tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC March 12, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PDT
>> one murder, so many victims. >> i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, good night. trumped up. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. for six days president trump let charge hang out there that president obama wiretapped him. he smeared his predecessor and let the smears stick without a stick of evidence. that includes any evidence from the fbi. after going up to capitol hill, the director has no evidence that what trump said is true. today the president refused to answer questions about that charge.
>> mr. president -- >> earlier this week, fbi director asked the justice department to reject the president's claim. last night, comey was on the hill, meeting with house and senate leaders. according to nbc, the topic was matters related to trump tower. he, too, refused to answer questions. here is that. >> illegal wiretap -- >> white house leader nancy pelosi and adam schiff were both in that meeting with comey. both declined to comment on what was said. here is nancy pelosi this morning. >> theoretically, do i think that the director of the fbi who knows for a fact that something
is mythology but misleading to the american people, and he should set the record straight, yes, i do think he should say that publicly. for getting comey for moment, going to the president, what is going on there? i mean, really. i think that he crossed a line with that. it's red meat for the base. >> i think that means you don't believe it to be true. >> of course not. president obama would not do that. we do not use fisa against the american people. >> that's right. after the day she was briefed by comey. very important. here what the congressman, congressman schiff said after being briefed by comey. >> i have not seen evidence to substantiate that. i think when sean spicer isn't willing to talk about it, there's a problem. >> meanwhile, warren said i
stand by my statement, i have seen no evidence. did president trump's charge go too far. will be forced to recant. should the fbi director make it clear there is no there actually there? we have an msnbc terrorist analyst, howard fine, msnbc political analyst. howard, i want you to start. you are a big picture guy. i do not get this. this is six days of a smear by comey that telling everybody else at the justice department push back on the story. it's not true. up on the hill, he talks to the house and senate democrats, everybody on the intelligence, and the one's willing to talk all say, wait i minute. i still believe there's nothing there. they can't divulge the briefing but they didn't learn anything, it's not there.
>> i talked to a senator and house members, both leaders who have reason to know what was said there. >> in the briefings? >> there is no statement by comey to indicate, just the opposite, that number one, president obama ordered anything. which he didn't do apparently. or that a directly involved donald trump. might there have been a a fisa warning involving -- >> not trump. >> not trump and not obama. the picture is this is a raging battle between the president and the fbi where donald trump has used his authority to try to change the subject from the russia investigation to something else and take on comey in the process. >> malcolm, it seems to me that comey is scared. you know what i mean next. he can't talk. he is unable to say the truth to the public which he knows to be true because he will get fired for it.
it seems to that trump will fire him faster because the president is not telling the truth. he knows it. comey knows it's not true. he can say the former president never told me to wiretap this president when he was a candidate. explain to me the motive why he tells everybody it's not true. he won't stand there like a man up on the hill, can't say it was top secret. he won't stand there like a man to say sorry, mr. president, i never wiretapped you on behalf of the former president ever. that's a fact. stop saying it. in fact, take it back. why doesn't he do it? >> i think it may be coming. more importantly, it's important that president trump stand up, tell the american people that he lied and that it was just -- >> he should, he should stand up and say, look, i misspoke, i
didn't mean it this way, it was a joke, whatever he used over the past year. he has to man up on this subject. it's not the fbi's job to correct the president. if the president of the united states is misleading the public. we have new combat forces going to syria. how can we believe what he says about that? we have a crisis brewing with north korea. how can we believe him on that. if on this one thing he doubles and triples down. it's not comey's job to clean it up. >> i think the creditability issue is something that is the crux of this problem. this president does it again and again and again. it started with the crowd sizes -- >> it started with the birther -- he lied for years. when you say something about a guy born in kenya or whatever and he snuck in the country when he did and he's doing it now. he has a thing about smearing obama. he cannot stand the fact he left
with a clean record. >> whether it's style or -- >> two things. one it is -- go ahead. >> i can tell -- >> we have at president saying and surrogates saying massachusetts voters were taken over the border in new hampshire. it gets at his credibility. when you have soldiers going off to war or in harm's way, that credibility becomes strongly important and i wonder how far he can continue to do this before it can be suggested -- >> pretty far. howard? >> i would say there's something about the eternal war between barack obama and donald trump that began years ago. it began with the birthism and continued with the jokes the president made at the dinner. number two, it is trump versus
comey, which the trump people comey and the wider intelligence community which the trump people view as a nest of people who oppose him. they don't trust him. as for comey he may want to stay in the shadows for him he has a record of coming out in public and explaining his actions to prove he is not political, he did it in the fall with hillary clinton and the e-mails. he came out and said we're looking at this. i want to tell everybody about it. he decided to try to protect his integrity and that of the justice department. i'm trying to make your point which is he should come out given his past behavior. say it flat out. if he gets fired, he gets fired. he said the other day, i expect to be here for the full extent of my term. >> sean spicer was asked about his boss's claim. let's watch. >> if there's no evidence that any wiretapping took place, will
the president apologize to president obama for making such a serious charge? >> let's not get ahead of our i don't want to prejudge their work at this time. >> there's no evidence. >> you're asking, what if there's evidence? i'm not getting into series of hypotheticals about an investigation that hasn't occurred. i think once that's done, we'll respond appropriately. >> can you explain why the president hasn't asked the fbi chief about this directly? >> we believe that the house and senate intelligence committee have the appropriate form and process and staff to look into this and report back. >> how long can he live in the barrel. he will say anything. every reporter is the best reporter, everybody asking great questions.
the most obvious questions. all you have to do is call fbi director to ask if you have evidence of the wiretapping. you could have said it before you tweeted saturday morning at dawn. >> better scenario, call him up ahead of time, he does have the evidence, show us. show us. >> we don't want to prejudge it. prejudge what? >> you're in world of intelligence, i want to get a damage report here. the president of the united states my wife was over in vietnam. he's a mixed bag, of course he's a dictator. he says i'm not going to listen to america any more as a role model. since world war ii, trying to be a role model. we have been thrilled when countries thrown the shackles of left or right wing dictatorship. we have a model the world can learn from and use.
now they are saying no thanks. that's the hard -- they don't want to be like us because they think we're a joke. we have a president who acts like some guy in pakistan. they hang you. you lose an election, they say it was stolen. this is third world jokes this is what we're doing and we're doing now because of trump. >> you're right. look at the organization you started with peace core. they are talking about eliminating that worldwide. >> they are? >> there's talk about it, getting rid of it. there was a time when united states stood for everything that was decent and respectful in this world. where american exceptionalism was truly exceptional. we created globalization for god's sake with the products we shipped out after world war ii. we invented global marketing. now, we have an administration
that is completely, feels that the american system of government, as it existed since world war ii is an ineth ma and we have to dismantle it and turn back on ourselves and create internal enemies. if you have a guy from rwanda turning down american support, china is turning down everywhere. they don't drive around in ford pick ups, they drive around in truck that is come from china. we don't want to engage in the world. america firstism is going to destroy this nation standing in the world and these guys are happy to whistle on the way to doing it. >> thank you, malcolm, howard and annie. the white house says president trump was unaware his security
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reported, they filed the registration paperwork describing $530,000 of work before election day. anyone working on behalf of a foreign government. yesterday, sean spicer said the president was not aware of flynn's lobbying. >> was the president aware that lieutenant general michael flynn was acting as a foreign agent when he appointed him to be the national security adviser? >> i don't believe that was known. i believe refer you to general flynn and the department of justice to the filings made. >> had the president known that, would he have appointed him? >> i don't know. it's a hypothetical i'm not prepared to answer. >> flynn's lawyers did inform trump's transition attorneys as well as don mcginn who serves as white house council that flynn might need to register as a foreign agent. it was up to him to decide what to do.
here is how spicer contended with that in the briefing today. >> an attorney calling the transition saying the person in line to be the national security adviser may need to register as a foreign agent and that doesn't raise a red flag? >> it's not a question of raising a red flag, john. it's whether they give him the advice. it is not up to them to make the decision what is to do or not do. >> they were not overly concern? sg it's not a question of overly concerned. did they tell him to seek council and they did. >> when nbc reports flynn was lobbying for turkey while attending intelligence briefings for trump when trump was a candidate. joined now by david ignatius. david, what hit me when i heard this, a guy that can't shoot straight. why did we know this? >> why didn't anything get done
about it? in fact, it turns out the transition team did know about flynn's activities, elijah cummings, the ranking member on the oversight committee informed vice president elect mike pence about the lobbying and cautioned him and the conflict of interest. the issue is, they didn't do anything about it. it is where vetting was almost unobserved. i think that's what we know is they have the information and they didn't act on it. they let flynn go forward. the issue is raised as he retro actively registers as a lobbyist. >> he was working for a foreign government, never told anybody. what if he was picked as head of national security and came out he was at work and been on the payroll of a foreign government all through the campaign and all
the time he was advising and getting paid and working for somebody else. he was hiding. >> that would have been fatal. >> to whom? >> the ability or appointment to have assumed the national security adviser post. what flynn would say is, hey, listen, i have severed my relationship with this client before i was appointed. >> why not tell everybody he is working for a foreign government. isn't this draining the swamp and getting paid for play? it's third world crap. you don't have people paid by governments or working for us. he's on the payroll. >> yeah, well, no. i think it gives -- >> 430,000 bucks is a lot of money to get paid and nobody noticed it. i think he knew it. >> there was an appearance problem. >> i call it a reality problem. let's take a look at this. mike pence denied knowing about
flynn's lobbying work saying his following as a foreign agent and the decision to get rid of him. this is making the president look smart, i guess. >> let me say, hearing that story today is the first i heard of it. i fully support the decision president trump made to ask for general flynn's resignation. >> disappointed by the story? >> the first i heard of it and i think it is an affirmation of the president's decision to ask general flynn to resign. >> you know, you are becoming my friend, david. is this an administration, i was saying a couple minutes ago, the scary thing is we are no longer a role model because we are asleep at the helm. we are not fighting for a trade agreement with the smaller countries of asia to offset the relationship with the influence of china. we are not giving a role model about democracy. looking for president's who will
resign at the end of their terms or leave office, teaching them the lessons we learned from washington. you have to give up power at some point. >> you put your finger on it. the reason these rules, the reason the vetting of potential cabinet or white house appointees matters is so you have an orderly, transparent process so the people understand what people have done, what positions they have taken. other countries do key off this. the reason that there's an order or lawful practice in the world is because the united states has traditionally run that system and insisted on it in government activities, in the legal process, the banking rules. those are all the things that seem to be under attack now. >> so many rules. you can't give speeches if you work for nbc and take money. we accept rules. this guy, flynn, didn't seem to think it was a problem he was getting paid by a foreign
government while working for trump. he didn't see that as obvious lay conflict. >> he did register under the lobby disclosure act. in retrospect, hi thinks he should have registered as an agent. >> we'll finish with trump. this is "hardball," where the action is. professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? -i would. -i would indeed. well, let's be clear, here. i'm actually a deejay. ♪ [ laughing ] no way! i have no financial experience at all. that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro, you just don't know. find a certified financial planner professional who's thoroughly vetted at letsmakeaplan.org. cfp. work with the highest standard. i'm about to pop a cap of "mmm fresh" in that washer with unstopables in-wash scent boosters by downy. because this scent lasts up to 12 weeks, which is longer than any relationship i've ever been in. freshness for weeks!
trump watch friday, march 17th. drump says barack obama had him wiretapped. he said president obama did it and was sick to do it. he hung the story out there and could have pulled it back. he hasn't. he let the world believe he believes the former president had him bugged. this is third world behavior the kind demagogues spout off when they are out to seize more power or trying to desperately cling
to what power they have. if trump has evidence, he should produce it. if director comey doesn't have evidence, he should say so. that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. t feels like anything is possible here in upstate new york. ( ♪ ) at corning, i test smart glass that goes all over the world. but there's no place like home. there's always something different to do like skiing in the winter, jet skiing in the summer. we can do everything. new york state is filled with bright minds like samantha's. to find the companies and talent of tomorrow, search for our page, jobsinnewyorkstate on linkedin. search for our page, whfight back fastts, with tums smoothies. it starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue. and neutralizes stomach acid at the source. ♪ tum -tum -tum -tum smoothies! only from tums
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good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business," how restructuring can save a business. find out what the 27-year-old new ceo of iconic travel company, lonely planet did to rescue a dying brand and once again make it a contender. the honer of tote company sea bags discovered it takes new blood and reimagining to keep her business sailing. and third generation ceo, jim perdue with lessons on how listening to customers and employees keeps the chicken business growing. we are here to help you and your company. that's coming