tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 22, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST
ladies and gentlemen, i want you all to give it up for the recipients of the 2016 presidential medal of freedom. >> 21 americans were awarded today. that does it for "the 11th hour." "hardball with chris matthews" is up next. hillary walks. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews. in washington, donald trump once called hillary clinton's e-mail scandal bigger than watergate. his supporters chanted, lock her up. today the president-elect said he wasn't interested in pursuing a criminal case against clinton as he promised to do. he told the "new york times," it's just not something i feel very strongly about.
well, earlier today, an adviser to trump, kellyanne conway, was asked about republicans in washington who still want to go after clinton. >> i think when the president-elect is also the head of your party now, joe, tells you before he's even inaugerated he doesn't wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone and content to the members. and i think hillary clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of americans don't find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if donald trump can help her heal, perhaps that's a good thing. look, i think he's thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the united states, and things that sound like the campaign aren't among them. >> well, the reverse earned rebukes from republicans and conservatives. here with senator lindsey graham this morning. >> well, so much for locking her up, i guess. i can understand wanting to put the election behind us and heal the nation, but i do hope that all the things that donald trump said about how crooked she was, that we just don't let it go
without some serious effort to see that the law was truly violated. i think that would be a mistake. >> on a website of breitbart news, a website once run by trump's senior adviser steve bannon, the headline read, broken promise, trump doesn't wish to pursue clinton email charges. breitbart said, a decision not to spur the clinton investigation would be seen as a betrayal of the voters and bodes you will ill for other promises. voters would understand a presidential pardon, perhaps, but not a wholesale abandonment. they said if mr. trump's appointees continue the obama administration's politicized spiking of a criminal investigation of hillary clinton, it would be a betrayal of his promise to the american people to drain the swamp of out of control politics in washington, d.c. donald trump said he was going to have her prosecuted over her use of a private email server. let's watch that.
>> she should be in prison, let me tell you. she should be in prison. i will ask my attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. after getting the subpoena to give over your emails and lots of other things, she deleted the emails. she has to go to jail. >> lock her up! lock her up! >> for what she's done, they should lock her up. if i win, i'm going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. >> you know, it is -- it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of donald trump is not in charge of the law in our country. >> because you would be in jail. >> right now senior adviser kellyanne conway.
kellyanne, thank you for all this. can you give us any tick-tock on this. when during the night or whatever did donald trump come up with this decision to basically let hillary clinton off the hook on further prosecution? >> it's a recent development and those are his words, so we respect them. he repeated them today at the "new york times" on the record brief, and chris, you talked a little bit about that. he actually went on for a couple minutes about this issue to the "new york times." i was sitting right next to him. he said it was a vicious primary, a vicious campaign. he thinks that she and the clintons have suffered enough, and he just wants to unite the country and move forward, not backward. then he ticked off a whole list of things that he does care about. he says he's very focused, most focused right now on health care, on immigration, on national security, on the many problems he thinks exist throughout the world. this is where he's giving numerous intelligence briefings now. he's convinced there are many
issues that need his immediate attention as our commander in chief and president of the united states. >> so much of the voting -- you and i talked off and on off the record. i won't go into details because there wasn't much to it except asking each other questions, but you know a lot of people in the suburbs, for example, where i'm from, or near the suburbs, my brothers and all, that made last-minute decisions toward trump. they didn't like either of the candidates especially, but they made a decision for trump. because they don't like hillary. they just really don't like her, and i think they really like the idea that trump was calling her crooked hillary, and they like the idea that his people said lock her up. and now one of the real motivating emotions, if you >> look at the polling, nbc polling and other people's polling. a majority of americans still think she has a veracity problem. >> does he think that? >> this is part of why she lost.
the unfavorability ratings were high for each of them but for different reasons. for her you had a much higher, more intense number of people saying, i just can't go there. i just can't abide the lying or the mistruths or using the state department as a concierge for foreign governments, and the pay to play in the clinton foundation. with him we can't have it both ways. in this network and out of hillary clinton's mouth herself, it was claimed that when jim comey said he would start a reinvestigation into her emails, everybody said, oh, people are already decided about that, it's baked into the cake. we can't have it both ways. did people decide last minute because of those emails, or had they already decided because of those emails. >> i think it all helped. we've got people like trey gowdy who make a living holding hearing after hearing.
how do you stop that process as the president? how does he call off the dogs, donald trump? >> he respects federalism and he respects a separation of power. so he has stated what his position is as the president-elect and the leader of his party now, certainly, and he's made that very clear. he's just said he has no interest in pursuing these charges. >> yeah. >> that he wants to unite the party -- excuse me, unite the country, and he wants to move forward, not backward. he has said that. he can't control what other people do, he's the president of the united states. >> he can control it. he can control it. >> no, that's not true. then you're suggesting that president obama was interfering or should have interfered somehow with hillary's emails. there's no indication of that. >> i just wondered if he's ruled out a pardon, because the advantage of a pardon, the
president has the ability to do it. it would call off the dogs and say there is no reason to invest in it. i'm not saying she's innocent, i'm just saying that's part of my ability to take office, i'm just ending it right there. he could do that. >> he hasn't said that and that's not a conversation we've had one way or the other. >> do you think he would rule it out? >> i just don't know where his head is on that. it's not a conversation we had. you saw what he said today. i think he made a lot of news yesterday and today, frankly. he made decisions on more appointments, they'll be coming out the next several days, and he's incredibly busy getting his cabinet together, his senior staff, making decisions, obviously sitting with the press yesterday, the electronic press, the tv press, and including nbc and msnbc. and today, in a really extraordinary on the record briefing with a newspaper that told america not to vote for
him, and i think their coverage of him has been, well, a bit one-sided. but he's happy to go in there and try to have a conversation with them and try to answer their questions, and i thought he was terrific, and i thought they were very -- both sides were very accessible. >> do you think the "new york times" will change its ways because of that meeting? >> i hope that many in the media, chris, will at least see that they missed the cultural side that donald trump understood and brought to the party. you have these public editors writing all these pieces about, whoa, we missed it and we're sorry. we'll try to go back out now and understand america. wow. you spent millions and millions of dollars sending reporters to america and not actually getting to know america. what i think will happen is -- i like to say that the press and the president trump are going to have joint custody of the public for the next four to eight
years, and it ought to find a way to do that together responsibly. what i think will happen is the "new york times" sees in front of them today a very accessible, very candid, frankly, very intellectually parapatetic in his far-reaching answers. they see somebody willing to go sit across from them eyeball to eyeball and answer their questions. i'm very open with the press. i don't always like what's written. i don't always like what is said -- >> you shouldn't. there is no reason you should like the way the press has treated trump. we only get you once in a while, kelly, and you're getting very hard to get, so i want to get some news here. my mom always said wear one nice piece of clothing that will impress everybody, like a tweed jacket or something, and i wonder if that's the reason why trump is thinking of mitt romney for secretary of state. oh, he's a finer man than we thought he was because he picked mitt romney.
trump has nothing in common with mitt romney at all, nothing in common. romney was a big supporter of the iraq war, he was a hawk like the rest of them. you put him back in there, how is he going to carry out a trump foreign policy? it doesn't make sense to me. it looks nice. >> look, no appointment -- donald trump is not someone who fakes appearances, as we all know. let's dispense with that. there is no one in the cabinet that could be thought of to be, quote, window dressing or a nice piece of clothing to sort of get everybody so stop criticizing president-elect trump. first ask foremost, the person has to be qualified and capable to do the job. in the case of governor romney, many things that he said in 2012 came true, but i still think you have rudy giuliani up there for secretary of state, i think people are looking at bob corker. there are a couple other names that have come our way. mr. trump is talking to them. this is not an announcement you're going to get today, it's a very important job.
i was thinking about secretary of state today. why are all these recent secretaries of state flying around the world all the time? why not the kissinger-george schultz model where you're serving the president and the vice president and you're with them a lot, not just flying around the world? i don't know that the world is any safer or more prosperous because the last couple secretaries of state logged a million miles. >> you know why, because in washington you can't measure outputs, you measure input. you tell people how many miles you fly. you know the game. if the secretary of state does that, that will be interesting. general mike flynn has made comments in the past against muslims. he even tweeted fear of muslims is rational. the business community was scared of him thinking he was a leftist democrat. a lot of the press people, we're all down there covering it, and it worked.
it sent a signal i'm not anti-business and clinton really wasn't. is there a time for the next few weeks for trump to meet with the muslims and tell them he's not out to get them? >> not everything is meant to be a press-consumable event. i will tell you he speaks to many different people in a given day from many walks of life. but your point is taken. i believe from someone who said, moments after he was elected, and hillary was calling him to concede, he said, i want to be the president for all americans. he means that. i see it every day in the decisions he makes and the conversations he has. talk about inputs and outputs. in the council with which he's surrounded. he's somebody who wants to reach out to everyone. i don't want him to become a walking hallmark card, by the way.
people elected him because he's a tough leader, so let me make that clear, too. we don't need to go all mush-mush, but at the same time, it's a big responsibility when you become president. >> what i would like to see is i'd like to see hillary run against the hawk. number two, in the city, people are open to the deal if you can find a way to get them to the table. they want public, they want private, they want public as well as private. they want the trillions of dollars hidden overseas brought back home. most of the democrats want minimum wage. can he put it all on the table, put it all together, get chuck schumer there and force them not to leave the room until they reach a deal for the working people again? make them agree on a big deal, not this puny, piss ant incremental thing. oh, gee, we'll do a little bit of that, a little bit of that, put a railroad across the country. reunite this country red and
blue, make it happen, be big. that would be great. and i think a lot of progressives and moderates like me would say, you know what? it's better than nothing and we've been getting nothing out of federal government for years. go ahead, kellyanne, will there be a big deal other than that this piss ant stuff that politicians love? >> i never heard the word puny and him in the same sentence before. he is thinking big, he will do big things. the way you describe what is needed in terms of negotiating and getting the best deal for americans, and indeed the american worker, that's who this guy is. it's not just who he ran on as president. for decades he's somebody who is a listener, a learner, a communicater, a connector. he produces. he's a guy who builds stuff. for 30 years, probably as long as i've known you, the country has been telling us all, i want
a dealmaker, i want a fixer, i want a businessman, i don't want a politician. they finally made good on their self-avowed desire to put that man in the white house. you'll be surprised at how much progress is made in a short time. >> i asked if we could have donald trump on the show and you said, we'll give you that when he wins. i just wanted to remind you that. you're someone of your good word. thank you for an interesting show. tell me about the "new york times" meeting today and this breitbart issue. trump has denounced it, is racist, all these other words? i'm not sure he used the word racist, but he definitely came down on this right wing group that met in washington over the weekend. how did that come about with trump? >> in the meeting, donald trump really in some ways very clearly disavowed the meeting that
happened in washington, d.c. he said if he thought steve bannon was a part of that meeting, he would not have a position in his business. the other thing he did in the meeting i thought was pretty interesting, as much as he talked about the idea that he felt in some ways the paper hadn't treated him fairly, he went on to say that he really respected the paper, that he reads it regularly and he really wants to work with the paper in some ways. so being able to sit down with the editors and reporters of the "new york times" shows he's serious about that. >> did he seem to be bothered about the fact that the breitbart network, the newspaper, whatever you want to call it, the website came out and attacked him for basically letting hillary get off prosecution, as far as he's concerned? >> he really in some ways talked really candidly about the fact he really wants to move past that. he's talking about hillary clinton as someone he didn't want to hurt. he didn't speak specifically about that headline in breitbart
saying broken promises, but i think what he is trying to do is tell the american people and tell his base, look, we got what we wanted, you got me in office, now i want to go and create policies and jobs and focus on that and not focus on someone who has already lost the presidency. >> thank you. coming up, a reminder of this day in history. this is "hardball, a place for politics."
on black friday, a edition of "hardball." we're calling it "how not to run for president and win." that's friday, 7:00 eastern. we'll be right back. today is november 22nd, and manolo! you're so cold, come in! what's wrong? it's dry... your scalp? mine gets dry in the winter too. try head and shoulders' dry scalp care it nourishes the scalp and... ...keeps you up to 100% flake free head and shoulders' dry scalp care
generosity is its oyou can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1.
today is november 22nd, and those who lived as i did through an earlier november 22nd, you may want to read what i wrote. which other president deserves to be added to mt. rushmore? it's a good question. who should be up there with washington, jefferson, lincoln, and especially the old rough rider himself, teddy roosevelt. the people picked john kennedy. a peace corps volunteer of mine sat in a hill on swazi land looking at the night sky. a small light moving in the distance. it was his countryman headed to the moon. that man john kennedy loved so much had done its job. i was there that night in november with the beaten down east germans waiting for the gate to open.
when i asked what freedom meant, he answered, talking to you. john kennedy would have liked to have heard that. deserved to, i think. the iron curtain was being ripped aside, it was ending without the nuclear war we all feared. we had gotten through it alive, those of us who once hid underneath our school desks. thanks to him, i say. in the time of our greatest peril, an american president kept us from the brink. saved us, really. kept a smile from being stricken from the planet. he did that, jack kennedy. that's "hard ball" for now. thanks for being with us. join me tomorrow at 7:00 eastern. see you then.
>> the question is how much of this is attitude and how much is policy, right? if you have to go out and build a border with mexico and pay for it. that becomes more problematic. the trump foundation admits it violated irs rules as trump takes the on the media. >> he is the president and they are the press and they have to find a way to mutually assured i would say nondestruction.