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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 31, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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she's in because if she's in your neighborhood, you want to see her. thank you for watching. have a great weekend. i'll see you back here monday night 6:00 eastern. if you cannot watch live, set your dvr. follow me on twitter. you get to say mean thing as no anonymously. "hardball" with chris matthews. lock who up? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. in washington at the republican convention last summer, michael flynn picking up on the spirit of the trump crowd goaded the audience into exuberant chants of lock her up. they wanted hillary clinton put in jail. they sure did. [ chanting "lock her up" ] lock her up. that's right. yeah, that's right. lock her up.
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if i did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, i would be in jail today. >> today you can sense the chant coming from the trump people. listen closely and you can pick up a slightly different rhythm now. don't lock me up. don't lock me up. yesterday it was reported first by "the wall street journal" that trump's former national security advisor, michael flynn, the guy you saw there going after hillary, his lawyer is looking to get flynn immity in order to testify about what he knows. according to his lawyer, trump' former national security adviser certainly has a story to tell. well, this morning president trump tweeted, mike flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt, an excuse for a big election loss by the media and the democrats of historic proportion. at his briefing today, white house press secretary sean spicer explained the president was only trying to convey his strong desire to see flynn testify. let's watch. >> i think that the interesting thing is if you actually stop for a second and realize what the president's doing, it's that
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he's saying do whatever you have to do to go up to make it clear what happened. take whatever precaution you want or however your legal counsel advises you. >> general flynn's attorney said his client had a story to tell. is the white house concerned that general flynn has damaging information about the president, his aides, his associates, about what occurred during the campaign with respect to russia? >> nope. >> nope. we'll see. nbc reported today that the senate intelligence committee turned down general flynn's request for immunity. his lawyer was told it was wildly preliminary to discuss such a thing. joining me right now is "the wall street journal's" carol lee, who broke the story of the attempted immunity deal and "the huffington post's" howard fineman. i'm wondering what the king is thinking tonight. what is trump worried about for michael flynn? what's he got on him? >> well, from the white house's perspective, i mean their posture is that he doesn't have anything on him. but if you step back -- you know, and we don't know. this is somebody mike flynn was
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with the president almost every day during the campaign. >> he says he has a story to tell. what's the story he wants to tell to the prosecutors? >> we don't know what the story is because mike flynn, there's his time spent requewith donaldp trump in the trump campaign, the transition in the white house. mike flynn has had contacts with russia, monot just with the ambassador here in washington, but he has been paid tens of thousands of dollars by entities that are arms of the russian government, and he sat at a dinner in december of 2015 with vladimir putin. so there are a number of stories that he could tell. >> howard, look at this. we've been here before. you see a guy down -- he's right the, national cuty adviser. he knows a lot, and the me he's afraid, the more he's going to talk. the more hs liking at maybe 20 years for not filing a financial disclosure honestly about money he got from russia, not telling honestly under oath where he talked to the russian ambassador about russian sanctions. there's a lot of stuff here, and he's looking at serious time
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maybe. he's thinking, i want out of this. i didn't get to be national security adviser. i'm damn well not going to prison for this guy. i want to talk. and trump's thinking, this guy's got stuff. >> two things. first of all he wants to talk at a time when he'd be most useful. the committee wants to learn everything it can about what flynn has to say from people other than flynn. so they don't have to give him much, if anything. so they're saying, wait a minute, wait a minute. but if you're the attorney for flynn, you want to get him in there right away so that he gets credit for whatever he says from them. and also you have another reason, which is you want to give yourself what they call in the trade here in washington an immunity bath. you want to cover yourself with as much immunity as the committee is willing to give you -- >> not just use. but anything. >> anything in order to make it more difficult for the feds, for the fbi and the justice department to try to prosecute you. so those are the -- >> first of all, he's fill the out financial disclosure formed. he's had to say under oath what
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he said to the russians, how much money he got from the russians. what else? what he said to the russian ambassador. >> he also has spoken with the fbi. if you look at his track record, there's two things he's not been totally forthcoming on. he obviously was not forthcoming on what the nature of his conversations with the russian ambassador were. >> kislyak. >> kislyak. and he did not report being an agent of a foreign government with some of his work he had done for turkey. those are just two examples. not only that, but going back to when he served in the government and was a top intelligence official, he would have to report certain contacts that he had. there's a whole array. >> let's talk human nature. another day we saw chris christie's top person, bridget kelly. the other guy, what's his name? i forget. >> i know he's got two years in the slammer. >> and he's thinking wait a minute. sometimes the guys who work for the guy get in trouble.
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we see it a lot. we see it with scooter libby, dick cheney getting in trouble. they're the ones that swing, and the big guys get away. >> of course. and he doesn't want to swing. and to get an old refrain from the watergate days, the question is what did the president know, and when did he know it? when did candidate trump know, and when did he know it? >> baroni is the name by the way. >> bill baroni. i think the key here to me, having studied it, the most vulnerable, immediate thing that flynn has is not registering as a foreign agent. >> that's a serious crime. >> yes. the lawyer he hired happens to be an expert in that field of the law among others. >> okay. >> they want to try to protect him on that. >> he wants that bath. >> he wants whatever he can get by way of the bath against the prosecution that they've got him on. >> well, donald trump and michael flynn have addressed the issue of immunity in the past. listen to what then-candidate trump said last september, discussing hillary clinton's associates. >> -- took the fifth amendment,
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and herri ring leaders were giv immunity. if you're not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for? >> oh, how it all comes around. here's what flynn said on "meet the press" in september. >> five people around her have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. when you are given immunity, that means you've probably committed a crime. >> he just said -- this is the day before that. he said if you want immunity, you probably committed a crime. there he is talking about somebody else, and everybody's hearing him now talking about himself. >> now, you know, the white house's position as we've seen them do before is, well, that was that and this is now. that doesn't mean anything now. >> i've been watching spicer. i think he's reached a point of incredibility. did you watch today? were you there? >> yes. >> what did you make of it, hord? it was just -- he was saying things that just -- h was denying all of this. >> i think he's only performing for an audience of one, chris. he's not performing for carol or
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any of the reporters in the room. he's doing his shtick for the president of the united states. so for sean spicer to get out there and say, our only interest is to get to the bottom of this whole thing. that's why we want him to testify. everybody in the room isn't taking that seriously, but donald trump presumably is back there in the oval office watching and saying, way to give it to 'em, sean. >> so the more he prostitutes himself, the more -- >> the better it is until donald trump decides that, like a kleenex tissue, you know, sean is done. then he'll pull somebody else out to do that. >> i think more like a pez dispenser. anyway, let me go -- >> sean spicer, by the way is trying to do the bidding of the president out there. it's tough. >> senator amy club joins us now. we're chuckling about the irony, not the tragedy, because it is a tragedy. we have a president with people around him who are beginning to rat on him and offering themselves up if they'll get
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protection themselves under the law. a bath of immunity as howard phrased it. he's an attorney like yourself, senator. so what do you think of this as a former prosecutor? what's going on with trump? how dangerous are his waters right now? >> well, okay. i was pretty stunned he did this tweet this morning saying, first of all, that flynn should get the immunity, which they themselves have said somehow is an implication, and i'm not saying it is, that a crime was committed. but then he said again this was a witch hunt. i think at this point the american people see this for what it is, chris. it is a truth hunt. we have to get to the bottom of what happened here. and now you have a situation where the president's former national security adviser literally was just appointed the national security adviser, lies to the vice president and then has to step down. we're now talking about immunity, and i think as a prosecutor, i can tell you you've got to be really careful with this congressional what's called derivative use immunity
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because as we saw in the case of oliver north, who was actually counts, but then they were reversed becauset was found that during that congressional investigation, the witnesses were so tainted that, in fact, the conviction, the actual conviction didn't stand up. so i know that senator warner and senator and the intelligence committee in the senate is going to be very careful here. and it is just way too early as adam schiff said today to be talking about anything like this. and i know they won't be doing anything about it without talking to the justice department if this is an ongoing investigation as we believe it is. >> senator, let's talk about political irony here. you've not been around here as long as i have, but i got to tell you this. an old phrase. what goes around comes around. here are they people saying we're going to put people in jail like in south korea or somewhe somewhere, pakistan where if you lose an election, we put you away. they were talking like that just a few months ago.
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now we're talking immunity. i just want to know what you thought of the phrase "lock her up" when they were throwing that line out in cleveland. >> as a former prosecutor and someone who has had to be very careful before you jump to those conclusions, i can't tell you how many times i would say, we are still looking at the evidence. this is what is out there publicly. this is what is in the complaint. you simply can't jump to conclusions like that as a leader. sure, you can when you're sitting around a bar talking to your friends. but when you're a leader and on national television, you have an obligation to be careful with those kinds of words. and there is some irony in the fact that they're now coming back to haunt them. >> what do you make of the long progression of instances where there was connections between the trump campaign, his people from manafort to carter page to roger stone, himself, all these people, including flynn, having these regular encounters with russians at the time that we were dealing with the sanctions
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issue, where the republicans were rewriting their platform, including the plank on how we should deal with ukraine in a far more lenient manner than ever before, when money was being passed to flynn and people like that? what do you make of the connection? does it look like a two-way connection or just a one-way connection? >> you know, i think this is getting seedier and seedier and seedier. i read that intelligence report, the 17 intelligence agencies, the one that was public, and i thought to myself, this is our united states intelligence agencies saying that this is actually going on. and having been in ukraine with john mccain and lindsey graham, having seen the influence of russia and what they've done, the invasions, the killings of 10,000 people, this isn't just games and some kind of fun little thing of cloak and dagger. this is actually something happening. and when you go from manafort, the campaign chair, to the national security adviser, to the fact that he talked to the russian ambassador on the exact same day that president obama
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announced expanded sanctions, and then you have the attorney general of the united states having met with that same ambassador only three days after president obama and putin met and president obama made clear he wasn't taking away the sanctions, it's just one person in power after another. and that's why not only is this intelligence investigation important, it's why we have to have an independent commission. and that's something that on january 4th, i called for with ben car den and elijah cummings and adam schiff. the four of us stood together and said, yes, go on with your investigation, but let's have a public, independent commission. >> you can't rely on the house anymore, can you? >> no, but you can rely on the senate. >> can you rely on the committee led by nunes who seems to be working hand in glove with the white house? >> no. i have called for his recusal very clearly, but i do think we want to allow the senate process to continue. i thought that both senator warner and did a very good job this week, and there's no reason at the same time you can't have
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an independent commission that would be looking at it from a different angle. that's a panel of experts just like we did after 9/11 that would be coming forward with ways we could prevent this from happening again because this is not just an assault on one candidate, one election, one country. it is really assault on all democracies. >> we've had really proems in our history, whether it's joe mccarthy back in the '50s,t's been republicans who put him away. we're very partisan in this country. i know a lot of people that watch this show. when we're bipartisan and the good people get together, this country is so much better off. thank you, senator, for coming on tonight. >> thank you. >> there's been a theme on sean spicer's briefing today, at least on questions about russia, flynn, and devin nunes. see if you can pick up on it. watch. >> i don't know what he knows. >> do you know if na is the case? >> i don't. if i start commenting on every one of these stories, i can't -- that's not our practice. i don't know the answer to that. >> i don't know the answer to that question. >> i don't know the answer to
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that. some of it, i don't know. >> i don't know. you should -- i'm not aware of that. >> well you could just find out -- >> no. you can call the fbi. >> do you have any new information about how the chairman did get onto the campus, who -- >> as i said the last few days, i'm not going to discuss that. >> i'm not -- respectfully, the counsel's office is working with them. i don't want to get in front of how they go back and forth and make a decision. >> the white house counsel's office is the one who sent thatler. i don't know what we will do going forward. >> that reminds me of hogan's heroes. i know nothing. sergeant schultz. what do you make of that performance? i was asking about this guy's job. it's i don't know nothing. what was nunes doing? nun yoes goes the night before, picks up a pile of christmas presents, the next day goes to the presents. here some present. i can't tell you where i got them from. he knew where he got them from. it's a masquerade. >> there are times when sean spicer has said that he does
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know. for instance on this very issue, he said, well, that doesn't even make expense that nunes would -- >> he said it doesn't pass the smell test. >> so "i don't know" seems to be the new way of dealing with that because he keeps getting tripped up on this. it used to be press secretaries would say, i'll take the question and get back to you. >> i agreed to take the question. i didn't agree to give the answer. >> exactly. >> chris, what they're trying to do here somehow desperately to shift the question from what russia did. >> right. bull's-eye. >> to who leaked what about this. >> i know. it's a side show. >> and sean spicer today was desperately trying to, quote, change the narrative. that's the favorite word in the briefing room is now narrative. it's not answering questions. it's who can construct the narrative, the dominant narrative? he can't do it. he's trying. he's trying to impress the boss with it, but he's not being able to do it. >> the history books will be written with the word russia in
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them. right here, russia. it's not going to be nun yesz, who's going to be forgotten. carol lee, great reporting. it's always good to get the scoop on the front page. howard fine mapp, thank you sir. coming up, chairman devin nunes attempted a caper to keep secrets from the white house. his sly attempts to take the heat off president trump all seem to be unraveling. a member of the house intelligence committee is going to join us after the break with more on this. and apart from college basketball, there's also real march madness at white house these days. everything trump warned us about when he warned us about hillary clinton becoming president is pretty much what's going on right now. plus former vice president joe biden is back and he's got some words for donald trump. here's a hint. it's advise on the president's tweeting habits. and let me finish tonight with trump watch. you won't like it. this is "hardball," where the action is. that help them save on their car insurance. any questions? -yeah. -how do you go to the bathroom? great. any insurance-related questions?
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-mm-hmm. -do you have a girlfriend? uh, i'm actually focusing on my career right now, saving people nearly $600 when they switch, so... where's your belly button? [ sighs ] i've got to start booking better gigs. [ sighs ] trust #1 doctor recommended dulcolax. use dulcolax tablets for gentle dependable relief. suppositories for relief in minutes. and dulcoease for comfortable relief of hard stools. dulcolax. designed for dependable relief. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. -sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. i'm actually a deejay. -[ laughg ] no way! -that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro, you just don't know. cfp. work with the highest standard. former vice president joe biden offered donald trump some advice during an appearance thursday at the university of
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pennsylvania. take a listen. >> if you could give president trump one piece of advice, what would it be? >> grow up. i would literally, you know, stop tweeting, you know, and start focusing. the words of a president matter. they have enormous, enormous, enormous reverberating sounds around the world. >> by the way, that's penn president amy gutman there. delivering those words of wisdom at the biden center for diplomacy and global engagement. we'll be right back. and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision,
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so you'rhow nice.a party? i'll be right there. and the butchery begins. what am i gonna wear? this party is super fancy. let's go. i'm ready. are you my uber? [ horn honks ] hold on. the biggest week in tv is back. [ doorbell rings ] par-tay! xfinity watchathon week starts april 3. get unlimited access to all of netflix and more, free with xfinity on demand. welcome back to "hardball." house intelligence chair devin nunes repeatedly denied that his source for those intelligence reports on government surveillance of the trump transition team came from the white house. but reporting from "the new york times" and washington post has
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contradicted the chair's explanation and forced him to come clean. following president trump's tweet claiming he was wiretapped by president obama it now app r appears as nunes himself was chosen as the laundry service for the white house. this mickey mouse operation was the vehicle by which nunes was handsed the job of getting rid of the dirty launder. according to ezra cohen wassive one of the sources and he began gaktering reports shortly after president trump's wiretapping tweet. well, cohen was brought in by former national security adviser michael flynn, but when flynn's replacement, h.r. mcmaster tried to oust him, sources tell nbc news that president trump's saved him. he jumped in and saved his job. reportedly at the urging of advisers jared kushner and steve bannon. michael ellis, a lawyer in the white house was the second white house official according to "the new york times." today "the washington post" reported that a third white house official, top lawyer for the nsc, john einb was
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also involved in the handling of those reportshatent to nunes. nbc news by the way caught up with two of the three, ellis andize enberg, early this morning. >> did you help provide defn nunes with -- >> i'm not talking to anything. >> did you see what devin nunes shared with president trump? >> i've got to get to work. >> can you tell us anything about which trump officials were mentioned in the documents given to chairman nunes? >> no, thanks. >> can you tell us anything, if there were any corroboration with russian officials by the obama administration? >> i have no idea. >> can you tell us anything, any information about the current investigation going on by chairman nunez? >> have a good day. >> can you give us any information, sir? >> a couple more guys that don't know nothing. u.s. congressman mike quigley, a democrat from illinois sit on the intelligence committee and grig miller, correspondent for "the washington post."
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gentlemen, thank you. you know, i'm trying to speculate, and i admit i'm speculating. but i'm thinking i'm donald trump and i just got up on a saturday morning a few weeks ago and tweeted that the formerment wiretapped tapped me during the campaign at trump tower. then i realized i made a mistake but i better get some backup for this. so i talked to my people, jards kushner, my son-in-law and bannon, my guy, and i go, well, do we have that can give us something like that? who can we feed that to on the hill so that they will parrot this. they find out we got this guy ezra cohen, and we got this ellis who used to work for nunez. put this thing together. congressman, it looks like it was an alley-oop play. i like to use that phrase because dick cheney used to do it. give it to somebody else to deliver, and then you can say, as i was saying. they've got this guy nunes pegged. they used him. they fez him stuff out of the white house one night. the next morning he came back and announced it to the president with alarming news he's just gotten from the president's people the night before. how do you see it yourself?
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>> yeah, i'm listening to the three stooges theme in the background unfortunately. it's extraordinarily troubling and frustrating, and at this point in time, the only thing we have is the opportunity to go forward. you know, i'm not giving up on the house investigation. there's a lot of good people over there. clearly we've had an extraordinarily tough week. you know, you know that there have been calls for mr. nun dwres yes, sir to step aside. that's not going to happen unfortunately. we're going to pivot and go back to regular order this week. >> do you trust him? >> i think he's made it difficult for the investigation to go forward. but given that there are very few options, i don't have any choice. i'll tell you this. he was a very fair chairman under the obama administration. it's been difficult this last week or so, especially since obviously president trump took office, and at this point i wish
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i could say more. we have no choice. the speaker isn't going to knock him off. he's not going to recuse himself. in the final analysis, we're going to be reading the same documents, and we have been. we're going to be interviewing the same witnesses, and i do believe we're going to have that open hearing. and i do believe we're going back to meetings with the admiral rogers and mr. comey to find out exactly what took place. >> greg, it seems to me that when this thing is fully aired by the press and to the committee to some extent, we're going to see the materials that were given to mr. nunes on tuesday night last week were basically the ones they're going to be giving out now. but when they gave it to him in a special way, it was almost like giving an exclusive to a reporter. they were going to build and up ask make it seem alarming and somehow exculpatory to the president, make the president look good on his dawn patrol tweets. i get the feeling it's not going to be that useful once it comes out in a normal fashion. what do you make of it? >> i think that's true.
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i think that the more we've learned about the documents -- and we're still a long way from learning everything about them. it sounds less and less alarng, right? you peel back where nunes started, which was very uncomfortable. boy, the american public sure wouldn't like to see this stuff. then he has a conversation with his democratic counterpart adam schiff. and schiff says based on what nunes told me when i pressed him on this issue, this was sort of standard operating procedure for intelligence agencies. i mean there's a legitimate issue here on the unmasking of american officials who show up in the surveillance of foreign governments. but it's just odd how the white house in this case has sort of used nunes and damaged his credibility over such a seemingly minuscule matter, this tweet. you just sort of wonder whether nunes is such an important ally for the administration, whether they might have wanted to preserve his credibility for a more important developments
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later on in this russia story. >> mr. quicklgley, i think ther three cases in the last week where the white house people have told us the story. first sean spicer's yob is to speak for the president saying it doesn't pass the smell test. then there's this congressman yoho from florida who basically said he works for the president. he said quigley, one of your colleagues, the chairman of your intelligence committee works for the president what do you make of these strange admissions and claims about the constitution? they seem to admit -- they sound like their own worst witnesses. >> yeah. at this point, mr. spicer is channeling his inner ron zeigler. i think there's something beyond that's more troubling. how this information was passed back and forth. unfortunately what's taking place here besides the distraction is the very real possibility that there are going
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to be investigations of what's happened during the investigation. and is that a distraction to the american public? it absolutely is. there's a lot of serious work to do on this, not the least of which is how do we prevent this sort of russian involvement again. but we're no goingo get there in we're playing these sort of crazy games. >> do you think nes wants to find out the trump role in cooperating with the russians if there was one? does he want to know what hand they played in encouraging the russians to hack the democratic national committee, podesta and palmieri and the rest of that? do you think nunes wants to find out the truth of the trump role in all of that? >> i would like to think every american would like to find out the truth of exactly how far the russian involvement -- what took place, who played a role in that, who if anyone was helping on the side of the united states. how far did this go? how do we prevent it in the future?
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and what about these leaks? that's the four levels of this investigation. i have to assume that they're going to work in good faith. obviously my doubts have been raised. we're going to keep a good eye on it and alert the american public. we've got a job to do. i can't let them succeed on the distractions. otherwise, we're rewarding bad behavior. i have to make this investigation work. >> well said. thank you, congressman and greg miller. up next, talk about march madness for the trump administration. we're going to tell you why this has not been a good month for this president. this is "hardball," where the action is. ♪ ♪ everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number.
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hi, i'm richard lui in the msnbc newsroom. the top democrat on the house intelligence committee, adam schiff, has met with president trump and reviewed classified files on white house grounds a short time ago. schiff released a statement thereafter calling on the white house to share the materials with the rest of the committee. schiff was told these were the same documents seen first by the panel's republican chair, devin nunes. a federal judge has approved a $25 million settlement for former students of trump university. attorneys say the former trump university clients will get back at least 90% of their money. an atlanta bridge that collapsed in a raging fire last night will take months to rebuild according to officials there. the cause of the fire is unknown, but police have arrested three people in connection with that blaze. fortunately, no one was hurd. now back to "hardball." well, apart from college
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basketball these days there's also real march madness at the white house. it started with a bang on the 1st when news reports revealed attorney general jeff sessions met twice with the russian ambassador in the transition after he had previously said he had not. sessions recused himself from the investigation into collusion a day later. then on the 4th of the month, trump dropped his explosive tweets falsely accusing the prior administration of wiretapping him during the campaign. on march 6th, republicans unveiled the american health care act, but one week later the cbo said the bill would cause 24 million americans to lose coverage. two days later on the 15th, a federal judge blocked the president's cond travel ban. and on march 20th, fbi director james comey publicly confirmed that the bureau is investigating alleged ties between the trump campaign and russia. well, two days later defn nunes claimed he had seen intelligence reports showing incidental surveillance of the trump transition team, which we now
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know was provided by the white house. on march 23rd, the vote on the gop health care plan is delayed, indicating there's not enough support to pass it. a day later, it's pulled altogether. that same day, the president ignites a war within his party against the freedom caucus. and on the 25th, he promotes a segment on fox news that calls for house speaker paul ryan to step down. well, on the 29th of this month, a judge in hawaii extended the block of the president's travel ban. then just yesterday, three white house officials are outed for showing intelligence reports to chairman nunes. former national security adviser michael flynn asked for legal immunity from investigators in exchange for his testimony. today the president tweets his support for flynn, and it's revealed the senate has turned down that request for immunity. we'll discuss president trump's bad month with the "hardball" panel coming up here right next. you're watching "hardball." wondering, what if? i let go of all those feelings.
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not even a hed days in and president trump's administration has been plagued by chaos and controvers of coue axio is reporting the president is frustrated because he realized his approach has flopped and feels baffled and paralyzed about how to fix it. just a few months ago candidate trump warned voters about hillary clinton and promised he would fix things. >> we need a government that can go to work on day one for the american people. that will be immunity possible with hillary clinton, the prime suspect in a far-reaching criminal investigation. her current scandals and controversies will continue throughout her presidency and will make it virtually immunity possible for her to govern. >> if hillary clinton were to be elected, it would create an unpru unprecedented and protracted
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constitutional crisis. >> the investigation will last for years. the trial would probably start. nothing will get done. >> i alone can fix it. >> for more i'm joined by jonathan cape horn, opinion writer for "the washington post," ruth marcus, columnist for "the washington post," and ned ryan. ned, how is he doing? objectively. >> let's get a little perspective here. remember the first term of the clintons. first 100 days. disaster. hillarycare. people getting fired out of the white house travel office. failed nominees. he got reelected. we're in the first 100 days. give it time. i'm thinking about the last couple weeks. i'm perplexed why we're not talking about the real scandal that was going on. was there a misuse of government surveillance? were there raw intelligence reports that made it into the hands of white house senior officials? my thing is i want to get to the bottom of this. i think you would talk to a lot
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of republicans that say let's get to the bottom of this. let's have mike flynn and everybody else go in front of these intelligence committees. but also let's pursue what actually happened. >> ruth, that's a line. it's a legitimate line. we hear it from sean spicer every day, the line that the real story here is leaks. it been my experience covering politics for a long time that people in power tend to care about leaks and nobody else does. >> well, the real story here is a bunch of different stories. the real story here is what director comey told us he was investigating, right? what did russia do to influence the election, and was there any improper coordination/collusion between members of the trump campaign and, you know, associates and the russians to influence the election? that's the main story. there are also totally legitimate pieces to that story. were there improper leaks? how did these leaks occur? it seems to me that the trump campaign -- the trump
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administration has sort of created its own circular reality here. that doesn't mean that there might not have been unproper unmasking, but the fundamental issue is the fundamental issue, which is the russians and what trump did or didn't -- >> i think the big story is the reverse of what you said. it's actually the symbiotic partnership to it. the most aggressive print press coverage i've seen since watergate. you got your paper, "the washington post." you have "the new york times" fighting it out with huge contingents of reporters, incredible enterprise, all over the front page, maybe two or three stories a day. i've never seen such aggressiveness. i think that's the other end of leaks. they're getting this story out faster than trump's people are. that's for sure. >> also when you've got our media environment, it's so rapid-fire that once you've gotten up to speed on the story that broke at 1:00, there's a new one at 1:30. >> last night, for example, michael flynn's going to go for immunity blew everything else out around 7:00 last night.
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>> it's also because it's a target-rich environment. you have an administration that raises more questions every time they attempt to either answer one or obfuscate answering another question. and, you know, the longer the president and his senior advisers continue to get around answering questions, saying i don't know, i don't know, i don't know as you showed earlier, the more this story is going to go along. in washington, we've seen this happen. an administration that refuses to just own up to whatever it is they know, the longer the story goes on, and the more damage it causes. >> let me ask you, ned. do you think this travel story -- it was a pain in the butt the clintons caused themselves. they wanted to give their cousin a job in the traflg office. by the way, the only thing the travel office did was handle travel for the press. this thing, what i want to know about is can you figure out who's in the white house with
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the president? here we are 70 days in. i'm trying to figure who's sitting next to him. i think he is a lonely guy, but i'm thinking jared kushner and his wife, the president's daughter -- look at kushner's role in this thing. he identifies this guy cohen, who is apparently the head of security or head of intelligence in the nsc. he somehow hooks up with this guy ellis. nunes is invited down in the middle of the night. it is a mickey mouse operation. i'msorry. it's all coming to light. their whole plan to skip this thing around and get it laundered at the white house and have a republican chairman of the committee come out and say, oh, this is damaging, alarming information. it was their own information. it's beginning to look mickey mouse. i'm sorry. >> it's just kind of funny to me that nunes just a week ago was lauded by the press for calling out trump on his tweets. >> and that's what nunes, i believe, reacted to. i think nunes got some heat for that. >> but i think nunes, i think pete hoke stra, some of the
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stuff they've been talking to. i think ultimately at the end of the day, the conversation i really don't think there will be any evidence. we've already seen brennan. we've already seen clapper saying there is no proof. there is no information that shows collusion with russia in the election. >> what does michael flynn want immunity munfor? >> i can't tell but in a witch hunt environment, but here's the thing. i want him to go in front of the committee. here's my thing, though. >> there a n witches. >> if you listen to some of the narrative being driven, you uld swear there are rushisian agents in voting booths in wisconsin. >> there's a good way to disrupt that narrative. have the president come out and tell everything. >> i don't think the white house has been as good at driving the narrative. i think they could be much better at it. i think there will be a hard look at what's taken place over this last few weeks and they're going to have to understand -- >> i don't believe in witches. i believe in witch hunts. but i look at a picture. i see the guy that was going to be national security adviser to
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the president sitting at dinner with putin and getting paid 30,000 bucks. what's it say? what's these meetings with kislyak. all these meetings with flynn covered up. by the way, if there was nothing wrong with those meetings, why did they deny them. jonathan, you haven't said anything. >> i just had an outburst. [ overlapping voices ] >> if the white house, you know, driving the narrative, they are like the democrats' best friend. they started with the tweets and they keep digging them deeper and deeper. you talked about the first 100 days of the clinton administration. i was a white house reporter during that. tell me what bill clinton's numbers were after his first 100 days, and you'd swap them for donald trump's. and they came in -- >> 4% in. >> made some of the same mistakes because they did not have experienced people around them. >> let me ask you about learning
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curves. all the different points of view here, you're allowed to have them. what have you seen of a learning curve from trump? where has he shown week by week to pick up on people to trust, ways of doing things? you're getting quiet on me, jonathan. i don't see it either. you want to give me some learning curve? >> 18 months ago, people thought this guy is a joke. quick study, he's president of the united states. my thing is this. i think the last few weeks, he let somebody else drive his agenda. i think he's going to learn from that and realize he has to -- >> who's that? >> paul ryan on the hill. i think there were some mistakes on how that agenda and the agenda calenr were run out. >> you think ryan has nt? >> i think paul's a very smart guy. he do not think he's as talented a leader as some in the past. >> i don't think he's a talented leader like pelosi. >> i think there's been some learning curve in terms of moderating some of the more extreme policies have turned out to be more moderate. but there has not been a learning curve on presidential
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behavior like tweeting. >> i think his cabinet is uneven. i think it's interesting. better than him in many ways. i look to them to protect us from him many times, and that is scary. the round table is staying with us. up next, these people tell me something i don't know. this is "hardball," where the action is. an entrepreneur named sharon. its witnessed 31 crashes, 4 food fights, and the flood of '09. it's your paradise perfected with behr premium plus low odor paint. the best you can buy starting under $25. unbelievable quality. unbeatable prices. only at the home depot. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin.
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harvard law school. and after serving in the army air corps in world war ii, he clerked for supreme court justice felix frankfurter as an attorney. he co-authored the legal brief in brown versus education which held school segregation to be unconstitutional and struck down the discredited notion of separate but equal. and through a long career in the law and in public service, bill coleman played a role in republican administrations from president eisenhower through president ford for kwhom he served as the first african-american cabinet member in a republican administration. president bill clinton awarded sblth coleman the presidential medal of freedom. william t. coleman jr. he was 97.
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it's realizing beauty doesn't stop at my chin. roc®'s formula adapts to delicate skin areas. my fine lines here? visibly reduced in 4 weeks. chest, neck, and face cream from roc®. methods, not miracles.™ a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. -sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. i'm actually a deejay. -[ laughing ] no way! -that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro, you just don't know. cfp. work with the highest standard. we're back with the "hardball" round table. jonathan, tell me something i don't know. >> so everyone is focused on tax reform, that this is the thing, the next big thing they're going to have a big fight over. that's not it. you've got two freight trains
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running head long into each other. there is the upcoming 2018 fiscal budget due october 2nd and then you've got the debt ceiling which needs to be raised sometime between october and november, the country could lose its buying authority. >> it's huge. >> a big payment is due on october 2nd. if they don't raise the debt ceiling, that would be the day. >> it's going to be about the mexican wall. you watch because the democrats are not going to pay for that wall. ruth. >> we've been talking a lot about devin nunes. he was not the original choice of then house speaker john boehner to be the chairman of the intelligence committee. it was another member of that committee, mike conaway, who boehner went for. nunes was not happy about that, lobbied the speaker, got the job. some people -- >> development that was. ned? i love this guy yoho who said his job is to work for the president. >> trump's going to have to make a decision, outsider, insider, it was his outsider instincts that got him to the white house. he's got to trump his instincts.
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at some point there's going to be a changeup with the white house staff. i'm not sure if sean spicer and rice make it. >> how does he get anything done with his attitude. how do you get 216 votes in the house? how do you pass anything? >> i think you're going to bring the freedom caucus guys back to the table. i feel pretty positive you're going to get something done and you go on to tax reform. >> thank you. when we return, let me finish with trump watch. you're watching "hardball." okay, so what's our latest data say? our customer is a 21-year-old female. heavily into basketball. wait. data just changed... now she's into disc sports.
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trump watch. friday, march 31st, 2017. there is some evidence last year some would say quite a lot during last year's campaign that donald trump had not prepared himself to serve as president. there were areas of concern that simply had not grabbed his attention over the years, areas of great concern to this country's secure and to the rights of its citizens. one of those areas was women's productive rights. whatever your position on abortion, how you see it as a matter of persona o societal morality, w you believe i should be handled or notdled by the law in a free society is a matter most people have given some serious thought to. donald trump is not one of those people. as i and you learned this time a year ago. >> do you believe in punishment for abortion? yes or no as a principle? >> the answer is that there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? >> yeah, there has to be some form. >> now, there are other questions to which candidate trump gave unsettling answers in the campaign. in that same interview, for example, trump refused to rule
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out the use of nuclear weapons in europe, and one has to wonder what scenario would put that option, as trump said, on the table. so think back to franklin roosevelt in 1933, soothing us with the line, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. but this time with this president, don't take fear off the table. fear itself may come in handy. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from chicago. i'm chris hayes. 24 hours after former national security adviser michael flynn offered to testify in exchange for immunity, the white house is in damage control on multiple fronts. the ongoing investigations into potential ties between russia and the trump campaign and the month-long wild goose chase inish dwrated by president trump's entirely unsupported climb that president obama had had him wiretapped, which is now raisingue

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