tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC July 26, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
we expect the senate to confirm christopher ray as the fbi director before the august recess. he'll be the one to blow out the candles next july. that's all for tonight. we'll be back with a lot more mtp daily. the beat with ari starts now. for the first time i hand the baton over. how are you, sir? >> i'm good. before i let you go, chuck, given all the administrations you've covered and the biggest story in town in washington, do you think there's a part where jeff session goes into the oval and says are we good or do i need to go? >> i don't. i don't think he will offer his resignation. i think he's going to make him fire him. >> which is significant. that's what we're going to be watching. thank you for the hand off. i appreciate it. donald trump says he will sign just about any bill on obamacare but republicans just failed on a vote to send him any bill on
obamacare. congressional republicans campaigned on repeal and replace. they couldn't get that planned through congress. today a senate vote to just repeal obamacare with no replacement failed. seven republicans defying trump on the vote. trump made a last ditch effort calling out senator lisa murkowski on twitter but it did not work. you can hide behind a commuter screen. is president trump too busy to face down his party in person or just too scared? he looks scared because he spent so little time meeting with senators to do the work, to find an obamacare strategy. everyone also knows the president likes twitter, a place you can post quick thoughts but increasingly it looks like this could be a presidential posture based on twitter fingers. that's an internet expression
that refers to people who act tough online and then fold when it's time for a fight in real life. the senator responded to the president's twitter fingers by saying he's not afraid of any electoral blow back. >> i don't think it's wise to be operating on a daily basis thinking about what a statement or a response that causes you to be fearful of your electoral prospects. >> that doesn't sound like a republican eager to rejoin trump's fold. as lawmakers face a barrage of votes tomorrow. let's get right to it. thanks for joining. tomorrow is a so called vote-a-rama that includes skinny repeal. do you think that's better than full repeal? >> whatever the republicans come
up with it's all on a path to repealing the affordable care act and whatever they come up with to replace the affordable care act will literally rid millions and millions of people from health care coverage. what they're coming up with will not be good for millions of people in our country, particularly the poorest, sickest and oldest in our community. >> you don't view skinny repeal as anything you'd get on board with? >> it's just a ploy. they'll do anything to try to get the votes they need but it's really to get us to the poipt of repealing. they can't even figure out what to replace the affordable care act with with. the big debate is how many people do we need to kick off of health care in order to get the votes they need. this is not health care. this is really, i don't even have the words. how can you call it health care when kicking off millions of
people from the very kind of coverage that they need. health care is a right, not a privilege. >> take a listen to president trump on this. >> any senator who votes against repeal and replace is telling america that they are fine with the obamacare nightmare. i predict they'll have a lot of problems. >> do you think he sounds more concerned about the problems senators would have rather than the people that might lose their insurance? >> i don't think the president knows anything about the substance of what's in any of these bills. he campaigned on a promise that everyone would get health care and everything would be great. the versions of the bill that we have seen in the house and senate do anything but. he's just out there tweeting. he's not a substantive kind of
guy. for the republicans to listen to him, they're going down the wrong path. i'm really glad that lisa said she's basically, she's not afraid of him. the people in alaska knows what she stands for. she's fighting for them. >> on that point you mentioned the tweets we were talking in our introduction about is twitter fingers. the tendency to talk tough but not back it up. do you have a sense those who defected has his tweets helped our hurt? >> it's very clear that he will anybod this is the behavior of a classic bully. he can tweet all he wants at 5:00 a.m., whatever it is. one day he's tweeting this. another day he's doing that. totally unpredictable and not any kind of founding or basis in which to vote for any bill.
really the senators are going to need to take responsibility for whatever version they come up with. the versions that we have seen so far will knock millions and millions of people off of health care. that's not right. >> senator, giving us good thoughts about the implications here on what it means to people affected by these policies. the other big story today, this big chill between president trump and attorney general jeff sessions. the white house saying they haven't been in direct contact but they surely have been communicating with those tweets and the public criticism from the president. bob, is it inappropriate what the president is doing or within his rights as the way he chooses to manage the attorney general? >> i think it's highly
inappropriate. he's not simply saying he's troubled with the way the attorney general sessions is running the department. he's saying he's unhappy with the fact that attorney general sessions did not take the steps that the president believes are necessary to protect him, the president, maybe family members, maybe campaign aides in an investigation that concerns him. it's entirely inappropriate. >> senator, take a listen to your former colleague on what this says not about sessions but about trump. >> why doesn't the president fire andrew? >> the president's made an incredible nominee in chris ray and he's looking forward to getting him confirmed and taking over the fbi. >> that at the white house today. i want to play you senator lindsey graham, the other side here in congress. he says i'd fire somebody i didn't believe could serve me well rather than trying to humiliate him in public which is a sign of weakness. >> he's taunting jeff sessions,
of course. this is a very dangerous kind of game he's playing. he's tweeting himself into a very deep canyon and very big trouble. hooels he's implying and suggesting i want my attorney general to investigate my former opponent. you cannot use the justice department to go run your errands. you cannot do that. this is a dangerous game he's playing. >> to build on that point, there's so much here that's abnorm abnormal, we can lose track. in addition to the manner in which the president is doing it, let's put that to the side for a moment. these childish tweets. this isn't about his management of policy, which is place for disagreement, it's russia. it all comes back to russia. not because of the media, jeff sessions but because of the president. >> yeah. the president is obsessed with the issue of russia. i understand that but the fact
is there are some pretty clear indications that it comes back to the campaign. we have 17 investigative agencies that who have said this comes from russia, this meddling. we know that roger stone is connected to wikileaks and there's all kinds of connections here. if he tries to fire jeff sessions and he could if he wants to, fire rosenstein and fire mueller. i think that will be the end of things. i think there's going to be real fire storm by the american people and by republicans and democrats in the congress. >> what do you mean the end? you served this the senate. when you say "the end," what are you saying? >> the president will be investigated. i think you may well have skugs about impeachment. if he were to go through. he's already fired comey and go
after mueller, i don't think the american people will stand for that. >> senator, i want to go to bob. senator, do you think people in the white house are giving the president that way what you're using the i word, that clear line as a warning that he knows there are linelines? >> i don't know. that's not what i want to happen at all. my wish is he stops tweeting. he would accept that jeff sessions is the attorney general and there's now a special counsel. let this play out and let's move forward and work on things like tax reform and structure ainfra health care. we're way off in the weeds on these other issues which makes no sense to you. >> i feel deep in weeds. i need a weed whacker. we didn't bring up russia and sessions. walk us through how a white house counsel deals with this. you have the most powerful client in the world.
what is your counter part doing. >> there's a lot of lawyers circulating in the white house. somebody was just added from to the lead team to coordinate the public in private aspects of the president's response to this russia investigation. private in the sense his own legal interests are at stake. it's possible he's going about other duties and leaving russia to this newly added counsel. >> if he's doing that and leverileve leaving it to the private attorneys who represent the criminal defense, do you think that's wise? >> the most recent addiction was an addition to the public payroll of a lawyer who has a dedicated responsibility for this aspect of the president's legal affairs. one of the point i would make, the president continues to tweet. he continues to give interviews like the one he gave to the new
york times against htere in. if lawyers are condoning both the practice and the content, it's the most remarkable legal advice on the face of the earth. >> i think that's a really nice way of saying it's terrible legal advice? >> it's not conventional. legal advice someone had to assume the lawyers in question don't have complete control of their client. >> right. take what you're saying and i take the respectful way you put it. thank you both. next, i'm going to speak with a trump supporter and democratic operative why trump is hitting campaign rallies instead worveging wi inworking and the white house dodging plans about punishing putin. also this is going to be interesting. what did we learn about the limits of polling in the 2016 campaign. a researcher joins the beat to explain how google searches can
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with the exception of the late, great abraham lincoln, i can be more presidential than any president that's held this office. no president has done near than what we have done in his first six months. >> trump made so many big campaign promises, many wondered what he could do if he failed. he argued he has fulfilled the big promises. >>. >> we're now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this obamacare nightmare. we will build the wall.
we've added much more than one million jobs. we are keeping our promises to the people, and, yes, we are putting finally, finally, finally, we are putting america first. >> the speech full of that kind of victorious talk, was it true? trump's pledges to build a wall, fix immigration, drain the swamp, we peel obamacare, put america first and boost jobs, if you think about those after six months, let's be honest. trump has failed to get results on about five out of six priorities. it took congress, not trump to put america first by standing up to russia on sanctions this week. the bright spot for trump is the economy. surging stocks and falling unemployment. whether that's a trump bounce or him inheriting momentum is up for debate. keep that factual record in mind when the president makes this
false statement. >> no president has done anywhere near what we've done in his first six months. >> no. historians and nonpartisan moperts say trump's first six hs with no major legislation passed fall way behind several presidents like roosevelt or johnson. was president trump lying just there? maybe not. maybe he really believes these six months have done more than fdr. that kind of delusion could be even more concerning than deliberate exaggeration. paul, as a trump supporter, does it concern you that the president thinks he's achieved so much when he has a lot of work to do? >> of course he has a lot of work left to do. he also has, i would say is the only president gone through what he's gone through now.
six months where he is serving as our chief officer and having a lot of people that are delegitimizing his presidency. s >> you're saying he's up against a lot but do you think he understands he's made a false statement. you don't think he's done more. >> you're talking about the new deal era. we were going through a depreparatid depressi depression. he's going through a position where he's in a presidency with booming technology where he's going through a lot and have to be strong. >> jim, what do you think and do you think the president believes what he's saying? >> i don't know if he believes it. he's about the only one who does. the fact of the matter is as you have suggested, it's flat out false everything he said. you said maybe five out of six. i'd say six out of six.
the swamp hasn't been drained. it's smellier than ever. he's done very little to promote job creation. his tax cuts are dead. he's barely going to get anything through on health care. i can go on and on. i simply -- i spent 21 years in the senate as a staffer. i've never seen a president so poorly mishandled not only legislative process but the executive branch as well. it's just amazing. >> that is the weird part. you support this president and you're a loyal publican. it is weird to have a president who seems so out of th loop on how congress works and from what i can tell, uninterested in learning. >> i do agree. it's kind of we're at a very difficult period in american history where we have a president who inherited a huge mess in regards to international affairs and domestic problems. with have a lot of cities that want our heads on pipes.
him coming in at a crucial period it's an opportunity right now for not only for him to have the answer for us to reach out to him and support him through the other levels of government. >> jim, do you buy that? do you think it's tougher on this president? >> i don't buy that, with all due respect. he's done absolutely nothing to reach out to the american people, to try and bridge the differences, significant though they may be between different parts of the country. he's at 36% approval rating. it's not going to improve any time soon. he's doing nothing to try to expand it. he's just playing to the base. that's what we have seen. he's going on these campaign swings. >> he's playing to the base or whatever crowd happens to be in front of him regardless of if it's the right place for the message. here he is with the boy scout thi thi
thing. >> i know democrats that heard that and wld have never voted for it but they voted because they believe the lies of president obama. by the way, just a question. did president obama ever come to a jamboree? >> paul, when you look at that does it make you say this is what i voted for? that's going to make america great again or do you think he's losing the thread here? >> i would say it's not the leaders of america that make america great. it's the average american. i was a member of the boy scouts america troop 11. >> respect. >> we tackled a lot of issues that are bigger than politics. >> didn't he bring politics to that event? >> of course he did. he's trying to revolutionize and empower the younger generation. >> jim, paul just out boy scouted you but you can have the final word. >> never was a boy scout. he continues to drive deviancy
down. it was disgraceful. >> jim and paul, a couple different views on what's going on. appreciate you both. congress finally ready to punish russia. will president trump agree to it and what's the best way to figure out what someone is really thinking? we have an expert using google searches to spot new trends and figure out what people might be googling especially in the era of trump and the radical this chief. president trump breaking norms. a scholar says trump is exploiting deeper flaws in our system and a trump supporter who says trump is doing exactly what he promised. there could be fireworks. that's ahead on the beat.
by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. [ laughter ] >> we have to talk about it to find out what's going on. the press is out of control. the level of dishonesty is out of control. >> this is not normal. have you ever found yourself saying that. thinking about trump's election. it's true. in fact, it's one part of the national mood that trump critics and supporters probably agree on. trump mixing things up but is it a shattering of our traditions or a chance to stop business as usual this washington. trump shatters norms in two ways. he breaks rules like the due process rules he violated that ensured it was blocked in courts. he also breaks traditions which is not rules and no enforced by any government mechanism. the way he bullies people, lashes out as his most loyal aids.
the way he baits and falsely impugns those of us in the free press. on all these issues trump is violating norms. those are traditions. they are not enforced. there's no court that will tell him to stop twitter shaming the attorney general. trump critics say that's one of the most damaging parts of his leadership. he's exploiting a bug in the system to demean our government in public discourse and they know trump is excelling in a time when elections are dominated by big money and trust in institutions are at a big time low. they have a rebuttal. they say don't be shocked by him doing the things he pledged to do. >> dd j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can
figure out what the hell is going on. >> i know more about isis than the generals do, believe me. >> he's not a war hero. he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured, okay. i hate to tell you. >> i hate to tell you. he doesn't really hate to tell us, does he? he delights in shocking, ch challenging and trolling. will we get our norms back? do we want them back. we have a special debate on this today. he says trump is a president on our side and constitutional law professor who argues trump benefits from a constitutional rot in our government that's allowing demagogues to impede democracy. is trump destroying civic norms? >> the big problem that trump is doing is increasing polarization. he's causing people to distrust government, to distrust democracy and distrust each
other. if he succeeds in doing that, it will be very, very difficult to put everything back together again. >> professor, is this what you wanted when you backed trump? >> yes, it is. absolutely. i don't think he's causing distrust in government. i think that distrust was already there. i think he's finding a fertile ground for doing what he is doing and communicating in the way he is because there's distrust. i think a lot of public doesn't want business as usual. they don't want the ordinary norms preserved. i would argue that when you introduce the two of us, both claims are right. i don't think we've had anything like normal behavior in washington since 1974 and the budget control act. i think we badly need something that disrupts the pattern that's developed since then and trying to return us to more fundamental constitutional norms. >> you're saying both of these namics could btrue. it's a long way from the budget
control anct to tweeting the personal attacks, vulgarity. do you stand by that or do you think that's the cost of doing business with this kind of change? >> i won't defend every individual tweet. i do think that in a sense, a lot of republicans have had this not trust donald trump and his core supporters. the democrats have been engaging in personal destruction. republicans have been playing nice in return. we have seen john mccain not return to personal attacks. i think they feel somebody is hitting back. somebody is punching back. there's a story of brother who comes running into mom saying my sister pulled my hair and the mom says well, listen, he didn't understand it hurts. a few minutes later the sister starts crying and the brother
comes in and says she does now. i've heard a number of people tell that story to indicate what that is going on. >> i think the story doesn't help your argument. that sounds like teaching children about a cycle of physical violence and you're talking about a candidate who ran encouraging his supporters say i'll pay the legal bills if you illegally attack someone. i know that's where you want to be. let me get professor balkan in. your reply. >> i think that what he's pointing to are some very worrying features of the last 30 years. increasing political polarization causes people in both parties to completely distrust what the other would do if it got power. this underlines the possibility of the particularly kind of government we have in the united states. because we don't have a parliamentary system, we don't have one party rule. that's not the design. we need to have various overlapping consensuses to get anything done. if you stoke hatred toward the
other party and cause people not to trust the other person, then what will happen is you just can't get government done. we see this. >> it's a profound point. the other norm he's changing is the norm of just normal administrative governance. here is sarah huckabee sanders saying that on the matter of life and death, people who are serving our country right now, risking their lives it's unknown whether they will be kicked out of military or removed from field of battle because of the norm shaettering way the president issues these by twitter and people's lives are involved. >> you can't answer the question of what will happen to transgenders in military now? >> i think you have to make decisions. once he made a decision he didn't feel it was necessary to hold that decision and they're going to work together with the department of defense to implement it. >> would it be better to do the normal process where the
pentagon would roll this out in an orderly way? >> that's hard for me to say. i think that there's a lot about the internal dynamic of how these things work that we aren't privy to. my own preference would be for that normal procedure to take place and not be introduced in a tweet and a policy to be firmly in place. on the other hand if you think back to a number of decisions that have been made by presidents from both parties over the past few years, they have taken this kind of character. my suspicion is that some of that is due to circumstances and personalities but some of it is due to the fact it's hard to get the constitutional structures moving unless something forces them to move. >> i want to say the country may be polarized, both of you gentlemen are not. very honest and civic exchange and these issues. i hope you'll come back >> thank you. >> thanks foraving us on.
coming up, will president trump get on board with the new russia sanctions? why the white house saying it's complicated. what's the last thing you googled? you might not want to say out loud but it might say a lot about you. we have an expert on what it all means. heart disease. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights. and fragmented care- stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list. for those who won't rest until the world is healthier, neither will we. optum. how well gets done.
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faulty and google searches can be a more accurate way to understand our behavior. right before the election the book's author wrote trump's support might be stronger than thought based on the google data. the same data can be used to highlight other political debates like abortion. take a look at states where it's difficult to get a legal abortion. look at this. the 14 states where the most people are frequently googling phrases like quote, how to cause a miscarriage. this is a striking overhappelap the limited options are changing people's behavior. if web searches do reveal our most hidden desires, it begs the question what are we googling in the age of trump? joining me is author of the book, everybody lies. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me.
>> let's start with that example when you look at these rulgs on abortion. you're saying the searches tell a story. do you know they tell behavior? >> i think it's very clear. not only are shay highest in places where it's hard to get abortion, they rose substantially in 2011 when there was crackdown on legal abortion. we don't know for sure that they lead to bad behavior but you can see that in the places where it's now hard to get an abortion, they are missing pregnancies. there are people who are getting pregnant and not showing up in birth or legal abortn. >> people talk abo a bug or feature. this is not a feature of google. we hear this term big data. this is not why google exists but it's telling us things we wouldn't know. >> i think people lie to polls because they have no incentive to tell the truth but they tell the truth to google because they have an incentive to get the information they need. they tell things to google that they might not tell anybody else. >> did you predict that trump
would win? >> i predicted that he would win because i'm always predicting bad things will happen. >> you were unhappy? >> yeah. one thing that was very clear in the data leading up to trump was the level of racism in this country. it was a lot higher than people realized and in parts of the country where people thought racism wasn't that high. on google people make racist searches looking for jokes mocking african-americans in disturbing frequency. >> they say that's unfair. there's many reason to support trump other than racism. you're saying there was explicit evidence in the data of racism. what is the evidence? >> the strongest correlation with trump support in the republican primary was google searches for racist material. it doesn't mean everybody supports trump is racist but it's very, very clear in the data that it was a big part of his initial support. >> what happens if a pollster
says to someone do you like candidate because you're racist? >> very, very few will say yes. >> yeah, i kind of figured that's where you're going with that. any other big trends people are missing and you predicted the trump thing. what are we missing now? >> ooi'm obsessed with trump bu that's really a blue state phenomenon. the obsession with trump, russia, jared kushner and obamacare and whether it's repealed. it's really limited to blue states relative to red states. that's a huge partisan divide. >> what are they googling in red sta states? >> sports and the regular stuff. >> highly engaged electorate. thank you for coming on. the book is "everybody lies." appreciate it. coming up, congress making that move on russia. mr. president trump get on
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other big question facing the white house, will president trump sign this new sanctions bill against russia or not. bob corker says there are changes that could be made including stripping out some pieces that relate to north korea. he said this is going to become law, period. the sanctions passed the house by a vote of 419-3 which mean trump's concerns about this are legislatively irrelevant. that was a veto proof majority. how is it playing in russia? the kremlin said the sanctions are sad. his ambassador is the kremlin doing some sort of fan fiction in trying to sound like
president trump? >> ari, congratulations on your show. >> thank you, sir. >> good to be here with you today. the russians don't like these sanctions, of course. they are trying to make sure there will we understand and the president will understand there will be consequences. they will respond. i expect that to be true. you know, they would like to see him veto this, at least some symbolically to show he is still trying to work with the kremlin to achieve some kind of new relationship. >> ambassador, what would be the point of vetoing something that's veto proof? >> it would be a signal to president putin that i tried. he can then say i tried but these crazy people in congress have tied my hands. i don't think it's wise. i think this particular situation was created by president trump's ambiguous policy toward russia in first place. had he made an argument to give him plflexibility with sanction to say i'm going to get this,
that and the other, things in the american national interest to lift sanctions, they would have given him wiggle room. >>this isn't the tv question whe i'm like making it up. why? why didn't he do that? >> inexperience, lack of a foreign policy team, divisions with his own administration for how to deal with russia, and a lot of people at lower levels in the government just not willing to explain to the president how to deal with russia given this rather bizarre, to say the least, obsession he has with vladmir putin. i think it's a huge strategic mistake. when i was in the obama administration we didn't want legislation tieing our hands with respect to sanctions. we wanted the flexibility to negotiate. that take that away because they don't trust the president. >> it's a non-partisan issue. it's about where you sit and presidents want that.
they just seem to have whiffed. your view of the sanction stand off now. >> i think president trump has a problem he wants to look at though he's independent. how can he stand against sanctions that are designed to protect america against foreign intervention in a presidential election. i don't think he can hold his position that he's got at the moment. >> what are you finding? >> we're finding is that if you look at the hundred. -- money. if you follow the money he's expanded his investigation to follow the money. if you look at them you see an overlaying layers between the trump family and this involves jared kushner, family circle, real estate interest in new york and alleged money laundering coming out of russia. this takes us back to the notorious meeting in june of last year.
jared kushner and the son of the president entered a room with four russians present. one of them was russian lawyer who was representing the russian owned company involved in money laundering alleges including a very big new york trial that was only settled that was only setts may. >> do these issues go away if jared kushner is in the government and less involved in his business? >> that's the thing we saw this week. we saw him present with us an 11-page dossier giving an explanation for the meeting last june and argued, he knew nothing. he knew nothing at all and money was nothing to do with it. it was completely separate from his financial interests. i think what we're seeing, with the interests of robert mueller playing into this whole business, you cannot do that. the new york real estate world in which jared kushner and the president were deeply embroiled is fantastically complicated. it is increasingly getting money from abroad. much of it from russia.
he cannot sprsemirate himself f problem. >> appreciate your expertise. straight ahead, the president's relationship with the press. the former editor of the "new york times" is talking about why the president can't seem to quit fake news. bill assumed his mayo was the best choice. assume nothing. just like the leading brand, kraft real mayo is made with high quality ingredients at a price you can feel good about no wonder kraft is so good.
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i would ask whether or not you think i will someday be on mt. rushmore. but here's the problem. if i did it joking, totally joking, having fun, the fake news media will say, he believes he should be on mt. rushmore. so i won't say it, okay? >> that's not an old clip. that was the president last night. is the news really fake? or as stephen king argued, is the president fake and the news real? all presidents do bite the the press but president trump is the first one who says he doesn't believe in news. he's now tweeted 69 fwims fake news including the failing "new york times" which drew 17 tweets. if you really think an outlet is fake though, say "the new york times" you think is like the "national enquirer," you would ignore them.
and terrorism doesn't. he just sat for an hour-long interview with "the new york times" and that's actually his third as president. watch what he does, not what he tweets. my very special guest is jill abramson for the new york times and now a political columnist for the guardian. an honor to have you here, jill. >> i'm thrilled to be here. congrats on your first week, ari. >> thank you. what does it say to you, given the job you've held, that the president continues to do these interviews with "the new york times"? >> what it says to me is he knows that the times is a very important institution in the country. and certainly, one of the leading news organizations and the news media. and he craves its attention. he craves its approval. one of trump's biographers, tim o'brien said he is obsessed with
"the new york times." so it doesn't surprise me that he's given three interviews to the "times." and at the first one, he even began the interview by saying the stims"times" is a great, gr american and world institution. when he beats up on the "times," he is playing to the base and they love his talk about the fake news media. >> so you raise such an important distinction, which is him essentially tricking people, or trying on convince people of something that isn't the case. he is not treating it as fake. then you have this reporting from jim comey's memo that trump urged the fbi tried to jail reporters. mr. trump said he should jail journalist who's publish classified information. it was an act of intimidation which would likely be unconstitutional. a huge scandal if it was one thing any other president did. and then this week for your
response, officials saying jeff sessions now due to announce in the coming days a number of criminal leak investigations, based on news accounts of send i have the intelligence information. what do you see going on here? >> what i see going on here is, you know,resident trump himself has been decrying leaks, criticizing sessions for not opening criminal leak investigations. so sessions is bowing to him had. and president trump would not be the first president to encourage criminal leak investigations. president obama surprised me and everyone by initiating more criminal leak investigations than any president before him. so i don't find it surprising. i find it alarming that the president during the campaign talked about, quote/unquote, opening up the libel laws and
trying to change basic, the basic contours of the first amendment. that's scary. >> in your new piece, you write that one of the things saving trump from more damage is his cowardi cowardice. it is another weakness of character. so is denying his worst behavior when he is caught red handed. >> he has not actually gone through with so much of what he has threatened and the way he is slow tortured, jeff sessions, and tweets and interviews this week. many of your guests have made this point. why doesn't he just fireman? he mass power. he shrinks from doing so. and even when he fired jim comey, he did so sort of hiding
behind rod rosenbloom, the attorney general. >> the loudest, most macho person on the internet isn't always the loudest person in real-time. >> my mom always told me, most bullries cowards. >> you can us at the beat with ari. chris matthews has "hardball" now. i'll join him later in the hour. civil war. let's play "hardball." good evening. the battle between president trump and attorney general jeff sessions is escalating. we're watching civil war between mostly son senators loyal to the man from alabama as he chiles the president out there loudly trying to dump him. the fight is now making republicans take sides between