tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC October 17, 2016 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
situation trying to be revealing of some things but circumspect and careful. hard to imagine. msnbc's live coverage continues into "the 11th hour" now with brian williams. donald trump tonight firing up the crowd in wisconsin with new accusations of a rigged election and voter fraud. the new firestorm over hillary clinton's e-mails, allegations of a deal between the fbi and the state department tonight. we'll look at what really happened. and melania trump breaks her silence and doesn't believe the women speaking out against her husband calling it an organized effort against him. "the 11th hour" begins now. and good evening from our headquarters here in new york. with 21 days left to go until we elect the next president, with hillary clinton off the trail preparing for wednesday's debate, tonight donald trump was back at it back in front of a
friendly crowd at a rally in wisconsin. his first visit there since paul ryan endorsed him and back in front of a teleprompter and returned to a downright dangerous tactic, telling his supporters the election is rigged. no matter what happens on election day and no matter if it isn't true, trump is alleging large-scale voter fraud. >> remember, we're competing in a rigged election. this is a rigged election, folks, okay, they even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths, and believe me, there's a lot going on. do you ever hear of these people that say nothing is going on. people died ten years ago still voting. illegal immigrants still voting. where are the street smarts of some of these politicians? they don't have any is right. so many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is very, very common. >> voter fraud, however, is not common.
in fact, a law professor at loyola wrote in his research he has found only 31 incidents of in-person voter fraud out of more than 1 billion with a "b" ballots cast in the united states between 2000 and 2014, and trump is pushing a story line not shared by his surrogates including his own running mate. here is what they say he means when he says rigged election starting with governor chris christie speaking exclusively with nbc news a few hours ago. >> listen, i think -- people are interpreting what he's saying. the media is obsessed with him. i think that's the process he's talking about. as far as the election is concerned, i'm convinced the election will be a fair one and that the process will be one that will be accepted by the american people. >> the american people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media. that's where this sense of a rigged election goes here, chuck. >> i think what he feels is the establishment is against him, and they're rigging the election
against him, not cheating at the polling place. he's never talked about cheating at the polling place. >> i believe the rigging is the level of national establishability. i don't think it's at the level of stealing votes at the precinct level. >> but again trump tonight struck a different tone than you just heard from his campaign surrogates talking about voter fraud and rigged elections at the polling places themselves. i want to bring in chris ashby, a campaign finance and election lawyer with ashby law firm, and is a veteran of politics and campaigns, most notably in the commonwealth of virginia. chris, you became a part of this conversation today by posting what you did on twitter saying, quote, let's dispense with this notion that the election is rigged, shall we? and follow that up with 32 more posts that caution our eye because your concern seemed to be with your face, what a quaint notion, what is the danger to you of this talk of a rigged election? >> well, brian, thanks for having me tonight.
there are several dangers, first of all, the public's faith and confidence in our system of voting and in the integrity of that system is foundational to the legitimacy of our government and legitimacy of the leaders who we elect to represent and lead us. second, when donald trump talks about a rigged election, he's asserting that the election has been corrupted, that, you know, some sort of outside influence has infiltrated the election so that it will be decided on some basis other than the votes that the voters cast and it says to them their votes don't matter, their votes won't be counted and that suppresses votes in a presidential election and historic one at that. >> if i was just going to say if you and i set out to rig an election, what would it take? >> well, first of all, it would take the eyes and ears and cooperation of republicans and democrats in precincts across the country who are serving as election officials.
these are good, honest citizen was work the polls in the day, check voters in, check i.d.s in states where that's required. they help people vote. they collect the returns and they count the votes and then you'd also have to have the assistance of the partisan poll watchers who stand behind those people and watch everything they're doing and then you'd also have to have the state and local officials there observing everything all day. so you'd really have to have this vast bipartisan conspiracy across all of these precincts and it's just -- it's fantasia land. it's nonsense, not true. the election is not rigged. >> you don't doubt that there have been instances of it, the old standard of dead folks voting at certain polling places. you do doubt the kind of work it would take to bring about a national rigged election? >> sure, and i think here it's important to distinguish between cheating and voter fraud. that is an attack on the system from without. and it's conducted by individuals or maybe by groups of individuals.
but, you know, donald trump and his surrogates are conflating that with election rigging and that's an attack on the system from within. it's perpetrated by the government on its citizens and those two things are not the same and so voting -- voter fraud happens, voters attempt to cheat in elections but that doesn't mean the system is rigged to the contrary, the system is designed to catch that, to stop it and to plea vent it. >> veteran gop attorney chris ashby, thank you very much for joining us on capitol hill in washington tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> tonight donald trump also took on new information from some just released fbi documents, trump claims they show the state department put pressure on the fbi to declassify e-mails found on hillary clinton's private server. >> hillary clinton is the most corrupt person ever to run for the presidency of the united states.
the fbi documents that so undersecretary of state patrick kennedy made the request for altering classification as part of a quid pro quo. in other words, a deal. this is felony corruption by any standard undersecretary kennedy needs to resign. >> let's chase this down with our correspondent who covers the clinton campaign. that would be kristen welker in our d.c. newsroom. he says there is a quit pro quo meaning something for something. walk us through the facts he is talking about and how the clinton campaign is pushing back on these claims. >> there's a lot of pushback. that's for sure. look, the fbi and state department say this was all a miscommunication but here's how it started. it stems from notes that one fbi official was taking during the investigation into secretary clinton's e-mails, what are called 302s, some of those were released today. as you said this official claimed a state department official seemed to ask for one
of secretary clinton's e-mails to remain unclarified in exchange for putting more fbi agents abroad, particularly in iraq. now, the state department and fbi say that just never happened. they admit there was a dispute over the classification of the e-mail. by the way that's routine. we've been talking about that for months but also say it was an fbi agent who in a separate conversation said it would be good to get more agents overseas. bottom line, the e-mail remained classified. let me read you the fbi statement, part, it says the classification of the e-mail was not changed and it remains classified today. although there was never a quid pro quo, these allegations were nonetheless referred to the appropriate officials for review. and this is what state department spokesperson mark toner had to say earlier today. >> any idea or any really assertion that this was somehow tit for tat or quid pro quo or exchange in that manner frankly is insulting.
>> the clinton campaign pushing back again underscoring this notion that there were often disputes over how e-mails should be classified, nothing abnormal about that. bottom line, brian, is where you started with donald trump. the fact that this is giving him and other republicans, frankly, more fodder and i would just underscore that i have been covering this campaign from the very beginning since that very first campaign event that secretary clinton had in iowa 16 months ago. if you had told me we would still be talking about her e-mails today, less than a month out before election day, i would say that's not the case. that's just impossible. but here we are and it continues to overshadow her campaign and continues to feed into voters' lack of trust for her so secretary clinton in this debate on wednesday is undoubtedly going to get some tough questions about all of this. she will try to turn the page. >> i'm sure some campaign strategists bemoan that too. kristen, where does the math put this campaign right now and what are we to assume from the fact that they are sending the first
lady as a surrogate to arizona? >> glad you asked about that, brian. that is the other really big story today. the math, if you look at most of the polls including our latest polls shows secretary clinton has opened up a pretty sizable lead. our poll shows her with an 11 -point lead leading 20 points among women in the wake of these controversies donald trump is dealing with. she is sending the first lady to arizona big headline today. she's also sending bernie sanders, as well as chelsea clinton this week. why is it significant? it's significant because arizona is a red leaning state. you and i talked about this last week, the fact that they were eyeing it clearly they're eyeing it more seriously this week. it's important for a couple of reasons, one, because it's a show of strength, she's clearly feeling confident about getting to 270 opening up new avenues for herself to build on that lead but it's also strategic for the other reason, the way in which you started your show.
the fact that you have donald trump saying this election is rigged, the clinton campaign wants to run up the score. they don't want to just win but have a big, big number on election night so they can blunt any talk of a rigged election if, in fact, she does pull out a victory. >> kristen welker enjoying some home leave in our d.c. bureau. thank you as always very much. also happening tonight, melania trump has spoken and she is on something of a media tour. earlier today she taped an interview with cnn and another for fox, the first of which aired tonight. she pushed back strongly on the allegations against her husband, said the language didn't sound like him and said there may have been other forces at work. >> i was not surprised that the tape came out. i was not surprised about that. >> why? >> because as i said it's many people from the opposite side that they want to damage the campaign and why now? why after so many years, why three weeks before the election?
>> your husband has said maybe that he felt the clintons had something to do with it or the media. what do you think? >> well, it was the media. it was nbc, it was "access hollywood," it was left wing and left wing media and you could see that and the way it comes out, everything was organized. every friday, every friday something comes out. so they play, they play, they play. and it was hour after hour. i watched tv, was hour after hour bashing him, because they want to influence the american people how to vote and they influencing in the wrong way. >> locker room talk. >> uh-huh. >> to you i mean you sort of alluded to that as well. is that what it is to you, locker room talk. >> yeah, it's kind of two teenage boys actually they should behave better, right. >> he was 59.
>> correct. and sometimes i said i have two boys at home. i have my young son and i have my husband, so -- but i know how some men talk and that's how i saw it, yes. i believe my husband. i believe my husband. this was all organized from the opposition and with the details that they got, did they ever check the background of these women? they don't have any facts. >> melania trump conversation in trump tower earlier. reaction to that and a look ahead to this third and final presidential debate two nights from now. that is up next. this is "the 11th hour" on msnbc.
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my husband is kind and he's a gentleman and he would never do that. everything was organized and put together to hurt him, to hurt his candidacy. >> organized by the opposition. >> by the opposition, yes. >> media, clintons. >> media, clinton, yes. >> you think they're working together? >> yes, of course. >> more of melania trump there appearing on cnn tonight at exactly the same hour as her husband was speaking live in green bay, wisconsin. it all comes just two days ahead of the third and final presidential debate wednesday night in las vegas. with us now two veteran campaign
strategists republican steve schmidt who helped with senator john mccain's prep in our new york studios and veteran bob scrum. gentlemen, welcome to you both. mr. schmidt, does what we just saw help donald trump? >> the dimensions of the conspiracy are just extraordinary. i mean, the clintons and billy bush got together 11 years ago and convinced donald trump on tape to acknowledge he is he has a proclivity to sexually assaulting women. buried of course in the vault until october when, voila, it appears. preposterous. look, the republican party used to be the party of personal responsibility and what's key about donald trump's tape on that "access hollywood" montage or whatever you wish to call it is that he acknowledges the behavior that the women claim that he engaged in so if i say,
hey, brian, i robbed a bank and bob says i saw steve rob a bank and you say, hey, steve robbed a bank and bob saw him do it and now i say i didn't rob the bank, it doesn't make any sense even if my wife represents i didn't rob the bank. >> bob shrum, turn the corner from nonbank robber steve schmidt -- >> which i didn't do, by the way. >> how would you prep for the debate and snarkier way, which donald trump would you prepare to show up in las vegas? >> well, look, donald trump is the first presidential candidate in modern history not to take this process seriously, not to do any real prep. he's too busy burning down the house attacking paul ryan throwing out charges the election is rigged and his poll numbers keep going down. so we know who is going to show up on wednesday night, someone who did going to make every irresponsible charge he can. hillary clinton on the other
hand is going to do what you're supposed to do, what steve and i have both been involved in. she will try to figure out what frame she wants to set for the debate, the terms of choice. she's going to figure out the moment she wants to create and figure out what he's going to say and how she's going to counterattack. that's what you do when you're a nominee. i watched trump and i look at his lack of prep for these debates and i wonder if he was president if he could even sit through a national security council meeting. i don't think he could. i think he would just get up and walk out. >> steve, because of my theory that a day is a year in politics, almost lost in the hubbub is the fact that this weekend donald trump called for drug testing prior to the debate. axelrod said today, hillary clinton should sit it out. doesn't appear she's going to. what kind of a role would you counsel for her, aggressive, passive as bob said, pick your points and move in? >> one of the smartest things anybody has said about politics in this modern era is david axelrod when he described this process as an mri for the soul.
it is at the end of the day an elaborate character test and the test that hillary clinton is enduring now is one of testing her dignity. and so we're seeing someone who wishes to be our commander in chief, our american head of state. the head of government under a relentless assault on her character and on her dignity and her maintenance of that dignity is part of the task and i think prepares and serves her well when the inevitable happens which is a very substantial landslide victory on november 8th. and i'll be clear about something, this race is over. now, from a news perspective i understand we can't say this but i'm a political analyst. and i can look at the numbers and i can look at the trajectory. the moment of impact of the "titanic" did not signal the denouement of the ship. the physics take over.
but at first after the strike the ship didn't barely shudder and that's the moment we're in now. looking at numbers in utah and alaska and georgia and north carolina, across the country where red states are turning blue and will have dramatic implications for the republican party. but there are two things that are going on that are just extraordinary right now. we have had an uninterrupted peaceful transition of power since 1789 where, one, we have all understood that sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but the loser grants legitimacy. and secondly we have a foreign power, a strategic adversary of the united states trying to effect the outcome of this election with cyberattacks, cyberwarfare against one of the most important institutions in this country which is the democratic party. and republicans are cheerleading it on. if ronald reagan was here, i guarantee you ronald reagan
would not be supportive of russian attacks on the infrastructure of one of the most important political institutions in this country, the democratic party. he would not. and what republicans are doing is apologist for this is outrageous. >> bob shrum, you get the last word. where do you put this race? >> i have said for a long time said since labor day that the race was fundamentally over. i think he was always in a demographic cul-de-sac but he could have gone at a tremendous disadvantage with women, latinos, millennial voters, african-americans, couldn't win but he could have gone into that first debate and tried to pass the threshold of acceptability. been a reasonable person. he wasn't. second debate, he stalked her, right now, even before the debate, he's going around the country as i said earlier not only trashing the republican party but trashing the american system. look, i was there when al gore conceded in 2000. it was a very painful moment for him.
but he did the right thing, he didn't do it halfheartedly accepted the outcome of an election about which he had real doubts but accepted it because you care about the country. donald trump has no evidence for this. he just throws out these charges. it's irresponsible, i think it is doing him enormous damage and by the way, the collateral damage will be republicans losing the senate and losing a lot of seats in the house. >> and bob, not to make this too much about boxing i'll give you 30 seconds. when is the order to swing away? what do you have the candidate engage on, anything specifically going in or just feel the room and the mood? >> well, i think she'll feel the room and the mood but she'll be very well prepared. look, what's going to happen. donald trump is going to go after her husband which the polls show gets him absolutely nowhere. but he's going to go after bill clinton and she's going to have to answer that. but she's going to turn to him and talk about his attitudes towards women and i agree with steve.
there's no good answer here. i mean, he condemned himself out of his own mouth. then the women came forward and said, it happened. there's no way out for him. >> bob shrum, steve schmidt. gentlemen, we could do this all night. thanks for joining us tonight. coming up we will show you where american fighting men and women are once again in harm's way and a battle now underway. this is "the 11th hour" only on msnbc. many sleep-aids have pain medicine
last thing before we go here tonight is a vivid reminder the presidency has consequences. foreign policy is only about consequences. the battle for mosul is under way. mosul is the second largest city in iraq. it's been occupied by isis since the summer of 2014. while the iraqis mostly kurdish fighters are proud to be launching this fight under their banner and using 25,000 of their ground forces, some may recognize american hardware and armor rolling across that desert. it was definitely american air power overhead launching bombing runs ahead of the fighters. kurdish forces claim to have recaptured 80 square niles but the hard part comes later. more than a million civilians live there and will be in the path of this conflict one way or another. the worry is that isis believes in a position of scorched earth. like we saw in the first iraq war, they are already lighting oil fields on their way out as they retreat. we will follow this conflict and
its inescapable role in this presidential campaign and in wednesday night's debate. that is our broadcast for tonight. "hardball with chris matthews" begins now. for all of us here, good night from new york. mrs. trump to the rescue. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. well, down in the polls, the trump campaign is turning to a surrogate who hasn't been heard from a lot, melania trump. mrs. trump is now speaking out, defending her husband in the wake of that "access hollywood" videotape. here she is tonight. >> i said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate. it's not acceptable.