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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 28, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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would gorka be in this analogy? the answer was you are more like jaba the hut and you are more like gentlemjaja binks. hard ball starts right now. >> trump tackles storms. let's play "hardball.""hard bal. >> trump tackles storms. let's play "hardball."ball star. >> trump tackles storms. let's play "hardball."" starts . >> trump tackles storms. let's play "hardball." good evening. "the washington post" reports that trump saw a real estate deal in moscow at the same time that donald trump was running for president. we will get to that story all of those details in just a moment. we begin, though, with massive devastation in texas after what is being called a historic storm. houston remains paralyzed much
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of it under water tonight. thousands have been rescued from their homes. governor activated the entire texas national guard to help in the response. and much more rain is still expected. i'm joined now by nbc's maya rodriguez just outside of houston. maya, we see all of that rain around you, obviously, with the forecast still calling for more. >> it is calling for more, and it has been raining like this literally for days now, steve. this is a neighborhood where people have been trapped in their homes, neighbors have been coming out to basically help them bringing their own personal boats to go and rescue people. joining us right now is susan. she has lived in this neighborhood for 40 years. have you ever seen anything like this? >> not ever. never. no. it's unbelievable. a nightmare. >> what is going through your mind as you see people ferrying
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others out of the neighborhood. >> that's what we are trying to decide. should we get out of here? just bunker down? we have a two-story. we could go upstairs but at this point we just don't know what to do. >> and that is a concern out here, steve. a lot of people have been asking themselves, should i evacuate, should i not evacuate, what is the water going to do again, next, because of all this rain. >> and the weather. is it going it rain two more days? three more days? what? and sad part about it is it's like this everywhere in houston. and houston is a huge area. so it's just heart breaking. absolutely heart breaking. >> are you afraid of being trapped on your second floor? do you have a plan possibly for -- >> no, we don't have a plan. we are just taking minute by minute. you know. and if we have to go upstairs and stay, we will. but you can't go anywhere. if we were to leave our home, we
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can't -- we can't go anywhere. so you know, we almost have to stay here. >> all right. suz et, we wish you so much luck, and the neighbors in the subdivision where we are in northwest houston and northwest suburbs of this city. this rain has been torrential. it has been doing this all day long, steve. >> all right, nbc's maya rodriguez there in the houston area. obviously just so much devastation. we will have much more on that during the hour. we will move on to other major stories. nbc news reporting that investigators led by special council robert mueller are looking into whether president trump attempted to hide the purpose of that june campaign meeting with russians at trump tower. last year, june 2016. specifically, mueller is looking into the president's role in crafting the initial public response for his son, donald trump, jr. while aboard air force one. quote a person familiar with
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mueller's strategy said that whether or not trump made a knowing statement is now among prosecutors. and whether the trump organization made a deal in moscow at the same time trump was running for president in 2015 and early 2016. this is after trump on multiple occasions denied any business relationships in russia. >> i own nothing in russia. i have have no loans in russia. i don't have any deals in russia. i have no relationship to russia whatsoever. >> i have nothing do with russia. i have no investments in russia. none whatsoever. i don't have property in russia. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia. because we've stayed away. >> despite the president's assertion that he has stayed way from deals in russia his lawyer michael cohen told congressional investigators that trump signed
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a letter of intent with the russian development company in october of 2015. e-mails reportedly turned over to congressional investigators today also reveal that cohen discussed the project with russian-born real estate developer felix satter. according to the "new york times" satter told cohen the deal would help trump get elected. quote, our boy can become president of the usa and we can engineer it. i will get all of putin's team to buy in on this. i will manage this process. post further reports that cohen even contacted putin's personal spokesman for help on the deal. however it was abandoned before the first presidential primaries in early 2016. cohen told nbc news today, quote, it was a building proposal that did not succeed and nothing more. to best of my knowledge mr. trump was never in contact with anyone about this proposal other than me on three occasions, including signing a nonbinding letter of intent in 2015. much to talk about here.
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joining me now to help me with it, tom hamburger of the washington post. he reported the story we are were just reading from. julia is a staff writer. juliette. and ken vogel, thank you to all of you. we finished up there. you guys have it here in the washington post. these could be takts between michael cohen, lawyer from trump with the trump organization, trying to reach apparently putin's spokesmen at some point and having this, whatever you want to call them reimmediate areary and ally, sater saying, hey, we can get this deal all brokered. take us through the time line. this played out late 2015, early 2016. what exactly happened here? what is the status of this project? >> well, steve, to jump to the bottom of the time line, the status is that since january 2016, nothing has moved on the project.
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but what we now know thanks to the series of e-mails that were turned over to congressional committees today, is that the trump organization was actively seeking to build a tower in moscow. it was to be one of the largest towers in the world. we're told by those who these e-mails reveal would be perhaps the largest structure in europe. so a very ambitious tower. and felix sater, long time associate of donald trump, who as you mentioned is russian-born, is in moscow encouraging the deal with a russian partner. and his contact in the trump organization is michael cohen. long time lawyer, council to trump organization. and a person who informally sometimes supported donald trump during the campaign, sometimes speaking for him on television network interviews. and what we know is that they desired starting in late -- in 2015 and through january 2016 to
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build this structure in moscow with sater often encouraging his boy hood friend and his ally back in trump tower, michael cohen, to encourage a meeting with vladimir putin. at one point suggesting they could get this deal done and they could get, they could help elect donald trump as president of the united states. >> so sater, you have sater here making all these claims, we're going to get this done and got to get you in touch with the russian administration here. is there any indication, is there any evidence of reciprocal interest from the russian government? >> so there is, we know, as you mentioned a moment ago, that one of the things that michael cohen did in the e-mails turned over to the congressional committees rae ve reveal this is that he reached out to the spokesman for vladimir putin, but really much more than that p. he has been with putin since the year 2000 and is considered a vital go-between. he is written at a kremlin
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e-mail address so it is not clear they knew each other. but there is outreach on the part of michael cohen he, this figure in trump tower and council to the trump organization to a top level person at the kremlin. >> okay. we will come back to this. we are juggling a bunch of things here. but julia, other major breaking story on russia. you reported it here for nbc news. let me get this to you. you have robert mueller, special oun counsel, did the president play some role in crafting, and let's be clear, you're talking about crafting a misleading potentially public statement. this isn't a statement under oath or to congressional investigators. this is a public statement he may have according to investigators he maybe played a role in crafting? >> yes, that's right. this is different, of course, than if he had made false statements to investigators or under oath to congress. but what is interesting here is that this statement investigators believe could be a
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tell into what trump knew when. if at the time he came up with that first response to the "new york times" story, where he said that his son did not meet with russians about a campaign issue, if that -- if it turns out that at that time trump knew the real nature of this meeting which of course was to come up with dirt on hillary clinton his opponent, if he knew about that then, he may be involved at a level where he is seeking to conceal the real goings on of his own team that time. of course his campaign team. and so they want to look at this perhaps not for a crime but at least to show what he may have known. and it could be as one person said, that this is a later used against trump just to show conduct. if there are other charges that could arise, this could show how he conducted himself as president and nature that could be potentially concealing. >> and to be clear on the time line, we are talking about two events a year apart, correct? this meeting takes place in june
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of '167 and more than a year later the president starts to find out about it. and more tha later the president starts to find out about it. questions are being asked and trump comes up with a statement that is contradicted by further reporting? >> right. if we can remember back it last month after the "new york times" reported on this meeting, there was a statement that we know that trump weighed in on the white house confirmed that.ther know that trump weighed in on the white house confirmed that. was a statement that we know that trump weighed in on the white house confirmed that. drafted on air force 1 when this was happening. trump said this is a small meeting, no campaign issues discussed. a day later the "new york times" followed up and said no, that's correct. they met to discuss what they thought would be damaging information on hillary clinton. so the time line of this is key. it is than investigators are looking into the statement to figure out if trump knew about the meeting ahead of time but looking into whether or not he knew the nature of his son's meeting and then intentionally tried to conceal it after the fact of course. >> let me bring ken vogel in who has been reporting on a lot of
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things reported to trump russia business dealings. ken, this question from "the washington post" reporting about sater, about this friend of michael cohen who is basically saying, hey, look, this can win us the election. got to get you an election with a -- got to get you a meeting with the folks around putin. what do you make of this? i'm looking at it too and it looks like you had the trump folks reaching out to putin's inner circle but not hearing anything back. the deal fizzling out. what do you make of this? >> certainly sater is a guy known for a lot of bluster and that was michael cohen's sort of framing of this and his response to the congressional investigators was that a guy who talked a big game. didn't necessarily deliver. he didn't necessarily feel the need, cohen did it, to flag these things up the food chain. we know he did talk to donald trump at least three times. cohen did to trump at least three times about this trump tower moscow project. the most interesting thing to me, i think, steve, is that it
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really shows a degree to which in working in the former soviet union, working in russia, business and politics are con flighted. that's the way sater thought about it. he talked about working this trump tower moscow deal and the same track as he talked about winning donald trump the election, suggesting that the two might somehow be linked, if there could be support from putin for this project, there could be support from putin or in some way a support that would help donald trump win the election linking those two things together. and then, you know, frankly, you see it with michael cohen as well. he is not going in through the front door to some low level bureaucrat in moscow's planning and zoning office or whatever it is to get permits. he is going straight to vladimir putin's confidant, spokesman, in trying to grease the skids here. that's not the way we like no think about business functioning as being separate from politics. but it is sort of relavatory.
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this focuses on the business side of things and not necessarily the campaign side of things. this would seem to be firm ground. >> another key element here, the time line here, bringing this out there as well, during the time that trump org thinkization was pursuing this real estate deal in moscow, this is late 2015, early 2016. donald trump then candidate for president. praising vladimir putin in public. take a look. >> i think i would get along very well with vladimir putin. i just think so. i think in terms of leadership, he is getting an a and president is not doing so well. they did not look good together. i got to know him very well because we were both on 60 minutes. we were stable mates. he is run hning his country andt least when is a leader unlike this country. putin shredd putin is calling me leader and he may be playing me. we have to figure that out. i'm getting along with putin.
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putin said donald trump is brilliant and donald trump is a real leader. >> you know how business is done in russia in vladimir putin's russia. if there is a foreign businessman who wants to do a big business deal in moscow in that foreign missmbusinessman a donald trump publicly saying positive things about putin would have have a bearing on getting it done? >> i think the trump campaign people thought it would have bearing. i think ken is right, you need for something of this size to go forward in russia. you need political approval. you need a green light from the very, very top for the thing to go forward for the local authorities to get out of the way. and to grant the permits, zoning, et cetera. and to not, you know, choke the process bureaucratically. the fact that they were not able to build anything in russia, even though trump has been trying since the late 80s, when everybody else, that you know, hyatt, ritz carlton, four
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seasons, hilton, everybody built something. more than one thing in russia and trump was not able to. and the fact that michael cohen e-mailed through the generic e-mail he found probably on the kremlin website speaks to a lack of political connections in moscow. that this was -- these were one-sided overtures, kind of sucking up as it were to the kremlin. again, he is close to putin but if you wanted political approval, for your business deal, that's not who you would go to. this would be like e-mail be josh earnest when you should be e-mailing valarie jared or sarah huckabee sanders when you should be getting in touch with jared ku kushner or ivanka. >> the idea of cohen and reaching out to putin's right-hand man, i saw someone write on twitter it is equivalent to the info at whi is that the same as this
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supposed contact? >> the address michael cohen used was indeed a general address that would be used by reporters and general public to reach mr. peshcov. we don't know for sure, in cohen's statement he says he does not recall receiving a response from peshcov to this outreach. but i think the important thing here is, the important context, is what you led off the segment with. which is donald trump and campaign aides repeatedly denying any connection, economic ties to russia. also denials of any knowledge of attempt by russia to influence the presidential campaign. and yet what we've learned now in this latest e-mail batch that's been turned over by michael cohen is that there were a series of communicationes with russians. the one we were just referring to a moment ago involving donald trump jr. and russian lawyer who
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came to a meeting telling donald trump jr. that she had information, dirt, on hillary clinton. we learned earlier that general flynn, president's national security adviser, while at one point denying conversations with the russian ambassador of the united states, in fact had them. now we learn that while donald trump said i have no deals in russia, he was actively pursuing through january 2016 a very ambitious project and one that caused his lawyer to reach out to a top guy in the kremlin. >> all right. tom hamburger. julia, ken, julliette. thank you. we will have much more on the devastation in houston and the race against time to save residents. many of whom are still stranded in their home. the devastated storm is expected to make land fall yet again. plus president trump denies he was trying to bury the news of the joe arpaio pardon, saying he
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assumed tv ratings would be higher because of the storm. and it is all coming at a price, trump's cabinet members, including secretary of state, seem to be breaking with him in some public ways. and finally, "hardball" roundtable will be here with three things you might not know. this is "hardball," where the action is. you don't let anything lkeep you sidelined. come on! that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein, and 26 vitamins and minerals...
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going to texas tomorrow. i look very much forward to it.
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things are being handled really well. the spirit is incredible of the people. the coordination between all of the different services as you know, has been going very well. this is the biggest ever. they are saying it is the biggest, historic. like texas, if you think about it. but it is a historic amount of water in particular. there's never been anything like it. so the people handling it amazingly well. >> that's president trump today praising the response to hurricane harvey and saying he will visit texas tomorrow. it's been widespread flooding that has paralyzed the city of houston. thousands rescued from their homes. tens of thousands have been forced into temporary shelter. up to 20 more inches of rain still in the forecast for houston and that area. the scenes on the ground, simply devastating. flooding described as among the worst in american history.
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joined on the phone now by congressman al green, in houston. congressman we have been seeing pictures and hearing stories. but in your own words, maybe you could just describe what it is like to be on the ground there. what you're seeing. what you're watching. >> i have seen pictures on television as well. and i thank you for having me on. my prayers and sympathies go out to persons in harm's way. and the pictures that i have seen are quite disturbing. but you really have to be on the ground to see the reality of what is going on. people are hurting. there is a flood that has consumed houston, texas. houston is over 600 square miles and when you have that much land covered with water, you have an epic circumstance that has to have an epic response. i believe that all of the persons at the genesis of this
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process were acting in good faith. i believe that everyone he wanted to do as much as they thought necessary to get this done. but all of the resources at the state level and at city and municipal, county level, have been stretched to their limits. and this is one of those times when a cat 4 hurricane is going to require a cat 4 response. this is a category 4 response that we need. and i'm calling upon the federal government to do more. they just have to do more. >> let me just ask you about that. the president was asked about the federal response today, specifically about money coming through congress, being sent down there. he expressed he said confidence that there would be all the money that houston, that texas needs coming through a bipartisan majority in congress. do you share that view and what do you make of his response to this? >> i hope that he's right. that's my desire. i talked to my colleagues
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locally about that. but what i don't want to see happen is for us to find ourselves having to cut some other program that is needed to take care of this circumstance. this is unusual. it is an skoe jent circumstance unlike anything we have ever seen before and we need a response unlike anything we have ever seen before. i'm calling on my colleagues and more important i'm calling on the federal government to give us a response that is equal to the challenge that we are going to have. this won't go away within the next few months. maybe not in the next many years. this will be with us for a long time and we need resources necessary to make sure we have a complete recovery. >> congressman al green joining us by phone from the ground there. thank you for that. and president trump as i was mentioning a moment ago. he said officials are handling the disaster quote amazingly well.
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over the week enthe president tweeted about texas nearly 20 times. he also sent out tweets about the wall. nafta. an attack on senator of missouri. and an endorsement of a book written bay political ally. for more, joined by rick tyler, he worked on the presidential campaign of texas senator ted cruz. rick, thanks for joining us. in one way, a story we have been, not new to us, this president and his use of twitter in a moment like this. does it make a difference in terms of the federal response? does it make a difference if the president is tweeting about things off topic? >> i think it makes a lot of difference. president sets his priorities by the way he communicates to the country. his response has been a little bit bipolar. he is focused on the events on the ground in houston. he talks about how well he did in going to missouri. or he talks about things that aren't related to the storm. what i thought was revealing about the press conference today, steve, he is talked about when he pardoned joe arpaio, he
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talked about maybe he did it because ratings would be higher with the coverage of the storm. that is an extraordinarily revealing. instead of focussing on the storm and the people who are suffering in the storm, which he doesn't seem to be able to generate any compassion or empathy toward, he is using -- he is saying he is using that opportunity of pardoning joe arpaio during the hurricane because it would get more eye balls. that's astonishing. >> he is scheduled to be there in texas tomorrow. >> right. >> in a moment like that for a president, let's ask it this way, in a moment like this for this particular president, what can he do there on the ground tomorrow? >> he can set the tone. in these situations where there are a lot of resources necessary to save lives. it is remarkable that the loss of life has been limited to what it has been. remember, 90% of what you are seeing on the television is citizens, texans helping texans. which has been extraordinarily
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remarkable. the response will come by the federal government is in rebuilding. and as al green said, it will take years and years. because when these buildings get flooded, there are structural issues, mold issues, and they all have to be rebuilt. the president has to set the right tone. in some ways, bill clinton in oklahoma city of that disaster although it didn't require the same type of response, he regained his footing as president in oklahoma city because of the way he set the tone about oklahoma city. and the president has an opportunity to do that here. my question is whether he can do it. >> rick tyler, republican consultant, msnbc contributor. thank you for joining us. up next, trump forcefully defends his controversial pardon of joe arpaio. is he setting the stage for future pardons? this is "hardball," where the action is. this is not a cloud. this is a car protected from storms by an insurance company that knows the weather down to the square block. this is a diamond tracked on a blockchain -
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a lot of people think this was the right thing do. in the middle of the hurricane, even friday evening, i thought the ratings would be higher than they would be normally. i stand by my partner, sheriff joe. and i think the people of arizona who know him best would agree with me. >> welcome back it "hardball," that's president trump this afternoon defending the timing of that pardon for sheriff joe arpaio last friday night. president justified the decision by calling joe arpaio a patriot
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and comparing the pardons to past presidents have granted. >> president clinton pardoned mark rich, charged with crimes going back decades. president obama commuted the sptens of chelsea manning, who leaked capitalist sensitive and classified documents to wikileaks, perhaps and others. but horrible, horrible thing that he did. commuted the sentence. sheriff joe is a patriot. sheriff joe loves our country. sheriff joe protected our borders. and sheriff joe was very unfairly treated by the obama administration. >> joined now by richard, reporter for the arizona republic, knows all about the story of joe arpaio well. richard, i wonder if you could newt context development like this. around the country sheriff joe, we know him as sort aftof a character in arizona.
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this is a guy, obviously controversial. he won election five times. also defeated in 2016 for reelection. i know that county, harrmaricop county, it is like half the state. how does something like this go over in arizona? >> it looks like the population here was bracing for this. you may have heard there was a bit of a rally and a protest following his speech here. much of that was crowds bracing for what they thought was going to be the announcement of the pardon that night. and there is a large and increasingly large vocal population in phoenix that is not very happy with sheriff policies and isn't very happy with the pardon. >> here is the interesting twist on this. we know joe arpaio especially after this ally of president trump also senator jeff flake republican from arizona he and donald trump have had their differences. the president took shots at him as recently as a few days ago in arizona. there is reporting today that
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joe arpaio might be interested in running for he is not rate next year in arizona in republican primary against jeff flake. within that universe of arizona republic can voters, if joe arpaio were to run for senate next year, would he have a chance against flake? >> before we get to that point, we have to know that here in arizona we know that the sheriff has threatened to run for higher office repeatedly. he made threats at running for governor seeking higher office and has never done so. he enjoyed being sheriff. he liked being sheriff. teased the media about seeking higher office. never did it. so first we would have to get over that hurdle. how he would do in a republican primary given the support of donald trump, remains to be seen. last time voters add chance in maricopa county, they voted for john mccain, for donald trump and against joe arpaio. >> he talked about it before, maybe not serious.
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i remember we today get over that hurdle with donald trump too. sometimes those things come to fruition. >> there is an interesting parallel between them and their use of the media to get their point across. >> absolutely. a lot of stylistic similarities. up next, is the cabinet cracking? we will show you the jarring response that secretary of state rex tillerson gave when asked about trump's values. you're watching "hardball." but why? you haven't noticed me in two years. i was in a coma. well, i still deserve appreciation. who was there for you when you had amnesia? you know i can't remember that. stop this madness. if it's appreciation you want you should both get snapshot from progressive. it rewards good drivers with big discounts on car insurance. i have also awoken from my coma. ♪ it's called a nap, susan lucci. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump's pardon of joe arpaio is the latest instance of him trying to appeal to his base. came friday night hours after trump signed a memo barring the pentagon from accepting any more transgender individuals into the armed services. today the administration made another overture to trump's supporters planning to reinstate a program providing local law
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enforcement with service equipment. this comes with several of trump's cabinet members seem to be distancing themselves from the president following response to the violence in charlottesville. secretary of state rex tillerson became the latest on sunday. let's listen. >> i don't believe anyone doubts the american people's values or commitment of the american government or the government's agencies to advancing those values and defending those values. >> and the president's values? >> the president speaks for himself, chris. >> video is also surfaced of remarks that defense secretary jim mattis made it a group of u.s. troops abroad last week. look at that. >> you're a great example for our country right now. it's got some problems, you know it and i know it. problems that we don't have in the military, and you just hold the line, my fine young soldiers, airmen, marines, navy.
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you stand the line, show it, befriendly to one another that americans owe to one another. we're so dog gone lucky to be americans. >> let's bring in the "hardball" roundtable. susan, michael hopkins. susan, that clip we just had a little hard to hear there. but the secretary of defense talking to american troops abroad and saying your job is to hold the line until people, leaders back in the united states, can get back to understanding and respecting each other. incredible statement there from a defense secretary. >> that is secretary who is committed and dedicated to the united states of america first and foremost. he is not going to put the people who he is responsible for nor his reputation on the line for donald trump. because anyone who does knows they can probably get burned by it but he is above it. i think at this point while he
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may have a lot of frustrations, he's been asked to stay on and work hard by a lot of different people. democrats and republicans. because we need him in our government right now. but this is clearly a very frustrated person can be said the same of rex tillerson. who also has another complication in his tenure of secretary which is the president's son-in-law, who has been like a shadow secretary of state. right now he went to middle east. this is not the job of a son-in-law. >> and there's some reporting today as well from axios that the president may be souring a little bit on tillerson. this scene is playing out among critics. this idea in the wake of president's comments about charlottesville, a lot of his critics said this isn't just about trump. this is about the people who choose to serve with trump that take top level positions in his administration. they need to resign. they need to register their protest of this president by
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resigning. that's one option the critics put out there. the other one and susan gets it, look at mattis. if you're in the administration and you're not necessarily happy with it, maybe there is a role for you to play within the administration short of resigning. >> in the wake of charlottesville, i was one of those who said cohen, mattis, all these people needed to step down and send a message to republicans. once i got past the emotional response to it, it made sense that people like mattis, people like tillerson haven't stepped down. because i think that they are the only thing keeping the president from going full-on crazy. we have heard tillerson talk about some of the conflicts going on with north korea. some of the things going on in the middle east. and i think he is one of the few things in the state department that is keeping the president from -- >> and let's not forget cohen, when there was a rumor of him walking away, the markets started to tank. >> we have seen it also, that's another story within the administration. market volatility based on the event of the hour. the other question this raises, shelby, too, is how much lee
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way, whether it is tillerson, mattis, somebody else, how much lee way will this president give to members of his cabinet to top advisors, to air any sort of dissatisfaction, however they couch it, because you can read the mattis one between the -- a lot of reading between the lines there. but president can probably read between the lines when he sees that clip. >> right. the president is no fan criticism, particularly against himself. he sent a fund-raising e-mail today based on i think the subject line is isolated, question mark. he is trying to fight the fake news. anyone saying he is isolated. and not just isolated from ceos or republicans in congress, but his own cabinet secretaries are distancing themselves. can you read between the lines. fwhu m but they say, this man does not speak for america. this is shocking. something we haven't even in modern history. i don't think he will give them much lead way. i also think he understands he needs them at this point. >> that's my other question.
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>> who better to help you with this than rex tillerson, former oil ceo. >> there's a practical question there but also this. if you look at sort of institutional washington, establishment of the republican party, i know trump has run against them. that's the nature of his appeal. but to the extent of grudging comfort, it is because of mattis, because of tillerson. because of some of these appointments. >> they were happy with a lot of the cabinet choices. they were people who were respected in their fields. even moving, you know, even though getting rid of reince priebus. >> does trump val out establishment on some level has some stake in the administration -- >> i don't think trump values anyone or anything except his reputation. he knows if he does have -- if mattis were to step down, he would really find himself in a really difficult situation because once he starts having the military, and let's not
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forget he was law enforcement slash military nominee. once he starts losing the military, that's going to really hurt him. >> and replace any of these individuals. >> don't want to go into the administration, legal fees, no one to replace them. >> for confirmation positions as well with, depending on the folks what they would look like and republicans don't have a lot in the senate. as we know. roundtable is sticking with us. they will weigh in on tonight's breaking news. all sorts of breaking news on russia and trump. this is "hardball." where the action is. and you look comfortable. when your v-neck looks more like a u-neck... that's when you know it's half-washed. add downy to keep your collars from stretching. unlike detergent alone, downy conditions to smooth... ...and strengthen fibers. so, don't half-wash it.
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and your family. legalzoom. legal help is here. president trump is taking new heat from a very prominent democrat in a blistering op-ed published yesterday in the atlantic. former vice president joe biden declared that president trump's contempt for the u.s. constitution and willingness to divide this nation knows no bounds. biden writes we have an american president who emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support. this is a moment for the nation to declare that president can't with any clarity, consistency or conviction, there is no place for these heat groups in america. be right back. i should know. i have chronic dry eye caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation. so i use restasis multidose. it helps me make more of my own tears,
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heri think i might burst..... totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with and join the summer weekenders. and we're back with "hardball" roundtable and late-breaking news on the russia investigation. nbc news now reporting that robert mueller's team is
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focussing on whether president trump may have attempted to hide the purpose of that meeting between his son, donald junior, and russians at trump tower last summer. also "the washington post" reporting that trump organization was p pursuing a development deal in moscow as trump was running for president in 2015 and early 2016. new york times adding that one trump associate even bragged the moscow deal would get donald elected. the roundtable is back with me. shelby, this issue you of the real estate deal, proposed deal we should say it didn't happen looks like it fizzled but this was apparently something that they were trying to get the trump votes trying to get in the pipeline late 15 early '16. i'm trying to figure out how to interpret this. some details look to klutzy. when you talk about this guy, michael cohen, writing to putin's right-hand man and info at, who does that? >> i know. you got to wrap your head around it. timing is what is so interesting.
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president trump already declared he was running for president. he was doing well in the polls. looking like he would be republican nominee at this point. it is not like weiss this little underdog no one had heard of. the fact that this is happening in late 2015 is stunning. however president trump tweets a lot as we know and he doesn't delete the tweets. he tweeted about trump moscow for years. what is very interesting is he has a tweet at, the man who helped set up with kushner and manafort, saying the trump pageant in moscow is great and what is next is trump moscow. you put together the pieces together and all of the people, it is very complicated but the web, you know, gets more and more clear as you look at all of these dealings. >> that's the other thing, go back to that time and yes, donald trump in late '15, early '16, he is leading in all the polls and the smart folks like me on tv are saying he is not going to be leading when the voting starts. so did that thinking, you wonder
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michael, did that extend into trump world? was there a parallel track thing where he is out there running for president but even he, and even the folks in the trump organization don't think it's going to last, so they are still pursuing business deals at the same time? is that a possible explanation here? >> it is. i was on the hillary clinton campaign and we didn't think he was going to win. i have heard from many donald trump insiders that he never expected he was going to win. i think that this is just more evidence that donald trump has continued to try to use his run for presidency and now the presidency as a platform to enrich himself over and over again. but toward the lies, i think that goes towards a consciousness of guilt. innocent people don't lie. what trump campaign and trump administration has repeatedly done is lie over and over again about ties to russia. and the question has to be why? why is he lying? >> is there a -- one answer that i can think of, susan, not defending it or anything, but
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recognition that any acknowledgement of deals or contacts with russia would have been politically toxic in 2016. does that answer the question why? >> well, i think right now when you take it from the viewpoint of the mueller investigation, and the fact that donald trump jr. lied at the get-go about what he today do with that meeting, the fact that jared kushner forgot to put it on his forms when the get-going for his position, security clearance forms, i think that this indicates that this is much worse when you see this much line, there is a lot more at stake than even just whether there is he doesn't think he would win, self formation. the trump folks are very, very afraid. there is no way you would see this amount of lying from so many different people. this is something to really consider. and mueller will get to it. >> a report tonight of where the mueller investigation might be going. that investigation is very active. i assume we will have more in
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back with "hardball" roundtable. susan, tell me something i don't know. >> sebastian gorka while he was fired this past friday, it was a long time in the making. just came off a two-week vacation. no one takes a two-week vacation in the white house unless you're really asked for. >> it is not a matter if but when statements are release end
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distancing themselves from the president. >> shelby? >> praying for hem of houston. everyone hang in there. we will feel the pain of this storm across the country. gas prices could go up as much as 25 cents a gallon. >> okay. susan, michael, shelby, thank four joining us. that is haubl f"hardball" for n. all in with chris hayes starts now. tonight on "all in." >> a major american city is under water. >> people carrying babies on their soldiers. >> we've been rescued. we're thankful. >> what did you just go through back there. >> hell. >> why no evacuation? >> should there have been a bigger effort to evacuate houston? >> plus as the president prepares to tour the damage. >> they are saying the biggest, historic. >> the clearest picture yet on trump world coordination with the russians. new york times and washington post reporters who broke the


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