Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: October 10, 2016 Guest:
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, my friend.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
There are some things that are awkward right now about being a true blue, dyed in the wall Donald Trump supporter and they definitely are. True blue, dyed in the wall Donald Trump supporters, they are all over the country. They are all in all 50 states. You probably know some of them, if you weren`t one yourself. You are definitely related to one of them at least by marriage.
So, empathize even if you can`t -- or sympathize even if you can`t empathize. Say you are a Donald Trump supporter for real, say you live in Virginia. You`re a woman who supports Donald Trump and for whatever reason, your politics or your own, you really like Donald Trump. You fervently like Donald Trump and you want him to be president.
And you are a little bit worried and, frankly, a little bit annoyed with your own political party because you have heard over the last few days that the National Republican Party is wavering in its support for the Republican Party`s own presidential nominee this year -- this guy who you very much support. You`ve seen news of that over the last few days. You`ve seen prominent Republicans running for office and prominent Republican elected officials over the last few days dump Donald Trump and say they want him to quit or that they`re not going to be supporting him anymore.
You saw news this morning, which said that the top Republican in Congress, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, he`s going to, quote, "not defend" Donald Trump anymore, whatever that means. It`s a little weird. Paul Ryan is still endorsing Donald Trump, but he says explicitly today he`s not going to defend him. It`s a little weird but, you know, if you`re a Donald Trump supporter, these headlines are concerning to you.
So, you are a Republican, you support Trump, you`re worried that your party seems to be going wobbly on your candidate. And then you hear that there`s going to be a demonstration at the headquarters of the National Republican Party. Now, again, in our hypothetical here, you live in Virginia. Let`s say you live roughly in northern Virginia, so you`re not even that far from Washington, D.C., and the Republican Party`s national headquarters.
And you know what, you decide that now or never, let`s go. There`s going to be a demonstration against the National Republican Party getting wobbly on my candidate Donald Trump? Let`s go. I am going to put my heart on my sleeve. I`m going to wear out some shoe leather on behalf of my candidate, I`m going to make my voice heard.
So, you get in your car or you get on the train and you go into D.C. to go participate in this protest. It is a Women for Trump protest outside Republican Party headquarters today. And you get there and there are lots of other women there, probably a few dozen other Trump supporting women just like you.
And you`re looking around, you`re happier there and then right in the middle of the protest there`s this guy. Now, again, this is a Women for Trump event. This man`s sign says, "It`s better to grab a p-word than be one." And you know what the "p" word in question here is, right? Let "The New York Daily News" help out unless you`ve forgotten what Donald Trump said on the "Access Hollywood" tape released on Friday.
So, I mean, this Women for Trump event did happen outside National Republican Party headquarters today. A pro-Donald Trump protest billed for a Women for Trump event and in the middle of it, it`s not that big a protest. In the middle of it, there`s this guy.
Now, to be clear, this guy is not an ironic anti-Trump protester who was there to disrupt the event and make all of the women feel bad about being there. He is a Trump supporter. He did media interviews at this event as a Trump supporter, explaining why he was there, to try to pressure the RNC into being more supportive of his candidate Donald Trump, that was just what he was doing. That was the sign he brought to show support for his candidate. Happy for Women for Trump event, better to grab the p-word than to be one, ladies.
But you know what? Twenty-nine days before a national election, provocative actions like this tend to have consequences and it turns out the organizer of this rally today, outside Republican party headquarters, organizer of the rally turns out to have been the Virginia state chairman of the Donald Trump campaign. He got fired from his job as Trump`s Virginia state chairman today over this protest.
Now, to be clear, he was not fired by the Trump campaign because there was a guy holding a sign that said "better to grab a p-word than be one". He wasn`t fired because it was a guy holding that sign standing in the middle of a Women for Trump event. No. The campaign chairman for the state of Virginia for the Donald Trump campaign was fired today, apparently, just because there was a Women for Trump event held outside the Republican Party`s headquarters today.
Less than a month before the election, the Republican presidential nominee has fired his swing state campaign chairman in Virginia for the crime of organizing this event at RNC headquarters. This event designed to pressure the Republican Party into supporting Donald Trump more fully.
This guy with the p-word sign, not the problem. Never mind this guy. That`s just Trump world now. That`s what it looks like to support Donald Trump now.
The real sensitive subject here is not stuff like this. The real sensitive subject is anything that might bother the Republican Party or suggest any sort of division between the Republican Party and Donald Trump.
At 5:00 this afternoon, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus did a 14- minute phone call with the entire RNC with all 50 state leadership of the Republican Party. In that call, he told the whole RNC that everything`s great between the Republican Party and Donald Trump. Never mind what you might have heard. Everything is awesome.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: First of all, I want to make it very clear that the RNC is in full coordination with the Trump campaign and we have a great relationship with them. Nothing has changed in our support for our nominee. I mean, if there`s any one thing that is our job to do, is to support the nominee that was clearly elected.
We are not walking away from anything. The Trump campaign and the RNC`s working together. Everything is on course and I just -- I want you to understand that.
We just, in fact, greenlighted a number of things this afternoon in coordination with the Trump campaign. We are in full coordination with the Trump campaign. We`ve got a great relationship with them and we`re going to continue to work together to make sure that he wins in November.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: If you think there is a National Republican Party separate and apart from Donald Trump at this point, the Republican Party would like to disabuse you of that notion. I think a lot of people are fantasizing. Some Republicans and a lot of other people are fantasizing that there is a Republican Party separate and apart from Donald Trump. But it`s just not true.
I mean, you heard the Republican Party chairman there talking about the fealty that he has, the one purpose he has in life, which is to elect Donald Trump. The top Republican in Washington, Paul Ryan, he did succeed earlier today in getting himself a big round of laudatory press when he declared that he personally would not defend Donald Trump, but honestly, what does that mean?
I mean, Paul Ryan wasn`t defending Donald Trump anyway. That`s not in his job description. Paul Ryan is not changing anything that we can tell about his relationship with Donald Trump or how he`s behaving as the top Republican in Congress.
Paul Ryan is still endorsing Donald Trump. He`s still, as far as we know, voting for Donald Trump. He is still hoping Donald Trump gets elected president in November and working toward that end. Paul Ryan is still the highest-ranking elected official in this party that explicitly says it is in total support of the Trump campaign and fully coordinated with the Trump campaign and has organized for nothing so much as getting Donald Trump elected president of the United States in November.
To the point where people who organized pro-Trump protests against the Republican Party, those people are now getting fired instantly from the Trump campaign because the Republican Party and Trump campaign are one in the same and don`t let anybody suggest different.
Again, to be clear, from this morning, this guy, this guy with this sign in the middle of that demonstration, he`s fine. This guy from Trump world does not bother the Republican Party at all. That`s how they are running their nominee for president. What bothers the Republican Party now is any suggestion that there just might be any difference, any distance between the Republican Party and Donald Trump. That is what is offensive.
So, as I say, a slightly awkward time to be a Donald Trump supporter today. Sympathize here. Empathize. It`s a slightly awkward time to be an earnest Trump-supporting, you know, Northern Virginia middle-aged lady standing there at the protest next to the guy with the p-word on the sign, better to grab the p-word than to be one, Women for Trump.
Part of the reason I think it is almost inherently getting a little awkward to be a Trump supporter in some parts of the country is because we now have pretty solid evidence that that`s becoming a more and more lonely status.
Did you see this NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll that came out today? I know it`s a poll, whatever. But this is almost nuts.
I mean, it`s a good poll. Methodologically, scientifically speaking, this poll is sound. But the results are almost impossible to believe. I mean, just for context here, last month in this poll, they asked likely voters their preferences between Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the nominees from the libertarian and the Green Party.
Hillary Clinton last month was leading by six. Now, same poll, same question, she`s not leading by six anymore. She`s leading by 11. She`s leading 46 to 35 in a four-way race. If you make it a two-way race, just head to head, Trump versus Clinton last month in the same poll, Hillary Clinton was leading head to head by a lot. She was up by seven points.
Now, same poll, head to head against Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton leading by 14 nationwide. Donald Trump at 38 percent nationwide in a head-to-head poll? Where is Ross Perot hiding in these numbers, right? I mean, that`s crazy.
Fourteen points is just insane. The last time we had a presidential election decided by that kind of margin, the Electoral College map looked like this. That was when -- do we have that? Yes. There we go.
That was the 1984 presidential election, Ronald Reagan won re-election and beat Mondale by 18 points. Mondale only won his own state. I mean, we haven`t had a landslide like that in more than 30 years. And most people think it is structurally impossible for us to have something like a 14- point landslide in this country right now.
Regardless of circumstances, regardless of the candidates, we`re just not built for a landslide like this anymore. But if she`s up by 14, I mean, those numbers from the NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, they`re real. This polling was done before last night`s debate. Notably, it was done right after the "Access Hollywood" tape was released on Friday in which Donald Trump was caught on tape talking about grabbing women by the "p" word which was inspiring to this young man today at the RNC headquarters.
In this poll that was taken right after the "Access Hollywood" tape was released, the impact of the tape on the election, on Donald Trump`s standing as a presidential candidate, I think it`s clear in the huge margin by which Hillary Clinton has moved ahead in this polling, but it`s also clear unsubtly and explicitly in the part of the polling where they ask about that tape. In this new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" national poll, they ask about Donald Trump`s statements on that tape and 38 percent of all voters say that Trump`s statements on that tape alone disqualify him from being president -- 38 percent is not a majority but when 38 percent of the population doesn`t just say they are not going to vote for you, 38 percent of the population says you are disqualified from this office, 38 percent, you are not going to win that office if 38 percent of the people think he shouldn`t be allowed to run for it.
I mean, we will see in subsequent polling whether the impact of that tape wears off or whether Donald Trump`s defense at last night`s debate was that it was just locker room talk and he`s going to go blow up ISIS, whether that defense is persuasive to the American public. While we await that information, though, I think it`s fair to say that everybody`s also just waiting for the other shoe to drop in terms of more nuclear political material like this. You saw the polling effect of that tape.
What`s going to happen when there`s more Trump being caught on tape saying stuff like this? Because there will be other instances that turn up of Donald Trump talking on tape about women and about sex in a way that is likely to skive out the population. I mean, I can say that with confidence, because even if you`re talking about stuff that has already circulated in the public record, it`s just a matter of looking, right? It`s just a matter of what particularly skives you out when it comes to finding a place to start with Donald Trump on tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN: It would be hypothetical.
DONALD TRUMP: Go ahead.
STERN: Melania is in a horrible car accident and I don`t wish this on her. You know that.
STERN: I`ve spent time with her. She`s a lovely woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Luckily, she survives.
TRUMP: She likes, you, too.
STERN: She survives. Her body is fine except for the fact that her left arm is paralyzed now. It hangs there like a slab of meat.
STERN: On her face now, course of 100 stitches she received to her face, most of her face was intact except on the left side, her eye, there`s a big red blotch and it oozes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, dear.
STERN: The doctors can`t do anything for it.
So, aside from the gimpy arm, the left eye oozes and the fact that her foot was mangled, she`s perfect.
TRUMP: How do breasts look?
STERN: The breasts are OK.
TRUMP: OK. That`s important.
STERN: Would you be able to stay in a relationship with her?
TRUMP: Oh, totally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Totally, as long as the breasts are okay. That was Donald Trump speaking in April 2005. Just pick one, right? That was five months before the "Access Hollywood" recording where he bragged, I don`t even wait when you`re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything, grab them by the p- word, you can do anything.
Both of those conversations notably taped in 2005, which is the year he got married to his third and current wife. And the "Access Hollywood" tape was just floated a few days.
The "how do her breasts look after the car accident" tape has been floating around for a while. It was actually broadcast in 2005. That was in the cutting room floor thing. That was broadcast. "Mother Jones" reposted it online this spring in light of the Trump presidential candidacy.
I mean, you can just start with what is out there in the public record already, but if you want more, it is clear that there will be more, in terms of stuff that we haven`t heard yet. This weekend, CNN posted more excerpts of Donald Trump from radio interviews in the past, including him talking about the size of her daughter`s breasts and how he doesn`t like women over the age of 35, but 12 years old is too young for him.
He also bragged that he used his position as the owner of the Miss Universe pageant to walk in unannounced on pageant contestants while they were not wearing clothes. He said, quote, "I sort of get away with things like that." I mean, these things are previously broadcast. These things are already in the ether, right? They`re already out there. They`re already to a certain degree known about Donald Trump.
The issue is the next shoe that many people expect to drop, which is not stuff that`s already within broadcast but unbroadcast tape from the production of Donald Trump`s media appearances, including his reality TV show "The Apprentice."
"The Huffington Post" today published what they say are excerpts from a taping session from "The Apprentice" in 2010. NBC News has not verified whether "The Huffington Post" transcript is accurate, nor has the campaign responded to our request for comment on "The Huffington Post`s" publication of this alleged transcript. But according to the transcript, Trump reportedly says about one woman who appeared on the show that year, quote, "Her skin, her skin sucks, okay? She needs some serious f`ing dermatology", except he doesn`t say f`ing.
You know, the revelation here is not so much that Donald Trump insulted another woman`s looks, right? The revelation here is that apparently, reportedly, there are transcripts. There are transcripts about some of the unbroadcast material that was taped for "The Apprentice."
Now, the production company that has produced that show, they put out a sort of amorphous statement tonight, saying that the producer of that show, the guy who created that show, quote, "does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from `The Apprentice`."
Now, the production company clearly created the material, clearly owns the material. So, it`s not clear why they wouldn`t have the ability to release footage that they own, let alone the right to release footage that they own. But they did put out a statement. Clearly, they are feeling the pressure in terms of a public desire to know what else Donald Trump might have said on camera.
I mean, clearly, there`s an interest in knowing that now that he`s a candidate for president of the United States, now that, in particular, we know what tapes like this can do to his public standing. But imagine the appetite for knowing what he said on tape once he became president of the United States.
I mean, let`s say no other tapes come out until he`s president. Imagine the way those could be used not just against him personally but against the country if he were the president of this country. I mean, the production company that filmed "The Apprentice" and presumably has all of that outtake material which we`ve had described by multiple people who work on that show, they`ve tried to settle this matter. They`ve tried to take the heat off themselves today. I`m not sure they have with this statement.
In addition, there`s this new information that the outtakes themselves may have been transcribed, which opens a whole new avenue of inquiry and then there`s also the FOX News wild card, where one of their on-screen personalities, Geraldo Rivera, he`s now said that he has personally tapes from his own multiple interviews with Donald Trump over the years and from multiple instances not of him interviewing Donald Trump but of him spending time with Donald Trump. He has now said on FOX News that he and his brother are reviewing those tapes and have already found instances that they say would be considered embarrassing in the current political climate.
Now, it`s hard to imagine that the FOX News Channel will be the outlet to release those tapes if they are indeed embarrassing to the Republican nominee but this year, who knows? And if there is a prospect of Donald Trump becoming president of the United States, it`s a matter not just of civic engagement, right, not just a matter of partisan consequences. It`s a matter of potentially national security. It`s a matter of the interests of the United States of America if the United States president could be subject to blackmail from material like that if people knew it was in circulation.
So, if you are that Donald Trump supporting woman in Virginia, right, this has got to be a little bit of a hard time. We know heading to last night`s debate that your candidate was nowhere in the polls, down 14 points head to head against Clinton. Even if you were delighted with how Trump performed in the debate last night against Hillary Clinton, we`ve also learned today that nobody watched that debate. Ratings for the second presidential debate last night were down 21 percent from the first presidential debate.
We also know that what you have to expect between now and the next presidential debate, if there is going to be one, is that inevitably, other shoes are likely to drop in terms of Donald Trump`s history of off-putting remarks particularly about women and how he treats them. You`re probably still absorbing the shock from the one shoe that did already drop on Friday, and probably still shocked by the fact that it`s something that made this guy happy and now, in your Republican Party, that kind of guy and his support for Donald Trump, that`s not seen as an embarrassment. That`s not seen as a problem anymore. According to the Republican Party right now, you, women for Trump, protesting outside of the Trump headquarters this morning, you are the problem and potential firing offense and not the guy with the sign with the p-word on it.
It`s an awkward time to be a Donald Trump supporter. But hold on. It`s early yet.
MADDOW: I have a thing you need to pay attention to for a second because it`s not just news it may be about you. Do you live in any of these states? Do you live in Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina or Washington, D.C.? Do you live in any of those places?
If so, you need to know that your deadline to register to vote is tomorrow. Eek. Do you want to vote in the presidential election this year or any of your local elections or congressional elections? Eek. Deadline is tomorrow.
Now, if you live in Florida, your deadline was also going to be tomorrow but then Hurricane Matthew forced the evacuation of several counties, the shutting down of government offices in those counties. Because of that, Florida Democrats asked the Republican governor of Florida to extend the voter registration deadline. He initially said he would not. He said, everybody already had plenty of time to register, he wouldn`t budge.
But then late today, a federal judge has ordered Florida that the state has to extend the deadline by one day. They are pushing the deadline to Wednesday in Florida. The judge said in his ruling, quote, "It`s been suggested that the issue of extending the registration deadline is about politics. Poppycock. This case is about the right of aspiring eligible voters to register and have their votes counted. Nothing could be more fundamental to our democracy." Poppycock.
So, thanks to poppycock, Florida voters have one more day to get your registrations in. There`s going to be a decision whether the extension should be even longer. But as for tomorrow, as for Tuesday, if you live in one of the-- put that list up again. If you live in one of these states, one of these 13 states plus Washington, D.C., tomorrow is the deadline by which you need to register to vote. Now, it`s not exactly the same in each of these states, in D.C. and also in Montana, for example, tomorrow`s the deadline to register in advance, but in those places, you can also register in person if you showed up to vote on election day itself. So, there`s that in South Carolina.
The quirk is that tomorrow, didn`t used to be the registration deadline but they extended registration by mail and also because of Hurricane Matthew. There are these little differences between the states. But broad brush, if you live in one of these states and you don`t know if you`re registered or not, or if you know that you`re not registered, you really seriously have until tomorrow to fix it. You can do it. You can. It`s not that hard.
Just figure out tonight how you`re going to get registered, what you need to do in order to get registered and then you have tomorrow to do it or you`re out of luck, and you will not be allowed to vote, and you will not be allowed to whine about anything in politics for the whole next four years and me and all of your friends will hold you to it. Can you imagine how hard it would be to not whine for four years?
One more time, here`s the list again. Deadline tomorrow to get registered or you might not be able to vote this year. Get on it. Your country needs you.
MADDOW: All right. I referenced this earlier but the visual of this, I think sort of the data on this is pretty striking. This one, the first debate between Trump and Clinton this year, not the one last night but the first one, that was the most watched presidential debate in U.S. history.
This one got lower ratings than that first debate between Trump and Clinton but still that one was better than this one, which was better rated than this one, which was a vice presidential debate, not even a presidential one. And that one was better rated than this one, which was kind of terrible. And that one was better rated than this one way back in the day, and that one was rated better than this one and that one was rated better than this one and that one was rated better than this one.
But all of those presidential and vice presidential debates, all of them, rated better than the one that we saw last night, which is a little weird, right? I mean, the first debate between Trump and Clinton, off the chart, best-rated presidential debate ever. But last night, the second one, same two candidates, stunk up the joint in comparison, tenth place in presidential debate ratings.
Why did they go from first to tenth? And is there going to be a third one where they can try to make it up? And what was that nonsense about Russia anyway?
We`ve got more ahead on all of that. Stay with us tonight.
MADDOW: Yesterday, the Birmingham News endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Yes, Birmingham as in Birmingham, Alabama, endorsing Hillary Clinton.
"The Columbus Dispatch" in Columbus, Ohio, they also endorsed Republicans for president, but they have now also endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are going to battle this thing down to the wire but when it comes to the nation`s newspapers, the only way that Donald Trump is even in the running at this point is if shooting the moon is an option for getting some points on the board. Donald Trump remarkably, for the first time in modern political history, he`s the first major party presidential nominee to receive endorsements from precisely zero major newspapers coast to coast across the country.
I mean, eventually the obscure "New York" paper for which his son-in-law is the publisher, they will endorse his father-in-law at some point. But if and when they do so, they might be the only paper in the country that has endorsed him, which is remarkable and which might be enough and make it too embarrassing enough for them to actually do it.
Today, the magazine "Foreign Policy", they made a presidential endorsement for the first time in their history as a publication. Quote, "Our readers depend on foreign policy for insight and analysis for issues of national security and foreign policy. We feel our obligation to our readers thus extends now to making clear the great magnitude that a threat of Donald Trump presidency would pose to the United States.
He`s repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance to the most basic facts of international affairs. He`s promoted a delusional and narcissistic view of the world, one in which he seems to feel the power of his personality in negotiations could redirect the course of other nations, remake or supplant treaties and contain those tyrants that he doesn`t actually embrace. He would be a destabilizing force that would undercut American leadership instantly and for generations to come. Trump is the worst major-party candidate this republic has ever produced."
Not to put too fine a point on it. But to the editors of "Foreign Policy", there is also good news this year. Quote, "Fortunately, not only is Trump opposed by a worthy candidate, but his opponent on foreign policy and national security issues, all of the areas that we cover here at foreign policy, she is one of the best qualified candidates this country has produced on those issues since World War II."
"Foreign Policy Magazine" today making their first presidential endorsement ever in the history of "Foreign Policy Magazine".
Last week, the Obama administration accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee, along with a bunch of other American political institutions and individuals. The Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security released a joint statement accusing the Russian government of stealing and leaking the e- mails that they hacked.
That statement came out on Friday. But then last night at the debate, Donald Trump said maybe he thinks there was no hacking after all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I noticed any time anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians. She doesn`t know if it`s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they are trying to tarnish me with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Maybe there is no hacking. Maybe we`ve all imagined it.
This is the latest iteration of Donald Trump`s theory of hacking. Last time around, he said the hacking could maybe be a very overweight person sitting on the bed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don`t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She`s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could be Russia but it could also be China and lots of other people and could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You don`t know who broke in to DNC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: When you`re Hillary Clinton in that moment and he says somebody sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds, like, what do you think if you`re debating somebody and they bust out the weight of their imaginary hacker that`s doing this stuff instead of Russia, like the intelligence agency? Like, what do you.
It turns out we sort of do know as a country who broke in to the DNC and hacked those e-mails. Turns out, not only did the U.S. intelligence agencies know it but Donald Trump apparently knows it, too. NBC News has now reported today, based on an anonymous source, that both candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, got classified intelligence briefings in their capacity as presidential candidates that specifically included information on Russia and Russia`s attempts to interfere with 2016 elections through hacking.
A senior U.S. intelligence official tells NBC News, quote, "To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation. The intelligence community has walked a thin line in not taking sides but both candidates have all of the information they need, to be crystal clear."
Now, to be fair, it`s possible his memory was zapped with that flash thing they used in "Men in Black." But if that didn`t happen, according to this U.S. intelligence source, he should know what is going on with Russia and their attempts to hack and interfere with the U.S. election, because the U.S. intelligence agencies told him in a confidential setting.
Why is Donald Trump making this argument? What is there to gain in making it? And is "Foreign Policy" right with this endorsement, suggesting that the foreign policy and national security and even intelligence freak out about the danger of the Trump candidacy is an unprecedented response that we haven`t seen with any other candidate in American history?
Joining us now is Malcolm Nance. He`s former navy intelligence officer and counterterrorism expert. He`s also author of a new book on the 2016 election and hacking and Russia. It`s called "The Plot to Hack America: How Putin`s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks tried to Steal the 2016 Election."
Man, it`s timely, if not anything else. Malcolm Nance, you`re the perfect person to talk with about this. Thanks for being with us tonight, my friend. It`s nice to see you.
MALCOLM NANCE, FORMER U.S. NAVY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER/COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: It`s my pleasure.
MADDOW: So, Malcolm, I don`t take intelligence agencies at face value. For one thing, they never have to show their work. They work in secret. I certainly don`t always believe in anonymous sources.
But is it even arguable at this point that the Russians aren`t behind this hacking? Do you believe the intelligence agencies when they say they are clear that it`s the Russian government?
NANCE: Let me put it into perspective. When the intelligence community says we have high confidence that Russia is behind the cyber elements which has hacked the DNC, the DCCC, and many other elements of the Democratic Party in this campaign, high confidence means we have a belief that there`s 90 percent or higher.
We kill people with good confidence, which is 75 percent or higher in drone strikes when we have a pretty good, you know, targeting solution on these people. So when the president of the United States comes out, the director of national intelligence, the director of Homeland Security says, we have high confidence, then the consensus of the 19 intelligence agencies and principally the CIA and NSA, who are responsible for determining this, they know who has done this and it is Russia.
MADDOW: If that is the assessment and if NBC is reporting today which is accurate, that this has been conveyed in no uncertain terms, in a classified environment to Trump and Clinton in these briefings, what do you make of this? Is there a scenario that makes sense to you that Donald Trump would be denying or disputing Russia`s involvement, suggesting either that there`s no hacking or if there is that there`s no reason to believe that it`s Russia? How does it make sense to you?
NANCE: Well, it makes sense to Donald Trump because I really believe and I`ve written about this extensively in my book, which is a book mainly about Vladimir Putin, the FSB/KGB and how they have co-opted Donald Trump in his campaign, and have actually been carrying out a cyber and political warfare operation against the United States. Donald Trump, over the years, who has been inundated with friendship from oligarchs in Russia, people with real money, not fake billionaires, these with real billionaires, with hundreds of billions of dollars, and he has bought into their entire ideology. He has bought into their political beliefs, he`s bought into the belief that they are, like him, are the saviors of Western civilization against Islam.
And for Trump to buy into that, that requires him to give up all of the traditional standings that the United States has had for 70 years, a belief in the systems of NATO, a belief in the European Union and free markets in the West and Russia should be able to do anything it wants. Between him and his aides, who surround him, all of whom have links to Russia, they have either wittingly or unwittingly been co-opted.
I don`t believe he`s an agent of Russia like former CIA director or deputy director Mike Morell has said. I believe they are unwitting assets of Russia, what Lennon used to call, useful idiots.
MADDOW: Malcolm Nance, author of the new book, "The Plot to Hack America: How Putin Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election" -- Malcolm, thanks very much for being with us. This is a subject that I think a lot of people find impenetrable, find it to be something that is above their head but you`ve been talking about this in very stark terms that make a lot of sense. Thank you, my friend.
NANCE: It`s my pleasure to be here.
MADDOW: All right. Still ahead, Hillary Clinton has been running for president for more than a year now. But today, we saw something from her campaign that we have never, ever seen before. We`ve got it on tape and that`s next.
MADDOW: It`s interesting this year, there have only been a couple of truly big rallies for Hillary Clinton. There was her campaign kickoff last summer, 2015. She packed 5,000 people on to Roosevelt Island in New York City.
This summer there was one event that she did that was bigger than that, 7,000 people showed up to a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, when she brought along President Obama. But other than those, that 5,000 and that 7,000 event, Clinton events are small scale. They are like a few hundred people, maybe a thousand. The campaign has always said that`s by design.
But not tonight. Tonight at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Hillary Clinton held the biggest event of her entire campaign by a mile, including her announcement event and the Obama event thereafter. The Clinton campaign says tonight, there were 13,000 people inside the perimeter at her rally tonight in Columbus.
"The Columbus Dispatch" reports the Secret Service estimated the total number there was actually 18,500 people. Really? And this is in Ohio, a state that just a few days ago, the Clinton campaign was signaling maybe it had given up on Ohio. I mean, crowd sizes are almost never a good predictor for political victory. But for what it is worth, and it`s interesting, this is by far the biggest rally that Hillary Clinton has had her entire campaign and it was tonight.
Watch this space.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We like coffee that`s 3 percent boiled shrimp and 70 parts Bacardi. That would be so good. But unlike my opponent, I have a glass child that call the kid little bong-bong, and we have one in the cave and I peak at them because it`s not a real one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coke heads. What are you going do, right? Got to love Bernie, boy. He`s crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Sometimes, Christmas comes early. Trees decorated. Presents are all wrapped. Made some 3 percent boiled shrimp Bacardi just for this.
Bad Lip Reading has just released their treatment of Clinton versus Trump, and I`m telling you, it is every holiday all at once. That`s coming up. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Here`s a really serious story that you will not hear elsewhere tonight. Hurricane Matthew, mostly out of the national headlines at this point. But you may have heard today that things are particularly bad right now in North Carolina because of Hurricane Matthew. It`s flooding conditions that have led to 13 confirmed deaths so far. Thousands of North Carolinians are in emergency shelters.
The situation has been especially dire today in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina. A levee failure there has left 1,500 people stranded with their homes under water. And, of course, in that kind of situation, there`s the loss of life, there`s the damage to homes and businesses, but there, in this case, are other health issues arising from this type of flooding.
Today, we got these aerial images from environmental activists in North Carolina. Waterkeepers Alliance telling us that these are flooded hog and chicken farms. In previous floods, North Carolina`s farms have posed an environmental hazard all their own with dead animals and animal waste released into the water.
This team, the water keepers are keeping a close eye on dumps of toxic coal ash at the state`s power plants. These coal ash ponds are due to be closed up by 2028. But right now, they`re still there. Some of them are right next to the Neuse River, which has been rising.
Duke Energy tells us tonight they`re on top of it. They tell us three inactive ash basins that they know about have flooded. But they do not expecting them to spread much of their toxic silt.
As far as the active coal ash ponds, Duke says their workers and state officials have been inspecting the dams that keep the coal ash in place. They say they don`t see flooding as an imminent threat.
Water keepers definitely see it differently. If the water rises over those ash bond pond dams, water keepers are concerned that some of what`s in the ash ponds will mix with the river water and be carried all the way downstream.
The greater fear, of course, the nightmare scenario is that the floodwater will eat away at the dams enough to spill tons of toxic ash into the river. So far, the river has not gotten to the top of the dam, but this is really something to keep an eye on. The flooding in North Carolina is already drawing comparisons to Hurricane Floyd in 1999 which killed 52 people and left the state in shambles after doing $3 billion worth of damage.
Tonight, flood warnings remain in effect in 13 North Carolina counties because waters are still rising. This is worth watching. We`ll keep you updated as we know more.
MADDOW: OK. Ready?
The geniuses at Bad Lip Reading have not yet gone interest magic on last night`s presidential debate, but they have finished their fine work on the first one. It is a thing of beauty. Please sit down and watch this. Just watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I can do this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Woo haw, woo haw.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can do this.
I doubt you`re quite that good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I assume I can ask you to sing, Mr. Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I don`t want no big, fat, ugly baby. I want a baby on flick (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s really nasty to squash baby`s self-confidence like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to say, you suck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that is stupid. That is stupid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your favorite baby bird sound?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Favorite way to eat chicken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your favorite?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say hello to your crush at summer camp.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Scott.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stick up for your friend in fourth grade.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, you can`t talk about pie friend. Amber makes me presents, and I think he`s good at glitter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You changed your mind about helping a neighbor locate her missing children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I hope you find all your kids. You know, I had planned to help you find them, but it`s really windy now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lady in Texas who realized she parked at the other end of the mall.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait, this ain`t the way to the car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You visit the south pole with an old college roommate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, Bill, it`s a penguin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You attempt to convince a Brazilian bush pilot that it`s not safe for him to fly?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you have an old plane. Look, you have an old plane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You interrogate a kiwi bird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are your feathers? Where are your feathers? Why can`t you fly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two up top two in the saddle. I drink it down, but it tastes like wood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don`t you move to Africa? Move to Africa, I wish that you would, because I`ll never move to that country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, she`s winning and stuff. Did you catch that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Woo, oh, yeah. Doo, doo, doo, this is so fun. It`s like going back to school in imported shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve just remembered I have a dentist appointment. So I`m going to wrap up right now and eat my salad before I go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I rung the bell. When the home is got hurt, ah, ah, ah, I need no one. Ah, ha, ha.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I love you, bad lip reading. I love you. I love you. Thank you.
That does it for us. We will see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END