people signed up for Donald Daters. And how we know that is Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: A brand new dating app launched yesterday, it`s called Donald Daters, whch is sadly necessary according to the founder because, quote, "many on the left choose party over love." Heartbreaking but true.

The testimonials on the website are glowing. "Meeting people is hard enough on regular dating apps, so being able to find a Republican match is a big deal for me, "says Lance J from Michigan.

Apparently it`s like Trump version of Tinder, swipe right if you want to lock her up, swipe left to build that wall.

And don`t worry, all your personal information is kept private. Yeah, about that last part, someone kind of hacked it on the first day. Quote, "a security researcher found issues with the app that made it possible to download the entire user database, which included user`s name, profile pictures, device type, their private messages," ouch, "and access tokens which can be used to take over accounts." The site is scrambling to implement new security protocols, but who would do something like this to Donald Daters? The website Tech Crunch says the person who hacked the database is a French researcher named Elliot Alderson, or it could have been somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?


HAYES: Police in New York are on the lookout for nine suspects of a far right group and two counterprotesters after a street brawl following an event in which the founder of the far right group praised the assassination of a Japanese socialist by a Japanese fascist and reenacted the assassination for those in attendance.

And if that sounds bizarre, which it is, consider this event was held at the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York. The founder of the far right group, known as the Proud Guys, or the Happy Dudes, or something like that, was invited invited to speak there.

We are talking about a group that not only spewed enough hate to be listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, but which seems to revel in its penchant for violent encounters. And yet Fox News shows the speaker outside the event wielding his fake sword, but blames ANTIFA, the long running left wing boogieman of the right. And all this comes amidst the news cycle in which the right wing media sounds the alarm about violence on the left and mob rule. And Republicans call out the Democratic mob.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: This election is down to simple things. Are you for what they did to Kavanaugh? Or are you for having your government run by a mob or you for a sort of a rule of law, persons presumed innocent. What kind of contry do you want and who do you want to run it? Do you want these people who spit on me and yell at me being in charge or do you want a more orderly process?


HAYES: But this the era of Trump, the mainstream establishment of the Republican Party is inviting the street brawlers and insane conspiracy theorists to speak at their events. And that`s next.


HAYES: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the FBI and the stat Ipolice hate crime unit to investigate violence that erupted after the founder of a far right group spoke at the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York this past weekend and following another right wing group that clashed with counterdemonstrators in Portland, Oregon this weekend. Police now say that -- those right wing protesters in an August demonstration were armed and positioned on a rooftop with their guns.

Let`s bring in MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of Majority Report with Sam Seder and MSNBC contributor Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist for The New York Times. It is striking to watch this like sort of weirdly invented like talking point about the mob just kind of come out of thin air in the last two weeks when, you know, we should be clear there was a guy who is liberal who shot up a bunch of Republican members of congress. There have been some isolated incidents of left-wing political violence, but one of the themes of the Trump years has been like basically fascist street brawlers.

SAM SEDER, MAJORITY REPORT: Yeah. I mean not even just the Trump years.

HAYES: Right. That`s true.

SEDER: Go on to Twitter and look for David Nauert`s feed. He does work with the Southern Poverty Law Center. He rights about these eliminationists (ph). You know, you can go find decades worth of events that are -- I mean, yes, that shooting of the congressman was horrible.

There are literally dozens like that of right-wingers doing a similar thing.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Can I also -- I guess it was six months now, maybe five months ago which in Trump time I know is years, but that he pardoned two members of a violent anti-government standoff, right?

HAYES: Sure.

GOLDBERG: I mean, he has been completely -- the idea that Democrats or that liberals are lawless when you have a president who encourages the worst sort of lawless violence from his supporters and rewards it.

But also, I think in some ways that`s part of the point, right? Partly...


GOLDBERG:`s that Trump is master of projection. So, when he is talking about Hillary Clinton`s Foundation, he is really talking about his own foundation. He accuses his enemies of everything that he is guilty of, and partly it`s you know about something you talk about a lot who they believe is supposed on the constrained by the law.

So to them angry right armed -- angry armed white men are almost by definition their patriots. They`re the heartland crying out in rage and injustice, and angry women or angry people of color are almost a mob by definition.

SEDER: But I don`t think there is anything particularly unique about this time in terms of developing that narrative on the right, except for they desperately need something to run on in the next month. And if they can turn to it a culture war issue, that`s what they`ll do.

HAYES: It is amazing to watch Lindsey Graham sit there and say like this is about do you want the people that spit on me -- like, and it`s very elemental, like do you want their people or our people running things, which in some ways I guess is like admirably clear about what American politics are.

GOLDBERG: Right. But I guess the fact that he sees these women who yelled at him as being -- and I guess they`re more threatening to him.

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: But the fact that he has -- I mean, he`s a shameless person, but he has no shame about the fact that here you have a president who urges, openly urges his supporters to inflict violence on protester.

HAYES: Repeatedly.

GOLDBERG: You have the head of a far right street gang who is a regular presence on Fox News and who is speak at a Republican club, you have no comparable relationship. I mean, it would be inconceivable to imagine kind of ANTIFA speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, or sitting here next to me on your show, right. We have no comparable relationships on our side.

SEDER: None. And I would say also it`s a mistake I think to assume that Lindsey Graham is being sincere.

HAYES: Right. Yes, right.

SEDER: I mean, that`s the important thing is that it looks hypocritical to us, but it`s simply a tactic. I mean, they are trying to rally around -- this is because they`ve lost the salience of perhaps taking a knee during the anthem. I mean, this is what they have stumbled on. This is what is working. There is a unison -- I can tell you that I`m heading to a conference where I`m supposed to have a debate. They wanted to change the -- they wanted to change the debate that we were going to have from what has the Trump administration provided for people to almost this very type...

HAYES: Really?


HAYES: That is fascinating. That is fascinating.

SEDER: And it permeates the right. I mean, they`re very good at this. They found a narrative...

GOLDBERG: And the right also love to think of themselves as victims.

HAYES: Yes. Of course.

GOLDBERG: They relish any opportunity to think of themselves as victims. And I think they`re trying to turn one of the strengths that progressives have now against themselves, which is you have a lot of activists engaged. You have a lot of furious women who are willing to confront their representatives in public, which is something you should be able to do in a democracy, and they want to kind of delegitimize that.

HAYES: I should note Lindsey Graham then later clarified I guess he wasn`t spit at, just to be clear. And also just in terms of the mainstreaming here, this is a Republican State Senator named is Marty Goldman (ph) in Brooklyn. It was one of his staffers, this was reported by Brooklyner Today, who was -- who organized this. Like this is a guy who works for a Republican State Senator, a staffer of his -- I think he was called a campaign manager at one point -- who invites this basically street brawl gang.

SEDER: Right. It`s a gang. They`re a gang.

HAYES: They have like initiations and stuff.

SEDER: They have very odd initiations.

HAYES: Weird. It`s weird.

SEDER: And they train for fights. They look for fights. You need to fight a certain amount to move up in their organization. I mean, this is a for lack of better term a brown shirt organization.

HAYES: And that`s Marty Goldman (ph), Brooklyn state senator, Republican, his staffer, good work inviting them.

Sam Seder and Michelle Goldberg.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: Thank you.

One last thing, if it`s Tuesday that means we have a new episode of our podcast, "Why is This Happening?" Out this week`s guest, the amazing Carol Anderson, author of White Rage, who has a new book out titled "One Person, No Vote," that is about the history of voter suppression and the current manifestations of it going into the midterms. Download it on Apple Podcast or anywhere else.

That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.