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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 12, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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just from the congressional side. these members of congress really do love having these hearings. and there's a lot, you see all of them. >> thank you, both. thank you for watching. i'm chris jansing. "hardball" starts rye now. trump leaves he the cover-up. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. we now know it was the white house that wrote that statement for donald trump jr. on saturday. the one that said the president's son met with the russian lawyer last summer to discuss a russian adoption program. the person who signed off on that bogus statement, according to the "new york times," was president trump himself. which tells us the man leading the russian cover-up is the president of the united states. this is where we are in this
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exploding expose. with the president himself trying on plug the spigots, donald trump is playing the role of chief white house plumber while a few dozen associates are leaking out you said every west wing door. this afternoon in an off camera briefing, sarah huckabee sanders was asked about that leading statement. let's listen. >> has president trump had any communication with his son, donald trump jr. over the last several days, and was he involved in helping donald trump jr. craft his statement to the press over the weekend air force one as was reported in the "new york times"? >> i'm not sure about specific communications and the name of those conversations. i know they've spent on at some point over the last few days but yonlt that, i don't have any further details. >> response? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> trying on convince everyone there's nothing to see here when it comes to donald trump jr.'s e-mails. behind the scenes, the
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administration seems to be flailing. the president is fuming. even with his own sxlaur senior aides are eyeing each other with suspicion. yesterday we found out the president's son tried to set up the meeting with someone he thought was bringing him incriminating information, dirt, in other words about, hillary clinton straight from the highest levels of the kremlin. he was told russia supported his dad. his response to all this? i love it. last night donald trump jr. went to the friendliest possible outleft, sean hannity, to defend himself. >> in retrospect, i would have done it differently. this was before the russia mania. before they were building up in the press. this was opposition research. they had maybe concrete evidence to the stories. they were probably underreported for years, not just during the campaign. so i think i wanted to hear it out. it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was actually about. >> today president trump told
quote
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reuters he didn't have knowledge about the meeting until a few days ago but he didn't fault his son for doing so. >> i think many people would have held that meeting. and he tweeted on hannity, my son donald did a good job last night. he was open, transparent and innocent. this is the greatest witch hunt in the political history. sad. someone who disagrees with him about this witch hunt is the man he nominated to be the new fbi director. today, christopher wray testified in his confirmation hearing and defended the probe by robert mueller. >> do you believe in light of the don jr. e-mail and other allegations, that this whole thing about the trump campaign and russia is a witch hunt? >> well, i can't speak to the basis for those comments. i can tell you my experience -- >> i'm asking you as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavour a witch hunt? >> i do not consider director
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mueller to be on a witch hunt. >> that was a good question and a good answer. >> meanwhile, the washington times and"the new york times." president trump is en -- enrage that had the russia cloud still hangs over his presidency. and is exasperated that his eldest son and name sake has become engulfed by it. >> i want to get to your story first. i think trump is leading the cover-up. why is he signing off on a bogus account of his son's meeting with the russian lawyer? >> i think he was coming back from europe. he had a meeting with vladimir putin. give him some breathing room. and then this thing comes up. he is on air force one coming home and his staff is there huddled in the cabin having to deal with a response to this
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story. he doesn't craft the statement himself. but we're told by people close to the situation that he did in fact sign off on it. the original state was incomplete, to say the least. it suggested the meeting was about adoption policy. in russia that meant sanctions that had been promulgated by the united states. pea fully didn't describe the meeting. the point that donald trump jr. was taking the meeting for, he thought he was going to get some incriminating information about hillary clinton. >> the reason i raised this, this week of all people, they said and he the drip, drip, drip. talking about every russian meeting he had since he saw dr. zhivago, he is playing the role of the cover-up king. we'll try mask them in the best way we can and deny any guilt. he is covering up. >> seems to confirm things people have talked about for a long time.
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that he had a direct hand with the lies coming out of the white house. >> let's take a look. i was never impressed with this guy before. he did say yesterday, stop the drip, drip, drip. it is undermining the presidency. >> here we are beginning another week. this one in july with a new revelation about russia. someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room. and say from the time you saw dr. zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named boris, you list everyone of those. and we'll turn them over to the special counsel. because this drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of this administration. >> it absolutely is. and i think everyone watching knows that. sarah huckabee sanders was asked about this drip, drip, drip. her response, it is not a problem for the white house. talk about spin. it's a problem for the media.
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that's what she says. >> i want to ask you, the drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of the administration. >> i think it is undermining the credibility of the media. because they drip, drip, drip a lot of this. >> this is the senator from south carolina saying this drip, drip, drip is undermining this administration. what do you say? >> i think i just answer that had. >> congressman, you're on the intel committee. this is a classic example. whatever trump is hiding, it must be worth hiding because he's paying a price for it. he is not joining in the press's effort to find out what happened. he is joining in with sanders to cover it up and he is covering it up by signing off on a document that is a bogus account of what that meeting was about. >> my thoughts are, we need all the republicans who have put out
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tweets or put out statements about this, and how frustrating it is. we need them to actually do something about it. actions speak louder than tweets. there is an independent commission that every democrat and two republicans in congress have called for that can take this outside of congress is that get to the bottom of what happened. we need more republicans to step up. i'm looking for more action. i think this is an inflection point in this investigation and it is time to start putting -- >> your call, you remember, we have a house committee on intelligence. we have a senate committee on intelligence. both investigating. we have a special counsel, bob mueller investigating. what is one more tribunal group going to do to get the truth? >> well, i think the best way. the most comprehensive way to get the truth is what they did after september 11. they took it outside the capitol. they had bipartisan investigators looking at it. tall viewers want is for it to never happen again.
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regardless of what happens with the criminal investigation no, one wants to find ourselves in a position where a foreign adversary worked the campaign. >> i think people like me want to see heads rolling. >> let's go with you. >> you were one of the guys asking the questions. we got nothing out of her. she is just stone walling. >> that speaks to a broader dynamic in the white house. all of these senior officials are unwilling to talk about the matter. there was not a robust defense of donald trump jr. no one wants to get too far out of this and create their own legal exposure and make themselves a target somehow of the mueller investigation. >> there's so much nonsensical. it is up to you be breaking a new story every hour. the only reason we have any truth here, certainly trump has held back all information.
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his family has been completely stone walling. the only reason we have any truth is the press. >> that's exactly right. what we've seen is every time "the new york times" gets new information, bhs the white house reacts. >> he hates the truth. >> that's how we're getting the information out. >> this is something needs to be looked into further. all of us journalists. when this meeting was taking place, we know for a fact, from the media reports, that trump was physically present at trump tower. we know about morning, a couple hours before he had a luncheon where manafort was. he was interwith the senior people having that meeting that day. we need to look into more of what trump knew. >> that's right. >> do we have that he figured out? how many people were involved in this? i would assume. i've said this before last night
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to try to be bipartisan. if chelsea clinton had such a meeting with a russian person weirdly coming from putin land, they would be out to tar and feather her and everybody else. it is not something that anybody would let go unless you're a total partisan. what do we know about trump's physical knowledge of what happened in that meeting last june? >> we don't have a lot of knowledge about it. he said he only learned about the meeting a few days ago when it came up as part of the story. and he did not know about it at the time. >> why did he say he would give a speech with a lot of doirt hillary after that happened? that's a hell of a coincidence. >> it is a very interesting coincidence that's what it is. hours after donald trump jr. hits the button saying, yes, let's have this meeting, his father gives a victory speech at the last primary day saying he would give a major speech with hillary clinton's crooked dealings with the russians and other foreign governments. that's a rather interesting set
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of timing. you have to imagine investigators would be studying this timing. as e-mails come out and other things begin on happen over the course of the summer. >> congressman swalwell, why isn't there at least a beginning thought about the president's role of covering this thing up, the president's people, his whole family involved in this thing. why isn't there a expense this is an impeachable offense than just something to figure out for history? >> well, first we don't want to be as irresponsible with the facts as the president is. we want to gather the facts. he has obstructed it every step along the way and has made it a lot harder. once we gather the facts, then what reforms do we put in? and who is responsible criminally or through house judiciary committee. we aren't able to do that right now. every time we make progress, the white house has reared its head into our investigation.
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will if he stays out of the way -- >> you're an elected official from california. what would you do if he found a way to fire mueller? what would you do? >> that's a red line. that's a red line. i think that goes to the house judiciary committee. >> impeachable. >> i think he already is under investigation for obstruction for firing comey. at least democrats would like the see that in the house judiciary committee. so mueller, i think that's the red line. >> it was a little disturbing that the candidate, he seemed impressive otherwise, he didn't know whether they could fire the special counsel. you would think his sherpa, the person who prepared him for these interviews would know. he'd better find out. that's like what happened in watergate. >> i don't know that will be a nonstarter in terms of his confirmation but they certainly need to press him more on that.
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>> what we do know from reporting is that this is something the president has thought about off and on. that's not to say that there's an operative plan. he's contemplated it. >> you remember rosenstein also equivocated. >> you were in there today. have you ever learned anything of truth in a white house press briefing under this president? anything you can point to that you didn't know before, that you actually learned in one of those crazy briefings? >> sure. they roll out scheduling items. what the trip in france would be like. that's all true. >> something of substance. has spicer or huckabee given anything? >> most of the answers are trying to hide things and blur the details and not provide a lot of context or information. there haven't been a lot of answers this week.
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>> we're getting the in the next segment are. they people like newt gingrich? are they on the pay roll? can you give me that? who is talking out of the white house? >> i'll tell you, a lot of people do end up talking about it. this is a lot of circular firing squad going on. >> where did you get 12? are they inside the gate? outside the gate? that story we had, it is people inside and outside. >> thank you.
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what did the president know and when did he know it? remember those questions? throws the questions investigators are trying to answer right now. when we come back, the time line day by day of what trump was up to when his eldest son was making plans to get dirt from the ruskies. and jared kushner could be in some big legal trouble. there are more calls to revoke his security clearance at the white house. and with the russian investigation in high gear, trump's pick for fbi director that says it isn't a witch hunt. it's for real. let's see, there are the wildcats 'til we die weekenders. the watch me let if fly. this i gotta try weekenders. then we've got the bendy... ... spendy weekenders.
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today we've learned the judiciary committee plans to call on paul manafort. the chairman says he's big to scene thatta manafort if necessary. we also got a bit of late-breaking news. this video shows donald trump in 2013 attending a birthday party in moscow for his former business party. a man he tied to vladimir putin, of course. also, there his son, the russian pop star, who asked an associate to set up the infamous meeting between donald trump jr. and the russian government attorney. ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college.
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show epic battles.july. ferocious families. dangerous dragons. experience game of thrones and all the rest of hbo for free from july 10th through the 16th with xfinity on demand. from action, to comedy, to drama. this summer hbo and xfinity have you covered. and catch the game of thrones season 7 premiere on july 16th. winter is coming to xfinity. let's take a look at the time line. in april of 2016, the dnc discovered that russian
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intelligence agencies broke into their computer network to steal their files. on june 3, intermediary offered donald trump jr. dirt on hillary clinton which he described as part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. trump responded, i love it. four days later, on june 7, donald trump previewed or teased an upcoming speech on clinton. promising to reveal damaging information. let's watch him. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> two days later, trump jr., jared kushner and paul manafort sat down with the russian lawyer on the promise she would deliver russian sourced dirt on hillary clinton. three days later on, june 12,
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julian assange of wikileaks announced that he was in possession of e-mail relating to hillary clinton. on june 14th, the "washington post" first reported that russian intelligence breached the dnc. we know that now. then the first russian hacked dnc file was released on june 15th. and despite that kushner, manafort and donald trump jr. were told that they were helping their candidate. they said we believe it was the dnc that did the hacking as a way to distract if the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate. >> you put these things together and it looks like trump got the word from his son and manafort and the other guy, jared, i guess some hot stuff from the russians, you might as well
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begin teasing it out there. and yet he was saying, we don't know anything about this. >> it may look like that but we do not know for sure. it is important to point out that donald trump's lawyers say that he didn't know about the meeting until a few days ago. but he was in trump tower. >> wouldn't they do that in. >> they certainly would. but let's be fair here and say what they've said. then we'll lay out the circumstances. donald trump was in trump tower at that time. this meeting happened on the 25th floor, donald trump's office was on the 26th floor. this meeting was attended by paul manafort, jared kushner, by don jr., donald trump's most senior advisers. even though two of them were in formal, unofficial roles. i talked to people on the campaign and there is one faction that says, you know what? donald trump, he absolutely would have known about this. and there's another faction says, maybe he did not know about this.
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he wasn't detail oriented. they could have kept this from him. >> detail? the son is excited to find out the russians have some dirt on hillary. he says i love it. and he wants to impress his father. every son does. and he didn't tell him? >> that's the big question. a lot of people will say, how could he not have told his father? robert mueller will get to the bottom of. certainly. we just don't have any concrete proof on that. >> i want to go to cornyn on this. i want to keep it balanced for those here are skeptical. if chelsea clinton had sat down with a russian agent of putin's like this, and brought in a bunch of people from the campaign. there's not a single right winger who wouldn't believe intuitively she told her mom. so this idea that somehow donald trump was keeping secrets of his success from his father doesn't pass the smell test. >> there's another factor here. and katy is right.
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there's no smoking gun saying don jr. are talked to don sr. but this all came from his partner in miss universe, his only successful venture in russia. it came through the son, the pop star. i'm told, they are reporting this, that donald trump sr. had a very warm relationship with emin. so it is almost inconceivable thatter donald trump jr. wouldn't say that the russian government wants to help you. so that's a big, big factor. >> here's the tricky part in covering this. you're doing it. trump is keeping his distance from any possible trouble area. saying i didn't know. i didn't know. at the same time, he is signing off on a definition of what happened in that meeting. he's saying i don't know anything about the meeting. then he says let me see the paper of what happened in that meeting so i can sign it or not.
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>> it is problematic. the fact they've changed their story or evolved their story on what exactly happened in this meeting could be problematic as well. here's what we know at that time. it was debilitated by infighting. everybody was trying to get more influence. there was a power struggle. it was a do whatever it takes environment. that's what donald trump has bred over the years. i was talking on one adviser of donald trump's. one long time partner of donald trump's and he was saying that he would have gone to hell and got a sun burn to help donald trump. and that's not something that is a unique to this person. donald trump has always demanded a lot from those who are around him. a lot of those people who refuse deliver on anything, absolutely anything, got pushed out. and at the time, paul manafort was trying to do anything that he could to get power to. take over. to push corey lewandowski out. and to do that, you curry favor
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with the son. so we don't know if donald trump sr. knew at the time. if the son has a smoking gun or information that he believes might sink hillary clinton, he says i love it, naturally he would tell his father. especially since these are folks his father has known for a long time. >> manafort, the chairman at the time of the campaign was in the room, so was his son-in-law. it is hard to believe none of them told him. >> there is another big point here. on june 9, kushner, manafort and don trump jr., definitely know that a putin croney and trump's business partner are conspiring to help donald trump. so six days later after the dnc hack is revealed, they said the
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dnc is doing this. not russia. and then in july donald trump jr. says the same thing. so this is the point. they were protecting russia knowing russia was trying to help them. this is a big deal that they can't escape. whether donald trump knew or not. >> in late june, trump finally delivered that speech he had promised about secretary clinton. he made a point of saying, he believed clinton's e-mails were vulnerable to hackers and suggested that foreign countries may already have a blackmail file on clinton. here he is. we may not know what's in those deleted e-mails. our enemies probably know every single one of them. they probably have a blackmail file over someone who wants to be the president of the united states. >> two weeks later, in july of last year, the former fbi director james comey said that there was no evidence of
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clinton's files private server being hacked. and later trump publicly encouraged the russians, who had already thakd dnc, to go after clint's personal e-mails. here he is encouraging what we've been talking about. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> that's pretty much in plain sight. >> i was there at that press conference and i asked him if it gave him pause to call on a foreign government to hack into the e-mail of a private citizen. even if that citizen was a public citizen in this country. and emno, it didn't give him pause. wikileaks helped donald trump. it helped the presidential campaign. the intelligence community believes they got the e-mail from russia. russia or somebody who was
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affiliated with the top level people in russia. they said we have e-mails that will hurt them and help you. what we need to find out, did it actually happen? was this campaign actually informed before hand that they had e-mails from john modesta and would they release they will. all we have is that be done jr. was excited and thrilled at least by the idea that there could be information throughout that would hurt hillary clinton and help his dad. >> we know some back ground too. >> we know there was discussion about sanctions. they had the meetings with kislyak and lavrov. and all the time they're talking about relieving sanctions,
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they're rooting for the russians to go after hillary. there's a lot of collusion out here. and for months, donald trump kept denying the russians were involved. he did it in the the debates. all that time, his people around him knew that the russians were after hillary and trying to help him. so he is out there. >> i think he is leading the cover-up. >> this is aiding and abetting russia when he had reason to know what they were doing. >> he doesn't care. thank you. up next, trump allies defend the president's son. is it enough to say that donald trump jr. didn't know any better? they're out there saying he's not too smart. that he simply lacked experience. that's what w used to call the soft, whatever it was. the white house defense on defense, next. how your clothes smell can say at lot about you.
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump has arrived at joint base andrews. he is on his way to paris where he will celebrate with the new french president macron. for months he has denied even attack allegations that his campaign colluded with russians.
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then dame release of those he damning e-mails promising trump's son russian dirt on clinton. the cavalry has arrived to defend trump junior offering a variety of excuses. >> someone sent me an e-mail. i can't help what someone sends me. i read it. i responded accordingly. if there was something interesting there, i think that's common. >> it is he is a man of integrity. i believe don junior is the victim. >> he was a businessman that day. >> so you chock this up -- >> i asked you if you think it was appropriate. >> it is not illegal. i haven't had the conversation with the president on whether he thought it was appropriate or not. the meeting took place is not illegal. >> this afternoon the white house deployed the strategy that seeped to come out of a middle school play book. let's listen. >> can you explain to us why there's this plague of amnesia
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that affects all these people associated with the campaign and one country and one country only? >> look, i think if you want to talk about having relationships with russia, look no further than the clintons. >> well, from where we're joined by the roundtable, kaitlyn burns, with real clear politics. and dana milbank, the well known columnist with the "washington post." of all the dumb responses to this to stay president's son is dumb. that donald trump jr. who he's left his empire to run doesn't have the smarts to know you don't deal with the russians to fix an election. >> there are an awful lot of things competing for dumbest excuse here. my favorite is saying what they did is not technically treason. when you're making the argument, you're probably not winning it.
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he was naive. a rookie mistake. we've heard rookie mistake sole times. how did they field a team? we're six months into the administration. you can't say rookie mistake over and over again. at some point there's plain incompetence, mismanagement, certainly in the way it's handled. clearly a lot of us have been warning about nepotism. >> it's like freddo and the godfather. he's my brother but he's weak. and i thought they were going to scare you a little bit. i didn't think they were going to kill your kids. >> and you're hearing from lawmakers on capitol hill, as he kid. 39-year-olds these days are kids. what is interesting is that has long been the defense among republicans. he's new to politics. he can't quite know which relationships are good. >> the arms of paul manafort, the chairman who is mr. russia, who knows all about it. and jared kushner who gives a
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portfolio which includes the globe. it isn't like the kid -- he isn't a kid. it isn't like he went off on his own. >> kushner is the only personnel who works in the white house. the security clearance is a big question. democrats calling for that to be revoked. the security clearance forms are what have brought out all these supposedly memorable things. >> anyone here who is a republican expert? i know people from the rocky mountains, the south dakota guy. he's okay. orrin hatch. they're all smart people. they found all these people from the more rural areas that aren't really be driven by the "new york times" and the "washington post." i get that. to have them come out and play dumb. if that were chelsea clinton, they would be frying her and her mother in oil right now. it is absurd that the son or daughter of a president is engaged, playing ball with the
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sleaze balls from moscow. >> the excuse, i just got an e-mail. if i get an e-mail from rt a prince saying i won the lottery. this is because of the republicans. these leaks are coming from the white house. from republicans. i think, and i talked to a couple people -- >> we tried to get that out of the last two. >> you've got republicans who sold their souls to be part of this administration. they're angry that they've been marginalized and trump is ruining their opportunities. so you followed what you're saying, i hate this job but i love this job. i love working in the white house. the president is embarrassing me. i'll going to sneak out to the men's room and rat. is that what's going on? we had 12 people feeding this story in the white house. >> that's been the story the last several months. the infighting. taking it back to capitol hill, the reason the republicans won't
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separate themselves from donald trump. look at the approval rating. 85 to 90%. i was asking republicans all day on the hill today, what would it take? it would take a lot. either their agenda is completely squashed, which they don't think it is yet, or there is some kind of criminal activity and they say they're not there yet. >> i think that's a smart analysis. i think people who voted for trump did it with strong attitude about the establishment and it will take an earthquake. and you have the determination to keep going. humira has a proven track record of being prescribed for nearly 10 years. humira works inside the body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults taking humira were clear or almost clear and many saw 75% and even 90% clearance in just four months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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we're back with the "hardball" rounds table. tell me something i don't know. >> i love this part of show. i don't know any of this stuff. >> so you'll be surprised. >> we know thursday that the senate republicans are getting together. they'll talk about how they can save the affordable care act do you believe that has a chance in hell of passing next week? >> not next week. >> they're talking about voting
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next week. >> they're also talking about extend go their recess. >> is mitch mcconnell sr, is he elmer fud? i think he is the rabbit. this guy gets away with more stuff. it's repeal season. it's replace season. >> while we're all focused on russia and health care, law schools have a big budget issue coming up. i would like to say that my colleague has done on real clear politics. focusing on these budget woes. they haven't passed an appropriation bill on time in six years. basic governance. >> i have the answer. i know what don junior was up to. i heard it on alex jones. he was on a counter espionage mission and he was trying to
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outrussian spies. >> thank you. still ahead, trump's pick for fbi director was on capitol hill. he seems pretty impressive. ♪ ditching the cover-up for good? that's cool. showing off my arms? that's cool. being comfortable without a shirt? that's cool. getting the body you want without surgery, needles, or downtime? that's coolsculpting. coolsculpting is the only fda-cleared non-invasive treatment that targets and freezes away stubborn fat cells. visit coolsculpting.com today and register for a chance to win a free treatment.
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governor chris christie and the master mind behind the bridgegate scandal was sentenced today. while he managed to avoid prison time, he received three years of probation, and a ban on working in government. he blamed his actions on the fact that he had drank the kool-aid. a spokesperson for governor chris christie respond by saying he devised this outrageous scheme all by himself. what a sleazy mess. r your heart. your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
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we can use some good news and maybe we it now. wray faced questions on issues including revelations about trump junior's meeting with the lawyer. and here's what he told lindsey
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graham. >> let me ask you this. if i got a call from somebody saying the russian government wants to help lindsey graham get reelected, they have dirt on the point, should i take that meeting? >> i would think you would want to consult with some good legal advisers. >> you're going to be the director of the fbi. here's what i wabl you to tell every politician. if you get a call from somebody suggesting a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your point, tell us all to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections, from any nation state, or any nonstate actor, is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> so i'll take it we should call you and that's a great answer. >> wray was also questioned about what he would do if he were asked to pledge personal loyalty to the president.
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>> from what we've seen from the white house, they may be expecting your loyalty. as the president did with director comey. you told me yesterday there has been no question by anybody in the white house asking you for a pledge of loyalty. is that correct? snb that's correct. my loyalty is to the constitution, to the rule of law and to the mission of the fbi. and no one asked me for any kind of loyalty oath at any point during this process and i sure as heck didn't offer one. >> and from what you told me yesterday, you would not give one if asked. >> correct. >> if the president asked you to do something unethical, what do you say? >> first i would try talk him out of it. if that failed, i would resign. >> whoa! i'm joined by senator chris kuhns. i was impressed. you were there. what do you think of this guy? >> well, i was impressed as
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well. as i said at my opening statement in christopher wray's confirmation hearing. he had two challenges. first he needed to persuade us that he had the skills, the management capabilities, to be a good filibuster director. but given this pittal moment in politics, he had to persuade that he has the i understand and that he understands how important it is to restore confidence in the fbi and to protect the ongoing investigation being led by bob mueller. i think he met both those tests. >> what would you do if the president, trump, fired mueller? >> i think that would be a moment that would call for outrage. and i think there was a moment a few weeks ago where there were rumors going around. there was a report on the evening news, i think on pbs that he was seriously considering it. and a number of senators, republican and democrat, reached
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out to representatives of the white house to say this would be a grave mistake. bob mueller is very widely respected. and it was one of the areas that i focused on my questioning today. whether he understands the bob mueller has the resources and the independence to conduct a thorough investigation is an absolutely critical part of his role. and he said yes, he understood it was port to support that investigation by bob mueller. >> i sometimes worry watching from more distance than you're at, that the president in an erratic motel, is going to do something like that. firing rosenstein and keep going and going like nixon did on what was it called? >> the saturday night massacres. and just do what he felt like doing. that's what trump does. he is out there talking about the cover-up, signing off on that document that totally mischaracterized his son had with the russian lawyer.
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he seems quite willing tonight stop the drip, drip, drip. but to stop the prosecution of the drip, drip, drip. >> that's why i see this as an absolutely pivotal moment in the institutions that protect us and are part of our constitutional order. that's why it is eexpense we have an fbi director who is confirmed by a broad bipartisan vote. that he has the independence, the professionalism and the character to stand up to an overreaching president or attorney general. >> i remember during watergate, they were the moderates like sam irvan. many people like you having to make this decision. thank you so much. when we return, let me finish with trump watch.
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trump watch, 2:0012, 2017. the picture we're getting is that donald trump is surrounded by a scandal with no clear life line to safety. he doesn't trust his chief of staff. why else would we be getting those may day signals on his future on just about an hourly basis? he can't stand his new york level even enough to level with the guy and all those russian meetings he and his romanov-like family have been holding. instead, the president has taken
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on himself the job of leading the cover up. it is he who now signs off on the latest dodge of responsibility. his son goes the trump approved line. but to open up lines for russian adoptions. young americans grew up dreaming to be president someday. does anyone want to be this president? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on "all in" -- >> when you read the part about russia supporting your father, did that put off any sirens in your head? >> i don't know. >> the trump family defends. >> the president did not attend the meeting. >> new questions on where the president found bout russian government support. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week. >>

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