tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 20, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
ahead of their big vote on thursday. >> kristen, thank you. and viewers, thank you for watching. i'll see you back at 6:00 p.m. eastern. set your dvr. follow me on twitter. that's where you put all the anonymous mean things you want to say about me. also go to my facebook page. "hardball with chris matthews" starts right now. investigation of a president. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. blockbuster news tonight. double barrelled headlines. both very bad for president trump. first the federal bureau of investigation is actively probing trump's possible coordination with russia to influence the 2016 election campaign. here's director james comey as he delivers the bombshell. >> i have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the fbi as part of our
counterintelligence mission is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. as with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. >> criminal investigation of a president. director comey said the investigation has been open since last july and is in its early stages. he said he has no timetable as to when it could be completed. the second headline today came when director comey smashed donald trump's claim that president obama had placed a wiretap on him. he said the fbi has found zero evidence to corroborate such a claim. >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by
the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets. and we have looked carefully inside the fbi. >> well, so much for donald trump's attempt to distract with his tweets on wiretapping. with that, director comey killed trump's distraction from the real story at hand here. but the fbi is now, in fact, investigating possible coordination between the trump campaign and a foreign adversary, russia. the fbi investigation of trump represents a major blow to the president who of course just this morning said stories of his links to russia are, quote, fake news and everyone knows it. he said, quote, the democrats made up and pushed the russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. well, joining me now is susan page, washington bureau chief and david ignatius a columnist for "the washington post." susan, this story is -- well, in two regards, the first regard is there is a criminal investigation of the president of the united states. and all his people and all the names.
now it's real. >> not since watergate have we had allegations this serious. we've had other times the fbi has investigated people close to the president. the scooter libbey case, monica lewinsky. but the fact that the fbi director was willing to go out there and say in remarkably direct language, more direct language than we expected to hear today that this investigation is going on is extraordinary. >> and also to say as a fact, as a bottom line dotting the i's and crossing the t's there is no evidence of any wiretapping ordered by president obama. >> comey directly rebuked president trump in his allegations against president obama. the other witnesses appearing, mike rogers rebuked trump for his comments about the british spy agency. i felt that today was a turning point. i think we now enter a different period in this story. it's going to take a long time. i think there's going to be a
lot of partisan noise. i think it's much harder for donald trump to try to change the subject, distract, and you could see on the faces of the republicans they know the only way to get out from under this cloud is when the investigation ends. >> and susan, there was something -- i want to get right into the question of the investigation. but there was something that seems wrong. a lot of people watching this probably would say seemed wrong for a long time. i agree with them around the edges. but there was something wrong with the meeting with merkel on friday. in her face about him. that there's something being done wrong by the president of the united states by the person who is the president of the united states. the misbehavior. the outrageous attacks without substance. and then today as you said admiral rogers the head of the nsa and of course the fbi director both saying you're hurting our agencies. you're hurting our relationships with other countries with these ridiculous charges, these crazy high school charges. >> and of course could his relationship with intelligence
agencies on whom he's going to rely be any worse? >> he gets briefed by comey. >> what is he going to do when there's a real crisis on a substantive issue and the president needs to work with and trust and have mutual trust with the intelligence agencies? that's going to be tough to see. you know, you talked about the meeting with merkel. adam schiff is the head democrat -- >> he was great today. >> -- was laying out the quid pro quo. one of it involved nato. the republicans would back you have emphasizing the russian invasion of -- incursion into ukraine and instead push for nato allies need to pay more which is of course precisely what president trump did in the last few days. >> look at this. this is the opening statement of adam schiff. he cited the accounts of christopher steele, the agent who put together that now infa mougs or famous or notorious or whatever you want dossier that was made public in january.
the congressman described a deal may have been struck between russia and the trump campaign last year. here he is. >> we do know this. the months of july and august 2016 appear to have been pivotal. it was at this time the russians began using the information they had stolen to help donald trump and harm hillary clinton. and so the question is why. in early july carter page travels to moscow on a trip approved by the trump campaign. according to christopher steele, a former british intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by u.s. intelligence, russian sources tell him that page has also had a secret meeting with igor sechen. he is reported to be a former kgb agent and close friend of putin's. also according to steele's sources, the campaign has offered documents damaging to
hillary clinton. which the russians would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability like wikileaks. they would be in exchange for a trump administration policy that de-emphasizes the russian invasion of ukraine and focuses on criticizing nato countries for not paying their fair share. policies which even as recently as the president's meeting last week with angela merkel have come to pass. >> this is so strong. and the way he laid it out, the congressman, he's the ranking democrat of course. but he laid it out point by point in a way that interlocks. but this evidence about rossneft and offering up 1/5 share of the profits, it's so direct. >> and of course one of the fundamental questions we've had -- >> carter page. >> no relation. one of the questions that is still unanswered is exactly what's at the core. what was the motivation if president trump -- for president
trump's attitude toward russia and his friendly attitude toward putin. i don't think we know the answer to that yet. but i think that's at the core of this investigation. >> it could be he wanted to make money if he lost the election? >> i don't know what the answer could be. the answer could be any number of things to speculate about. there's some reason that donald trump has taken a friendlier attitude towards russia and vladimir putin in particular than any republican or really any democrat or republican in u.s. politics. >> david, what do people think in the agencies? what trump was up to? >> i think first there's been a genuine sense of shock at the attacks that trump has made on the intelligence community going back to before the election, the incredible remark likening him to nazis. we should just note adam schiff did an extraordinary job in presenting evidence. but these were allegations about what we were just hearing. this is the dossier that was compiled by christopher steele,
ex-british spy. adam schiff got a chance to read that into the record. but these are still unproven allegations. one of the most interesting things to me -- >> but they fit with the evidence that we know. the beatings by page -- >> it's really important to remember that to establish, to document the things that adam schiff laid out is a process of many months. we don't know whether those things are true or not. we tried very hard as a news organization to pin down those allegations for months and we had difficulty. so it's just a cautionary note. it's really an interesting aspect -- >> but it's enough for director comey to have a criminal investigation. >> comey has a criminal investigation. each of the things that adam schiff laid out as possibilities, comey's going to find the answer. and he's going to establish all the things part of a criminal case. was there criminal intent? how is it financed? but it's just going to take a long time. note that trump's best defense
now is to go back ironically to what james clapper said. i mean, james clapper, the man that trump has been denouncing regularly said that he does not -- >> but before you say too much, that's two months old. today white house press secretary sean spicer said former members said they had no evidence of any collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. of course that was before the left the white house. let's watch. >> following this testimony, it's clear that nothing has changed. senior obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm that there is no evidence of a trump/russia collusion. the obama cia director said so. obama's director of national intelligence said so. and we take them at their word. investigating it and having proof of it are two different things. >> well, in response a spokesman for the former director of national intelligence james clapper said in a statement today, james clapper has been clear that while he was not aware of any conclusive
intelligence related to collusion between the trump campaign officials and russians prior to leaving the government, he cannot account for intelligence or evidence that may have been gathered since the inauguration on january 20th. spicer also said the president stands by his statement he had no knowledge of any campaign contact with russia during the election and down played the role that flynn and manafort played. >> now we know there is an ongoing investigation by the fbi. does the president stand by his comments that he's not aware of any contacts that his campaign associates had with russia during the election? >> yes. i'm not aware of any at this time, but even general flynn was a volunteer of the campaign. and then obviously there's been discussion of paul manafort who played a limited role for a very limited amount of time. >> are you saying then that the president is aware of contacts that manafort -- >> nothing that hasn't been previously discussed. >> anyone from the white house up to the president interviewed by the fbi as part of this investigation? >> not that i'm aware of. >> manafort whose name was
mentioned issued this statement. quote, i have never spoken with any russian government officials or anyone claimed to have been involved in the attack. i am disappointed anyone would give credence to allegations made by individuals with clear political motives in an attempt to discredit me and the election of president trump. what was the attack? >> he must have meant the attack on ukraine, you think? >> there were changes in the ukraine policy. >> you know what the briefing was? that's a taste of what's going to happen at the white house for months and months. just ask one of the previous white houses that has had an fbi investigation going on. the questions that come up over and over again. your inability to answer them. it zaps your attention. >> any attempt now to distract is risks now -- there's an investigation. risks becoming an obstruction of that investigation. it's a different ball game. >> you mean if spicer tries to play dodge ball here? >> the hundreds of people in the
government -- >> i'm looking at bob the whole time while he's talking. joining us now is u.s. congressman himes of connecticut. thank you for joining us. you were very active in the hearing today. i just wonder about the historic impact. i've been watching this for awhile as you have. it seems to be a blockbuster. now we know that the fbi is studying it for criminal possibilities. the relationship between the trump campaign and the russians and number two today he put out the fact that there was no effort -- there was nothing to this charge by trump that president obama wiretapped donald trump. there's nothing to that. let's get back to this question of russia. how convinced are you there was russian collusion with the campaign? >> convince sd a strong word. leveled at somebody who's just begun an investigation. i mean, i think no one not director comey or admiral rogers
or the ranking member or anybody should be saying they're convinced one way or the other. the fbi we learned today has an investigation into the word comey used links and coordination. that's a big deal. and hopefully it's done thoroughly. on our side we're doing the same thing. gathering evidence. the news today suggests that we're not on some wild goose chase. that there is enough there to cause the fbi to devote what will be an enormous number of resources in a very challenging environment to an investigation. >> let the ask you about the value of the dossier. obviously there's some material in there that's a bist x-rated. what do you make of its value? >> it's hard to say this early, but i will say this. since that dossier came out, the facts that we have gathered since then lend credibility to some of the allegations. again, there's a lot of allegations in that dossier, so i hesitate to characterize.
but the facts that have come out have not said that that work, that that dossier is just an utter work of fiction. that it's wrong. some of the facts that we have gathered said, look, there seems to be an aura of credibility around some of the charges in that dossier. some of which are serious. >> what jumps at me are a couple things. first of all, the rossneft thing where they were offering a share in their company if the trump people would somehow relieve them of sanctions or something like that. what did you make of that inner play? >> you know, again, that's -- >> that sounds russian to me. >> you know, there's a lot going on there. i would put that in the category of -- and it came up briefly today. i would put that in the category of a house getting purchased for $40 million by donald trump and then relieved he sells it to the russians for a $60 million profit in a brief period of time when housing is not doing well in this country. you could read that as my gosh, $60 million just changed hands.
or maybe there's a more innocent explanation. we're at a point right now we couldn't say that was an obvious or the rossneft thing was an obvious crime. it raises questions. >> when roger stone puts out the word that he knows something's coming, that john podesta the chair of the hillary clinton campaign is going to spend his time in the barrel as he put it. couple weeks later it comes out, all the e-mails, everything about embarrassing john podesta, that ability to predict i think is psychic on his part. what do you think it is? how did he know there was trouble abrew for podesta? >> not only did he predict but he since admitted he was in conversation with guccifer. a clear agent of the russian government. and i believe he admitted to being in contact with wikileaks. another cutout or proxy for the russian government. >> what's it tell you? >> well, it tells me that thereby some really serious questions to be asked and that roger stone needs to come before
the committee as does paul manafort and any other number of associates to come before the committee and explain these things. >> what would surprise you more? that beyond all this smoke there was no fire? or that there was fire? right now. which way are you leaning? >> well -- >> is there something plausibly there? is that plausible there's nothing to this right now? >> you know, it's -- of course it's possible. and again, i'm not going to prejudge the investigation -- >> no, plausible. is it plausible there's nothing to all this? i've never seen a presidential candidate or an american i've heard of who have had so many dealings directly or indirectly with the russians. why does it keep coming up again and again? why does trump even know paul manafort? why does he know carter page? why is he even involved with rog stone? why are all these characters all back and forthing to moscow? what's it about? >> of course it's plausible and there's a whole other set of questions like the ones you just asked about why is it that
president trump will attack anyone and everyone? he'll attack meryl streep and the cast of "hamilton" and everybody but he will not level any sort of criticism at vladimir putin or the russians. no matter if they violate a nuclear missile treaty, no matter if they kill political opponents, if they invade crimea. this is a guy at 3:00 in the morning will criticize anyone and everyone -- >> how many times have you been to russia? >> you know, i've never been to russia. i've been to ukraine. >> that's a perfect example. i just guessed at that. most americans don't go trooping off to -- we go to paris, france, england, rome. we may go somewhere in south ameri america. we don't go to russia this much. this is weird. anybody listening, take note of the fact there's a lot of traffic in the trump world to moscow. what is that about? let's figure that one out. >> chris, there's not inherently wrong with going to russia, but i will tell you something. >> there's something weird about the pattern. there's a weird pattern here. okay? >> i've run five campaigns and
in them i've never had a single campaign operative who had any connection whatsoever with russia. >> thank you. >> of course with the president's campaign, there are a bizarre number of connections and -- >> it's a long way away to be doing regular business. we'll see. i think trump has a weird affinity for the east. thank you, jim himes from connecticut. we have much more ahead throughout this hour. big breaking story coming up. the fbi confirming an investigation of the collusion between trump associates and russia. up next, the other bombshell of the day. comey says there's no evidence that this period. that president obama had him wiretapped. period. this is "hardball." 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.
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welcome back to "hardball." james comey refuted the tweets from president trump that asserted without evidence that barack obama had wiretapped him at trump tower. here's how the director swatted it down. >> director comey, was the president's statement that obama had his wires tapped in trump tower a true statement? >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked
carefully inside the fbi. the department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all its components. the department has no information that supports those tweets. >> no information. director comey went on to explain a president cannot order a wiretap. >> there is a statutory framework in the united states under which courts grant permission for electronic surveillance either in a criminal case or a national security case. based on a showing of probable cause carefully overseen. it's a rigorous, rigorous process that involves all three branches of government. and it's one we've lived with since the late 1970s. that's how it works. >> so president obama could not unilaterally order a wiretap of anyone? >> no president could. >> meanwhile michael rogers reacted to the conspiracy theory floated by a fox news contributor and then cited by the trump white house that president obama might have used british intelligence to spy on donald trump. let's watch that.
>> have you seen any evidence that anyone else in the obama administration made such a request? >> no, sir. and again, my view is the same as director comey. i have seen nothing on the nsa side that we engaged in any such activity nor that anyone ever asked us to engage in such activity. >> so was today the final nail in the coffin for president trump's discredited claim? charlie dent is from pennsylvania. and eugene robinson is an msnbc political analyst. should he apologize now that it's clear he had no truth whatsoever to his charge that the former president had him wiretapped? should he apologize? after all, he smeared the former president. >> look, yes he should retract. if i were in his shoes, i would apologize if i were in his shoes. absolutely. look, i think probably the bigger apology should be to the
british. they're one of our best partners in the intelligence community. we have no better partner when it comes to intelligence than the british. that's probably as big an issue to me as what he said about the president. >> do you think there's any wiggle room? i see spicer at the white house who plays baghdad bob these days and will defend anything. but i have a hard time trying to figure out where his wiggle room is. how can he still say he's sitting on evidence -- this is trump talking. i'm sitting on evidence that president obama -- well, his latest phrase is surveilled me. what do we make of that? why does he say at the time of my choosing -- of course he did this with president obama's birth certificate. you know, i don't like the word often, but he did lie about that. he made that up. >> look. it is entirely possible that somebody within president trump's universe at the time, you know, michael flynn for example, could have picked up on some surveillance of the russian
ambassador. so clearly the russians could be monitored or surveilled and if somebody was close to the president or then-candidate trump got picked up, that could happen incidentally. but i have not heard anybody from president trump or on down was a target of an investigation. i don't know if the fbi director addressed that today who other than the president would be a target. i haven't heard anything the president was a target. >> first the nsa director mike rogers refuted the white house claims about british intelligence helping president obama spy. here he is refuting it. this is mike rogers. >> now, the british allies have called the president's suggestion that they wiretapped him for obama nonsense and utterly ridiculous. would you agree? >> yes, sir. >> does it do damage to our relationship with one of our closest intelligence partners
for the president to make a baseless claim that the british participated in a conspiracy against him? >> i think it clearly frustrates a key ally of ours. >> certainly wouldn't endear the british intelligence services to continue working with us, would it? >> i believe that the relationship is strong enough, this is something we'll be able to deal with. >> but it's not helpful? >> yes, sir. >> gene, you're a big picture guy. i say that with great appreciation. i've noticed something and you've been critical of this president and always on good ground. lately i swear there's something getting deranged about this. the behavior with angela merkel who's a grownup with theresa may and the chancellor of germany now this attack to use our british allies. we're going after everything solid we have ever since world war ii? >> there's no recognition of that. it's as if he doesn't care.
he just doesn't care about the relationships. he doesn't care about the sort of western international order. he doesn't care about knocking over the -- upsetting the apple cart and knocking everything down. as long as he just says things that he views in the moment as helping his cause. and helping his side. so they come up with this ridiculous accusation -- >> he called president obama -- one thing president obama is not, he's too cool for school sometimes i would say that. he sometimes is aloof. i know those. he played golf many -- although this guy has no room to talk about golf. but he's not sick. why would he say the president was sick enough to bug him? >> well, because clearly this really annoys him. this whole russia thing really annoys him. >> or scares him? >> does it scare him or annoy him? does it bruise his ego or worry him about what might be found out? >> you're too young to have been
through watergate. and this is not watergate by any evidence we have yet. but the charges are serious. the investigation's about serious stuff. if there was collaboration, collusion by a political campaign with russians that helped them win the election, that's historic. that's bigger than teapot dome or watergate or anything else. we just don't know if it's true. where do you sense this is going in one of your colleagues among the moderate republicans still in the business? what do they think is going on? >> i think our members are concerned more about the white house's position on russia than anything else. that russia's interests are antithetical to those of the west. russia wants to break up nato, unravel the eu, undermine institutions in our country and others in europe and want to diminish american power and influence anywhere they can. the european union was a 70-plus-year peace project. i mean, with all the faults of the eu and bureaucracy in
brussels, we're better off with it than without it. i think we have to get the policy right on russia. so i can't understand the kind comments about putin. they're not warranted. i guess that's where there's a bit of a bewilderment on behalf of some of my colleagues on russia. >> thank you so much charles dent of pennsylvania. thank you eugene robinson from "the washington post." up next, reaction in this huge day of bad news. no evidence there was wiretap at all. period. an investigation into collusion is underway involving the russians and the trump people. this is serious business. this is trump holding a rally in louisville, kentucky. we're going to monitor that and see if anything real happens out there. it's very hard for trump to hide from what comey said today. this is "hardball" where the action is. look closely. hidden in every swing, every chip, and every putt,
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take no for an answer and realize that the people while you can have an investigation it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to jump to the conclusion that a-ha it must be about the collusion between those two things. >> that was white house press secretary sean spicer today saying the fbi wasn't necessarily looking at collusion between russia and the trump campaign even though director comey of the fbi specifically said that was included in their investigation. his testimony, comey's, renewed
the call for president trump to walk back his claim accusing president obama of wiretapping him. spicer continued to play baghdad bob. there he is. remember that? fbi administration minister even as u.s. tanks rolled in behind him. meanwhile the press secretary said more evidence could come to light and this isn't the real story. the real story to spicer are the leaks within the white house. here he goes. >> we are still at the beginning phase of a look as to what kind of surveillance occurred and why. and that there's a question about what leaks occurred. >> i'm joined now by john brabender and jeremy bash. it seems to be that -- i always think spicer is operating under orders. he's not makes this stuff up. it's trump's line. the real evil here is not the fact there's an investigation now going on in the fbi about what role the trump crowd played with the russians and the fact that the fbi has shot down the
claim that president obama had him wiretapped and also admiral rogers corroborated that. it's that there was leaks. now, john brabender, you know nobody out in the world gives a damn about who's leaking what. that's how we find out what's going on usually. somebody leaks. that's how we get the information. government puts out press releases when they feel like it. but leakers get you the news faster. >> well, obviously there's an advantage for him to start talking about that part of the investigation. >> what's the advantage? >> the advantage is they're not talking about the other parts of the investigation. >> do you think there is an investigation of leaks? i don't think there is. >> there should be. >> i don't think there is. >> honestly, the part nobody is talking about and they should be, when the average person hears investigation because russia played in our elections, what they want to know is their vote counted. the one thing we found out today if you voted to trump, it went to trump. >> didn't we know that? >> we do know that. >> when did we not know that? >> let's concede that. >> you know this is just fluff.
>> wait a minute. >> there's never been a charge by anybody that russians got into the election count. >> but i'm saying, ruling that out -- >> it's been ruled out. you're trying to make it a news story. >> so now -- >> this is -- >> -- the whole argument, they really impact the results of the election. they didn't. it's did they have relationships with people? >> we're watching the guy out here. we'll see what he has to say tonight. what's he going to say tonight? he's going to trash comey, i guess. he can't fire comey without cause, apparently. so comey's fbi director for a few years whether he likes it or not. >> if i was advising the president, i'd say get back to what you've accomplished and are going to accomplish. the biggest mistake is he keeps coming back to a story -- >> he was tweeting this morning. >> it makes no sense to me. i'm very public -- they should do an intervention. no more tweeting. it doesn't help his cause. it was a great tool during the campaign. it's a terrible tool as a
sitting. . >> who's going to walk into his bedroom and take away the tweeting? >> that's the problem. but to say i'm on my team and doing it for you, he needs that. >> this could not have gone worse i think for the white house today. >> what's worse for them? the fact he's being investigated by the fbi or the argument -- >> wait a minute. >> no. >> first on the wiretapping -- >> too close for comfort i'd say. >> on the wiretapping issue, comey could have said we've given everything over to you to disclose whether the president was telling the truth. no, he took the president head on. second on the investigation, he could have easily said we're not going to confirm or deny. he went further. he did confirm the existence of and that opens the door -- >> is there any republican -- i don't think there's a republican party right now that makes sense. is there any way that trump can beat this? you said it's not trump. it's just people around him. why does he out them all? why doesn't he say i don't know
what this guy was doing. i was always suspicious about what manafort was doing. we don't know what carter page was doing. he had three-day leave. i don't know why flynn took the money for the speech over there. he could come out and say point by point these guys were doing their own bootlegging operation, whatever it was and i'm not part of it. why doesn't he do that? >> first all, let's be clear. we say the inner circle, roger stone, manafort, page, flynn. they're all out. they were all pushed out in some way. is that correct? >> and the top foreign policy spokesperson. they are part of the president's inner circle. they helped get him elected. he's in that white house because of them. >> but if you're worried about what they may know that could hurt you, you're not going to push them out. >> okay. thank you. thank you. you do know this more than -- brabender, you are so much smarter than the game you play here. you know that trump has a problem here. >> no, i'm going to say number two -- >> you said you can't get rid of these guys unless they know so much. >> i'm going to stand up for
hillary clinton. >> throwing his inner circle under the bus after they're caught dead to rights talking to russians is not saying that he's clean. it shows actually the extent of the problem here and unless he comes out and clarifies it or his ministers -- >> this is so nixonian. he was so involved with the intrigue, so much of this stuff he was involved with. it was too late to get out. >> what the fbi said today we're investigatoring just like they said we are hillary clinton. >> we'll give you an hour documentary and do this. john brabender for hillary. jeremy bash. thank you, gentlemen. up next, the round table to talk about the news today the double barrel of news, none of it good for trump. we'll talk about the wiretap that didn't happen, the investigation that's real into the trump team and the russians. you're watching "hardball," where the action is.
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they were unusually loud in their intervention. it's almost as if they didn't care that we knew what they were doing or that they wanted us to see what they were doing. it was very noisy. >> wow. he's talking about the russians, i think. that was more from james comey's testimony before the house intelligence committee today referring to the russians' interference. in other words, in the interference in our election they wanted us to know about it in some weird way. comey also warned that e the russians would be back. this was powerful. >> they'll be back in 2020. they may be back in 2018. and one of the lessons they may draw from this is that they were successful. because they introduced chaos and division and discord and sowed doubt about the nature of this country of ours and our process. >> the director confirmed previous concerns about why they wanted to disrupt our electoral system. >> putin hated secretary clinton
so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much. yeah, they don't like nato. they think nato circles them and threatens them. >> would they like to see sanctions on ukraine go away? >> yes. i hope you'll reformulate the question. mr. putin would like people who like him. >> well, president trump is on stage in louisville, kentucky, tonight. right now he's reliving his election victory. we'll let you know if he addresses comey's testimony from today. let's bring in the "hardball" round table. m well, let me just react to what you had to say. so what did you think of today? i was stunned by the statement
about vladimir putin hating -- he said it a couple times. hating hillary clinton. i would have said what about you buster? i think he had an attitude there. the statement about the investigation is under way as to criminality by the trump crowd and the fact that trump's claim that he was wiretapped by the former president is nothing. there's nothing there. these are strong statements. >> well, so first of all, i'm not surprised at anything today because i was one of the crazy people running around even in the summer saying there's a lot of smoke here, people. you know, where are the fire trucks? so i'm not surprised. i will -- >> you mean about the russian involvement or about the trump involvement? >> about the trump involvement and certainly not about the russian involvement. i mean, i know how the russians operate. and that's where i want to edit something that comey said. because he said the russians are going to come back. no, no, no. they never left. the russians are still here. >> but this is the first election they've really got their hands in, though, right? >> right. but we don't know. they're in the systems.
they probably got information from the rnc, you know, from maybe the trump campaign. >> malcolm, you've been following this for awhile now. >> yeah. >> what struck you today about these two bombshells? >> i think the most important thing that struck me today because people have been characterizing this all day as democrats having one position on this and the republicans having a completely different alternate version of this going after leaks and the democrats putting out this timeline. but i saw three entirely different groups aligning today. democrats, the press, and the entirety of the u.s. intelligence community as represented by these two chiefs were all saying one story that the russians had attacked the united states, they had verified all of that by the questioning comey and admiral rogers. then there was this other story about, you know, are leaks bad and should they be prosecuted? >> i don't think that was an alternati alternative. that was to distract.
these guys did not actually say they challenged this. one guy did. they were laying down, i thought. they looked defeated. >> you're absolutely right. i saw clips of another news channel which has an alternate point of view and they were hammering the leaks. russia today was hammering the leaks. >> that wasn't denying the russian role or trump role with the russians really. >> you're right. >> let's think about -- >> but it was soft peddling it. >> what do you think? >> even though i agree with evelyn that there was nothing particularly surprising, it's still -- >> you people are cynics. i'm shocked. didn't it surprise you the fbi director said criminal investigation of a president? >> yes. >> that is remarkable. the other thing that was remarkable -- >> this is mark felt coming out from the watergate days, you know, in realtime. not waiting for years later to leak it. >> but distinct from that, comey was testifying today like a man who had a very serious investigation that he did not want to jeopardize. >> right. >> i think the most significant sort of story or takeaway here was how careful he was being in terms of the way he was phrasing
questions. >> how about when roger stone's name was mentioned and paul manafort's name? i wish i could read minds. it seemed like, oh, you mean the guys in this investigation. >> the key indicator you were to go through all of that testimony, you could create a black hole of what he's not talking about. no comment. >> malcolm, there's a difference between saying i don't want to talk about that or i can't talk about that. if he said i can't talk about that, it was a general statement. the round table is sticking with us and the round table will tell me something i don't know. this is "hardball." ed 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.
we're back with the round table. evelyn, tell me something i don't know. >> we'll see more robust action in iraq and syria because this administration thinks that the threat is radical islamic terrorists and you have to bomb them from behind the wall. >> despite the fact that we're going to be talking tomorrow about the president of the united states and his senior staff may have been unwitting or witting assets of russian intelligence in order to throw an election, we still have to worry about north korea and nuclear weapons. >> my prediction is that donald trump is not nearly finished with damage control over his comments about gchq. if he thinks he's going to wait out the news cycle on that one, i think he's going to be disappointed. >> i don't like the confluence of this story we're covering tonight. unlike all three in the same
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well, president trump's on stage in louisville. no surprise here. nothing so far in the big news of the day from director of the fbi james comey. back after this. this is the silverado special edition. this is one gorgeous truck. oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's five. ooohh!! aaaahh!! uh! hooooly mackerel. wow. nice. strength and style.
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bashing away reporters and columnists and some of us on television trying to figure what it all means, the mix of irony and predictability and a mix of i told you so. what made a good column, it had to be both weird and familiar and it had to be news, a bit bizarre but brought back to the surface some ancient truth. so breslin wrote about the death of john f. kennedy from the point of view whose honor it was that afternoon to dig the president's grave. we have the headlines, i know jimmy breslin would love to find the angle no one has come across. who was the grave digger in how the russians messed with our democracy. could it be the average voter out there who thought the 2016 campaign was on the level? back when speaker tip o'neil was retiring and i was looking for a future in print, the guy who got the grave digger story walked me up manhattan avenue, i think it
was sixth avenue, dogging me to go ahead with my newspaper columnist. get a column, he nudged me. you'll stand up straight. he introduced me to a top new york editor vouching for me big time. jimmy breslin, bill saphirre. jimmy, to you, to ronnie, to all of the grave diggers out there, we're going to miss him. tonight on "all in" -- >> the fbi, as part of our counter intelligence mission, is investigating the russian government's effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. >> confirmation from the fbi. >> and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government.