tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 13, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
another show. "hardball" starts right now. a lot of people would do it. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. president trump's defense of his son taking that meeting with a russian lawyer linked to the cell lynn. he said today, just about anyone would have done it. even donald trump jr. saying he would have done things different in hindsight. the president telling reporters that his son's decision to meet with a russian lawyer offering what he was told would be dirt on hillary clinton from senior kremlin officials was just standard politics. >> my son is a wonderful young man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer. not a government lawyer but a russian lawyer.
it was a short meeting. i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. it is called opposition research or even research into your point. i have only been in politics for two years. but i've had many people call up, oh, gee, we have information on this factor or this person or frankly, hillary. that's very standard in politics. politics is not the nicest business in the world but it is very standard where they have information and you take the information. i think the press made a very big deal over something that really a lot of people would do. >> reports have painted a picture of a white house in crisis as it tries on respond to the drip, drip of news. the first family's vulnerability. and congressal investigators say they want to talk to donald trump jr. and jared kushner about the meeting.
they say they have also requested documents from the president's son but the president himself seems to think the worst is behind him now. according to the "new york times," by midday wednesday, the mercurial president was telling trends and advisers that he believed the situation had improved. i think this is getting better, he said to one group of aides. joining me, on the intelligence committee. ashley parker, and mark who wrote the story about the changing outlook. the president said it is called opposition research. it is dirty. now i'm hearing from republicans and democrats alike who are in the profession saying that's not true. you don't take a meeting like. this draw the line for us. we know the campaigns do try to dig up dirt on their points.
we know they do work behind the scenes to get that information out there. where's the line between standard practice in a campaign and what donald trump jr. did? >> as far as i know no, other the campaign in american history as far as we all know has ever taken a meeting with somebody who purports to be an agent of the russian government for the the purpose of helping a candidate win the highest office in the land, in the united states of america. that's a clear red line. certainly opposition research goes back and forth but that never includes meeting with an agent of a foreign government. most specially russian government. >> and mark, you had that story we read a second ago. everybody who has absorbed the news for the last 24, 48 hours, this is a shocking development. this raises all sorts of new
questions. you had donald trump telling people in the white house, he thinks the worst is behind him. this has turned. >> i think you have to set the bar pretty low if you think you're through the worst of it. it is no longer banner headlines on the front page of the "new york times" or the "washington post." but in terms of what this means, longer term for the president and his family, it could be the beginning of a more ominous part of the investigation. jared kushner is moving closer to the center of the investigations. i think the president tends to think from news psych tol news cycle and i think he feels interview on fox with sean hannity, that he handled that well, and that the president himself was able to put out this fus laid of tweets and report
here's saw him on air force one as he flew to paris for the bastille celebrations described him as being bouyant and being in a good mood. i think he keeps score in a short term way. >> let me go back for a second. you're there on capitol hill. >> one of the things people are looking for, is there a sign that republicans who really publicly have had the administration's back through all the controversies of the last six months, is there a sign of any second-guessing, of any new doubt there? donald trump feels his son going on fox news helped shore up the base. are you picking anything up from your republican colleagues in terms of their reaction from it? >> that skepticism has been slow to come. we have seen in the last few days, more and more promising
statements from republicans. a republican from texas today mentioned, for example, that he thought all the president's family members should essentially be put out of the white house and not work at the white house. others have expressed concern and said that donald trump jr. needs to come in front of the house intelligence committee or the senate intelligence committee. if i had to estimate when most will come around, before the general election. i don't think it is any coincidence that's when watergate, when president nixon finely resigned, when a group of republicans went to him in the summer of 1974 after the primaries before the general election had asked him to resign for the sake of the party and the country. >> august 1974. that was the resignation. at that press conference in paris today, president trump tried to deflect some blame to the obama administration. he accused the obama
administration of letting the russian lawyer into the country for the first place. >> the lawyer that went to the meeting, she was in the halls of congress also. somebody said that her visa, or her passport to come into the country was approved by attorney general lynch. now, maybe that's wrong. i just heard it a little while ago. she was here because of lynch. >> the president seems to be referring to a report in the hill newspaper. the russian lawyer was granted special immigration parole by then attorney general loretta lynch by helping company by one of her clients defend itself against a justice department asset for if itture case. it is not clear how she was able to still be in the country in june of 2016. that's when the meeting at trump tower took place. nbc has not independently confirm that report.
pointing at the obama administration, that reminiscent of his comments after the firing of michael flynn when he blamed him for giving flynn a security clearance. >> the concept with russia with respect to us is a total phony story. of course it is a total phony story. i just heard where general flynn got his clearance from the obama administration. when general flynn came to us, as you now know, he already had the highest clearance you can have. i think the same clearance as the president of the united states would have. >> had actually the president has an instinct many situations like this, if he feels he's on his heels at all, to deflect some blame back to the obama administration. i think he's done with it hillary clinton. when you see it in this case, is he falling back on his instincts? or does that reflect a wider strategy by the white house?
>> i don't think it reflects a wider strategy by the white house but i will say, it is classic trump to float something publicly. as he said today, he doesn't know fits true. he's heard maybe it has happened or to float something that isn't true. the i think that's the president riffing and freelancing and not something senior white house officials are encouraging. this is a family issue in addition to being an issue of his presidency. this is his son who had this meeting. this is his son-in-law. jared kushner who was there for some of the meeting. his people putting out word at "time" magazine saying, yeah, he was forwarded that e-mail, but he didn't read all the way through it. therefore he didn't see any of this stuff. at least they're claim when it came to the russian government wants to help donald trump in this campaign. look, when it was michael flynn,
when he got that. >> this is why this new phase of this story is so problematic for the president. because jared kushner and his daughter ivanka trump are critical in terms of giving the president a psychological lift. making him feel that he has true loyalists around him. if this were to make it impossible for jared kushner to work at the white house, that would be a major setback for the president. and he takes it personally when his own children are swept into this kind of a storm. he's told people, he's put up with this onslaught for years. you can argue, he's kind of courted attention and celebrity and everything that comes with it. he does worry about it and that
don junior's motives, that he wanted to do something to help his dad's campaign. i think for the president this marks kind of an ominous turn that his family could become, as he sees it, victims rather than just him himself. >> on the russian investigation, president trump told reuters, the only frustration is that this russia story is a hoax made up by the democrats as an excuse for losing an election. there was zero coordination. this is the dumbest thing i've heard. the party sits down the day after they get their butts kicked and say what's our excuse? it is very bad for our country and the russians must be laughing because this narrative is so bad for us as country. that's a line that a lot of republicans have been willing to stick with for a long time.
this is sour grapes. you had the official position coming out before a couple days ago. obviously, absolutely, no meeting no, contact ever. now that that has been established, do the republicans still want to go down that road? >> the reason this drives the president so crazy and consumes him is because it speaks to his fears of ill legitimacy. that he didn't really win the election and people don't believe he is the president. that's another factor in addition to feel like it is a witch hunt. that i really bothers him and nags at him. i think the problem is that in that e-mail that donnell junior received, if there was any cooperation, it seems like it showed a real willingness on the part of president's son. he believed he got an e-mail saying this was a russian attorney who is working on of what of the kremlin who has evidence against hillary clinton and can help your father and his
response was i love it. this negates the talking point west see a clear willingness to at least be willing to accept help from a foreign agent and a nation that is hostile to the u.s. >> let me ask you this quickly. you hear it there. at least what you see in the e-mail is a willingness, an openness on the of donald trump jr. to hearing and maybe using information obtained from a source in russia. when you look at this, let me ask you this way. what is the most innocent explanation for all of this that you believe is plausible? >> i guess it would be this has never been part of the campaign before and didn't know the rules hxt a certain level of naivety. he jumped at the chance of the meeting but nothing of consequence came out of it. i don't believe at this narrative at this point, but i'll sure it will be a line of
defense. going to the other end of the scale, what's the most damning that you see? >> that this was someone consciously working with a foreign government to subvert the will of the american people and affect our election. >> thank you for joining us. much more ahead tonight on the russia investigation including the pressure building on trump's son-in-law and jash. there are calls for him to looss his security clearance, even to resign. and people say he is benefitting from a double standard. also, the latest changes in the health care bill as they try to get this through. trump said he will be angry if they don't get it passed but it looks grim.
publics can't afford a single further defection. remember trump's friend jim, the one who never goes to paris anymore. >> i have a friend who used to like france. used to. he was going to france and i said how is your trip going? where? france. he said i'm not going to france because france is no longer france. >> trump is in paris today. where is jim? and finally the roundtable will be here to talk about credibility at the white house and also to tell me three things i don't know. this is "hardball" where the action is. ♪harry's meeting clients...
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call or go to xfinitymobile.com introducing xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. i think jared kushner ought to resign. either donald trump is lying when he said he knew nothing of the meeting or jared kushner failed to tell him about it. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was democratic senator richard blumenthal calling on white house senior adviser jared kushner to resign for participating and failing to disclose the meeting with the russian lawyer last summer. "the new york times" said that after they omitted that meeting and others on the security clearance, he supplemented the list of foreign contacts three times adding more than 100 names. msnbc has confirmed that reporting. investigators are trying to figure out whether he aided the
disinformation campaign by helping the kremlin spread misleading or otherwise fake news in key states and districts during the election. sources close to the inquiry says that kushner's role is a possible conduit including his niche overseeing the operations will be closely looked at today. in an article titled, all roads now lead to kushner. one next step is clear. take away jared kushner's security clearance immediately. let me start with you. give us some context here. we have this news that kushner over mid 100 names from the forms he has to fill out to get the security clearance. 100 names. a lot of people aren't familiar with the bureaucratic process. one of the things you'll hear around kushner and around the administration is hey, he's probably met with countless
people. it is easy for these things to slip through the crack. it is customary to amend these things. 100 names. when you hear that, what does that say to you? >> well, to me, i've held a top secret clearance for almost a quarter of a century. let me tell you something. the sf 86, not a document. a computer program. that you fill out where you have to put all of those names of contacts. for the most part, that is just designed to give investigators a framework of what your life is like and who you make contact with. to go back and amend it because the media has identified that you have met with foreign nationals from an adversary nation, then that document becomes a perjury trap. because anything that you said before that you now say is different, you know, you may be able to amend it. usually for any other person by now, the clearance would have been pulled. it would be out have their hands
and they would be under evaluation for suitability for either prosecution or remaining within government. >> an off camera briefing yesterday, sarah huckabee sanders dismissed calls for the security clearance to be revoked. >> once again we don't discuss security clearances but i think the democrats are trying to play political games and i think it is ridiculous. >> take us through, the politics of it. on the one hand we saw the white house eventually, grudgingly, they did cut loose michael flynn. he wasn't his son-in-law. wasn't family. is there any reason to believe jared kushner, whether it is the security clearance, leading the administration, is there any reason to believe this president would ever take that action? >> i'll answer that by saying what happened after that?
donald trump was very, very loyal to michael flynn, he was not his son-in-law or his family. he was very, very loyal. he stopped well past when people expected him to. the idea is that it was about the russian ambassador. he had a number of problems. he was warned by barack obama saying hey, be careful about this michael flynn guy. there's no indication that donald trump has any interest in letting jared kushner go. at the end of the day, what donald trump wants to do is what will happen. >> let's say he was to resign from the administration. and with that, the security clearance. he is still his son-in-law. he is still married to ivanka.
>> one would assume that if you had -- this is donald trump. it is impossible to predict what rules apply to donald trump here. part of issue is that jared kushner, there was a huge question at the outset whether or not they could work together. they have these special rules. there was supposed to be nepotism protections in place. they worked around that and 94 it all depends whether donald trump wants them gone. >> this is interesting. he has faced resistance from some of the top press aides, according the six sources familiar with the matter. the story suggesting this might be sarah huckabee sanders
saying, hey, we're not necessarily comfortable going out and doing this. >> i don't think it is a question of comfort. i think it is about law. this mueller investigation is not a joke. there is some reporting where donald trump does not recognize the seriousness of what is happening right now. this is an fbi national counter intelligence investigation. now taken over by a special counsel who will investigate every aspect of this. if anyone wants to follow the party line and have to follow and cover up with naish at this point. they'll have to >> thanks to both of you for the time. do they have the votes?
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found on a farm of pennsylvania. a spokesperson for jimmy carter says the 92-year-old is in the hospital after a precaution after becoming dehydrated at a habitat for humanity project in canada. and congressman scalise is in the hospital treating an infection. he w . with the addition of the amendment.
to stabilize costs for the individual market. it also extends taxes on the we thinky and provides savings accounts for premiums and allows insurers to sell cheaper plans with less coverage. you heard chuck schumer criticizing it. many portions are like the old one. the mandate requiring individuals to purchase insurance. the bill has been met by protests outside majority leader mitch mcconnell's office and democrats are warning republicans to not be fooled by the changes. >> moderate republicans, looking at this bill, should be able to see that the incredibly ploddest change to the tax provisions, the small pot of funding for opioid abuse treatment. these he are the tweaks around the edges are like a drop in the
bucket, compared to what the bill does to medicaid, to seniors, to americans with pre-existing conditions. >> two senate republicans, susan collins from maine, rand paul from kentucky, they have both signal that's they're against even starting debate on this new version. the president is warning republicans to get it done. >> i would be very angry about it. a lot of people would be very upset. i'm waiting for it to come to my desk. more from bloomberg politics. let me start with this question for you. republicans can afford two defections on this. you have rand paul on one end of the republican congress. susan collins on the other end. they're against it. how flocked are they? are they immovable? >> pretty locked in. i didn't see any room for
shifting. unless there's a major change in the bill. it is possible there will be some tweets. he spent several weeks hearing members concerns. you can bet this is about as close as he can get. so it is teetering on thin ice. one more republican connection and it is dead. it is not able to come up for debate. we have the extraordinary spectacle of this. >> from bloomberg politics. thanks for the quick update. meanwhile let's talk to a republican who has taken the position, this republican governor chris soon oonu opposed it in the senate. we're going to find out what he thinks. he joins us now. he is holding a convention the rhode island. i know you would rather be back
in new hampshire. >> i grew up a few miles from there. we go to the fes ant lake mall all the time. you were against the original version of this bill. you said it will cost your state too much. mitch mcconnell threw in a little more money to go to the state torsion give a few more options. is it good enough for you or are you still against it? >> well, i think the first point of contention here is that obamacare has failed. no doubt about that. it has to be repealed and reformed. when my state alone, we're looking at upwards of 40, 45% increases. that's not just a challenge. that's not practical. i commend the senate and i hope they do take this under debate. i don't think any bill is not worth a debate, a discussion on amendments and moving forward. i can say that the $45 billion that they've added to discuss the opioid crisis, it is
significant. i laugh when i hear them call $45 billion an insignificant amount of money. that shows you how out of touch they are. how that money will be distributed remains to be seen. it is something. the fact still remains, this would leave my state alone. $1.5 billion in a hole over the next ten years. it is not practical. >> in terms of how the money gets distributed out of that $45 had billion, is critical. >> right now your original assessment was this leaves new hampshire on the short end of it. you have not seen what you need to see to support this. >> that's right. we haven't seen it yet. again, the $45 billion is substantial and how that gets allocated will be important whether we can support something going forward. right now, i don't think a lot of people understand. they're looking at reforming obamacare. it is very, very important.
it is a very viable discussion. they're mixing the two. i'm a big believer. you have to separate they will out. by mixing the two, you're looking at cuts, not just in funding but ultimately in services, in key constituencies. we just can't troiks lose. >> this is the, sort of final version. there might be a few tweaks. republicans are up against the deadline. it looks like he is pretty much exhausting here every option he has to try to get the 50 votes he needs to pass this thing. the public party that has been promising for seven 1/2 years to repeal and replace obamacare kflt the republican party not take action and face the voters? is that an option? >> they've exhausted all options.
there are still 100 different options they can put on the tableful are they under a time crunch? sure. they can adjust the timing and make sure that something as important as the had is on the forefront. they're taking the time to get. that certain states aren't being penalized. making sure they're taking time to drak solution. i'm a big believer. you put it on to the floor. you open it up for debate and amendments and that's where the best and brightest ideas can come to the table. up next, back to our top story. the president defending the meeting with the cemetery religion link told lawyer calling opposition research standard. is it standard when that research is coming from a foreign country? the "hardball" roundtable is here to weigh in on the credibility. whoooo.
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the trump campaign, now trump administration, has spent a year vigorously denying allegations of coordination with russia. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you or your campaign, and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. it is absurd. no base to it. >> it goes to show you their exact moral compass. they'll say anything to win this. this is time and time again. lie after lie. >> did any adviser or anyone in the trump campaign have any contact with the russians trying to meddle in the election? >> of course not. >> what i'm trying to ascertain, how many people have to say there's nothing there before you realize there's nothing there? >> the eagerness toward the overtures about his father's campaign blew a giant hole in that defense. the russia investigation has become a briar patch for those
connected. president trump seems to think it is no big deal. the president telling reporters that those traveling to paris today, what's happening is as usual, the democrats have played their card too hard on the russia thing because people are not believing it. it is a witch hunt and people understand that. thank you all for being here. michael steele, the former republican chairman. i think a lot of people, when this broke this week, thought this is something where you might see some republicans in washington who hadn't previously, just republicans in general who haven't previously distanced themselves from this administration will blow the whistle. i haven't seen it yet. >> and you won't. >> it doesn't surprise you. >> no. the glue that allows these folks to stick to trump is the base
behind him. that percent an of the gop base that is 80%, 90% with president trump. regardless. you hear that consistently throughout and that is enough to allow for the president to sort of leverage and say what he says. and for the leadership, to have to go out and soft peddle. >> is that because the republican base you're talking about, that it will be with president trump. is the message to them anything you're hearing about russia, anything you're hearing from the democrats or the media, it is just people who are refusing to accept? >> whether we like it or not. the fake news narrative is now baked sow the thinking of a lot of voters out there. so i think it is a very dangerous place for the company to be in. now what is really and what is fake is this when something bad, something good happens, that is real. if the president doesn't like it, does he get on determine whether or not it is fake? that seems to be the pattern
that works and that holds a lot of republicans in check right now. health care, you know, tax reform, it doesn't matter. they're all in check. they're waiting to see whether or not the next narrative will be something that plays against them or for them. >> that's an interesting the point. michael is explaining this from the perspective of the republican base. how they've processed, internalized the last six months, nine months, year. in general, his campaign, his presidency so far. you've had hundreds of thousands taking on the streets on a couple of occasions. daily revelations of things you say we've never seen in another presidency before. there's just this whole atmosphere around this presidency on all sorts of fronts. of shock, outrage, of defensiveness. has it created a situation unlike any in history? >> i think michael unfortunately, i think he would
characterize his position as unfortunate that it is not resonating. whether democrat or republican, there has to be a concern of foreign governments are actively trying to play in our political system and political campaigns, are not rebuffing it or turning it over to the right authorities. but smik spot. on where the real challenge is, they're not producing anything in congress. a lot of this is they know president politically. he can say if the media weren't so focused on russia, they might be able to get a health care bill done. now we all know the real problem with health care is that republicans don't agree with one another. he has figured out a way to create these distractions. even this trip to paris. we were talking in the back. i won't put words in his mouth but it is amazingest travels to paris and acts as if there's been no conversation between he and the new president this france. in some ways, you admire. that it is such a short memory. if you play quarterback in the
nfl, you have to do that. he clearly has that capacity. i hope, i'm not saying i hope this. but if there are more revelations as powerful as what we saw with donald junior, i think you will begin to see some republican who's are offended by the russian involvement here to say maybe there's more here. >> to me, that's the possibility this week. now we have, and we just played it. you've had donald trump jr., the president saying, there is absolutely nothing to this idea of any kind of communication with the russians. any idea that we would have had any notion they were trying on help us. now you have the e-mail that blows it out of the water. it raises the possibility that's just the ticht iceberg. that there will be more. that will take us into areas that have been very speculative
but that suddenly become plausible. >> the truth is out there. as an old tv show might say. and they can't put it back in the bottle. we will know if this is the tip of the iceberg. the trump folks are so good at building up, serving coming out like it is a fire hose and we all can't even keep track of what happened yesterday let alone a few months ago. people have forgotten except when we show how many times it was denied. that there was ever any coordination with the russians or communications. now what they're doing is basically saying, it was a normal thing. this is what political campaigns do. and voters, probably republican voters, are thinking all politicians are corrupt. all sorts of shady deals go on. they're just going after trump and it is unfair. of course people gather on significance ref. whether it came from a foreign
government or not is perhaps not important to a lot of voters. they want trump to succeed. i've been around the country at town meetings. what you hear from republican voters is just let him do his job. why is the media getting in the way? why do they bring up this red herring that has nothing to do with my life? that's a very salient point. as important as this is, trump has done a very good job at distracting people around it. >> it feels like this country, the merger of politics and culture and a couple other things has created this divide. and everything that has happened since the election only deepens it. nothing seems the bridge it. a quick break here. this is "hardball" where the action is. ♪
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a year ago candidate trump often painted a dark portrait of the city of paris by way of a friend named jim. >> france is a disaster. i have friends who like, you know, the city of lights. i have a friend, how was paris this summer? he said i don't go there nil. the city of lights. for years, paris, paris. i see him like a month ago. how is paris this summer? i don't go to paris. are you kidding me? for years, every year during the summer, he would go to paris. it was automatic with his wife and his family. i hadn't seen them for a while. he said jim, let me ask you a question, how is paris doing? paris? i don't go there anymore. paris is no longer paris. >> today, while in paris, president trump sounded decidedly more optimistic and promised to come back again. and again, jim wasn't there to
remind him. this visit to paris, everything he said on the campaign trail, it is interesting because he had that first encounter with emmanuel macron that didn't go well at all. it sounds like macron reached out to him. he is trying to cultivate him a little bit. what do you make of it? >> it is clear thattes trying to establish himself as one of the big voices. maybe align himself with merkel as being the next generation of leadership. as i said earlier, a testament to trump that he can forget what he said an hour ago. a day ago. clearly doesn't remember what he said about paris or russia. if he did, he just glosses over them. as an optimist, i home that means he is reconsidering his
position. i'm hopeful. but again, he may forget this tomorrow. >> the hilarious thing about jim today was that subject was raised by a french reporter who at the press conference said to the president in english, what ever happened to jim and do you still feel same way did you about paris, the way you used to speak about us? he was confronted right there. >> he said i love paris. paris is beautiful. the only thing that changed was when he said that, it is great now. he's the president. barack obama is not. >> and it sounds like the president of france is stoking his ego a little bit which may be a little way there too. a quick break. i promise it will be short. next, they'll tell me something i don't know. here's to the safety first...
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back with the "hardball" roundtable. >> you may know this. i'll say the anyway. president trump has done zero public campaigning for this health care bill. zero. not in states that matter with a persuadable public. not in states that are hard read. zero. >> i told pat robertson he has his pen in his hand. >> i will dove tail on that. republicans have done zero campaigning for this health care bill. zero. they haven't talked about it. they run away from it. they don't want it to pass. mitch mcconnell wants to go hole
for vacation. >> it is not doing very well. who is out there making the case for it? no republicans out there standing up for it. thank you for joining us. that will be "hardball" for tonight. thank you for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. >> my son is a wonderful young man. >> the president of the united states defends collusion with the russians. and the president denies treason. >> it is called opposition research. >> tonight the new call for donald trump jr. to testify next week. the mounting troubles for jared kushner. the new scrutiny of the president's all gark friend and why the defense of e-mails points to bigger problems. >> i love e-mails. you can't erase e-mails. >> then the new health