tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 17, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm PST
mentioned by name, the u.s. intelligence community named russia that nation state last month. that does it for our broadcast tonight. thank you very much for being here with us. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. dangerous liaisons, let's play hard ball. good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. when it comes to those who might serve inside a trump administration, some of trump's choices could become dangerous for the president-elect. nbc's reporting trump is expected to choose retired lieutenant general michael flynn, for example, as his national security advisor. flynn who called for hillary clinton to be locked up at the republican convention has been criticized or scrutinized for
his paid speaking engagement at a 2015 gala for rt -- that's russia's state-run media outlet in moscow. in fact, in moscow flynn was photographed sitting beside russian president vladimir putin. there he is. trump is also meeting with alabama senator jeff sessions who he's eyeing for attorney general or secretary of defense according to nbc. today the "new york times" revisited troubling allegations that arose in a bitter confirmation hearing 30 years ago which ultimately derailed session's prospect of becoming a federal judge. additionally politico reports trump aides have discussed naming sarah palin as secretary of the interior and the "new york times" says concerted radio host laura ingham could join the administration as well. take this for what it's worth. mitt romney who has been an outspoken critic of trump is meeting with him on sunday. meanwhile, on his final trip abroad as president today barack obama said he hopes president-elect donald trump
will change from the man we saw on the campaign trail to the person this country would like to see in the white house. >> >> he now has to transition to governance and what i said to him was that what may work in generating enthusiasm or passion during elections may be different than what will work in terms of unifying the country and gaining the trust even of those who didn't support him. that has to reflect itself not only in the things he says but also how he fills out his administration and my hope is is that that something he is thinking about. >> notice how quiet those reporters were in germany. joining me is eli stoke ls, national politics reporter at hide perez bi-- pryzbela.
so flynn said "lock her up." >> giuliani, they all said that. >> when you start talking about that and you're a general, you should pay attention. it's not general-like. let me ask you about this rt connection. larry king, i showed up on that night, i thought it was the larry king network, turns out it's russian tv. is it appropriate for a potential cabinet member to have been paid by them to give a speech, taken money under any circumstances from the russians? >> they raised a lot of questions about hillary clinton and who she was paid to give speeches by when she was secretary of state so it's fair to ask the questions. >> good for the good, good for the gander. >> we're talking about russia. he is not the only person in
trump's inner circumstancing of staying pro-russian statements at least and acting in a way that is much more sympathetic to the russian government, to vladimir putin than the current administration's foreign policy. this is a country that the west has sanctions on because putin took territory in ukraine. >> took crimea. >> and crimea but occupies territories in ukraine so people want to know why this matters. if trump softens on russia -- >> flynn supports softening those sanctions. >> if you start taking money from someone, it seems that -- well, that just impeaches everything you say about them hence forward. you look like the person getting paid. >> considering what a huge issue this was, this was a big problem with giuliani, we haven't gotten to him yet. but the prism -- >> in his case taking money from the anti-mullah group in iran. >> the former milosevic
government as well. but the prism through which we have to judge these appointments is we have to remember what donald trump ran as. he ran as an outsider who had no experience in any of this but the one thing he was going to do was being b a good manager who picks someone who has experience. if you look at flynn the up with thing that distinguishes him from everyone else is he was loyal. he was the one national security guy of his pedigree who was loyal to donald trump the whole time. he has counterterrorism experience, he's been in iraq but he's not like a condi rice or a colin powell type figuring. >> the "times" has been active reporting on this whole process on fifth avenue, besides blocking traffic up there here's the question. loyalty versus perfection for the job. i think he'll lean towards loyalty over perfection for the resume. why is he letting rudy giuliani sitting out there marinading when he could be picking him.
he must have made a judgment about the guy personally about his character, his loyalty, what's he waiting for fishing with all these other possibilities on secretary of state? what's up? >> i think what he's waiting on is the idea that donald trump doesn't like people who lobby for their jobs too much. in some ways he's backed into this position he had at "the apprentice." he doesn't want people to want it too much and kellyanne conway said he wants people to keep things secret and rudy giuliani has been making reporters think about the fact he might be the secretary of state. what we talked about and one of your guests said, this idea about loyalty, people who stuck with him, that's why we see jeff sessions in the running even though he has problem civil rights backgrounds in his day. so i think donald trump doesn't like the way rudy giuliani is getting the job. >> when it comes to secretary of state, the "new york times," your paper, yamiche reported one
person who has spoken directly with mr. trump said the president-elect had growing reservations about mr. giuliani who for 48 hours eagerly stoked news of his possible appointment. here's what kellyanne conway said on "morning joe" if his lobbying for the job hurt his chances. >> is there any way shape or form that that is the way to act? >> i think these conversations are always best in private, particularly when you're forming a cabinet and staff. that's why i don't say much about myself. he would command a certain presence around the world if he was secretary of state. but as somebody involved with the transition, we have lost short lists for every positions. >> well now we have a problem with flynn who's taken money from the russians, not a good move if you want to be the top negotiator. let's talk about jeff sessions. let me get back to yamiche.
jeff sessions, an alabama senator, if he is picked for trump's cabinet it wouldn't be the first time he faced a confirmation hearing in the senate. when nominated to be a judge 30 years ago in 1986, the "new york times" reported a prosecutor said sessions referred to the american civil liberties union and the naacp un-american. he called a prominent white lawyer a disgrace to his race for representing black clients. another witness said session joked he thought the ku klux klan was okay until he found out they smoked pot. some of those allegations sessions acknowledged and said he considered the matter settled. let's watch this. >> issues that have been raised before the judiciary committee have been heard and argued and settled. that matter is over and i have no further comment about it. >> you know, we want to put this in context, at least i do. i want to put in context 30 years ago in the deep south, alabama, but there are some
questions that are -- a credit to his race sounds like 100 years ago, the us grace to his race or whatever that was, that's a problem for me. but what do you make of this, yamiche? a thorny problem or doomsday for him? >> i think given what donald trump has been filling his cabinet with, the appointment of steve bannon, this is probably more thorny when you think about jeff sessions' background. he once told an african-american man that he should be careful about how he speaks to white people and he called him boy so this is -- if he became the attorney general, i can see so many families that are waiting for the doj to come up with solutions with their investigation of their family, think about eric garner and the case of him being choked in staten island. there are so many families that say they're very scared of who will be the head of the doj, who will be in charge of this and perhaps someone like jeff sessions, yes we can put into context that it was 30 years ago in the deep south but if he's 30 years ago in the deep south
talking about this and joking about the naacp as being un-american, that's really a problematic thing. but whether or not it will keep him from being appointed is a whole other thing because again we talked about the idea that donald trump is into loyalty. he was the first senator to take the risk to endorse donald trump and he was out there on the campaign trail for him and donald trump really values that. >> i guess my view is i do know sessions and i do think i've got problems with him, too, but i risk being too judgmental about 30 years ago. will the public -- will the senate hearings when they look at him hold that up as a major problems like calling somebody boy, an adult african-american? >> i think this could build because it's not in a vacuum. this is coming as the trump organization -- the trump incoming administration is looking at how our streets are becoming a powder keg based on this racial narrative that began during the campaign, that exploded with the appointment of
bannon and now, despite all of that, they've done nothing to publicly try and calm those fears and instead they start careening towards another appointment where you have this type of baggage. what does that tell the american people about your tensions? >> how far is a guy like trump willing to push the envelope? it's one thing if you're a liberal and pick a person conservative on law and order you may get away with it, but if you're out there with bannon, with breitbart and then you pick somebody who looks like they might be an old seggy, you have a problem. >> and when kellyanne conway says we have a long short list, she's saying we don't know, there's a lot of uncertainty because the people he's closest to may have confirmation problems, they may exacerbate bads narratives out there already. heidi is right, the context right now, these nominations coming after a campaign from a president-elect who's inflamed racial divisions, the democrats are going to decide where they want to fight.
>> yamiche, when you pull this stuff out, it look like he was an old seggy. but he's extremely tough on illegal immigration. like oh, my god, this is the guy that takes on immigration, problems with police in the streets and the question for who's looking out with true authority for justice not just taking a side. this is a tricky business, what do you think? >> well, this is tricky but i've been talking to republicans of color and there are a lot of african-american and hispanic republicans that are upset about the appointment of steve bannon and to see jeff sessions then become attorney general or head the department of defense that would i think even within the republican party send a message that donald trump is saying i'm not going to be the president of the united states of america in that he's going to his base. just looking at the numbers, he got 8% of the african-american vote so even if it is him digging in deep, he's thinking my base was overwhelmingly white and these appointments will be
the ones i make because this is what i my base wanted. they wanted someone extreme on immigration and into extreme vetting when it comes to muslims so that's probably what's going on with donald trump. >> well, the sermon is leadership. he has to discern where to make his fights. any thoughts about romney? is this for real that he might be looking at him for a high cabinet position? >> i look at this as a reporter and take the narrative yesterday which is the trump campaign isn't picking people based on qualifications, they're doing a stall inesque purg-- stalinesqu. it could be a trial balloon. you saw nikki haley, another person who was an outspoken critic of donald trump. he's talking to these people, they're making this go around and maybe he invited them to visit. >> it's one thing to throw hud or hhs, to throw them state, throw it to romney with his biggest opponent out there backing evan mcmullin?
give me a break. that's if most ruthless thing i've ever seen in politics if he puts romney there n there and dumps giuliani and saying i'm going against my loyalist. last thought from yamiche. >> it's tough to think of mitt romney kissing the ring of donald trump after everybody has that very memorable press conference where he really went and really attacked donald trump very pointedly. so it's remarkable that donald trump is feeling good about the fact that these people have to ask him for jobs, that could help if he gets appointed to make him feel like now i have the power and you have to bow to me. >> thank you, edie, heidi and yamiche. coming up, hillary clinton makes her first appearance after election defeat urging supporters not to give up. tonight i'll ask rob reiner how democrats should do that in this age of trump. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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i know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. i am, too, more than i can ever express. i know this isn't easy, i know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether america is the country we thought it was. the divisions laid bare by this election run deep. but please listen to me when i say this -- america is worth it. our children are worth it. believe in our country. fight for our values and never, ever give up. that was hillary clinton and hillary clinton is urging her supporters to keep fighting. she spoke at a charity gala in washington for her favorite charity, children's defense fund. it was her first public appearance since conceding the election last week. clinton grew emotional as she
spoke about the struggles her mother faced as a child abandoned by her parents and sent to live with relatives at a young age. clinton said she wished she could go back in time and comfort her. let's watch. >> i dream of going up to her and taking her in my arms and saying look at me, listen, you will survive, you will have a family of your own -- three children. and as hard as it might be to imagine your daughter will grow up to be a united states senator, represent our country as secretary of state and win more than 62 million votes for president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] that was nice. i have learned along the way somewhere, i guess from my wife. rob reiner, thank you. i think we men have learned along the way that mothers have
a tremendous influence on their daughters. their daughters all their lives want to live up to the expectation of their moms. it's something we're not into, the power of the mother and daughter. your thoughts about this? >> i think it's unfortunate. really unfortunate that we don't have our first woman president because i do believe that women have a greater love of life. they cherish life more than men do. they're not as easily willing to throw it away and it would have been very good to have the first woman president. >> you and i don't know what it's like to have a human being come out of us. that's quite an experience to have a baby. >> that's right. and we don't know what it's like to have a human being growing inside of us and nurture ago human being and i think unfortunately we've got a situation where we've got a
misogynist in the white house, a racist who's also anti-semitic. and i know people don't like to hear those terms. >> is he? where did you pick up anti-semitic. >> yeah, and i'll tell you why. because it doesn't mat haiti matter whether you are discriminating against a black person or muslim or latino or jew, if you are comfortable with the fact that there are groups who hate muslims, hate jews, hate latinos, hate women, if you are comfortable with having those groups support you and you don't in a forceful way say this is not part of who i am, then you are basically the jewish police at the warsaw ghetto. you're condoning it and i've never heard donald trump ever say he was against any of those groups that are supporting him. >> thank you, rob reiner. let me finish trump watch for this thursday, november 17. this is "hardball," the place for politics. to severe plaque psoriasis,
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trump watch, november 17, 2016. awaiting the next appointment from trump tower, i've been thinking back on how we got here to this extraordinary upset in the electoral college. let me start with what happened 16 years ago at the millennium, then one state seemed to decide it all -- florida. we noted how things would have been simpler if ralph nader hadn't campaigned for and won 92,000 votes down in the sunshine state. then al gore would have won florida, won in the electoral college, won the ball game. so let's look at the impact of the third party candidate this time around. look at the states that made the difference -- florida with 29 loer electoral votes, michigan with 16, wisconsin with 10. that's 75 electoral votes in all and in every one of these states the number of people who voted for third party candidate gary johnson well exceeded the difference between trump and hillary. every one of these states saw
clinton losing to trump by far less than votes to johnson. i do not know why people people this way. it's their right, but why is it their choice? do think care for who affects the outcome? if not, the vote for a third party candidate makes sense. but if they care how their choice of whom to vote for affects the final outcome why don't they vote for the person they intend to be president. it would spare this country in picking a president in some part through unintended consequences which isn't really the best way to do it. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. joining me tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern. see you then.
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staying with us for the next hour. on the wednesday night of the republican convention this summer, you might remember that texas senator ted cruz, in his speech, he did not say the word "trump," while he gave his speech at the republican convention. he, of course, had signed a pledge along with all the other republican candidates, saying he would support whoever the republican nominee for president was, but ted cruz really just could not stand donald trump. and even though he was invited to speak at the convention, he couldn't bring himself to say donald trump's name. the closest he could get was, vote your conscience. and he got screamed at and booed at and he got yelled off the stage. his family had to be, reportedly, escorted out of the arena for their own sa