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Stoneman Douglas students reshaping the gun debate. TRANSCRIPT: 2/21/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Jason Kander, Mark Barden

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: February 21, 2018 Guest: Jason Kander, Mark Barden

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



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have the power to change this. And if you don`t, then we will change you.

HAYES: One week after the Florida massacre --

DELANEY TARR, SURVIVOR STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: This is to every lawmaker out there, we are coming after you.

HAYES: Students across America demand action.

AMERICAN CROWD: Shame on you. Shame on you.

HAYES: Tonight, how the Never Again movement is taking hold. How lawmakers are responding and how the White House is trying to manage the fallout.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Does anybody have an idea for a solution to the school shooting?

HAYES: Plus, how the far right social media and Youtube are allowing the smearing of survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only time you`re ever doing anything that actually matters is when people try stopping you.

HAYES: And NBC News exclusive reporting on Paul Manafort as new charges are reportedly filed.

TRUMP: I think that`s pretty tough stuff.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. It`s been one week since a gunman used a legally purchased AR-15 rifle to murder 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. And in the usual cycle of gun massacres in America, we would not be talking about it anymore. After a week has passed, the nation`s attention would have moved on. But this is what is cable news looked like today a week since the shooting covering a new movement launch by the survivors. High school students who through organizing and sheer moral witness are refusing to let thoughts and prayers be the end of the story. These kids do not accept the tired and worn out excuses for failing to address the exceptionally high levels of gun violence in this country. Today the students Stoneman Douglas storm the Florida State Capitol for the second day in a row staking out lawmakers offices rallying supporters to their cause. One week since having to flee their school under a hail of gunfire, students recounted what happened to them on that horrific day.


LORENZO PRADO, SURVIVOR, STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: I was scared and I ran to the safest place possible which is the sound booth again and I started to pace back and forward because I did not know what was going on. And the people in the audience saw me. They saw me and they panicked because I was matching the same description as Nikolas Cruz. Then the SWAT and I thought they were here to rescue me but then as I go down the stairs, I find out that I was wrong. I found out that they thought it was me that killed the 17 people. I had six SWAT members pointing their guns at me. I knew any move I made would be the end of my life. We students must keep fighting for our right to live. If I had to drop everything else in my life just to make these changes happen, I will because to me, to let these victims lives be taken without any change in return is an act of treason to our great country.


HAYES: The students also issued a warning to the gun lobby and lawmakers who do its bidding. Senator Chis Murphy put in the tweet the other day, "they`re coming."

TARR: This is to ever lawmaker out there. No longer can you take money from the NRA, no longer can you fly under the radar doing whatever it is that you want to do because we are coming after you. We are coming after every single one of you and demanding that you take action, demanding that you make a change.

RYAN DEITSCH, SURVIVOR, STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: They can walk around any question they want but the more they don`t act, the more they don`t deserve to be in office.

DMITRI HOTH, SURVIVOR, STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: No more. No more placing nonsensical politics above our lives. No more accepting donations from the NRA who seem to care more about their right to own a gun than the lives of American children.

TANZIL PHILIP, SURVIVOR, STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: To everyone at the NRA and everyone affiliated with the NRA, we are not afraid of you, we will not be silenced by anything that you have to say. We are here, our voices are loud and we`re not stopping until change happens.


HAYES: The students of Parkland, Florida are not alone. High school kids staged walkouts all over the state, some marching to Stoneman Douglas to show their support in person. Students march on the White House today to call for new gun control measure holding signs and calling out chants that according to reporters could be heard from inside the West Wing. All over the country, teenagers, kids, students, held walkouts. They organized themselves to demand that their leaders take their safety seriously. It is a practice run of sorts for a nationwide march scheduled for March 24. Everyone who follows politics understands what these kids are up against. They saw it for themselves at the Florida State House yesterday where lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected a motion to consider an assault weapons ban opting instead to declare pornography a health risk.

But as the students force us to hear their voices, we`re watching them in real-time change the politics of this debate. 66 percent of Americans now support stricter gun laws, the highest level ever in the Quinnipiac poll. Elected officials backed by the NRA are playing defense. The Senate`s number two Republican Senator John Cornyn is now promoting a bipartisan background check bill. Staff for Florida Governor Rick Scott initially told students he was too busy to meet with them. He did attended a funeral today for one of the students killed. Scott changed his mind after the students put up a fight.


AMERICAN CROWD: Where is Rick Scott, where is Rick Scott? Where is Rick Scott? Where is Rick Scott? Where is Rick Scott?

HAYES: The President of the United States who got more financial support from the NRA than any other candidate in history called a listening session this afternoon with Stoneman Douglas Survivors, grieving parents from other school shootings and massacres and other American who`s lost loved ones to gun violence.


SAMUEL ZEIF, SURVIVOR, STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: Woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. And I don`t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an AR. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine, after Sandy Hook? I`m sitting with a mother that lost her son

NICOLE HOCKLEY, SON KILLED IN SANDY HOOK: These deaths are preventable. And I implore you, consider your own children. You don`t want to be me. No parent does. And you have the ability to make a difference and save lives today.

ANDREW POLLACK, FATHER OF A STUDENT KILLED IN STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it. And I`m pissed because my daughter I`m not going to see again. She`s not here. My beautiful daughter never going to see again. And it`s simple. It`s not -- we could fix it.


HAYES: Making real change policy and laws in this country is obviously going to be an uphill battle. But the clear signs that these kids are moving the needle is that now, just a week since they watched classmates and teachers be murdered before their eyes, these children, these children are the targets of a concerted smear campaign to discredit their message. Shannon Watts is Founder of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, Jason Kander, former Missouri Secretary of State, President of Latin America Vote. Shannon, as someone who worked in this -- on this issue for a while, what is happening? What are we seeing happen right now?

SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA: You know, this is an important moment right now in this movement. We are seeing this generation who we have told for their entire lives that active shooters are like acts of nature like fires or earthquakes and they`re waking up and realizing, no, we don`t have to live like this and we certainly don`t have to die like this. And I am grateful and amazed that they are able to use their voices already so soon after this tragedy and we are going to need every American to get off the sidelines to create real change on this issue.

HAYES: Jason, you were elected to statewide office in a state that is a pretty solidly red state these days. It`s a state with pretty high support, high quotient of gun owners, pretty high support for gun rights and an expansive view of them. What do you see changing or not changing right now in the politics in this inflection point?

JASON KANDER, FORMER MISSOURI SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think it`s pretty clear that one thing we have to remember is that whether or not action happens on a given day in Congress, that doesn`t really dictate whether or not we`re winning the argument on this. We being folks who actually want to have common sense reforms when it comes to guns. As you just read off the polling, I mean, and even before this happened. The American people overwhelmingly want to something to happen. And that`s why you`re seeing right now the president and the people who the NRA controls in Congress playing a bit of a game trying to -- I think what they think is they`re going to patronize these kids for a bit -- for a little while, and I mean kids across the country. They think maybe they`ll get distracted, move on to something else.

But I can tell you as somebody who, you know, I was in my mid-20s when I had the experience of realizing that there were folks in charge who weren`t looking out, weren`t protecting us who were supposed to be. I was in Afghanistan in a vehicle with no armor. These kids are in high school and younger and realizing that people who are supposed to protect them supposed to do the right thing aren`t. And I can tell you it defines your worldview from there forward. These kids are not going anywhere. They`re going to - - it`s going to be a sustained effort because they`re fighting for their lives.

HAYES: Jason just said something, Shannon, that has been the defining feature of this debate in American life for a long time which is that you can poll people and you got 2-1 majorities for all kinds of "common gun sense gun legislation" but it doesn`t happen because there is an intensity mismatch between the intensity and the organization of the NRA and the other side. Is that changing?

WATTS: You know, I`ve never seen this intensity gap. I`m the mom of five. I`m certainly not numb. I wake up every day and fight on this issue as a volunteer. We have nearly 100,000 volunteers across the country, 75,000 have joined since last week. We`re holding hundreds of events across the country. I`ve never seen the so-called intensity gap. I`ve seen 90 percent of Americans agree that we need stronger gun laws and a few lawmakers who are beholden to the National Rifle Association who will not force any change at the federal level.

HAYES: Well, wait a second. Let me ask you though. If there is no intensity gap, then why is the legislative record, why is it what it is? Why is it the fact it is so hard to do very simple and basic things legislatively both at the state and federal level on anything relating to gun safety?

WATTS: Because the NRA gives money, gives campaign donations to Donald Trump and to some members of Congress and to some members of state legislatures and they will not even allow these bills to be discussed. And until we change the makeup of Congress and our state legislatures, the will of the people is not going to be done. And that is what we have to bring this energy into the midterm elections and agree that we`re going to make this a priority issue that we vote on. Are your members of Congress or state legislatures receiving money from the NRA? What`s their rating? Where do they stand on the issue? Are you registered to vote? And if you can`t find the right candidate, you may have to run yourself.

HAYES: Jason, you can see when a politician is uncomfortable and I can watch politicians squirming right now in the face of these kids. Why? What is it about these dynamic, these voices that we`ve been seeing and I think a lot of people are really incredibly compelled by, what is it doing to these politicians?

KANDER: I think these politicians know that they`re wrong and they`ve known that they`re wrong for a while. And they`ve been making a bargain, some sort of political bargain where they`ve said, you know, I think what they tell themselves is well, there`s nothing I can do about it. It`s not going to change. And I think oftentimes these Republicans in Congress, they know, they know that you don`t need an AR-15 to walk around in the streets of America, they know that it doesn`t belong there. They know that the weapon that I carried in Afghanistan, essentially the same weapon doesn`t belong on the street. They know that. And they`ve been able to get away with hiding behind the politics of it with hiding behind their constituency and now being faced with the humanity of it. And that`s why they look so uncomfortable.

HAYES: All right, Shannon Watts, and Jason Kander thank you both.

KANDER: Thank you.

HAYES: Mark Barden is the Founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise, a group dedicated to gun violence prevention. He`s the father of Daniel Barden who was murdered at age seven in the Sandy Hook School shooting. And you were als0 there, sir, today in the White House. And there`s -- I thought a pretty remarkable moment that I`d like you to get you to elaborate on. The President talked about his idea of essentially more guns in schools, arming teachers. I want to play that bit of sound and then have you respond because you had strong words about that. Take a listen.


TRUMP: But concealed carry for teachers and for people of talent, of that type of talent. So let`s say you had 20 percent of your teaching force because that`s pretty much the number. If you had a teacher with -- who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack quickly.


HAYES: You raised your voice to say you didn`t think that was a good idea. Why?

MARK BARDEN, FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, SANDY HOOK PROMISE: My -- thanks for having me on, Chris. My wife Jackie is a school teacher, a career educator. She`s been in the Bronx over a decade. She`s in the rural district now and she will tell you that the teachers have enough on their plate right now than to have to be trusted with deadly force and with the responsibility of taking a life, let alone the horrible potential ramifications of a shoot-out in an elementary school or a middle school or high school. What we need to do is arm our students and teachers and parents with the tools, how to recognize somebody who is at risk of hurting themselves or somebody else and make an intervention and stop this before it happens. It is preventable.

HAYES: What was your takeaway? I watched that event today and I was -- I was rapt and at a certain point start to get a pit in my stomach that you just sort of laughed with recognition. Why?

BARDEN: So I will -- first of all, I want to tell you that I have to give credit where it`s due. So they are opening their doors to various people with different life experiences who can weigh in on this and they are listening. So we have gotten that far. So they are listening, they say they`re listening. We have given them our ideas and now we`ll see what they do with that. I intend to follow up on this and stay on this but I think we have to give credit where it`s due that they say they are listening. I will take them at face value on that and I have a lot to offer to this conversation and I hope they`re listening.

HAYES: So, here is what my -- I started to get worried about as I watched is the -- they now -- there`s an agreement that we have to do something, and the question becomes the something. And I heard -- I hear these ideas of arming teachers, I hear this ideas of armed guards, of soldiers, veterans in schools, of TSA style entrances to schools, and I just started to worry that this moment might end up with something that looks like the war on terror brought into every school in America.

BARDEN: So Chris, we have said a long time ago at Sandy Hook Promise, we don`t want our schools to look like a prison with metal doors and metal detectors and armed guards and armed teachers. We just -- we have to do better than that. And I know that we can do better than that. And that is exactly why Sandy Hook Promise found the strategy that we`re working on prevention. It`s possible, it`s doable, it works. We`ve already done it. We`ve already prevented school shootings with kids following our prevention model. It works. We just need to reach everybody. That`s what I`m asking the White House to do. Help us nationalize our anonymous reporting system. Help us to nationalize our know the signs programs so that they`re embedded in all the schools. I know we can make a difference, a substantial sustainable difference.

HAYES: What was it like to be in that room with other people who have experienced something similar? Obviously, no one can experience the same thing have you experienced but someone who has experienced a lot of people experiences something similar.

BARDEN: Well, I was just thinking you know, I have been in these rooms five years ago trying to convince our Congress to do something. I have been in those rooms subsequent to five years ago along the way. And here I`m in this room again with another whole new group of people who are suffering another horrible American tragedy. And I mean, how many times do we -- are we going to be filling rooms with families of victims of these horrendous tragedies? I`m just saying that the time is now. We have the tools. Let`s get busy.

HAYES: All right, Mark Barden, thanks for your time tonight. I really, really appreciate it.

BARDEN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, the rapid succession of dominos falling in the Mueller probe. Now, reports of another set of charges, another set of charges filed against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Nick Akerman is here, he`s got theories as always in two minutes.


HAYES: Another day, another set of charges in the Russia investigation. Special Counsel Robert Mueller shows no sign of slowing down. Politico reporting today that Mueller filed new charges in the case against former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and his Aide Rick Gates. Now, those new charges are under seal which means we don`t have a lot of detail on them. We know they`re there. We don`t know what they are. We do know that Mueller and his team have been very busy in just the past few days. Now, remember, on Friday, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals, three Russian companies for interfering in the election. He also announced a guilty plea from an American man for identity theft saying the man sold bank accounts numbers made with stolen U.S. identities to buyers abroad apparently part of the scheme. Over the weekend came reporting that that former campaign aide Rick Gates, Manafort`s number two is close to a plea deal with Mueller.

Then yesterday, Mueller announces out of nowhere to all of us following the case the guilty plea of a Dutch lawyer who was lying to investigators about his interactions with Gates. Now at some point in there, Mueller also filed those new charges in the Gates/Manafort case. And while we don`t know the specifics of those new charges, we do know thanks to exclusive reporting from NBC News that investigators are now probing whether Manafort promised a Chicago banker a White House job in exchange for home loans totalling $16 million. So much money it totals five percent of all of the bank`s loans. All from a bank that describes itself on Facebook as having "a focus on V.A. and FHA lending for active duty and retired military and first time home buyers. Here to help make sense on all of this is MSNBC Legal Analyst, former Watergate Prosecutor Nick Akerman. Let`s start with field indictments. What are they? Why are they?

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, normally you seal an indictment when you`re concerned about somebody fleeing and you don`t want them to know the indictment`s under seal. I think here though, more likely what we have is the actual plea information that Rick Gates is going to plead guilty to.

HAYES: So the sealed indictment might be a plea.

AKERMAN: Right, right. And they`ve done that. I mean, Mueller has done that with other indictments. And so it wouldn`t surprise me in the least if what`s under seal right now is the Rick Gates plea. It`s very possible.

HAYES: All right. So I want to play two theories for how this is going. I want you to tell me what you think it is. One is that there were a lot of extremely stretchy people around the President in his campaign and along comes an incredibly adept prosecutor of the good staff and he picks up the rock and goes low on the hole and look at all this criminal activity. I`m not going to just let this go. You`re laundering money, you`re lying to federal investigators, you guys are shady left and right, indictment, indictment, indictment. The other is that what -- all the things Mueller are doing even though seemingly sort of disparate connect back to something central. Which of those two do you think?

AKERMAN: I think it`s clearly they all connect back to the central notion that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to throw the election to Donald Trump. That`s where the 13 Russians that you saw were indicted. You`ll notice right in the front of the indictment it talks about the various 13 defendants conspirators and others known and unknown to the grand jury. So they clearly have in mind that they`ve got one baseline right now. There was absolutely no question about it, Russian interference in our 2016 election. That`s a given. Then if you take into account all of the other actions that are going on here.

I mean, it`s almost like a chess board. Right now, Mueller has got a knight. He`s got, Flynn. He`s got three pawns. He`s got Papadopoulos, he`s got the Dutch lawyer and he`s got, Rick Gates. He`s also knocked out one of his castles in the sense of the whole argument about the Russian investigation being a hoax. And in the meantime, the queen who is Manafort is being closed in from all sides and faces almost certain jail time. What we have is we`re getting very close to checkmate. And that`s why you see all of this crazy activity from Donald Trump where he`s tweeting all kinds of irrational statements.

HAYES: Yet again today, we should note, yet again today, directing his Attorney General essentially in a public venue to criminally investigate his political enemies.

AKERMAN: That`s right. I mean, he`s doing --

HAYES: Which he does normally and which we`ve sort of gotten used to but is --

AKERMAN: But if you take all of these things together, he also knows from his joint defense agreement with his lawyers what questions are being asked people close to him. He knows that the investigation is starting to close in on him.

HAYES: What do you make of the Dutch lawyer? I mean, a lot of people thought this was strange, strange for a number of reasons. It`s extraordinary to indict a lawyer. In fact, you need to actually get Justice Department permission to do it. He seems somewhat ancillary. The lies that were told were about this kind of propaganda document that Skadden Arps have put together to protect a client of Manafort`s, that Manafort and Gates have worked on. What do you make of it?

AKERMAN: What I make of it is the key piece is a September of 2016 conversation with an unidentified person in that information. That --

HAYES: Which is one of the things that he lied about according to the charging document.

AKERMAN: Right. But they -- if you notice that information and the allocution that goes with it that he had to admit to before the court makes it pretty clear that what is said in that conversation a lot of details are missing. And it happens right in the middle of the campaign in September of 2016. And my guess is, that that conversation relates directly to the conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

HAYES: Really? You really think that?

AKERMAN: Oh, I`m absolutely positive. Why would they ever go after a guy for something that happened in the Ukraine in 2012? Who cares? Why would they try and get more evidence on Manafort when they`ve got an indictment that`s a slam-dunk?

HAYES: Well, I like -- I like the fact that you make -- you make a stipulations that are going to be verified or non-verified.

AKERMAN: And I`m willing to know.

HAYES: We will know.

AKERMAN: We will know, exactly.

HAYES: Nick Akerman, thanks for joining me.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, reports that Jared Kushner is resisting attempts to limit his access in the White House which right now is remarkably far- reaching. The real estate heir turned to geopolitical expert right after this.


HAYES: Let`s say you`ve just been elected President of the United States and you`re starting a brand new administration and you`ve got one heck of a job position to fill. It is an expansive job, all right? The job includes the following, Criminal Justice Reform, Veterans Administration Reform, both big things in and of themselves, Government Reform and American Innovation, again, a big topic, Middle East Peace, a tough nut to crack, Liaison to the Muslim Community because sure, why not, but also you have to liaise with China and liaise with Mexico and also you should probably renegotiate NAFTA for good measure.

You`ve also, I should note, have to manage the opioid crisis and their response. Now, who might you seek to do that expansive job? I mean, after it all, it entails so many areas of expertise. It seems to assume experience in both government and foreign affairs and tackles issues as difficult as the opioid crisis, peace in the Middle East, intractable problems that the best and brightest have tried to solve. But the person you hire for that job is instead the heir to a real estate fortune. A highly leveraged real estate fortune currently seeking cash infusions, by the way, an heir real estate fortune whose really greatest claim to fame was he bought a newspaper in New York called The Observer, at the bright, bold age of 25 years.

The applicant has no experience in government, foreign policy, health care, criminal justice, U.S. trade agreements or crisis management. None of that but you hire him anyway because he`s your son-in-law. It`s the same way you make your daughter a Senior Adviser and choose her to lead the U.S. delegation at the closing ceremony at the Winter Olympics just because you know, family. Now, in the case of Kushner, there has been some reporting over the past year that his responsibilities have been scaled back, but as in the case of Middle East peace, they certainly have not been ended, and not only does the guy you chose for this expansive portfolio have no experience or no relevant experience, he can`t even get through a background check. So then what do you do? That`s next.


HAYES: Today we`ve learned there may be a battle brewing between White House chief of staff John Kelly and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president`s son-in-law.

But before we get to that, we shouldn`t lose sight of the fact that Kelly has still not given an adequate or even consistent explanation of why he allowed former staff secretary Rob Porter access to sensitive information after the FBI had completed a background check revealing allegations of physical abuse in both his prior marriages. What Kelly did instead was frankly lie about the Porter timeline before deciding under the glare of scrutiny to turn his attention to the dozens of other staffers with interim security clearances.

So, Kelly has now announced a new policy, and that revokes access to sensitive information for those people in the White House whose investigations or adjudications have been pending since June 1st, 2017 or before.

Now, according to The Washington Post, the move puts a bullseye on Kushner, citing an unnamed senior White House official. Kushner, according to The New York Times, is resistant to relinquishing his access to sensitive material, including the presidential daily brief, quote, "Mr. Kushner, frustrated about the security clearance issue and concerned that Mr. Kelly has targeted him personally with a directive, has told colleagues at the White House he is reluctant to give up his high level access, the official said."

Of course, there`s probably good reason Kushner`s permanent clearance hasn`t been granted yet. Remember, he amended his federal disclosure to get clearance, his SF-86. He amended it four times, including an amended for it in June that added 100 foreign contacts.

He also released a revised financial disclosure form in July to include 77 assets that wre, quote, inadvertently omitted, according to a family lawyer.

Jane Coaston is the senior politics reporter at Vox. She`s covered these issues at length.

I guess I should start with this. What precedent is there for a figure like Kushner in a White House?

JANE COASTON, VOX: Well, that`s just it, there really isn`t one. You know, we`re kind of in uncharted territory when it comes to having the president`s son-in-law have such a high level platform within the White House of an official characteristic. And, you know, I think that that is something that`s extra challenging about this particular situation. A lot of times these security clearances -- you know, if you`re coming from one branch of the government to the executive office, your security clearance might not take as along. But, you know, Donald Trump in his effort to drain the swamp brought in a whole bunch of people who had never had any experience in government and therefore, would not have gone through the same security clearance procedures.

So you know, we haven`t seen something like that before. And that`s why I think it`s especially challenging to figure out what will happen with the relationship between Jared Kushner and John Kelly.

HAYES: Well, that`s the big question. I mean, Kelly appears to be sort of issuing a bit of an ultimatum here. I mean, clearly the memo seems aimed maybe not exclusively at Kushner. But if the memo -- if the policy is what he says it is, Kushner can`t do his job, right. Like, what are the options?

COASTON: Well, I think it`s worth recognizing that John Kelly, before the Rob Porter scandal, clearly was well aware of the allegations against Rob Porter and still allowed him to both travel with the president and help with the State of the Union. In fact, when he first found about the incredibly credible allegations against Porter, his first reaction was to be surprised that Porter was old enough to have two ex-wives.

But, so -- you know, it`s kind of unclear what the actual ramifications of this new memo might be when Kelly in the past has seemed kind of willing to let this go in a sense. And especially since, you know, in a battle between John Kelly and the president`s son-in-law, it`s a little unclear who would win.

HAYES: Well, you raise something actually that just popped into my head which is that it has seemed for a long time Porter and Kushner were somewhat parallel cases, which is to say they had long background checks that were taking a very long time, probably because there were red flags raised. They had an interim clearance as a way of sort of running an end around the fact that probably some recommendation came back at some point that they shouldn`t have clearance, right.

It occurs to me that whatever the red flags are in the case of Kushner, like in the case of Porter, have probably been raised to someone -- Don McGahn. Kelly may actually know what they are, right?

COASTON: Right. YOu know, what we saw with Porter is that the FBI submitted its preliminary investigation in March. There was more details given to the White House personnel office in July with a final report completed in September. Porter himself was aware that the allegations against him had been brought up.

In fact, he spoke to one of his ex-wives who had made those allegations during their FBI background check. You know, during that conversation asking, did you tell the FBI about the allegations against me?

So clearly, you would have to think that the FBI would have notified the White House of something going on. If they did so in the case of Porter, they would have done so in the case of Kushner.

HAYES: Yeah, I just -- it`s funny -- it`s just occurring to me now that, like, whatever the red flags are they`re probably known inside that White House which I would imagine will end up determining what this outcome is, although ultimately the president, right, can just grant a waiver.

COASTON: Yeah, and I think that that`s really important to recognize. And I think that that`s why it`s been a little disingenuous of some within the administration to say let`s put this on the FBI when it is up to the hiring office to have these security clearances. You know, technically the president can say obviously you can`t obtain a permanent security clearance, so I`m going to give you a permanent security clearance. And so I think that it will depend not so much on the information that the White House has, but on President Trump`s own decision making.

HAYES: Yeha, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Reporeter at Vox Jane Coasten, senior politics reporter. Great to have you. Thank you.

COASTON: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, why is the president`s former bodyguard and personal confidante Keith Schiller quietly being paid $15,000 a month by the RNC? We have some Trump`s best people updates coming up.

And quite possibly the highest level of in-law warfare in recorded history in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump has been obsessed with so-called chain migration, what many consider an offensive way to refer to America`s family reunification immigration policy. It allows a citizen to sponsor their spouse, children, parents or siblings for immigration to the U.S. Trump talks about ending that policy a lot.


TRUMP: Need to end chain migration.

Ending chain migration and canceling the visa lottery.

We will get rid of chain migration.

I started talking about chain migration.

Chain migration.

Chain migration.

Chain migration is one of the disasters.

Chain migration is a disaster.

A disaster.

A total disaster.

We have to end chain migration. We have to end chain migration.


HAYES: So he talks about it a lot.

Now, ending family reunification has long been pushed by immigration hard- liners, like Steven Miller and Jeff Sessions, but we learned something today that makes you think it might just be a super passive aggressive thing against his in-laws. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.



TRUMP: The Washington Post has been asking a simple question, the White House has refused to answer: what is the immigration status of the First Lady`s parents? Melania`s parents are from Slovenia, but have been living in America for at least a decade, joining their daughter after she moved here. Now today, the Post got an answer: "Victor and Amalia Navs (ph), are legal permanent residents and are close to obtaining their citizenship. But their attorney declined to say how or when the couple gained their green cards."

So, the Post spoke to immigration lawyers, and it`s really likely that Melania sponsored her parents, which she can do under -- wait for it -- America`s family reunification policy, or as Trump likes to call it, chain migration.

"David Leopold, an immigration lawyer and past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association said the first lady`s sponsorship of her parents appears to be the only reasonable way they could have obtained green cards," which means if Melania`s parents are here because of what Trump says is chain migration, then this isn`t a very way to talk about your in-laws in public.


TRUMP: Chain migration is bringing in many, many people with one and often it doesn`t work out very well. Those many people are not doing us right.



HAYES: You need people that are truly, truly capable.

We have to get the best people.

I want the best people.

We`re going to have the best people in the world, and you see the people we`re getting.


HAYES: Time yet again for the latest in our ongoing series where we check in with the president`s best people. First, Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, an Obama administration holdover, who is viewed an as noncontroversial, fresh off a rebuke from his own department`s inspector- general after his staff lied so the secretary`s wife could come with him on a publicly funded trip to Europe. Secretary Shulkin is now purging the VA, telling Politico that he is investigating what he called subversion at the agency and those who have defied his authority won`t be working in my operation. OK.

Then there`s the only administration official working nearly as many jobs as Jared Kushner, that, of course, is Mick Mulvaney who is both at the same time the budget director and also the acting head of the Consumer Protection Bureau, an agency he once vowed to kill.


MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: It turns up being a joke. And that`s what the CFPB really has been in a sick sad kind of way.

Some of us would like to get rid of it.


HAYES: You`ll be shocked to learn he`s currently dismantling the entire point of the CFPB, chucking out a lawsuit against exactly the kind of predatory loaning the bureau is meant to check.

Staffers spent years building a case against Golden Valley Lending claiming the lender illegally -- illegally little charges people up to 950 percent interest rates. But Mick Mulvaney, who got more than $60,000 from payday lenders while he was in congress, just dropped the suit without explanation.

And finally there`s Keith Schiller, the man who spent the better part of 20 years as Trump`s bodyguard who punched a protester in the face outside Trump Tower during the campaign. Remember that? Who allegedly escorted both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to their encounter with Trump back in 2006, a man who confirmed to congress that a Russian offered to send women to Trump`s hotel room in Moscow in 2013, an offer he says they declined, that Keith Schiller. Who knows where a lot of the metaphorical bodies are buried when it comes to the president, and who left his job as director of Oval Office operations in September has just shown up, surprise, on the payroll of the RNC.

His private security firm is now being paid $15,000 a month, $75,000 so far, to provide what the Republican National Committee calls security consultation for the RNC2020 convention site selection process. If the RNC continues paying Schiller at this rate, his total fees will likely be north of half a million dollars, because President Trump`s best people need the best possible employment terms.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if you had seen me at our school`s production of Fiddler on the Roof, you would know that nobody would pay me to act for anything. I was Motel, and let me tell you what we`ve seen so far has been a miracle of miracles.


HAYES: That was a student activist from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brushing off one of the insane, and frankly disgusting, conspiracy theories that`s emerged in the wake of the shooting there last week.

Now, conspiracy theories in the wake of a mass tragedy aren`t new. In fact, they almost always crop up. But what is new is the speed with which they are spreading through the incredible prominence they are given major online platforms.

This is a Facebook post spouting a crazy conspiracy theory about Douglas -- another Douglas high school student, David Haug (ph), who has -- it has since been removed, but as of last night, it had been shared over 111,000 times.

And David Haug was still a top trending topic as of this afternoon. A conspiracy video about Haug (Ph) was also the top of the trending list on YouTube this morning.

And if you searched his name, conspiracy videos made up most of the top results of this kid, of this survivor of a mass murder at his school.

This is what the internet is producing.

These posts and videos have likely now been seen by thousands and tens of thousands of people. It`s a real time look at the information apocalypse. BuzzFeed reporter Charlie Warzel describes, where our platform and algorithmically optimized world is vulnerable to propaganda, to misinformation, to dark-targeted advertising from foreign governments, so much that it threatens to undermine a cornerstone of human discourse, the credibility of fact.

Joining me now by phone from Montana, author of that piece, Charlie Warzel and Zaynep Tufekci, associate professor at UNC Chapel Hill, author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest."

Charlie, let me start with you, because I just quoted that piece, and we had some technical difficulty, so we have you on the phone.

Why is it -- why is it, and how can it be the case, that within 24 hours of this happening -- or not 24 hours -- in a few days -- that this kid is the subject of conspiracy theories that are getting the kinds of numbers and the kinds of prominence on major platforms that we saw?

CHARLIE WARZEL, BUZZFEED: Well, I think it`s two things. I think that, one, you have these platforms that are set up, and really sort of geared toward, incentivizing incendiary sensationalism, sensationalist behavior. They`re engineered for scale, to sort of prioritize that above all else.

And then I think on the other end of that, you have the people who are in charge of, you know, governing these platforms, of trying to make sure that this stuff doesn`t sort of crop up. That they can kind of keep a handle on the true odious stuff that`s there. And I think that there`s an unwillingness to play that role as well as a, just, I think a difficulty understanding, maybe, just how bad it is.

HAYES: Zaynep, I have recently come to feel like we are in a real crisis at this point with the way that the current digital landscape is constituted, and partly because of the stuff that you`ve written in your great book, which I`ve read, which is fantastic, and other stuff, but am I overstating things? Or is it real bad and real dark out there?

ZAYNEP TUFEKCI, UNC CHAPEL HILL: I do think we are in an information crisis. We`ve always had polarization. What has happened is there`s a feedback looping which information that polarizes goes viral very quickly on these platforms. People go and deliberately put it on, these conspiracy theories don`t come out of nowhere, there`s motivated people who go put it on and then people who are already kind of prone to believing it start clicking on it and the algorithm goes ooh, this is engaging. Then people hate it and people who hate it click on it, and the algorithm says ooh, this is engaging. And then people start clicking on it to say, oh, can you believe this? An the algorithm goes ooh, this is engaging. The algorithm is constantly behaving the same way.

And you`ve got this massive verality and then if you see something, especially in the context of say something like Facebook, it`s being shared by someone you know. It`s not like reading it in a book, it`s peer to peer, it`s socialization. Socialization is the most potent force in human society. It`s not like reading a book. It`s not like reading a newspaper. It`s your friends, your family, your acquaintance, your social affirmation. And somebody is saying look, these guys are crisis actors. It seeds on itself with the algorithm and demand and polarization and yes, we have a crisis.

HAYES: The trust factor, it was remarkable to me yesterday you had a Republican state rep in Florida, a staffer in his office sent an e-mail on state e-mail to a reporter just saying oh, by the way, these kids aren`t real, like with the conspiracy theory. What was so shocking and upsetting to me in that moment was he believed that. That the e-mail as phrased is I`m passing on a piece of information that you should know because he had gotten it from someone that he had trusted.

WARZEL: I think that speaks to, you know, how, how this sort of online fever culture has taken root inside of people. I think we`re going to see YouTube, Reddit, all these sort of places where conspiracies sort of bubble up and take root in had this conspiratorial thinking metastasizes. Those platforms have been around for a while, and they`ve been really been unproven in this way, and I think we`re going to see those people get more, they`re going to start taking jobs in government and they have, clearly, and moving on into the world. And we`re going to see the effects of this sort of socialization for a long time. I think we are just starting to see it.

It also strikes me, there`s a classic sort of negative externality, a pollution problem. I mean, this is like setting up a factory where you make something and you dump your effluent in the river and everyone in the town has got to deal with it. But basically these big platforms are monetizing the eyeballs, so they`re monetizing eyeballs of someone libeling and endangering, really, a 16 year old kid who just saw his classmates murdered. They don`t care, because the pollution just goes in the water. Like there has to be some way to crack down on that.

TUFEKCI: Yeah, I mean externalization of the pollution is exactly right. I mean, people use lead in paint for a reason, right, it made paint stick better. And asbestos was useful. There were all these things that are useful, it just created all these externalities and then we had to create all sorts of funds to pay for it.

What`s happened is the platforms legally are under a safe harbor law that exempts them from liability. So they get to sort of let anything go through, but nine out of ten in new digital ad dollars is going to Facebook and Google. So, they get to keep all the money, and they have no legal liability. And the amount of moderation that is done on these platforms is both too little and also probably, it`s not completely moderatable under this business model, because Facebook has 2 billion people,right, it`s this -- really, the business model and incentives are aligned so that it`s embarrassing, for sure, to hear this on national TV for Facebook employees, probably, but if you`ve got Facebook stock, you`re doing great. That`s the problem is that there is no incentive on them to fix this at the moment, besides the fact that we`re talking about it and it`s causing all these problems.

HAYES: Charlie Warzel and Zaynep Tufekci, both fantastic writers on this topic. Thank you for joining me. That is ALL IN for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.



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