tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 14, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST
"hardball" with chris matthews begins now. trump's war. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. we're just weeks away from donald trump being sworn in as our 45th president of the united states. as he enters the oval office for the first time, trump will immediately face a series of urgent international crises. and nothing is more pressing or more devastating than the conflict in syria. there are scenes there of utter devastation coming from the city of aleppo, a day after a breakdown of humanitarian cease fire between the governor bashar assad and western bag rebel groups. both sides blame the other for renewed violence. look at that city.
the united nations called the city there a complete meltdown of humanity. assad forces are backed up by russia and iran, of course, and the u.n. alleged more have been shot by forces. there are bodies in the streets. they have holed up in the eastern side of the city, but tens of thousands of civilians are thought to be trapped along with them. nbc's bill mealy has the latest. bill? >> reporter: good evening, chris. it's been said in the past in the middle of cease fire deals that before the ink is dry, the cease fire has collapsed. that appears to be the case in aleppo. last night we understood there was a deal brokered by russia and turkey that would allow hundreds, if not thousands, of people, including rebels and their families, to get on buses and leave the city. those buses were lined up at dawn this morning, but as the sun rose, the cease fire deal collapsed. there was shooting, then shelling. many of the people who thought they would get out had to scatter and run for their lives. and today, well, the shooting and shelling is just increased. i've just heard from a friend
and colleague inside aleppo who said all day there's been very heavy shelling. that has continued tonight with explosives lighting up the night sky. it's a terrible betrayal of the people inside eastern aleppo. the u.n. says there was about 50,000 of those in an area probably one square mile. we're still not sure how big it is and how many people are in there, but yesterday we saw some of them, bedraggled, leaving in terrible conditions, leaving the slaughter. we did think more would join them, but no, they are trapped. the rebels said they have begun to attack rebel forces. that's within the last few hours. the government said they were attacking and people have been describing airstrikes, what they call cluster bomb attacks all day long. we know there have been casualties, including children,
certainly civilians. we don't know how many. but look, the fall of aleppo is imminent. this can't go on for too long. president assad has been on television, on russian television today, talking about what happens next. even if aleppo falls, this war, chris, isn't over. isis controls a large part of eastern syria, including palmyra which it retook recently. rebels controlled the province in the north and in the south near dara and the kurds control the border south of turkey. this war isn't over because it's several wars. it's not just a war between the government and rebels. and, you know, assad will control the four major cities of syria, aleppo, damascus and hahns. he says he wants it back in the days ahead.
we can expect many more hours of fighting and an increasing death toll, sadly. chris, back to you. >> thank you, bill nealy in beirut. senator corker, if you had to give advice on an intimate basis with the current president, barack obama, or the incoming president, donald trump, what would you tell them to do to try to stop this horror? >> well, look, we've been giving advice for four or five years, chris, and, you know, this was said on the front end to be the chernobyl of conflicts, and it's turned out to be that. this is a blight on us, it's a blight on the west, it's a blight on humankind. at this point, i mean, the story as it relates to western syria is mostly written. and what's going to happen there is going to be determined by russia, who stepped in to a vacuum that we left about nine months to a year ago, and iran. and certainly assad. so this is a disaster. we've known that he was torturing his own people. you've seen the holocaust museum
exhibit of caesar who was documenting this, cutting people's genitals off. this has been going on for a long time. it's almost as if, not you, but people are beginning to wake up to what's occurred, and as far as advice goes, i mean, again, russia is going to determine the outcome in the western part. so the real decision is on the eastern part where isis is, and are we, in fact, going to try to team up with the turks? are we going to team up with the arabs who are in conjunction with the kurds, or are we going to try to do something in coordination with russia? the real what's left where we can be more instrumental is the isis component. we, unfortunately, led these rebels on, told them what we were going to do and we didn't do it. we cheered them on. we held their coats. and this is what is left. >> what would you have done?
>> well, it was exactly what was attempting to be done at the time when petraeus was in and secretary clinton, and that was to attempt to really give the moderate rebels when there actually was a moderate rebel group what they needed to push back. chris, if you remember, when the chemical weapons were used, the free syrian army was on the move. they had momentum. and when we decided not to take assad, it was going to be a 10-hour operation from the mediterranean, but when we decided not to carry out that operation to push back, it depleted their momentum. it left them in many ways lifeless that we would not do what we said. so, again, there's been a series of efforts a year and a half ago. we had the opportunity to create
a no-fly zone along the southern border of turkey and a no-fly zone in the triangle of aleppo. it really doesn't do any good. it's a shame. >> that's why i keep asking, what would you do now? russia is in there. russia is not going away. how do we move russia to bring down assad? >> you're not gonna. you're not gonna. it's not gonna happen. the thing that can happen is we can hope that we can bring the arabs to the table. they're concerned about iranian influence, and we can hope to negotiate over time an election process and hopefully a transition away from assad after years and years and years, but at this point, as i mentioned, chris, i mean, russia controls what is going to happen in that area. >> i agree.
>> they took control about nine months ago. so that's -- the next president -- >> let's take a look at the next president. >> the next president is not -- he's not sullied by the lack of decisions that have been made, and now he's in a place where he can really focus, unfortunately, on the isis component only and not really, other than negotiations, what's happening in the west. >> he's advocated a stronger role from vladimir putin in isis and syria. >> if putin wants to go after isis, i am all for it 100%, and i can't understand why anybody would be against it. i've been looking at the different players, and i've been watching assad, and i've been pretty good at this over the years because deals are people. i've been looking at assad and thinking maybe he's better than the people we're supposed to be backing. >> your reaction to that, senator? >> well, look, russia has not been hitting isis.
russia is hitting the folks that we have begun to support, or have been supporting for years, and nethra is mixed in with them who are hitting our rebels, but their focus has not been on isis. the real decision is going to be, as i mentioned earlier, how are we going forward in the iraq area and others that they control? are we going to try to do so with the turks? are we going to try to do so with the arab inclusion that he's put together? >> would you support the new government? >> i don't support nominees until they're actually nominated. i understand, and i think what you're saying, look, it obviously is a nomination that's been controversial in the past, but i've never really sat down and talked to john bolton one on
one, and until someone is is no, ma'am -- nominated, i really don't like to weigh in. >> what about the idea of moving the post to jerusalem? >> candidly, i've talked to the israelis about it, and i think there is a way to communicate the moving of the embassy to jerusalem. i think you know what we have, there is a consulate now that really only works on the palestinian side. but i think there is a way of doing it if you communicate that you're still hoping and working towards a two-state solution. so i know we campaign on it. i actually think it would be something at this point that would not be negative and could be very positive in moving things along. so my guess is they're going to move in that direction. >> thank you, senator corker.
house speaker paul ryan did everything he could to avoid even appearing with his party's presidential nominee donald trump. it was just two months ago, in fact, that ryan had disinvited trump from a joint campaign appearance in ryan's home state of wisconsin. but last night as trump continued on his thank you tour back in wisconsin, the hatchet was pretty much buried between the president-elect and the house speaker, though maybe not with trump's supporters. >> speaker paul ryan. i've really come to -- no, i've come to appreciate him.
speaker paul ryan. where is the speaker. where is he? honestly, he is like a fine wine. every day goes by, i get to appreciate his genius more and more. now, if he ever goes against me, i'm not going to say that, okay? we have some amazing things in store and we're going to work on taxes, we're going to work on obamacare, we're going to work on things and he's going to lead the way, so thank you. we're going to work on the wall, paul. >> say the old favorites, the old golden oldies, the wall. while trump appeared to put ryan on notice last night, their newly forged political friendship, will it produce good results? april ryan is washington correspondent and the author of "at mama's knee." jeremy peters is with the "new york times." let's talk about this thing
because it's really against the heart of what's going to get done next year or not. lawrence a braid med and said, well, brian isn't going to approve any spending bills. will paul ryan agree to some grand economic deal next year, or will nothing get done? >> no, he will. he has to. let's be honest. paul ryan at some point made a calculated risk that trump was not going to win. now trump wins and what ryan has said since then is he's spoken with people that we haven't been. the key from that footage that you showed was, you have to understand, a lot of trump supporters are not necessarily republican supporters. they're trump supporters. and ryan needs them, but at the same time president-elect needs ryan. it's an arranged marriage, but i think they're going to try to make it work. >> the reason people voted for trump voted for him, at least
the better people, who had aspirations for this country, who were patriotic, was hoping to get the country rolling again. big economic opportunities for everybody. if they don't pass a deal for these big road building, bridge building, fixing stuff, hiring people, it's all b.s. if he doesn't do that. can ryan go along with that? will he go along with that? >> ryan is governance and that's what he is in place to do. you know, building bridges, the infrastructure, the nation needs infrastructure building. we've got crumbling roads, crumbling bridges, crumbling buildings, but at the same time donald trump said this on the campaign trail. and to make him successful, these two frenemies have to meet for this to work. paul ryan is the one to help find the ways and means to make it happen. >> will there be a wall he's up against? will he force trump in every case, pay for this, pay for this. in other words, raise taxes to pay for this? it's a very hard thing to do if you're going to stimulate the economy at the same time you raise taxes.
trump wants to cut corporate taxes, cut a lot of taxes. and spend money. >> will they concoct some scheme like reagan did with the gas taxes? there will be a way to pay for this, yes. it will have to be done in a way that's going to be palatable to the grover norquists of the world. i just don't see it getting by. >> trump bonds. they're going to go out on the road and sell trump bonds like war bonds. >> this is where some of the cabinet members will play a key role, chris. his commerce secretary and his transportation secretary are going to be deeply involved in working -- >> elaine chow. >> who is the wife of? >> mitch mcconnell. they all knew what they were doing. >> you're thinking he got the spouse to get the spouse, do you think?
>> let's understand, she does have experience. he didn't just pull it out of a hat. >> i just saw her last night. i'm saying, was he thinking of this marital connection? >> i don't think so. >> it wasn't the marital connection as much as it was her ability to help shepherd things through congress and her deep ties, her relationship on capitol hill. >> that's a different story. >> his politics is business and he knows that's what you do. you find the common ground and that was a good common ground, and it makes sense. >> she's a very popular figure in the city, by the way. donald trump's son, donald jr., was involved. donald trump did tell an outdoors publication, whatever that is, the big joke at christmas this year was that the only job in government that i would want is with the department of interior. i understand these issues and it's something i'm passionate about. i will be the very loud voice about these issues in my father's ear. no one gets in more than us. that's the kid talking. anyway, a trump spokesperson waved off any concern about trump's kids being the republicans are going to get three senate seats. last time they got to run with obama.
>> what's the big upset? >> i think pennsylvania. >> the opposite of synopsis. the presidential briefings going back a couple years since we're hearing donald trump doesn't like them to get repetition every day. bill clinton was a voracious reader. he read his intelligence briefings. george w. bush had people come in and gave him the understanding of what was going on, and he also had an hour with them afterwards. and now president obama read as well as takes the briefings. so we understand donald trump
does not like to read much, so we are expecting it will be catered to him. >> senior sources on capitol hill, it seems like rex tillerson is going to be fine. fine doesn't mean the process is going to be pleasant or not bumpy. but he's an impressive guy. >> thank you, john braybender, april ryan. thanks for being with us.
>> the opposite of synopsis. the presidential briefings going back a couple years since we're hearing donald trump doesn't like them to get repetition every day. bill clinton was a voracious reader. he read his intelligence briefings. george w. bush had people come in and gave him the understanding of what was going on, and he also had an hour with them afterwards. and now president obama read as well as takes the briefings. so we understand donald trump does not like to read much, so we are expecting it will be catered to him. >> senior sources on capitol hill, it seems like rex tillerson is going to be fine. fine doesn't mean the process is going to be pleasant or not bumpy. but he's an impressive guy. >> thank you, john braybender, april ryan. thanks for being with us. xe
tonight on "all in." >> yes, that's right. lock her up. >> major revelations about trump's pick for national security adviser. sharing classified information with foreign governments. >> if i did a tenth -- a tenth of what she did, i would be in jail today. >> then stunning new details about russia's cyber attack on the u.s. election. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails. >> senator dick durban. and the quid pro quo to lure entertainers to inauguration. how federal workers just stood up to trump and won. and the bullying -- >> we're going to work on the