tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC March 19, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PDT
>> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. trumped up. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington on st. patrick's day. he said what wasn't true. he told a big fib and for two weeks he tried to cover it up. this is the sad, embarrassing fact of the president. it started with an early morning tweet from mar-a-lago that his predecessor had wiretapped his home. the president and his interpreters doubled down defying all evidence to the contrary. they insisted donald trump was right. they cited blogs, overseas news accounts and conspiracy theories and yesterday press secretary
sean spicer quoted one of those nonsensical conspiracies. >> on fox news on march 14th judge andrew napolitano made the following statement, quote, three intelligence sources have informed fox news that president obama went outside the chain of command and didn't use the nsa, didn't use the cia, didn't use the fbi and didn't use the department of justice. he used gchq. what is that? it's the initials for the british intelligence spying agency that simply by two people saying president needs transcripts of conversations involving president-elect trump's conversations, he needs to get it, and there's no american fingerprints on this. >> well, not surprised our allies in britain didn't like being used as alibis. the intelligence agency spicer cited, the gchq, put out a statement today debunking the whole story. it said recent allegations made by media commentator judge andrew napolitano about gchq being asked to conduct wiretapping against the then president-elect are nonsense.
they are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored. the prime minister's office went further, we've made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored. we received notice the allegations wontd be repeated. some british media reported that they apologize. spicer said not so and told reporters, i don't think we regret anything. we literally listed a litany of media reports that are in the public domain. well, today in a joint press conference with german chancellor angela merkel, president trump was asked about his wiretapping claims twice by german reporters. the questions heading in were would he stick to his phony tweet that president obama wiretapped him, which has since been rejected by republican and democratic leaders in the house and senate and would he apologize for his spokesman's claim that british intelligence spied on trump tower? the answer was no to both questions. >> as far as wiretapping, i guess by, you know, this past administration, at least we have
something in common perhaps. we said nothing, all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. i didn't make an opinion on it. that was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on fox, and so you shouldn't be talking to me. you should be talking to fox. >> anyway, fox news wouldn't cover for him. shepard smith responded to president trump's attempt to pass blame. let's watch him. >> fox news cannot confirm judge politano's commentary. fox news knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the united states was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop. >> good for shepard. ken dilanian is an nbc news investigative reporter, simon marks for feature story news and joy reid is my friend, the host of "a.m. joy" on msnbc.
joy, i want to ask you about this. look at this incisively if you can. why would the president say something that wasn't true in a tweet two weeks ago and when he could have backed out of it and said, you know, i heard something i probably shouldn't have jumped on it, i did. instead double down, triple down and standing next to angela merkel, a serious government leader, a serious person, stood next to her and wouldn't answer the question. the first time it came from a german reporter. the second time he blamed it all on some -- well, somebody we never heard of, this guy named napolitano, this conspiracy guy. he just seems to be stuck in quicksand, and he's -- the more he squirms, the more he sinks. your thoughts. >> the more he sinks, the more he decides to drag his own team down into the muck with him. he's forcing sean spicer to get up and shred his own credibility repeating what are essentially conspiracy theories and, by the way, blaming it on fox news is probably being too nice to the president and what he's doing. what he did is blamed a commentator on fox news, not even their reporters.
he's essentially saying he was watching television, and he saw andrew napolitano, a contributor over there who, by the way, is also an 9/11 truther and favorite of alex jones and essentially said when he hears a conspiracy theory out of a commentator on fox, he believes it rather than picking up the phone and calling all of the agencies in intelligence who report to him. he could call the nsa director, the cia director. these people report to him. so, what he's saying is that sight unseen without even doing any basic investation by ing his subordinates who work for him in the intelligence community, he buys the conspiracy theory out of a commentator on fox, but it's the commentator's fault that he repeated it in a series of tweets. this is -- this is insane. it really cannot be this is what the president of the united states does. >> we're on the same page. by the way, i'm green with envy for your sweater today, green, and, by the way, love -- >> i am a reid, so that's close enough to being irish. >> good name. i appreciate the good spirit and it is well received by all of us. anyway, thank you, ken.
you're the expert on this. let's go through it. the house intelligence republican leader, the senate intelligence republican leader, the democratic ranking members on both, the speaker of the house. all kinds of information coming from the agencies tonight everywhere. there is no bugging. there was no wiretapping. it didn't happen. there was no british wiretapping on his behalf. there was no u.s. government wiretapping. it didn't happen. according to comey, as well. there is no source except trump. >> and there's one more bit of news tonight, chris. you know, the justice department presented some documents today to the intelligence committees pursuant to a request, hey, any evidence, give us all the documents related to surveillance at trump tower and a congressional source tells me initial reading of that shows, again, no evidence to support -- >> explain. jump out of your -- ken, your expertise and explain why he won't accept truth. why does he continue to sell something that i think joe biden was with him this morning for st. paddy's day would say is malarkey.
>> he believes at the bottom of this there is some evidence of some surveillance of trump associates in russia. >> by what? that's not what he's charging. he isn't saying my trump tower was picked up because they were surveilling the russians because of all the activity the russians are involved in. we all know that. but whate don'know and thers no evidence of president obama wiretapped him. is that true? why would he keep saying something that isn't true? will he broaden his claim that includes any intelligence gathered on behalf -- from the russians that might have picked up something from me. by the way, that might even -- how do you know that's even true? >> that would be a felony just as president obama ordering a wiretap of or candidate trump for president obama to ask the british to surveil a u.s. person would be a crime. so, i guess they should order a justice department investigation. >> or order anybody -- but to go through fisa and the fbi would be a crime. >> absolutely. >> you can't have another, you know, group of plumbers like nixon had. >> this is a very close
intelligence-sharing relationship, and this could do real damage. the british are not happy with these allegations. >> let me get to the diplomacy aspect. there was talk in britain today that there was an apology, but there's no confirmation from this crowd, trump won't say apology. spicer won't say apology, so somebody heard something whispered over the phone and sounded like an apology. it didn't happen. >> we know there was a phone call between sean spicer and an angry british ambassador at which the british government then intimated some kind of regret or -- >> they said they wouldn't do it again. >> they said they wouldn't repeat these allegations again. >> you don't have to repeat an allegation again. you do it. people believe it. >> this has been deeply alarming to people in london because of what it says about what's actually happening in this city. donald trump is playing here from a classic authoritarian playbook and brooks no dissent. took slight issue with what joy said sean spicer being forced to go into the briefing room. sean spicer goes into that
briefing room voluntarily every day, allows his own credibility to be shredded every single day. defiles the office of the white house press secretary because he won't go into the oval office, close the door quietly and say, mr. president, i just can't go out there and defend this anymore. >> and quit. >> if you're going to make me do it, i have to hand you my resignation. the brits and angela merkel and the others look at this and say how can we build any kind of relationship of trust when this kind -- >> we're having a philosophical discussion, joy. i ow exactly what you mean. in other words, the price of truth in this case is walking. >> that's right. >> that is what simon is saying and you as well. >> 100% -- i 100% agree with that. there is a baghdad bob quality to what sean spicer is doing every day because essentially he has two choices, he can repeat the insane conspiracy theories that donald trump is admitting that he gets from a 9/11 truther who sometimes appears as a commentator on fox and he can go
out and put his own name and, as simon just said, the credibility of the white house press office behind that idea, this crazy conspiracy theory from the comments section or leave because donald trump clearly in classic authoritarian style wants everyone associated with him, everyone who works for him to parrot and repeat the madness rather than disabuse him of it and there is no one in the government that we've been able to see so far who has the strength, who has the courage to either try to walk him back from these insane beliefs, these conspiracy theories or to quit, and so we are stuck now in this feedback loop where the credible press has to sit in that room and listen to sean spicer essentially quote the comments section of blogs, of fever swamped blogs essentially because that's -- >> well said. not only that, joy, he added the fact that this guy is a brilliant attorney, oracle of delphi giving him all this information. >> he thinks 9/11 was an inside job.
that is his -- he's on the record with alex jones on his show saying a previous president committed a massive war crime and did 9/11. >> w. was down in washington with the plunger. anyway. >> this is why it's so damaging. there may come a time president trump says he's launching military action against korea. >> when kennedy had to give evidence about the cubans, missiles in cuba and the whole world had to believe this -- we only had just the pictures -- and calls up de gaulle, who could be difficult, the president of france, the war hero, of course, and de gaulle says, of course, i believe you. would that happen today? >> absolutely there's real doubts about whether it would happen. he's already a wartime president conducting raids in yemen and dropping bombs in iraq and syria. the world has to believe what the president of the united states says. >> even republicans are having shudders. i think joy is right. not just the people working for him. the flack, republicans really have a problem with this guy. a growing chorus of republicans and conservatives are calling on
the president to simply back down. u.s. congressman tom cole told reporters frankly unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, then i think president obama is owed an apology and the conservative "wall street journal," i couldn't believe the editorial right in the middle of the page was this, as for mr. trump's accusation, white house spokesman sean spicer says, he stands by it, mr. trump would be wiser to say he fired the tweet in anger and walk it back. an apology can be good for the soul and a presidency. >> no, absolutely, look, this is a week in which his own ambassador to the united nations appearing on the "today" program yesterday, very outspoken in her new role, nikki haley criticizing the russians relentlessly when pressed by matt lauer as to whether when she says those things she is reflecting the president's thinking says, oh, i don't know. i don't know about that. so, what's -- >> what does that mean?
nikki haley did that. >> what's the international government supposed to deduce from that. when the u.s. ambassador to the united nations speaks, she does not necessarily reflect the thinking of the man who sent her there. >> thank you, ken, simon and joy. up next, rex tillerson says diplomacy with north korea failed. is he toup the job he's supposed to be doing? that's ahead. ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs. and each job created by the energy industry supports two others in the community. altogether, the industry supports over 9 million jobs nationwide. these are jobs that natural gas is helping make happen, all while reducing america's emissions. energy lives here.
>> welcome back to "hardball." secretary of state rex tillerson in japan just yesterday saying diplomacy toward north korea had failed. you heard the word there. it comes as north korea continues to step up ballistic missile tests after detonating two nuclear warheads last year. the secretary's rhetoric signals a scary break from the policy advanced in the region for decades as "the washington post" reports today that is bringing the united states and its asian allies closer to a military response than at any point in more than a decade and comes after japan's defense chief told parliament this month that he would not rule out first strike capability. now, that's scary. to address the threat north korea poses in the region the united states this month deployed a missile defense system to south korea and irritated china which sees any military buildup near its border as a threat to its security. amid tensions secretary tillerson says all options are on the table. here's tillerson in south korea today. >> all the options are on the
table. certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict. we're quite clear in that. if they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table. >> i'm joined by julianne smith, senior fellow at the national -- center for a new american security and susan glasser, chief international affairs columnist of politico. this is a deep question for all of us because i think when any of us read the papers now, julie and susan, the guy running the country seems a child of limited emotional control. he has nuclear weapons. he has a fiery ability to kill people around him. he just knocked off his half brother, an assassination. it doesn't seem like it would take much to shake this guy into pushing the button. >> no, i think he could be provoked very easily and moving
in that direction based on what he's testing in recent days we saw the tests of four ballistic missiles on monday and seen testing last year. i think it's very easy to provoke him and i think the danger here is we have an administration that doesn't have a foreign policy. we've had no major foreign policy address by this president outlining any sort of strategy on asia. similarly, the secretary of state also has failed to give any address on foreign policy since he assumed office so what are we supposed to assume the strategy actually is for all of this instability across the region? susan, your thoughts. >> that's what makes it so amazing that secretary tillerson has gone to asia on the first trip rather than reassuring allies we've significantly ratcheted up the rhetoric and made the chances of a military confrontation more realistic at the same time we've declared t old policy failed without saying what the new policy is. >> the scary thing is watching something on roosevelt on an old tape the other day and realizing
that when the japanese came to us right before pearl harbor, in fact, that same day they said our negotiations are broken down. that's all they said. now, if you're on the other side of this war and you put out this war situation and you're some sane person who works with kim jong-un, if there is one, some sane old military type, if there is such a person, he sees the united states announcing that while negotiations have failed. they have failed after all these years and we have to go another route. you would think to tell the boss this is scary because there could be a first strike and he gets jittery. that's what i get scared about when countries issue ultimatums and put sanctions on like we did to the japanese in '41 and blow out. they just go crazy, you know, yamamoto has the fleet over here, planes attack us. you push a guy into the corner. this guy is a little nutty to begin with. i'm even afraid about calling him that because he might hear it. it's that tricky and this guy tillerson is over there with no staff, no reporters covering him
really and no mission apparently from the white house, right? >> yeah, i know. that's right but what -- if i were working in the white house, i would suggest the president use the threat of unpredictability, right, so no one knows what trump's plan is and use that to get them to the gotiating table but in essence removed that as an option. there will be no negotiation. >> can we go to chinese -- look, when the dear leader two generations ago attacked south korea, the head of north korea, he did it after getting the nod from the soviet union, their father then. >> that's right. >> who could give him the unnod and tell kim jong-un don't even think of blowing up a nuclear weapon. don't even think of it who would do that. >> the chinese are obviously the major players. >> would they threaten to kill him if he does? >> who knows? >> what would work with him? >> you know, i don't -- i think the problem is that it's not clear anything would work and, in fact, actually "the new york times" had an interesting one buried in its story today which pointed out that the intelligence assessment that the obama administration left behind
for the new trump administration specifically said kim jong-un will not trade away his nuclear program for any concession. >> thank you. when we return, we'll finish with trump wash. this is "hardball," where the action is. te doesn't go well. likewise! but, funny story. on top of that? my mom is my best friend. uh oh. yeah. oop! there's the rescue text from my roommate saying she needs me. wouldn't it be great if everyone said what they meant? the citi double cash card does. it lets you earn double cash back: the citi double cash card. whattwo servings of veggies? v8 or a powdered drink? ready, go. ahhhhhhhh! shake! shake! shake! shake! shake! done! you gotta shake it! i shake it! glad i had a v8. the original way to fuel your day. ( ♪ )
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trump watch, friday march 17, 2017. alec baldwin has a competitor. we saw him in the white house east room. we saw donald trump doing a better job playing trump as the most ridiculous actor can. trump can do worse. trump trapped himself into a story so provably untrue, it was a matter of time he either apologize, which he won't do or let the world see him caught in an untruth his allies won't defend. i look forward to the press conference to see how he might
escape. trump didn't disappoint. when a clear focused german reporter asked him to defend what he said about obama tapping his phones, trump made no sound. he didn't answer her. when the second german reporter asked about the cover up, the claim president obama had gotten british intelligence to tap him, he was only quoting somebody he heard on fox. what we have here is not a failure to communicate, but the communication by an american president that is willing to make up a story about his predecessor, then make up a story about another country to get himself out of a corner he didn't like getting stuck in. why? why-week-o why would the world with countries that are learning now they can, does this president choose to live in a world of mar-a-lago tweets, golf and the company of a family he traps
around with him. mr. trump, we need a president, that is you. quit the comedy, live in the white house and take the seriousness your country needs. that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. has been a struggle. i considered all my options with my doctor, who recommended once-daily toujeo®. now i'm on the path to better blood sugar control. toujeo® is a long-acting insulin from the makers of lantus®. it releases slowly, providing consistent insulin levels for a full 24 hours,
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good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business," is the republican plan to replace the affordable care act good for owners of small and medium sized businesses? this inspiring woman with down syndrome starts her own successful cookie company. and we go under the sea with this former model taking people swimming with sharks with no cage. how to succeed in business coming up next on "your business." will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards help you take on a new job. or fill a big order.