tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 3, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
and this is not a popular decision. >> you can see our entire interview with dan rargt the last word, msnbc.com. and that is the last award and that is "the last word." 20 years of donald trump. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington with a special edition of "hardball." long before he took up the most powerful office in the world, donald trump had established himself as a public figure. always willing to share his thinking about the issues and events of our time. and through two decades i've interviewed this complex and controversial president more than a dozen times. and tonight we're going to look at the donald trump i got to know in those conversations. let's begin with mr. trump's first appearance on this show
back in august of 1998. the topic is president bill clinton, just days after he confessed to his relationship with former white house intern monica lewinsky. let's watch. >> let's talk about another 52-year-old, bill clinton. what's he need to do? >> well, i don't know. it's so embarrassing. and you really have to say where does it stop? i really like this guy but you really have to say where does it stop? why do they keep revealing the details? he had sex. but now they talk about the kind of sex, where it took place, where it was, on the desk, off the desk. i mean, it's so out of control. >> do you think he should have -- do you think he could have gotten away with a complete mea culpa in january when he decided to cover it up? do you think he could have said, i'm going to throw all my money on the table, the american people like me, they're going to buy this. >> i don't think he could have done any worse. i would have done something very different than he did. that all started it. paula jones is a loser but she may be responsible for bringing down a president indirectly. and that statement was a bad
statement to have made, been made. and it's proven to be false. so -- >> which statement was that? i'm sorry. >> paula jones in the deposition. which really started this whole thing. >> when he denied it. which is when you're in a hole you stop digging. at a certain point you walk away from the deal and say i'm going to drop this line. >> i think his little speech after was a disaster. i'm not sure he should have done it. i'm not sure he should have just gone and taken the fifth amendment and said i don't get along with this man, starr. he's after me. he's a republican. he's this. he's that and taken the fifth amendment. it is a terrible thing for a president to take the fifth amendment but he should have done it. i don't think he could have done any worse than what's happened. it's such an embarrassment to him. i see him walking around. it's like a terrible embarrassment. >> where is he going? up or down? >> i think the best he can do is tread water for two years. i really believe that. i think he can tread. i think he can maybe keep the office and tread and get out as opposed to nixon who got out in a rather harsh manner. it may be worse than that.
i believe the best he can do is tread water. >> did you ever have a flicker when you were taking a shower, waking up in the morning, donald trump, you've won every battle you ever fought. why don't you run for governor? why don't you run for president? did you ever think about that? >> people want me to all the time. >> what about you? >> i don't like it. think about how controversial i've been. can you imagine that? him with the women. how about me with the women? >> my next interview was our 1999 college tour at his alma mater, the wharton school of business at the university of pennsylvania. even back then trump was considering a run for president in the 2000 election. trump was between marriages at the time of our interview. while he was dating the future first lady melania, there were questions about how he would handle the office without a first lady. let's watch. >> you have another special guest i'd like you to introduce at this time. >> i do indeed. >> i see her. >> my supermodel. where's my supermodel? melania. this is millielania knauss.
stand up. [ applause ] >> one thing it is safe to say about you, donald, is you know the difference between slovakia and slovenia. >> i do. absolutely. >> let me ask you a tough question. this is a technical thing but it is kind of fun. the president of the united states gets an allowance to live on. that's why you never have to cash a check. you won't have that problem. they have an allowance for parties and whenever they pass out the wine glasses and the hors d'oeuvres. the first lady gets to control all that. she has a thing called the east wing. how are you going to handle that? >> well, you know, i got myself into a lot of trouble when i said i could be married within 24 hours if need be. [ laughter ] see, that's what happens when you go to wharton, folks. i could handle it. i could handle it very easily. >> i'm not sure that today,
being married, and i really could be married, and it's one of those things. but i just bought out of the marng marriage. >> so you'll handle the social arrangements if you get elected president yourself? >> i'll handle it myself or we'll see what happens. lots of things can happen. lots of changes. i believe -- i have to tell you in all seriousness, i believe strongly in the institution of marriage. to me marriage is just an incredible institution when you get it right. my parents, my father just died, as you probably know, a few months ago. they were married 63 years. they had the most incredible marriage. i think the one thing my father couldn't believe and understand, how could you get divorced? divorce wasn't even a word in his vocabulary. but it happens. i believe in the institution of marriage. it beats being the world's greatest playboy by a million but sometimes you don't have a choice. >> if you're the president of the united states -- i have a question about that later. if you're president of the united states, you expect it will be inevitably a first lady joining you at some point? >> i do. >> melania, would you like to stand up and answer one big
question? the only person i can imagine putting jackie kennedy to shame. melania, would you like to be first lady? >> yes. it would be an honor to be first lady. yes. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> in that same 1999 interview trump said his top concern as commander in chief would be nuclear proliferation. and in particular preventing a conflict in north korea. now 18 years later trump finds himself grappling with these very issues as president. let's watch. >> if you get to be president, define the nirvana, the great age of trump. what would it be like? >> well, i think the nirvana would be cleaning up the world from nuclear missiles. because ultimately we have got ourselves a big problem. and these young folks in this room, they're incredible. these people will have themselves a bigger problem than me or you or anybody else. frankly, you have north korea just loading up with nuclear warheads.
you have other countries, china. you have russia has them and they don't even know who's controlling them. i think it's singly the biggest issue out there and somebody has to talk about it. i brought it up. people don't like mentioning it but it has to be done. >> let me ask you about some things that loom ahead. you're president of the united states. you get a call from the cia chief. he says i've got to come over. the cia chief comes on and shows you all this paper that shows the north koreans are ready to move. they're going to use the tunnels they've got there, they're going to use -- they have their arms at the border. they're ready to move. how would you go about dealing with a situation like that? >> i would think to think about it at the time. i would have to see how the south is reacting. obviously the south will have something to say about it. i will tell you, though, and i alluded to it at the beginning, north korea in my opinion is probably our single biggest problem right now. >> would you send them a threat of saying if you move we move, you're gone? >> i don't think i want to signal anything right now. i think it's unfair. i don't want to have it held against me at a later date.
but to be honest something is going to have to be done with north korea. they're out of control. they're very unstable. they have very militant. and something's going to have to be done. >> trump joined me next in april of 2001 to discuss president george w. bush's first 100 days in office. he gave the new president high marks and contrasted bush's style in office with that of his predecessor, bill clinton. >> you know, mr. trump, it seems to me we have a president than some of the guys we've had running for office recently. he is not exactly a political junky. he doesn't talk about politics like senator. he is more or less articulate. do you have a sense he is running this more like a business, the white house now? >> well, i think he is running it very well. i think he's really stepped up and doing an awfully good job. he's had he a little turmoil with china and other things that weren't expected, that weren't anticipated. he has stepped up to the plate and i think he is becoming very
presidential and doing a very good job. >> if you had to do a scouting report on a chief executive, how would you compare him? put these two men side by side. the new president we've watched for 100 days now and the president we had for eight years. >> well, you're talking about opposites. bill clinton was very comfortable, very everything. but you know, look, a lot of people were extremely upset with him and especially the way he got out. i like him very much. but i know of mark rich. i've been studying mark rich for years. and to give him a pardon was just -- it was just something that was inexcusable. i think we're dealing with very opposites and i think that's exactly what the electorate wanted. they really wanted opposites and that's what they got. >> do you have a sense that hillary clinton has really moved out on her own politically? i'm not talking about her marriage or anything. but as a person that she's really now dropped the booster rocket completely. she's hillary rodham clinton now, bill's not part of the scene. >> i think she is very much. i think she very much loves him. she's had to go just on a personal basis, which is
probably more interesting to most of the people, i'm sure to awful your viewers. the fact is she really does, she is totally in love with this man, but boy, she has had a tough time of it. there's no question about it. >> do you think that pardon for mark rich which you think wasn't a good idea, do you think that hurt her in new york? >> i think it hurt her. i think it really hurt him. people that were really backing him and willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, look, we've had it. and it was sad. and i like him so much. i think he's terrific in so many ways. it was just a culmination of so many different things. i have friends, no matter what he did, it was okay. when he did that, they just gave up. and it was a very sad thing. >> that same year, 2001, trump joined me again by phone just six days after the attacks of 9/11. and here's what he said about rebuilding downtown new york and how new yorkers pulled together amid the devastation. >> we have on the phone right now new york real estate developer donald trump. an old friend of this show's.
mr. trump, let me ask you the question. rudy giuliani said the best thing america could do for new york, which has been hit so hard historically is to go to new york and spend some money. what do you think? >> well, i think that's true. judging from the streets today, chris, a lot of people are out there. a lot of people are very proud to be new yorkers and very proud to be in this country generally speaking. i mean, it's been amazing. there has been an amazing show of confidence and faith despite what happened with the almost 700-point down market. >> you know what shocked me about new york very positively. i'm usually shocked negatively. is the way everybody 150e78d to pull together the last week. it wasn't like who's the cop, who's the fireman, who's the rich real estate developer, who's the stockbroker. everybody seemed to be on the same level. tell me about your thinking. >> it's a truly great city. i've known it for a long time. and i think they really proved it this week. our firemen, our policemen,
these people are so brave it's unbelievable. what they've done and what they're dogging. i watched the dig out now, the construction workers. i've never seen anything like it. it's a tragic event but it somehow pulled the country and new york even closer together. >> do you think new york needs to replace, donald, do you think they need to replace, you need to replace the world trade towers? >> the big question is the tenants. how many tenants, how many feet are you going to build? it certainly would be beautiful. symbolically, it would be important. i'm not sure it has to take shape in the same form. the world trade center was never considered a greater architectural masterpiece until about six days ago, as you know, and now all of a sudden everyone's talking as though it was the greatest. i really think we can do better. but i do think it's important to rebuild in some form and maybe a much better form, a stronger form than even the world trade center. >> coming up, throughout my years of interviewing donald trump i questioned him about running for president. he teased the notion many times, but his answers to me on the subject could also be
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welcome back to this special edition of "hardball." 20 years of trump. we continue our look back on the many interviews i've done with donald trump to see what we can glean watching the evolution of the man who became our 45th president. the attacks of the september 11th figured prominently in candidate trump's 2016 presidential campaign, which brought him criticism for his attacks on muslims. but back then the real estate billionaire took a more measured
tone and he praised then mayor michael bloomberg who would later become his critic. let's listen to this exchange i had with him six months after the attack. >> let me ask you about new york. you're not just a great builder in new york. you're a figure of almost comic book status. a major personality in new york and the celebrity culture of new york. you're part of the pizazz of manhattan and the big apple. how has the mood of the city changed? is it less frivolous? is it more sober? what's changed? you know this as well as anybody. what's different about new york? >> there's a sadness. but at the same time i've never seen the spirit that we have in new york today. i think michael bloomberg is doing an amazing job as major. he's doing a really great job. i've known michael a long time. he's going to go down as a great mayor. it is really -- there's a sadness but there's a spirit. and i say new york will come back stronger and bigger and better than it ever was before. >> 2016 wasn't the first time donald trump dived into politics. in fact, he spoke of running as far back as 1988. in 2000 he launched an
exploratory committee as a reform party candidate. in 2013 i asked him if he was still interested in politics. let's watch. >> donald trump, you talked about possibly running in 2004 after pulling out last time. are you still possibly interested? i think you're a republican. that's my guess. you wouldn't challenge the president this time, would you? >> no, i wouldn't. number one, i never wanted to run. i looked at it because we had some polls that you did and other people did that show i would have done well. but i just love real estate. i love building buildings. you said you heard i would run in 2004. i hadn't heard that. >> no, you were quoted. we dug up an old quote of yours that said -- let's go over that tape. there's an old quote we had that said you'd take a look at it in 2004. here's what you said. "i continue to be interested in the political process and cannot rule out a possible candidacy in 2004." that was you february 2000. >> that was a long time ago. i hadn't heard that one in a long time. >> you heard it here. >> i never did run and i probably never will.
>> take a listen to his answer in the same interview on whoa would vote for in hypothetical match-ups between the clintons and potential opponents. >> what about bill clinton against michael bloomberg next time? can he win the mayor's race if he goes for it? the president. >> well, mike is really working hard and i think he's doing a really good job. and bill clinton won't run. and bill just joined my golf club so i like him very much. i like him beyond golf clubs. he's not going to be running. >> rudy versus hillary in 2008. who wins? both new yorkers now. >> that's going to be a very interesting one. you're talking about the presidential. it will certainly be an interesting one. and that could happen. i don't predict a winner but that could certainly happen. >> you don't have a favorite in that race. let me ask you who would you vote for? rudy or hillary? >> don't ask me that question. >> a major point of contention throughout the 2016 campaign was donald trump's position on the iraq war. candidate trump repeatedly said he had been opposed to the war before the march 2003 invasion and often took credit for his
judgment and vision, claiming he knew it would destabilize the region. but back in november of 2003 his position wasn't quite what he said it was. let's watch this exchange. >> this was arn elective war. president thought we had to do it, he made a judgment call, he took us into iraq. do you think he will reconsider that judgment as the costs rise? >> i don't think he's going to. he's a very committed guy. he's committed to that whole situation. and i don't think he will really recore. i don't think he probably can at this point. other people will. and you're going to find out at the polls whether or not those people are right. you see more sxhor doves, if you call them doves. the question is whether or not we should have been in iraq in the first place. i don't think this president can do anything about that. he's really -- he's on a course that has to stay. >> much more to come from my interviews over the years with donald trump including what trump thinks makes a good leader and why we elect the presidents we do. and the newsmaking interview we had at the height of last year's
i'm richard lui with the top -- hour's top showers. president trump responded via twitter to north korea's latest missile test tweeting that perhaps china will end this nonsense once and for all. this is north korea's 11th missile launch this year. and in boston ten people were hurt at logan international airport monday when a taxi cab jumped a curb, hitting a group of fellow cab drivers. law enforcement officials tell
nbc news the crash does not appear to be intentional or linked to terrorism. the cab driver has not been charged. now back to "hardball." our special edition of "hardball," 20 years of trump, will continue in a minute. including the interview i did with him last march when he knocked himself off his game. you're watching "hardball," where the action is. it dries almost instantly. better? yeah. good thing because stopping never crosses your mind. band-aid® brand. stick with it™
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on select tempur-breeze® mattress sets at our july 4th event. find the breeze that's right for you at tempurpedic.com. welcome back to this special edition of "hardball," 20 years of trump. the year 2004 was a big turning point in donald trump's career as celebrity businessman with the debut of his reality show "the apprentice." i spoke with him on the day the show premiered. >> when you fire these people, it's not the same as firing somebody -- or is it? in real life. >> it's not much different, chris, to be honest. over the years i've fired unfortunately a lot of people.
you can do it nice, you can do it easy, you can take your time. i've taken months and months to fire people. and in the end -- or you can do it viciously and quickly and you're fired. in the end, it doesn't matter. when you fire somebody, they hate you. >> when trump came back to promote the second season of the then hit show, i asked him about the upcoming presidential campaign, his thoughts on george bush versus john kerry, campaign politics and the war in iraq. let's watch. >> economically, what is the impact of a government who decides to borrow a war, basically, pay later? fight now, pay later? i don't think it is positive. i think it is a big negative. if you look at north korea, frankly, i think if the united states used that as a launching base to go into iran and clean out some of their nuclear problems, maybe all of a sudden i'd start to say that was a great move. we ought to look at iran and we ought to look at north korea and what they're doing with nuclear weapons. >> let me ask you about this choice people make. what kind of a choice is it?
historically, a re-election campaign has been distinctive from i regular presidential campaign because you basically have a track record of a guy for four years. is this really what it's about? if he's done a good job keep him if he hasn't dump him. or is it a choice question like we always face in other cases? >> i think in this case it is both. some people love bush. it is very fragmented. people love him and the job he's done is that other people can't stand him and the job he's done. and people are very mixed on kerry. i will tell you this. i sat through the convention in new york. they did a great job, the republicans. maybe the greatest spin i've ever seen on anything is it's almost coming out that bush is a war hero and kerry is not. i think that could be the greatest spin i've ever seen. >> because? >> the whole thing with the swift boat thing, which obviously is being done by bush and bush's people, happened to be brilliant. they've taken all the war hero thing away from kerry and they've almost given to it bush.
and bush frankly was not serving. that we know. >> let me ask you about perhaps what we might call unnecessary roughness in politics. this week, dick cheney, a very tough guy, said if we elect the american people elect kerry that we're basically going to face ourselves with the threat of a devastating attack. he's saying vote democrat, you're going to get attacked. >> well, it's a terrible statement unless he gets away with it. but the other side doesn't seem to be hitting very hard. the republicans are hitting much harder than the democrats. it's a terrible statement unless -- let's see how the other side handles it. but already after two days i haven't seen much handling. >> it's a terrible attack. you're saying because it means you believe the other side just by its election would endanger the country. >> just take a look at that whole premise. 9/11 happened during the bush administration. why doesn't somebody attack it? i'm not taking sides. i'm just saying it's amazing, he made that statement two or three days ago and i haven't heard anything to knock him. it's really amazing when you
think of it. >> if you were the corner man, i know the contender's coming. the program you're going to be producing. if you were a corner man for kerry right now, what would you tell him to do? quit? change? get tough? be visceral? be spontaneous? be something you're not? how can you change this guy to a winner? >> look, i know him and he's a very capable guy. and frankly every election he's losing until the end. that's one sthing you have to remember about him. he was losing the priernl and he ended up winning easily. and if you go back four weeks before the primary he was out of it. people weren't even talking about him. and he ended up writtening. he was also losing for the senate to governor weld and wasn't even going to be a contest. he had 30% of the vote to 70% and he ended up killing him. the guy has a way of coming back. don't think he's going to go away. he's a very capable guy. but the republicans so fafr have just been decembernatemating the democrats and i think kerry has
to go out and do his thing. and he's fine at it. he's won lots of elections. but it's very interesting. he has come from behind on many elections. >> why is he putting out even now a confusing position on iraq? >> well the whole campaign has been confusing. you've got to say something. and frankly i think what people really want to hear is we're going to get out there have as quickly as possible. i think that's what people want to hear. >> you don't think they care whether he's for the war or not? because that seems as unclear as hell right now. >> so many things can happen. i was asking somebody today why can't they find a 6'6" arab named osama bin laden? he's 6'6". he's on a dialysis machine supposedly. and we can't find him? and then you see him on television all the time. they can't track him? if i'm on television they track me. if you're on television -- we can't track this guy? if bush pound found him prior to the election the election is won. then i'd tell kerry you might as well give it up, the election's won.
a lot of things can happen that can inure positive and negative to both parties. >> after the 2004 election i asked trump for his take on the economy, domestic and international and got a look at how he'd handle one government program if he were president. >> let's talk about the economy. i only have a couple minutes left here. the big concerns i have is americans are worried about the economy. are you worried about them letting it tip too low in the world market? >> the dollar is keeping the economy good in a sense because people are coming to new york, as an example. they're buying apartments in new york. they're using hotels. the dollar -- it's a horrible word when they say the low dollar, the cheap dollar. it's a terrible word to use. but the fact is it hams to bring a lot of business into this quournt. >> but it's great to travel in this country. it's a terrible situation to travel overseas it, right? >> right. but it keeps people here. i'm not sure it's so bad. >> you're not worried there will come a time when the people lending us money from the far east, china and japan, will say
i don't like the value of the dollar anymore, i'm getting out. and then you have a bank run basically on u.s. faper. >> i don't he soo it happening. this is one country it's not going to happen to. having the dollar where it's a vused value a little bit it sounds terrible and you hate to say it but the fact is it brings business and it's good in terms of what we do m dm ever. >> you expect they're going to keep the policy in. >> i think the dollar's going into ch up and that's not so good. the worst times we've had is a very strong dollar. nothing came in at all the. that one sounds great. but nothing happens good for the country. >> what about when you compound the situation by a big long-term borrowing situation in addition to the -- borrowing about $600 billion a year now. what happens when you add to that the big money we're going to have it borrow to carry social security into this new form of individual accounts? that means big short-term deficits for the federal budget. does that take us over the
tipping point were regard to the value of the dollar, all that borrowing? >> we've had the deficits before and we're going to have them again and we're going to have them for a while. the war certainly costing a tremendous amount of money. far more than anyone would have thought. the key is as long as interest rates stay low, chris. if interest rates low we're going to be fine. if interest rates go sxupt dollar goes up that is a really devastating combination. >> how do you avoid rising interest rates if you double the borrowing with a new social security plan? >> it is amazing because i've been asking that for the last year or so and the fact is that rates are very low, they continue to be low and i'm not very happy about it. the real estate industry, so many different industries, if rates go up they're going to collapse and it's not going to be. if we can keep the dollar where it is, even a little higher's fiep, and interest rates keech low we're going to be dm good shape. >> you're an phrase this is another bubble situation where it's not going to go long until it goes wrong. >> at some point it amgs goes
wrong. no matter where, no matter when. it always goes wrong. we've been rising something very good and strong. at some point things will happen. we'll get out of them and we'll be all right. >> if you were president of the united states would you push individual retirement accounts for social security? >> i sort of think i would. social security is a huge problem right now, funding it, and something's going to have to be done and be done very quickly actually. they're moving on different methods. but something is going to have to be done rather quickly. >> in 2005 donald trump was back, this time to promote his plan for the world trade center site, to rebuild the twin towers. he had some harsh words for the plans freedom tower, now called 1 world trade center. >> will you lead a coalition to stop governor pataki to stop his support of the freedom tower? >> there's not much of a
position i can take. it started when the new york post called me. i'm the biggest developer in new york by far. i've done everything in new york that can be done. i see what's happening down there, and it's a mess. and it's a shame. awe have a great opportunity. the terrorists win. in we rebuild the world trade center but a story taller and stronger, then we written. i don't want to have the terrorists win, chris. and that's what's going to happen if we built it pile of junk. up next i grill trump on the issue that fueled his political rise. his wholehearted embrace of birtherism. plus one of the rare times trump was cornered in an interview. when i pushed him last spring on the subject of abortion rights. this is "hardball" where the --
claim that president obama wasn't born in the united states. as he campaigned for president in 2015 and 2016 president trump refused to disavow his past comments. after the republican primary debate, i interviewed him and i pressed him on the topic of birtherism. let's watch. >> i want to ask you a last question before you leave. you can leave but i would like you to stay. is donald trump honest when he says that barack obama isn't a legitimate president? >> so -- >> it's a good question because -- >> i didn't say you couldn't. >> you can't stop me. >> i should really -- i should not tell you this but i do watch you a lot. i knew you would ask that question. i don't talk about that anymore. >> you get to answer the questions you like. >> by the way, this guy's a total professional i have to tell you. >> okay. >> here's the -- i don't answer. because you know what? if i do answer that's all people want to talk about. >> you're going to have to answer in the general election.
>> is the president leaving office, is he legitimate? >> i don't answer that question because once i answer the question they don't want to talk about the economy -- >> it's over. we catholics believe in confession. you say you were wrong and you move on. you really believe this guy is an illegitimate president? >> i don't want to answer the question. did you have a good time? was it a good interview? >> what, this? i want you for a longer time but thank you, mr. trump. >> we'll do it again. i would love to. >> i do think that's a blemish. >> i know how you feel. >> because i'm an american. i think our president should be respected. >> i understand. >> it has an ethnic as peblth to it. i don't like it. he's african-american and you're saying he's not a real president. i don't like it. it's not a good thing about you. but you're a mixed bag. i'm allowed to say you're a mixed bag. >> i understand. >> thank you very much. >> in march of 2016, candidate trump joined me for a "hardball" college tour. he made news on a wide range of topics. early on i asked him about his plan to fight terrorism and his very controversial call to ban
muslims from coming to the united states. >> let's talk about isis. it's the number one concern of a lot of people since last week. how do you beat people? when we fought the germans or the italians, you know, the army puts their hands up at the end because they know it's hopeless. >> right. they have uniforms. >> how do you fight people who wrap themselves in dynamite, they get up, brush their teeth in the morning shave i suppose in some cases, they go to the airport with the idea of blowing themselves up, killing themselves that day, that morning, how do you beat an army like that? because this gets down to something we haven't dealt with before in our history. how do you beat -- >> we have to be so tough and so vigilant and we have to do things we've never done before. >> but they want to die for their cause. >> maybe they do and some of them do. and a lot of people are trying to figure out why they do this, how they do this. >> they're recruited. >> are they drugged out? >> they're recruited. >> are they drugged out when they do it? what's going on? when they walk in and blow themselves up. are they all drugged out? is someone drugging them? there's a lot of things going
on. and when i talked about we have to be very careful because we have people coming into this country, it's a very bad situation. we have thousands and thousands of people coming into our country. we have no idea where they come from, who they are -- >> oftentimes it's the second or first generation. it's not the first wave of immigrants. these people in belgium have been living there. they were born there. they're belgians. how do you deal with that situation? >> look at the guys in boston. they were here. they came as young kids and became radicalized. >> does banning their entry into the country even temporarily encourage them to be on our side against the terrorists or encourage them to be on the other side? >> i think banning until we figure out what's going on is an important thing. and i take a lot of heat for it. a lot of people like me for it to be honest. but chris there's something going on. >> there's 1.6 billion muslims in the world and they're all getting the message from donald trump who's leading the fight for the nomination for pront saying stay out miff country. how does that encourage them to fight ice snis how does that
encourage them to fight the bad guys? zlef a big problem too. we're saying what you are doing is a great thing, not a bad thing. >> are any muslims telling you that? >> i have believe it or not, a lot of friends who are muslims. and they call me, in most cases they're very rich muslim. >> they'll get in the country? >> they'll come in. >> how do you let them in? >> you'll have exceptions. wait, wait, wait. chris, with the san bernardino situation -- >> right. >> many people saw that apartment with bombs all over the place. >> i agree. >> not one person -- they say it's racial profiling, that's why they didn't call. you know why they said that? because some lawyer said you saw, this you better come up with a good excuse. they say it's racial profiling. a lot of people saw what was going on in that apartment. not one -- >> i'm with you on this. but that's not the question. >> why didn't they report them? >> you're saying ban -- >> why didn't they report them? >> you say ban them fren derg the country. they get the message, 1.6 in indonesia, pakistan, albania,
anywhere there's muslims. they know you don't want them. they get the message. they're a little more ill disposed to fight isis, a little more after that once they sate americans don't even like us. >> maybe they'll be more disposed to fight isis. maybe they'll say we want to come back into america, we want to solve this problem. i'm serious about that. >> cruz is pushi ining patrol c riding up into neighborhoods where muslims are living there, looking into windows. it's an insane idea. these aren't street criminals. they're plotting bombings if they are. they're going to go up and down the streets. that will make them more militants. >> he's toughening up his stance because of my stance. i think we have to look at the mosques. i think we have to be extremely careful. we have to look at mosques -- >> we're making enemies. >> we're making enemies by doing nothing. we're knocking down world trade centers, shooting planes into the pentagon. probably the other plane was going toward the white house. you had some very brave people. but you know, what are we going to, do just sit back and say we want to be nice to everybody? we can't be so nice. >> i also asked him about his
past talk on nuclear weapons. he had said he wouldn't rule out using a nuclear weapon against isis. let's watch. >> your most controversial suggestion was don't take nuclear weapons -- you may have been hooked into this as -- >> don't take what? >> nuclear weapons off the table. i've been trying to i this of how we could conceivably use a nuclear weapon in the middle east or europe in fighting isis. why put it on the table or leave it on the table if you can't -- >> i didn't say don't take it. i said i would be very slow and -- >> why wouldn't you say i don't want to talk about it, i don't want to -- presidents don't talk about -- >> the question was asked, we were talking about nato which by the way i say is obsolete -- >> you got hooked into it. >> someday maybe. >> when? maybe? >> of course. if somebody -- >> where would we drop a nuclear weapon in the middle east? >> somebody hits us with an isis you wouldn't fight back? >> you drop a nuclear weapon into a community of people -- >> first of all, you don't want to say take everything off the table -- >> no, just nuclear. >> look, nuclear should be off
the table. but will there be a time when it could be z. >> the trouble is when you say that the whole world heard, david cameron in britain, the japanese. they're hearing a guy running for president saying maybe use nuclear weapons. >> why are we making them? >> because of the mutually assured destruction which reagan hated. >> i was against iraq. i'd be the last one to use the nuclear weapons. >> can you take it off the table now? >> that's sort of like -- >> can you tell the middle east we're not using the nuclear weapon -- >> i would never say that. i would never take any of my cards off the table. >> how about europe? >> i'm not going to take it off the table. >> you might use it in europe? >> no. i don't think so. >> then just say it, i'm never using a nuclear weapon in europe. >> ienl taking a card off the table. >> the newsiest plan is his plan on abortion. the future president said women who have abortion should receive "some form of punishment." it began way question from a young woman in the audience. >> what is your stance on woman rights and their right to choose in their own reproductive health? >> okay.
well, look, as you know, i'm pro life. i think you know that. with exceptions. with the three exceptions. but pretty much that's my stance. is that okay? you understand? >> what should the law be on abortion? >> well, i have been pro life. >> i know your principle. that's a good value. but what should be the law? >> they've set the law. and frankly the judges -- i mean, you're going to have a very big election coming up for that reason. because you have judges where it's a real tipping point. and with the loss of scalia, who was a very strong conservative, this presidential election's going to be very important because when you say what's the law, nobody knows what the law's going to be. it depends on who gets elected because somebody's going to appoint conservative judges and somebody's going to appoint liberal judges depending on who wins. >> i've never understood the pro life position. because i understand the principle. it's human life as people see it. but what crime is it? >> well, it's human life. >> no. should the woman be punished for having an abortion? >> look -- >> this is not something you can
dodge. >> it's -- >> if you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under the law. should abortion be punished? >> well, people in certain parts of the republican party and conservative republicans would say yes, they should be punished. >> how about you? >> i would say that it's a very serious problem and it's a problem that we have to decide on. it's very -- >> but you're for banning it. >> well, wait. are you going to say put them in jail? is that -- >> no, but i'm asking you because say you want to ban it. what's that mean? >> i am against -- i am pro life. yes. >> how do you ban abortion? how do you actually do it? >> you'll go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places -- >> yeah. >> but you have to ban it. >> you ban it and they go to somebody who flunked out of medical school -- >> are you catholic? >> yes. >> then how do you feel about the catholic church's position? >> i accept the teaching authority of my church on moral issues. >> but you know their position on abortion. >> yes, i do. >> and do you concur with that position? >> i concur with their moral
position. but legally -- >> what do you say about -- >> it's not funny. >> it's really not funny. >> what do you say about your church? >> churches make their moral judgments. but you running for president of the united states will be chief executive of the united states. 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. >> ten seconds? ten years? what? >> that i don't know. >> why not? you take positions on everything else. >> i do take positions on everything else. it's a very complicated position. >> but you say bluntly you're pro life meaning you want to ban it. >> the catholic church is -- >> let's not talk about my religion. >> i am talking about your religion. you say you're a very good catholic. >> i didn't say very good. i said i'm catholic. and secondly i'm asking, you're running for president. i'm not. i'm asking you what should a woman face if she chooses to have an abortion? >> i'm not going to do that. >> why not? >> i'm not going play that game? >> game? you said you're pro life. >> i am pro life. >> that means banning aborgs. >> and so is the catholic church pro life.
>> but this isn't spain. the church doesn't control the government. >> what is the punishment under the catholic church? >> let me give you something from the new testament. render unto caesar the things that are caesar's and unto god the things that are god's. don't ask me about my religion. you say you want to be president of the united states. tell me what the law should be. you say you're pro life. >> i am pro life. >> what's that mean? >> with exceptions. i am pro life. i have not determined what the punishment would be. >> why not? >> because i haven't determined it. >> when you decided to be pro life you should have thought about it. >> you can ask anybody -- >> here's my problem with this. if you don't have a punishment for abortion, i don't believe in it, of course, people are going to find a way to have an abortion. >> you don't believe in what? >> i don't believe in punishing anybody for having an abortion. >> okay. >> of course not. it's a woman's choice. >> you're against the teachings of your church? >> i have a view and a moral view but i believe we live in a free country and i don't want to live in a country so fascistic it can stop a person from making that decision. that would be so invasive, so -- that i wouldn't be -- and donald trump you wouldn't be familiar
with a society like that. >> but i heard you speaking so highly about your religion and your church. your church is very, very strongly, as you know, pro life. >> i know. >> what do you say to your church? >> i say i accept your moral authority. in the united states the people make the decisions. the courts rule on what's in the constitution. and we live by that. that's what i say. >> but you don't live by it because you don't accept it. you can't accept it. you can't accept it. you can't accept it. >> can we go back to matters of the law and running for president? because matters of the law, what i'm talking about, and this is the difficult situation. you placed yourself in. by saying you're pro life you mean you want to ban abortion. how do you ban abortion without some kind of sanction? then you get into that very tricky question of a sanction. a fine? on human life? which you call murder. >> it will have to be -- >> a fine? >> it will have to be -- >> prison for a young woman who finds herself pregnant? >> it will have to be determined. >> what about the guy who got her pregnant? is he responsible under the law for these abortions? or is he not responsible for an abortion decision? >> it hasn't -- it has -- different feelings, different people. i would say no.
>> well, they're usually involved. >> when we return, let me finish with trump watch. you're watching "hardball." a special edition. 20 years of trump. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections
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peripatetic, jumping lightly from one topic to another, engaged in national topics but only to a degree. when it comes to issues of national life he spread himself widely if not deeply. what you don't get from him is a sense he's shown the patience or had the interest to dig into the consequences of his positions or to absorb the tradeoffs that come with them. that said, you can spot the ambition, that unique human ingredient that separates those who achieve the american presidency as well as those who try for it. as we americans take this young unseasoned presidency to heart and look for its endurance, look for the prospects to its succession, this factor of ambition is dangerous to overlook because as it was in the electoral success of donald trump so will it be to the success of who comes to challenge him. the man or woman who stands on the stage with trump in 2020 will have one undeniable human attribute, an ego as huge as mr. trump's, someone able to challenge him not just in intellect or in the national interest but in the moment.
he or she will have to look him in the eye and take him down face to face, matching him point for point, hopefully with the added weapon of the truth. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all tonight on "all in." >> regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey. i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story, it is an excuse. >> while the president makes the case against himself -- >> but i watched his interview, i read the press accounts of his conversations. i take the president at his word that i was fired because of the russia investigation. >> tonight, the reporting that fuels our knowledge of the investigation. >> breaking news tonight. a blockbuster report from the "new york times." nbc news reporting tonight, "the washington post" explosive report that the president of the united states is currently under a criminal investigation for the obstruction of justice. >> how america learns about this major scandal as the white house shrinks from public scrutiny. "all in" starts right now.