tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 9, 2017 11:30pm-12:01am PST
trump's omb director said it could be steel, could be concrete, could be technology or any combination therein. that's going to do it for this edition of our broadcast for tonight. "hardball" starts right now. wicked. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. two big developments today on the trump russian front. jim comey let with lawmakers today on trump's charge that he was wiretapped by president obama. also this today, donald trump brazenly refused to criticize the organization that worked with russia to tilt the 2016 election in his favor. the organization that has been helping in an attack on the cia.
president donald trump, who was elected in november, but helped by wikileaks, and declined the opportunity to criticize them, even as they released more documents stolen from the cia. that material, which was acquired in a major security breach, threatens to reveal the cia's digital hacking operation around the world, which could compromise the cia's ability to get information. but when asked to comment today, president trump smiled and said nothing. >> okay, thank you very much. >> document dump from wikileaks, any comment? >> whatever that means, wikileaks says the information was gotten from a former contractor. the kremlin's principle international prop began that outlet rt has actively glob rated with wikileaks.
could it be their are again at work to destabilize our government? could it be that with this, his failure to criticize what's been happening, president trump has taken the side of a foreign organization, hostile to the united states, that instead of protecting american institutions, he's now siding with those out to undermine them? it's all happening. listen here, senator chris murphy of connecticut said today that he sees a sinister connection between the timing of the wikileaks document dump. let's watch. >> i think you have to assume that this is purposefully timed, coming at a moment in which we seem to be getting closer and closer to understanding the true nature of the connections between the trump campaign and the russian government, a moment when investigations are stepping up inside congress and pressure building for investigations outside congress. you know, if you look at everything that the russians did during the campaign, they were
all timed according to moments of weakness in the trump operation. >> well, for once, president trump has waged an ongoing war with the intelligence community, and with the cia suffering with the worst security breach, the white house is further criticizing the agency for being outdated. >> there's grave concern that the president has about the release of national security and classified information that threatens and undermines our nation's security. obviously, he believes that the systems that the cia has are outdated and need to be updated. but the situation, technology-wise at the cia, the president's acknowledged, needs to be updated. >> well, as the cia puts together a damage assessment, nbc news reports that the fbi has begun a criminal investigation. officials say they're trying to determine, quote, whether an agency employee, russian hackers or combination of that is to blame. i'm joined now by ken delaney, tara mower, a former cia
analyst, currently with the counter extremism project. and a former fbi double agent and msnbc contributor. we'll get to you about that smile. let me ask you, ken. we have a, like, in basketball, as we were kids, three on that side, three on the other, donald trump is siding up on the side of the russians, again and again, and now with wikileaks, because that all helped him get the election won. may not have won it for him, but it certainly helped in destroying hillary clinton with all the leaks of her e-mail, the e-mails at the dnc. now, with the big document dump and the information flowing about the cia and its operations, its act to hack into people's systems, he's taking the weird smile, refusing to criticize. i think any other president would have criticized wikileaks. >> yeah, i don't know what -- >> what side is he on? >> i don't know what we can read into the smile -- >> no, refusal to speak and smile. >> true. i was struck that his spokesperson didn't condemn wikileaks today.
>> no, he condemned the cia and said they were outdated. >> this is the first reflex of every policy maker, condemn the leak, condemn wikileaks. that didn't happen today. >> what did you make about chris murphy, saying there's something sinister about the timing? all of a sudden, the collaborators with the russians dump all this information out to change the subject? >> as i speak to current and former u.s. officials about this, most of them see a russian hand here somewhere. even if it was an insider that actually leaked this stuff, it's hard to imagine -- i mean, the u.s. intelligence community views wikileaks as a subsidiary of russian intelligence at this point. hard to imagine that russia wasn't involved. >> tara -- >> i agree with a lot of what ken said already. it is interesting that donald trump did not condemn this. he's had tensions with the intelligence community. it is strange to me there was a biggest breach --
>> what's the smile mean? who is he, the mona lisa? what kind of weird smile. >> i think he likes to pretend he has information that other people tonight have. but the intelligence community probably has more information than he does. unless he can show the information that he's basing this on, i'm not sure what the smile is about. there was a huge amount of information stolen. it could have been an insider. could have bin russian intelligence, could have been a combination. it should be condemned, the investigation could punish the individual responsible. this is going to be detrimental to intelligence operations. >> we know trump knows, it's not complicated. he knows he was helped by the russians, he's never said a bad word about the russians. he loves them. he knows wick key wikileaks let out all the things from the dnc. now he's smiling at the fact that wikileaks is going whole hog against the cia. put it together. what's up?
what's the smile about? >> chris, the big thing here is, what he doesn't understand is that he's not campaigning anymore. what wikileaks did as a laundromat service for the russian was essentially continue on the attack of essentially just making us look weak, which is really at the core of it. >> why is trump like that? >> i don't think he realizes that. >> he should treasure the cia. it's the one way, when they get up every morning, of finding out what the hell is going on in the world and threats that may be coming our way, especially his way, because he's president. or her way, because she's president. he's enjoying the undermining of the intelligence agency. >> that's right. i'm not so sure that he understands the difference between a wiretap that would come under title, you know, under law enforcement and intelligence collection that would come from the cia. he doesn't those are two different entities. i don't think he really understands what's going on, to be fair. >> you're being very fair.
anyway, lawmakers have strongly condemned wikileaks. this is what happened today. republican senator ben sasse, from nebraska, said in a state, "julian assange should spend the rest of his life wearing an orange jump suit. he's an enemy of the american people and an ally to vladimir putin. mr. assange has dedicated his life's work in endangers lives." when sean spicer was asked today if assange belongs in jail, will be to what he said. >> some republicans have said julian assange should be in prison. >> the u.s. government has had a position on him in the past. he's compromised, in the past, and undermined our national security and i'll leave it up to the department of justice to further comment on their disposition of him. >> let me translate that into english. today is thursday. usually, after thursday, we have friday. tomorrow will be friday. that was the most useless statement in the world. he is obviously got a short leash on him.
don't say anything nasty about the russians or assange or wikileaks because they helped me get elected president. >> it's remarkable. and this is a devastating blow to the cia. reputationally as well as operationally. they have built a hacking operation -- >> how does -- tara, question. the president gets up in the morning, the first thing you would do if you were president or i would do, want to know what's going on in the world. they sit in your room, they have a cup of coffee, they tell you what's going on in the world. the good and the bad. he's dumping on that agency that is giving him that information. >> exactly. the president's daily brief is one of the key sources of critical information from the president. during the campaign, he pushed it aside, said it wasn't that relevant and he didn't need it, he outsourced it to other individuals. now, we see criticism being launched at the cia again about their vulnerabilities as opposed to launching criticism at the russians. he has criticism for a lot of parties. we see this on twitter. >> what side is he on? the side of the russians or our government?
you have to wonder. >> congress will hopefully get to the bottom of that. >> you answered the question. we have to get this first. president trump has defended julian assange in the past, after wikileaks released those e-mails that russia stole from hillary clinton's campaign, chairman john podesta. trump took assange's word over the conclusions of the u.s. intelligence agencies. he tweeted in january, julian assange said a 14-year-old could have hacked podesta. also said russians did not give him the info. he believed russia and he always believes russia and he believed ail sang. what do you make of it? >> well, look, there's a question, i think a fair one, which is, did journalistic protections extend to julian assange, that's not what the president is saying. he campaigned on thanking assange. how does he make a 180 here when essentially, you know, wikileaks, if they were the direct recipient of this insider, or received it from the russians, they are complicit in doing something that gravely threatens our national security. >> this morning, nigel farage was seen visiting the embassy
over in london where assange has been living, not by his own choice, since 2012. when approached by buzzfeed news, farage said he couldn't remember what he had been doing in the building. and asked if he met with julian assange, farage said, i never discuss where i go or who i see. how mysterious. the trench coat, i guess. here's how sean spicer answered questions today. >> question is not what -- can you tell us he wasn't there on behalf of the white house. >> sure. i don't -- he is not -- i'm not -- this is silly. i really don't think asking where random foreign leaders are and whether or not they're there -- i'm sure he was there doing whatever on behalf -- i don't keep his schedule. i'm not sure. >> well, that was informative. so, where does it take you? last word from everybody. we got the russians, we knew we
helps trump get elected. we know wikileaks delivered all the information. we know assange is out there bragging how they've undermined the cia. damaged our ability to hack into information around the world. really killed, in many ways, you're the expert, the cia's ability to do its job. and trump seems to be smiling past the graveyard here. >> there's a serious issue here. assange has made a remarkable charge that the entire cia hacking arsenal has gotten loose and is in the wild and is not usable. we don't know if that's true, but if that is, that a major blow to u.s. intelligence efforts. >> thank you, ken, tara and avid. up next, dinner with friends? for donald trump last night, the company over for supper included the guy he called lying ted. this is "hardball," where the action is.
donald and melania trump dined with the cruz family last night at the white house, and ted cruz tweeted a picture of his daughters with trump. political rivals have had to find creative ways to bury the hatchet, but few rivalries reached quite as low as the cruz/trump faceoff last year. trump went off the appearance of cruz's wife, retweeting an unflattering comparison to his own wife, back in march. he really did it. then, he suggested cruz's father had something to do with killing jack kennedy. >> his father was with lee harvey oswald prior to oswald being, you know, shot, i mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. what is this, prior to his being shot and nobody even brings it up. they don't even talk about that. that was reported and nobody talks about it. but i think it's horrible. what was he doing with lee harvey oswald shortly before the death, the shooting?
it's horrible. >> aren't his supporters listening to this? he went after cruz's religion. >> you know, ted cruz, he comes in, bible high, bible high, puts the bible down and then lies to you. it's unbelievable. i do like ted cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of cuba, in all fairness. >> in all fairness? and he hammered away at cruz personal little over and over again. >> he's a nasty guy. nobody likes him. nobody in congress likes him. nobody likes him anywhere, once they get to know him. he's a very -- he's got an edge that's not good. i watched ted cruz, oh, this morning, i can't listen. so dramatic. ah, ah. can't watch. how about cruz? is it -- lying ted, you're right. he's a liar. tying ted comes in and he holds the bible up and he holds it high, right? he holds it high and then he lies.
he lies. they want me to act presidential, they don't want me to call him lying ted, okay? lying ted. i want to congratulate ted on maine and on kansas and he should do well in maine, because it's very close to canada, let's face it. he's an anchor baby. he's an anchor baby. ted cruz is an anchor baby in canada. >> i'm sorry. it's ludicrous. what did they discuss last night? i wonder. anyway, dana melbank is with "the washington post." i think you can be pretty snarky, but you can't outdo that. you just can't outdo that horrible display of nastiness, well, now he might be useful to me to get some of the tea party votes in the congress. i'll invite him over to dinner, get the pictures taken. >> you can make it up, chris. and i think you did everybody a favor not playing that clip in which donald trump called ted cruz a vulgar word for the female anatomy. and ted cruz gave nearly as bad
as he got there, but they are both craven in their own way and they both get something out of this. >> what does cruz want, to put up with that? why does he want to put up with this? he never took any of that stuff back, ever. >> no, he didn't. and why does he go in there, and go in with the wife that was insulted and bring his children into this environment to see the potential bloodshed. but of course, ted cruz is craven in a similar way to donald trump, and he is looking to get as much attention as he can for his cause, and that is to be a purist. so, trump brings him in there to make nice and hopefully get some support on this version of obamacare repeal. he's not going to get the support from ted cruz. ted cruz is going to milk this for all he can, use the visibility, use it as leverage against donald trump in the end. and that is always how it's been with cruz. the beginning of the campaign, he loved donald trump and he rode in his shadow.
when it wasn't convenient for him, he turned and turned back. >> he's going to do to trump what trump did to mitt romney? use him and then throw him in the trash can? >> that's exactly what he'll do, if past is prologue. each time. >> give him a little food and dump on him. ted cruz has called donald trump a bully, a coward and a pathological liar. let's watch that action. >> it is not acceptable for a big, loud new york bully to attack my wife. i don't get angry often, but you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that will do it every time. donald, you're a sniveling coward. this man is a pathological liar. he doesn't know the difference between truth and lies. he lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. the man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist.
a narcissist at a level i don't think this country's ever seen. the man is utterly amoral. morality does not exist for him. i wake up every day and laugh at the latest thing donald has tweeted. because he's losing it. and we're liable to wake up one morning and donald, if he were president, would have nuked denmark. >> so, pass the sugar? how do you follow up on that at din-din time. the missus must remember the humiliation for the rest of her life, being compared to a runway model. she's an attractive woman, of course, but to be portrayed in the way they did, you don't ever go after somebody's family, trump did, and then trampled on them. he said, i'm mr. street smart, i'm going to take him down. then, he goes to dinner. what time's dinner, donald? >> and he brings his daughter, one of his daughters has joe the giraffe and you see them smiling at the desk in the oval office.
i wouldn't be surprised if trump read "green eggs and ham" to the kids at one point, too. but you know, look. the game has changed here for trump. i would say, during the campaign, it was survivor. he needed to knock them all out. now, he's having a tough time. it's naked and afraid. he needs ted cruz to get him out of the wilderness. >> thank you, dana. when we return, let me finish with trump watch. this is "hardball," where the action is.
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trump watch. thursday, march 9th, 2017. i wonder about trump's patriotic instincts. don't you? here he was today, given a chance to say something about a foreign group trying to undercut the u.s. government in the world, and he gives us the smile. what do you make of that smile? is he the mona lisa enjoying that secret of hers? does he think it makes him cool to be enjoying the way the group that helps him get elected is undermining our government's
intelligence capability? does he find that makes him superior to lesser men that he's got foreign allies who are ready to destroy this country's institution with the same cheek that trampled hillary clinton's chances? there's an old line that fits here from the labor movement. what side are you on? is trump on the side of wikileaks and the russians? is he on the side of the group that shares stephen bannon, his consigliere? these questions are not rhetorical. sadly, they are obvious. that smile of trump's tells you the answer. he is dancing with the one that bring him and doesn't mind a lick that we know it. that's "hardball" for now. join me tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern. see you then.
tonight on "all in." >> this will be a plan where you can choose your plan. and you know what the plan is. this is the plan. >> the hard sell gets harder. >> we're not jamming this down people's throats. >> as the republican calls to slow down and start over mount. trumpcare takes two steps forward in the dark of night. >> the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing obamacare. >> tonight, are staunch conservatives starting to wobble? plus -- >> crooked hillary clinton, leave this race now! the stunning news that michael flynn was a literal form agent while he was working to elect donald trump.