tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC February 12, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PST
of "dateline extra." i'm tamron hall. thanks for watching. mission to moscow. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. facing early setbacks after three weeks in office, new details ability president trump's national security adviser that come to light that threaten to be an embarrassment or worse. despite denials from the administration, "the washington post" stated general michael flynn discussed u.s. sanctions with the call to the russian ann
curry ambassador. the communications were reviewed as part of counter intelligence inquiry between trump advisers and kremlin advisers. the russian ambassador, the same day former president obama imposed sanctions of russian shah for meddling in our elections sending nine current and former officials in senior positions at the time, the washington reports that all of those officials said flynn's references to the election-related sanctions were explicit. two went further saying flynn urged russia not to overreact making clear the two sides would be in position to review the matter after trump was sworn in as president. the revelation comes after three officials stated flynn did not discu discuss sanctions. among them is vice president pence, whose defense of flynn is
under question. here is what he said. >> i talked to general flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on christmas day. he sent a text to the russian ambassador to express not only christmas wishes, but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. it was strictly co-incidental they had a conversation. they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states decision to expel diplomats or impose a censure with russia. the conversation that is happen to occur around the time that the united states took action to expel diplomats had nothing, whatsoever with the sanctions. >> it appears general flynn is backing off the story. as trump administration official
says, flynn doesn't recall discussing sanctions but couldn't be 100% certain he didn't. vice president pence based his account entirely on his conversation with flynn. shane is a senior writer on national security at the wall street journal. thank you to all of you. greg, what stuns me is the vice president, nobody questions his honesty, generally, must feel he has been used or playing defense on something he was misinformed on significantly. >> yeah, i mean, he and two other white house officials went out on a limb for flynn based on what flynn told them. now the limb has been cut. i mean we saw today the sort of awkward encounter between flynn and pence at the white house and
that's, i think, a relationship that is going to be under some significant strain going forward. >> let me ask you about the reporting here. it's very informative for me to decide what is going on inside the white house. flynn quoted something where he's not really been truthful or his memory is shaky. either way, he's got a problem if he can't remember talking about sanctions, to the point we tell everybody in the white house i never had that conversation, that's troubling to put it lightly. what also comes through t secretaries of state, defense, the director of the cia all seem to be having trouble with this guy. the little people in the white house don't like him either. what is flynn's situation of not being liked, not being respected or trusted from above or below? >> i think there's two things. flynn is certainly respected by military peers.
he served numerous tours in afghanistan and iraq and did well. he was extremely important in those conflicts with the united states and sacrifice add lot. he also has made a fair amount of enemies among his military and intelligence peers for how he behaved after leaving government. he was pushed out of his job over management and blamed it ton white house and president obama's displeasure with flynn's views on militant islam. then he travels to russia and accepts payment from a propaganda outfit to speak and sit next to vladimir putin at a gala in mouse moscow. that raised a lot of eyebrows. his appearance at the republican national committee leading the "lock her up" chants against hillary clinton. it's highly inappropriate as somebody who was a three-star
general to behave in behavior like this. >> i know trump is stubborn. he doesn't like to have his own decisions like picking a guy for national security chief and then dumping him, he doesn't want to be there. if it wasn't for his stubbornness, would he be in trouble? >> a lot of trouble. so many people say he's overwhelmed in the job. he was removed from the defense intelligence agency because he was a bad manager. it's about managing big personalities, inputs, the interagency. he's trump's guy, the closest national security adviser trump had. it's not going to be easy to give him the heave-ho. >> i am stunned by the white house. i mean, why do they talk so freely about the guy who is going to be the president's chief foreign policy
coordinator? >> a, they don't feel there's repercussions from flynn if they talk about him. there are competing power centers jockeying now. bannon and his team. flynn has people under him, but intelligence operator types, they are not used to working in the white house. trump is close to flynn but bannon is close, too. >> the coalitions working againls him. the national security coordinator, somebody who does the job, is supposed to walk in with the president, sit down with the president, quietly, and say we are hering this and this. the way i see it, you have to look at how they are talking and what they are up to and come to a conclusion. it's got to be an honest broker, a sane, sober judge of the incoming. he tells our commander in chief, what do you want to do? here is the guy that can't remember if he talked to the
russians about sanctions and told him he didn't talk about him. go ahead. >> the lack of transparency is the bigger issue. number one, how can you not remember a phone call you had in december, not that long ago, with the country your president has prioritized as a foreign policy for cooperation, among, above all others. you should be able to remember that. second of all, it fills in this, i mean, it adds to the narrative about lack of transparency on russia. >> it looks like we are playing footsie with russia. >> we don't know the extent of the relationship before they got into the white house. now they are in the white house, we don't know the policy or views of russia, which is another problem. to my knowledge, they don't have a senior director for europe/russia yet. where are we going with russia. >> chief of staff, reince
priebus spoke at a defense of flynn. each was careful to attribute their denial with conversations to flynn himself. they are saying i heard this from flynn, don't blame me. here it is. >> i talked to general flynn. none of that came up. the subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the obama administration did not come up in the conversation. >> there's been one call. i talked to general flynn about this, again last night, one call talks about four subjects. >> let me go to greg on this. i want -- i don't know sean spicer at all, but i think he is in a difficult situation. he gets information given to him by the top people, that would be, of course, including flynn. how does he discriminate among what he thinks is credible and not? all he thinks is under this formulation, the person who speaks for the white house after talking to the top white house people, right?
isn't he in a bad situation there? now it turns out, all he can do is don't blame me, i heard it from the other guy, flynn. >> they are in a position of pointing fingers at flynn. that undermines trust in flynn. what happens the next time they go after him and rely on his account and only his account for something they have to talk to the american people about. it makes him uncomfortable. the timing of when this happens is really, really critical. it's coming at the moment the spy agencies are concluding that russia engaged in a massive cyber campaign to up end the election and to help trump. then, the white house is -- the outgoing administration is stunned that they lay out the sanctions to penalize russia, but putin doesn't retaliation and they are wondering why. that led to a lot of scrutiny of the conversations between flynn and the ambassador. that's when people went back and looked at why did putin do this?
it never happens like this. >> of course, that opens the question greg raised there, an open question, were the trump people trying to say to the russians, of course you helped us. we are going to make sure you are not getting punished for it. >> that raises the question, they were saying, remember at the same time in this time line, they are saying there's one president at a time. yet, they are interfering with the president's foreign policy and in our attempt to defend our democracy against russian attacks saying to the russians, just hold off, just wait. >> so, the trump people are on putin's side when he wants to intervene in our elections. >> that's what it looks like. again, they are not being forthcoming, we don't know. >> talk about transparencies. trump is saying he wants to monitor all e-mail in the white house. i mean, i understand any corporation i assume does that. they want to make sure people
aren't misusing communications and capabilities. to put them on watch and say to the white house staff, i trust you, i'm going to monitor your e-mail. >> it's amazing the president thinks those leaking are doing it through the white house e-mail. there are leaks coming everywhere from this administration. the president wants to get a handle on that. there are competing power centers. if you put them on notice, we are going to watch your e-mail, there might be a chilling effect to that. poem that are motivated? >> they will start meeting in garages. >> they are motivated and understand it's having an effect. they are going to keep doing it. it's interesting to see how the white house's reaction is clamp it down. >> how long does flynn got? >> i have no idea. we were talking about this in the news room today. in a normal period, this looks like something that would be disqualifying for somebody pretty quickly. there are so many cases that
fall into this broader category right now that the rules we seem to be in unchartered territory. you could say this about a number of officials in the trump administration. maybe the fact that there are so much churn right now and so much happening, it's hard to focus on one single event. >> you know, i have to wonder, i don't want to pick sides, but i think reince pree burr has a hell of a job on his hands. great reporting on this. i love the preinterviews before you came on the show. thank you so much. coming up, the rising anger of the left. we all know about this, we are seeing it in town halls across the country. republican members of congress. watch this. >> so, president trump nominated -- [ boo ] >> that's salt lake city. it feels like that on the right,
by the way. like the tea party. now we have something on the left like it. we'll see. president trump has been in office three weeks, only three weeks. we have three things you might not know about his presidency. this is "hardball," where is action is. just like the people who own them, every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be help starting your business, vendor contracts or employment agreements. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you every step of the way so you can focus on what you do. we'll handle the legal stuff that comes up along the way. legalzoom. legal help is here. nosy neighbor with a glad bag, full of trash. what happens next? nothing. only glad has febreze to neutralize odors for 5 days. guaranteed. even the most perceptive noses won't notice the trash. be happy. it's glad. but when we brought our daughter home,
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across the country in republican town halls. last night, jason chaffetz a republican from utah was greeted by people in a high school demanding answers on a range of topics. >> investigate! >> investigate trump! >> let me tell you something you are not going to like. you want to hear this. you are not going to like this part. the president, under the law is exempt from the conflict of interest laws. he's exempt. >> what seems to be a growing movement is a number of republican house members fausing raw kus crosses from tennessee to michigan. hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets and flooded capitol hill phones. education secretary betsy devos was heckled as she visited a local public school in d.c. republican critics brushed all but aside their liberal anger.
is this a rising rebellion like the tea party was? i'm joined by olivia, political correspondent for new york magazine and ted, founder of american majority. and the author of a book, "at mama's knee." what do you make of this? we showed pictures, what do you make of the pictures. >> they are under pressure. it is wise to listen to the left. it's something they didn't do during the general election. they didn't do much during the general election and look at the results. i think they would be wise to listen to the left and really -- >> so, go ahead. >> by all means, please, more anger, more rage, listen to the left, keep going down the path and become the coastal regional party. offering the rage and not solutions. the more you see this, you see berkeley and protests on the
streets of d.c. you see this. i want more. i want more. >> hurt the left? >> pardon? >> you think the women's march hurt the left? >> no, that was fun. protests change nothing. >> what? wait a minute. the civil rights movement is the number one major movement in this nation. >> police cal forces -- >> your history is wrong. >> no, here is the deal. you know why the tea party is important they went from po test to winning political parties. i don't think this movement becomes a tea party. >> let me ask you, do you think it's going to translate into elections? >> they might. >> where will they win now that they didn't win in november? >> it's been 20 days. it's unwise to make a judgment about the success of a protest. at the tea party, i don't think anybody would have said the tea party would be as successful as it was. history suggests protesting
works. >> i want to go hillary clinton because you took at shot at hillary. you did. >> she lost. >> hillary went to the left on trade. >> but she lost. >> she got the popular vote. >> she shifted to the left on trade and to the left on the war. what else? she kept shifting left, but it didn't work. why do you think? >> because they saw her flip-flopping. >> what is a flip-flop? three weeks in, it feels like, i have never seen this. i have been at the white house for 20 years, my fourth president, i have never seen this. >> i agree with you. >> let me say this, then i want dwrou hold yourself. hold yourself together. >> i'm holding back. >> hold yourself back, okay. you have a lot of people support the fact that mexico was going to build the wall and pay for the wall that will be built. who is going to pay for it now?
>> look at the travel ban. >> 38 disapprove. that's not how you build a political movement. it's not a muslin ban. >> it's not? >> it's not. >> i like your strategy. i can see what's shaping up here. >> good. >> you don't have to say good, it's up to me. go ahead. here is the thing. i think you are walking like mitch mcconnell. i think he targeted elizabeth warren. i think he wanlts her to be the hot one. out of kentucky, i think she's going to do better. >> you are giving too much credit. i don't think it's a calculating move on his part. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
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about president bannon and steven bannon pulling the strings behind the scenes. based on what i hear from sources in the white house, it is utter chaos. there is no leader. the leader is donald trump's impulses and they are trying to play catch up. >> that's what it looks like. >> sources are saying it is likely trump will have another shot, justice kennedy, his odds are increasing he'll step down and trump will take another judge. >> does that mean we have a confirmation this summer? >> sooner for gorsuch. >> 60 votes, he'll get it. he'll get 60 votes? will they get the 60 votes? >> i don't know. >> i think they might. i think they might. >> the draft floating for the hcbu order that the president disclosed the issue. >> historically black colleges. >> yes. in that draft, it says, allegedly, they will take out the hbcu out and put it under
the white house. the question is, who at the white house will oversee it? >> olivia, thank you. jim ryan, that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness,
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