tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 23, 2017 11:30pm-12:01am PST
begins right now. size matters. day four. let's play "hardball." >> the trump white house held the first press conference. sean spicer criticized the media for coverage of the inauguration, specifically on the size of the crowd. he was following his boss's orders. here is president trump himself two hours earlier on saturday. >> we had a massive field of people. you saw that.
packed. i get up this morning and i turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. i said wait a minute. i made a speech. i looked out and the field was -- it looked like a million, a million and a half people. >> spicer followed up later that evening. >> we know that 420,000 people used the d.c. metro public transit yesterday which compares to 317,000 that used it for esident obama's last inaugural. this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period both in person and around the globe. there is a lot of talk about the responsibility to hold donald trump accountable. i'm here to tell you that it goes two ways. we will hold the press accountable as well. >> the numbers used by trump and spicer were widely disputed on sunday. spicer said the information about ridership on washington's metro system was given to him by the inaugural committee. it came up in a press briefing and reporters were courteous and orderly and polite and
professional in the asking and the answering of questions. spicer was well prepare and it made news. the only dodgy machines were when the matter of size came up again. let's watch. >> do you stand by the statement that that was the most watched inaugural? >> sure. it was. you look at just the one network alone got 16.9 people online. another there were tens of millions that watched it online. never mind the audience here. 31 million people watched it on television. >> later this afternoon, later today, donald trump today tweeted out this photo. this was late today of friday's crowd. without commenting, he was fighting the battle of the mall for the fourth day. back to the briefing. spicer and the media was trying to undermine and trying to undermine his credibility.
here's sean spicer. >> it's not just about a crowd size. it's about the constant he's not going to run. he's going to dropout. he can't wane. no way he can win pennsylvania or michigan. if he won, there is this constant theme to under cut the erm normous support he has. the default narrative is always negative and it's demoralizing. when we are right, say we are right. when we are wrong. say we are wrong. it's not always wrong and negative. >> the majority was impressive and businesslike. he made news saying no decision has been made about whether to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem. that's good news. the president was committed to protecting social security. more good news. where do things stand right now. the washington bureau chief saying dan rather is an anchor and dan has been through the rig ma rolls.
i thought it was pretty professional and everyone in the room was professional, but there was emotion when it came to the issue of size. audience size. i don't think that made sense. a lot of the people walked on their feet to get to the obama inauguration and they never came down to the mall that often. all came for that event. i don't think you can compare obama's inaugural with trump's. it wasn't the same historic event. your thoughts. >> first of all the trump administration and we will talk about president trump. for days including the weekend they were on a trash the press strategy. the president himself in a very inappropriate venue out of the cia standing in front of the stars. saying that the press, we are the most dishonest people and
among the most dishonest people around. followed up by the very unfortunate and outrageous performance and spicer coming out and delivering what can only be classified as a lie and moving out of the room to have the guts to stand there and answer questions. this looked terrible. this was off to a terrible start. somebody had a reset in the white house. i do agree we should be applauding what happened in that briefing room today. there was a reset for the day. at least for the day. a reset on the part of the press secretary who came prepared. he moved along swiftly and truthfully and set aside the size matters question and the press was respectful. this is what we the people of the united states expect in a press briefing. we will see how long this reset holds. i'm hoping it holds straight through.
he said i will never lie to you and that's good. then there was kind of a nixonian moment when it gets back to this obsession with the size of the crowd for the inauguration. pakistan is talking about using nuclear weapons and north koreans are developing a missile to hit the u.s. to say nothing about isis. we have enormous problems and we need a mutual respectfulness between the press and those in the white house. there is nothing more important to president trump than he develop a communicable trust between the leadership and the led. events like this under cut that. not only the trump presidency, but they hurt the country overseas. we can only hope we have more press briefings like today that have zero like we had over the weekend and what president trump himself does if he personally continues this trash the press strategy, it will not only be
bad per him, but for journalism and the country. >> thanks for coming on. stick with this conversation. the united states is holding a roll call vote for mike pompeo to be confirmed we will bring you the results when we have it. we are all done with that. let me go to april. you were one of the figures of the story and go back to what dan rather said. i got a lot of information out of it. not just the embassy that has been decided. the trade relations and the airports will be rebuilt. they will spend $10 trail yon on the people who were more progressive. what do you think went crazy at the end. why so emotional? >> you hit the nail on the head when you said size matters. not only it was about friday, but also about saturday. the numbers there.
>> the women's march? >> the women's march. it was not just about washington, but philadelphia, new york, globally. it was not just here. size and the numbers matter. i believe what happened in listening to folks inside the white house, the new administration, it was about the immediate numbers. they are not always correct. he came out saying it was about those who viewed it as well as those who were there. on the internet and the screens. then they didn't want to talk about saturday, but saturday was a hard blow for them. >> pick up on that. why do you think the message -- i think size matters in terms of voices and antiwar demonstrations in our day and the civil rights march on washington. people say that many people care to show up. >> look at the numbers.
they were stunning. >> and no violence. zero. >> in a true grass roots movement. >> in hawaii. >> it's not about the democratic party turning out. >> ts was beer than the democratic party. >> can the democratic party somehow channel the energy we saw in new york and washington and seattle? in wichita, they had a women's march in wichita which is a pretty red place. can they channel that into something that works for them? >> i'm going to ask stephanie and i hope in the interest of normal politics, somebody took names so they can contact the women and young people. >> that's one of the tests. did they? >> kellyanne conway was questioned about the numbers and spice or "meet the press" and coined a new term, alternative facts.
that was unfortunate for her. let's watch. >> you did not answer the question of why the president asked the white house press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood. why did he do that? it under mines the credibility of the press office. >> no it doesn't. don't be so overly dramatic. you are saying it's a falsehood and they are giving, sean spicer gave alternative facts to that. >> wait a minute, alternative facts? four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. alternative facts are not facts. they are falsehoods. >> dan, there is a new phrase. she is as smart as a whip, but that was a mistake. somebody is going do it. altfacts. it's not alternatives, but it's altfacts. >> to say it was unfortunate
puts it mildly. this was a big mistake. we cannot -- and i don't mean journalists, but none of us can go into alternative facts. two plus two equals four. there is no alternative to it. water runs downhill. it snows in alaska. these are facts. this idea of alternative facts, this is a propaganda tool. we know she is a very smart lady and she department just off handedly say this. they made this point before. i don't think that even most of the very trump supporters who really believe in it want us to deal in a world of alternative facts. facts and the truth are as close as humanly possible. the very foundation of our democracy and dealing with an inform citizenry, we know this. i think we have to be careful
not just as journalists and the white house, but the public at large has to think about this propaganda tool of alternate facts. >> i don't think you look on the opinion page to find out what time the movie is. certain things you want the facts and you don't want the opinion or the commentary. you want to know who won the game. >> no chaser. it evolved from falsehoods that could be a lie. your truth, my truth and somewhere in the middle there is fact. we have this relationship. this friendly relationship that is based on trust. and truth. when you are talking about alternative facts, it makes you question the numbers yet again. the size that matters. you don't use that podium to have a who is bigger match. >> speak of the cia
headquarters, on saturday donald trump said the media made it up. >> as you know, i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. right? they sort of made it sound like i had a feud with the intelligence community. i want to let you know the reason. it is exactly the opposite. exactly. they understand that too. >> the fact is it wasn't the media that invented that feud. donald trump mock and criticized the intelligence community. he rejected inteligence reports of russia's meddling in the election. these are the same people who said saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction. they were not. it was the neocons who said that. after the dossier that said russia had compromising information was leaked, he said this.
>> i think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies aloud any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. i think it's a disgrace. i say that and i say that. that's something that nazi germany would have done and did do. >> that was a christopher walken moment. why does he think the people will forget that there was not this vitriol for weeks. >> he used to put intelligence in quotes in a tweet. i don't know whether he thinks he can bluster his way through or by attacking the press he can undermine the credibility of the press even more and therefore when there is coverage of him, people who support him will be less likely to believe it. you can show the clips and the tweets that are at odds with what he is claiming now.
>> you were great today. there seems to be something new in politics that just has run the clock. bill clinton had the problem with the intern and denied it and lied. eventually it came out and there was public passion about it. he got through the thing. trump would do this. you will say that president obama is an infiltrator. the candidate from kenya. one day he said he's american and he was born here. this thing about the tax returns and there was an audit. i don't know if there is an audit or not. kellyanne said he will never release the taxes. that's murky. if you can run the clock on a story as ridiculous and lame and absurd as it is and say i had enough of that stupid excuse and as frank sinatra said it got me through the night. it beat the clock beating. if you lie for three or four mont and change your story,
everybody forgets. they seem to be winning at it. your thoughts, dan rather? >> i don't think they are winning at it, chris. short-term it may work. this is where the role of the press gets so important. the press needs to be steady. see it as an honest broker of information. when he changes his tune, lies, there is no other word about what his position is. this is where the press has to be oak and iron of continually pressing the point and demanding answers and respectfully and not settling for him to just operate this propaganda machine of it doesn't matter what i said before. it doesn't matter. this is a vital role of the press. i don't think that long-term
that they can win the strategy of believing that they can run out the clock like your metaphor. just run out the clock by changing the story and not letting the press do very much. we have to understand those of us in the press and the public has to understand. what donald trump has succeeded in doing in many ways in his own mind he thinks he is succeeding. to intimidate the press. many of these things are designed to intimidate the press. this is gut check time for the press not to be intimidated and give him nothing but gold seal or oak and iron when he does these things, but to have respect for the office of the presidency. when he outright lies and you can use the word falsehood if you prefer, not only call his hand, but keep on calling his hand. i think medium to long-term, he either has to change his strategy or it will hurt his presidency tremendously. >> thank you, susan paige, april
the more the debate goes on, the more they think this election and this inauguration and this presidency is about him. it's about a guy trying to prove he won the whole thing on earth and he is the most important person in the world and people love him for it. you might get that idea between trump and his latest critic. what really matters to the man in the white house is that he come comes out on top of not just an election, but of every dispute. what happens when putin or another world leader type takes a jab at him. we have to go over this crowd size and we have to sweat which side will blow up or blow up something. it's not a good sign when the most important person in the world thinks the most important thing is the size of his crowds and i don't know questions the fact. okay, mr. president, size matters. please tell us it's not the only thing that does. that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. join us tomorrow night at 7:00
tonight on all in. >> we are saying thes a falsehood and they're giving sean spicer, gave alternative facts to that. >> the trump white house sets the tone. >> our intention is never to lie to you. >> to night on working day one. >> it is working day one here. >> what we know about what president trump has already done.
and what we learned today about the ability for this white house to tell the truth. >> it looked -- honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. >> then. >> any other conversations between general flynn and other members of the russian government? >> not that i'm aware of. >> new reports of an investigation into trump's national security adviser, a lawyer behind a new trump ethics lawsuit joins me live. and about that women's march. >> and the president is not america. >> tonight cecile richards, gloria stein 'em on what may have been the largest protest in america history and what this movement does next. >> this can't end today. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes on what the white house called donald trump's first working day on the fourth day, sean spicer said he is not in the business of lying to the american people.