tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 8, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT
vlad to see ya! let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. for months president trump has spoken on about vladimir putin, how he got along with him great being stable mates on "60 minutes" and the relationship they've enjoyed. today, in hamburg, germany, the two men did meet. is still a bit murky about what actually happened. the meeting, of course, did
happen and earlier in the day two shared handshake at a g-20 conference meeting. donald trump once made this prediction about the relationship with the russian leader. let's watch. >> i think i get along very well with vladimir putin. i just think so. people say what do you mean? i think i would get along very well with him. >> today secretary of state rex tillerson said there was a very clear, positive chemistry between the two men and before they met privately, president trump expressed optimism. let's watch that. >> president putin and i have been discussing various things and i think it is going very well. we've had some very good talks. we'll have a talk now and that will continue. we look forward to a lot of very positive things happening. for russia, for the united states and everybody concerned. it is an honor to be with you. thank you. thank you. >> had the elephant in the room was russia's effort to meddle in had last year's election.
according to tillerson, the president pushed putin on that topic. let's watch him. >> the president opened the meeting with president putin by raising the concerns of the american people regarding russia's interference in the 2016 election. they had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject. the president pressed president putin on more than one occasion regarding russian involvement. president putin denied such involvement, as i think he has in the past. the two leaders agreed though that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the russian-u.s. relationship forward. >> secretary tillerson said the russians also asked for evidence and ultimately the president determined it was important to, quote, go forward with other matters. for his part, the russian foreign minister lavrov said the president accepted that he
didn't interfere in the election. watch. >> translator: president trump has said that he has heard clear declarations from mr. putin that russian government has not interfered in the elections, and he accepts the things that mr. putin has said. >> the white house denies that. for more on the big meeting, i'm joined by kelly o'donnell. kelly, did president trump accuse the russians of interfering in our 2016 elections and what was the response? >> reporter: good evening, chris. given the fact president trump has not fully embraced the idea that vladimir putin is the master mind behind the cyber hacking of 2016, it might be surprising that right out of the gate, he raised the question in their two-hour meeting. according to tillerson who said that president trump repeatedly pressed putin and putin denied any involvement. russia's take on it is different
saying that president trump acknowledged there wasn't enough evidence and that president putin was not responsible. that's the surprising part. a differing view. they did agree to keep working on this issue and at the state department level, that would be important to keep the conversation going. chris? >> thank you. i'm joined now by the "washington post" columnist, eugene robinson, clint watts and white house bureau chief for "the washington post," phillip rucker. let me go with gene on this. maybe we, me, too, are naive in thinking that president trump, who many of us think had some role in colluding with the russians in terms of last year's election would be vigorous in interrogating the guy he was colluding with about whether he was colluding. there was a certain absurdity to i wonder about the word pressed
and how hard. president trump made clear time and time again, it could have been anybody. >> some 400 pound person on the bed. >> just the other day, he said, you know, maybe it was russia. a lot of people do the same thing. so, you know, he said repeatedly that this is all just an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. he sees it to delegitimize his own presidency. i don't think he will ever get behind the assessment that russia did a bad thing and menacing thing in meddling with the electoral process of the united states. i just, you know, call me naive. i don't think he will get behind that. >> the thing about bob mueller watching to see what he learned.
he was investigating this. did we get anything today? >> i don't know. the thing that stuck out to me in tillerson's statement, trump pressed putin about the people's concern, not his own personal concern. we don't know that he had a personal concern. trump had to say something. advisers were briefing him. there was extraordinary pressure at home in washington from senators in both parties to confront putin on the matter. he has had to do something in that meeting. >> in the kgb, trump, as i said the other night, not trump, what's his name? vladimir putin, he knows everything. he know what is the russians did. he knows what role he did in approving it, watching over and watching it. he knows the rules the americans made. for the united states to say my people at home are concerned
about this seems so idiotic. if i were putin, i would say you know all about it, brother. you helped me. >> trump got elected and putin helped trump get elected. the outcome is mutual, which is why they want to move past it. they have a shared agenda. what i find strange for me today, when i listen to tillerson's explanation of what happened in the meeting and lavrov's, i'm more likely to believe lavrov's version of the the vaenls. he said the american people are concerned about you meddling in the election. it wasn't he was concerned about it. also, lavrov said that some people are exaggerating in the u.s. that's what he quoted trump as saying. they said the same thing. what is most concerning is they want to move past it. so that leaves the door open for putin. putin will move forward until he has stopped. until he's resisted.
he doesn't have to meddle if trump does everything he wants in terms of foreign policy. >> let's take a look -- i want to get to the strange murkiness of this allison wonderland experience. let's take a look at the history of what trump has said about his relationship with vladimir putin coming into this meeting. this is the first face-to-face meeting. let's watch that. >> i do have a relationship. and i can tell that you he is very interested in what we're doing here today. >> vladimir putin. have you ever met the guy? >> i met him once. >> i was in russia. i was in moscow recently and i spoke indirectly and directly with president putin who could not have been nicer. >> have you met vladimir putin? >> yes. >> you have? >> one time, yes. a long time ago. got along great, by the way. >> i got to know him very well because we were both on 60 minutes. we were stable mates. we did very well that night. but you know that. >> i never met putin. i don't know who he is. he said one nice thing about me. he said i'm a genius.
what do i have to get involved with him? i've never spoken to him. i know nothing about him other than he will respect me. >> i have no relationship with putin. i have no relationship with putin. >> if you have no relationship with putin, why did you say in 2013, i do have a relationship. in 2014 -- >> he has said nice things about me over the years. >> you have to do this. this is to me, i don't care how big a trump guy or woman you are, you have to now recognize when you watch that montage that facts mean nothing to him. he will say one thing on one occasion. contrary, 180 degrees next. a good buddy, stable mates, whatever that is, direct, indirect, all this about the relationship. then he throws his arms apart and says never met the guy. don't who know he is. that doesn't bother his supporters? >> it's like this on so many issues, right? >> but this one. he's meeting with the other nuclear super power and we can't get it straight if this is their first meeting.
not from him. >> their first face to face meeting. >> that's what a meeting is. a meeting is a meeting. >> one thing that stood out -- >> i don't know how you can say that you met him? oh, yeah. he said nice things about me. that's not a meeting. >> no. >> does trump -- they've never met before, we know that. >> and it goes to the circumstances of the meeting today. this is where the president's lies, conspiracies, false accusations, start to collapse in on him. now you see secretary of state tillerson has to give an accounting of that meeting. he was the only one in there from the american side who can do that. and we don't have any faith. because just yesterday, president trump cast doubt on the allegations regarding russia. and we see, from the montage you just saw, he never says the same thing twice. so in a bizarre way, we're going to russia to get a take on what
happened. >> we're counting on the russians for the truth. this is an absurdity. >> they're the only ones who had pictures of the last one. >> the contrast in that meeting. i agree. it is very weird and unprecedented. the president whose words the can't trusted. but in that meeting, you had donald trump, total neophyte at foreign policy, rex tillerson. a billion-dollar oil and gas contracts but a neophyte at diplomacy. you have putin who has been doing this for decades. you have lavrov who has been foreign minister since 2004. it was kind of a mismatch of diplomatic skill -- >> what did you make of the translator? his english was really bad. he was talking without any articles orr or pronouns. had there wouldn't be leaks if other officials in the meeting. in a normal bilateral meeting -- >> let's talk about the one
thing. start on this. there's some hope that i've had, i'm one of those people who did see some hope in some of the peripheral questions like ending stupid wars. cutting a deal in syria. it was strong saying assad has to go. they are not part of the future. it was very clear. more clear than we've heard from trump. is that real? are we going to take sides in some clear way? >> i hope. i do think maybe that is echoing mcmaster or the national security staff who is very strong and very sharp. they've been fighting our wars for 15 years. what you saw was some way to end the syrian conflict. i think we do have hope. one thing about president trump. he wants wins. he wants to take credit for things. if we have really strong hands, mcmaster and mattis, which we do, they can devise something that can give the president a
win. whether he understands it or not, doesn't matter. we can move the ball forward. it's an issue that's been lingering six or seven years and it is really the cause of a lot of the international terrorism. >> it's friday so let's have some good news. we are about the same age. we're always thinking about a trigger, a crazy thing causes two egos to go at each other. in a street corner situation. he somebody is dising somebody. i watch trump and putin, i worry that we get ourselves into a situation fairly soon where one would feel they have to show some strength and all of a sudden we're in a local fighting war and a big war. they did seem to both be trying to avoid that today. >> i think they're totally trying to avoid that. i think putin thinks there's a lot he can get out of trump. i don't know what the specifics are. but putin seems to think he can
work with trump to achieve his national ends. trump seems to feel the same about putin. i don't quite get the relationship yet. like on the assad question. tillerson said he's got to go. that's not what you heard from the russians. it's not what you are going to hear from the russians. >> it is not worth a nuclear war. i do like, i will find the silver lining. as murky as it was about their role in our elections, it didn't look line they're in a fighting mood. >> both sides did get something out of today. there was a cease fire announced. it's a limited cease-fire in one portion of syria. that's something that trump can point to as diplomatic win for him and putin got relevance. he got to be on par and equal as the president of the united states for two and a half hours in that meeting. no other leader has had that at the g-20.
>> they are a good steady. >> thank you. coming up, just hours before his big meeting with putin, trump tweeted out a bizarre attack on the former clinton campaign manager, john podesta. everyone at the g-20 is talking about why podesta refused to give dnc server to the fbi and the cia. all the world leaders talking about jon podesta's server. we'll have him call us to tell us what that crazy moment was about. in a minute. plus, playing chess with putin. what's the end game? what is russia looking for from trump? and the meeting with the president of mexico. what ever happened to the big beautiful wall that was promised? finally, let me finish with trump watch. this is "hardball" where the action is.
on the other international news, we got a big jobs report at home. it was stronger than analysts expected. the economy added 220,000 jobs in june, 50,000 more than predicted. june marked the 81st straight month of job creation, the longest streak on record. unemployment ticked up to 4.4% because more people joined the labor force. we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball." as leaders of the world's largest industrialized countries gather, the president of the united states, president trump decides to tweet about john podesta. he wrote, everyone here is talking about why john podesta refused to give the dnc server to the fbi and the cia. disgraceful!
what came just hours before the face-to-face with vladimir putin, the man american intelligence agencies say, ordered the hacking of our 2016 presidential election. he was on the road trip with his wife and responded. get a grip, man. the russians committed a crime. maybe you might try to find a way to mention that to president putin, dude. get your head in the game. you're representing the u.s. in the g-20. i'm joined by john podesta. john, thanks for pulling over to the side of the road to respond. what do you think? have you got any back ground about why trump, about to face the most important meetings since he got into office, with putin, the other supernuclear power and he's talking about what did or didn't happen months ago. >> it is totally amazing.
i think my tweets reflected my view. which is how could you imagine sitting there, preparing for one of the most important meetings you'll have on the world stage, both bilateral with putin and more particularly, at the g-20 summit, and be on the phone and tweeting about me and all of it is wrong. >> what is this? i know the word server came up with hillary clinton. what is this about the dnc server -- the cia would never ask for something domestically. >> it is illegal for the cia to make that request. i don't know what he's talking about. i had nothing to do with the dnc, i was the chair of the clinton campaign. i was certainly never asked by the fbi and i don't know anything about what the dnc did but they said we fully cooperated with the requests the fbi made. this guy is unhinged. and i think he is under so much pressure from this russia
investigation. when he is in the corner, all he does is he strikes back and he doesn't care about whether anything is true or not true. they made a big deal of the fact that he raised the topic with putin. but you know, if you look at what transpired, i think taking the best case from secretary tillerson, he said he raised it. they decided maybe it was an intractable problem. so both countries ought to move on, and, you know, forget about it. so i don't know, that much pressure and prime minister lavrov who was also in the meeting, said trump said that even though this has been going on for months, that no facts have been presented. not withstanding that 17 intelligence agencies have concluded that the russians did do the hacks and interfere with our election.
and he ak accepted president putin's assurances that the russians haven't been involved. i think he was playing really a sucker game with respect to putin. it just gave putin another chance to deny it. >> i'm thinking about the complexity. there we have lavrov, the foreign minister. it includes kislyak, the ambassador to the u.s., who has been in all these meetings with jared kushner and michael flynn. very much right in the middle, his ministry is involved. putin directs everything in russia. he knows everything that trump may have done in colluding with the russian efforts. and it is all there. we're asking the president of the united states to ask putin to tell us the role that putin played, and by implication telling us the role that trump played. this is so intermingled. we keep hoping for a perry mason moment where one of them will say, okay, here's what happened. and we have bob mueller trying to figure it out honestly. >> the last time the president met privately with lavrov, he
was gloating that he had the day before fired james comey saying they had taken pressure off him. they failed to disclose that until someone leaked a memorandum to the media. then they didn't deny it. and so you can't really believe anymore what, particularly the white house press office puts out, what happened in a private meeting. they rarely come forward with the facts. so yeah, i guess he raised it in a way that said, do you want to respond and he said i deny it and they moved on. the other thing that ignores is the russians are continuing. they were active in the french election, they are active in the german election. this is a very serious threat to democracy. >> don't speculate more than you have. to do you believe at the
russians played a significant role in affecting the results of the election? >> look. i think they clearly were trying to. as the intelligence community predicted. i think they kept the e-mail issue alive for the last month. i think the combination of that and jim comey reopening the investigation and then quickly closing it, i think there was a lot of harmonic convergence. the other thing that's less covered is how much the russians were actively spreading fake news through their trolls and automated robots to push in social media the fake news, the lying conspiracy into the blood stream of the american politics. that's what they do in other countries. that is what they do in the u.s. it is a very serious matter and
it should be taken seriously by our government. unfortunately, our government is led by someone -- they just don't care. >> i'm sure when you go to bed at night, you say, i can't believe we lost to that guy. john podesta. on to utah, sir. thank you so much for taking time. i'm joined now by the political reporter for "the new york times" and reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc analyst as well. let me ask you about this. this is bizarre. more than a side bar. the mentality of the united states going into a meeting with the world leaders and he is trying on trash an old argument and an old adversary, john podesta that was never happening. there was nothing by the cia or anybody. >> it tells you where his head was hours before his meeting with putin. and i'm normally not of the belief the president tweets strategically.
i think he is thinking and feeling in that moment. in this case, i think there was a sense, he's coming into the meeting with putin. he knows the e-mails or the hacking is going to come up one way or another if russia meddled. this was an incident where he believes this is a good talking the point for him. take away from what russia may have done, moving it to the democrats. >> the 35% of the people? >> i don't know that it was for them. he knows it's going to be a hard conversation. i'm not saying correctly but he thinks this is a good talking point to distract from the real issue. >> what do you think the world thinks? the real meeting, it has never happened before. both ways. what does world think of a president nursing an old wound, ripping a scab off an old fight
that never actually happened. it was something in the air. bad blood over hillarys server or something. i guess that's what he's trying to get to. >> i agree with you, chris. this is a talking point for his base. it plays domestically to his base. itis similar to saying not all 17 intelligence agencies agree with the finding that russia meddled in the election with the intention of helping him or suggesting barack obama choked or didn't do enough. it's of a piece of that. on the world stage, i think it's puzzling and i don't think it is going have the effect of making putin off gourd if that's part of the goal. ashley say, something he was obsessed with. he was getting pressure from his aides and the politics here in the united states to raise the election hacking with putin. this is where his head went. this is his response.
>> he saw dr. strangelove, he must be thinking about the precious bodily fluids, the weirdness of there guy to have these things on his mind when he should have bigger things. thank you for being on. it's hard to talk about something insane. up next, what was putin hoping to get from trump? did he achieve his goal? they got to sit together and they have the little man spreading. see that? this is "hardball," where the action is.
hello, i'm dara brown in new york. here's what's happening on the second and final day of the g-20 summit in germany. president trump met with theresa may, focusing on brexit. the president saying he expected a new trade deal with the uk to be complicated, but completed quickly. some 500 protesters looted a supermarket. they attacked police with slingshots and molotov cobb takes. back to "hardball." in the grand scheme of things, we don't care who is the head of the united states. we know what will happen. in this regard, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't make sense for to us interfere. >> welcome back to "hardball."
that, of course, was russian president, vladimir putin, denying his country's interference in the 2016 election during last month's interview with megyn kelly. well, putin made a similar denial to president trump. he has repeatedly denied it calling it hysteria. let's listen. >> translator: for me, this is just amazing. you've created a sensation out of nothing. and out of the sensation, you turn it into a weapon of war against the current president. this is, just, you people are so creative over there. good job. your lives must be boring. >> well, putin may think america's concerns are overreaction but he has his own interests in mind. among them, getding rid of u.s. sanctions impose zed by the obama administration. the first came over crimea in 2014 and more sanctions following meddle into our 2016
election. in an article published thursday, putin called such sanctions nothing but mask protectionism. we believe the advantages not only doomed to fail but also run counter to the g-20 principles of cooperation in the interests of all countries. anyway, i'm joined by david ignatius. as a foreign affair expert and person focused on it, forget all the clownery, that's not the right word. trump's clownish behavior and fighting with john podesta and all the other theatrics, what got done today in terms of the world and its future? >> i think today it was a big deal. it was a very dangerous point in the u.s./russian relations that reminded all of us about the cold war. there was a meeting of the two countries. they came with a lot of baggage, both of them. but managing to have dialogue
about syria, north korea, russian hacking, to begin to have the conversations that are necessary is very important. this was something that donald trump very controversially said through the campaign last year, he wanted to do. today he did it. and as near as i can tell, the results of that are generally positive. >> what i worry about is a regional situation like syria leading to a war. we've had that since world war one. the fear that one thing can lead to another. with egos involved, it is a more severe threat. did you have the feeling faye we're not at the edge of any brinksmanship? >> what i can tell you, based on my reporting, i was in syria a week ago. this agreement today emerged out of secret conversations between the u.s. and russia to deconflict forces. after the shootdown of the syrian fighter jet about three
weeks ago, it looked like we were at a very dangerous flash point. our generals began talking to their generals. they reached a deconfliction line, kilometers by kilometers. they moved to this area of southwest syria where the deal today, announced today, focuses. they've talked about a lot of additional steps they could take. this is the kind of thing, if we are ever going to help the syrian people get out of their nightmare, this is what has to happen. there was a lot of foundation work done here by secretary tillerson. before they got to hamburg. >> are we going to be able to eliminate isis on the ground this new deal? with the russians? >> this deal allows the u.s., russia, and everybody else, including the syrian regime, to focus on getting rid of isis. isis is already on the run. what i heard from the u.s. commanders when i was traveling with them is this campaign is
going so much faster than we expected. the one thing they're worried about is that isis could collapse so quickly that refugees will have nowhere to go. there will be no provisions made for them. isis is finally really on the run. that's a real achievement. here is an interesting fact, chris. in the three years that the u.s. has been pushing isis back, working with its partners, how many americans have been pushed in syria and iraq? answer, five. that's a different model than the one we followed in iraq with such disastrous effect. >> that's good for us. what about the -- do you have any sense if there's any resolution as to the russian involvement in our campaign last year? >> i don't have a sense there's any resolution. >> if i were putin, sticking it to donald trump, i would say, donald, you know all about it, you were helping us. why didn't he say that? >> intelligence officers don't reveal the nature of it. i'm not suggest thag's the case
here. anything putin would say about what happened in our election, i wouldn't take seriously. >> would you believe the dossier is true? >> i'm waiting to find out. we have an investigation by robert mueller that will tell me and tell you whether it is true. but for me to make a guess, i would rather, to be honest, wait for the people who have evidence. >> let me ask you a question you would know the answer to. if the dossier is true and all its gross details, would putin know all of it? >> putin has unusually tight control of his intelligence services. not just because he is a former kgb officer. he runs a very tight -- >> he would be looking at the movies and the texts and everything. >> we have reported in the "washington post" that putin personally ran the operations that led to the meddling in our elections. this is not others doing it. putin was overseeing it. whatever there was, putin knows about it. up next, president trump showcases his distinct brand of
welcome back to "hardball." president trump had an opportunity to show case his diplomatic skills in meetings with a variety of world leaders all of the eyes were on his first face to face with putin. according to secretary of state rex tillerson, trump pressed him on the interseerns in the 2016 election. an allegation putin denied. >> the president opened the meeting with president putin by raising the concerns of the american people regarding russian interference in the 2016 election. they had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject. the president pressed president putin on more than one occasion
regardsing russian involvement. president putin denied such involvement as he has in the past. the two leaders agreed this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the u.s.-russian relationship forward. >> i agree with that. that sads, russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov said president trump accepts putin's denial. let's bring in the "hardball" round table. margaret carlson is a columnist for bloomberg view. patrick is a speech writer for ash carter. let's talk about the big thing today. that meeting, did you get anything out of it? trump apparently said, a lot of people back home are worried about you screwing with the election. i guess i have to bring the issue up. the russian foreign minister said, okay, you've accepted it didn't happen. is that it?
>> it's interesting that secretary tillerson put it in the words of the american people and not in the federal government. he said the american people are concerned about russian election interference but didn't say it was a priority of the administration. it is critical -- >> i have fish to deliver here and i'm going to dump it on the table. that's what it was like. >> a critical thing of what happens next. when president putin denied they had any interference in the election, did president trump push back on that? did he say -- >> tillerson says he brought it up a number of times. i would think that he would have said didn't happen would be enough. he brought it up again, i told you it didn't happen. i told you it didn't happen. this is a little high schoolish again involving trump and bringing up that attack on john podesta. we just had him on the road trim out west. it is childish. >> he tweeted in the morning, blaming the victim. >> blaming podesta for being hacked by the russians. >> and the day before, he said nobody is really sure who did it.
so that fish, the vivid fish you have on the table, trump doesn't want to eat it either. trump is vested in continuing to deny if not obscure that russia hacked the election. if he admits it, it casts a shadow on his victory over hillary clinton and he would have to do something about it. i think he did bring it up. his aide. you'll look like a weak guy if you don't but then he was happy to drop it. >> you look at all the man spreading. i've never seen guys sit like that. like they're both trying to be jocks. i've never seen a meeting last so long and have so little product. over two hours. after it was over, melania had to come in and say let's finish. that didn't work. when trying to distill any product. there's nothing there, really. >> i think you made great points but i think there's more than meets the eye. i think there's product. my time at the pentagon, i learned diplomacy without force
is a symphony without instruments. if he racesed the issue, that's great. what consequences did he bring? as far as we know, there were non. tillerson intimated there's a cyber working group which is the equivalent of letting the fox into the hen house. >> sitting alongside the mexican president, trump said he still wants mexico to pay for the wall. it's insane. let's watch. >> do you still want mexico to pay for the wall? >> well, that said, the white house official position read out from their private bilateral meeting included zero mention of the wall. when they got to business, he never talked about it. president trump ran on the notion that he would build a wall and mexico would have to pay for it. let's watch that in action. >> promise we're building the wall and mexico will pay for the wall. >> mexico will pay for the wall. and i think they'll ends up being very happy to do so. >> yesterday, the top person, president of mexico, said we
will never, ever pay for that wall. and the press called me up. and they said calderon, the top person, he said he won't pay. he won't pay for it. do you know what i said? i said the wall just got ten feet higher. that's right. >> why does he do this? >> it is a response to his base. this is a person who doesn't -- >> there's never going to be a wall. the mexicans won't pony up for it. why does he keep bringing it up again? >> it's not about policy outcomes, it's rhetoric. it's about scoring points. >> will we have some morning a friday when nothing else is going on. he will drop what he did like with kenya, we're not building the wall. move on. is he going to do that to us? >> i think he may be forced to. kellyanne conway and the president's representatives like to say, he keeps his promises so they want to keep saying that so rush limbaugh can cut some
>> we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. tell me something i don't know. >> health care, remember that? >> yes. >> today mitch mcconnell said he would be open to working with democrats if the current repeal fails about fixing and not repeeling obama care. this could be the first sign of maybe an exit strategy for republicans. >> it's good for everybody where. >> it might be what the democrats have calling for all along. >> is schumer going along with him? >> he will have an option about single pair -- >> so the democrats will go along fixing obama care if they don't change it. >> it's going to be the next front ear. >> chris, the trump administration is taking back a promise to undocumented immigrants that if they sign up for military service, they could eventually get legal status. that's one reason why california
is speeding along with its desire to become a -- the first sanctuary state with the california values act, which will be -- which is an effort to stop the trump deportation machine. >> they're still talking about the competence of the trump administration. not just about the personality of donald trump, but the fact that they have nobody to talk to. that donald trump has not staffed up these agencies. >> he raised the issue. i don't understand that. we don't have deputy secretaries of state. we don't have ambassadors to key countries. we don't have anything. we don't have -- that's really ridiculous. >> it really is. >> why is that the case? >> for some of it is because they've nominated people that haven't been able to go through. look at the secretaries of the army. they've had two that will have to go back. they've had a secretary of navy. they don't look to have a real betting operation. >> who is taking the wrong people that dant get through? >> it seems like there are arguments. we saw how tillerson was getting
in a fight with kushner just last week. who knows? >> it's a fascinating disaster, and frankly, a disgrace. the government of the united states should be functioning. >> thank you. when we return, let me finish tonight with trump. he might be something useful. you're watching "hardball." these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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as they could in those big chairs up there in hamburg, germany. putin, a much smaller fellow, seemed a bit dwarfed, and i would say not very happy about the picture he was presenting. the big story was the way they both engaged in the art of man spreading. widening their legs out as far as the wings of those chairs allowed them. nobody is going to out man spread me, you can hear their little psyches urging them on. then there was the handshake. usually we americans do it once and leave it at that. this time with all the cameras and the moment of the occasion the two seemed to use handshakes as a kind of synchronizing mechanism. every time they wanted to show agreement, they were reaching out to the other to show they were operating in some ready agreement. it was like they were using handshakes to punctuate points at a contract. the good news, and i was about to say all kidding aside, they were smiling a good team at times. considering both men -- with it extinguish the joy and human existence. that's a good sign. one thing has worried me over these months that the two super power egos will get into a test
of whose is bigger with the world itself is at stake. none of that today. none of it, let's pray, ever. that's hardball for now. thanks for being with us. the rachel maddo you show starts right now. >> there's a lot going on in the world. we have eyes on the big g-20 meeting in hamburg, germany, where there were huge protests today. president trump is in hamburg tonight. he is meeting there tomorrow with vladimir putin. nbc's richard engel is there too. he will be joining us live from germany tonight ahead of his big richard engel special that we're doing here tomorrow night. his name is walter