Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 1, 2018 Guest: Kaleb Van Fosson, Mike Espy, Tara Dowdell, Andrew Gillum
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: You can vote and you can vote.
AMERICAN CROWD: You can vote and you can vote and you can vote.
HAYES: Five days out.
WINFREY: Everybody gets to vote.
HAYES: Oprah Winfrey`s message to voters in Georgia and beyond.
WINFREY: When we all unite, I know for sure a change is going to come.
HAYES: Plus, Andrew Gilliam on his photo finish in Florida. Then --
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: This is over if he keeps talking.
HAYES: The Iowa voter who challenged Steve King on white nationalism joins me live.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir --
KING: Stop it.
HAYES: Plus, the first evidence of a link between the Trump campaign and e-mails stolen by the Russian. And Trymaine Lee reports --
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: What is happening here?
HAYES: On the explosion of black women running for office in 2018.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Shelby County, we sprinkle black girl magic all across the field.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. And we are now five days after the Midterms and every single day it feels like we`re all confronted with some new ugliness from the President and the Republican Party. But Democrats believe they have an antidote. The Republican strategy of fear includes Donald Trump latest video on Twitter, a naked and really disgusting appeal to xenophobia and racism and that`s how Republicans are quite explicitly trying to motivate their base to vote. They`ve been really clear about what they`re doing fear, animus, suspicion.
The Democratic solution when at least it`s articulated in this most direct and inspirational terms is simple, a broad inclusive vision of voting and democracy, hope in the power of every individual voter. And there`s reason tonight to think it may be working. The sense of hope is placing states like Texas in play where Democrat Beto O`Rourke is trying to unseat Senator Ted Cruz. States like Florida where Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum who will be with us later tonight is in a very tight gubernatorial race. But perhaps nowhere is that strategy of inclusiveness and hope more significant than Georgia. And that is where Democrat Stacey Abrams could become the nation`s first black female governor ever.
Abrams is running against Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State who has actively been trying to suppress the vote for years in fact, including this year when he put 30 -- 53,000 voter registrations on hold, 70 percent of them from black voters, and who just this last week pulled out of a debate with Abrams so he could instead stump with the President. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race a toss-up and the polls have shown that you in a statistical dead heat. But today well, today Abrams brought in a special guest to help her campaign, Oprah Winfrey.
And Winfrey hammered home that message of hope of inclusiveness, the very values of democracy that Abrams and other Democrats are hoping will win at the polls in just five days.
WINFREY: I`m here today because of Stacey Abrams. And I`m here today -- and I`m here today because of the man and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed, and oppressed for the right, for the equality at the polls, and I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse. And I`m here today to let nobody turn you around. I can`t let their sacrifices be in vain.
I didn`t take voters voting seriously until around my mid-twenties. Around my mid-twenties, I had the privilege of hearing Reverend Otis Moss Jr. who`s a preacher. You all know him, preacher, preacher in Cleveland, Ohio. And I heard him tell the story of his father, of Otis Moss Sr. who right here in Georgia`s true County got up in the morning and put on his only suit and his best tie and he walked six miles to the voting pole location he was told to go to in LaGrange.
And when he got there after walking six miles in his good suit and tie, they said boy, you`re at the wrong place. You`re at the wrong place. You need to go over to Mountville. So he walked another six miles to Mountville. And when he got there they said, boy you`re at the wrong place. You need to go to the Rosemont School. And I picture him walking from dawn to dusk in his suit, his feet tired getting to the Rosemont School and they say boy you`re too late. The polls are closed and he never had a chance to vote. By the time the next election came around, he had died.
So when I go to the polls and I cast my ballot, I cast it for a man I never knew. I cast it for Otis Moss Sr. who walk 18 miles one day just for the chance to vote. And when I go into the polls, I cast the vote for my grandmother Hattie Mae Lee who died in 1963 before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and never had a chance to vote. I vote for her. And when I stand in the polls, I do what Maya Angelou says I come as one but I stand as 10,000, all those who pave the way that we might have the right to vote.
And for anybody here who has an ancestor who didn`t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state in this country, you are dishonoring your family. We are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering, and their dreams when you don`t vote. So honor your legacy, honor your legacy. Honor your right to citizenship in this which is the greatest country in the world, the greatest country in the world. And the right to vote is like the crown we all get to wear.
HAYES: Here to talk about the path forward for Democrats in these last days before the election Democratic Strategist Tara Dowdell and MSNBC Political Analyst and Politics Editor at The Root Jason Johnson. That was really something today, Tara.
TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. No, it was incredible. And I think what you`re seeing is you`re seeing a new movement of black women`s empowerment and it`s a movement that is no longer demanding a seat at the table, it is a movement that is building its own table. And so I think that is what you`re seeing around the country not just in Georgia but I think Stacey Abrams and her campaign is most reflective of that trend.
HAYES: Yes, Jason you know, one of the reasons that this race is so fascinating not least because she will be the first black woman governor in the history of the nation, that it`s happening the south, that it`s a state the Democrats have had a very hard time statewide and the gubernatorial candidate lost pretty badly four years ago. Is that -- Stacy Abrams` theory of the case is the theory that she`s implementing she had -- before she ever ran which is basically you mobilize your coalition, you get voters to the polls, you register people, and you can win in a state like Georgia and she is now testing that as many Democrats are across the nation.
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think we got -- we got to go micro here. I know -- I know where that place was, I know that part of Marietta, I used to live up there. You got Oprah to -- on her own come down and campaign on Stacy`s behalf. Oprah left whatever magical palace she lives in to come down and campaign. This is someone who for all of her power and all of her influence has actually not campaigned for a candidate almost since Obama. That`s indicative of the fact that if you work hard and you put a functional campaign together, you will attract people who naturally know what they`re doing and will put their integrity, their political capital, and their social capital on the line.
It is an amazing move on the Abram`s campaign`s behalf to not only get Oprah down there but to not just make it about hey we`ve got a celebrity. If you watch the whole thing, she spend a lot of time talking about policy, talking about health care, because that`s eventually what`s going to drive people over the line.
HAYES: You know, I was listening the over rhetoric. I was reminded in some ways of 2008 in Barack Obama and what it is -- it was a reminder of look, if you`re the party in America or the coalition of America which I think is more accurate. They`re trying to put together the multiracial coalition, the more diverse coalition, the folks that represent people from different -- a lot of different walks of life, then you got a kind of -- the rhetoric has to be aspirational in reaching out because getting into a sort of you know, fear place isn`t the place that you motivate that coalition to stick together.
DOWDELL: Right, exactly. And so not only is Stacey Abrams doing it from a policy perspective as Jason mentioned, but her campaign itself reflects her very values. Her campaign has a significant number of African-Americans not just working on the campaign but in positions of power on the campaign. She has Asians working on her campaign in significant numbers, bigger numbers and most Democratic candidates or any candidate. She has Hispanics, she has white people working on her campaign. So she has built that coalition on her campaign and that is not lost on voters.
HAYES: And that`s one of the things we`re seeing in this election as much as anything, Jason, is the representational gap between who votes for the Democratic Party and who they have running shrinking. This -- what is happening this year has never happened before in terms of the range of candidates that are going to be on the ballot.
JOHNSON: Right. Because eventually, your candidate should start to look like the people who are voting for you right? That`s what the Democratic Party has finally figured out. And I think also this and we see this with Gillum, we saw this with Justin Fairfax in Virginia, and again you see it with Stacey Abrams. Marietta is not in the black part of town. My favorite Indian restaurant is right down the street over there. I used to live over there. Like that is a very diverse part of Atlanta.
What they`re demonstrating is that look, when you talk policy, when you talk aspiration, when you say hey, you shouldn`t vote for the guy who`s trying to steal your vote who takes pictures with white national and is hanging out with Trump on Sunday, when you make a campaign about what benefits everybody, that`s actually to the benefit of not only who`s going to vote but even how you end up being covered. And that`s going to be the difference.
This is going to be a very, very close election. It`s going to come right down to the line. I suspect I`m going to be there all night following this. But the method and the process that the Abrams campaign has put forward is the only way that Democrats will be able to be competitive in 2020, let alone a lot of other states across the south in the coming years.
HAYES: Yes, what do you -- what do you see now happening the conversations and the arguments Democrats are making that are starting to shape the way that they`re going to message in the -- in the sort of Trump era. I think you`ve seeing Democrats be more forceful, being bolder, be a more unapologetic in terms of progressivism. And so I think that`s what you`re seeing and that`s what you see in the Stacey Abrams campaign. Also, one thing that doesn`t get talked about a lot is how early she started organizing and how she targeted voters who would normally support Democrats but sat out in 2016.
She has put together before her campaign, she has a training institute for -- to help women run for office. She has a lot of infrastructure. She registered I believe through one of her other organizations 200,000 voters or something along those lines. So she has been on the ground organizing in these communities and that`s the other important element of this is that you can`t go to people right before the election and ask for their vote.
HAYES: Well, and that`s the question we`re seeing right now. I mean, I just saw Nate Silver saying that they were predicting, his models predicting 101 million House votes this year compared to 78 million in 2014 so it would be an enormous, enormous leap. Every place that we`re seeing early voting numbers we`re seeing huge jumps. That doesn`t say who`s going to win. It just says that people are enthusiastic and people are tuned in but it does seem that like you can feel right now that people are paying attention. You can just feel it.
JOHNSON: They`re paying attention, Chris. And what they`re also doing is look, a lot of times in political science when you`re looking at early voting, you always worry OK, is the early vote cannibalizing same-day voting. That`s not what`s happening in Georgia. In red counties, you`re seeing the early votes have exceeded the total number of votes in 2014. In some blue counties, you`re seeing it hits 60, 70 something percent and 500,000 new voters have already voted early voting in Georgia. So if those numbers continue --
HAYES: Wait, is that true?
JOHNSON: Yes, yes, they already -- they had 500,000.
HAYES: 500,000, wow.
JOHNSON: Yes, 500,000. I actually was just looking at those numbers online. It`s insane to see that many new people voting and that many people voting early. So when you have those kinds of numbers, that suggests a level of enthusiasm. Now, all those people aren`t Democrats, you got Republicans who care too, but I am always happy if we can see a country where people are actually engaged on a regular basis as opposed to skip it.
HAYES: Well, it`s funny you say that because I was thinking about this today and I was actually looking at early voting from Nevada. And Nevada you`re seeing a lot of early voting and particularly in huge Democratic -- huge Republican margins being run up in rural counties in Nevada. And my thought was, well, you know, I don`t know what this means to the outcome, but it also is just in the general Democratic sense like higher turnout elections are better.
HAYES: Like that is part of the problem with the sort of whole set up we have on Midterm when so much is determined in these years, there`s such a drop-off, that higher levels of participation in Midterms are just a better -- produce a better Democratic result.
DOWDELL: I was -- look, I was in Taiwan when they elected their first woman president. I was there on election night and they had 80 percent voter turnout, 80 percent voter turnout. I mean -- and they don`t even have the length -- the lengthy elections that we have in this country. So participation is better and they also have a lot of great progressive policies in that country as well, universal health care, a number of things so I do think that it`s better.
But I want to bring up something that I know we`re talking about it, we have to keep talking about it. Democrats need to run up the numbers as much as possible to compensate for this massive voter suppression that`s happening across this country on multiple levels, polling places being closed, people being removed from the voter rolls, Georgia it`s essentially ground zero for what this is -- what`s happening in this country. So I think that`s a else that we have to continue to remind people of and to be cognizant of because it`s an issue that even if you have that kind of turn, how many people are being denied.
HAYES: Yes. And North Dakota has been another ground zero --
DOWDELL: Another ground zero.
HAYES: Rachel Maddow has been covering that really well. There`s some action on that today. Tara Dowdell and Jason Johnson, thank you so much for being here.
DOWDELL: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, Andrew Gillum joins me with his closing message of Florida voters. And next, newly released e-mail show Roger Stone appear to connect the dots between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. What Roger Stone was pitching to the Trump campaign, right after this.
HAYES: Special Counsel Robert Mueller quietly continues his work every single day it seems. We get a story that brings us this much closer to Roger Stone acting as the link between WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange and those damaging Clinton campaign e-mails and the Trump campaign. Now, in early October 2016, you might remember, Assange held a sort of weird teleconference promising significant material related the presidential election, a promise he soon kept. Before and after that teleconference, Roger Stone was telling the Trump campaign that Assange had the goods. That`s according to e-mails obtained by the New York Times. Stone claims this was all public knowledge but with Robert Mueller`s obvious interest in this topic including subpoenas to Stone associates, it looks like there might be more there.
To help dig through these emails I`m joined by MSNBC Contributor Natasha Bertrand, Staff Writer at The Atlantic and MSNBC Legal Analyst Nick Ackerman former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor. Natasha, let me start with you. So the Times ran a story today, then Roger Stone wrote an op-ed I guess in some publications sort of maybe trying to preemptive with some of the e-mails. What is new in this story?
NATASHA BERTRAND, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: What`s news is that we`re learning for the first time that Steve Bannon, then the campaign chairman was essentially directly in touch with Roger Stone about the WikiLeaks e-mail releases days before WikiLeaks started dumping the Podesta e-mails. And of course, that day they started dumping the Podesta e-mails was the same day, actually minutes after the Access Hollywood tape was released by the Washington Post.
So what`s really important for Mueller to understand here, and I think what he`s trying to get at, is whether or not that was a coordinated release, whether or not the campaign now knowing that Roger Stone apparently had this line into WikiLeaks and Julian Assange and knew that e-mails were coming, then coordinated in some way so that if something damaging came out about Trump in days before the election, then WikiLeaks and the e-mails that have been hacked by the Russians could respond appropriately.
HAYES: We should always note that October 7th, of course, it`s just an hour after the Washington Post publishes the Access Hollywood tape that the first tranche happens which always seem like wow that`s a coincidence.
NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Right. But I think there`s a bigger picture here --
HAYES: Yes, please.
AKERMAN: -- what Muller is doing. Keep in mind, he`s not just looking to put together a report, he`s trying to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. And if you look at the time when Manafort started cooperating was just about after that where you see all of these reports about Roger Stone and people being called into the grand jury --
HAYES: One after another, sometimes multiple times, Jerome Corsi, Steve Bannon twice.
AKERMAN: Exactly. So what he`s trying to do -- I mean he`s got a star witness, Manafort who should know intimately everything that Roger Stone was doing from the day that Manafort started with the campaign in March of 2016 to the day he left on August 13th and 14th of 2016. And so what Mueller is trying to do -- and he knows what Manafort knows. Manafort certainly knows what Roger Stone was doing. I mean they grew up together, they were business partners together. I am sure as campaign manager he knew exactly what Roger Stone was doing with WikiLeaks and with the Russians,
So what you`ve got now is what any good prosecutor would do is trying to corroborate right what Manafort is saying so that when you come to a jury and you actually charge people with a crime, you can`t get up there and say just believe Paul Manafort who`s been convicted of all kinds of crimes of lying and falsifying, you`ve got to be able to stay you can also look at all of this other evidence that supports exactly what he`s telling you, ladies and gentlemen.
HAYES: And one of the key parts, Natasha, here is the timeline. Remember the Roger Stone tweet is -- tweets October 2nd before the teleconference, Wednesday Hillary Clinton is done, he also says the next day I have total confidence WikiLeaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon. And then today we got this e-mail which is October 3rd which is again before he even says the big teleconference in which Matthew Boyle, who`s Bannon`s sort of Breitbart guy, he`s like a go-between, is saying you know, what is Assange got. I hope it`s good. And Stone is saying him, it is. I tell Bannon if he does -- but he doesn`t call me back. Again, this is before the big Assange announcement.
BERTRAND: Right. And Stone had been -- or Assange had been teasing some kind of October surprise for some time in public so Stone keeps falling back on this idea that everything that he knew was public information. And that might be plausible if not for the fact that I obtained messages between Julian Assange or WikiLeaks which is Julian Assange and Roger Stone in October indicating that they were in direct communication.
This is not something you know Roger Stone has said that there was an intermediary that Randy Credico, this radio host was working behind the scenes to connect them and to you know in preview this material that was going to come out. But one thing that Roger Stone did not tell for example the House Intelligence Committee when he testified last year was that he was actually talking to WikiLeaks directly. He also did not mention, I think this is something we forgot a lot, that he met with a Russian in May of 2016 in order to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton.
He obtained this -- he met with this man named Henry Greenberg with a thick Russian accent. He knew he was Russian who said he had dirt on Clinton in the form of e-mails. And so this is something that Roger Stone was looking for from the very beginning. I mean, from early 2016 so -- yes?
HAYES: Sorry, I just -- because Nick`s theory of the case on this which he said before is that Stone was sort of a cutout. That he left the campaign basically --
AKERMAN: Oh, back in 2015.
HAYES: But that was sort of a name only so he could do the kinds of things Natasha was talking about which is like take those meetings and not be part of the campaign.
AKERMAN: Exactly. I mean he is the mirror image of the Russian indictment on the 13 intelligence officers that were indicted this year. The scope of that conspiracy was not only the theft of the e-mails from the Democratic National Committee in all the documents but it was also the staging and release of those documents --
HAYES: Staging and release.
AKERMAN: And that`s where Roger Stone comes into play.
HAYES: Staging and release. That is -- I mean, it really is remarkable that like this is all happening in the back. How does it go towards Election Day because after Election Day we could be looking at a whole new universe? Natasha Bertrand and Nick Akerman, thank you both.
BERTRAND: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: After the break, the Democratic Candidate that has gotten under the President`s skin, Andrew Gillum on his fight for Florida governor joins me next.
HAYES: Donald Trump has repeatedly called Florida his second home. He said it as much last night at a rally outside Fort Myers and it`s safe to bet he will do it again when he returns to Florida for yet another rally on Saturday. But for once, Trump is not visiting Florida to spend time at his Golf properties, he`s there to expend some political capital on two of 2018`s key races. There`s Republican Rick Scott`s attempt to unseat Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Ron DeSantis a former Republican Congressman who`s in a very tight governor`s race against Andrew Gillum, the Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee.
Joining me now is Andrew Gilliam who next Tuesday could become the first black governor of the state of Florida. Mayor, it`s good to have you on. I wanted to talk to you for a while. First question I guess is just does the President help or hurt you when he comes to town?
ANDREW GILLUM (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: I`m not sure what the President does. I`ve missed his rally last night. I was out trick-or- treating with my three kids. But I will tell you, the President has made this election all about him. The only benefit I have is that my opponent Ron DeSantis and the President seem to be twins at dividing, at stoking the politics of fear, and quite frankly I think they underestimate the people of the State of Florida. I think that we`re going to resoundly reject that kind of politics in the same week that 11 families are burying loved ones in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and we had bombs mailed into homes of prominent Democrats around the country.
I think people have reached their limit with this kind of politics and I think they`re going to unapologetically reject it on November 6th here in Florida,
HAYES: You`re someone who has -- who won a primary in a big surprise, you way outperformed polls. So, you figured out how to turn people out that people didn`t anticipate. What is your argument to someone who is watching that says why does it really matter who is governor in my life and my family`s life?
GILLUM: Well, I tell you, in a state like mine, boy does it matter. We`ve had a governor who`s failed to expand Medicaid for over 800,000 of the most medically needy people in my state. Marijuana, medical marijuana passed overwhelmingly by the voters in our state and our governor has slow footed it. He`s created a regulatory nightmare trying to prevent the will of the people from being imposed. Teachers in my state earn an average salary that is the 45th lowest of all 50 states.
For anyone who concludes that it doesn`t matter they simply need to ask themselves, does the education of their children and their grandchildren matter? Does having an economy where people earn a wage that they can live on matter? Affordable housing, a good clean environment.
I know it`s easy the get really worked up over national politics, and national politics is important. But for the people in my state, the office of governor has a much more everyday impact on our lives, and if you want to have something to do about that, then you need to vote.
As I was always told if you`re not at the table it means you`re likely on the menu. If the people of my state want to get off the menu it`s time to get out there and vote.
HAYES: I want to play you something. Your opponent Ron DeSantis, a Republican member of congress, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And like many people, he`s been a little -- trying to distance himself from some of the implications of that vote. I want to play you what he had to say about support for preexisting conditions and get your response. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DESANTIS, REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: There`s always been, for decades, federal guarantee of preexisting conditions. I`ve always supported that. I`ve never voted in any way to change that. Obviously a smaller number of people on the individual insurance market got caught up in Obamacare, and I support providing protections for those people for preexisting conditions.
So, if I`m governor, and anyone falls through the cracks, I`m happy to sign a bill to help out folks with preexisting conditions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you say to that?
GILLUM: Well, my opponent fails the truth test. He voted over a dozen times to repeal the Affordable Care Act while a member of congress. He voted to allow insurance companies to discriminate against people based off of preexisting conditions, to be able to charge them more and deny them coverage.
There are a lot of issues upon which my opponent and I have real differences, probably none are greater than on the issue of health care. He`s opposed, expanding Medicaid here in the state of Florida, and pulling down $6 billion from the federal government, and so doing. He has not protected folks with preexisting conditions. And in fact, has done the opposite of that.
Mr. DeSantis, quite frankly, has not demonstrated that he has much of a relationship with the truth over the course of this campaign. What I have run on -- in fact my opponent, I think, just put out a health care policy a week or two ago, after running in this race for over a year without any willingness to talk about what he`s going to do to expand access, lower costs and ensure coverage for more people.
HAYES: Let me ask you this final question. So, you`ve got a big state, it`s a fascinating state with all kinds of different people and all different stages of life. It`s famously weird. I say that with love and affection. For those in your...
GILLUM: Hey, watch it.
HAYES: For those in your state who say look, this Gillum guy, I kind of like him. He seems pretty good. I also like the president. The president says he`s a bad guy. People who voted for the president, or like the president, but are maybe interested in Andrew Gillum, what is your message to them? Why should they vote for you if they also like President Trump?
GILLUM: Well, I want them to vote for themselves. I mean, over the course of this race we`ve been willing to go anywhere and talk to anybody.
I was in Putnam County, a county that Trump won by double digits. And we had a room that could fit 600 people. We thought we might get 200. The room was not big enough to receive everybody.
We`ve campaigned famously in the villages, one of the most conservative areas of our state. Pensacola yesterday, across the northern panhandle, a very conservative part of the state. And, look, I talk to folks as if they`re human, not as if they`re Republicans or Democrats.
I was born to a mother who was a school bus driver and a daddy was a construction worker. As the fifth of seven kids, I`m the first in my family to graduate from high school and the first to graduate from college. My lived experience better reflects that of the everyday people of this state over anybody else running.
And maybe they don`t agree with me on every single issue, but I tell you I`m asking them to give me the only thing in life my mother ever told me to ask for, which is a chance. And I promise them with that change I promise to get up every single day working on their behalf to make this state a better place.
I don`t care who`s on the other side, a president or a failed congressman, I am always going to be team Florida. And if folks in this state give me the chance to serve, they are going to see that exactly.
HAYES: All right, Andrew Gillum, as the band strikes up there in the background, thank you for making some time.
GILLUM: Yeah. Thank you.
HAYES: After this, Congressman Steve King is under fire like never before. Today, he erupted at one of his constituents who asked about his white nationalist rhetoric. That tape and that constituent who challenged Steve King coming up.
HAYES: The pressure seems to be getting to white nationalist congressman Steve King. The Iowa Republican has found himself in a real race, by all indications, and the nation has learned more about his nationalist rhetoric and support for far right extremists.
After one poll showed Democrat J.D. Scholten trailing King by a single point in the very, very red district. Scholten reportedly raised more than $641,000 on Tuesday and Wednesday alone. Two prominent Republicans disavowed King this week, and three companies said they would no longer provide him financial support.
Tomorrow, King will run his first television ad of the cycle, a de facto acknowledgment that he is in danger in a district that Donald Trump carried by 27 points.
At a candidate forum today King absolutely exploded when constituent Kaleb Van Fosson asked how King`s beliefs differ from those of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KALEB VAN FOSSON, IOWA VOTER: This Saturday there was a shooting at synagogue in Pittsburgh that tragically left 11 people dead. And the terrorist who committed this crime, he was quoted as saying they bring invaders that kill our people. I can`t sit back and watch our people get slaughtered. You Steve King had been quoted as saying we can`t restore our civilization with other people`s babies. You and the shooter both share an ideology that is...
KING: No, don`t you do that. Do not associate me with that shooter. I knew you were an ambusher when you walked in the room, but there`s no basis for that and you get no question and you get no answer. No. You`re done. We don`t play these games here in Iowa.
No, you`re done. You crossed the line. It`s not tolerable to accuse me to be associated with a guy that shot 11 people in Pittsburgh.
I am a person who has stood with Israel from the beginning, the length of that nation is the length of my life. And I`ve been with them all along, and I will not answer your question, I`ll not listen to another word from you.
And this is over if he keeps talking. This is over if you don`t stop talking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you given his answer. I think that his answer...
VAN FOSSON: Do you identify as a white supremacist?
KING: Sir, stop it.
VAN FOSSON: Sir, why did you meet with a white supremacist organization in Austria?
KING: You`re done.
I would ask whoever is guarding this door to lead this man out of the room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And joining me now, that constituent that Steve King kicked out, Kaleb Van Fosson who is a student at Iowa State University, member of the group Iowa CCI Action. I should not we once again asked Congressmen King to come on the show tonight and once again we got no response.
Kaleb, why did you do this?
VAN FOSSON: Well, the reason I did this is because this Saturday in Pittsburgh there was a tragic shooting that left 11 people dead, and the ideology of the murder who committed this act was the same bigoted white supremacist ideology that Steve King espouses.
HAYES: He says it`s unfair to link him, that that man is a criminal and he`s a murderer and Steve King is just a member of congress who has never committed a crime and is espousing his belief for America. What do you say to that?
VAN FOSSON: Well, him and -- Steve King and the shooter both share this core belief that American, or western culture, which is basically white culture in Steve King`s mind, is under attack by this foreign enemy and they have both talked and espoused ideas about white genocide and the great replacement.
So, if you look at King`s rhetoric and you compare it to the shooters, it`s very much in line and it`s clear they both share very...
HAYES: He seemed to think that you were not -- you are an Iowan, is that correct?
VAN FOSSON: Oh, absolutely. I live in his district.
HAYES: Yeah, he seemed to think that you were somehow not from the district. He said, this is now how we do this in Iowa. And it made me wonder, a lot of people watch Steve King from outside that district and they think, well is that the belief system of the folks in that district? You`re in that district. What would you say?
VAN FOSSON: No, absolutely not. I mean, typically Iowa people have good values. Iowans care about each other. They want to live in a community where people look out for each other and people aren`t building these lines of us versus them and this just isn`t Iowa the I know.
Steve King may have been elected, but he doesn`t represent your everyday Iowan.
HAYES: He has a real race, it seems, on his hands and it doesn`t seem like he`s been doing a lot of these events. This is -- what was it -- this was a candidate forum, and where was it?
VAN FOSSON: Yeah, it was a candidate forum. I paid $15 for the ticket. And you`re right, he hasn`t been doing a lot of these events. I actually traveled four hours away this Saturday to talk to him at another event. And as soon as I walked up and tried to shake his hand he immediately walked up, had his son come up and kick me out of the venue.
HAYES: Wait, this is before you asked this question or after you had asked the question?
VAN FOSSON: This was before. This is Saturday. So, this was my second time trying to talk to Steve King.
HAYES: Hence the suspicion you were an ambusher.
VAN FOSSON: No, not at all. I am one of his constituents. And I had a sincere question that I wanted to talk to him about.
HAYES: Believe me, I agree.
All right, are there folks -- are there people in your campus, for instance, there at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, in the district that Steve King represents are talking about this race?
VAN FOSSON: Oh, yeah, absolutely. And one thing I want to point out, though, is that Steve King is a person who traveled on a plane across the globe to Austria to talk to white supremacists, but he won`t talk to his own constituents here in his district.
HAYES: That seems to be one of the things that is hurting him right now as he nears election day. We`ll see what happens. Kaleb Van Fosson, thanks for being with me tonight.
VAN FOSSON: Thanks.
HAYES: Just ahead, a special report from Trymaine Lee on a wave of black women elected to Shelby County, Tennessee.
HAYES: There`s a lot about the midterm elections that no one seems to agree on. But there`s one race with some extra uncertainty, that would be the three-way Mississippi senate race where the two Republicans could potentially split on a vote that all comes down to a runoff three weeks later. Democrat Mike Espy, a former congressman who is Bill Clinton`s agricultural secretary, is trying to become the state`s first black Senator since reconstruction in an overwhelmingly Republican conservative state.
But in a year when Democrats are contesting seats once considered entirely out of their reach, Espy`s run is in some ways emblematic of what we`re seeing nationwide.
And Mike Espy, the Democrat in that Mississippi race joins me now.
How does the race look down there, Mr. Espy?
MIKE ESPY, DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, MISSISSIPPI: Hi, Chris, how are you?
The race, we`re doing pretty well. The crowds are large. The enthusiasm is palpable. The Cook Political Report I mean, just moved us another two spots. So, I believe we`re the only race, Senate race in the country honestly that`s moved in the right direction since the Kavanaugh hearing. So we see it, our donations are up and people are very enthusiastic.
And, you know, we don`t have early voting here in Mississippi like most other states. But the registrars of Mississippi are now saying that they`ve seen more absentee ballots for the Tuesday election than they`ve ever seen before in quite a while.
So, all of that portends something good for us, we believe, on Tuesday.
HAYES: So Mississippi might be the most conservative state in the union. I think it`s up there. And obviously that part of that is the history it has and which have been very fraught along racial lines.
As a black man and as a Democrat in 2018, what`s your pitch statewide to the Mississippi voter?
ESPY: Well, let`s look at the numbers. It is a conservative state, yes. But we`ve got 13,000 more black registered voters than in the entire state of Alabama. And we`ve done a pretty good job, I think, in registering black voters all over the summer.
But now, can`t win with black votes alone, you know that and I know that. So, there are a lot of -- can I just call them purple people? And by that I mean they`re resonating. They are receiving me with regard to the issues that we`re promoting. Number one, health care. They`re really tired of the preexisting conditions. In Mississippi, we`re the number one state in the nation that said all these rural hospitals are closing, and that`s because our state leadership some time ago refused to accept the Medicaid expansion money, and those shakers are coming home to roost.
You know, all the uncompensated care that used to be funded by the Medicaid -- federal Medicaid mandate is no longer there and so people, the purple people just want education to expand. they want prescription drug prices to be lowered. They want to know that insurance companies cannot deny policies based on preexisting conditions and are really looking at me as someone who has been there before, that can reach across the chasm and reduce all this division that we have.
HAYES: Are your two opponents, the current incumbent senator who I believe was appointed to that position, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Chris McDaniel, do they both oppose Medicaid expansion in the state?
ESPY: Well, I only know about Cindy Hyde-smith. You know, she voted -- you know, I`ve got to look at their local records, but I think from based on what they`ve said, they do.
HAYES: You mentioned Alabama, obviously, and the number of black voters in your state compared to Alabama. Have you looked at the Doug Jones victory which obviously (inaudible) in a very different way. It`s in a special election. It`s a very different electorate. It`s against an incredibly polarizing figure, but has that given you a sense of a road map to where your victory might lie?
ESPY: In a way, in a way. You know, we hired some of Doug Jones` key people -- their media strategist. I think black women did a really good job for Doug Jones in getting out the vote. So we`ve poached, if you will, a lot of them. They`re over head in Mississippi. And then we have the churches, a lot of the pastors, the students, the leaders now rising up on our behalf.
So, we think all of this is going to aggregate into a really good victory for us, even if there is a runoff.
HAYES: well, it looks like -- is it your expectation there will be a runoff? I mean, I know the Republican establishment really does not like McDaniel. They didn`t want him to get in. He keeps getting in. He has been a sort of a thorn in their side. But it seems he has enough following that the anticipation is that no one is going to clear that 50 percent hurdle.
ESPY: Well, we`re taking it one day at a time, you know, one election at a time, if you will.
ESPY: I think Chris McDaniel has a very solid, very loyal base so I believe irrespective of the noise going on, I believe that he is going to do well.
But, you know, the better he does, the better I`ll do, right? So, we`re going to look at what happens on Tuesday.
HAYES: You just said the thing out loud, Mike Espy. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
ESPY: Thank you very much.
HAYES: And Mike Espy is one of many historically diverse candidates running in this year`s midterms. It`s a way that`s happening from coast to coast up and down the ticket. And the result is especially clear in one particular area of Tennessee in the south, Shelby County, which includes the city of Memphis, where at least 20 women have already won in the primary and general races this year.
Eight of those groundbreaking women and one of their campaign managers, all African-American women, many of whom were first-time candidates, met up with All In correspondent Trymaine Lee to share their stories.
TRYMAIN LEE, MSNBC: We`re here at the National Civil Rights Museum. So clearly there is something special happening here in Memphis. What is happening here?
WANDA HALBERT, SHELBY COUNTY: It was exciting when the voters clearly made a choice to elect at least 20 plus women into office this year. So that`s very exciting.
LEE: Not just women, but black women.
HALBERT: Black women, yes.
RAUMESH AKBARI, STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I think you can see nationwide there has been an interest in black women stepping from stepping behind and the scenes and actually running for office. In Shelby County, we sprinkled black girl magic all across the field.
LEE: It`s everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My kids actually worked on my campaign. My daughter was at every event with me. I grew up with the single mom. I`ve been the woman who was on public assistance. I`ve been the woman who had to sleep in the car with her kids.
LEE: This is one of your class mates?
KATRINA ROBINSON, STATE SENATOR: These are our practical nursing students.
My own -- actually Tennessee`s only black all nursing school. When I started my school, I started because there were not very many opportunities for post-secondary education to those who didn`t have a traditional pathway in life, much like me. So it led me to start being involved in my community, more outside of my business, and that`s how I got into politics.
LEE: Was there ever a moment of doubt when you said, you know, maybe this is too much?
ROBINSON: There are people who now believe in me that didn`t even know who I was, people who have invested in me, people who have showed up to work for me. I can`t quit. I can`t let them down.
LEE: Are we at a point where black women, in particular, are finally getting the respect they deserve, or is there still a lot of work to do?
ROBINSON: I just think more women are starting to feel like they can take charge, and they can be in leadership positions, and people are tired. I mean, they want to change. They want to see someone in office who gets things done and who gets things done but women?
LEE: How many of y`all are first-time candidates?
TAMIKA GIPSON, CIRCUIT COURT CLERK: I`m a first-time candidate. I actually made history as well -- first woman and African-American to hold the circuit court clerk`s seat. It was just been an amazing feeling to not only represent Shelby County, but to show my children that they can do whatever they want if they put their mind to it.
BARBARA COOPER, STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I think maybe sometimes that the younger people thought that they couldn`t be elected. And I just wanted to show them, step out and show them that that women can be elected. LONDON LAMAR, STATE REPRESENTATIVE: My campaign made sure that we let young people know you have the opportunity to be involved. You have an opportunity to sit in these seats. And you have an opportunity to make change.
LEE: So at 27, the youngest among this amazing group of candidates, how does it feel to represent not just being a black woman, but a young black women?
LAMAR: We galvanize young people. And we went to the streets. We went back to our old community roots. We talked to people.
When you give us qualified, strong black candidates, we will turn out to the polls and vote.
LEE: How many of you all have beat guys to get to where you are now? How did that feel? That feel kind of good?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am woman, hear me roar. It felt great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It did. I, too, beat a long-time incumbent for my seat. And it was just a matter of just saying you know what? Why not me?
COOPER: I`ve been in the state house. I told you I worked 35 years and four months as a teacher, and I`ve been in the state house for 21 years. You get called girl. Can you believe that?
Listen, just call me Barbara, Miss Barbara, Ms. Cooper, Representative Cooper, but just call me by my name.
ROBINSON: You have to work harder than everybody else. You have to work longer than everybody else. You to be smarter. You have to show up earlier. It`s hard to run for office as a woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to fight a different way in order to gain respect from the men that we were sitting next to.
HALBERT: This is one of our largest African-American communities in the county.
In spite what our ancestors had to go through as slaves on the plantation, they decided to build and keep their families here. They built their homes on top of grounds where the slaves once lived.
LEE: And what does it mean for y`all to represent your community, especially with these deep historic roots to these communities?
HALBERT: Black girls got in the parade this year. And as we were walking down the street, I`ll never forget this moment, the women were bringing their girls up to us to try to take pictures. It`s almost like they just can`t believe someone who looks like them, someone who looks like their mother is on TV, holding a microphone, standing and talking to a large crowd of people, or walking in the street and waving to the public. It`s a beautiful feeling.
MICHELLE MCKISSACK,SHELBY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD: This sends a message to not only to women and black women, just to men. I mean, in this era of the #metoo movement, to all men out there like you know what? These are women who need to be respected. They`re smart. They`re savvy. They can do this.
AKBARI: I think this group of women, we live the concept of I am my sister`s keeper. See, campaigning for office is difficult. And to be able to see your sister on the poll and know she`s going through the same thing is really important. And the tribe of black women that support and lift us up has made all the difference for us.
HAYES: And Trymaine Lee joins me now. This is great sort of insight into what`s going on down there. One thing that struck me, how did these people make the decision to go from non-candidate to candidate?
LEE: For many of them it felt like it was just time. They talk about a blue wave, and they say they wanted to see this black wave happen.
As we know, black women over-index in terms of political engagement, but their representation is not there. We see what is happening with Ayanna Pressley and Stacey Abrams, but also in Shelby County. So many times I`ve heard this time and again that black women are expected to be the political mules for the Democratic Party. They`ll save you against Roy Moore. They`ll come to bat for candidates when they have nowhere else to turn, they turn to black women in these communities.
And so to see a communities where these black women showed up, showed out, are wanting change -- Katrina Robinson, unseated a 12 year incumbent. That`s no small task in a place like Memphis.
HAYES: Yeah, and it`s true there is such a representation -- there`s such a gap between reputation and just sort of how reliable those voters are and how engaged they are.
Did they talk about the sort of what it`s been like to go from candidate to now either office holder or about to be an office holder?
LEE: Well, the big challenge was just getting through the campaigning and the election. And you know how dirty local politics can be when everybody knows your business. They know who your daddy is. They know where all the skeletons are. So, for many of these candidates, and people in particular, said, you know, just getting out there every single day, putting your face out there, knocking on doors, there was a change, that you had to step up because it was a calling and it had to be done.
HAYES: You know, people -- if you`ve never been around someone running for local, local office, it`s an amazingly humbling experience.
HAYES: It`s not real glorious.
HAYES: It`s like a lot of people, a lot of just like trying to get people`s attention and they don`t want to talk to you. And it`s part of what is beautiful about democracy.
Trymaine Lee, thank you very much.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END