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Former Trump aide defies Grand Jury subpoena. TRANSCRIPT: 03/05/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Julia Ioffe, Malcolm Nance, Naveed Jamali, Neal Katyal, Adam Davidson, Sherrod Brown

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 5, 2018 Guest: Julia Ioffe, Malcolm Nance, Naveed Jamali, Neal Katyal, Adam Davidson, Sherrod Brown

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: He showed me for one that governing can be the best qualification for someone promising to govern and that in 2018 going on `20 is talent. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



KATY TUR, MSNBC ANCHOR: Do you think they have something on the President?


HAYES: A former Trump campaign aide who thinks the Mueller team has something on the President.

NUNBERG: I think that he may have done something during the election.

HAYES: Tonight jaw-dropping confessions from Sam Nunberg.

NUNBERG: I think they were interested in something with his business.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: With his business?


MELBER: Did they ask you about the way he runs his business?

NUNBERG: Yes. They ask me about his business.

HAYES: Why he`s ignoring a grand jury subpoena?

NUNBERG: The President`s right it`s a witch hunt. And I`m not going to cooperate.

HAYES: And who he thinks colluded with Russia.

NUNBERG: I think Carter Page colluded with the Russian.

HAYES: Plus, news of a new Steel memo, revealing rumors of Russian interference in Trump`s choice for Secretary of State. And why a Belarusian sex coach currently in jail in Thailand could crack the Russia investigation wide open. When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. A former Trump aide who recently spent hours being interviewed by Robert Mueller`s team thinks the Special Counsel has something on the President of the United States. Sam Nunberg is a name you probably heard a fair amount today if you were checking the internet at all, and he is a political consultant who was fired from the Trump campaign in its early days way back in 2015. A couple of weeks ago, he was questioned by Mueller`s investigators for over five hours. And today in a live phone interview on this network, Nunberg told my colleague Katy Tur that he concluded based on those questions that Mueller has the goods on his former boss, President Donald J. Trump.


TUR: You sat there in that room being questioned by Mueller`s investigators. I want to hear directly from you. Do you think that they have something on the President?

NUNBERG: I think they may.

TUR: What?

NUNBERG: I think that he may have done something during the election. But I don`t know that for sure.

TUR: Why do you think that?

NUNBERG: I can`t explain it unless you were in there.

TUR: Explain the atmosphere.

NUNBERG: The way they ask questions about anything I heard after I was fired from the campaign to the general election to even that number one, it insinuated to me he may have done something. I spoke to Steve Bannon for the first time last week after I went in there and the first -- and I spoke to him, and Steve and I were discussing about how we both feel, Katy, like I`m telling you, that Trump may very well have done something during the election. I don`t know what it is. I could be wrong, by the way.


HAYES: OK. Nunberg later expanded on that claim in an in-person interview here in the studio with MSNBC`s Ari Melber.


NUNBERG: I think they were interested in something with his business.

MELBER: With his business?


MELBER: Did they ask you about the way he runs his business?

NUNBERG: Yes. They ask me about his business. And I have no -- by the way, I have no idea what he did and he may not have done anything and could be wrong.

MELBER: But you felt they were asking you more about potential crimes related to the Trump organization than the campaign?

NUNBERG: That`s what I felt. Yes.


HAYES: The White House today dismissed Nunberg`s claims about a potential case against the President of the United States.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I definitely think he doesn`t know that for sure because he`s incorrect. As we`ve said many times before, there was no collusion with the Trump campaign. Anything further on what his actions are, he hasn`t worked at the White House so I certainly can`t speak to him or the lack of knowledge that he clearly has.


HAYES: Nunberg also announced that he is defying a subpoena from the Special Counsel to appear before a federal grand jury this Friday, complaining that campaign documents subpoenaed by the Special Counsel would be too onerous to retrieve, and saying he didn`t want to implement his former mentor, long-time Trump Adviser Roger Stone.


NUNBERG: I`m not going to answer something so wide as this. This is so ridiculous. I`m not going to give them every e-mail I had with Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. I communicate with them every day. Roger Stone is like a surrogate father. He is like my father.

MELBER: You feel loyal to him.

NUNBERG: And I`m not going to go in there for them to set up case against Roger. Roger did not do anything.


HAYES: OK. We`re going to parse that. This comes directly after NBC News and Axios both reported that an anonymous witness was recently subpoenaed for campaign documents going back to November 1, 2015, anything having to do with either the President or a long list of former campaign and senior White House aides. Nunberg told Katy Tur he made up his mind, get this, not to comply with the subpoena while he was in the middle of reviewing the requested documents, though he denied having found something he didn`t want the Special Counsel to see.


TUR: Did you find an e-mail in the last 24 hours that made you worried, an e-mail you didn`t want to hand over?

NUNBERG: No, not at all.

TUR: A text message that you didn`t want to hand over.

NUNBERG: Did somebody just said you that question by the way into your ear?

TUR: No. That`s a question came up with off the top of my head.

NUNBERG: It`s a very good question. No, I did not.

TUR: Has anybody from the Trump White House contacted you?


TUR: Has the President contacted you?


TUR: Has anybody from Trump`s legal team contacted you?


TUR: Has Roger Stone told you not go to go talk to the grand jury?



HAYES: Now, defying a grand jury subpoena could result in prison time for Nunberg who could be charged with contempt of court. But Nunberg appeared to dismiss the potential consequences.


NUNBERG: I once again don`t want to have to spend 80 hours going over e- mails.

MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNSEL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: You`d rather spend possibly a year in jail than 80 hours going through e-mails?

NUNBERG: I`m not going to -- I`m not going to jail. You think I`m going to jail?


HAYES: Well, maybe. MSNBC`s Katy Tur spoke to Sam Nunberg this afternoon and joins me right now. Sorry about that. Let me ask you this, what is going on here?

TUR: Other than the chair falling?

HAYES: Other than the chair falling.

TUR: Listen, Sam is -- it`s a character and he has always been a character inside Trump world. A lot of what he says you have to confirm. All of what he said -- he said you have to confirm. Some of it is far-flung and some things do result in solid reporting that can get backed up by multiple other sources. He went in to the Special Counsel interview about a week ago, came out of it and said on this network that it was not a witch-hunt, that it was a good use of taxpayer money, that it did not waste his time. Last night I spoke to him about the subpoena, and he said he was going to comply with it. He never gave any indication that he would not comply with it. I was talking to him 10:30, 11:00 last night and this morning, or this afternoon, while I was on television, The Washington Post reports that he is suddenly not going to comply.

And so, I called him, and I asked why. It does make it suspicious to a normal person about what he might have found that would make him not want to comply. If there is no communications with a lot of the people on that list, then, OK, that`s easy. If there is communications with Roger Stone, and Roger Stone didn`t do anything, OK, exonerate Roger Stone with your e- mails. If there`s e-mails about Steve Bannon and Steve Bannon didn`t do anything, show the e-mails that exonerate Steve Bannon. I think ultimately what will happen is Sam Nunberg will appear before a grand jury. Sam Nunberg will comply with the subpoena. He is just going to make it difficult and he`s going to flail his arms around.

HAYES; OK. But -- so to go back -- let`s focus in on -- there`s -- he is -- he is saying things that seem incriminating for other people, right? So I just want to walk through those just to figure out what grains of salt we should be.

TUR: There`s a lot of interesting --

HAYES: I mean, let`s start with the President.

TUR: There`s a lot of interesting stuff that`s come out of the interview that he had. And some of it focuses on, and this is what is interesting, because it`s not just Sam Nunberg who says this about what the interviews - - your interviewers questions are. This is confirmed by other sources, is that Mueller is probing whether or not Donald Trump himself knew about the hacked Democratic e-mails, the Hillary Clinton e-mails, the John Podesta e- mails before the public knew.

And when he was at that press conference that we`ve all been talking about, the one that I was at in July of 2016, he said, "Russia, if you`re listening," was he using that as some sort of cover for himself because he knew it was coming later? Was that scripted, was that line adlibbed? Where in the world did that line come from? They`re questioning it. They`re also questioning his relationship with Roger Stone. Why was Roger Stone out of the campaign? Was he really fired or did he quit? What relationship did Stone have during 2016? Was there still a relationship? Potentially, was there some sort of backchannel going on?

HAYES: We know they talked.

TUR: Well, yes, we do. I mean, well, Sam Nunberg, and today was bonkers, underscore bonkers, it doesn`t take away from the fact that there are still questions being asked not only of Sam Nunberg but of others about what the President when he was a candidate knew and when he knew it.

HAYES: Yes, of course. I guess my question more is what is Nunberg -- like he has been on two interviews on this network. He`s done two interviews on another network. He called in to NY1 today, which is like the local cable news network of New York. What is he doing? Like, how do you understand the behavior of this individual?

TUR: I mean, I`m not a psychoanalyst so I can`t tell you what he is trying to do. He says things that get a rise out of people. He says outrageous things. He does it. He does it on the phone. He does it in text messages. That is who he is. This is a surprising move even for Sam Nunberg. I mean obviously, it`s very surprising. There are people around him that are seriously concerned about him. They`re concerned about his well-being, they`re concerned about what he could be doing next. They`re concerned. I just talked to him a moment ago, and I said have you talked to your lawyer? He`s like no, I haven`t talked to my lawyer. So who knows? I mean, this is odd. But, again, this is the Trump campaign and administration. Everything has been completely wacky.

HAYES: That`s true. Katy Tur, it`s great to have you. Great interview today. Thank you.

TUR: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Nick Akerman is a former Watergate Prosecutor and MSNBC Legal Analyst, Neal Katyal is a former Acting Solicitor General of the U.S. under President Obama. Neal, let me start with you on this sort of basic legal question here. You get a document production subpoena from a prosecutor and you say I`m not doing it. What happens next?

NEAL KATYAL. FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Yes, so, I mean, it`s kind of a ridiculous strategy that Nunberg is pursuing here. I mean, you know, to Katy Tur`s credit, I mean, she found the one guy who`s more unhinged than Donald Trump. But this is an unhinged strategy. He`s saying I`m not going to show upon Friday, I`m not going to give these documents. Mueller`s next move will be to say a motion to compel and ask a judge to order the documents and for him to appear. And that standard is very low. It`s just if relevant evidence is in the possession of Nunberg and Mueller is certainly going to win it, and he almost certainly has to bring such a motion. He can`t just let this go because that sends a terrible signal to other witnesses.

HAYES: What do you make of what you saw today? Have you ever encountered something like that?

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I certainly have. I mean -

HAYES: You have?

AKERMAN: Oh, yes. When I was a prosecutor, I had a witness in the grand jury. I asked him one question. Do you know Frank Sinatra? He refused to answer. I gave him --

HAYES: Well, that seems like a big red flag.

AKERMAN: Sure. I gave him an immunity order. I asked him do you know Frank Sinatra. He refused to answer. I took him before the judge, and he spent the next 18 months in prison under a contempt order. Now at any point in time --

HAYES: Did you ever find out he knew Frank Sinatra?

AKERMAN: Oh, I knew he knew Frank Sinatra.

HAYES: There you go.

AKERMAN: Right, but he could have at any point in time in those 18 months come out and testified, and he would have been out of prison. The 18 months is the life of the grand jury. What`s interesting here is we`ve got a special Grand Jury for the Special Counsel. It`s very likely this Grand Jury could get extended beyond 18 months. So he`s really -- Nunberg is playing with fire. He could wind up in jail for three years if he refuses to produce his documents and refuses to go to the Grand Jury.

HAYES: Let me ask you this, Neal, the questions that are -- we`re getting a lot of stories about the questions that Mueller is asking. The reason we`re getting those stories, as best as I can tell, the Mueller operation doesn`t leak. But he has interviewed a lot of people and the people that are being interviewed are talking to reporters about what they`re being asked. And I guess the question is, how indicative are these questions? I mean, Nunberg seemed spooked, other people seemed spooked. Other people seem to think they are being asked questions by investigators that investigators already have the answers to. Is that a reasonable assumption?

KATYAL: Well, I do think it`s reasonable. I do think that what we are learning is that Mueller is investigating exactly what his mandate was, which is what happened with Russia in the election and part of that has to do with the Trump businesses and other stuff that happened back then. I mean, I think the other thing about this is you know, we shouldn`t be after all surprised that Nunberg all of the sudden is refusing to cooperate. I mean, that is what Trump has been nodding and winking and suggesting that everyone should do. He`s attacked the FBI.

HAYES: Right.

KATYAL: He`s attacked law enforcement, he has attacked Mueller, he has attacked the Justice Department. And those are all his guys. He appointed them all with the exception of Mueller. And yet, Mueller is supervised by all of them and he`s attacking them. And so, it`s not surprising that Nunberg is following that lead. And I think that this is all about ultimately laying the groundwork for when Trump refuses to comply with subpoenas. And then it looks like, well, other people have failed to comply too so it`s just part of that whole thing.

AKERMAN: Yes, but I think the lesson learned -- that`s going to be learned here is that if you don`t comply, you`re going wind up in prison. I mean, that`s exactly what`s going to happen to him. I mean, the only power that our federal courts have is the contempt power. If they didn`t have that, it would simply --

HAYES: No one would ever testify about anything.

AKERMAN: No one would ever testify, no one would ever show up to court. You have to have that power. And particularly in an investigation like this, you have to have the ability to hold somebody in contempt if they snub their noses at the court.

KATYAL: I could not -- yes, I could not agree more. And I do think maybe the most important thing about this is not just the Mueller investigation, but what signal this has sent and all these Trump attacks on law enforcement to all the other investigations which have nothing to do with Mueller across the country. I mean, if Trump can`t trust his own people in the FBI, his own Justice Department, how are ordinary citizens going to come forward? And law enforcement depends on voluntary cooperation and people coming forward and complying with subpoenas and all sorts of things. And if you know, Trump`s own former campaign folks aren`t complying and saying things like oh, I don`t have to show up on Friday, you know, just imagine what signal is sent to citizens across this country. That`s why presidents don`t do the kind of attacks that President Trump has done on law enforcement.

AKERMAN: And I must say, I mean, Katy Tur set up all of the facts here. The prosecutor can go in with that interview and show, number one, he simply doesn`t want to comply, which is not an excuse. And two, that he has lots of evidence and lots of e-mails on Bannon and Roger Stone.

HAYES: He seemed to draw a giant red arrow to like precisely what was most incriminating.

AKERMAN: Exactly. Exactly.

HAYES: Well, I started going through my e-mails and I thought to myself, well, I don`t want to comply.

AKERMAN: Right. And what are you going to do? I mean, his excuses, it would take him 80 hours as opposed to the next 18 months that he has to spend in jail.

HAYES: You know -- yes, Neal, go ahead.

KATYAL: I was going to say, yes, I mean, you know, there are points in that interview with Katy Tur in which he sounded so incriminating to President Trump and other parts other part. I mean, it`s very hard to follow. I mean, this is a guy who has more shifting stories than Stormy Daniels which is hard to do, but he has managed to do it. And so, you know, I don`t know exactly, and I think we all don`t know exactly what information he is referring to when he says well, Mueller`s got the goods on Trump. He suspects that there is something there. But, you know, it`s one story -- one marker in I think a long story that`s going to unfold.

HAYES: You know, the other thing about this is there`s a lot of pressure being brought to bear on a lot of people right now. And you`re seeing how people behave under that pressure in painful detail. Nick Akerman and Neal Katyal, thanks for your time tonight.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

KATYAL: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, new reporting that there is a second Steele dossier describing, get this, new claims of Russian intervention alleging Kremlin influence over Trump`s cabinet selection. That story in two minutes.


HAYES: Until Sam Nunberg gave his memorable performance all over cable news all day, the biggest story in politics today came out of Jane Mayer`s New Yorker profile of dossier author Christopher Steele. According to Mayer, Steele wrote another memo back in November 2016 in which a senior Russian official relayed talked circulating new Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Kremlin had intervened to block Trump`s initial choice of Secretary of State Mitt Romney and that the Kremlin through unspecified channels had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions and who would cooperate on security issues of interest to Russia such as the conflict in Syria.

The job, of course, ultimately went to Rex Tillerson, who had literally been awarded the order of friendship by Vladimir Putin himself. With me now MSNBC Contributor, Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt and New Yorker Staff Writer Adam Davidson. And before we get to that story about the Steele Dossier and the sort of way in which the Mueller investigation is taking shape, I`m just curious your reaction watching a former associate of the President`s do what -- Sam Nunberg do what he has done all day over national television.

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Your mouth just hangs open. You can`t believe these are the people who were in proximate positions to the President of the United States. It`s just extraordinary. And this New Yorker story today is just in the depth of its reporting as extraordinary. Certainly the notion that the Russians vetoed Mitt Romney as the Secretary of State, and the story implies would have a veto whoever the President nominated in that. If that`s true.

HAYES: And it`s an if. We should be --

SCHMIDT: If that`s true, though, certainly, those are the grounds necessary to remove this president from office beyond any discussion, beyond any doubt. And then, I think the other thing that the story lays clear is who is Christopher Steele? And we have all this smoke and all this thunder and all this noise. This is a career intelligence officer who spent his entire career in the service of her majesty`s government, working very closely with Britain`s most important ally, the United States where he had the respect and the admiration of the FBI, of the CIA, of the American Intelligence Community. And Christopher Steele is a patriot, a patriot for his country and a friend of America. And the smears launched against him, Lindsey Graham`s lowest moment in the United States Senate, his unconscionable referral that he should be investigated criminally along with Grassley, just, just, just terrible. And that`s so laid bare in this New Yorker story.

HAYES: There seems to be a synthesis between that -- the Steele dossier which -- and the performance of Nunberg today and it`s this, there are a lot of people in the Trump orbit with very questionable judgment. And you have reported on the Trump business empire in precisely those kind of terms that, like, if story coming together here is an orbit full of people with questionable judgment and an adversary in Russia who wants to try to get to them, you start to look like -- you know, I can see how those two things can go together.

ADAM DAVIDSON, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: And the president who rather famously spends hours every day talking to all sorts of friends and who will do whatever the last friend told him to do. So what Jane reported was at least the rumor or the report was not that Trump -- Putin called up Trump.

HAYES: Right.

DAVIDSON: That somehow they influenced the decision. Was he talking to one of his cronies who had a big business deal? I have personally spoken to several people in the Trump orbit who described ideas they had about ways to make hundreds of millions of dollars being an intermediary between Trump and oligarchs. They didn`t need Trump`s permission because that`s just how Trump works. He is a platform for people -- I mean Sam Nunberg is not a typical of the kind of people you see in Trump`s orbit.

HAYES: And that seems to me a huge part of why the squeak -- it feels like the Mueller investigation is squeezing. Because there are so -- like, here is what I would say. It seems plausible to me that Donald Trump himself didn`t do a thing, but thinks that someone around him probably did. Like that seems a plausible thing that has happened.

SCHMIDT: We have -- we have the President`s son-in-law, completely unqualified for his position. In any other White House, Democratic or Republican, cannot clear his security clearance would have been walked to the gates, never to return, is sitting with the CEO of the Apollo group and the CEO of Citi outside of their normal loan processes $500 million in American money of loans outside the process? This is the type of stuff that goes on 30 years ago in Zaire, not in the United States of America. The magnitude of the corruption is just unfathomable.

HAYES: And that`s the stuff we know. And the other question here is you know, there`s all this reporting about you know, there`s a Lebanese businessman named George Nader who is been sort of -- again, it`s kind of what you said, the sort of influence peddling middleman kind of role that he has had. He`s now being looked at by the Mueller investigation. You have looked into their finances, and it just seems like such an obviously fruitful line of inquiry.

DAVIDSON: It is unbelievable. I mean, this weekend when we saw reporting that the FBI is looking into the Trump relationship with this ex-convict Malaysian businessman`s son in Vancouver, and I thought oh, yes, that whole deal.

HAYES: Right.

DAVIDSON: They haven`t even been paying attention to because there are so many other deals that others suspect --

HAYES: They just got their name chiseled off a hotel in Panama today.

DAVIDSON: After almost an armed battle. And then you look at the Indonesian, and on and on and on. Now, I think -- I don`t think anyone who knows Trump well or has followed him well thinks he would have sat down and said let`s make a big long-term plan of collusion. However, what is very consistent, very consistent with the way he ran his business is all but saying, or sometimes explicitly saying go out, make some money. Just give me my cut. And that is the culture that we`re seeing in White House very nakedly.

HAYES: All right, Steve Schmidt and Adam Davidson, thank you both for being with me. It`s always good to have you here in the studio.

SCHMIDT: Great to see you.

DAVIDSON: Yes, good to see you, Chris.

HAYES: All right, coming up, Democrats have largely held the line against the White House agenda for over a year but some are now joining forces with Trump Republicans. I`ll talk to Senator Sherrod Brown about some -- why some of his colleagues are breaking ranks, next.


HAYES: Congressional Democrats have held the line on a number of the President`s legislative priority, including efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which sparked months of protests on Capitol Hill. Donald Trump`s tax overhaul which passed without a single Democratic vote as well. But now some Democrats appear ready to join forces with the Republicans to weaken banking regulations put in place after the financial crisis ten years ago. One Democratic Senator who is against the bill, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio who`s the Ranking Member on the Banking Committee as well joins me now. I`ll start, I guess, Senator, by saying what my understanding of the argument in favor of the bill is which is that the last round of financial regulation painted with too broad a brush and it was onerous for the plucky small banks that everyone loves and this is a common-sense step to fix that. What say you to that?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH) Well, it started that way. I actually was working with Senator Crapo, the chairman of the committee, to help the community banks with some rules that probably didn`t need to be in place that Dodd-Frank could have tailored the rules perhaps a little better for the banks that were smaller. And we looked at some of the midsized banks like Huntington and Fifth-Third and Key Bank, banks in my state that really didn`t contribute to the financial crisis. If he we had done it right and stuck to those.

But this is a little like the tax bill. The Republicans say it was middle class tax cut. Well, that`s what they say the bill is, but it was all about helping the richest 1 percent. This bill has some things for community banks and regional banks, but it also deregulates foreign banks, those banks like Deutsche Bank and Santander that have been terrible players in the international community. And it deregulates them in the United States. It weakens the stress test for those larger banks, makes them less frequent and dilutes them. And we`re ultimately relying on Trump regulators to enforce some of these things. And hat`s why Paul Volcker, and former Republican FDIC chair Sheila Bair and Antonio Weiss and Sarah Bloom Raskin and others who used to do regulation and understand how important it is, think this bill is pretty alarming, that this bill will make it more likely, as the Congressional Budget Office says, more likely to cause a bailout in the future and that`s exactly the wrong thing to do.

HAYES: So, I want to go back to something you just said, which is interesting. So what you`re saying is, there is a kind of like legislative evolution in which you thought this started in a place where there was some needed reforms to sort of help community banks. And then what happened was what? That it was the bank lobbyists got a hold of it, the Republican leadership got a hold of it, and turned it into something that you can`t support and you don`t like?

BROWN: Yes. It was right after when -- the day that President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank bill, which was the Wall Street reform bill that really did we thought lock in for good some of the stronger rules and regulations to keep the large banks from bringing on more risk and making more money and ultimately until they didn`t, until the banks imploded like Wall Street, almost caused the economy, too, a lot of the -- number one financial lobbyists in Washington that day said well, now it`s halftime.

In other words, we may have lost the first half and had these rules, but we`re going to work for the next eight years. And they`ve worked to weaken the rules at the agencies, but never have they come with a frontal assault like they have in congress that clearly will mean easier treatment, weaker rules on the biggest banks. And it`s -- when you`re deregulating Deutsche Bank, President Trump`s bank, when you`re deregulating the Swiss bank that has been playing illegal with the Iranians or Santander, a Spanish bank, that repossessed dozens of servicemen`s and women`s cars when they were overseas serving our country, something is wrong with that. And that`s why this opposition to this is so important.

HAYES: OK. I don`t understand how this is happening, right. So, the legislative agenda of this president seems a little stalled. It`s sort of unclear what he actually wants to do. Democrats have held the line on huge priorities, whether the ACA or tax cuts. And you`ve got Democratic co-sponsors on this bill. I mean, and a lot of them are people in your cohort, which are Democrats in states Trump won that are up in 2018. What are the politics of this? And why is this happening?

BROWN: Well, you`ll have to ask them.

I think it`s a little bit like a frog is in water in a stove and you keep turning the hot water, making it hotter and hotter. This bill gets a little worse, a little worse, but nobody gets out of it, nobody gets out of it because they agreed to support it when it was more modest and had good some reforms. I mean, that`s why I ask people...

HAYES: And the lobbyists know that there is buy-in...

BROWN: and say...

HAYES: The lobbyists know that there`s buy-in, which allows them to do that.

BROWN: Of course, of course. Yeah, and there are more Wall Street lobbyists than there have ever been. There`s -- and they`re getting their way. I mean, they`re earning their money, more power to them. But we`ve just seen -- there is no question from the CBO score to what these former regulators like Paul Volcker and Tom Hoenig, some of the Republicans, and Volcker and others have said that this is going to put more risk. That`s why I ask people to come to and sign a petition saying no bailouts. Don`t do this bailout, because this is going to make it more likely that the banks will have to be bailed out some time.

HAYES: All right, Senator Sherrod Brown, thanks for joining me.

BROWN: Thanks, Chris. Glad to.

HAYES: Still ahead, a pretty incredible story from The New York Times. A Belarussian escort is saying she has hours of recordings that could expose Russia`s interference in the election. What she claims is on those recordings ahead.

And a big anniversary for President Trump this weekend. That`s tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Thing One tonight, an auspicious milestone for the Trump administration. Just 408 days into his presidency, Donald Trump has now spent 100 days at one of his own golf clubs. The president`s motorcade pulled into the Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, Florida at about 8:15 Saturday morning, left three hours later at around 11:15 to return to his Mar-a-Lago resort.

This video is file footage because the press was not invited to the actual golf course, coinciding with the president`s 100th day of one of his golf resorts, 1/4 of his presidency, it appears the Trump organization found a way to mark the occasion. It is spectacularly tacky. And it`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES: The one clear perk to being a member of a Trump club is having access to the president of the United States, quit, a bit of access as Trump has now spent one in four days as president at one of his golf courses.

But now it appears the Trump Organization wants to celebrate that point. They`ve reportedly ordered golf course markers with the presidential seal on them. Eagle Sign and Design, the metal working company and sign company provided this photo to ProPublica, quote - - and said it had received an order to manufacturer dozens of round 12-inch replicas of the presidential seal to be placed next to the tee boxes at Trump golf course holes.

ProPublica and WMIC says the order was made by Trump International, which is a problem because legally, the presidential seal is only to be used for official government business. Federal law prohibits use of the presidential seal for commercial ventures. In fact, in 2005, the Bush administration instructed the satirical newspaper The Onion to stop using it on its website.

So, whether the president is aware of this or not, if dozens of presidential seals wind up on golf tees at his golf clubs, that could be an outright legal violation in a presidency marked by his cavalier mix of President Trump and Trump Inc.


TRUMP: Korean golfers are some of the best on Earth. In fact, and you know what I`m going to say, the women`s U.S. Open was held this year at TrumpNational Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.



HAYES: The teacher strike in West Virginia. We brought you a story about on Friday is now the longest in state history. Thousands of teachers packing the capitol building in Charleston again today as schools remain closed in all the state`s 55 counties in this amazing wildcat strike. They will stay shut tomorrow as well.

As you may recall, the teachers reached a deal with the governor a few days ago, or at least the governor offered them one, that included a 5 percent pay raise. And the house of delegates signed off on it. But they remained on strike, the teachers did, through the end of last week out of concern the deal wouldn`t actually become law.

Well, it turns out they were right to be concerned. Over the weekend, Republicans in the state senate instead passed a bill giving teachers only a 4 percent raise, arguing it was unfair for teachers to get a 5 percent raise while other state workers only got 3 percent.

The conference committee trying to work out a compromise remains deadlocked tonight while Senate President Mitch Carmichael argues teachers should be happy with what the senate gave them.


STATE SEN. MITCH CARMICHAEL, (R) WEST VIRGINIA: We`re providing over $2,000 to teachers, again, the largest pay raise in 28 years. That`s all the money we have. It`s an amazing pay raise. It locks in our insurance premiums and rates and will the teachers stay out on strike, because they only got 80 percent of their demands?


CARMICHAEL: Well, I think that`s sends a bad message to society and to our -- frankly our students that there is compromise. Mature adults compromise. And that`s what we do in this legislative process. And frankly, 80 percent of your demand is a very good outcome.


HAYES: Now two things to note about that. The first is this, in the beginning, the message the teachers got was that there was no money for any kind of pay raises and then they went on strike. And now they`re looking at a big pay raise, or at least 4 percent, 5 percent. So maybe the original line about how there was no money for the pay raise wasn`t quite true.

And if you`re advising the teachers now, it would be hard not to tell them to stay on strike until there is a bill signed into law because West Virginian politicians have given the teachers absolutely no reason to trust them.


HAYES: Here is a story for you. There is a Belarussian self-styled sex coach in a Bangkok jail right now who says she is, and I quote her here, the only witness and the missing link in the connection between Russia and the U.S. elections.

21-year-old Anastasia Vashukevich claims to have audio recordings that can link the Kremlin to the Trump campaign. She says she fears for her life if she gets sent back to Russia so she`s offering to give the alleged evidence to the U.S. government in return for asylum.

Her story might seem completely implausible were it not for this: footage that Vashukevich shared in August 2016 of her on a yacht with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, former business associate of Paul Manafort.

That`s just one of the stories swirling around the Russia investigation that reads like a spy novel.

Here to unpack them all, former FBI double agent Naveed Jamali who worked against Russian intelligence gathering efforts in the U.S.; Atlantic writer Julia Ioffe who has written and reported extensively on Russia; and intelligence expert Malcolm Nance who wrote the Plot to Hack America about Russia`s election interference.

And Julia, let me start with you. This story -- I first saw it and I was like OK there was a Russian sex coach in a Thai jail who says that needs asylum to the U.S. so she can spill the beans about Oleg Deripaska, a Kremlin oligarch, and the American election and I thought, well that -- that seems unlikely. And then, of course, there is a video, there`s footage in which she doesn`t maybe that unlikely or implausible. What do you make of it?

JULIA IOFFE, THE ATLANTIC: Well, and that`s when you realized, oh right, we`re talking about Russia so of course it`s totally plausible.

And let`s just be clear for our viewers, she`s not just a sex coach, she is a professional escort. And the way all of this came to light is Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, released a YouTube video that everybody should go see, it has English subtitles, it`s about a half hour long, about these escorts who came to troll his campaign offices, because he`s trying to undermine Putin`s authority. They looked into who these escorts -- these prostitutes were, and it turned out that one of them, Nastya Rybka, which -- her last name means little fish, or like her moniker -- was a frequent companion of Oleg Deripaska, who we know was in frequent communication with Paul Manafort`s former deputy while -- and Paul Manafort, as we reported in The Atlantic, Paul Manafort, while being $19 million in debt to Deripaska was working for the Trump campaign for free, and through intermediaries trying to make sure that Oleg Deripaska saw what a good job he was doing on the Trump campaign.

And this Russian escort posts video of Deripaska talking about the U.S. election and various U.S. officials with a very important Kremlin foreign policy aid who has been around since the `90s and is very, very power and feel very close to Vladimir Putin.

HAYES: Let me make sure. I know. I know. This is hard.

IOFFE: It`s very simple, yeah.

HAYES: I know, we`re like 400 pages into a Russian novel where Americans I think are just like struggling with the names.

So, let me make sure I understood that the last part correctly. The video that was posted was Deripaska. Again, Deripaska is this oligarch. He is the one -- I want to read this email. This is Manafort -- the first thing he does when he gets his jobs he says, "how do we use to get whole has OVD operation seen, meaning Oleg Vladimiravich Deripaska. Like, this guy is a very important person in Paul Manafort`s life. He owes him millions of dollars.

This man, what you`re saying is that the video that was posted is this man talking to a Russian official about the American election.

IOFFE: Right. On his own private yacht and Nastya, this Anastasia, is putting this Belarussia escort, is filming all this and putting this onto her open access Instagram and Navalny just happened to notice it and he...

HAYES: That is...

IOFFE: Go watch the video. It is fantastic. It will explain everything.

HAYES: So Malcolm, what do you make of this?

MALCOLM NANCE, AUTHOR: Well, you know, there is only two things that can happen here, it can either be the truth, which is a little implausible but you know we`ve already seen so many amazing and crazy things today that I`m almost ready to believe anything, but on the other hand, what we can find is, is that she may believe that she`s being truthful about this, and she may actually have recorded some of this stuff, but by about now, Russian technical collection from their internal security would have rolled this up and when it could be let out as a trap to us so that when we actually go after this, or some news agency goes after this, and they get those recordings, boom, it`s Oleg Deripaska playing with puppies and we look like fools.

IOFFE: I think Malcolm brings up a very important point, it -- what Nastya Rybk, this -- I don`t know how you want it -- this Russian escort, what she`s saying may not be true. She, I`m sure, has lots of video of Deripaska, and I`m sure she`s very rationally scared for her life to go back to Russia, but that doesn`t mean that she has the missing link. I mean, she may or may not.

It could be because Deripaska is a scary guy. He`s -- there is a reason that he has not been given visas to the U.S., that the Russian government has to -- because of his connections to organized crime, the Russian government has to issue him a diplomatic passport so he can and visit here.

So I think she`s more scared of Deripaska than the Kremlin.

VANCE: Who exactly would she be shopping this to? Donald Trump? That`s the U.S. government.

HAYES: Right now, she seems to be shopping it -- yeah, right, I mean, that`s the funny thing. That`s a great point and she`s saying she needs asylum in the U.S. I had the same thought. Like if you think the U.S. government is going to be like yes, please, we want to see the tape, maybe you have got another thing coming.

But Naveed, do you think she has -- she says I`m scared for my life. Is that a legitimate concern?

NAVEED JAMALI, FORMER FBI DOUBLE AGENT: I think it is. I mean, we just heard today that there was someone, a former Russian GRU officer who was traded in a spy swap who has come quite ill and his wife has come quite ill in the UK. So, it`s not beyond the pale.

I do kind of want to hedge this a bit. You know, when you talk about people, when you`re talking about human operations, this is exactly what a case officer, someone like Steele would have to do. You have to look at the individual. Now, just because someone is saying something, from an intelligence assessment standpoint you can say with high confidence this person, in fact, did say something to me or did say this to me, but the substance, the fact behind that may not be able to easily be ascertained.

So, it sounds confusing. You can have high confidence that someone did, in fact, say this, but low confidence in what they were saying.

HAYES: Let`s just be clear, though, just on this story, she is talking to reporters behind a cage in a Thai jail. So, there`s no question about literally, there are American reporters standing in a Thai jail where she is saying to them this is what I have. I need asylum in the U.S.

I totally agree that doesn`t mean that what she`s saying is truthful or, in Julia`s case, she may not have what she has, but what we do know is like she definitely was on a boat with Oleg Deripaska at one point and definitely did post video of stuff he was talking about.

JAMALI: And, Chris, to that point, what we`re seeing here is, it`s not just one thing, it`s two things. And, look what I know about the Russians, what I know about Russian intelligence, they are like burglars looking in a car every night. Every night they are looking for weakness. And they are going to go to that car where someone has left their wallet or their keys in it. That`s what the Trump campaign and the Trump orbit represents, it just represents a weakness, a path in for Russian intelligence to come in. And I have to say we start seeing five, 10 of these stories coming out, there is something to it. It may not be this specific thing, but there clearly is something here. It`s not just a nothing burger

HAYES: Malcolm, you`re nodding your head in agreement.

NANCE: Yeah. But, you know, you have to understand something, the bizarre nature of this. Because there are these -- you know, Deripaska lives in this Wild West sort of world where he has his own set of rules, even though he`s a Russian, he`s an oligarch, he`s an associate of Putin, and these are the sort of things that can come out in between the cracks.

But if we are going to talk about this like a James Bond movie or a spy story, we have to remember what eventually happens to these women in Bond films, right, like From Russia with Love, or, you know, they end up dead. And it would not be beyond the pale for Deripaska to just make sure that she gets shanked in that prison.

HAYES: Julia, there is -- to reference something that Naveed just said -- there is this crazy story about the former GRU officer who was spying for Britain, who was part of the prisoner swap, the famous Anna Chapman prisoner swap, in which we caught the Russian spy who was here living life as an American got sent back to Russia. One of the people that came back out to the west was someone who had spied for the British and who was living in England, and he`s found on a bench in the last few days with a woman, the two of them dosed on something apparently.

IOFFE: And now critically ill in a hospital.

HAYES: Critically ill in a hospital.

IOFFE: I mean, we`ve seen this story before. And we`ve also seen it here in Washington, D.C. The Russians don`t let -- you know, Vladimir Putin respects his enemies, but he hates traitors and he has often said this, that an enemy is -- an adversary is a respectable thing. There is a set of rules to govern that, but traitors need to die essentially.

And I have a feeling that, you know, linking this back to the Russian escort, I think she`s scared out of her mind and she`s afraid for her life with good reason and she`s dangling this to the Americans saying please save me, I`m going to die.

HAYES: Well, Naveed Jamali, Julia Ioffe and Malcolm Nance, thanks for joining us. We will see what happens next.

Before I go, exciting news, the paper back version of my latest book "A Colony in a Nation" comes out tomorrow. It`s about race and policing in democracy. Plus, there is a brand-new afterward that I wrote about Donald Trump and his rhetoric of law and order, which given today`s news looks more and more relevant.

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