tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 4, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
launch. we'll see if president trump comments on this. we have eyes on the white house and if he does make comments we will bring them to you. that does it for this hour. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 11:00. than thanks for watching. 20 years of donald trump. let's play hardball. good evening. a special edition of hardball. donald trump established himself as a public figure always willing to share his thinking about the thinking and issues of our time. i interviewed this controversial president more than a dozen times. tonight we'll look at the donald trump i got to know in nose conversations.
let's begin with mr. trump's first appearance on this show in august of 1998. the topic is bill clinton days after he confessed to his relationship are his intern. 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. you really have to say where does it stop? i really like this guy but you have to say where does it stop? they talk about where it was, the kind of sec. it is so out of control. >> do you think he could have gotten away with when he said i will throw all of my money ton table. the american people like me. >> i think he probably couldn't do any worse. i would have done something certainly different. paula jones is a loser but the fact is she may be responsible
for bringing down a president indirectly. that statement was a bad statement to have been made. it has proven to be false. >> which statement was that? >> the paula jones in the deposition. >> when he denied it. >> i think his little speech after, i'm not sure he shouldn't have said i don't get along with him. she he is a republican. it is a terrible thing but he probably should have done it. i don't think he could have done any worse. i see him walking around. it's a terrible embarrassment. >> where is he doing? up or down? >> i think the best thing he can do is tread water for two years. i think he can maybe tread the
office and just tread. it may be worse than that. i believe the best he can do is tread water. >> did you ever have a flicker and say donald trump, you won every battle you have ever wont. >> people want me to all of the time. >> what do you think? >> think about him with the women. how about me with the women? >> the next was hardball college tour at his alma mater 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 and while he was dating the future first lady there were questions how he would handle the office without a first lady. >> my super model. this is melania.
stand up. [ cheers and applause ] it's kind of fun. the president of the united states gets an allowance to live off on. they have an allowance for parties and whatever and when they pass out the wine glasses the first lady gets to control owl after that. they call it the east wing. how are you going to handle that? >> i will get myself a lot of trouble when i said i could be married within 24 hours if need be. see, that's what happens when you go to wharton, folks.
i could handle it very easily. i'm not sure today being married -- and i could be married but i just got out of a marriage. >> so you could hand the social arrangemen arrangements? >> i will handle it myself or we'll see what happens. lots of changes made. i have to tell you, i believe strongly in the institution of marriage. to me marriage is an incredible institution when you get it right. my father just died a few months ago. they were married 63 years. they had the most incredible marriage. i think the one thing think father couldn't believe and didn't understand is how could you get divorced? it wasn't even a word in his vocabula vocabulary. it beats the world's greatest pl playboy by a million but some times you don't have a choice. >> i have a question about that later but if you're president of the united states you expect it
will be a first lady adjoining you. >> melania, would you like to answer one big question? melania, would you like to be first lady? >> yes. i would be honored to be a first lady. >> thank you. >> he said his top concern would be nuclear proliferation. let's watch. >> if you get to be president define the great age of trump what would it be like? >> i think the nirvana would be cleaning up the world of nuclear missiles. these young folks, these people will have themselves a bigger problem than you or me. you have north korea that is
loading up with nuclear warheads, russia has them and they don't even know who is controlling them. it is the biggest issue and somebody has to talk about it. people don't like mentioning it but it really needs to be done. >> you get a call from the cia chief. they are use the tunnels they have there, the threat of nuclear. their armys, everything is mobilized and ready to move. how would you deal with that? >> i would have to see how they are, how the south is reacting. the south is going to have something that say about it. i will tell you though, north korea many my opinion is probably our single biggest problem right now. >> would you send them a threat? >> i don't think i want to
signal anything. i don't want to have it held against me at a later date but something will have to be done. they are out of control, very unstable and something is going to have to be done. >> trump joined me next in april of 2001 to discuss george w. bush's first 100 days in office. he gave the new president high marks and contrasted bush's style in office with bill clinton. >> it seems to me have a president different than some of the guys. he is doesn't talk about politics like a senator. he is more or less inarticulate. do you since watching him as -- you're a wharton guy, he is a harvard business guy. do you have a sense he is running it more like a business now? >> he has had little turmoil with china. they weren't anticipated. he has really stepped up to the
plate and she is becoming very presidential. >> how would you compare him? put these two men side to side. the president we had fir eight years. >> you're talking about opposites. bill clinton was very comfortable, feverything. i like him very much i have been studying mark rich. i think we are dealing with opposites and that's what the electorate wanted. that's what they got. bill is not part of this scene. >> i think she is very much.
think she very much loves him. she has had to go on a personal basis. the fact is she is totally in love with this man. >> do you think that pardon hurt her in new york? >> i think it hurt her and really hurt him. i like him so much. i think he is terrific. it is a culmination of so many different things. it was a very sad thing. >> that same year trump joined me again by phone six days after the attacks of 9/11. here is what he said about how new yorkers pulled together
amid the devastation. let me ask you the question, rudy giuliani said the best thing is to go new york and spend some money, what do you think? >> i think that's true. judging from the streets today a lot of people are out there and a lot of people are very proud to be new yorkers and very proud to be in this country generally speaking. it had been an amazing show of confidence and faith. >> you know what shocked me? is the way everybody seemed to pull together. it wasn't like who is the cop, who is the fireman, who is the stockbroker. everybody seemed to be on the same level. tell me what you're thinking. >> it is a truly great city. people here know it. it really is a truly great city. they proved it this week.
they are so brave. it's unbelievable what they have done and what they are doing. i watched it dig out now to construction workers. i have never seen anything like it. it is a tragic event. it some how pulled the country even closer together. >> do you think new york needs to replace -- you need to replace the world trade towers? >> the big question is the tenants. i'm not sure it has to take shape. i really think we can do better. we can rebuild and maybe a stronger form than the world trade center. >> coming up i question him about running for president. he teased the notion many times
but his answers to me on this subject could also be surprising. that's ahead and this is special edition of hardball, 20 years of trump. i need an insulin that fits my schedule. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ (announcer) tresiba® is used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes. don't use tresiba® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, during episodes of low blood sugar, or if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. don't share needles or insulin pens. don't reuse needles. the most common side effect is low blood sugar, which may cause dizziness, sweating, confusion, and headache. check your blood sugar. low blood sugar can be serious and may be life-threatening. injection site reactions may occur. tell your prescriber about all medicines you take and all your medical conditions. taking tzds with insulins like tresiba® may cause serious side effects like heart failure. your insulin dose shouldn't be changed without asking your prescriber. get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, extreme drowsiness, swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, dizziness, or confusion. ask your health care provider if you're tresiba® ready.
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york how is that mood of the -- is it less sober? >> there's a sadness but i have never seen the spirit we have in new york today. i think bloomberg is doing a really great job. he will go down as a great mayor. there's a sadness but i say new york will come back stronger than it ever was before. >> 2016 wasn't the first time he dived into politics. in 2003 i asked him if he was still interested in politics. let's watch. >> you talked about possibly running in 2004. are you still possibly
interested in? you wouldn't challenge the president this time would you? >> no. i wouldn't. we have polls but i love building buildings and you heard i was going to run in 2004. >> you were quoted. let's go over that tape. there's an old quote that said you would take a look at it in 2004. you said i continue to be interested in the political process and cannot rule out a possible candidacy in 2004. >> no. i never did run and i probably never will run. >> take a listen to his answer. >> what about bill clinton about mike bloomberg next time? >> mike is really working hard. i think he is doing a very good
job. bill clinton is not going to run. she not going to be running. >> that will be an interesting one. i don't predict a winner but it could happen. >> who would you vote for, hillary or rudy? >> don't ask many we the that q. >> donald trump's decision ton iraq war. candidate trump said he had been opposed to the march 2003 invasion and often took credit for his judgment and vision claiming he knew it would destabilize the region. it wasn't quite what he said it
was. >> i don't think he is going to. she a very committed guy. i don't think hi will reconsider. i don't think he probably can. and should have been in iraq in the first place. i don't think this president can do anything about that. >> much more to come from my interviews over the years from donald trump including what trump thinks makes a good leader and the news making interview we had at the height of last year's primary campaign. this is 20 years of trump. your body was made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz is a small pill for adults with
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our special edition of hardball, 20 years of trump will continue in a minute including the interview i did last march when he knocked himself off this game. ress. 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 and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as:
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summit where they say trump will meet with putin on friday. for today president trump welcoming military families to the white house for a picnic and fireworks. you're watching msnbc. >> i spoke with him on the day this show premiered. >> it's not the same of firing somebody or is it in real life? >> it's not much different to be honest. you know, over the years i fired unfortunately a lot of people. you can do it nice. i have taken months and months or you can do it viciously and
quickly. in the end it doesn't matter. when you fire somebody they hate you. >> when trump came back i asked him about the upcoming presidential campaign. his thoughts on george bush versus john kerry and the war in iraq. let's watch. >> what is it that decides to borrow it and pay for it later? >> i think it's ban big negative. if you look at north korea or if the united states used it as a launching base to clean out some of the nuclear problems maybe all of a sudden i would start to say that's a great move. we ought to look at iran and what they are doing with nuclear weapons. >> let me ask you about this choice people make. historically a reelection campaign has been distinctive. you have a track record of a guy
for four years. if the guy has done a good job or is it a choice question like we always face in other races? >> in some cases it's both. it's very fragmented. other people can't stand him and the job he has done. people are very mixed on kerry. i will tell you this. i sat through the convention in new york and they did a great job, the republicans but maybe the greatest spin i have ever seen on anything is it's almost coming out bush is a war hero and kerry is not. i think it's the greatst spin i have ever seen. >> because? >> the whole thing we are
basically going to face ourselves with a threat of a devastating attack. he said vote democrat. you'll get attacked. >> other side doesn't seem to be hitting very hard. the republicans are hitting much harder than the democrats. let's see thousand the other side handles it. already after two days i haven't seen much handling. >> it's a terrible attack because you're saying it means the other side would endanger the country. >> just take a look at that whole premise. 9/11 happened during the bush administration. i'm not taking sides, i'm just saying it's amazing. he made that statement two or three days ago. i haven't heard anything. it's amazing if you think of it.
how can you chak this guy to a winner? >> i know he is a very capable guy. frankly every election he is losing until the end. that's the one thing you have to remember. if you go back four weeks before the primary he was out of it. people weren't even talk about him. he was also losing for the senate to governor and was not even going to be a contest. he ended up killing him. you know, the guy has a way of coming back. don't just think he is going to go away. she a very capable guy. the republicans so far have just been decimating the democrats. i think kerry has to go out and do his thing he has come from behind on many elections.
>> i think the whole come pain as far as i'm concerned is confusing. he ought to say something. i think people want to hear we'll get out of there as quickly as possible. i think that's what people want to hear. >> it seems unclear as hell right now. so many things can happen. why can't they find a 6'6". he is on a dialysis machine and we can't find him? you see him on television all of the time. if i'm on the television they track hechlt we can't track this guy? if bush found him prior to the election the election is won then i would tell kerry you might as well give it up because the election is won. a lot of things can be positive and negative to both parties. >> i asked trump for his take on the economy and got a look at
how he would handle one government program if he were president. let's talk about the economy. i only have a couple of minutes left. it is one of the many americans worried about the economy. are you worried about them tip too low in the world market? >> the dollar is keeping the economy good in a sense. they are using the hotels. it is a who nl woterrible word . the fact is it happens to bring a lot of business into this country. >> but it's great to travel in this country. it's a terrible situation to travel overseas with, right? >> that's right. it keeps people here. >> you're not worried there will come a time when people who are lending us money will simply say i don't like the value anymore. we are in a big trouble with a bank run on u.s. paper. >> i don't see it happening. this is one country that it's not going to happen to. having the dollar where it's a
reduced value a little bit, it sounds terrible. the fact is it's good in terms of what we all do. >> so you expect they will keep this policy? >> i think it will inch up a little bit. it's not so bad. the worst times we have had is when you have had a very strong dollar. nothing came in at all. it sounds good. 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. it is about $600 billion a year now. what happens when you add the big money to carry social security in terms of this individual accounts. that means big short-term deficits for the federal budget. does that take us over the tipping point with regard of the value of the dollar? >> we have had the deficits before and we'll have them far while. the war is costing a tremendous
amount of money, far more than anyone ever thought. if interest rates are low we'll be fine. if interest rates go up and the dollar goes up that's a d devastatining combination. it is really amazing. i have been asking it for the last year or so. the fact is rates are still very low. they continue to be low and i'm very happy about it. i can tell you the real estate industry, so many different industries, if rates go up they will collapse and it's not going to be good. if we can keep the dollar where it is even a little bit higher is fine and interest rates keep low we'll be in good shape. >> you're in the afraid it isn't just another bubble situation and then it's really bad. >> don't forget, at some point it always goes wrong. you know, no matter where or when it always goes wrong. we have been writing something very good and very strong far long period of time. at some point things will happen
and they won't be pleasant. >> would you push individual retirement accounts for social security? >> i sort of think i would. something has to be done. social security is a huge problem. it will have to be done very quickly. they are moving on different methods but something is going to have to be done rather quickly. >> in 2005 donald trump was back to promote his plan for the world trade center site. he had harsh words for the planned freedom tower now called one world trade center.
>> we have great opportunity. if we build this job the way it is, if we rebuild the world trade secenter then we win. i don't want to have the terrorists win. >> his whole hearted embrace and one of the rare times trump was cornered in an interview. when i pushed him last spring this is hardball where the action is. why are you deleting these photos?
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welcome back to this special edition of "hardball", 20 year of trump. as he campaigned for president in 2015 and 2016 president trump refused to disavow his past comments. after a republican primary debate i pressed him on the topic of birtherism. i want to ask you one last question, is donald trump honest when he says that barack obama is an illegitimate president? >> that's a good question -- >> i didn't say you couldn't -- >> you can't stop me. >> i could really -- >> no.
i didn't. i knew you were going to ask that question. you know what i'm going to say in i don't talk about that anymore. by the way, this guy is a total professional. i have to tell you. i don't answer because if i do answer it that's all people want to talk about it. i never -- >> you'll have to answer it in a general election. you take the oath of office -- >> then i'll answer it then but i don't answer that question because once i answer the question they don't want to talk about the economy. >> we catholics believe in confession. you say you were wrong and move on. you really believe -- >> i don't want to answer the question. i don't want to answer the question. did you a good time? was it a good interview? >> well, i want you for a longer time but thank you, mr. trump. i think it's a blemish. i think our president should be respected. i don't like it. he is african american and we
are saying he's not a real president. i don't like that about you. you're a mixed bag. >> thank you. president trump joined me far hardball college tour. early on i asked 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 number one concern of a lot of people. how do you beat people? when we fought the germans or italians, how do you -- >> how do you fight people who wrap themselves in dynamite? they go off to the airport with the idea of blowing themselves up, killing themselves that day, that morning, how do you beat an army like that? it gets down to something we haven't dealt with before. >> we have to be so tough and so vigilant and we have to do things that we have never done before.
>> but they want to die for their cause. >> maybe they do and some of them do. a lot of people are trying to figure out how they do this, why they do this, are they drugged out? >> are they recruited? >> are they drugged out when they do it? are they all drugged out? there is a lot of things going on. when i talked about we have to be very careful because we have people come sboog 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. >> and oftentimes it's the second or first generation. it's not the first wave of imgrai immigran immigrants. they are born there. how do you deal with that situation? >> they were here. >> what do you do -- >> they were young kids. >> does banning the entry into the country even temporarily encourage them to be on our side or encourage them to be on the other side? >> i think banning until we get
on the other side is an important thing. chris, there's something going ochblt. >> 1.6 billion muslims and all getting a message from donald trump saying stay out of my country. how does it encourage them to fight isis? >> let me -- they have a problem too. they have a big problem. >> well they -- >> what you're doing is a great thing. -- >> are any muslims -- >> i have actually -- i have a lot of friends that are muslim and most cases they are very rich muslims. >> do they get? >> how do you -- >> wait. chris, with the san bernardino situation many people saw that apartment with bombs all of the over apartment -- >> i believe something, see something, say something. >> they said it's racial profiling. some lawyer said you saw this you better come up and they said
it's racial profiling. a lot of people saw what was going on in that apartment. not one muslim -- >> how are you with -- >> that's not the question -- >> but why don't they report it? >> they get the message. any where there is muslims, they get the message. they are a little more ill disposed to fight isis. they said the americans don't even like us. >> maybe they will say we want to come back into america. i'm serious about that. he wants patrol cars. they looking into windows for plotting. these aren't street criminals. they are plotting bombings. i don't make them more militant against us. >> my stance -- >> what do you think of his stance? >> i think we have to look at the mosques and be extremely
careful. we have to look at mosques. >> a lot of things, we are making enemies by doing nothing. we are shooting planes into the pentag pentagon. but, you know, what are we going to do? sit back and say we don't want to be nice to everybody? >> i asked him about his past talk on nuclear weapons. he said he wouldn't rule out using it. >> your most controversial was don't take nuclear weapons. >> don't take what? >> nuclear weapons off the table. i have been trying to think how we can use a weapon in fighting isis. where can you -- and why put it on the table if you can't imagine -- >> i didn't say don't take it. i said i would be very very slow and has tant. >> why wouldn't you just say i don't want to talk about it? >> we were talking about nato -- >> but you got hooked into something -- >> i don't think i -- well, some
day maybe -- >> might be? >> yeah. >> excuse me -- >> where wiould you -- >> no. you can't say. first of all you don't want to say take everything off the table -- >> just nuclear. >> look, nuclear should be off the table. would there be a time line it should be used? >> the whole world heard it. they are hearing a guy running for president talking of maybe using nuclear weapons. no one wants to hear that. >> why are making them? >> i f i was against iraq i would be the last one -- that's sort of like the end of ball game. >> can you tell them that? >> i would never say that. >> would you say that about europe. >> i'm not taking any cards off of the table. >> i am not taking cards tauf
table. >> the future president said women who have abortions should receive some sort of punishment. i began with a question from a young women's rights and their rights to choose in their own reproductive health? >> okay. as you know, i'm pro life. i think you know that. and with exceptions, with the three exceptions. but pretty much that's my stance. is that okay? do you understand. >> what should the law be on abortion? >> well, i -- i have been pro life. >> i know. what should -- 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 is a real tipping point, and with the loss of scalia, who was a very strong conservative, this presidential election is going to be very important. because when you say what's the law, nobody knows what the law will be.
it depends on who gets elected because somebody is going to appoint conservative judges and somebody is going to appoint liberal judges. >> i have never understood the pro life position. i understand the principle, it it's human life as people see it. what crime is it? >> well, it is human life. >> no, should the woman be punished for having an abortion? >> look -- >> this is not something you can dodge. >> no, no. >> if you say abortion is a crime or 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 it is a very serious problem, and it is a problem we have to decide on. it is very -- >> but you're for banning it. >> wait, are you going to say put them in jail, is that the punishment you're talking about? >> i'm asking you. you say you want to ban it. what's that mean? what does it mean? >> i am pro life, yes. >> how do you ban abortion? how do you do it? >> you 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. >> how do you feel about the catholic church's position? >> i accept the teaching authority of my church on moral issues. >> do you know their position on abortion? >> i do. >> and do you concur with their position. >> i concur with their moral position. will you -- but legally -- >> no, no, let me ask you. >> it is not funny. >> it is really not funny. what do you say about your church? they're very, very strong. >> but the church make their moral judgment, 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 there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? >> yeah, there has to be some form. >> ten cents? >> ten years? >> that i don't know. >> why not? you take positions on everything else. >> i do take positions on everything else. it is a complicated position. >> you say bluntly you're pro life, meaning you want to ban it. >> the catholic church is pro life. >> i'm not talking about my religion. >> i am talking about your
religion. you say you're a very good catholic. >> i didn't say very good. let me ask -- you're running for president, i'm not. what should a woman face if she chooses to have an abortion? >> i'm not going to do that. i'm not going to play that game. >> game? you said you're pro life. >> i am. >> that means banning abortion. >> so is the catholic church. >> they don't control -- 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. unto caesar the things that are ceaseans and unto god the things that are god's. don't ask me about my religion. you say you want to be president, what does it mean when you say you're pro life? >> i am pro life. >> what's that mean? >> with exceptions. i have not determined what the punishment should be. >> why not? >> i haven't determined it. >> you should have thought of it. here is my problem -- if you don't have a punishment for abortion -- and 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. of course not.
i think it's a woman's choice. >> you are against the teachings of your church. >> i have a view and moral view. i believe we live in a free country. >> i don't want to live in a country so fascistic that it would stop a person from making that decision. that would be so invasive, it would be a society we're not familiar and that you're not familiar with. >> you're speaking so highly of your religion and church. your church is strongly, as you know, pro life. 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 is in the constitution and we live by that. that's what i say. >> you don't live by it. because you don't accept it. you can't accept it. you can't accept it. >> let me go back to matters of the law and running for president because matter of the law, and that's what i'm talking about and this is the difficult position you have placed yourself in. by saying you are pro life you want to ban abortion. how do you ban abortion without some kind of sanction? then you get into a tricky question about sanction.
a fine on human life, what you call murder, a fine for a woman who finds herself pregnant. >> it will have to be determined. >> how about a guy that gets a woman pregnant, is he responsible for an abortion under the law? or he is not? >> it has different feelings, different people. i would say no. >> all right. well, you know, they're usually involved. >> when we return, let me finish with trump watch. you're watching "hardball, a special edition, 20 years of trump." ♪ at johnson's we care about safety as much as you do.
as you can see watching donald trump over the years, he's much today as he was before. 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 has shown the patience or had the interest to dig into the consequences of his positions or to absorb the trade-offs 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 to its endurance, look to the prospects for the secession, this factor of ambition is dangerous to overlook. 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 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. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. ♪ >> 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