tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 21, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
references, jay-z, you're starting to understand what it means. there will have to be some music in the show. we'll be watching the new show, the beat withari melber at 6:00 p.m. eastern i'm ali velshi tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. spicer splits. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm steve corn actikornacki in matthews. he was mocked by saturday night live and other late night shows. his daily briefings became a form of must-see television these last few months. his performance at the podium was reportedly criticized by the president himself.
spicer's message was occasionally undermined by a tweet hours later, and rumors of his demise have been swirling for weeks, maybe even months. the end came today with the hiring of a new communications director, his name is skairm skair, anthony scaramucci. he had threatened to quit over the pending appointment of scaramucci. reince priebus also if i recally opposed the move. the president chose scaramucci anyway. in a move today, sean spicer downplayed any move in the west wing. >> he wanted to bring some new folks to help revv up the communications operation. and after reflection, my decision was to recommend to the president that i give anthony and sarah a clean slate to start from. >> today the newly named white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders read statements from the president on spicer and
scaramucci. >> i'm grateful for sean's work on behalf of my administration and the american people. i wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. just look at his great television ratings. anthony is a person i have great respect for and he will be an important addition to this administration. he's been a great supporter and will now help implement key aspects of our agenda while leading the communications team. we have accomplished so much and we're being given credit for so little. the good news is the people get it even if the media doesn't. >> joining me, two white house correspondents who spent months in those briefings with spicer. "the new york times," glen thrush, and annie carney. with spicer himself with this move, we saw it. he went to fox news for an interview today. it sounds like he'll try to be the good soldier here. a lot of expectations when that news first broke this afternoon. whoa! wait until he gives the first tell-all interview. it doesn't sound like that's
coming. take us through what led him to leave today and if you expect will be the posture he takes going forward. nothing negative to say about trump. >> spicer has been a flak in this town for going on 15 or 20 years. he's also had a long career in the naval reserve. i'm not expecting him to run around ranting and raving but we know his public account is as we would say at variance with the facto record. he was very upset that the president picked scaramucci. that he would layer him over scaramucci. and in general, this is not just a battle about scaramucci and spicer. it really moves up the chain one level. reince priebus, the chief of staff, the former rnc cheryl, sean's patron is in the cross hairs of jared kushner and other people in the white house and this more than anything else represents a lessening of his power and scaramucci has a very
easy relationship with the president. is much more of a peer. he is not really a peer. he is a rich guy, good looking. the president listens to what he has to say. and the fact of the matter is, steve bannon does feel threatened by scaramucci who represents an entirely new and distinct power center in the west wing as if we needed another one. >> let's follow up on that point. that's been a lot of topic of the conversation. it is about what does this say about bannon? about his influence? maybe waning influence. take us inside there and play this out a little bit. a lot of people are saying this is just the start. is that the expectation? is that the talk? certainly a new prime player here.
he is someone who has been talked about as a he potential replacement for reince. as someone ambitious who would want to move up the ranks there, our reporting suppose reince priebus and bannon were both upset with his addition to the team today. rinls is trying to play nice. i think he is going on a joint interview with fox to show they're brothers, as scaramucci called them in the briefing today. i think a shake-up that's a long time coming. we've been talking about spicer coming out of this role since trump's first foreign trim. and spicer has been setting the stage that he might leave for months with reporters, saying if he didn't get control of the entire communications department firkts didn't go the way he wanted, he might walk. so it is in reaction to scaramucci himself but before scaramucci was totally in the mix for this job. certainly it is a prime player
who is as ambitious as bannon and jared crew who have been he duking it out since january. >> and there's hallie. let me ask you. a lot of people heard the news last night this might happen with scaramucci. it was confirmed today. then he shows up in the briefing room and i have to say, looking at the style of the presentation today. scaramucci seemed more poised, more polished, more glib certainly than we are accustomed to seeing in the spicer briefings the last few months. if i understand this right, this is not the role that scaramucci will be playing. sarah huckabee sanders will be the one day to day in front of the press. so what is scaramucci's role going to be here? >> don't be surprised to see scaramucci do some television. that's his strength. that's what the president likes, even though it will be sarah huckabee sanders doing briefings. we might see a more visible role
than we've seen in the past. and i'm going to apologize for being late to your show. i literally sprinted up the him for the show. number one, regarding anthony scaramucci's performance, the one you're referencing here, i'm told perhaps unsurprisingly that he thought scaramucci did a nice job. he was pleased with the performance. scaramucci played to the cameras, he joked evgs fairly smooth with the reporters, with the assembled media in the roof. sitting in that briefing room, it felt like week one of the administration. the front row all standing up, networks cutting in for special reports. we haven't seen that level of interest in a long time. really since the comey firing for a particular briefing. and this being with scaramucci made it a fairly big deal.
let me walk through what i've learned. this is from someone who understands all of what happened. the discussions happened, the discussions were yesterday into the evening. the president had brought in anthony scaramucci hxt a conversation with him. i'm told by one source, it was fairly impromptu. he directed his team to try to figure out a way to get scaramucci on board. he will come on to the team. the idea it was going. we want to figure out a way to make this work. at that meeting in the oval office this morning, that was the directive to senior staff members. that's my understanding. i'm told at that point, sean spicer walked back sow hoifs. printed out his resignation letter, brought it back in and had a conversation with the president. i'm told the chief of staff was present for part of that conversation toward the end of it. at that point, sean spicer offered the resignation letter.
i know you have breaking news so i'll toss it back to you. >> if you think about it being 7:00 on a friday night in the middle of the summer would isolate from breaking news. a new report appearing in the "washington post." it says russia's ambassador to washington told his superiors in moscow that he discussed campaign related matters including policy issues important to moscow with jeff sessions during the 2016 presidential race. that would be contrary to popular assertions. this information the "washington post" is getting. they are sourcing to current is that former u.s. officials. i am just skimming the story now bit a lot of other people out there. what can you tell us about what's being reported here? >> sure. i'll bottom line it for you. this story says that the russian
pass bass sergei kislyak told his superiors that he and jeff sessions had that conversation and that was picked up by american intelligence agencies. it doesn't prove the conversation actually happened and he adamantly denies it. this goes back to the april 2016 encounter at the mayflower hotel that nbc news and other news organizations reported on. and we reported that comers and others were interested in this meeting. there was a trump campaign event at this hotel. donald trump gave a speech and kislyak was there. there was a vip session. jeff sessions was there. jared kushner was there. he said he had no meaningful encounter with kislyak during this event. that's where it stood. we ganl hearing rumblings that there was a meeting. there was an encounter between sessions and kislyak. and we reported that congress
and others were investigating that. now the post is saying it is based on the single feintelligee that they had a meeting and talked about substantive issues which is important. about trump positions on moscow. again, sessions is adamantly denying this. as the post points out, just because he reported it back to his superiors doesn't prove that it happened. >> and again, let me make sure this is clear. sessions is denying there is any conversation or is sessions acknowledging, there was some kind of conversation that tangentially involved the campaign? how much is he denying here? >> you're asking a very
interesting question. initially his people were adamantly denying that there was any meeting. when he was asked under oath, when he testified before congress, he did hedge a little bit. he said i can't recall every conversation. i can't recall meeting sergei kislyak but it might have happened. so under oath he didn't completely deny it. if there was a substantive conversation about the trump campaign of interest to the russians, that would be a hard thing for anyone to seemingly failing to recall. especially when he had already gotten into trouble for previous contact with kislyak. if did it happen, that could be a big problem for jeff sessions. right now there is no proof. reporting by sergei kislyak back to moscow. >> thank you for taking a few minutes and updating us. let's stay on this and go back to our panel.
>> look at this. news happens even on a friday night. in this administration, it seems the always happen on a friday night. >> his own status has been called into question. what do you think a story like this could do? >> actually, this expects the sean spicer/scaramucci story. how will will skacaramucci deal with this any differently? how would he have dealt any different when i the comey firing these things just keep on happening. and the president obviously sat down with three members of our staff this week and really dumped all over his attorney general at a moment of great vulnerability for jeff sessions. jeff sessions is not exactly in the greatest light in the senate
right now. republican senators are angry about his failure to disclose. so sessions is facing a double squeeze. as revelations like this come out, he will continue to get hit by investigators, by democrats and republicans on the hill. and at the same time, the president remains angry at him for recusing himself which set into motion this whole chain of events that led to the naming of robert mueller. it really raises the question of, if sessions isn't there, who could the president get through the senate as attorney general and who would want that job? >> the issue did come up a little bit. he said he wanted to defer to the white house counsel on it. >> the idea of bringing him in, is there any sense in the white house? did they have a new strategy?
do they have a strategy? >> it is early days. this was brought up by scaramucci. he said i haven't really been briefed on it. he hasn't had the in depth discussions, he says wrgs members of the white house staff. when you talk about the strategy related to russia, we have already seen a shift in strategy. and that's this. mark kasowitz as we reported first thing this morning as the day has come full circle, is stepping away leading the charge. i am told he'll be providing guidance to the president but now the operation is off and running, they're handing off, tagging off to john dowd. to ty cobb. he has not started that upon yet. we don't expect to happen for probably another couple of weeks. at least a little down the road. he is wrapping up his business before he moves into the white
house. and jay sekulow will be the public face. just like this one. we will update of course, if we hear back. remember, sekulow and scaramucci are buddies, old friends as anthony scaramucci said today. so this will be, if not the top issue that scaramucci will figure out. how do you get the messaging? you have to have some kind of communications strategy on it. so far the strategy has been to put a was the between them. and i have a feeling old see it in the coming days. >> just looking at scaramucci. in hearing how the president was pleased with the performance, the question that hovers over the appointment like all others for how long. this is a president who seems to lose patience or interest or
confidence in folks he surrounds himself with fairly quickly. i'm thinking right now of jeff sessions. jeff sessions went way out on a limb in the campaign to endorse him early. not many members of the republican establishment in washington were willing to do that. now you have the president openly saying, hey, i wish i hadn't appointed the guy. scaramucci looks like he's off to a good start now but realistically, how long does this last? >> who knows? people stick around longer than we think they will. i think the downgrade of kasowitz in some ways is much more significant than the shuffling of the press office. this is trump firing a long time loyalist, a new york lawyer who has worked with him for decades. i think that shows they know they have a serious legal problem on their hands. a guy who goes to new york court for you stnlt guy to go against mueller's team. the "new york times" reported that they've been doing extensive research into people
mueller's team. i think this is significant that they know they know what they're up against and he is making a change by firing a long time loyalist showing the number one quality he cares about, loyalty, isn't what he's going to promote right now. which in terms of having a legal defense team ready to take this on is probably smart. >> all right. >> the "washington post" reporting that jeff sessions, the attorney general, last year as a senator, discussed trump campaign related matters with the russian ambassador. that's according the u.s. intelligence intercepts. that story breaking now in the "washington post" and all around the political world. so you miss the big city? i don't miss much... definitely not the traffic. excuse me, doctor... the genomic data came in. thank you.
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welcome back to "hardball." we continue to file this late breaking news in the "washington post." a report that despite public assertions, jeff sessions may have discussed campaign related matters including policy issues important to moscow. the post quotes one u.s. official that sessions has provided misleading statements that are contradicted by other evidence. for more by ashley parker, the new host of the beat with ari melber. let me start with you. i feel we should maybe try to back up here at least for a
second. we have a very explosive moment. you can play it out in a way that is dire for the administration. but tell us what we do know for sure reading this and some of the questions are left unresolved. >> right. i think as your question very carefully points out, this is something that sounds really bad. jeff sessions may have been further misleading about the russian ambassador. sounds bad. what is potential lay good defense for the white house, the "washington post" is relying on an interception of russia's version of events. that might be accurate or not. do the thought experiment about is russia in a completely separate category, would we accept it as probably true, quite possibly not true? you and i were speaking before we went to air and said maybe the russian ambassador is trying to impress his bosses.
so while this merits a lot more study the underlying sourcing is more or less hearsay about a russian source. so from the standpoint of any kind of investigation to figure out what happened, if there is no recording of this conversation of sessions' conversation with the ambassador, is there any way for any kind of investigation? >> we would expect the special counsel to take something like this which is hot in the headline and try to corroborate and investigate if they see it as an investigative interest. we have heard they're looking at the meeting with don junior and the russian nationals. this could also be of interest. the interviews could include people who know about the meeting, could not tell player directors or even potentially, i'll not saying it is worth it. compare it to the transcripts. try to figure out who is really telling truth. >> and with the "washington post," one of the issues when a story like the breaks, one of the issueses sessions has to
contend with, conversations with russians officials, he has been less than forthcoming in the past. one of the reasons towed recuse himself which put him in a tough place was because he failed to mention two meetings with kislyak. the russian ambassador. so already his credibility is pretty. shot. and he's in a weird position as you mentioned earlier on your show. a lot of his former colleagues in congress, senators are frustrated that he was misleading to them when he testified. the president is furious with him for recusing himself which trump believes basically ended one the appointment of mueller. special prosecutor. and a lot of people, the fbi and justice department are also very upset with him because they blame him for the firing of comey. it is hard to see where his
allies are. >> if trump regrets the pick of jeff sessions, hey, look. if sessions resigns, if trump were to fire sessions, that would cause quite a storm. republicans don't have many votes. would this white house look at that and say even if we want to get rid of him, we couldn't get a replacement right now? >> it is an incredibly tricky situation. so far every time president has fired someone in that world, or even threatened to fire someone, it set off a real firestorm with actual legal ramifications and not just up his communications staff. in general, the president likes a fighter. normally what the president would want is for jeff sessions to fight something like this.
as we reported, after the president gave this report where he salve anned his attorney general in quite public terms, senior white house officials were stunned that jeff sessions didn't resign. so maybe he would be not quite toward support him when he needs him the most. >> the justice department has put out a statement tonight. the spokesperson for jeff sessions, she said quoting here, obviously i cannot comment the reliability of what anonymous witnesses say. the "washington post" has not seen and it has not been provided to me. the attorney general stands by his testimony from just last month, before the senate intelligence committee when he specifically addresses this and said that he never met with or in h any quofrgss any russians or any foreign officials concerning any interference with any campaign or election.
it is a very broad -- >> you make good point. we have to look into that. what you see here is a discussion of basically, so a terrible e-mail from a foreign, someone claiming to represent a foreign power, this is not that. this is basically saying, we talked about the prospects for relations between sxrush the trump administration if there were to be one. so it isn't a bad thing. it is just whether it was lied about. the underlying idea that you would have this conversation with ambassador in a formal way is in itself alone problematic. >> and this was the big piece of proous we weren't expecting.
there is more coming in the last few minutes. i think you can take us through it. there's new financial disclosure information coming from jared kushner, the president's son-in-law. >> this is very interesting. the office of government ethics which got attention because walter schaub resigned early. he couldn't make progress, he felt, under this administration. all the property, all the assets. so kushner has a legal obligation to work they will on the filing which he made. previously nbc news was able to obtain some of the e-mails about it and really did comply and try to do a good job is what it looked like. the new thing breaking tonight tonight is that he has missed dozens and dozens of assets. alone that wouldn't be a big deal. if you're very wealthy and have many holdings which he does, you might miss them that good faith, not on purpose. the problem with jared kushner is it seems like every time he has to make a legal filing, he
is missing not one, not five, but dozens. dozens of things he has to do and his lawyers are supposed to help him do right. so there's an emerging pattern with jared kushner. he is there because he's a family member. everyone knows that. now when it comes the foreign nationals, when it comes the his own assets, his own loans, his own property holdings relating to goldman sachs. he has to keep updating. the question is why? >> thatby the way the big headl was the shake-up in the communications department. thank you both for joining us. the new show, the beat, that will premier this coming monday at 6:00, right before this show. . more to come this big breaking night of news. he
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legal help is here. . for more on tonight's news, i'm joined on the phone by one of the reporters with the "washington post" who broke this story about jeff sessions in a meeting with the russians during 2016 campaign. ellen, thank you for taking a few minutes. so this public statement we've had so far from jeff sessions a
few months ago about this issue. he said, quote, i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. that's the on the record statement from jeff sessions. that's now being called into question by the story you're reporting here. tell us exactly what you know. when was this meeting in question and what did bunk what exactly was said during it? >> that's right. what we know is that jeff sessions met with the russian ambassador, sergei kislyak, at least twice in which this ambassador reported back to his superiors in moscow that he had met with jeff sessions. they discussed campaign related matters, including policy matters. and what trump's policy toward russia, toward moscow would be in the trump administration. and this contradicts public statements and as, hes by jeff
sessions in his comfort administration hearing and his june hearing later. and after the press conference when he recused himself from the russian investigation. >> we're getting this, this is russian standpoint that u.s. intel is being exposed to right there. they're capturing communications among russians. and you've got kislyak telling his bosses in moscow this? >> that's right. these are intercepts of conversations that kislyak is having with his superiors in moscow. not conversations he had with sessions. so it is all possible that the diplomat will embellish a little, or maybe make things up in order to make himself look better in the eyes of his superior. from what we know, he has a pretty good track record
reporting faithfully and accurately on his conversations and activities here. >> all right. one of the reporters breaking that story tonight. thank you for taking a few minutes and filling us in. appreciate that. for the republican reaction to tonight's news, joined now by host hue hewitt, a new jersey congressman, hugh, let me ask you. you heard the conversation i had with ellen. what do you make about this story about jeff sessions? and what he's been saying about his quofrgss the russians? >> if it's true, he would have to resign. i remind people of the new york times story of all the contact that was alleged to have occurred which comey testified was in the main, not true. if there were a series of conversations between ambassador and the attorney general, and
they are recorded in a foreign intelligence surveillance act and lawfully intercepted tape, that is the end for attorney general sessions, and i think you have to look out to chicago to boeing general counsel to see him talking on the been to the president with coming in to try to right the ship at justice. >> congressman, let me ask you. the president made clear, he may not have a full confidence in his attorney general. >> i was the first republican on the hill to suggest the attorney general should recuse himself in matters related to russia and i'm sure this will be investigated. it is not unheard of for an ambassador to embellish, as the reporter who has broken the story has indicated. so let the chips fall where they may based on the facts. >> his statement at his confirmation hearing, i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump
campaign. i will guess, do you see any room where he could have, the subject could have come up in any way in the conversation, where he would retain your confidence or if this, again, we're getting a vague report. if there was any kind of conversation about the trump campaign. what do you think of their position on this? what do you think their chances in this state? does that cross the line? >> i think that would be very problematic for the attorney general. and perhaps at the reception after one of the events, if the russian ambassador had come up to them and said, how is the trump campaign going? and if he said, it is going really well. i don't think that would be substantive. let the chips fall where they may. >> and you're already talking about at least a potential scenario he of a new attorney general. it is interesting, the timing on this. earlier this week, donald trump made clear he had some regrets about appointing jeff sessions. i do wonder, we raised the question earlier with this, given the ten with us hold they have, not many votes to spare.
certainly how unlikely it would be for the democrats to get behind a new trump pick for attorney general. would this be a circumstance where trump could get a new attorney general confirmed? >> well, i think if you nominate the right person. you could go to the bench. i mentioned the former federal judge michael ludic who is the runner up to be the chief justice united states. very successful general counsel, tough as nails. i think he would get the 52 republican votes. i don't know if any democrat would go along. i want to go back to the problem of the recusal. these recusals go further than they're intended to go. now i think the attorney general will be recused from surveillance matters with regard to the russians. so the oil slick spread of the recusal becomes a problem that might invite a reset at the department of justice. so that he should not firing mr. mueller. the president should leave mr.
mueller alone. he enjoys a great reputation for integrity. it would be good to have an attorney general who could supervise everything else in the department without concern of the spreading recusal. >> let me follow up on what em. he said the president she not fire robert mueller, the special counsel. do you agree? >> do i agree with that. >> what would the consequence be? in terms of the congress of the united states, what would it be? >> it would be disturbing on capital him. with republicans as well. >> all right. the republican from new jersey. you can catch his show tomorrow morning. a quick break. up next, the "hardball" round table will be here on what has turned out to be a very busy news night. we're still piecing this together.
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welcome back to "hardball." my ears perked up in the last block with something one of our guests said. maybe you heard it too. hugh hewitt was here and he said if the "washington post" report is true about jeff sessions and his quofrgss the russian ambassador, if that was true, he said sessions should resign. let's bring in tonight's "hardball" roundtable. hey, if he wants to get rid of him, the story that's coming out tonight, if it is true at all, he has grounds to do that. >> i mean, to be clear, cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the president.
he could get rid of him without giving a reason, right? he doesn't actually need to establish why he would ditch this guy. the question is, what's the context? how much of a blowback is he going to get and how difficult would it be to get a confirmation? >> that seems to be it. if you're trump and you want to fire him and you have 52 votes, we saw they couldn't get the health care bill through. if you just fire sessions for no reason and you say time president, i can do it. it is probably easy to get three rerepublicans to say no to a replacement. if this turns out to be true, then the urgency would be a lot easier to get the 52 republicans on board. >> it would be a lot easier and don't forget, the senate republicans, republicans in general are feeling frustrated about the earlier omissions by sessions. another thing that was striking to me about the story is there
was not strong pushback from the sessions side. i mean, obviously, we have to see whether that changes in the first 24 hours. but again, there's an omission or an absence of a strong rational or response. it seemed like it was solid and it sealed like it has been pushback. >> this is one report. this is anonymous sources. the russian side of it. so there are all sorts of as contributions. it is a very big umbrella. >> there is had, if this was just a passing remark that kis slak sort of overplaying for his handlers to show his bosses that he is doing something, that's one thing. but what he said is very important. republicans are frustrated on the house. on the congress. trump himself is very frustrated.
it came out during his interview with "the new york times." to have another story coming out. to keep russia in the front grounds of what people are talking about when they're trying to get health care through. even if it doesn't turn out to be as it is first reported. you do have grounds for jeff sessions to say, this has become enough of a distraction to take himself out if that's what is wanted. remember, republicans are trying to get health care through. it is very narrow and this is keeping the russia story alive even longer. >> this is a very good introduction for the job to scaramucci. he was the story and his takeover of the department was the story. nobody is talking about that right now. breaking news has overtaken it. the roundtable is staying with us. this is "hardball" where the action is.
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subpoenas for them requiring their presence at the hearing but reserve the right to do so in the future. we have also learned that president trump's son-in-law jared kushner is set to occur before the house intelligence committee on tuesday. we're back now with tonight's round table. we won't have the big public spectacle of paul manafort and donald trump jr. they are going to be interviewed but this will be a private affair. >> it feels like loss for the television networks. it was really the highest anticipated event, testimonywise, since comey. there's a possibility the staff and the committee members could yield more, especially with manafort. it feels like there's a lot to be explored in terms of his interests. in terms of his ties.
some of which we've seen. and it feels like the substance is something the committee could be eager to get at. >> is there a connection. the other guys, glen simpson who is behind the trump dossier that got so much attention. he is declining. is there a lirng between trump junior saying, if he doesn't appear publicly, i don't want to appear publicly? >> well, they are subpoenaing simpson. the door is still open for a subpoena to occur for the other folks. i think the question is to what extent does that successfully detract attention from the potential scandal that is hovering around manafort, trump junior and kushner? potentially part of strategy here in going after simpson. grassley has said, how combs hasn't registered as a foreign
agent. is to maybe make it look like both sides were doing something bad. and we shouldn't always be focusing on stuff that the trump campaign -- >> kushner now becomes a bigger story. >> he has a very large portfolio. for him to come in and explain why he was in these meetings, what he expected, that will yield a lot of information. >> roundtable is staying with us. chances are, the last time you got a home loan,
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we're back with the "hardball" round table. i don't want to put anybody on the spot but this story about jeff sessions has everybody talking now. let's try to play this a little bit forward. as this develops, what are you looking for? >> what i'm looking for over the next 48 hours is whether there will be any pushback from the sessions side, any more detail. i think if there is not, you're going to hear more calls like you just heard from hugh hewitt and that i think will take you right into the beginning of next week which is a high stakes week. and a pretty uncomfortable one for the administration. this could become intense. the pressure on sessions. if all of these remain solid, could be very intense. >> i'm looking to see how this plays with the trump base. they've been convinced, it is all #fake news. if in fact this is being used as an excuse to oust sessions, will
the base buy it? >> in ten seconds, if sessions holds on, do schumer and democrats point to him to say they shouldn't throw their lot in with trump. >> all right. thank you for joining us. that's "hardball" for now. chris matthews will return monday night. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. >> good evening from new york. a bad week for attorney general jeff sessions just got a lot worse. the "washington post" breaking the news that u.s. spy agencies intercepted conversations in which russia's former ambassador to washington, sergei kislyak told supporters in moscow that did he in fact discuss campaign related matters with sessions including policy issues important to moscow when the two men during a presidential campaign. and that's according to what kislyak told