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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/28/2016

Guests: Barry Bennett, Mickey Edwards, John Nichols, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barro, Susan Sarandon, Dan Savage

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 28, 2016 Guest: Barry Bennett, Mickey Edwards, John Nichols, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barro, Susan Sarandon, Dan Savage


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --

CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I expect that from a 12-year-old bully on the playground, not somebody who wants the office held by Abraham Lincoln.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did a retweet. It was a retweet by somebody else.

HAYES: Donald Trump`s welcome rocky to Wisconsin.

SYKES: Do you stand by what you said about Scott Walker?

TRUMP: I can only say what I took out of `Time Magazine". If "Time Magazine" is wrong, then they should apologize.

HAYES: How the Badger State become the front lines of the stop Trump movement.

Plus, why the Trump campaign now plans to file a legal complaint with the RNC.

Then, Bernie Sanders just won three states by a land slide.



HAYES: Sanders backer Susan Sarandon tells me something that should worry team Clinton.

SUSAN SARANDON, ACTRESS: I think a lot of people are sorry. I just can`t bring myself to do that.

HAYES: And we`ll tell you who`s actually behind the petition to have guns at the Republican Convention when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

There are two races under way right now in the Republican presidential election. The one for the votes of citizens who actually go cast a primary ballot for the candidate of their choice. That race gets the big headline in the flashy election night coverage. That`s where campaigns post most of their energy and resources and we in the news media dissect every detail.

But after the candidates and the cameras have all moved on from the state, the other race unfolds behind the scenes. It`s the process of selecting the actual delegates, the real people and representatives from each state to go to the Republican convention this summer in Cleveland. In the anti- Trump forces want any hope of stopping Trump, this is the race they cannot lose.

Now, the first race, the one playing out in public is all about getting to the magic number, 1,237 delegates. And Trump is still the only candidate within striking dance.

Next primary is in Wisconsin a week from tomorrow, it`s winner take all which means the tiniest margins could decides whether he gets all 42 delegates or nothing at all. He`s making his first campaign stop there tomorrow, but Trump has already run into a buzz saw with Wisconsin`s robust conservative establishment recently empowered by the political battles of the Scott Walker years. In a tough telephone interview with prominent talk radio host, Charlie Sykes, a vocal Trump critic, the Republican front- runner refused to apologize for recent comments about Ted Cruz`s wife and it did go over well.


SYKES: I failed in my effort to introduce you to Wisconsin and tradition of civility and decency by getting in an apology from you for Heidi Cruz or for what you said about Scott Walker --

TRUMP: Well, am I getting an apology by somebody to sent out a picture of my wife? Again, I didn`t start it. He started it. If he didn`t start it, it would have never happened. Nothing like this would have ever happened. But he started it. So --

SYKES: But remember we`re not -- we`re not --


SYKES: We`re not on a playground. We`re running for president of the United States.


HAYES: More in the battle for Wisconsin, which I should note is winner take most, not winner take all, as I just said a moment ago. We will talk about that later on the show.

But even after voters go to the polls next week, it won`t be the end of the story, far from it, because that`s when the second race, the behind the scenes race is just getting started. Just look at what`s happening in Louisiana, where an ugly fight over delegates is now developing. Even though the state GOP held its primary over three weeks ago, it was a solid victory for Trump who finished three points ahead of Ted Cruz. Then, last week, "The Wall Street Journal" reported that Cruz could ultimately win the delegate count, potentially picking up the five delegates awarded to Marco Rubio, plus the state`s five unbound delegates. Trump threatened to sue on Twitter, which is a thing he likes to do.

But then, today in an interview on MSNBC, senior advisor Barry Bennett said the Trump campaign plans to follow through.


BARRY BENNETT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, the problem we`re having here is there`s a secret meeting in Louisiana of a convention delegation and apparently all the invitations for our delegates must have gotten lost in the mail. I`ve been with our legal team most of the morning now and we`re moving forward with the complaint to decertify these delegates.


HAYES: OK. It is hard to overstate what an impact and bloody battle this could become if campaign starts suing the Republican Party to decertify or block other candidates` slates from the convention. And that`s only part of behind the scenes intrigue in Louisiana and across the country.

A week after the primary, the state GOP convention, Louisiana delegates elected representatives to the three RNC committees that will decide how things work in Cleveland, including the all important rules committee, which has control over the nomination process. It could, theoretically, for instance, decide that no one with the initials D.T. can be the Republican nominee, if it wanted to. And according to "The Journal", Cruz supporters seized five of Louisiana`s six slots on those three crucial committees. If Trump`s opponents continue to sue that, all bets are off when we get to Cleveland in July.

And one prominent Trump supporter is already predicting dire consequences.


DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If there are shenanigans, if it`s not straightforward, all of those millions of people that Donald Trump has brought into the arena are not going to stay there. And the Republicans are going to lose and it`s going to be not only the presidency, but it`s gong to be the Senate. It could even been the House. It`s going to be absolute destruction.


HAYES: Joining me now is Barry Bennett, senior adviser of the Trump campaign, former campaign manager for Ben Carson.

Mr. Bennett, what`s the lawsuit about?

BENNETT: Well, after the convention on Sunday or this weekend, 27 of the 46 delegates got together and with a vote of 22 of the 27, they decided that the Cruz delegates should be on the rules committee and all of the standing committees except for one slot. Our delegates, 18 of them, the invitations must have gotten lost in the mail for the meeting.

HAYES: I`ve heard you say that line before. But specifically, what`s the legal problem with that? I mean, it is the party. Didn`t you guys get caught napping or outhustled?

BENNETT: No, I mean, the rules of the state party require that all of the delegates be gathered, not just the ones that you think will vote the way you want to vote. That`s the first violation.

So, you know, we`re going to move forward with certification challenge to those delegates. They should have had a meeting with all the delegates, 22 votes, which isn`t even a majority of 46, shouldn`t be deciding who gets the most powerful slots at the convention.

HAYES: Are you guys getting outhustled at the ground level because the Trump campaign has so little on the ground organization, and it`s frankly so distant from the institutional Republican Party?

BENNETT: Well, I think, you know, four years ago, Louisiana had problems as well. So, I don`t think it`s a ground game problem for us. We have a pretty good team now and we`re moving around the country rapidly. And when we find things like this, we are going to fight it. But, you know, what happened here just wasn`t on the up and up.

HAYES: Who is the ultimate authority here? Who`s the ultimate arbiter?


HAYES: The RNC. I mean, in some strict, important sense, right, the party does decide its own nominee. I mean, if the party wants to screw you, they probably can.

BENNETT: Yes. I mean, eventually, it goes -- you can appeal then to the delegates at the convention, but yes.

HAYES: So, what`s the strategy going forward here? I mean, you can file a lot of lawsuits but it seems like we`re running towards a situation like famously in `68, there were two slates of delegates from Mississippi. There was the Mississippi Freedom Democrats and the Institutional Mississippi Democratic Party. There was a floor fight over who is gong to get seated there. Is that the kind of thing -- you know, two sets of delegates showing up at rules meetings, two sets of delegates trying to get behind closed door meetings?

BENNETT: It`s not horribly uncommon that you run into the problems going into the convention. I think it`s settled out right before the convention. But we hope this is a rare occurrence and isn`t repeated in other states. But like I said, 22 people should not decide for 46 people.

HAYES: Donald Trump has basically said that if he gets just below 1,237, the magic number which signifies the majority of the delegates that are gettable, that it would essentially lead to riots or unrest or tremendous disaffection if he were not to get the nomination, but that number is there for a reason, right? I mean, it wasn`t pulled out of thin air. It`s just the majority of the delegates.

BENNETT: Right, it`s majority plus one. We`re going to get to 1,237. That`s not a problem. Our projections have us at 1,450 to 1,460. You know, after the last primary, they have 40 days to woe the -- at will or free delegates. And then you`ve got the first three days of the convention before the ballots.

So, there`s plenty of time to woe those who are willing to be wooed, if you will. But I don`t -- we`re not going to have two ballots at the convention. It will be the first ballot and it will be decided.

HAYES: Can I ask you why you`re doing this?

BENNETT: Doing what?

HAYES: Working for Donald Trump.

BENNETT: Because I think Washington needs a big time makeover. I think the Bernie Sanders supporters and the Donald Trump supporters have that in common. They both believe that the establishment in Washington, both Republican and Democrat, have done a lot to harm our country. We have two separate solutions, but we have a common problem.

HAYES: We`ll see how the solutions play out. Barry Bennett, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

BENNETT: Thank you.

HAYES: I`m joined now by Mickey Edwards, the former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, who has some experience at conventions.

What do you think about the blithe assurances from Mr. Bennett that they`re going to get what they need?

FORMER REP. MICKEY EDWARDS (R), OKLAHOMA: You know, I think there`s very slim chance that that will happen. I think Trump knows it. That`s why they are threatening to cause disturbances or riots, you know, at the convention because they`re afraid the rules will stand.

He wants like any bully or any cry baby, what the Trump campaign wants to do is say, maybe it`s a hundred yard dash. Maybe I won`t get quite that far, but if I come close, you ought to give it to me. He wants to change the rules rather than -- you know, there`s a reason, as you said, there is that number. You have to reach that number. If you don`t reach it, nobody reaches it, there`s not a nominee. And then the convention decides who they want representing the Republican Party.

HAYES: Mr. Edwards, this is what I can`t decide. I love your insight into this. Is the institutional Republican Party such as it continues to exist going to roll over and basically allow themselves to be bullied into a Trump nomination even if the guy is getting 40 percent, 50 percent, 45 percent, or are they actually going to do everything in their power to -- at every marginal delegate make sure they are taking delegates away from it?

EDWARDS: They`re going to do everything in their power, because this is not game, and we`re not talking about who gets the nomination of a club to run for president. We`re talking about who could potentially be the president of the United States.

And the prospect of having somebody who knows so little, is so cavalier with the truth, who is so nasty and demeaning and potentially very damaging to our relationships around the world. You can`t let somebody like that become president of the United States because, as your previous guest just said, you know, we need change. Well, maybe we need change, maybe we don`t need change, but Donald Trump is not the change we need and the Republican Party knows that.

You know --

HAYES: Let me stop you for one second, though. When you say that this to me seems a key point, when you say the Republican Party knows that. What are you referring to specifically? When you say Republican Party as an entity, what does that mean?

EDWARDS: Chris, there`s been 32 conventions, caucuses, primaries held so far. Over 21 million votes have been cast, overwhelming number of them, 60 percent of them against Donald Trump. And for months and months, it has been Donald Trump versus not Donald Trump. And the not Donald Trump votes have been all split up because there`s so many candidates running.

But, you know, every poll shows that Donald Trump is very unpopular with the Republican Party and for him to say, if I don`t get the magic number, I don`t finish the race, I`m a loser, which is basically what he`s facing, you know that rules have to be changed, because -- you know, the voters, the Republican voters have rejected him so far by nearly six million votes that have gone against the margin between those two voted against him and those who voted for him. That`s why he should not be representing the Republican Party.

HAYES: It`s been a very long time since we had an open convention. `76 is sort of the closest. Does anyone know how to do this anymore? Are you confident that a convention, a modern political convention can exist without a determined nominee going into it?

EDWARDS: Well, sure. These people -- we`ve done there. I`ve been to lots of conventions. We know how to do it. We know how to run a convention. It`s a lot more peaceful. A lot calmer if you already know who your nominee is before you get there and do a TV show.

But as it happens, this is serious business. And delegates know -- the final say is in the hands of the delegate themselves. They can change the rules. They can keep the rules as they are.

After the first ballot, you know, they can vote for anybody they want. A lot of these people, you know, are party regulars who got assigned to vote for Donald Trump because he won their primary. That doesn`t mean they`re for him.

HAYES: Yes, that is one of the things we`ll find out as we get further in this process.

Mickey Edwards, thank you very much.

EDWARDS: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, given everything we told you about the Republican convention this July, do you think that allowing firearms into that Cleveland arena would be a good idea? Why almost 50,000 people signed a petition saying go for it.

Plus, it was a big weekend for Bernie Sanders. Susan Sarandon is here to tell us why she`s more optimistic than ever.

But, first, we`ll take a closer listen to one of the worst interviews Donald Trump has given this campaign. That`s two minutes away. Set your iPhones and don`t go anywhere.



SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, I`ve got a very simple suggestion: Donald, why don`t you show up and debate like a man?


Now, listen, I recognize that Donald prefers to communicate in 140 characters or less. And there`s a reason Donald doesn`t like debates, because it`s one thing to yell about the problems in America. But what becomes evident in the debate is that Donald has no solutions to the problems we`re facing in this country.


HAYES: Senator Ted Cruz tonight challenging Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate in Wisconsin tomorrow night. It`s the state with 42 delegates up for grabs in next week`s primary.

And Cruz has been pushing hard to win them, campaigning across the state, following as "The Chicago Tribune" put it, a winning road map drawn by Wisconsin governor and former 2016 presidential hopeful, Scott Walker, in 2010, up Wisconsin`s rural and working class midsection, the same demographic that`s driven Trump`s success thus far.

Scott Walker won three times. Donald Trump today made his own attempt to connect with Wisconsin voters by calling into three separate conservative radio shows, not realizing perhaps that as Dave Weigel of "The Washington Post" puts it, the worst kept secret in Wisconsin`s primary is that its most influential conservative radio hosts are hostile to Donald Trump.

Here are just some of the awkward interview between Trump and radio show host Charlie Sykes, a self-described never Trump guy.


SYKES: Since you`re here in Wisconsin, last august you said some things about conservatives, the conservative revolution here in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, that I wanted to give you a chance to respond to. You said Wisconsin is doing terribly. It`s in turmoil. They projected a $1 billion surplus. It turns to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster.

Mr. Trump, do you stand by that now that you`re going to be talking to Wisconsinites?

TRUMP: I can`t tell you, I got that from "Time Magazine". It was taken out of there verbatim. It was actually taken out of "Time Magazine".

SYKES: OK, but you said it, Mr. Trump. You`re running for president. Do you stand by what you said about Scott Walker?

TRUMP: I can only say what I took out of "Time Magazine". I took a story out of "Time Magazine" and the story was exactly what it said. It said that $2.2 billion deficit --

SYKES: Which turns out to be false.

TRUMP: Now, if "Time Magazine`s" wrong, then they should apologize. Then I would certainly apologize for reading "Time Magazine".


HAYES: That was one portion of Trump`s first radio interview of the day. Gave two more interviews. The last one with conservative radio host Vicki McKenna, where he appeared to hang up on her.


VICKI MCKENNA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: "The National Enquirer" is not respected. That article about the alleged affairs was as well-sourced as game of telephone.

TRUMP: I didn`t put it in. Somebody put it in. It wasn`t me.

MCKENNA: How about this? How about wives and kids off limits?

TRUMP: Well, that`s OK. All you have to do is tell that to Cruz because he started it.

MCKENNA: If I can get Senator Cruz on the program, I would say the same.

TRUMP: Best of luck to you, Vicki. Best of luck.

MCKENNA: I appreciate the time.


HAYES: Donald Trump will be arriving in person in Wisconsin for the first time tomorrow, just in time for Governor Scott Walker to make his endorsement on Charlie Sykes own radio show.

Joining me now, John Nichols, Washington correspondent for "The Nation", associate editor for the Wisconsin paper, "The Capitol Times".

And, John, I`m fascinated by the way that the entire kind of Walker machine such as it is, is mobilizing against Trump. Is it surprising to you or is this what you would have expected?

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Well, it`s certainly not what we expected at the start of the race. Everybody thought that Scott Walker would have his team mobilized behind it.

But when Walker`s campaign collapsed, it really threw all the elements of his coalition in different directions. A lot of them, a lot of the legislatures went to Marco Rubio.

Talk radio was kind of all over the place, but as all these other candidates starts to drop out, you saw Charlie Sykes and a few other folks kind of start to edge stronger and stronger toward the Cruz position. And there`s simply no question now that talk radio is aligned with the Walker or at least a lot of the Walker/legislative Republican establishment behind Cruz or at least encouraging Cruz whether they have endorsed or not formally.

And then you have the old school, Tommy Thompson, somewhat more moderate Republicans very strongly aligned with Kasich. Now, Trump, he doesn`t have -- he has hardly anybody except perhaps a good chunk of blue collar voters.

HAYES: Yes, I wonder how much the Walker, looks like he`s going to say he`s not endorsing anyone or he`s going to endorse, and I presume it would be Cruz because he`s already on the record saying Cruz is the only way to beat Trump.

How much -- how much will that matter?

NICHOLS: I`m not sure. It`s a very complex game that`s in play.

Remember, Wisconsin has been on an incredible roller coaster for the last five, six years because of Scott Walker`s governorship. And from the outside, it may look like the Republicans are a united grouping. In fact, there`s a lot of Republicans who have not been all that enthusiastic about Scott Walker. They backed him when he was fighting the Democrats and they back him when he was fighting the unions, but now that you`re in an internal fight, you have a complex division developing where some of the old school Republicans, people like Tommy Thompson, former Congressman Scott Klug, really want to have a Republican nominee who can potentially win the state in November.

HAYES: Right.

NICHOLS: So, they`re showing up with Kasich.

Then, you have the Walker people aligning a lot with talk radio and just trying to stop Trump without a real vision of where they go next.

HAYES: Do you think that Trump`s lack of any actual sort of institutional support in the state will ultimately spell his demise because it seems to me like this really is a never Trump kind of landmark battle. I mean, you really got everyone arrayed against this guy. And he`s got essentially nothing but just the degree to which he has genuine appeal to the base.

NICHOLS: Yes. This is a big deal. I think that one thing that hasn`t been talked about enough is that Donald Trump has under polled in Wisconsin from the start of this race. He`s always been weaker in Wisconsin than in other states.

And the November pairing shows him being wiped out by Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And so, I think there`s always been a problem there for Trump much like there was in Minnesota.

The one thing I would emphasize is that if we -- I was at a Kasich event just before I came over to do this show. It was packed to the rafters. There was no room to fit anybody else in. And I saw a lot of, you know, hard core, real Republicans there, active Republicans.

And I don`t say casually, but I think there`s an outside chance Trump could really do very poorly in Wisconsin.

HAYES: That is fascinating.

NICHOLS: Losing some congressional districts.

HAYES: All right. John Nichols, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate that.

NICHOLES: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, I sat down with Susan Sarandon to talk about her support for Bernie Sanders and whether Sanders supporters could eventually come around and vote for Clinton.


SARANDON: I think a lot of people are sorry. I just can`t bring myself to do that.

HAYES: How about you, personally?

SARANDON: I don`t know. I`m going to see what happens.

HAYES: Really?




HAYES: A question to you, dear viewer. Am I, Chris Hayes, to blame for Donald Trump? You maybe wondering, but it is a question I`ve asked myself. It`s a question that has been asked of me when I`ve been out on the road, talking to folks in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and in Houston, and it`s been a question particularly from viewers of this network, of this show. Some of whom do feel I am partly to blame or certainly part of the problem.

Today, a prominent member of the media tribe placed the blame on us, the media tribe. I have some thoughts on that, ahead.


HAYES: Big victories for Senator Bernie Sanders this weekend for the Democratic nomination for president. Sanders swept the caucuses of Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state by wide margins, netting at least 35 delegates.

Part of Sanders` job is to convince voters that this fight is far from over.


SANDERS: And that is how we win when working people and young people, when people have given up on the political process get back in and demand the government that represents all of us, not the 1 percent. That`s how it works.




HAYES: Sanders still trails Clinton by about 250 pledge delegates, but his campaign sees a path to victory. And with the delegate rich states of Wisconsin, New York next up on the calendar. Today, Sanders aide Tad Devine told reporters, I think it`s clear now to anyone that knows how to count delegates that neither candidate, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is going to win a majority of the delegates at the Democratic convention with just pledged delegates.

The math doesn`t bear that out. As we mentioned, Clinton is ahead of Sanders in pledged delegates, collecting 56 percent of those delegates so far, and could, in fact, reach the magic number of delegates by the convention.

But here`s a plot twist, the Sanders campaign is now saying it also believes that it can persuade super delegates already committed to Clinton to flip, something that super delegates are of course at liberty to do. And that would mean a campaign that extends even past the final primaries on June 7 and into the convention in July.

It would be a long ride for Sanders campaign, but if his most fervent supporters have shown anything over this campaign it`s that they are ride or die for Bernie.

Earlier I spoke with ones of those people who has been a very vocal surrogate for the campaign from early on, actress Susan Sarandon.


HAYES: So, you`ve been on the campaign trail with Bernie Sanders quite a bit, a bunch of states. I`m always curious what you feel like, what do you get from that?

SUSAN SARANDON, BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: Oh, wow, so much hope and so much connection with an America that I haven`t seen.

I mean, I`ve driven across country a while back and I worked in Iowa, but to actually have the opportunity to talk to people and so moved by their passion and there`s a lot of independent thinkers in the middle of this country. And to see them give their time and their passion and be so vulnerable that way to want to be engaged again after not having anyone really that they trusted or spoke to them and see thousands upon thousands of people turn out and also thousands of volunteers from other places and to visit those little offices and to introduce him in the beginning when he didn`t have any security whatsoever and now there`s also these guys, secret service traveling with him and everything.

But I really want to be on the right side of history, and this is a shot that we`re not going to have again in my lifetime to have a candidate that`s so morally consistent, makes decisions, whose judgment proves to be true, but does it at a time when it`s not popular, when it`s not comfortable, a candidate whose not taken any money from fracking or Monsanto, or, you know, super PACs or Wall Street or all of the farm, big farm, you known, which all the other candidates have.

And those are issues that are really important to me. So, to have a guy that`s that consistent, that is that clean, is just not going to happen again.

HAYES: You just said on the right side of history, which is interesting to me. I think in certain quarters there`s growing concern that the folks that are into Bernie Sanders have come to despise Hillary Clinton or reject Hillary Clinton and that should she be the nominee, which is as yet undetermined, they will walk away.

SARANDON: That`s been a legitimate concern, because they`ve very passionate and very principled. And...

HAYES: But isn`t that crazy?

If you believe in what he believes in.

SARANDON: Yeah, but she doesn`t. She`s accepted money for all of those people. She doesn`t want to fight for a $15 minimum wage. So, these are people that have not come out before. So, why would we think they would come out for her.

HAYES: You really that?

SARANDON: I think there`s a good possibility. I talk to people who either want to write -- I talk to Republicans who have written him in already. And they just feel like she`s not authentic. That she`s a liar. That they don`t trust her so what difference does it make.

You know, if you`re a small farmer and you`re worried about fracking on your property. In Idaho they just passed a bill where they can frack on private land, and you know that she`s taken money from fracking, why would you think that that`s -- she`s going to have your back?

HAYES: Well, because they make the argument that there are all kinds of politicians, Barack Obama is the one that Hillary Clinton cites all the time, who have done things to effectively reign in industries, or reform industries, that they have taken money from.

SARANDON: I`d like to see that...

HAYES: You don`t buy it at all.

SARANDON: No, I don`t buy it all, because she`s been selling fracking all over the world. There`s her talking about Monsanto and how clean not talking about Roundup or what they put in it or what it`s done to our economy. and they know that jobs are going out, you know, Bernie doesn`t - - voted against NAFTA, you know, TPP, you know all these things coming up that know effect their jobs. And she`s not on the right side of that. She hasn`t voted right.

So, what would you make think that once she gets in she is going to suddenly go against the people that have given her millions and millions of dollars. I think that`s being incredibly naive and ecotistical to think suddenly she`s going to see the right, you know.

HAYES: Right, but isn`t the question always in an election about choices, right. I mean, I think a lot of people think to themselves well if it`s Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and I think Bernie Sanders probably would think this...

SARANDON: I think Bernie probably would encourage people because he doesn`t have any ego. I think a lot of people are sorry, I can`t bring myself to do that.

HAYES: How about you personally?

SARANDON: I don`t know. I`m going to see what happens.

HAYES: Really?


HAYES: I cannot believe as you`re watching the, if Donald Trump...

SARANDON: Some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately if he gets in then things will really, you know explode.

HAYES: You`re saying the Leninist model of...

SARANDON: Some people feel that.

HAYES: Don`t you think that`s dangerous?

SARANDON: I think what`s going on now. If you think it`s pragmatic to shore up the status quo right now, then you`re not in touch with the status quo. The statue quo is not working, and I think it`s dangerous to think that we can continue the way we are with the militarized police force, with privatized prisons, with the death penalty, with the low minimum wage, with threats to women`s rights and think that you can`t do something huge to turn that around. Because the country is not in good shape if you`re in the middle class. It`s disappearing.

And you look if you want to go see Michael Moore`s documentary, you`ll see it`s pretty funny the way they describe it. But you`ll see that health care and education in all these other countries, we`ve been told for so long that it`s impossible, it`s like we`ve been in this bad relationship and now we have to break up with the guy because we realize we`re worth it.

We should have these things. We have to stop prioritizing war -- and I don`t like the fact she talks about Henry Kissinger as being her go to guy for the stuff that`s happened in Libya and other things I don`t think is good.


HAYES: That was Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon. You can see more of our interview in which we talk about her work with some refugees in Greece and

Still to come, Republican presidential candidates are put on the spot. Should guns be allowed in their national convention arena. What they said and who is behind the open carry petition, just ahead.


HAYES: Earlier today there was a very scary moment at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Initial reports of shots fired at the Capitol. As they usually are, those reports were foggy and incomplete, lots of chaos. It turns out, according to police, that man who was previously known to security approached the Capitol screening checkpoint in the visitor`s center, which right down there in that video you`re looking at where that guy is looking down, and he took out what appeared to be a weapon and was shot by a police officer.

He has since been identified as Larry Dawson, 67-year-old from Tennessee. And sources tell NBC he had a realistic looking pistol type pellet gun. After being rushed to the hospital he later died.

Now, the only reason this man wasn`t running around potentially with a gun in halls of Congress itself is because there are metal detectors for every person who enters the Capitol. It is, simply put, a gun free zone. And it`s something that even the strident pro-gun lawmakers who work in that building are okay with.

In fact, I`ve talked to them about it on the show. But many of those same lawmakers will be at the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland, Ohio where being pro-gun and anti-gun free zone is certainly the majority position. The Quicken Loans Arena, which is hosting the convention, does not allow guns inside even though Ohio is an open carry state.

Now there`s a petition calling on Republican candidates to speak out and allow convention attendees to openly carry firearms inside the convention hall this July.

All three staunchly pro-open carry candidates have now weighed in. Did they stick to their guns? I`ll tell you in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: So, almost 50,000 people who have signed on to a petition calling for the right to openly carry firearms at the Republican National Convention in July. It`s a tough little test to just how strongly held the candidates hold their second amendment positions. It demands that all three Republican presidential hopefuls all notably open-carry and anti-gun free zone advocates urge the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loan Arena`s unconstitutional gun free zone loophole to allow convention goers to bring their firearms into the convention.

Today, when asked about the issue, Ted Cruz said he would certainly want to get the recommendations from Secret Service.

John Kasich concurred saying "all that matter is what the Secret Service says." While Donald Trump said he would need to read the fine print.

Luckily for Republicans who may not welcome a potentially contested convention with delegated armed to the teeth, but maybe hesitant to speak out against that manifestly terrible idea, this afternoon Secret Service let them off the hook announcing firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint.

Now, it appears the petition, which notes the arena`s no gun policy doesn`t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention, may have been created more as satire than protest.

The description for the Twitter account apparently linked to the petition reads, quote, "speaking truth to stupid since well, since now."

But if the goal was expert trolling and making Republicans squirm on their interpretation of the Second Amendment and gun safety, well, well done.



CHRIS SORO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EQUALITY NORTH CAROLINA: HB2 is the most sweeping anti-LGBT bill in the nation and it will not stand the test of time or the test of federal court.


HAYES: Today, a coalition of LGBT groups and activists, including the ACLU, said they were suing to stop the implementation of an anti-gay law signed last week by North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory, which overrules local LGBT non-discrimination protections and explicitly limits which bathrooms transgender people can use.

That law has been met with an outpouring of outrage and disapproval not just from voters and activists on the street, but also from corporations, including Apple, IBM, Google, the NBA, American Airlines, Dow Chemical and our parent company Comcast NBC/Universal.

Now, in Georgia lawmakers passed also an anti-gay bill, a bill that like the one in North Carolina faced widespread condemnation from the business community, but there the Republican Governor Nathan Deal defied social conservatives announcing today he would veto the bill.


NATHAN DEAL, GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia. It is about the character of our state and the character of our people.


HAYES: Joining me now nationally syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage, editorial director of the Seattle Alternative Newspaper, The Stranger.

Dan, what`s your understanding of what happened in these two states in terms of the different outcomes we got?

DAN SAVAGE, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE STRANGER: Before I get to that can I just say I`m for Bernie or Hillary or both, and come November I plan to vote for the Democratic nominee whoever it is, because of the lesser of two evils is less evil. And I don`t think Donald will bring the revolution.

What happened differently in those two states is in one state you had a governor who is facing re-election, facing a conservative electorate and was willing to really knife vulnerable people in his state for political advantage.

And you had a governor in Georgia who had a little bit more time to think about it, and decided to veto this legislation under pressure, particularly from Hollywood, a whole bunch of production companies said that they would -- and famous directors and studios said they would not produce films in Georgia anymore if this was passed into law.

And North Carolina`s just beginning to come under the assault, the brunt of the assault it`s going to come under from activists, from corporations, from businesses, from its own university system. Universities have a hard time attracting, or like to be able to attract talent. And a lot of that talent is lesbian, gay, bi, or trans. And people are not going to move to a state where they are not allowed to use the goddamn bathroom.

HAYES: For folks that have not been following that part of this issue, talk for a moment about how much these forces have focused on the bathroom as the kind of site of this political battle.

SAVAGE: They`re just repackaging old crap in a brand new bag. It used to be early in the beginning of the gay rights movement, before it became the LBGT civil rights movement, that social conservatives would scream and yell about predatory gay men, predatory gay men going into bathrooms, seducing boys, raping boys, preying on boys, and they`ve just taken that. And now, they say, it`s predatory straight men -- it`s important to emphasize that point, they say that there`s so such thing has transwomen, that these are straight men in dresses and their whole goal undergoing this transition is to have access to women`s restrooms where they can then prey upon women and girls.

But there are actually arguing that this is straight men doing this. And it`s the same anti-gay calumny, repackaged into a anti-trans calumny and as people get to know more trans people, as trans people come out, as we have this fight, we will win this fight. It`s important to remember that every time we have an anti-gay marriage referendum pass, we saw the needle move in the direction of marriage equality. And as states like North Carolina pass measures like this attacking trans people, it forces the national conversation about who transpeople are and who are the predators in restrooms.

There are many incidents of people being assaulted in restrooms always by cis gendered straight men, not by transwomen.

HAYES: As someone said on Twitter, Cameron Eeposito (ph), I think, you`ve already used a bathroom with a transperson and you were fine.

Dan Savage, thanks for your time. Always.

Up next, it`s time for the reckoning, my reckoning. Who is the blame for Donald Trump? Do not go anywhere.


HAYES: A list of people who have been blamed for the rise of Donald Trump is pretty darn long. It includes GOP presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, tower political figures like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, somehow the Buffalo Bills football team, and of course President Obama.

The New York Times has now given us two new articulations of just who is to blame for Trump`s success. Columnist Nick Kristoff (ph), like many, puts the blame squarely on the media writing that television in particular handed Trump the microphone without adequately fact checking him or rigorously examining his background.

While Nick Comfessore (ph) in a deeply reported piece, argues that GOP elite lost its voters to Trump by ignoring their economic frustrations.

Joining me now to hash out the unified field theory of the rise of Trump is MSNBC contributor Josh Barro, senior edtior at Business Insider; and Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List, which of course has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

So, what do you think of media argument?

JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST SPOKESPERSON: I think that media certainly didn`t help anything, but I`m not here to j`accuse you. I think that the Republican Party did this and they`ve done it slowly over decades. Like, I believe that Lee Atwater started it. I think that Newt Gingrich gave us the tone and call your opponents bizarre weirdos and that okay if that`s how it`s going to win.

I think Karl Rove gave us this divide the elites and pander to that base and make them as big and powerful as they possibly can be, and no one realized that eventually they were going to swallow everything whole.

And then you have Donald Trump himself, who I honestly, like, that man is a phenomenon. He -- if he weren`t who he is -- I mean, Chris Christie has tried this shtick. Lots of people have tried this shtick. He`s real good at it.

JOSH BARRO, BUSINESS INSIDER: You know, I think a lot of these theories can all be true at once.

HAYES: Yes. It`s an over determined phenomenon.

BARRO: Right, voters are for Trump some all sorts of different reasons. Some are upset about trade, some about immigration, some have these racist impulses that Donald Trump is finally letting them let out. These things can all be true.

But I also -- you know, we can`t let the voters off the hook. And I don`t just mean that in the tautological way that like when somebody wins an election it`s because people voted for him. But, you know, everybody has impulses that they try to resist and you know you`re not supposed to eat the second doughnut and sometimes you succeed at that, and sometimes you fail.

Donald Trump is really good at convincing people to be bad. He`s built his whole career on this. Even in his real estate. Like, you`re not supposed to cover everything in brass. You`re not suppose to go around bragging about how much money you have. But Donald Trump does these things and makes them seem joyful.

He talks about greed, which is a sin as a positive thing.

So, I think he`s really found a weakness in the voters as an institution themselves.

HAYES: Yes. But so here`s the argument -- and I guess I`m taking up for the purposes of the media is to blame side of this.

This study of how much -- you know, he has been covered quantitatively more than any other candidate by margins that are very difficult to find precedent for, right, 1.9 billion in, quote, free media.

Now, the key thing I think to add to that is lots of that has been intensely negative. And in fact, as evidence of that, look at his favorables/unfavorables. The guy is like deeply unpopular with the general electorate. He`s, you know, 30 points under water, which is not -- so if this was all pattycake he would not be 30 points...

MCINTOSH: I think the question who created President Trump is completely different than who created this phenomenon that is Donald Trump right now.

I don`t think anybody would be blaming the media if that man actually won the popular vote and the right number of votes...

HAYES: ...blame the media. It`s like, can you blame it more.

MCINTOSH: America has done it. Like, at that point, yeah the media might have -- might be responsible for him having higher name ID, but they`re not responsible for majority of the country wanting to vote for him because the majority does not want to vote for him.

HAYES: People think it is a self-perpetuating machine. This is what I`ve been told in angry conversations I`ve had with viewers of this program -- some of you right now sitting at home watching this yelling at the television, is that -- and I think a good analog is like Kim Kardashian. People talk about Kim Kardashian this way. Like, she`s famous for being famous. It`s like, well, at a certain point she is doing something.

MCINTOSH: Yeah, she`s a really smart businesswoman.

HAYES: Right, there is part of that with Trump as well.

BARRO: Yeah, I know, I mean, the same people who say the media created Trump and by giving him all this coverage they let him get ahead, these are people who look at that coverage and see Trump as self-evidently awful and every extra minute that he talks, he seems worse.

The coverage -- if you looked at it objectively, if you showed somebody just the news segments and didn`t show them the polls or anything, people would assume that this coverage was destroying him, because it is negative.

The problem is these voters, they don`t trust any institutions, including the media.

MCINTOSH: And that`s why fact checking doesn`t matter. Pointing out that he`s lying doesn`t matter, because the person pointing it out is not a trustworthy person.

HAYES: But there is also this -- there is also this way in which in sort of like there is this kind of way that he`s hacked a certain part of the competitive environment in which people need new things, and he creates new things all the time. And that creates attention.

If the goal is to as cynically as possible manipulate attention, he has done that incredibly well. And I don`t think the competitive news media has done any job of resisting that even when editorially there`s some part of them thinking they should.

MCINTOSH: To the point that the news media has become more entertainment based, he was perfectly conditioned to come in and take it over.

So, I think to that extent, yes, the 24 hour cable network, yes all of that did contribute to this environment where Trump could thrive.

But you`ve got to put it on him and you`ve got to put it on the fact that voters are actually deciding.

BARRO: But the other important thing here is he`s not always wrong. A number of the big stinks he has made in this election have been him saying things that other people won`t say that are true, about the way that people buy influence in politics in America. He`s staked out a position on immigration that I quite disagree with but that represents...

HAYES: There was actual demand and appetite for.

BARRO: Right, yeah.

HAYES: And was not being articulated in the way he was articulating it by anyone else.

BARRO: Right. And if somebody had a more respectable way to make a less extreme version of that position.

MCINTOSH: Build the dang fence. We ignored it. Every other Republican have said they wanted to build the dang fence on the border. We were like, oh, that`s cute. But he did it.

HAYES: All right, Josh Barro and Jess McIntosh, thanks for being with me tonight. Appreciate it.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.