Avenatti: 8 women coming forward w/ similar stories. TRANSCRIPT: 03/26/2018. All In with Chris Hayes

Guests: Gloria Allred, Harry Litman, Elie Mystal, Angelo Carusone, Jason Leopold

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 26, 2018 Guest: Gloria Allred, Harry Litman, Elie Mystal, Angelo Carusone, Jason Leopold

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he by chance watch the interview last night? Did you ask him about that?

HAYES: One day after she broke her silence --

STORMY DANIELS, FORMER ADULT ACTRESS: He`s like wow, you, you are special. You remind me of my daughter.

HAYES: Stormy Daniels sues the President`s fixer.

MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER OF STORMY DANIELS: We`re suing him for telling effectively a lie about my client.

HAYES: Tonight, the President responds, his growing legal problems, and how the Stormy Daniels saga and the Mueller probe may now overlap.

Then a deep dive into the vast recorded history of Trump world intimidation.

DANIELS: A guy walked up on me and said to me, leave Trump alone, forget the story.

HAYES: And about that march --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the revolution.

HAYES: Tonight the never again movement`s new target.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fight for your lives before it`s someone else`s job.

HAYES: And Jermaine Lee reports on the reality of gun violence in America.

ZION KELLY, LOST A BROTHER THROUGH GUN VIOLENCE: I raise my hand in honor of my twin brother Zaire Kelly.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Not since Richard Nixon has a president faced as much legal peril as Donald J. Trump. He is in the crosshairs of a criminal investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and fending off three separate civil lawsuits at least. All while his personal legal team is falling apart, and few if any top-tier attorneys are clamoring to jump on board. Today a lawyer for Stormy Daniels filed new claims against the President and his long time lawyer Michael Cohen after Daniels told her story on 60 Minutes last night describing what she said was a consensual sexual affair with Trump in 2006.

Now, the White House declined to confirm whether the President himself was one of the 22 million people who tuned into that broadcast, according to Nielsen, the show`s biggest audience in a decade. While some details of Daniels` account have long been public, this was the very first time she recounted them herself on camera. And it was also the first time she claimed to have been threatened along with her infant daughter not to speak out about the President. The White House and the President`s lawyers have denied any association with alleged threats, and Daniels claim that incident occurred in 2011 after a tabloid decided to pull a tell-all interview with Daniels. Former employees of the tabloid have said Cohen, Trump`s lawyer had threatened to sue if they ran the story. Asked today about the 60 Minutes piece, the White House cast doubt on Daniels` story.

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RAJ SHAH, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: I`m not going to get into, you know, what the President may or may not have said. I`ll just say that he`s consistently denied these allegations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Was the President aware of a physical threat made against Ms. Daniels when she was with her daughter back in 2011?

SHAH: Well, the President doesn`t believe that any of the claims that Ms. Daniels made last night in the interview are accurate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn`t believe she was threatened?

SHAH: No, he does. No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s his basis for that, Raj?

SHAH: I`m sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s his basis for that?

SHAH: Well, he just doesn`t believe -- you know, there is nothing to corroborate her claim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: OK. Here is the thing. The White House and the President`s lawyer say the President has consistently denied Daniels` story. You heard that right there. But as far as we can tell, the President himself has actually never publicly answered questions about Daniels, not a one, or about his alleged affair with Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all very much.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Now the President did tweet this morning somewhat vaguely, so much fake news. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through all of it, our country is doing great. And as for Michael Cohen, his lawyer responded to the interview last night by serving Daniels and her attorney with a cease and desist letter alleging she defamed Cohen by claiming he was responsible for the threat against her. Daniels, however, and this should be important, made no such claim. Now her lawyer, Michael Avenatti has expanded their pre-existing lawsuit against the President accusing Cohen of defamation, and alleging the $130,000 paid to Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement broke campaign finance law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AVENATTI: We are contending that this agreement was designed to basically further a campaign finance violation the way it was carried out, the conspiracy that existed, the way that it was handled, et cetera. And therefore should it be void under public policy. It should not be enforced because it was designed to influence the election and purposefully avoid reporting it pursuant to federal election law.

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HAYES: Now, if Avenatti is right about that, it could make things more difficult for Michael Cone on another dangerous legal front. You see the Special Counsel is reportedly interested in Cohen, as anyone would be because he was involved in efforts during the campaign to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. And if Mueller has evidence that Cohen committed unrelated crimes, it could potentially at least help him pressure Cohen talk. According to a witness, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, Mueller`s investigators have asked about possible payoffs on the President`s behalf.

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ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: In your FBI interview with Mueller`s team, they were asking about payments to women?

SAM NUNBERG, FORMER AIDE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: They were asking if I knew anything about it.

MELBER: They were asking if you knew anything about payments to women?

NUNBERG: But I think it`s pretty obvious that they`re looking into this. In my voluntary interview, they wanted to know if I had ever -- not about specific payments if I ever heard of anything like that going on to which I never have.

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HAYES: Gloria Allred who is suing the president for defamation on behalf of former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, who`s also accused the president of sexual assault. First, your reaction to the amended complaint today from Michael Avenatti making a somewhat similar claim to what your client made.

GLORIA ALLRED, LAWYER OF SUMMER ZERVOS: Well, speaking for myself and not for my client, I can say that this is an interesting approach. Whether or not he is successful with a claim of defamation is another issue completely because it`s very difficult to prove defamation and really, it is fact- specific. He is also facing -- this is filed in California -- California`s anti-slap law, which without getting too technical and into it, it makes it very difficult for a defamation claim to be proven. Having said that, it appears that the battle is joined and it may very well be that Michael Cohen will cross-complain against Stormy Daniels and against her attorney who is not the same attorney as who represented Stormy in the original settlement agreement, the NDA agreement, and may also claim defamation on their part. So we`ll have to see where this goes.

HAYES: Do you understand the President`s or Michael Cohen`s -- I guess it`s unified now, right? They sort of joined together in that -- in that filing. Do you understand their legal strategy here?

ALLRED: Well, the legal strategy appears to me to be to get this out of arbitration because, in the settlement agreement, it provides the dispute should be resolved in a confidential arbitration. And the arbitrator can be chosen by the defendants. That would be President Trump, that would be by Michael Cohen representing a shell corporation. So they would prefer obviously to be in a court of law where everything is public and where testimony, if as and when there would be a trial would be public. And so, they`d rather have that forum, that venue rather than a confidential arbitration.

HAYES: Right. And so, that`s Avenatti and Stormy Daniels` legal approach, and that makes a lot of sense. Obviously, publicity is sort of their best friend. It acts as a kind of shield. I guess I don`t quite understand what the President is doing or what Michael Cohen is doing because they seem to be taking steps that only expand the newsworthiness of this question at issue.

ALLRED: Well, that`s a political decision. It`s also a media strategy decision. It`s also a dangerous decision, because whatever they say if in fact, they cross that line into defamation, that can be very dangerous. Also, attorneys are regulated in terms of what they can say if they are litigating a lawsuit. What they can say in reference to evidence and for example. So they have to be very careful and not make any ethical violations either.

HAYES: Yes. You obviously, you`re representing Summer Zervos and I know that for that reason you`re not going to speak about her case in this context for precisely the reason you identified. Do you think, though, it`s a legitimate concern on the part of the President? We know there are multiple accusers of him on unwanted sexual contact. There is presumably possibly more women out there he might have had consensual affairs with, that he is essentially trying to stop the dominos from falling?

ALLRED: I agree with you, Chris. That this very tough approach, trying to enforce a confidentiality agreement, a settlement agreement with the nondisclosure clause may be aimed not just at Stormy Daniels, but if as and when he has entered into any other confidential agreements with other women, he is, in fact, sending a message we`ll come down on you hard too, if you violate those agreements. I do represent other Trump accusers. However, none of those women that I do represent have entered into confidential agreements with President Trump or his representatives.

HAYES: All right, Gloria Allred, thanks for your time tonight.

ALLRED: Thank you.

HAYES: For more on the President`s growing legal mess, I`m joined now by former Federal Prosecutor Harry Litman and Elie Mystal, Author of the Above the Law blog which is a much read every day for me these day. So, I don`t quite -- yes, I dont get it.

ELIE MYSTAL, AUTHOR, ABOVE THE LAW BLOG: I can tell you what Mike Cohen is trying to do. He`s trying to become the worst lawyer of the decade, OK, at this point. Think about it this way. Michael Cohen was sent to the store with one job. Buy Stormy Daniels a tall glass of shut up. That was his job. He`s come back from the store with a potentially federal complaint about campaign finance violations. He`s made himself a target for the Mueller investigation who might be interested in how Trump -- sorry -- Trump or David Dennison launders money. And oh, by the way, I happen to know that the President likes to be spanked, which is information I can`t unsee. That`s what he has done.

HAYES: That`s -- and that gets to the point. I mean, part of this is that Harry, is that Michael Cohen is like, you know, a friend of the President, an associate of him for a long time. He`s having a hard time getting very good representation. And this is like -- in some ways, this is penny-ante stakes compared to what`s happening on the Mueller front. But he`s down to one lawyer over there, basically Jay Sekulow on that. Today we`ve got news that Dan Webb and Tom Buchanan, who are two big very credentials white shoe fancy pants lawyers also turned the President down. Why cannot -- why can the President of the United States not get anyone to represent him?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I know, it`s remarkable, right? You would think it would be a prestigious engagement. A few reasons, first, he is an unmanageable client and everybody knows it. Second, he is an extremely controversial client. What Webb and Buchanan said today was so-called business conflicts. That`s code for saying a lot of their corporate clients would rebel knowing that they were representing the President. Third, there is a real possibility for some debacle happening in case -- including their own firing. And fourth, of course, good luck getting paid with the record of Trump. So all in all, it`s -- it really is a losing proposition for any of these big law firms. And I`m not surprised he has been turned down right and left.

MYSTAL: I think that`s right. But I think there`s another angle here, right? One of the things that we have to remember is that lawyers have an ethical responsibility and good lawyers take their ethical responsibilities seriously. John Dowd likely left because Trump desperately wants to testify. And John Dowd cannot in good conscience allow Trump to go testify and potentially perjure himself, right? I think that a lot of lawyers who are thinking about representing trump, their issue is you can`t represent Trump arguably at this point if you`re not going to let him testify.

And you can`t let him testify unless you`re willing to suborn perjury. And all of these bigwigs that we`re talking about, none of them are going to sign up to suborn perjury. So if letting Trump testify becomes a part of the representation, a good ethical attorney has to say no. Not can`t, has to say no. Now I`m not saying Trump can`t find a lawyer but it`s important to understand that it`s going to be a lawyer who doesn`t take that kind of sacred oath all that seriously.

HAYES: What do you think of, that Harry?

LITMAN: Yes, I see it pretty differently. I mean, look, there are -- he`s no more -- yes, he`s likely -- he is in a fix. But first of all, a defendant who really insists on testifying will testify. I personally doubt whether Trump really believes that or whether that`s just bravado.

HAYES: Right. That`s the other question.

LITMAN: And second, there`s a lot of clients who are in that position and they find representation. So I don`t -- while I do think that his testifying would put him between a rock and a hard place, as your guest says, I don`t think that`s the reason. All these solid defense attorneys have represented plenty of people who they knew were in the same kind of fix.

HAYES: Well, yes. Defense attorneys tend to not only get innocent clients, right?. They have to confront this. I wanted to ask you about the -- I thought the legal strategy of the filing today really fascinating, to good back to Stormy Daniels and Avenatti. He`s making this argument where he says this was part of an effort to essentially do an end around campaign finance law. And as such is an invalid contract, he`s got those amazing citations that to brief which is essentially treaties on contract law from 1932 where it uses an example, an iconic example of a contract that would be invalid of a politician who has secret letters of him taking another position, signing a private contract to essentially acquire those letters so they don`t see the public`s eyes. And they say, well, obviously on the face that would be invalid because there`s a public policy interest.

MYSTAL: Yes, the battle between Avenatti and Cohen is the battle between an eagle and a worm, right? Like, this is -- this is almost an unfair fight in terms of what`s going on in terms of like legal philosophy behind these issues.

HAYES: Right.

MYSTAL What I think is really interesting about their positioning right now from Cohen`s perspective is that this cease and desist letter that just came out. You figure Stormy Daniels in 60 Minutes kind of insinuated that Cohen has intimidated her, not that he was the guy that came up with the car and the kid, but that generally he has been trying to bully her into signing this NDA and he responds the next day by sending a bullying, intimidating cease and desist letter. It`s almost proves her point that this is how the Trump team operates. And I can`t see -- and I think when a judge looks at that, it`s almost like Cohen is making her case for her that she potentially sign this NDA under extreme duress.

HAYES: I also, Harry, do you understand why they seem so -- I mean, the whole point of this, to Elie`s point, the whole point was to get her not to talk, right? That`s the whole point of all of it. The fake LLC and the David Dennison and all of it is done for her not to talk. Well, she has talked now. So what -- like what are they doing?

LITMAN: Look, it`s the big question. I think basically, and it`s kind of pleasing to watch, they have been induced, Cohen has been induced to overplay his hand, this sort of raw bullying tactics that normally put an end to things in their New York world won`t work here. And the real risk they`re in now. This is different from Mueller. And we can talk about the cross-cutting with Mueller. But they`re now in individual proceedings where an individual judge, they can be maneuvered to either lie or not. Remember what happened to Bill Clinton down in Arkansas when he lied in front of Susan Webber right? She took his license away, paid him -- made him pay $750,000. If Cohen winds up getting crosswise with an individual judge --

HAYES: That`s a great point.

LITMAN: -- he`s in dire shape, including for his license.

MYSTAL: Again, look, perjury is the thing here.

HAYES: Right.

MYSTAL: There are so many now different ways to get Trump in the box. And once you get Trump in the box, it is game over because the man is incapable of -- Clinton`s deposition lasted for hours.

HAYES: Right.

MYSTAL: Trump can`t tell the truth for hours on end under intense questioning.

HAYES: It`s a good reminder of where the end game of all these threads seem to be -- seem to be leading. And I still have mentally in my mind that sort of wan deer in the headlights look of Bill Clinton, the most powerful man in the world in the deposition. That`s a scary place to find yourself no matter how powerful you are. Harry Litman and Elie Mystal, great to have you both.

LITMAN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, after hundreds of thousands of people flooded D.C. for march -- for the March for Our Lives, we`ll look at new signs the movement may be working. But first, Michael Cohen`s history of threats and intimidation tactic on behalf of Donald Trump, I`ll speak with one man who was allegedly told by Cohen you know you could get hurt doing what you`re doing. That`s next.

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DANIELS: I was in a parking lot going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. I was taking the seat`s facing backwards in the back seat, diaper bag, you know, getting all the stuff out. And a guy walked up on me and said to me, "leave Trump alone, forget the story." And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter, and said "a beautiful little girl. It would be shame if something happened to her mom" and then he was gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Perhaps the most astonishing new details coming out of last night`s 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels were allegations that in 2011 someone threatened her not to go public with her claim that she had an fair with Donald Trump. The White House said this afternoon the President does not believe Daniels was threatened.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was the President aware of a physical threat made against Ms. Daniels when she was with her daughter back in 2011?

SHAH: Well, the President doesn`t believe that any of the claims that Ms. Daniels made last night in the interview are accurate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn`t believe she was threatened?

SHAH: No, he does not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s his basis for that, Raj?

SHAH: I`m sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s his basis for that?

SHAH: Well, he just doesn`t believe that -- you know, there is nothing to corroborate her claim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Well, joining me now are two people who have claimed to be familiar with bullying and intimidation with people in Trump world. Angelo Carusone, the President of Media Matters for America and Jason Leopold who`s Senior Investigative Reporter for Buzzfeed News. Angelo, you had a run-in yourself. Tell me about it.

ANGELO CARUSONE, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: I did. So this is back in 2012. I had Washington campaigned to get Macy`s to fire Donald Trump. It had about 700,000 petition signers at this time. We were doing our first delivery. It was right around Thanksgiving so I didn`t want to have all these people going up to you know, Macy`s in New York City right around the Thanksgiving Parade. So we only had a couple hundred people that sort of got an invitation to go. And you know, the events -- the time and place were public and people knew about it but we were very careful to select the group. There was a guy that showed up. He was pretty big in a trench coat, a little suspicious. I assumed maybe he might have been a security guard or whatever, but I had no idea who it was.

And at one point he mentioned to me you know, you could get hurt doing what you`re doing, very casually and it was sort of a comic -- a comical threat. I mean, it`s like -- it`s an exaggeration, honestly. You never hear that in real life. And then fast forward a couple of years later, I was watching T.V. during the campaign, and it turned out to be Donald Trump`s top security guard. I recognized his face and then I went back and looked at pictures from the events and you can actually see him lurking off in the background. He showed up and I was able to remember that that was the guy.

HAYES: S0 -- wait, so that`s Keith Schiller, by the way, the individual you`re talking about. We`re showing a picture of him now. He worked in the White House. He left fairly recently. So what you`re saying is that when you did an event to sort of protest Macy`s cross-promoting with Donald Trump. When you showed up to sort of -- you had an event or sort of where you drop off the signatures, there`s a guy there sort of lurking around that comes up and says to you. You`re saying it`s Keith Schiller who says you could get hurt doing what you`re doing.

CARUSONE: Yes. And I know he was there at the behest of Donald Trump because at the same time the event was going on, Donald Trump sent out a tweet about it making fun of the crowd size.

HAYES: Of course.

CARUSONE: It`s not like it was on live T.V. It wasn`t on cable news. I mean, he was obviously concerned about it. And Keith Schiller, he was there obviously to some extent at Trump`s behest. I mean, it didn`t make sense for him not to have been there. The strange thing is he was actually talking to reporters too. He refute -- he never identified himself as a Trump employee. I didn`t even put the two together. I had a suspicion. It was weird. It wasn`t my first campaign so I`ve seen and heard threats before I just assumed he was Trump supporter and you know, then sort of put it behind me. Obviously didn`t stop because the campaign continued and then Donald Trump threatened to sue me for $25 million and Michael Cohen was saying I was engaging in mafia-style tactics and calling into radio programs that I was on. So it was exactly -- it`s just when Stormy was talking last night, the pattern of behavior and some of the players sounded very, very familiar.

HAYES: Jason, you`ve done reporting on this and there is three incidents. Let`s start with 1982 where you have reported on people in Trump`s circle using these intimidation tactics.

JASON LEOPOLD, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, BUZZFEED NEWS: Right. In 1982 Trump was trying to get a $20 million tax abatement on what is now Trump Tower. And the New York City Commissioner, Housing Commissioner at the time opposed it. Next thing you know, this New York City Housing Commissioner gets a phone call threatening his life. NYPD sent officers around the clock to protect him. The next day, Donald Trump himself called the FBI and said that he had received a call saying that somebody was shafting him on this tax abatement and gets another -- tells the FBI he gets another call that if he were to reveal the details of this call, that somebody would kill him. So it was an incredibly odd turn of events in which the you know, New York City Housing Commissioner is being threatened. Then Trump called the FBI the next day to report that he too is getting a call about this Housing Commissioner.

HAYES: There`s another example in 1995. Trump Building Superintendent sued the Trump organization for false imprisonment. What happened there?

LEOPOLD: Yes, this was the superintendent over at Trump Palace. And he claimed that he had evidence of financial improprieties to the tune of about $300,000. He was going to reveal it to the board of the Trump Organization, sent his wife and 12-year-old son to collect some documents from his office. The next thing you know, Trump security busts into the office. They hold his wife and son captive, if you will --

HAYES: Really?

LEOPOLD: -- for about 90 minutes. They -- Matthew Calamari, head of Trump security I believe at the time was named in this lawsuit. He shoved the 12-year-old boy. You know, what`s fascinating about this is this is all documented in FBI records that I obtained along with colleague Ryan Shapiro under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, as well as police reports. So this is -- this is covered.

HAYES: This is documented.

LEOPOLD: This is all documented. This is not, you know, with all due respect to Angelo, this is you know, in FBI documents.

HAYES: In 2009, there is an attorney named Christopher Hanson who called the FBI and reported he received a threatening phone call from a man he believed to be Donald Trump`s bodyguard.

LEOPOLD: Yes, this is -- this is a fascinating case because --

HAYES: This is two years before Stormy Daniels alleges she was threatened.

LEOPOLD: Yes. And in this case, Christopher Hanson, high profile bankruptcy attorney, a day before he received this phone call, Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy protection. Five days earlier, Trump resigned as the Chairman of the Board. You know, Ivanka was involved in this company as well. And you know, Trump had complained that the bondholders were not allowing -- the bondholders were opposed to Trump purchasing the company, taking it private. He blamed the lawyers. Hanson goes to this court in Camden, New Jersey and essentially just you know, filed some papers. On his way back on the train, he gets this you know, threatening phone call which was you know, laced with quite a number of F- words. And he essentially writes down what the threat is, reports it to the police in Holmdel, New Jersey, and the FBI, and he too gets officers who are protecting him for a few days. And the FBI also gave him a recording device and said if you get any additional phone calls, record it.

HAYES: All right. Well, people can sort of take this information they have. You have FBI files that back up these three instances. Angelo was there. You can evaluate the credibility of all of these taken together with what Stormy Daniels said happened to her. Angelo Carusone and Jason Leopold thanks for joining us.

LEOPOLD: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, is the President compromised? How dirt on Donald Trump can be used to leverage this White House, next.

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HAYES: In many ways, a key question before the public isn`t whether voters carry about Stormy Daniels and her alleged affair with Donald Trump, it`s why does Donald Trump care so much? I mean, the White House denies the affair, but that has not kept Donald Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen from going to truly extraordinary lengths to try to silence Daniels. And those extraordinary efforts in turn raise a question of their own: what other secrets might Donald Trump be trying to keep quiet?

Here to help us unravel what other vulnerabilities the president could be hiding are MSNBC contributor Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast and MSNBC political analyst and Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn.

David, I`ll start with you as someone who is the first person to report about the Steele Dossier and the specifics of what`s the legend there aside, the general idea is the thought that the president could possibly be open to blackmail. And then watching this Stormy Daniels situation play out, it just seems to me that all that matters for someone to be vulnerable to blackmail is if there are things they don`t want coming out, whatever the things may be. What do you think?

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Well, that`s true. I mean, that`s the whole point when you get a security clearance. They look to see if there is anything you have done or said in the past that could be used to compromise you, extort you, and make you do something that you wouldn`t otherwise do.

And it`s important to note in the book, we talked about this when I was on the show last that I did -- the book i did with Michael Isikoff, we talked about the golden shower allegation. And people fixated on that. And it may not be clear -- it`s not clear whether it happened or not, but what is clear is that Trump did take lots of other trips to Russia. The Steele memos note that compromise material was gathered in other instances. And all we know is if you go to Russia in the 80s, `90s, 2000s, whenever, and you do anything untoward, they`re going to have it recorded. They`re going to have information on you.

But the whole way, this Stormy Daniels thing has played out certainly raise as lot of suspicions that they were -- that Michael Cohen at least is the fixer, wanted things really buttoned up. And I think we have the right as citizens to know what else might be out there that could blackmail Trump.

HAYES: Betsy, as someone who reports on this White House, do you feel like you have an understanding of what`s driving this? It`s notable to me that the president hasn`t -- he tals about everything. He weighs in on everything. He has stopped himself from talking about this specifically.

BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: It is extraordinary that a story that has dominated headlines and the president hasn`t tweeted on it.

HAYES: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: The Stormy Daniels story might be the only news cycle of this proportion that the president has judiciously refused to comment on. And my guess is that the reason for his silence is probably because his lawyers have admonished him that if he were to speak out about Stormy Daniels, the likely result would be that it would be much harder for his lawyers to argue in court that she had violated the nondisclosure agreement that both of them allegedly are party to.

Michael Cohen of course needs to argue that the president himself, and Michael Cohen, were a party to that nondisclosure agreement. And if the president discloses anything related to his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, that could render that NDA, nondisclosure agreement, null and void. So that`s probably the reason the president has been so uncharacteristically mum about the Stormy Daniels story.

HAYES: David, there is -- to your point about this sort of public policy issue here, which is like how many more of these are there. And what are the terms of them, or what are concealed behind them, and how open is the president to the possible leveraging of that, how do we get to the bottom of that?

CORN: Well, you know, it would be nice if we had some organ of government somewhere that could maybe investigate these sort of things. I mean, we can very glib because it`s about an fair with a porn star, but there could be a lot more important things here.

You know, we haven`t talked a lot about the catch and kill policy of the National Enquirer, which is a media company which apparently got information that they bought and didn`t use about Donald Trump and another affair. And that certainly would give them leverage over Candidate Trump and then President Trump. And the fact that...

HAYES: That`s a good point.

CORN: ...that Michael Cohen was paying any sort of hush money in an operation that might, might violate campaign law, other law, again, that gives someone blackmail material. And so this has happened in other instances. We literally don`t know how many opportunities there are out there for sleazy people to try to hold something over the president of the United States.

HAYES: Betsy, you reported earlier today about two white collar defense attorneys in Chicago turning down the president`s team. They seem -- the White House now seems to want to keep the president away from any questions about this. And I just think it`s a matter of time, right? Like, are they going to be able to do that?

WOODRUFF: Since John Dowd has left the White House, the likelihood that the president will have a conversation with Bob Mueller has probably gone up. When Trump back in I think it was January, first told a spray of reporters that he wanted to talk to Mueller, and he made that comment in a way that to his credit sounded quite sincere and eager, right after he made that comment, I chatted on the phone with Dowd, and Dowd told me essentially hell no. Dowd said I`m the one who is going to make this decision, and I haven`t decided yet.

But Dowd is now gone, which means somebody else will be responsible for deciding whether or not Trump talks to Mueller.

Now theoretically, Trump himself should make that decision. But if he decides to defer to his attorneys, that raise as question such as who are his attorneys going to be besides Jay Sekulow? It`s a big one.

And additionally, one piece of this that is really interesting is that these two attorneys who turned the president down don`t seem to have qualms about representing controversial clients. Dan Webb, one of the attorneys who told me in a statement that he had rejected the president`s offer, represents Dmytro Firtash, who is a Ukrainian oligarch who faces allegations from federal investigators that he is connected to organized crime. Dan Webb has been willing to represent Firtash. Everyone deserves to hae an attorney, of course, but turned down the president. That`s significant.

HAYES: Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast and David Corn, author of number one New York Times best-selling book Russian Roulette, thanks for being here.

Coming up, mourning of his twin brother by marching on his hometown of Washington, D.C. Trymaine Lee introduces us to one of the extraordinary students who made their voices heard this weekend. You do not want to miss it. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The Never Again movement born of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month turned to worldwide protests this weekend with focus on Washington, D.C. and a call for action.

(BEGIN VIDE OCLIP)

DELANEY TARR, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: We`re not here for breadcrumbs. We are here for real change. We are here to lead. We are here to call out every single politician to force them into enacting this legislation. They know what is coming. They know fa that if there is no assault weapons ban passed then we will vote them out.

SARAH CHADWICK, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: This is not a red versus blue issue, this is a morals issue. And to the politicians that believe that their right to own a gun comes before our lives, get ready to get voted out, by us.

CAMERON KASKY, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Since this movement began, people have asked me, do you think any change is going to come from this. Look around. We are the change.

(END IDEO CLIP)

NAOMI WADLER, GEORGE MASON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT: I am here today to represent Tiana Thompson, who had just 16 was shot dead in her home here in Washington, D.C. I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African- American girls whose stories don`t make the front page of every national newspaper. I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.

My friends and I might still be 11, and we might still be in elementary school, but we know. We know life isn`t equal for everyone, and we know what is right and wrong.

EMMA GONZALEZ, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Six minutes and 20 seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice, Aaron Feiss would never call Kyra Miss Sunshine, Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan, Elena Petty would never, Cara Lungren (ph) would never, Chris Hickson (ph) would neer, Luke Hoyer would never, Markine Duque Aguano (ph) would never, Peter Wang would never, Alissa al-Hidath (ph) would never, Jamie Guttenberg (ph) would never, Meadow Pollack would never.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Soneman Douglas High School Senior Emma Douglas stood there, right there at that podium like that in silence for more than four minutes, in perhaps the most starkly powerful moment of the day.

These survivors of the Parkland shooting have become in their own way recognizable, iconic. And there are, of course, young people across the country affected every day by gun violence who have rarely gotten the same spotlight. And they were standing shoulder to shoulder at this march as well.

MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee went to Washington, and he will join me ahead, just ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GONZALEZ: Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it`s someone else`s job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The current bout of renewed focus on gun violence in this country began with an horrific but relatively rare event, a mass shooting in a school. And mass shootings overall, not just in schools, accounted for just 1 percent of the more than 38,000 firearm deaths that took place in the United States in 2016. And that`s a reality that Parkland students, to their great credit, have gone out of their way to stress over and over again. The vast majority of live lost to guns happen away from national TV news.

In September, for example, 16-year-old Zaire Kelly was walking home in Brentwood, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C. He was just steps from his front door when he was shot and killed only a few miles from the site of this weekend`s historic march.

Trymaine Lee spoke to his twin brother Zion who spoke at this weekend`s march about what he lost and the movement he is now trying to help build.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZION KELLY, ZAIRE KELLY`S BROTHER: At this moment, please raise your hand if you have been affected by gun violence to honor the once you have lost.

Today, I raise my hand in honor of my twin brother, Zaire Kelly.

On September 20, a robber with a gun was lurking on my streets for hours. On my walk home, he attempted to rob me, but I ran. He shot my brother in the head. It will be...

(CHEERS)

KELLY: You know, my whole life I`ve been a twin. It`s really brand-new to me. I don`t have words to explain how it feels, it just -- I mean, sometimes it feels like really devastating because he has been there with me all my life.

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC: Are there moments when you still feel your brother with you?

KELLY: Yeah. I mean, there are moments, you know that I feel that he is right there with me in my room. I feel his presence. I hear his voice in the back of my head. And I think about him every day.

ZANETTE CHILDS, MOTHER OF ZION AND ZAIRE: The grief and the healing is a process. And just trying to get by, you know, day by day with the grief of losing my son. And just seeing the strength in Zion, you know, that helps tremendously. We`ve been through a lot over the past six months. And for him to be able to have the courage to tell his story and for his voice to be heard just makes me feel really proud as a parent.

LEE: In so many way, students from D.C. and the kids in Parkland live worlds apart, but is there a kinship in other ways?

KELLY: Yes. So when people from my school and from Stoneman Douglas first met, we understood that we`re all going through the same struggles. We all have been affected by gun violence. And we all agree that this needs to come to an end. So it didn`t matter the race, where we were from, anything, it mattered that we`re all Americans and we`re all fighting the same problem.

Hello. My name is Zion Kelly. I`m a student at Thurgood Marshall Academy. I`m here to represent the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of students that have...

See, when my brother was alive, like I was never the one to speak out in front of everyone and do public speaking and all that stuff., it was mainly him. I was sort of like in a shell. So me doing all this, and speaking at the march and speaking in front of the cameras and stuff, it`s basically it`s him pushing me through.

Hello, everyone. My name is Zion Kelly. And I`m a senior at Thurgood Marshall Academy here in Washington, D.C. I`m here to represent the hundreds, and the hundreds of thousands of students, who live every day in constant paranoia and fear on their way to and from school.

CROWD: Vote them out. Vote them out.

LEE: Does the movement end here? Do you think you can take any further?

KELLY: No, the movement does not end here. I mean, right now I`m not sure where we want to take it forward, but it`s definitely continues to go and will continue to move forward and to receive change. Because change is not going to happen tomorrow.

My name is Zion Kelly, and just like all of you, I have had enough.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Here with me is our own Trymaine Lee who brought us that incredible report. Also the table, Second Amendment scholar Michael Walden. But I want to begin with a pair of student activists who spoke at this weekend`s march -- David Hogg, who is a survivor of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting; and Matt Post, high school senior and gun safety advocate from Maryland.

And David, I want to start with you. You know Zion. And it`s been really interesting to watch you guys from Parkland travel and talk to students from other places, other neighborhoods will look very different from the one you came to. What have you been talking about? What has that exchange been like?

DAVID HOGG, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: This is not an issue that just affects kids, it`s not an issue that just affects rich, poor, black, white, Latino and any ethnicity or race, class, color, or creed. This is an American issue. And it`s unbelievable that I had to live through this for one day, but there is people that have to live through this every day. It`s unbelievable.

HAYES: Has that changed the way you think about what you`re doing to listen to those stories?

HOGG: It`s absolutely changed it. It has made it so much more -- it was already real, but to realize the inequality in this country and how so many communities have to live through this every day, it`s unbelievable.

HAYES: I want to play a little bit of what you -- what both of you had to say at the march this weekend. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT POST, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: We know that to only focus on school safety instead of American safety is to dismiss the thousands of tragedies in between the massacres.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think that yours was so different, David?

HOGG: I think the reason it was different is because we stood up and spoke out, but also because of our white privilege, our affluence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Matt, that thing you said there really struck me. You know, in the aftermath of Parkland, the conversation got very specific very quickly -- how do we stop school shootings and massacres like the one we saw in Parkland? Well, we got to put metal detectors. We`ve got to -- and I`ve watched you and David and others make sure to push that conversation out more broadly. What is your thinking there?

POST: Well, school shootings make up the minority of the shootings. We need to be focused on American safety, not school safety. And that`s why the bills that are going through congress that don`t even mention guns, that`s why things like arming teachers or metal detectors is trying to put gum at the bottom of a bucket with an enormous hole. I mean, it`s not going to solve the real root of the problem, which is a sickness of gun culture in this country.

HAYES: David, what is your take away from that day? What was that experience like to be there among hundreds of thousands of people?

HOGG: It was so empowering to witness the birth of a revolution. This was not the end of anything. That is just the start. We have walkouts coming up and so many other things. It was truly amazing to hear everybody`s story and understand how everybody is affected by this regardless of where you come from. And it made it even more important for me to continue this message of peace and equality for all Americans regardless of where you come from or anything like that.

HAYES: Matt, there`s been a lot of people saying, you know, we don`t have to listen to these kids. And, oh, they`re -- you know, I understand they are upset. And they`ve got a right, as a first amendment right. I keep seeing this. It`s very funny. First amendment right to express themselves. But why should we listen to them? Why should people listen to you?

POST: Because we are the moral conscious of this country. I think our adults and politicians have become uncompassionate and a little soulless. We need to start caring about human lives and we need to create public policy that reflects that. I think we are one of the most compassionate generations that has ever walked this country with a strong set of moral values and a strong understanding of what is right and wrong and we are going to shock this country with morality.

HAYES: You know, David, I`ve been watching you and some of your classmates sort of publicly have to grieve to deal with this, to be activists and voices in all this and be targeted by certain parts of America public life . And I just wonder what is it like, what is this experience like, to find yourself in the public eye now?

HOGG: It`s unbelievable. I never expected to become politically active and really start a movement like this in a scenario. But it happened and it`s something we have to change. We have to take this on and make sure that we continue this. And at the end of the day, if people don`t get out and vote, regardless of what their opinions are, if people just don`t get out there vote and make their voices heard, what happened on Saturday, that beautiful march, doesn`t mean anything if people do not get out and vote.

HAYES: All right, David Hogg and Matt Post, thank you for being with me tonight. I really do appreciate it.

HOGG: Thank you.

HAYES: All right, I want to go back to Trymaine Lee and Michael Waldman.

And Trymaine, that was an incredible piece. It has been gun violence in this country experienced in such different ways depending on where you live, and that was something that I thought the student organizers did a very good job of forefronting, actually, quite frankly, in the march itself.

LEE: As you know, over the last several decades as gun violence has gone down, there is a great inequality of gun violence where some communities are suffering as bad as they had been suffering in 1993. when you spend any time with these kids who are on the ground at the marches, there is obviously a tremendous resolve, but there`s also a sophistication around the language in terms of what they want policy-wise.

But they`re also intentional about this idea of intersectionality. And bridging the gap where we`ve never seen this bridge before, those kids from Parkland already visiting Chicago and already in Washington, D.C. with kids as he said, who deal with this every single day.

But when you hear Zion talk about the very personal loss of his brother, but then say race doesn`t matter, geography doesn`t matter, we are Americans and we believe in safety, that`s what is so profound about this. And that these kids are getting not just a first-class lesson in civics, but social responsibility and what it truly means to be an American in a kind of shared society, right, and what it means to be safe.

HAYES: Michael, you worked in the Clinton administration, which was sort of the last high water mark of any kind of really proactive gun policy. You`ve written a book about the Second Amendment. And there does seem to be something happening right now, politically and in public opinion.

Aerial Edwards Levy, who does polling at HuffPo, said the more notable initial reaction to Parkland was that in the aftermath appetite for gun reform continued to rise, right. It wasn`t just a spike and it went away. Early March saw a spike in belief that reform was possible, a dip in belief that gun restrictions violate the Second Amendment.

You`ve got, it seems, something real that`s happened now. As someone who is sort of a veteran of these battles, who do you think?

MICHAEL WALDMAN, SECOND AMENDMENT SCHOLAR: Well, in the 1990s, the intensity was on the side of the NRA. Bill Clinton blamed the loss of the House of Representatives...

HAYES: In `94.

WALDMAN: ...in `94 from the intensity of the NRA. They were always a minority, but they had the passion. What is new here, when you look back at the whole history of this issue going back to the framing, is you have never had this kind of spontaneous cross community, cross racial, national movement rise up with as wide a base as this seems to have, and also really interestingly, pretty savvy thinking about the importance of voting, the importance of not letting this dissipate, which is what happens -- you sometimes get people filling the mall with a rally and then it goes away. So, it`s a very important moment.

You know, the constitutional, as you know, does not bar sane gun laws. It`s a matter of our broken political system and political will and maybe that might be what`s changing.

HAYES: And it seems to me also like you cover certain issues, right? This is one of them. Guns, you can do the rote argument on both sides. Stuff gets just so in a rut. They are doing something Zion and Emma Gonzalez and David, they are somehow moving it out of a rut. It`s like I`m watching a debate that has been warned to threadbare be kind of stitched back together.

LEE: Part of it is that the trauma is shared. For so long, and we`ve done a lot of reporting on this. You go to these communities where the trauma is so centralized and isolated. But these kids, at Parkland who watched their friends die, some of those children have harrowing stories about hiding under bodies, seeing their teacher`s dead. When they go and recount these stories on television, and share these stories with their parents, and the parents sit back and say the mantle is yours and they take it, the trauma now is spread across cultures.

WALDMAN: It`s something, also, you get a sort of a wide social situation where something that people have been depressed about, have taken for granted, suddenly there`s a shift -- marriage equality, #metoo. These are not new issues, but people suddenly had a shift, a whole generation -- you know, young people wouldn`t dream voting for a candidate who wasn`t good on marriage equality. It may be that we know that older white men, generally speaking, are the ones, fewer and fewer people, have more and more guns. It may be that the new generation comes along and says, you know, why do we have to put up with this?

HAYES: This is a great point that 3 percent of guns in America -- 3 percent of American adults own collective 133 million firearms, right. So, an enormous amount of the guns are in a very, very small concentrated group, which speaks to that kind of intensity question.

And here`s another testament to that. There are 23 most vulnerable House Republicans who have an A-rating from the NRA. These are people that should be the most worried about this, who have this A, and now have kind of a target painted on them.

LEE: Well, that`s right. And another stat that I saw in the Boston Globe editorial, 78 percent of Americans do not have guns. So, when these young people rise up and say, well, who is dictating? What is the special interest? What small group of people are dictating policy in America? And that`s where the strength lies.

WALDMAN: And during the town meeting when the young person asked Senator Rubio, will you commit not to taking money from the NRA, that was the most visceral campaign finance reform moment I can remember in a long time. It really brings together a lot of things that people believe about how the system is not really listening to them and working for them. Who knows how it is going to play out. But it`s something very, very real. I think.

HAYES: your point about progress there. You know, it`s like the stuck jar lid theory of social progress, right. You don`t have some sort of neat linear thing. It`s like there and then it pops off, right. I mean, that`s the sort of -- the question right now, do we see something get sort of permanently dislodged.

Trymaine Lee and Michael Waldman, thank you for being with me tonight.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END