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Trump lashes out ahead of Stormy Daniels interview. TRANSCRIPT: 03/23/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Tim O`Brien, Maxine Waters, Spencer Ackerman

ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES March 23, 2018 Guest: Tim O`Brien, Maxine Waters, Spencer Ackerman




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal lying about the affairs?

REID: The gathering storm.

KAREN MCDOUGAL, AMERICAN MODEL: After we had been intimate he tried to pay me.

REID: The Playmate`s story is out. The porn star`s story is just hours away and tonight there is growing concern about what Donald Trump will do next. Plus --

ROGER STONE, CAMPAIGN ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I have had no contacts from Russians or intermediaries for Russians.

REID: Blockbuster new reporting that Trump world was, indeed, in contact with the Russian agent who hacked the DNC. Then --

TRUMP: I looked very seriously at the veto.

REID: How Donald Trump got rolled on the omnibus --

TRUMP: I was thinking about doing the veto.

REID: -- and why it has Ann Coulter talking impeachment.

TRUMP: I will never sign another bill like this again.

REID: And as the Parkland students descend on Washington --

AMERICAN CROWD: Hey hey, ho, ho, the NRA has got to go.

REID: -- a preview on the March for Our Lives when ALL IN starts now.


REID: Good evening from Washington D.C., I`m Joy Reid in for Chris Hayes. As we learn more and more about the behavior of Donald Trump before he was president from women who say they had an affair with him while he was married with a young child, Trump`s behavior as President is becoming more erratic and unstable. And as the clock ticks down to a 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels less than 48 hours from now, many are anticipating things will get weirder.

Trump does not want Daniels to tell her story. In fact, he sued her for $20 million last week claiming she violated one of Trump`s infamous nondisclosure agreements designed to silence her from speaking out. But his efforts so far have failed. The interview will air this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern and last night Daniels lawyer hinted at what`s in store tweeting a picture of a disk inside a case with the ominous caption "if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many swords this worth." Just moments ago, Michael Avenatti said this to my colleague Chris Matthews.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER OF STORMY DANIELS: That DVD contains evidence of this relationship and let me tell you why I sent that tweet. I sent that tweet as a warning shot to Michael Cohen and any supporter of the President and to the President himself to the extent that they plan on disparaging my client, lying about what happened or spinning facts that have no basis in reality after this 60 Minutes interview, let that tweet be a warning to them. It is time for the nonsense to end. They need to come clean about what happened. They need to come about the $130,000. They need to come clean with the American people. It`s just that simple.


REID: Now, we`ve already learned more details than we ever, ever wanted to know about Donald Trump`s alleged relationship with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who sat down for her first T.V. interview last night. McDougal says her affair with Trump took place around the same time as Daniels, not long after his third wife Melania gave birth to his fifth child, Barron.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you feel about being in his apartment?

MCDOUGAL: Guilty, very guilty. I kind of didn`t -- I couldn`t wait to get out of the apartment actually. I think doing something -- but then when you`re doing something -- doing something wrong is bad enough but when you`re doing something wrong and you`re in the middle of somebody else`s home or bed or whatever, that just puts a little stab in your heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All this time you saw him, this was an ongoing sexual relationship?

MCDOUGAL: Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you estimate how many times you actually saw him?

MCDOUGAL: Again, when you`re in a relationship, do you count how many times you have sex? No. However, I can tell you we saw each other a minimum five times a month up to bigger numbers per month. So we --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over the course of how long?

MCDOUGAL: Over the course of 2006 through -- I think I ended the relationship in April 2007. So we were together ten months before I chose to end it. So we saw each other quite frequently.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So dozens of times you were together and were intimate?

MCDOUGAL: Many dozens of times. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many dozens of times?


REID: And the more lurid details these women reveal about their encounters with Trump, the more he seems to flail around, lashing out at his own staff and plunging his administration further into chaos. It was just a couple hours before the McDougal interview aired last night that Trump ousted National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and replaced him with John Bolton, one of the most hawkish foreign policy figures in the country who`s advocated preemptive war with both Iran and North Korea among other countries he`d like to see the U.S. attack. The firing of McMaster and the hiring of Bolton reportedly came as a surprise to White House Chief --to the White House staff who weren`t expecting the announcement for at least another week. Neither, apparently, was Bolton.


JOHN BOLTON, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS: I think I still am a Fox News Contributor. I didn`t --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you`re not, apparently.

BOLTON: I didn`t -- well, I haven`t started there yet so that demonstrates, I think, the sort of limbo that I`m in because I didn`t really expect an announcement this afternoon.


REID: After firing his Secretary of State last week, the President reportedly has plans to get rid of two more cabinet members -- David Shulkin at Veterans Affairs and Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development who both faced allegations of abusing public funds. And according to exclusive reporting by NBC News, the President has considered firing Chief of Staff John Kelly and getting rid of the position altogether. Meanwhile, Trump mused about vetoing a congressional spending bill which would have triggered a government shutdown before ahead and signing it anyway. Yesterday he announced new tariffs against China provoking threats of retaliation against American product and setting off a 1,100 point drop in the Dow Jones over two days.

And in the midst of negotiations with Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the terms of a high-stakes face-to-face interview, Trump just lost John Dowd, the lead attorney on his personal legal team, the only one with the reputation as an experienced criminal defender. That leaves Trump with just two lawyers who are known primarily as right-wing activists and pundits and one them who was just brought early on this week reportedly may not even be sticking around. Trump has not yet confirmed whether he`ll sit down for an interview with Mueller`s team and he`s yet to comment about any of his alleged affairs.


TRUMP: Thank you all very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President is Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal lying about the affairs?


REID: Joining me now is Bloomberg`s Tim O`Brien, author of the book Trump Nation, the Art of Being the Donald. And Tim, what a week. We are anticipating that Donald Trump is not looking forward to Sunday when the 60 Minutes interview airs. As a Trump biographer and somebody who`s known the man and dealt with him, what do you think is going on inside the mind of Donald Trump as he anticipates this Stormy Daniels interview that he is essentially sued her to try to stop?

TIM O`BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BLOOMBERG: Well, Joy, I think he clearly feels under attack and he`s someone who throughout his career had weaponized the legal system. He learned that at the heels of Roy Cohn and he suddenly finds himself now mired in a series of different legal actions with very tenacious attorneys. Michael Avenatti on the Stormy Daniels side is clearly a bulldog. He clearly has evidence that he thinks is going to support his client`s case and he`s not backing down.

And the real factor in this that I think we can`t discount obviously is Robert Mueller who has issued subpoenas recently to the Trump Organization. So he`s moving right into the Trump family`s business will touch not only the President but his two eldest sons and daughter and Trump can`t control this process. I think he`s been used to steamrolling lawyers from the other side during business disputes, regulators in business realms he`s worked in whether it`s real estate or casinos. He is now profoundly and authentically in over his head and he`s in very perilous legal circumstances and he`s acting out.

REID: You know, I want to take you back to another time when Donald Trump was in a weird place sort of perilous place, that would be around 2006. The Apprentice when it debuted was a huge success, 28 million somewhat viewers. By 20006, it wasn`t doing as quite as well, not nearly as well, and this is around the time he`s supposedly having these simultaneous relationships with Stormy Daniels who of course was a porn star and Karen McDougal, former Playboy Playmate. I want to play you a little bit more of Karen McDougal`s interview in which she says that Trump tried to pay for her sex.


MCDOUGAL: After we had been intimate he tried to pay me and I actually didn`t know how to take that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he actually try to hand you money?

MCDOUGAL: He did. He did and I said -- I mean, I just had this look of -- I don`t know, just -- I don`t even know how to describe it. The look on my face must have been so sad because I had never been offered money like that before, number one, but number two, I thought does he think that I`m in this for money or why I`m here tonight or is this a normal thing? I didn`t know. So I left, I actually got into the car for Keith to take me home and I started crying, I was really sad and it really hurt me. But I went back.


REID: Does anything about the way that Trump reacted to you know, that time in his life when The Apprentice wasn`t doing as well, when he`s you know, he`s at a celebrity golf tournament and he`s not even the biggest celebrity and he`s having these multiple affairs while Melania has just had a baby, just had Barron. Is there anything about his behavior back then that tells what we might expect in his behavior now that things aren`t going so well?

O`BRIEN: Well, you know, also that the same year that he sued me, Joy, was in 2006. I was at the New York Times at the time and I wrote a book he wasn`t happy with that delved pretty deeply into his political and business dealings. I think you know, he was just recently married to Melania, he was someone who I don`t think was used to settling down. A big part of him is a control freak, he doesn`t like things to unwind and turn against him and I think, in my mind -- I don`t know, I`m not a mind reader, but he was playing McDougal hush money and then he was trying to control situations journalistically or personally that I think he felt were spinning out of control.

REID: Yes, and not doing so well at that right now. Tim O`Brien, thank you so much for joining me.

O`BRIEN: Thanks, joy.

REID: I appreciate it. All right, with me now, Democratic Congressman Maxine Waters of California. And Congresswoman, I think what most people - - most people don`t care and really don`t want to hear a lot about Donald Trump`s sex life to be blunt. But I think what a lot of people look at is that there are only a couple people that Donald Trump won`t attack, Vladimir Putin and Stormy Daniels. And he has tried everything he could to stop Stormy Daniels from talking.

She must have something he`s afraid of hearing. Are you concerned that Donald Trump`s acting out this weekend might mean he lashes out for instance at Bob Mueller, that he lashes out at Rosenstein and starts firing more people in a way that could actually jeopardize the investigation against him?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, Joy, I am very concerned about our Special Counsel Mueller, a lot of us are. While he has said that he would be happy to sit down with him, obviously he has a strategy to discredit him and he`s brought in the Bulldogs to do that. And so some even on the opposite side of the aisle have said this would be crossing the line and I think so. But Donald Trump is out of control and I think he will go there and I think the American people should be very concerned about him. You have described very vividly this evening how he has acted this past weekend and what he has done.

I was in the airplane on my way to the funeral of Louise Slaughter when we heard he may not sign the omnibus bill that we had just passed even though he had been involved in the negotiations and his people were right there. They agreed. He said he would sign it then changed his mind. And then he changed his mind again and signed it so the American people should be concerned about this man`s behavior. First of all, he doesn`t deserve to be President of the United States of America.

He has defined himself thoroughly, and I think that his character is more than concerning. And I`m just hopeful the Republicans will stand up and accept their responsibility, call him out, call him for what he is, help the American people to know that they will not stand for him and what he`s doing and join me in impeachment.

REID: You know, you talk about this erratic behavior. He seems to watch Fox And Friends. They criticize the bill, suddenly he`s tweeting "I`m going to veto it." Then he turns around and signed it after Mick Mulvaney, his budget representative said, no he`s going to sign it. The -- you know, suddenly getting rid of McMaster even though people thought he`s going to get rid of people then he gets rid of him, hires John Bolton without John Bolton even knowing that it`s happening.

WATERS: John Bolton didn`t even know what he was being hired for let alone not knowing that he was being hired. And John Bolton is a dangerous man. I know a lot about him, I think folks know about him. I think people in the intelligence community know an awful lot about him. He is a warmonger. He is someone who would advise this President to go to war with Iran, to go to war with North Korea and so I`m just really concerned that not only you know, is he erratic in this behavior that he has demonstrated is such that we can keep the confusion going, I think this man that he has just put on Bolton is going to advise him to strike on North Korea.

REID: And I mean, given the fact that Donald Trump is so suggestible, John Bolton also comes from Fox News. He`s very suggestible to the T.V. as we know, and he`s behaving so erratically and he is so obviously freaked out by what`s coming on Sunday. Behind the scene, I feel like I ask you this a lot, Congresswoman.


REID: Do Republicans understand that this is -- usually it`s dangerous. Do your colleagues on the other side feel that way too and if so why won`t they do anything about it?

WATERS: I am so disturbed by their lack of responsibility. They`re intimidated by Donald Trump and they are frightened that some of those who come from districts where he won feel that he will come into their districts and campaign against him but if they just take a look at what happened in Pennsylvania where he supposedly won by 22 percentage points and he lost even though it was close, that was huge.

That was big. He lost in Alabama which was supposed to be the reddest state. And so they should not be intimidated but obviously, they are and they are and they are going to be recorded in history very poorly that they allowed their colleague to go in the way he`s going and do what he`s doing.

REID: Where is the Speaker of the House? Because I mean, the -- he`s the Speaker of the House not the Speaker of the Republican Party. When you were insulted by the President of the United States he said nothing. These allegations that come out about this woman, he says nothing. Where is the Speaker?

WATERS: Well, everybody know that this is Speaker has been compromised. That he`s afraid of some of his own colleagues on the opposite side of the isle, on the Republican side and so I have no faith in him and I don`t think that his leadership is worthy of him being you know, the Speaker of the House. He`s not going to do anything. As a matter of fact, following this election no matter what happens he`s out.

REID: Even if Trump finds a way to fire Rosenstein or Mueller, you think he`ll do nothing?

WATERS: He`ll do nothing. He will do absolutely nothing. Nothing is going to happen, I think until the people in this country stand up and say that they will not tolerate what is going on in the White House any longer. American people must stand up and I say they must call for his impeachment. Some people are saying that well, we`ll vote in 2020. We cannot stay that. We cannot wait for that. It`s too dangerous.

REID: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you so much.

WATERS: You`re so welcome.

REID: I always appreciate the opportunity to talk to you. Thank you.

WATERS: Yes, thank you.

REID: And coming up, Donald Trump claims that he did not get rolled by Congress but his conservative base, they`re not buying it. Why Ann Coulter is now saying that he`ll be impeached. But first, an explosive new report that Roger Stone communicated with a Russian intelligence agent during the campaign. The reporter who broke that story joins me -- joins me after this two-minute break.



STONE: I have had no contacts from Russians or intermediaries for Russians. I have no Russian clients, no Russian communications.


REID: So Roger Stone was wrong. We now know that in fact, he was in contact with not only a Russian but a Russian intelligence agent, and not just any Russian intelligence agent, the Russian intelligence agent who claimed credit for hacking the DNC. The DNC reports that the Guccifer 2.0 hacker "was, in fact, an officer of Russia`s military intelligence directorate." And how do we know that Stone messaged with Guccifer 2.0? Because he posted their messages himself.

Tada. For more on what we`re learning on Roger Stone`s connection to a Russian intelligence asset, Spencer Ackerman, one of the reporters who broke the story for the Daily Beast and Nick Akerman -- no relation -- former Assistant Watergate Prosecutor and MSNBC Legal Analyst. Well, Spencer, I want to go to you first. How was it discovered that the person that Roger Stone was communicating with, this Guccifer 2.0, was a Russian intelligence agent?

SPENCER ACKERMAN, SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY BEAST: Joy, it`s basically out of a spy thriller. The Russian operative in question, an officer for Russia`s military -- Russia`s military agency known as the GRU slipped up in a crucial bit of tradecraft. Usually when Guccifer 2.0 went on line connected to his Facebook -- I`m sorry, connected to his Twitter account, connected to his word press blog, he secured his I.P. address, his originating sort of location, so to speak, digitally, through a VPN, basically something that would prevent an outside observer from figuring out where his internet traffic was coming from when he connects to the internet.

In one crucial location, this person did not, and that meant that on the servers of an American social media company was this person`s real I.P. address and that address traced back to the Moscow headquarters of the GRU.

REID: And so, who discovered this? Is something that was being monitored and they were just waiting for this person to slip up in our you know, sort of the federal investigators, were waiting for him to slip up and just happened to catch him?

ACKERMAN: There was tremendous -- sorry -- tremendous interest in Guccifer 2.0. As soon as in June 2016 this person emerged out of nowhere claiming to be, as this person put it, a lone hacker who infiltrated the DNC and was now exfiltrating information to among other outlets it claimed WikiLeaks. That set off a tremendous hunt to figure out precisely who this person was and you will recall that in January 2017, when the NSA, FBI, and CIA put out their assessment about Russian involvement in the 2016 election, they come basically right to the water`s edge of saying that Guccifer 2.0 was being used by the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU.

REID: And Roger Stone had, Spencer`s claim that the person that he was communicating with was not Russian but was, in fact, a Romanian hacker who was using, in fact, the name Guccifer, was originally the sort of the legendary Romanian hacker, that it was Romanian. Is there any evidence that Roger Stone knew who he was really communicating with?

ACKERMAN: Well, a lot of things about Roger Stone`s presentations about his interactions with Guccifer 2.0 are really questionable and they`re probably going to come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks. I can`t tell you right now that I know that Stone knowledgeably communicated, knowingly wittingly communicated with a Russian intelligence agent, but it`s very, very curious -- I should say an intelligence officer which is different, but it`s very, very curious about why Stone got into contact with Guccifer 2.0 and it`s also an open question whether Stone has disclosed all of these DMs, all of the communications with Guccifer 2.0.

You`ll recall that as the House Intelligence Committee was essentially bifurcating forever more now on the Russia inquiry, the Democrats on that committee during internal meetings raised the point that they had not subpoenaed and acquired through subpoena from the logs of organizations like Twitter which would have the actual communications on their servers, the actual records of these communications. So at this point the disclosure that he`s made, you have to sort of wonder how selective it is.

REID: Yes, and so that brings me to the other, Mr. Akerman, Nick. How much would it take go from Roger Stone admitting he communicates with Guccifer 2.0 to Guccifer 2.0 being revealed to being a Russian intelligence officer to collusion, to the thing that he colluded with him?

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, it puts Roger Stone right in the middle of the conspiracy with the Russians to steal the e-mails out of the Democratic National Committee and use them to elect Donald Trump. I mean, this is the first instance that we have, maybe except for the June 9th meeting at Trump Tower where you have somebody from the Trump campaign dealing with a Russian operative and admitting that he deals with the Russian operative.

And if you take the evidence that we`re now learning about Roger Stone`s contacts with WikiLeaks, which he denied in the June/July time period and you put that together with Guccifer 2.0 which was the first outlet of the release of all of these stolen e-mails, you can see how this whole conspiracy is coming together and more evidence is coming up showing that, in fact, the Trump campaign did conspire with the Russian government to get Trump elected.

REID: And very quickly, if Roger Stone is able to provably you know, sort of convince Mueller that he really did think that this was a Romanian, not a Russian, does that make a difference?

AKERMAN: If -- I don`t think Robert Mueller is going to buy that for a minute. I mean, this was obviously -- he was basically toeing the line that the Russians were toeing that Guccifer 2.0 was toeing. He was basically acting as kind of the foil for the Russian government.

REID: Right, and very quickly, Nick, I want to put up the list of all the people who at least we know of that had contacts with the Russians. You have Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Carter Page, J.D. Gordon, Felix Sater, George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone. As a prosecutor, can it be coincidental this that many people were you`re having outreach and communications with the Russians without it being some sort of conspiracy or collusion in your view?

AKERMAN: In my view, they were all part of this conspiracy to break into the Democratic National Committee, steal those e-mails and use them to get Donald Trump elected.

REID: Spencer Ackerman and Nick Akerman, thank you both for joining me tonight.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

REID: And after the break, Donald Trump folds just hours after his veto threat as Congress explicitly blocks funding for the wall. Why conservatives are salty with Trump, next.


TRUMP: There are a lot of things that I`m unhappy about in this bill. There are a lot of things that we shouldn`t have had in this bill, but we were in a sense forced if we want to build our military. But I say to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again. I`m not going to do it again.


REID: So Donald Trump did not actually write The Art of the Deal. His history of being a great negotiator, it`s mostly with the U.S. bankruptcy courts because he was bad at business. And today Donald Trump proves once again what a terrible deal maker he is, signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that includes a laundry list of things Democrats wanted but not much for the Trump base, including not a dime for the precious, their beloved wall.

Conservatives responded with howls of outrage from the House Freedom Caucus to Rush Limbaugh to Breitbart News to even one of the Fox And Friends whose attacks on the bill this morning seemingly prompted Trump to tweet out a veto threat after listening to the T.V. But that threat proves empty leaving an outrage Ann Coulter to launch into a tweet storm including stating that Trump will never sign another bill like that again, because he`ll be impeached.

Joining me now, Ben Howe, contributing editor at the conservative website Red State; Tara Dowdell, Democratic strategist; and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist for The Washington Post.

Jennifer, you`re at the table, so I`m going to start with you. Here is what`s in the bill, no money for the precious -- the border wall gets nothing. No cuts to sanctuary cities, no 1,000 no ICE agents that Trump promised, no cuts to Planned Parenthood, no expanded school choice, no cuts to Pell grand and Head Start, no cuts to the EPA, and it funds the tunnel project that Chuck Schumer wanted. One the border wall money, the New York Times reports it provides $641 million for about 33 miles of fencing, but literally explicitly prohibits building a concrete structure or over prototypes of the wall.


JENNIFER RUBIN, WASHINGTON POST: Remember when he went to California and viewed those prototypes? That was apparently just a dog and pony show.

REID: That`s all he gets.

RUBIN: Yes, that is. All he got was the photo-op in California. That is it.

REID: Can he keep the prototypes at least?

RUBIN: I don`t know. Will he let them take them home? They`ll probably fit in his apartment.

Yes. This is -- there was a reason today why Democrats all over the Hill as they normally do after a bill are sending out press releases. They were giddy with enthusiasm. They were touting what they got for their locality. They were touting what they got nationally and they were touting that they didn`t give him the wall.

And, you know, he could have had the wall. Chuck Schumer offered him the wall. The wall for the Dreamers and heturned it down.

REID: He absolutely did.

OK, let`s play a little dichotomy here, Ben Howe. I`ve been reading Red State a lot today. I`ve just been looking at it and looking at the comments on there, Breitbart and other places, hot air, et cetera, not a lot of people happy.

Here is one unhappy southern congressman named Mr. Kennedy who is disgusted with the bill. Let`s listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I ask you about the omnibus?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not going to vote for it?

KENNEDY: I wouldn`t -- I`m going to vote against it twice if they will let me. I don`t even know what`s in the thing, OK? This is an embarrassment. I said it yesterday and I meant it, this is a Great Dane-sized whiz down the leg of every taxpayer in this country. No thought whatsoever to adding over a trillion dollars in debt.


REID: A Great Dane-sized whiz down the leg of every taxpayer. Now let`s listen to Chuck Schumer`s reaction to the bill.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: At the end of the day as the minority party we feel good about being able to succeed in so many ways. We don`t have the House, we don`t have the Senate, we don`t have the presidency, but we produced a darn good bill.


REID: Ben, how did we get here where the Democratic leader is crowing about the budget bill and the Senator from -- Senator Kennedy, Senator John Kennedy, the Republican, is calling it a whiz down the leg. How did we get here?

BEN HOWE, RED STATE: I think we got here because Republicans for the longest time all through the election kept believing they could control this man and they don`t understand him. I mean, what he signs, what he`s willing to sign, it has very little to do with what he wants to sign. He`ll put his name on anything. He made a whole career out of plastering his name on whatever crap got put in front of him.

So I think that when it comes to this particular situation. He didn`t understand that the way that the Republicans had spent years and years talking about they were the fiscally responsible party, the Tea Party, the 2010 all the way to today leading up to a $1.3 trillion deficit spending bill is just such a slap in the face to everyone who claimed that we were going to bring back this fiscal responsibility.

Congratulations to the Democrats, honestly. I mean, they obviously understand how to control him.

REID: Flatter him. Don`t hate the player, hate the game.

I want to play you, Tara, one of the weirdest arguments that Donald Trump, Republican, theoretically, conservative president who leads a base that made it very clear that immigration was the thing that sticks in their craw probably more than anything else, they want the wall, that`s the precious. Here was his attempt to justify signing this bill based on DACA, the thing he ended. Take a listen.


TRUMP: I can tell you this, and I say this to DACA recipients, that the Republicans are with you. They want to get your situation taken care of. The Democrats fought us. They just fought every single inch of the way. They did not want DACA in this bill. And as you know DACA is also tied to the wall for the major funding, the $25 billion for wall and other things.


REID: Tara, it`s not!. It`s not tied to the wall! He ended DACA and he missed the opportunity to get the wall. Democrats were going to give it to him. What is happening?

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Trump is here for the performance, not policy. And I think people continue to forget that. He is here for the performance, not the policy.

Trump has no idea what`s in the omnibus spending bill. That`s a big part of why he voted for it. He literally has no idea what`s in it. And so he knows the soundbites that he hears from his favorite conservative pundits, but beyond that he does not know what`s in the bill. And so I think that`s another issue.

But I want to actually take a different point of view on this in one way. People were acting surprised that he signed this bill because of the amount, right, the cost of the bill, right. That`s what they`ve been fixated on and focus on. He did not run as a fiscal conservative. He ran as a cultural extremist and a fiscal moderate. Remember, he said he was going to protect Medicare. He was going to protect Social Security. He said he would give us the best health care system that will cover everybody and heal the world, right.

So he didn`t run in the way that people are act as if he ran. And I have a theory about why people are upset. Yes, they are upset because of DACA, right, because that`s a slap in the face, right. To them, DACA is a slap in the face to conservatives. However, I think they`re also -- they were looking for an opportunity to criticize Trump in a way that would not draw the ire of Trump supporters. And they haven`t had the opportunity. I think they see that Trump is an embarrassment, that this is a clown show, and this is who they banked on and they were looking for an opening and this gave them the opening where they could criticize him in a way that wouldn`t generate blowback for them.

REID: I have to go to Ben on that, because Ben you are in this tenuous position at Red State of speaking to the base, but trying to maintain a dignified distance from Donald Trump, I think is far to say that you guys have done.

You had Laura Ingram, who`s four square for Trump. Her show is 100 percent pro-Trump, tweets "there is NO WAY @realDonaldTrump should sign this omnibus bill. It betrays certain pledges and mortgages the Millennials` future." Then he signs it.

I don`t know how she deals with this tonight on her show, whether or not she approaches it., pretends it didn`t happen, I don`t know what. Then you have Ann Coulter, who is even more for Trump, four square for Trump, doing the thing where does she kick him away, but kicking him all over the shins. This would be like Reagan signing a bill that hiked taxes, slashed defense spending, spent jobs on the Teapot Dome -- spent on the Teapot Dome scandal, talking about 3D chess and spending and transgender people and -- I mean, she`s going insane.

Is this a push away or will all of these people come back to heel when their audience screams "we love Trump. We don`t care?"

BOWE: They will absolutely come back. They will come back and they will eat right out of his hands. I mean, there`s nothing that this man can do that will deep majority of his major Trump support and the pundit class or whatever group you`re talking about in the Republican Party from supporting him ultimately. What matters is that he has an "R" next to his name.

They`ve spent the last couple of years making that very clear that anything he does can be excused, anything that they can rationalize they will, whether it`s more relativism or complete abandonment of their own professed Christian faith, doesn`t matter. They`ll slap him on the wrist for a little bit, and then something will happen that, you know, oh, he`s trolling the media again. And so liberal tears, yeah.

And the next thing you know he`s a hero and they`re all fine.

REID: But I did see some angry comments on Breitbart today.

RUBIN: You know, they will be mad for a moment and then just as Ben said, they will come scampering back. Remember how they love this national security team? They were the best. They were the best. They`re gone. Oh well, now the new guys are the best, the best, the best.

So their attachment or anger lasts for a nanosecond because it`s not about any policy, it`s about giving it to the media, it`s about giving it to minorities, it`s about giving it to everybody they hate. This is about hate, not about a belief system.

REID: But you know who it was given to today? The Democrats. They were given everything they wanted.


REID: Ben Howe, Tara Dowdell, Jennifer Rubin, thank you for being with me.

And coming up, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets tomorrow demanding gun reform. I`ll speak with a student who helped organize the march and a top Republican donor who now wants to ban assault weapons. That`s ahead.

And, invisible planes in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two just after the break.


REID: Thing One tonight, as he touted defense spending in the $1.3 trillion budget bill, Donald Trump described the impressive capabilities of the F-35 fighter jet.


TRUMP: 90 F-35 aircraft, that`s the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, jet fighters, total stealth. They`re hard to find, they`re hard to see, therefore they`re hard to beat. It`s very tough to beat a plane when you can`t see it.


REID: OK, but Trump didn`t mean you literally can`t see it, right? I mean, he can`t think it`s actually invisible, right? Well, that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) REID: The F-35 stealth fighter jet is undetectable by radar. So when Trump says you can`t see it, clearly he means on radar, right? Well, here he was yesterday when he misidentified Lockheed Martin CEO Marilyn Huson as Marilyn Lockheed.


TRUMP: I may ask Marilyn Lockheed, the leading woman`s business executive in this country, according to many, and we buy billions and billions of dollars worth of that beautiful F-35. It`s stealth, you cannot see it, is that correct?


TRUMP; Better be correct, right?


REID: But wait, let`s try to give this a charitable interpretation. Trump cannot possibly be saying you literally can`t see it?


TRUMP: How do they do in fights with the F-35? They said we do very well. You can`t see it. You literally you can`t see it. So it`s hard to fight a plane that you can`t see, right. But that`s an expensive plane you can`t see.


REID: Well, all righty, then. You literally cannot see it. Kind of like a Star Trek cloaking device which was actually Romulan technology that the Federation used from time to time, or maybe Trump was thinking about Wonder Woman`s invisible plane.

But you wouldn`t want to have visible people inside the invisible plane, now would you? Defeats the purpose.

Whatever the case, the F-35 is almost like an invisible fighter, almost.


TRUMP: In particular, the F-35 fighter jet, which is you know almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the air force guys,I said how good is this plane? They said, well, sir you can`t see it. I said yeah, but in a fight, a fight like I watched on the movies, the fight. They`re fighting. How good is it? They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it`s right next to it, it can`t see it. I said that helps. I don`t -- that`s a good thing.


REID: This was the scene outside the Sacramento Kings arena last night. Protesters formed a human chain in front of the arena, preventing most fans from getting in, all to draw attention to the police shooting of 22-year- old Stephen Clark who was unarmed and in the backyard of his grandmother`s house when he was shot to death in a hail of 20 shots Sunday by Sacramento police officers.

There are more protests expected tonight, protests calling attention to violence in the hopes of sparking people to action. The murder of Emmett Till in 1955 helped galvanize the activism that captured the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a subject tackled in a new documentary called "Hope and Fury: MLK, the movement and the Media."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Chicago, Emmett Till`s grief stricken mother Mainy (ph), waited at the railroad station for the casket containing her son`s body to arrive.

REID: Mainy Till is essentially confronted with a sealed wooden casket nailed shut by the sheriff. It was Mainy Till (ph) who demanded that that box be opened so that she could see her child. She kind of staggers in and sees this body. And she can`t believe her beautiful child is this lump of flesh that`s lying in this casket.

Then she said to herself, the country is going to have to confront this. I`m not going to suffer in this by myself. If is this is what you`re doing to the black boys, you`re going to look at it.


REID: It was a privilege to contribute to this amazing documentary. And you can catch the premier tomorrow night on NBC at 8:00 p.m. and on MSNBC Sunday night at 9:00 p.m.

And up next, two survivors -- a survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Republican donor who is here to support their march tomorrow. They join me live when we come back.


REID: I`m here in Washington, D.C. tonight, because tomorrow is the March for our Lives, a nationwide rally for gun reform organized by the student survivors of last month`s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on this city, and more than 800 other places around the world are planning marches too, all joining the Parkland students in saying never again.

At this hour, several pre-rally events are already in full swing in the nation`s capital, including a big concert benefiting gun violence prevention groups and a prayer vigil at the national cathedral.

And joining me now is a student survivor from Parkland, Florida, Aalayah Eastmond, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who along with her classmates, is trying to change the minds of people like my second guest tonight, former ambassador to Portugal Al Hoffman, a prominent Republican donor who announced in the wake of the Parkland shooting that he would not contribute to candidates or groups unless they support a ban on assault weapons. Thank you for both for being here.

And Aalayah, I want to start with you. You Parkland students have been crisscrossing the country. You`ve been doing a lot of media. A lot of people are astounded by your resilience given what you went through. How are you able to go from such a shock, such a tragedy, to the kind of activism that you`re doing?

AALAYAH EASTMOND, PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: We all want to fight for the same thing. This makes us fight harder. And it`s not going to stop until something happens.

REID: Is there something special about Parkland that`s made you guys able to -- I mean, you guys have an app. You guys have got these concerts. You`ve got this huge march. It`s going to be maybe even millions of people. What is it about Parkland that is so special?

EASTMOND: It`s a close knit community. So, we all know each other. And most of them have gone to school with each other since elementary school and pre-school. So, you know, a lot of us have known each other for a long time.

REID: And you guys have gotten already some victories. You`ve had Dick Sporting Goods and other, not anymore selling -- or making a lot of restrictions on selling guns. But Citigroup, which announced that now in terms of people who use the Citigroup -- Citibank credit cards, they`ll sell firearms only to customers over age 21 who pass background checks. No sale of bump stocks.

You just had some small provisions in this omnibus budget bill to fix NICS Act allowing the CDC to research gun violence. Is that enough, or is there more that you guys want?

EASTMOND: There`s more. That`s just a start. And, you know, we`re going to keep fighting so this doesn`t happen again.

REID: And, Ambassador Hoffman, you have taken a pretty strong stand in terms of what you want to see happen. Tell us what you`re doing and why?

AL HOFFMAN, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO PORTUGAL: Well, Joy, thank you for allowing me to be here. We have formed a 501c4 organization, which is tax exempt, but of course not taxable. And not exempt, I should say, but tax free. And we`re dedicated to the proposition that we want legislation and we can present to congress and get them to pass this year. And...

REID: And is it specifically to have assault weapons banned?

HOFFMAN: Well, it doesn`t have an assault weapon ban at this time, but it will be leading into that totally. We have a set of points that we`re going to present tomorrow. In fact, here`s a copy of the Wall Street Journal ad that we`re running tomorrow. And in it it leads off with seven points we need to get passed now before congress adjourns this Christmas.

REID: And how much -- you`re a donor, how significant? How much money did you give in the last election cycle, if you don`t mind my asking?

HOFFMAN: I gave a lot.

REID: You gave a lot.

HOFFMAN: I`m a Republican. I always was, always will be. But I`ll tell you what, after watching this tragedy unfold, on television, I was heartbroken. And but for the grace of god my children and grandchildren. And so I felt that night I felt I had to do something.

So we formed -- got together a group and we formed this organization called Americans for Gun Safety and Now. And we hope that -- I have a separate message to convey to congress, my friends in congress, Republicans, and mostly Republicans at this time, and congressman and senators that if we don`t pass this gun legislation, change now. Watch out for November.

REID: Yeah, indeed, I want to play a vets for gun reform ad that`s been tweeted out by some of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I served the U.S. army.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I served in the navy.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was a 31 bravo military police officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Security forces.


UNIDENTIFID MALE: Radio operating.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was stationed at Camp Anaconda in Iraq.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My service weapon was an M4 assault rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My service weapon was an M16.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s basically the same -- you know what, it is the same...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Same weapon that`s killed hundreds of people in the deadliest mass shootings in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know the power of this weapon firsthand.



REID: Aalayah, do you believe that assault weapons like the AR-15 should be banned?

EASTMOND: Yes. No civilian should need a rifle.

REID: And what do you say to people in the other side of the issue who say that what you want is going to curtail people`s Second Amendment rights?

EASTMOND: Look what it`s done. What if that was your child or your mother or your father? You know, people don`t really look at it until it happens to them.

REID: Yeah. When will you be old enough to vote?

EASTMOND: When I turn 18?

REID: Yeah. How old are you now?


REID: You`re 17. So, are you going to 18 by November?

EASTMOND: No. I just turned 17 yesterday.

REID: Yeah. And I think the power that you have is in the registration that you`re doing, the voting that you`re doing, and you guys are going to be voters. And I think people are rightfully worried about what you guys might do. Do you -- are you hopeful that you`re going to succeed? Well, I think we`re actually out of time. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Aalayah Eastmond and Ambassador Al Hoffman, thank you. That`s All In for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.