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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 29, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm PST

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thank you for being here with us. "hardball" with chris matthews begins right now. tweet to tweet. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. throughout the campaign whenever donald trump was down, he knew he could rally his base by saying or tweeting something provocative, something many in the mainstream press would call crazy. well, the campaign is over but president-elect donald trump seems to be following the same pattern. since winning he's attacked the media, gone after protesters and said millions of people
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illegally voted. today we awoke to a new tweet. trump wrote, nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag. if they do, there should be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail. well, to repeat trump's earlier declaration of another matter, there needs to be some form of punishment. trump seems to be responding to his story about military veterans protesting a flag being burnt on the campus of hampshire college in massachusetts. they recently said burning a flag is protected by the first amendme amendment. justice antonin scalia defended their right to do it. he said, if it were up to me, i would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the american flag. but i am not king. here's mitch mcconnell.
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>> if someone wanted to show their first amendment right, i would be afraid for their safety, but we'll protect our first amendment. >> to be clear, you don't like it, as weav've said, but you believe it's protected by the first amendment. >> that's what the court has said. >> the court has upheld that activity is a first amendment pre protected right, a form of unpleasant speech, and in this country we have a long tradition of protecting rights of speech. >> michael steele is the former chairman of the republican national committee and an msnbc political analyst. and eli stokels is national reporter for politico. gentlemen, it's great to have you on. tell me, what do you think about this morning glory of trump's this morning? >> well, it's a diversionary tactic.
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he's got two serious problems he's addressing because you also have this ridiculous claim without any evidence whatsoever, and contrary to what everyone knows, that millions of people voted against him. so here is two problems. first of all, he takes office as the president who did worse in the popular vote. this is a man who wants to talk about his mandate to do all these great things, but a majority of the american people voted against him by millions. sees trying to discredit that by this phony argument. the other problem he has is this. he's made a lot of promises he isn't going to be able to keep. he's not going to be able to build a wall. some of what he promised to do is contrary to what he wants to do. you want to help the little guy? you want to help stand up to big business, but you don't abolish the consumer financial protection board and you don't give tax rates to very wealthy people disproportionately. so what you have here, he's got to find some way to take attention away from the fact that he is a minority president, almost an accidental president, who is advocating, in fact, a
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lot of things that go against what he said. that's why this notion that flag burning is a serious american problem, the only way to explain it is this is a man who understands he's got to begin to change the subject from his inability, i believe, to deliver on his promises. >> let me ask you about the first question. does anybody believe you can, under any constitution, reading of the constitution, any supreme court we can imagine having, and having a statute agreed to by the court that you can be punished for flag burning? >> no. >> i'm with michael steele now. i'm sorry, congressman. >> i just.n don't, by any readi or interpretation by the court, i don't see that. whether you're talking about language they've drawn not long ago -- >> hillary supported this a while ago. >> it's an ugly form of speech, but it's free speech, it is protected speech. it has not been corded off like
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some other speech has, like you can't go into a theater and yell fire. that has potential to harm other visitors. this is a single act by a single individual who is making a protest. the court recognizes that and protects it. the congressman may be crediting donald trump with a little too much here. i don't think there is some sort of grand plan to divert -- >> what is it? >> i think he got up and he saw this story about the burning of the flag on the college campus and it annoyed him. and he just tweeted out, anybody who does that, by god, they should go to jail. i don't think there is any grand thinking behind this. this is just donald trump responding to something he saw viscerally and that's going to be the solving of problems. >> this wasn't somebody at west point doing this, this is someone at hampshire college, an edgy college that's a bit to the left and proud of it, and this kind of behavior wasn't considered offbeat or even out of line at a place like that. it was considered a righteous
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statement of in dig natidignati didn't like the result of and they have the right to do that. >> it might be a compulsive reaction by trump to see on fox news because it's going to rile up conservatives who don't like to see that. it's going to rile up trump but he's done this so many times, and understands when he comes out here and takes a side -- i'm no constitutional expert, but it's not just the first amendment, it's the 14th amendment. you can't strip someone of their citizenship and saying this is over the line -- he's driving that wedge. he's with his supporters. he's saying to people who don't like seeing a flag burn, i'm with you. we just saw mitch mcconnell somehow seeming like they're defending flag burning when actually they're defending the constitution. >> i think we can all four agree that you can't outlaw flag burning and you can't strip someone of their citizenship
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under the 14th amendment. if you were born here, you're a citizen here. newt gingrich said the other day that i thought was pretty smart of him, he said if the media is going to chase the rabbit, i'll pick the rabbit. i'll come up with something and they'll chase it. this is an example. your thoughts? >> you get up in the morning and let's not continue to underestimate this man's shrewd tactical sense. he has a great ability to find out what might really anger people, and he's clearly got problems. he didn't just talk about this, he made this preposterous claim that there was voter fraud. he understands that, you know, when he starts proposing very controversial things, the fact is he is by far the most minority president we've ever had in this country that's going to be a problem. this is, i think, part of a calculated strategy. i do think it is interesting that he, as you noted, scalia
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wrote the opinion and was very strongly on the other side of this, and he cited scalia as his favorite justice. i think there was a pronunciation problem there. scalia was actually the advocate of fag burning, not flag burning, and i think that's where he got himself a little bit confused. >> that's not funny. let me go to this thing here about trump and his ability to keep contact with his people. i have a theory that he gets up every morning with sweat. he feels like he's lost his audience overnight. he's got to reconnect with them. even when he was doing well in the campaign and when he was doing terribly, when his numbers were dropping and they were holding, he always went past the teleprompter and said, no, i want this audience to react right now. i want to know they're there. he has to constantly check to connect with people out there. and does he it every day, tweeting all the time. >> you see him retweeting
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supporters, just regular people who are tweeting to him about how great he is or how the media is terrible. over the weekend he's bashing members of the media by name just by retweeting things his supporters are sending to him. >> back to you, congressman, after this. when you say i know the people have a sometimes legitimate concern about illegal immigration. we ought to be able to regulate immigration in any country, and it makes sense everywhere else in the world. but this idea that 3 million people somehow got the ability to get this voting booths in states like new hampshire where there aren't many mexican americans, or mexican immigrants, there aren't that many, and in virginia there are some, and somehow they all got the license from democrats to vote, and nobody noticed it? nobody noticed those 700,000 americans voting in new hampshire? nobody noticed this? why must all right wing people believe this nonsense? >> you know how those shifty democrats are, they just kind of work the angles. >> 300,000 votes pop up and
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nobody noticed it on election day? >> this is how donald trump works the angles. he works his angles with his base all the time. this is a continuing of a narrative that says -- you're sitting there thinking logically, you won, why are you having this fight? what it does is it reenforces the arguments he wants to make downstream. to barney's point, that's the shrewdness of what he does. not only does he -- >> is it illogical? >> he provides the rabbit but he also provides the holes. >> what is this 3 million people voting illegally? i'm sure there is some illegal voting everywhere, maybe somebody who wants to be an american and isn't documented who really, really wants to vote votes on occasion. i don't know. but the idea of 3 million people, the hillary surplus, if you will, over him? >> it's nonsense. everybody who has looked at this seriously understands these sorts of things. by the way, there wasn't a
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pattern in which that would have meant more votes not just for hillary clinton or other candidates who didn't do as well. this man with his enormous ego claiming to be the tribune of the people obviously is unhappy that he has gotten a small percentage of the two-party popular vote than anybody who has ever been president. he's behind her by 2.5 million votes. that clearly is a problem for him. secondly, when you talk about flop sweat, he has already begun to back down on expelling 13 million people, on building the wall, on doing waterboarding. i have seen more -- he could have powered a state with the rotations of his back-pedaling. this is not accidental. he's aware he's not going to be able to give the people, many of the ones who voted for him, what they most wanted, which was the economic situation, the war on immigrants, the wall.
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and this is a beginning of his effort to divert attention. he'll blame immigrants for illegal voting instead of being able to expel all of them. this is a pattern that he has followed. i think it's going to get harder, though, because he's now in charge, or he soon will be. he'll be the president of the republican house and the republican senate, and he's going to continue to look for scapegoats, but it's going to be hard when you're in total control of the government to explain your failures. >> thank you all for being here. coming up, one thing democrats and republicans are starting to agree on is russia's role in the 2016 election campaign. members of congress on both sides of the aisle are calling for an investigation into russia's hacking and the impact it had on the presidential race. we're going to talk to a top member of the senate foreign relations committee about that. and this is "hardball," a place for politics. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it.
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welcome back to "hardball." during the election, trump promised to favorably make ties with russia. >> i said, why wouldn't we want, and wouldn't it be nice if we could get along with russia and get along with someone? what, are we crazy? they say donald trump loves putin. i don't love, i don't hate. we'll see how it works. we'll see. i think i get along very well with vladimir putin. if we could get russia to help us get rid of isis, if we could actually be friendly with russia, wouldn't that be a good thing? is that so bad? >> during the campaign, american security agencies suspected and russia, vladimir putin himself, of a cyber attack in undermining u.s. democracy.
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in october they formally accused them of hacks, and last sunday the "washington post" reported russia helped spread fake news in order to dash the votes of hillary clinton. they said she was taking a drug for fatigue, and that the turkish troops in a coup. some of these stories were read more than 8 million times. more now by malcolm nance and author of "the plot to hack america." malcolm, give us a sense. we know about the hacking of the dnc material and the democratic world to bury people, don brazil and stuff like that. tell us about this mischief
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making, this fake news, this attempt to create propaganda that gets into the hearts and mind s of voters here. >> it's been very well documented over the last three or four months that russia has -- and we've always known this, because as you said a little earlier, people running around chasing the kgb and the soviet union, the country may have changed its political leadership, but they have not changed their propaganda and intelligence operations machinery. and they applaud every aspect of that against this u.s. election including highly detailed probl propaganda organizations and using sputnik, russia today, and the "new york times" saw them operating who created thousands of pro-trump organizations and twitter feeds and facebook feeds and spread propaganda on a massive scale. >> have there ever been examples where they penetrated into the
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mainstream press here, they've gotten into one of the major news networks, have they gotten into quality newspapers? have they broken into our system which we do, i know the right doesn't, but i trust. have they ever broken the wall into real journalism here? >> i personally can't attest to them breaking into the mainstream media, but what i can attest to is they broke through the entirety of the alternative media world that guided all of the trump campaign, tweets coming from donald trump and tweets going through their entire constellation of pro-trump organizations. russia practically ran that. i myself have been attacked by pro-trump trolls and featured in sputnik once it came out that we identified their intelligence operation. >> what was their primary goal, was it to get trump elected or to diminish the worldwide respect for our democracy?
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>> i would like to think an organization of that magnitude led by a former kgb officer and director of the fsb would only want to create mischief and mayhem in the united states electoral system. but the process was so deliberate, an organizational operation like this would have taken hundreds of operators who would have had to have watched carefully the machinery of the united states on a minute-to-minute basis with regards to hacking and leaking the information in the way that they did. to do that, that means that they were -- and obviously they only favored one candidate -- and that candidate was elected. >> and clearly going after the democratic national committee and embarrassing people with all those e-mails. it clearly was not addressed to the republican national committee at all. >> no, not at all. as a matter of fact, the only hacks that occurred, as we understand it, was lindsey graham, an adamant opponent against russia and the ukraine, john mccain and colin powell.
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colin powell, who would have been the most noteworthy of the conservatives who would have endorsed hillary clinton, and they took him out very early, by mid-september. so this was watergate 2.0, only they got away with everything. >> i love your reporting. thank you very much, malcolm. it's fabulous having you on. we're now joined by democratic senator chris murphy. he's from connecticut. senator murphy, thank you. i bumped into you last night on another show. we like that here as often as possible. what can the senate do in a bipartisan fashion to really do kind of a fullbright investigation, a frank church investigation, really bring to light what the russians attempted to do, what they got away with, and the consequences of their nasty or mischievous work in this country? >> i think there are two things we can do. one, as you noted, we can have a bipartisan investigation, and we can do it right now. there is no reason to wait until
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trump is inaugerated. we can start that investigation, begin to collect the information right now and put it on the record to have open hearings talking about what the russians did to try to influence this election. maybe they didn't break into the mainstream media, but the fact of the matter is most swing voters are getting their information from facebook and they clearly penetrated that space. >> thank you, senator chris murphy. up next, let me finish with trump watch for this tuesday night, three weeks after the election. this is "hardball," the place for politics. you got the amazing new iphone 7 on the house by switching to at&t... what??.... aand you got unlimited data because you have directv?? okay, just a few more steps... door! it's cool get the iphone 7 on us and unlimited data when you switch to at&t and have directv.
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in the audience in front of him or those watching on television. what trump fears most, what all people did this public, was flop sweat, that feeling that you've lost the audience and they're not excited by your every word. today donald trump rose and said, nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag. if they do, there should be consequences, perhaps a loss of citizenship or a year in jail. what was this about? once again trump had, in newt gingrich's word, given us in the media a rabbit to chase. but what is trump himself chasing? is it another headline, a moment of national attention, or is it what got him to victory in this campaign? his message to the country that he's not just another politician. i think that's precisely what it is, another declaration in realtime that he's not one of "them." what it has to do with governing, unclear. what it has to do with politics in trump's mind is the name of his game.
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that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. join us tomorrow evening at 7:00 eastern. see you then.
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