tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC March 5, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PST
bewitched, bothered and bewildered. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. bewitched, president trump called to question about the campaign ties to russia a total witch hunt, bothered. they continue to push back hard against calls to an investigation into his tie sboos russia. bewildered, the more they talk, the more they contradict themselves. it's bewitched, bothered and bewildered. isn't that a song? here is president trump last
month. >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia during the course of the election? >> nobody that i'm aware of? >> you are not aware -- >> how many times do i have to answer this question. russia is a ruse. i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person i deal with does. >> we know three advisers had contact with him, then senator jeff sessions, j.d. gor dan and carter paige. since then, michael flynn and his son-in-law jared kushner met with him. flynn had trouble getting the story straight about the content. "the washington post" said flynn denied he discussed sanctions with the ambassador. asked in an interview, he said no. cut to a day later. thursday, flynn backed away from
the denial. they said flynn indicated while he has no recollection, he couldn't be certain the topic never came up. here is sean spicer on january 23rd. >> a total of two calls with the ambassador and general flynn. the second call came, i think three days ago to say once he gets into office can we set up that call. it hasn't, to my knowledge, occurred yet. >> any conversations between general flynn and russian members of the government? >> not that i'm aware of. now we know, thanks to "the new york times" flynn met with him one other time along with kushner at trump tower. general sessions said this at a confirmation hearing. >> if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> i'm not aware of any of those
activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. i'm unable to comment on it. >> very well. >> after "the new york times" reported he did, indeed, meet multiple times with the russian ambassador, attorney general sessions recused himself from the investigation. he said this -- >> i don't believe there's anything wrong with a united states senator meeting with an ambassador from russia. >> right. >> i see you are asking a lot of questions about it, that's fine. i think it was a reasonable meeting. i have professional, nonpolitical staffers with me and we discussed important, international issues. i learned something, perhaps, in that meeting. >> another former trump campaign adviser, carter paige first said this about reports he met with the ambassador. >> i'll ask again, did you have
meetings last year with russian officials in russia, outside russia, anywhere? >> i had no meetings, no meetings. i might have said hello to a few people as they are walking by me at my graduation speech i gave in july, but no meetings. >> that graduation speech was in russia. anyway, here he was on chris hayes' "all in." >> i'm not going to deny i never talked to him. i never met him anywhere outside of cleveland, let's say that much. >> the only time you met him was in cleveland? >> i may have met him possibly, in cleveland. >> i wonder what he got for the speech in russia? was there anyone that didn't meet the russian ambassador to the united states? secretary of defense for russia, an msnbc national security analyst and michael crowley from
politico. we have steve riley who broke the story about the trump advisers. meeting the russian ambassador at the convention. steve, you start. you have the fresh story here. what are the meetings about. why is it the russian who is the aggressor grabbing trump people and assisting on a chat wherever he goes or are the meetings arranged? how do you explain the repore between the russians and the trumps. >> we don't know what was said. there were events in conjunction with the republican convention in july of last year, dozens of officials. in that context, members of donald trump's national security adviser committee met with the russian ambassador. they had discussions there, as we reported. we don't know exactly wa was said. we know there was contact at that function and it contradictioned months of
statements from the trump campaign and administration that there was no contact between the trump campaign and russian officials. >> thank you. let me go to evelyn here. let's talk about pattern. first of all, it's not a witch hunt. we have incredible documentation about the russians trying to change this election. to help trump to make our process a joke, as much as thekds they could in coordination with russian tv, run by the top. >> right. >> we know there's a series of a casual get together between the trump people. i don't know what part is the witch or the witch hunt. the question is the degree to which the trump people showed appreciation for the help they were getting from moscow. that's the question, isn't it? we know -- it reminds me of the boston celtics defense. they are in contact all the time. >> that's the thing. it seems like they are in
constant contact and multiple people are in touch with multiple russians not just ambassador kislyak. i'm on the other side of the picture you showed. >> what is his story? he's a busy bee. >> he's doing his job. >> he goes to trump tower, in the back door. what is that about? >> somebody didn't want him to be -- they didn't want the public to know. the trump people or the russians or both didn't want the world to know. >> michael, why do they do dodge ball on the record or under oath discussions. it's a careful, to the best of my recollection. this is pretty traditional ways of telling the truth. i don't remember. then i do remember when you remember first, now i remember. oh, now i remember. sessions said he had trouble remembering the details. then he said i remember telling him about a trip, a school group took, then we talked ukraine.
then he remembers all this stuff. >> check the headlines out. in three or four days before he met with kislyak in his office with three staff people and whatever, headlines all over the place about russia involved in our campaign. >> you understand the significance, but this is -- >> was the elephant in the room the topic? we don't know. >> we don't know. that's the problem. we keep getting changing stories. they are inconsistent. they seem purposefully misleading. when the white house says and trump says there's nothing going on here, you are fake news, you are making it up. the response is, why can't you just tell us a story that is consistent and makes sense and has transparency. there's no transparency. the larger context is donald trump has a weird way of talking about vladimir putin and russia. when you talk about changing stories, he used to say he had a relationship with putin. >> couldn't that be the story --
>> that changed. >> hiding in plain sight. the story of this political bromance of vladimir putin and the apparatus of russia, the big deal of how they mess up our democracy. the response was the public response and trump. i love this guy. he's my kind of guy. maybe that is the one we all saw, that trump never made an effort to deny what he liked about putin. why don't you dig into the 30,000 e-mails. >> you know there's something wrong. >> yes, there is. maybe we are investigating what has been exposed. we are investigating what's already been exposed. today, president trump tweeted this photo of senator schumer. vladimir putin in new york in 2003. the russian leader was in town celebrating the expansion of the russian gas company into the united states. president trump wrote, we should start an immediate investigation into schumer and putin, a total
hypocrite. schumer tweeted he's happy to talk about his contact with mr. pew tand his associates that toopsz in 2003 in front of the press and public under oath. would you and your team do it under oath? schumer never hides anything, by the way. he's a public man. >> 2003 was a different moment in time. we had pretty good relations with russia and could spend 20 minutes going through the bad deeds putin has done. he was the first leader to call george w. bush after 9/11. there was a period we were going to cooperate on issues. it fell apart. no sense belaboring that, it's a footnote, a silly attack on schumer. putin was a different figure than he is now. >> tell me about, first of all, we know manafort, had a lot of dealings with that part of the world on the russian side.
right? >> yeah. yes. advising -- >> then we have, of course his role in the campaign. we have gordon, now this other guy, what's his name? >> j.d. gordon, carter paige. >> carter paige. a brand-new name. who are these people? this new group of people. they seem to be operating between the west and the east and associated, somewhat, with trump. >> monomanafort is well known in ukraine. >> which side, good or bad? >> knowing to help russia and russian interests with the ukrainians in power at the time. he has a lot of money. we saw where he gave money to manafort. i believe the fbi is investigating. >> carter paige going over, doing graduation speeches in russia? they don't speak russian, do they? what's going on here?
>> carter paige came out of nowhere. >> they have to be payoffs. >> a mysterious character who came out of nowhere. then the campaign threw him overboard, we never knew him, as soon as he started to be -- >> steve help us out here. i'm sorry. >> putin from the -- sorry. that's a russian oil company, state owned, closely allied with them. >> you talked about the piece you broke today. tell us about this code of people that seem to be in and out of moscow all the time. >> specifically carter paige had a history of going out of russia. he was a former bank executive in russia for many years. but, he, among the national security advisory committee that attorney general sessions chaired back in the course of the campaign, carter paige had
the closest ties to russia and his speeches, as you mention, are under intense scrutiny at this point as we look into the connections with russia. >> thank you evelyn, michael and steve. coming up, sessions recusal might not be enough. two congressmen will be here to discuss whether he should testify again since some of his previous answers were muddy. this is "hardball," where the action is. (gasp) hey, deb, there's a budget meeting today. budget meeting? sweet. dget meeting. budget meeting. budget meeting? if you compare last quarter to this quarter, you'll notice that there's a strong fiscal pattern... it's no wonder everything seems a little better with the creamy taste of philly, made with fresh milk and real cream. no artificial preservatives, flavours, or dyes. whoo-ah! when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate.
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every time cheney would come in, a lot of people would yell duck. >> well, that was former president, george w. bush, joking about the infamous hunting incident involving dick cheney. >> you are not going to believe this, 1969, i had a date with trisha nixon. >> president nixon's daughter. >> yeah. >> wow! how did that happen? >> it was an arranged date. >> by whom? >> my dad. >> wow. >> it was interesting.
>> do you pull up to the white house -- >> in a purple gremlin. >> i guess his father isn't much of a match maker. we'll be right back. i have asthma... ...one of many pieces in my life. so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. breo is specifically designed to open up airways
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the attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of the land and already his integrity and independence has been questioned. it would be better for the country if he resigned. >> the fact the attorney general, the top cop in our country lied under oath to the american people is grounds for him to resign. it is grounds for him to resign. he has proved he is unqualified and unfit to serve in that position of trust. welcome back to "hardball." nancy pelosi and chuck schumer unite in jeff sessions
resignation because of the contacts with the russian government. contact between russian officials and trump campaign officials. the fbi, the senate house intelligence committee, the senate judiciary committee on crime and terrorism. some members of congress would like an independent prosecutor to look into the matters. lately, high profile republicans are on board with that notion. >> you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, jeff sessions who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. you are going to need to use the special prosecutors statute and office to take not just to recuse. you can't just give it to your deputy, that's another political appointee. you have to do that. >> there may be nothing there. if there's something there that the fbi believes is criminal in
nature, then you need a special prosecutor. >> joining me now are two members of the house of representative. jim hynes, a democrat from connecticut sits on house intelligence and chairman of the new democrat coalition and charlie from pennsylvania, a republican on appropriations. i listen to lindsey graham. i thought he was honest and somewhere close to right in the middle of thinking about things, impartial. i like to see him talk. he seems honest to me. where are we on this? i want to start with congressman den, who i know better. what do you know about this? maybe there's something there. i'm use thg metaphor of a jigsaw puzzle. you see the framing of it. they are the rectangular angles. you put your jigsaw together by the frame first, then fill in the middle. we have half of it. the russians have done
everything they could to turn this election toward trump. what we don't have is the other middle part, the role trump people play besides hand holding in a frequent way. i want to start with congressman dent. what do we know and what is justified in terms of investigation to answer that question, the role of the trump people in responding to this incredible generosity on the part of mr. pew and his people. >> thanks for having me on the show. i believe this matter has to be very seriously investigated. i know the intelligence committees are investigating. i think that's the appropriate thing to do. let's see what they find. at some point later, having a select committee. i would like to let them do their work. the real question for all of us is, why does this administration have such a conciliatory approach to russia, knowing they want to break up nato, unravel the european union, they have been metling in elections
throughout western europe and diminish american power throughout the world. they don't share our interest. that is the underlying question. this has to be investigated. >> what do you think are the reasons besides trump's -- the new president's egoand he can work an east/west deal in dealing with isis. i'm sure that's how he would answer. >> i'm sure that's their answer. i don't think it's appropriate. i'm concerned about the view that the administration in the white house -- i think general mattis and kelly and tillerson have a more conventional view toward russia. some in the white house do not. i think that the white house needs to stand-up for the rules based order that our country worked so hard to establish over the last 75 years that served us all and allies so well. russia is trying to undermine that order. i can't, for the life of me, understand why the trump administration thinks somehow our interests and the russian
interests are aligned. even there, our interests are not aligned. the russians are more aligned with the shiites and the assads. we are with the sunnis. i don't see it. >> well side. congressman hines, on the hill, the intelligence area, my question, do people up there know more than they can say? do you know more as a member of congress than those reading "the new york times" or "the washington post" with the role trump's people play and encouraging the russian operation on their behalf? >> it's an interesting question. the answer is, of course we do. what my committee and the intelligence committee is undertaking one of the investigations. we get briefed. yesterday, we were briefed for a long time by jim comey. yes, we do. it's an interesting question because, the other thing that happens, of course, we wake up to a story that's breaking in the "washington post" or "the new york times" and because these things are going in some cases directly to the press, sometimes those of us behind the
closed doors are learning new information via the media. >> thank you congressman jim hams and charlie dent. thanks for being with us. i'll be back monday night. up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be with customer contracts, agreements to lease a space or protecting your work. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you, every step of the way. so you can focus on what you do and we'll handle the legal stuff that comes up along the way. legalzoom. legal help is here. this this this is my body of proof. proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can take on psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and
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