IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Trump floats Putin WH invitation. TRANSCRIPT: 04/02/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Max Boot, Harry Litman, Matthew Gertz, Kurt Andersen

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: April 2, 2018 Guest: Max Boot, Harry Litman, Matthew Gertz, Kurt Andersen


The boycott continues at this hour of advertisers over at Fox News and David Hogg is going to join us in this hour.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, "A.M. JOY": Awesome. Excellent.

O`DONNELL: He got the whole thing started over there. So, we`ll see how he`s reacting to it now.

REID: Excellent, excellent, looking forward to it.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Joy.

REID: Thank you. Good night.

O`DONNELL: Well, once again, we learned what the president of the United States is up to today from the Kremlin, instead of the White House.

Two weeks ago, when President Trump called President Vladimir Putin in what was supposed to be do not congratulate phone call after Putin was reelected in a completely rigged Russian election, we learned from "The Washington Post" that Donald Trump actually did make the mistake of congratulating the non-democratically elected head of the Russian government. But was it a mistake? It would have been a mistake for any other president, but it has been Donald Trump policy from the start of his campaign to cozy up to Vladimir Putin and he continues to do it as president of the United States.

It doesn`t look like a mistake with Donald Trump. It looks like a very deliberate, consistent choice. Donald Trump`s public behavior with and about Russia and Vladimir Putin has always been extraordinarily peculiar to put it mildly. We don`t know whether the Trump campaign violated the law in conspiring with Russia and Russian agents to win the election.

But we do know that Donald Trump behaves as if he is owned by Vladimir Putin. And so again today, it was an aide to Vladimir Putin who revealed that in the "do not congratulate phone call a couple of weeks ago", Donald Trump actually invited Vladimir Putin to the White House, a Kremlin aide told a Russian news agency this morning: When our president spoke on the phone, it was Trump who proposed holding the first meeting in Washington, in the White House. Diplomatically visits to the White House are usually not granted to leaders of countries behaving badly, like, for example, poisoning people around the world or jailing opposing candidates during election campaigns or, say, interfering with the election of the president of the United States.

And because Vladimir Putin has been behaving badly for a while now, including invading neighboring countries it will be Vladimir Putin`s first visit to the White House since and in the years since his last visit Vladimir Putin`s behavior has become worse and worse and worse and in those years, WikiLeaks founder Juliann Assange has developed increasing fondness for Vladimir Putin`s dictatorial regime. And according to U.S. intelligence has served as a conduit for information stolen by Russian agents.

"Wall Street Journal" is reporting a special prosecutor Robert Mueller is looking into longtime Trump adviser Roger Stones claim in 2016 that he met with WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, that`s according to a person familiar with the matter. Quote: In an email dated, August 4th, 2016, Mr. Stone wrote: I dined with Julian Assange last night, according to a copy of the message reviewed by "The Wall Street Journal". The note to former Trump advisor Sam Nunberg adds to a growing number of times Mr. Stone claimed during the campaign to be in contact with WikiLeaks. The next day, Mr. stone publicly praised Mr. Assange via Twitter.

Roger Stone is now using the "it was a joke" defense. In an interview with "The Wall Street Journal", Roger Stone says the email doesn`t have any significance because I provably didn`t go. There was no such meeting. It`s not what you say. It`s what you do. This was said in jest.

When Sam Nunberg was a little boy, he wanted to grow up to be Roger Stone and he has come alarmingly close. He has become a confidant of Roger Stone and he has served as a Trump political adviser.

And here is what Sam Nunberg told Ari Melber last week about Roger Stone saying he met with Julian Assange.


SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR: I think he`ll just say, look, I -- he won`t say he was lying. He`ll say, I was joking, as he`s starting to say. I mean, the joke is essentially on me, because that`s why I got called in, I think one of the primary reasons by Mueller`s special counsel.


NUNBERG: I don`t -- that`s not the way I recollected. That`s not the way I recall it, but that`s Roger --

MELBER: Doesn`t know.

NUNBERG: Was it a joke to me that he --

MELBER: Was it a joke?

NUNBERG: I don`t think it was joke.


O`DONNELL: And in response to that, Roger Stone called Sam Nunberg a psycho and the lying A-hole in an interview with "The Daily Beast".

Tomorrow, Dutch lawyer Alexander van der Zwaan is scheduled to be sentenced in Washington, D.C. This is the first guilty plea in Robert Mueller`s investigation to reach the sentencing stage. Alexander van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller`s team in February. Last week, prosecutors revealed that Alexander van der Zwaan was aware of communications in the fall of 2016, between Trump campaign operative Rick Gates who has also pleaded guilty and a person with ties to the Russian military intelligence service.

Joining our discussion now, Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a foreign policy adviser for the McCain, Romney and Rubio presidential campaigns. Evelyn Farkas, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for policy toward Russia. She`s an MSNBC national security analyst. And Harry Litman, a former federal prosecutor and deputy assistant attorney general under President Clinton. He`s now professor at the University of California at San Diego.

And, Harry Litman, I just want to start with you on this last point that I was talking about here which is Roger Stone`s email saying I dined with Julian Assange last night, that obviously gets the interest the special prosecutor -- Sam Nunberg is brought in to testify about that, he has revealed, among possibly other things -- and the Roger Stone defense that it was a joke.

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Right. No kidding. So, yes, that`s his defense to this one, Lawrence, and there`s some reason to think that it would have been very hard for him to make it all the way to Assange to dine the next day. But remember, that`s not all we have. He`s called Assange "my hero", he previewed that John Podesta and Tony Podesta were going to get in trouble with the WikiLeaks revelations. There`s many different arrows pointing him to Assange.

You know, we`re kind of like now stranded travelers huddled over a radio to getting what transmissions come out of the Mueller office. But right now, they`re all saying, you know, Russia, Russia, Russia, WikiLeaks. There`s a lot connecting Stone and I think these latest revelations put him in the most peril of the people in the Trump circle.

O`DONNELL: Max Boots, did you remember when all those Obama campaign staffers were calling each other psychos and a-holes and you McCain staffers had that period when you were calling each other psychos and a- holes after the campaign, right?

MAX BOOT, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Not that it actually happened on the McCain campaign. Didn`t go so well, but yes.

O`DONNELL: Your reading of a campaign that included the likes of Stone and Sam Nunberg and now the question of how much linkage to WikiLeaks was there.

BOOT: Well, Lawrence, I would say that you know the conventional wisdom in 2015 and 2016 was that, you know, Trump was this hopeless candidate who was just getting kind of the bottom feeders. He couldn`t get the real professionals, so this is how he wound up with this motley crew.

But I think, now, there`s I mean, that may be true but I think you can also reach a different conclusion which is that there is perhaps a concerted Russian attempt to infiltrate the Trump campaign and to establish connections with them through people like George Papadopoulos and Carter Page and Rick Gates and Paul Manafort. All these people have Russian linkages and, of course, Roger Stone is another one of those.

And so, it seems to me that there`s a pretty insidious pattern of facts which is coming out here and, of course, Mueller knows way more about it than we do. But I mean to me this is very strong circumstantial evidence of collusion which is emerging here.

O`DONNELL: Evelyn Farkas, you have a special prosecutor who`s investigating possible Russian illegal interference in our presidential campaign, in our presidential election. You also have a Russian leader who has invaded the Ukraine, has seized Crimea. You have these poisonings that are occurring which the civilized world is reacting to and blaming Russia for.

And amidst all of that, Donald Trump invites Vladimir Putin to the White House. What are the -- what are the diplomatic precedents here that usually would be followed?

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Usually, Lawrence, if your adversary -- I mean, the international adversary right now of the United States is Russia and you went through some of the reasons why they`re the adversary. If that adversary, you know, conducts an operation like tries to poison, kill, assassinate two people in your best friend`s backyard, you don`t invite that adversary over for a beer the next week.

I mean, we`re supposed to be standing in solidarity. There`s a huge difference between President Trump saying, hey, I`m going to sit down with Kim Jong-un and the big difference is that the Japanese, the South Koreans and even not our allies but our partners in this, the Russians and the Chinese are fine with the idea of us sitting down with Kim Jong-un it`s a unified stance.

But the problem with the approach to Russia is that as I said before, they`re the adversary, you mentioned just a few of the perfidious things that they`ve done on the international stage. These two poisonings are the latest of about -- they`re about 13 other, you know, looks like suspicious assassinations and attempted assassinations on Russia`s hands, and many of them in the U.K.

You know, these are things that we should not be excusing. We had a very strong united front last week and then our president turns around and pretends that that didn`t happen, and he`s got this weird charade going whereby the official policy is, yes, we stand together with our allies we punish Russia through sanctions, although he`s not implementing them all fully, but then he has this kind of wink and nod relationship with Vladimir Putin where they pretend that America and the Russian federation can cooperate, whereby I see no hope unfortunately for any cooperation given Russia`s foreign policy objectives.

O`DONNELL: Harry Litman, I want to go back to the special prosecutor`s investigation and the president`s lawyer situation. Last time we left him on this, he had lost the lawyers he thought he was hiring and his lead counsel had left the case and there was a inexperienced defense lawyer from Georgia who was going to enter the fray.

But Joe diGenova who was unable to join the Trump team because of legal conflict is now being reported in "Politico" saying that he`s actually still participating. "Politico" says, former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova who was set to join President Donald Trump`s legal team said Monday that he and his wife Victoria Toensing are still speaking with Trump and his lawyers despite parting ways due to a conflict of interest.

Victoria and I are playing the role of lawyers on television and in real life, diGenova said in an interview with Baltimore radio station WBAL. We have spoken to the president several times since our respective statements last week and we continue to chat with his lawyers and with him.

Harry, what -- if you`re conflicted to the point where you can`t represent the president, what is the propriety -- legal propriety of speaking to him in this situation?

LITMAN: None. It`s -- if there really had been a conflict of interest, I said he couldn`t represent him, you can`t play footsie with him in the way that they`re describing. But, you know, diGenova was hired on a Monday and he withdraws on a Friday. No lawyer, no lawyer takes an engagement like this without having checked conflicts first. And his statements in withdrawing were kind of squirrely.

So, I suspect we`ve got either a sort of soft conflict, a business conflict or even that that`s a charade for a whole different reason. But if he`s truly conflicted in the ethical sense of the term, he`s just got a stay six miles away. Obviously, that`s not the case. And, of course, with every new person who comes forward to play Trump`s lawyer, we also have a whole new style, whole new strategy.

And the bottom line is, he`s in the middle of a grave criminal crisis and he`s got not only no lawyer but no strategy. It`s stunning.

O`DONNELL: And tomorrow, Max, we`re going to see an actual sentencing for the first time in this case and that`s certainly going to be a moment of reckoning for some of the people who have already pled guilty and others who know that they are in the prosecutors` sights.

BOOT: Right, and Mueller has said that Alexander van der Zwaan, who`s being sentenced, has information that is not available to others. So, you know, I would think that Donald Trump has to quake every time he reads something like this because you know as I think McCain or somebody said, this scandal was like a centipede, there`s always another shoe dropping, and you know there are many more down the road.

And -- I mean, the fact that we have before us just in the public are damning enough, so you can just imagine what Mueller knows and the information he`s accumulating from getting -- from flipping people like, you know, Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos and Rick Gates. I mean, my goodness what that man must know and how Trump must be -- must be afraid, and I think that helps to explain why, of course, he keeps lashing out against, for example, today, the Department of Justice putting the justice in these in these sarcastic quote marks.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to leave it there.

Max Boot, Evelyn Farkas and Harry Litman, thank you for joining this first round of discussion. Really appreciate.

LITMAN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, President Trump spent the weekend watching Fox News and tweeting what Fox News told him to tweet, and then watching Fox News joyously report what he just tweeted. And we have proof of exactly how that nutty cycle works.

And in other Fox News tonight, the boycott continues and Laura Ingraham continues to be on vacation. Advertisers have been boycotting more Ingraham`s show after her attack on David Hogg, a high school student who survived the mass murder at his school in Parkland, Florida. David Hogg will join us.


O`DONNELL: Matthew Gertz has given us the definitive study of how Fox News governs the thoughts of the person who is supposed to be governing the United States of America and he did it in a series of tweets that will guide historians for centuries unless historians at some point just give up writing about the Trump presidency because they consider it some aberrant joke in the history of American -- of the American presidency.

Here is the tweet series in which Matthew Gertz explains it all for us. President Trump`s hard-line immigration tweets this weekend are the result of advice he -- of, A, advice he received in private from Fox hosts, followed by, B, him reacting to Fox coverage.

On Friday night, Trump reportedly dined at Mar-a-Lago with Fox`s Sean Hannity, a regular outside advisor the president consults on policy. Hannity reportedly urged Trump to take a firmer line on immigration to secure the base in the midterms.

The next morning, "Fox and Friends" ran multiple segments criticizing California Governor Jerry Brown`s decision to pardon five immigrants who were facing deportation. Trump responded with a furious tweet that quoted from a Fox graphic and tag to the network.

Later Saturday, Trump met with Jeanine Pirro, another Fox host and outside Trump adviser. Pirro reportedly echoed Hannity`s call for a tougher immigration stance.

Saturday night, Hannity dines with Trump again, this time joined by disgraced former Fox exec Bill Shine.

Sunday morning, Fox does a series of frantic reports on a "BuzzFeed" article about a caravan of Central American migrants headed for the U.S.- Mexican border. And one of those reports, Border Patrol Union head Brandon Judd criticized catch and release immigration policies and called for nuclear option to pass GOP immigration legislation.

Within the hour, Trump responds with a wild tweet storm echoing Judd on caravan, catch and release, nuclear option, threatening Mexico and declaring no more DACA deal because migrants are trying to take advantage of it.

Much of this makes no sense, but Trump reiterates the comments when asked about them by the press pool as he is about to enter church for Easter services. The tweets upend the administration`s efforts to heal the U.S. - Mexico relationship.

"Fox & Friends" is extremely excited the next morning. Here`s how they opened the 6:00 a.m. hour. Trump is apparently watching again and does another angry tweet storm about Mexico reiterating the points from the day before. Trump was tweeting about a "Fox and Friends" segment about Trump tweeting about a "Fox and Friends" segment, the feedback loop is tighter than ever.

Joining us now, the author of that secrets of tweets, Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters, and Kurt Andersen as well, he`s the author of the book "Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire" and host of the public radio program "Studio 360".

And, Matthew, as soon as I saw your series of tweets today, I realized my work was done for me, I`m just feeling that. That`s my script for this segment.

It was really and you`ve been doing this regularly and they`ve been -- you`ve done this often, but this was, I have to say, the most beautiful sequence I had seen unfold and it really is this loop that`s just constantly going back and forth like this.

MATTHEW GERTZ, SENIOR FELLOW, MEDIA MATTERS: Well, thank you very much. Yes, I`ve been tracking this since mid-October. Every morning waking up, seeing whether the president is tweeting and when he is seeing if I can match it to whatever is happening on "Fox & Friends" this that morning.

"Fox & Friends" is the president`s favorite show. He frequently praises its hosts. He thinks that they do great work, and often what I`ve found is whatever the president is tweeting about in the morning, it is often based on what he`s seeing on that program.

You know, you will have him echoing the exact same bizarre conspiracies that no one else is talking about. You will see him talking about three or four or five different topics in a row that mimic "Fox and Friends" segments from that day.

And so, what I eventually concluded was, yes, this is what is happening, the president of the United States gets up every morning, he turns on his television and he watches Fox`s morning cable news program and tweets in real time about whatever he sees.

You know, I also spend several hours a day watching cable news and tweeting about it, but I am not the president of the United States. This is very strange. And I think disturbing for a couple of different reasons.

You know, the cast of "Fox and Friends" are not exactly the brightest and the best. These are not Rhodes scholars. They are people who once attempted to roast marshmallows of a note over an open flame with their bare hands or didn`t go well. So, not really who you want advising the president, but that is apparently what is happening -- almost every day, for several hours a day, getting the briefing from "Fox & Friends".

O`DONNELL: And, Kurt, the ignorance of the president knows no bottom. Every previous president when they walked by a TV and there was any kind of TV news on it, they could always look at it kind of disdainfully because -- and this would always be true, whatever we were reporting on, whatever we were saying on television about what the president was up to, what the president knew was we know the tip of the iceberg of what he`s up to. That`s the most we`re going to get out here and that`s what we`re analyzing.

And this is someone who knows less. This is the only president who knows less than the people on TV who were talking about the presidency.

KURT ANDERSEN, "FANTASYLAND" AUTHOR: And he`s a guy who has been covered a lot by the media for 30 years, so he knows how off and wrong and sloppy press coverages of anything he`s been involved in for years. So, yes, it`s extraordinary. However, I guess although it resembles a certain kind of psychiatric disorder, the kind of people who think the TV is talking to them --


ANDERSEN: -- some people, there is a thing called "Truman Show" disorder where you think you`re the center of a TV show and you`re getting directions from a director. This seems like a corollary to that.

But I will say that as somebody who had followed his tweets that go from one thing to another erratically in the mornings and you think, what, is this guy lost it, at least this gives a sense that he is not mentally ill in the way that we had imagined, inflating from one subject to a next. He is, for better and worse, mostly worse, following "Fox and Friends", and that`s all he`s doing, which is pathetic but not perhaps as troublingly disordered as we might have imagined.

O`DONNELL: And he`s also bringing -- when he`s not having dinner with Fox anchors, he`s bringing Fox personnel into White House meetings through speakerphone. He`s actually -- there`s a report today indicating that Lou Dobbs from the Fox News Channel, which is a breathtakingly tiny audience that follows that channel, that that the president puts him on speakerphone in meetings with the treasury secretary and others talking about tax policy trade policy.

And here`s just one example, here`s just one example of the intelligence level of Lou Dobbs. This is the person, this is the voice, this is the person who the president wants to hear from more than he wants to hear from his cabinet. Let`s listen to this.


LOU DOBBS, FBN HOST: I think U.S. marshal should follow him and anytime he wants -- to go follow the president like he is and behave. I mean, this is just bad manners, it`s boorish, it`s absurd. He doesn`t realize how foolish he looks.

I mean, he should be brought back by the marshals. Isn`t there some law that says president shouldn`t be attacking a sitting president?


O`DONNELL: Just to be clear, he was referring to Barack Obama, Matt, and Lou Dobbs believes his understanding of the Constitution and the First Amendment that there`s should be a law or there is one that says previous presidents should not say anything about the current president.

GERTZ: Yes, and you know you say that he has a very tiny audience and that`s true, but one of the members of that audience is president himself.


GERTZ: I actually traced a tweet that the president sent this evening, around 8:00 o`clock, to a segment on Lou Dobbs earlier this evening. So, he is watching Lou Dobbs program and taking cues from that. He`s getting advice from him in, you know, over the phone and in person.

We`re seeing a similar relationship with Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro who have also loudly decried the Mueller investigation and said that, you know, it needs to be shut down, that some of the people at the FBI and DOJ need to be taken out in handcuffs.

O`DONNELL: Matt Gertz, Kurt Andersen, we`re going to leave it there for tonight. Thank you very much for joining us on this one. Really appreciate it.

Coming up, Bill O`Reilly now says that the advertisers` boycott of Laura Ingraham Fox News show is a dark conspiracy. The leader of that conspiracy, 17-year-old David Hogg, will join us next.


LAWERENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: When an advertiser boycott closed in on Bill O`Reilly last year, Fox News announced O`Reilly was going on vacation. He never returned from that vacation. And last week when an advertiser boycott started by my next guest David Hogg was building against Laura Ingraham Fox News announced she was going on vacation.

Vacation is the scary place for a Fox News host to be when advertisers are boycotting a show. There are now 15 advertisers. These 15 advertisers boycotting Laura Ingraham show, Expedia, Hulu, Nestle, Nutrish, Trip Advisor, WayFair, Johnson & Johnsons, Stitch Fix, Office Depot, Jenny Craig, Atlantis Paradise -- Atlantis Paradise Island, Liberty Mutual, Ruby Tuesday, Bayer, Miracle Ear.

Today was the first business day when Fox did not lose another advertiser to the boycott. And so this afternoon Fox I issued this statement today. We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts. We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.

That statement by Fox conveniently overlooks the fact that Bill O`Reilly was indeed driven from Fox News by an agenda driven effort. The agenda was to stop sexual harassment in the work place specifically stop bill O`Reilly`s sexual harassment. And it worked because all of the names you see behind me right now boycotted Bill O`Reilly`s show. And that`s who drove him off TV, the advertisers.

Fox News was doing to let Bill O`Reilly sexually harass women for as long as he wanted to, for as long as he wanted to, and they were going to help him settle lawsuits with those women for as long as he wanted to them to that. But they were not going to let him lose advertisers for Fox News. That was crossing Fox News` line.

And so those advertisers who drove Bill O`Reilly out of television probably saved an unknown number of women working at Fox News right now from being sexually harassed by Bill O`Reilly in the work place and now, of course, Bill O`Reilly hates boycotts. So O`Reilly rose in defense of Laura Ingraham today on Twitter. He said that the boycott is being directed by powerful shadowy radical groups who want Laura Ingraham off the air.

Here is the picture of the leader of those powerful shadowy, radical groups. That`s 17-year-old David Hogg. That`s his twitter photograph. And here is the tweet that publicly launched the boycott. It got 55,000 retweets, 128,000 likes and that`s something advertisers must pay attention to. It is impossible to conceive of a more peaceful form of protest than a tweet or a boycott. In fact, boycotts were invented at a potentially explosive moment in history as an alternative to violent protest.

Charles Boycott was the local rent collector and county male in Ireland for an English lord who owned the land that peasant farmers tried to scrape out a living on, or at least enough food to eat. With harvests dropping toward famine levels and farmers unable to make their rent Charles Boycott was especially ruthless with e evictions. In a protest to reduce rents the local Irish refused t refused to pay their rents to Mr. Boycott and refused to help with the harvest on lands controlled by Mr. Boycott.

After that Charles Boycott`s last name became a verb and within a year led to new fairer rent laws in Ireland. In the 130 years since then peaceful boycotts have been launched around the world with mixed results, sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don`t. But every time, every time boycotts are always called unfair by the people who are getting boycotted. Including, of course, the target of the most successful recent TV advertiser boycott, Bill O`Reilly, whose Irish culture once depended on the investigation of the boycott for it`s very survival. Joining us now David Hogg, a Senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. David, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it. I want to go first of all to what Bill O`Reilly said about you today and what`re doing. He said you and the boycott being directed by powerful, shadowy, radical groups. What`s your reaction to that?

DAVID HOGG, SENIOR, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Thanks for seeing me as so powerful. I don`t see myself as such. I mean I`m pretty well lit. I don`t see shadow figures behind me.

I mean honestly if you powerful, shadowy group as corporate America standing by us, OK, I guess. It doesn`t really make sense. But I want to get on from is the negativity in this situation.

And I want to focus on what`s ahead for our movement. It`s really what we need to focusing on the is the positivity and really bringing everybody together. And that`s the first thing we have coming up are the town halls on April 7th that we`re trying to get in every congressional district.

And I think when bill says these things and when Laura says these things. I`m fine when they disagree with my policies. That`s absolutely OK. What I have a problem with is when they attack me or anybody else personally.

Why? What does that accomplish? It doesn`t make sense. I`m not -- I don`t have any shadowy figures behind me at least I don`t see any. I`m pretty well lit and I am just a kid that uses Twitter. And If he sees me as powerful, that`s OK. I don`t see myself that way. But honestly we`re trying to use our first amendment rights and so does corporate America and if he stands against us that`s fine. But we`re going to -- they`re standing with us and we`re going to stand with them too.

O`DONNELL: I want to show you a photograph of Emma Gonzalez and what was done -- this is another way in which people on the right, Pro-NRA people have tried to distort what`s going on here especially with you are as individual protesters. They took a photograph of Emma Gonzalez ripping up a target that`s used as gun target practice and they photo shopped that into her ripping up a copy of the constitution and claiming well first of all that she was ripping up a copy of the constitution and therefore that`s what she was all about. What`s your reaction to that?

HOGG: I think its kind ironic that many of the people that create this content are always saying there`s so much fake news out there when often times they`re the ones that perpetrate it and create it. It`s disgusting. It`s dangerous to our democracy. And it`s just wrong.

We`re kids that are just trying to save lives. These people working against us they aren`t really doing anything other than getting in our way. And what we need to do is come together as Americans and when people use divisive language like we see on the right and left of the issue like calling things right and left and not just American it doesn`t help anything because we need to come together. We need to go to these town halls and say I don`t care if you`re a Republican. I don`t care if you`re a democrat. We`re all Americans. Let`s get together and solve the issue together.

O`DONNELL: I want to read a tweet from John Hughey who was the former publisher of Time Magazine. And he responded to Bill O`Reilly`s tweet about the boycott being this conspiracy. He said, advertisers pull money when they come to believe the show they`re sponsoring has crossed some line that is going to cost them customers and money. They are largely apolitical market driven capitalists with radar for brand damage. And David that comes from someone whose business depended on the selling of advertising and the maintenance good relationships with advertisers. And so when you hear Bill O`Reilly imaging this about what`s going on with you and what`s going on with your classmates down in Parkland, Florida, if you could talk to Bill O`Reilly for a minute, what would you try to tell him?

HOGG: Corporate America is on the side of justice. You, with the sexual harassment, they stood with those, the victims of that to ensure that nobody else would have to suffer through that. And they`re trying to stand with us too to prevent the bullying we`ve seen. And again I don`t want this to be about negativity of the situation.

I want this to be Americans discussing this with each other. That`s what we need. We need positivity and to work together. But when these people continue to try to divide us and distract from what the real mission here is which is saving kids` lives because they`re attacking us on a personal level, not even our policies. I am absolutely fine with people criticizing our policies. What I`m not OK with is when people attacked me and my friends who are survivors of a mass murder. On a personal level what does that accomplish honestly?

O`DONNELL: David, quickly before you go give us again what`s going next. April 7th you mentioned.

HOGG: Yes. So on April 7th we`re trying to have a town hall in every congressional district. People can go to the to see if there`s one in their area and if there`s not they can create an event. And it`s a really great way for everybody to make their voices heard. So please I urge you to go to and see if there`s an event in your area. If there`s not, make one.

O`DONNELL: David Hogg, really appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you very David.

HOGG: Thank you, Lawrence

O`DONNELL: And coming up, President Trump`s lawyers went to Federal Court today in California to fight Stormy Daniels and they made the mistake of revealing in a court filing, that they think everything Stormy Daniels said about Donald Trump on 60 minutes is true.


O`DONNELL: At the end of the business day today in California, lawyers for the President of the United States filed this, 26-page motion in Federal Court that contained, deep within it, the admission, probably the inadvertent admission that Donald Trump did indeed do everything that Stormy Daniels said he did in her interview on 60 minutes. The motion is an attempt to force Stormy Daniels case into private arbitration instead of allowing it to be heard publicly in open court. The President`s lawyers are trying to enforce the confidentiality agreement that Stormy Daniels is trying to declared enforceable. .

And in their filing today the President`s lawyers said Stormy Daniels has already violated the confidentiality agreement. At the bottom of page 9 and continuing on to page 10 the President`s lawyers explained exactly how Stormy Daniels has already violated the confidentiality agreement. Stormy Daniels real name as you recall is Stephanie Clifford and the President`s Lawyers say "Clifford has violated the settlement agreement and the temporary restraining order by among other things filing the complaint and first amended complaint in this action and also by disclosing confidential information to the news media including in a nationally televised interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 minutes which was reported watched by 22 million viewers."

The confidentiality agreement that Stormy Daniels signed prevents her from telling the truth of what he did with Donald Trump. It is not a violation of her confidentiality agreement for her to lie about what she did with Donald Trump. She can say she played golf with Donald Trump, even though she never played golf with Donald Trump and that would not violate the confidentiality agreement.

So when the president`s lawyers say in here that Stormy Daniels violated the confidentiality by what she said on 60 minutes they are admitting right here, on page 9 and 10, that it is all true. That everything Stormy Daniels said on 60 minutes is exactly what she was supposed to keep secret about Donald Trump because it`s true. That means, according to the President`s lawyers today, that this really happened.


STORMY DANIELS, PORN STAR: I was like someone should take that magazine and spank you with it. I just remember him going you wouldn`t. Hand it over. And so he did. And I was like, turn around, drop him.

ANDERSON COOPER, 60 MINUTES HOST: You told Donald Trump to turn around and take off his pants?


COOPER: And did he.

DANIELS: Yes. So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little and he had underwear on and stuff and I gave him a couple swats.


O`DONNELL: When we come back, there are more revelations in these documents by the President Lawyers today which is are very, very harmful to the President. That`s next when we return with Kurt Anderson and Harry Litman



SETH ROGEN, ACTOR: I`ve known Stormy Daniels a long time. And I`ll be honest, she may have mentioned some of this stuff around 10 years ago at the time when you ask a porn star who they`ve been sleeping with and the answer was Donald Trump. It was like the least surprising thing that she could have said. And so, yeah, she had mentioned it actually. She did mention it.


O`DONNELL: And that memorable television moment was brought to you like so many other entertainment moments by Judd Apatow who was the director of 40- year-old virgin and knocked up and he casts Stormy Daniels in those films. And that is how and why Seth Rogen knows Stormy Daniels and heard her Donald Trump stories 10 years ago. Back with us Harry Litman and Kurt Andersen. And Harry Littman, I want to go to these revelations in these filings by the President`s lawyers today that say that Stormy Daniels violated the confidentiality agreement, which she can only violate by revealing things that she promised not to reveal in that confidentiality agreement. And those were things that Donald Trump believes to be true. And so it seems like they -- they have not yet found the right way to put it mildly to defend Donald Trump in this case.

HARRY LITMAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. To put it mildly I think you`re right. They stepped in it. And Avanatti who has generally been running circles around them will be all over it.

Of course one of the reasons you have lawyers is because their statements don`t automatically get attributed to you. But Cohen here has made two personal statements in the last week that I think put him into deep hot water. First he averred on national TV that Trump knows nothing and never knew anything about the agreement. And in proceeding was the big argument is about is did they conclude the agreement or not?

Now, if Trump never knew anything about it, how could he make the promises that are in the agreement, which are not just $130,000. He promises to release all his claims. He promises not to contact her family. That all looks to be a total fraud because he would never have agreed because he never knew.

And a lot of things follow from that, ethically, civilly be, even criminally for Cohen and that I think will have turn out to a been a bad misstep.

O`DONNELL: And there`s a really easy way for the President to end all of this and that is to drop all this litigation and let Stormy Daniels continue to tell her story. She`s already told her story so the damage, if you`re going to can call it that is done. All she can do is tell her story again and again. But it seems that the reason to try to enforce the Stormy Daniels agreement is that you might have dozens or as Steve Bannon said to Michael Wolff, hundreds of these agreements out there to keep enforce.

KURT ANDERSEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well and you may have -- there may other legal liabilities that he has that we don`t know about. For instance in a -- I`m just speculating here but in a prenup with Mrs. Trump, there could be something about unmistakable evidence of infidelity that such an open hearing as opposed to a closed arbitration in the Stormy Daniels allegations would expose. You know it`s extraordinary that he as you say is keeping this open. His lawyers are the thing that is giving this story air.

As we all said as soon as the 60 minutes interview with Stormy Daniels was done that that story is done. Well it isn`t only because of the ongoing pursuit by Donald Trump and his lawyers against her for her suit. As you say, it could end tomorrow. So either there is some other incentive, legal incentive, or as could be true, Donald Trump simply -- and his lawyers -- simply enjoy being the center -- have another ring in the circus to which they can draw attention.

O`DONNELL: And Harry, I wanted to make it clear legally to people what happened. Brent Blakely who represents essential consultants which an LLC that was created by Michael Cohen. He doesn`t actually technically represent Michael Cohen. He represents that LLC.

He did the filing. And then Charles Harder, who actually really does represent Donald Trump in this case, sent in a supplementary filing basically saying that filing speaks for us, we agree with that. And so the President of the United States formally entered this today through his own lawyers and this is just a development that any reasonable lawyer would have advised the President against.

LITMAN: Probably. I mean, if all he`s thinking about is the short-term political cost, maybe. But it seems like and I think Kurt is exactly right, the sort of salient and power of this story now has everything to do with their fighting it. There has to be dozens of other people out there. But you`re right, now the President joined it.

Now he sort of had to because he`s been sued by her and so everybody who comes back and says we want arbitration, everyone who has been sued has to make that claim. But he`s got his very flame thrower lawyer who just this week, by the way, had a dissolution of his firm and because of this engagement with Trump and he was forced into this move.

O`DONNELL: Kurt Andersen, Harry Littman, thanks for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. Tonight`s last word is next.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s last word.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: so my question is it collusion yet? Is this collusion at this point? Gates was Trump`s Deputy Campaign Chairman who stayed on through the inauguration, knowingly met with a Russian Spy in the months leading up to the election. What more evidence do we need? Donald Trump in a t-shirt saying I colluded with the Russians and all I got was this lousy t-shirt and the Presidency?

O`DONNELL: Stephen Colbert gets tonight`s Last Word. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams starts now.


Copy: Content and programming copyright 2018 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.