tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 29, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
when trump went to the vatican, sean spicer did not get to attend the meeting with the pope, although he is a practicing roman krathsds. at the time, glenn thrush called it depressing. but this past weekend he got to be there taking pictures of the poem. a nice coda. trump in texas. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. the city of houston facing a worst-case scenario. it has seen as much as three and a half feet of rain in some areas, and that rain is still falling. the catastrophic flooding in houston now threatening to get worse as two nearby reservoirs in a levy overflowed.
emergency crews continue to race to find survivors. tens of thousands seeking refuge in shelters. >> with respect to shelters. >> we have expanded our capacity. the reality is not only are we providing shelter for houstonians, but we are also providing shelters for people who are coming from outside the stiff houston who have been directly impacted by the storm. we're not turning anyone away. >> the city plans to open two more mega shelters to accommodate the homeless. there were reports of looters in some parts of the city. the houston police chief said a handful were arrested but houston would not be tolerating people victimizing the community. he confirmed that one police officer, sergeant steve perez, died after floodwaters overcame
his vehicle. >> it was too treacherous to go under and look for him. so we made a decision to leave officers there waiting until the morning because as much as we wanted to recover him last night, we could not put more officers at risk. >> officials say that harvey could make a second landfall near houston tomorrow morning. for more, i am joined by gabe gutierrez. we see the scene. you're standing in the midst of right now. we've been watching pictures, images for several days. take us to the grounds. what are you seeing that's not coming through to us on tv? >> hi there, steve. one thing i can say. we're seeing something right now that we have not seen since this thing began here in houston. that is, the sun. a bit of good news. the sun is out in parts of houston so we're getting a
break. other parts of the houston area, however, are still getting rain and the water is still rising. as you can see behind me, this is a boat, one of the many water rescue that we've seen over the last several hours in this part of west houston. suns of people have been evacuated from the neighborhood behind me. families being taken from their homes. they say they had several feet of water inside. they didn't think that the waters would rise this quickly. as you mentioned. two reservoirs are overflowing here near houston and they flow into the main bayou into downtown houston, buffalo bayou, and that has prompted concerns there could be more flooding. more than 17,000 people are in emergency shelters. president trump visited texas today and vowed to help texas get back on its feet. as you mentioned as well, the houston police chief confirming among the five confirmed victims so far is that houston police officer who was on his way to
work. a 34-year veteran of the police force, sergeant steve perez. his wife is devastated and says that she hadn't wanted him to go into work that day. he said there was work to do. so here in houston, overnight, we expect these water rescues to continue. and the question will be, how long will this water be around? authorities say some homes could be inundated for up to a month. steve? >> gabe gutierrez on the ground in houston. thank you for that. meanwhile, the president, donald trump, he traveled to texas today. he praised the recovery efforts while meeting with state officials and emergency responders. trump was accompanied by the first lady melania trump. the head of fema warned of a long and frustrating recovery, president trump offered an optimistic assessment and said texas can hand anything.
? we want to do it better than ever before. we want to look at five years, ten years from now as this is the way to do it. this was of epic proportion. nobody has ever seen anything like this. >> trump had this message for texas governor greg abbott. >> so thank you very much. we won't say congratulations. we don't want to do that. we'll congratulate each other when it is all finished. >> the president toured a command center in austin. he did not go to houston. according to sarah huckabee sanders, president trump wanted to be cautious about not disrupting the ongoing recovery effort. >> for more on his visit, i'm joined by eugene. this is one of those moments at a presidency, in any presidency, when you have a natural disaster of this scale, one of the jobs
of a president traditionally just has to do with trying raise, to lift the community's spirits somehow. it is almost a pep leader role. a cheerleader role. the iconic example was bush on the rubble pile with a bull horn. president trump tried to do that today. how did he do? >> look, he wasn't reagan after the challenger disaster when he gave that incredible televised speech deflt what he had to do which was to go. he had to go, to show and to demonstrate that the federal government in the person of the president is with you houstonians, with you, texans, we have your back and the nation has your back. that's what the visit had to say
and he did it. >> one of the things i've noticed, not just the president's visit but the federal response to all of this. a lot of people looking if at houston. a terrible tragedy but a community coming together. across ethnic lines, across racial lines, the lines of division that dominate our politics. the trump era is. so about division. i think this is one of those moments, naturally looking, in people on both sides are looking at it saying there could be a broader message about unity. that would be very nice. this is a time when we need each other. you see people come together across lines. i saw someone saying we won't check your paper that's the you
come to us for shelter chflt obviously, immigration is a very big issue in texas. and the president being there also sends a signal to help the rest of the country really put a human face. and showcase everything going on there. maybe they open their wallets and give to the red cross or somebody. to be able to say, we're here for you. we will rally and support. whatever happens after katrina, there was a lot of really awful response. a lot of people coming together to rally for a community was devastated. when the pictures aren't on television anymore, this will be a very long clean-up effort. >> and that's the other reality of this. when that water recedes, this is, as she is saying, massive rebuilding. and this is on donald trump's plate as president now. houston, the recovery. what the city becomes from this. >> exactly. at one point this afternoon, a
report he was told that 25% plus was underwater. that's 1700 square miles or something. huge, huge, vast stenlextent an huge city with lots of infrastructure. it will be enormously expensive and it will take a long, long time to fix. that's one piece of it. the other thing is these are words the president isn't likely to speak, climate change. it is fairly likely, certainly very likely that the effects of this hurricane were exacerbated by climate change. that there were no prevailing currents to steer the storm away. instead, it sat over houston and delivered up to 52 inches of rain which is just, it was a new
continental u.s. record. and there are huge implications for the planning and protection of coastal cities, including houston. not limited to houston. new orleans, miami, a lot of cities that really need to take a really good look at how they will deal with the next big storm. because there will be more big storms. and i guess the question for the president, the question for our political system back in washington. what is next? in terms of, we see what's going on on the ground, the water will recede. does the story of houston recede from the national spotlight? is there a next step here? >> in some ways this is one more thing added to congress' plate. you have the federal debt ceiling, passing a budget. i went back and did a little research earlier today. so hurricane sandy, super storm sandy, it took them more than two months to pass a federal
disaster relief package, $50 billion. so you can expect it would take at least that long. maybe longer. maybe it is something they can do swiftly. then you have to think about, this is a president who wanted to pass an infrastructure program and he had spent a good amount of time talking about that. there is support among republicans and democrats. here's a place where infrastructure is basically in really, really bad shape sthxt an area where he can maybe put some momentum into his agenda and say let's start in houston and we can talk about the rest of the country. it's possible. anything related to spending is really, really sticky. and difficult. in any climate in washington but particularly this one. >> as the floodwaters continue to rise, officials are warning that the potential health threats with this crisis. for more on that, we're joined
by the national director for the center of disaster preparedness in new york. we see all these pictures with three, four, five feet, when that water recedes, how bad will it be? >> we'll see a horrendous amount of destruction. even the house that's are fairly intact, the inundation of this water will lead to all kinds of problems like the infestation of mold. a very dangerous situation. and it makes some homes inhabitable. so i think we have to understand that this will be a massive problem. we'll have to have managed expectations for how quickly we'll get back to normal. some people will not be able to return to their homes and communities. for months if not for years. so we have a long haul ahead of us. we're focused on saving lives. a couple of key issues that will help determine if we've done a
good job in the planning and exec quugs this major disaster. >> the measuring stick for everybody, for one of these, is katrina. being the ultimate failure in terms of government response. more than a decade in the past. we've talked so much about learning the lessons from katrina, not letting that happen again. as you watch the response to harvey, compared to katrina, have lessons been learned in the right way? >> some have, some haven't. we have highly more competent federal response potential. we have very excellent people running the health response in the department of health and human services. a very cape leader. and the national security council. really good people. so we have the infrastructure in place and the dedicated people
that will help make this happen. the problem is how will this relate to the local and state efforts which will be absolutely critical to making sure this happens. texas is a strange place. they have home rule. that means what we saw the other day was the governor says we have a mandatory evacuation. the mayor of houston says, shelter in place. and then every county, and there are dozens of counties that are in this emergency situation, each one making their own decisions. so the management. assets, the resources, the assessment of what needs to be done is very much scattered. i'm worried about that. the big marker will be how good a job will we be at taking care of the more vulnerable people? 40% of the children in poverty. will we have people in nursing homes, older people who need medications. how do we manage that? that remains to be seen. the recovery is a long time away.
>> all right. thank you. a quick break coming up. there's new scrutiny to tell but on donald trump and his prais for vladimir putin. this following reports that the trump organization was looking the close a major real estate deal in moscow while trump was campaigning for president. plus, north korea's most brazen provocation yet. a missile fired over japan. japanese citizens awoke to an alert saying a missile was approaching the country. today, president trump says all options are on the table. what does that mean? and new reporting that president trump fired a long time aide because he wasn't happy with the crowd size at one of his rallies. and finally, the round table will be here with three things you might not know. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations
on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ so we know how to cover almost almoanything.hing even a swing set standoff. and we covered it, july first, twenty-fifteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ we've been talking about president trump in texas today. he was joined for part of that visit by governor greg abbott.
and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. welcome back. the news that donald trump was pursuing a real estate deal in moscow while simultaneously running for president last year has brought new scrutiny to many of his campaign statements. it was during that time period that trump issued his most questionable defenses of vladimir putin. here's how he attempted to justify putin's treatment of journalists. this was in 2015. >> he's running his country, at least he's a leader unlike what we have in this country. >> again, he kills journal the i haves that don't agree with him.
>> well, i think our country does plenty of killing also, joe. >> two weeks after, trump lawyer michael cohn sent an e-mail appeal to the top deputy. he also defended putin from a british inquiry that determined putin ordered the murder of a former kgb officer in london. >> he hasn't been convicted of anything. some people say he absolutely didn't do it. first he says he didn't do it. many people say wasn't him. so who who knows did it? >> the relationship with putin, you can't go on saying he thinks i'm brilliant and just ignore the things he's doing, right? >> i think it would be great if we had a good relationship with russia. >> however, the "washington post" reports that ty cobb said trump knew nothing with his effort to enlist his help. of course, back in 2013 he tweeted, do you think putin will
be going to the miss universe pageant in november in moscow? if so, will he become my new best friend should the president's defense of putin continued long after that real estate deal fell through. asked yesterday whether russia pose as security threat, trump declined to mention the country by name. mr. trump, would you consider russia as a security threat? thank you. >> i consider many countries as a security threat when you look at what's going on in the world today. these are all threats that we'll be able to nanl we have to. >> joining me now, paul butler, and carol with the "washington post." carol, let me start with you. we play those clips of trump, late 2015, early 2016. you're reporting at this time that he was saying that about putin, the trump organization was pursuing this real estate deal in moscow.
how do you tell the difference between is trump saying something nice to get the deal through or is trumpt saying what he always says about putin and strong men in general? >> you can't be inside his heart and mind. but i would say that it is more than suspicious/coincidental that now that we've seen a series of e-mails and correspondence in the trump organization in which there is discussion about donald trump saying nice things about putin, and an aide and long time ally of donald trump saying, i can get putin to say nice things about you, it is all in the odd of 2015, while this is being discussed, that's exactly when both putin and donald trump are saying nice things about each other. and continue on through the, as the presidential campaign really heats up in 2016.
it is striking to me with our reporting on sunday night and more again on monday, we're finding out the president wasn't entirely forthright about his interests in moscow. he may have been absolutely correct in june of 2016 when he said i currently have no interests in russia. he had been pursuing this for some months and a very close deal maker was doing this as well. and reached out to thegate deeper to get it done. >> one is the politics, the statements from last spring on. he'll always talk in the present tense. i have no -- it is like bill clinton. the definition of the word "is."
>> but there was an attempt to have a business deal go down will. is there anything that a prosecutor would be in? >> absolutely. >> this pattern of always looking for the hook-up with business officials. if it is for the campaign, that's problematic. but the president is always creating the false narratives. he said he didn't have any financial dealings with the russians. that wasn't true. he created this story for trump jr. about what happened with the russian lawyer. what is he trying to cover up? the bible says the wicked flee what no man pursues. what is that it trump is trying to hide?
>> you're saying, you're a prosecutor. this smells funny. this statement to the press about donald trump jr., that the president himself had a role in it? >> the act of a political figure m misleading or lying in public, there's to crime there? >> when you go after public officials, you have to counter the defense that they were just ignorant. so you look at situations like when they're lying or not being transparent. why are you not forthcoming if you didn't do anything wrong? >> i asked the same question, how do you know difference? there's potential entanglement. between trump the candidate and trump the businessman. and i'm thinking back, december
2015, january 2016, when everyone in the world including i think donald trump's campaign didn't actually think he would become president in 2017. so you can almost look at your story and see two tracks, a political track and then a, yeah, there has to be life when this campaign ends. and can you even separate them? >> i don't think we've seen an absolute quid pro quo. but i agree that you do start to see an effort. a pattern of cases in which the president is not telling whole story. or directs a story that shades out things that are not so flattering. he shades out the bad facts. he was helping tell his son how to shame his story about why they met with a russian lawyer and not to mention anything
about incriminating information they were promised about hillary clinton. but back to your question about entanglement. the reason this set of e-mails that we've been reporting on, the reason this is so important to the campaign is because it gives the impression that at least some people working this deal were describing how this tower could help the presidential candidacy and the presidential candidacy could then tower. so the broke order this deal, a long time ally said donald trump said, we'll all be celebrating with president trump and this wonderful skyscraper, the largest never european history. >> they got president trump but not the skyscraper. >> and north korea fires a
for the third time in the last two decades, north korea fired that a ballistic missile over japan. it ultimately landed in the pacific. kim jong-un was present for the launch. he said the country should conduct more missile tests into the pacific ocean. the white house warned that all options are on the table but what are those options? what is the message from north korea's standpoint, they launch this over japan. they say more are on the way. the leaders are watching it. what is the message they want the world taking from it? >> north korea has been preparing for years for an
attack on its own soil and the whole goal was always, they want to attack first, right? in particular, they've had goals to unify the peninsula. the message is we are very serious and we are prepared, very well prepared to target and hit guam in particular. >> all options on the table. is that just sort of generic response? is there something specific the united states can do? >> i think it was mostly for american he popular consumption. all options are on the table but we won't conduct a preemptive strike on north korea. i think we've got a great counter strike capability. and we're ready to use it. i don't think we'll conduct a preemptive strike. and it would be useful if china would remind north korea of it. that any strike on the united states or its allies will result in a devastating counter strike. >> the message north korea is
trying to send, we're serious. do we believe it? if they ever launched anything against us, or south korea, the capability is the united states can wipe them out in an instant. >> i think maybe there are some who think that kim jong-un, for instance, is irrational but most experts will say that he is quite a rational leader. and we have to approach him as such. that doing any provocation won't get us anywhere. i've always agreed with you. >> the only person in the world who has agreed with me on anything. first of all, all rhodes lead to beijing. it is time for china to ramp up the pressure. there are ways we can twist china's arms of course, with additional sanctions and prohibiting them from importing textiles from north korea. and targeting their banks. but that being said, i agree. i think this was, the all options was about american
consumption. and you'll options are bad. >> we don't have any military options except maybe the use of cyber. >> where is this going? is this going to be like so many altercations, dust-ups where it faith out and there's another one a year from now. >> north korea from never give up the nuclear weapons nor its ability to deliver them no matter what happens. the second as a result, we'll have to live with north korea with nuclear weapons. and therefore we need to have the most dependable counter strike capability, cyber capability, anti-missile capability. we have to protect ourselves and our allies. and we have to convince our allies. >> okay.
thank you both for joining us. another quick break. president trump claimed he tied the joe arpaio firing to ratings. so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but... i kind of feel like it's a game changer. i wouldn't go that far. are you there? he's probably on mute. yeah... gary won't like it. why? because he's gary. (phone ringing) what? keep going! yeah... (laughs) (voice on phone) it's not millennial enough.
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a lot of people think it was the right thing to do. in the middle of the hurricane, i assumed the ratings would be far higher than normally. the hurricane was just starting. >> welcome back. that was president trump defending his decision to issue a pardon for sheriff joe arpaio friday night as hurricane harvey was coming ashore. the president said he knew the ratings would be high. donald trump has often displayed a fascination with numbers, money, polls, presidential accomplishments. >> thank you, everybody. what a crowd. what a turnout. >> i don't believe any president has accomplished as much as this
president in the first six or seven months. we're unleashing a new era of american prosperity. perhaps like we've never seen before. >> it will be the single biggest tax cut in american history. >> i guess it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. >> we had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches. >> i was a better student than they were. i live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment and i live in the white house, too, which is really great. >> i'm joined by the "hardball" roundtable. annett is at business insider. katie with mcclatchee newspapers, and an msnbc contributor. i wonder what is the president, we had this recurring story line with trump where people say, you
know, he's 70, 71 years old. he is not going to change. this is how he talked for 40 years. >> i'm not a therapist. all i can talk about is how the american people are receiving this. by the people who are leaving his discussion, talk, rally, whatever you want to call it in arizona, i think the american people want to hear about them and not what they're doing for him. how they're making him feel. how he thinks whatever he thinks is big, is it big enough? >> the reaction is everything with donald trump. and there's part of the country that looks at i and is offended by it. you're reducing this to television ratings, you're taking hurricane, you're bringing up television. it is distasteful. i hear that. but it seems like with donald trump, it does connect with something out there as well.
what does it connect with? >> it quekts the republican base which remains very firmly in his corner.connects the republican base which remains very firmly in his corner. they appreciate that brash business model. even more so they feel the criticism he is getting, whether the argument that he wasn't empathetic early enough today with the way he handled it or any other issue that is dividing the country. they feel that he has not gotten a fair shake from the media. they feel that he deserves to continue to note crowd sizes and poll numbers as an extra layer or validation.
>> they reported he was in a bad mood. the president didn't think the arena was full enough. >> he organized it , trump late said that he never would manage a trump rally again. inspite of his reported anger, trump alluded to the crowd size yesterday. >> you saw the massive crowd we had. the plais went crazy. >> it's an admission of weakness if the crowd is anything but massive. that's the best i can glean from listening to this. >> all presidents would rather be popular than unpopular.
this is a president for whom being liked and approved of seems to be the lone star of his politics and his campaign. he remembers, he would tailor and wth his policy speeches in terms of the crowd reaction in the room. it is everything to him and it seems that sometimes that's all he has to guide himself on how he is doing. >> is it a self-fulfilling thing? is that the calculation, if i say it enough, people will start to believe it themselves? in the absence of anything else? >> i think people who have known trump say they're these moments of self-awareness and moments of clarity that he has where he questions himself. he says something a little self-deprecating. it is all written in the art of the deal.
you make huge proclamations. if you don't fulfill them, you move on to the next thing. this isn't just his base. this is trump curious. people who said, what the heck, i'll vote for trump. i was talking on people in that camp this weekend. specially younger ones were willing to say, we don't have a leg to stand on. we really messed up here. and this is getting into dangerous territory when you're seeing things like what did he with arpaio. >> we've never had a president who was elected with more of his voters having a negative opinion of him and lower expectedations, which creates this whole dynamic. they disapprove now. a live report from houston where the recovery effort continues. this i gotta try weekenders.
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there are several hundred people in line here waiting to get into the shelter. they've been waiting quite a while. they need to check in with security, then register with the red cross. all of these people waiting to get in. waiting to get out of the elements. a lot of these people have been rescued from the floodwaters. there are at least 17,000 people across the city who have been put into shelters. 45 of them around the houston metro area. this is the largest by far. there are more than 9,000 people here. far more than the 5,000 they said they had had that was at capacity. they had 5,000 cots. they blew through that number last night. they said we won't turn anybody away. if they need to get out of the way, get a warm meal. get some clean clothes. a lot of the people coming in are wet, cold, they've been plucked from the floodwaters.
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it. be every flag has a symbolic meaning but the texas one certainly seems to. what notes did he hit today? did he miss notes? >> sure, waving a texas flag in tlexs play very well in a state with immense state pride for sure. at the same time, there are a lot of people including some republicans, we flaredaheard to. he didn't really deliver. we have these horrible and natural disasters, as we saw with president obama dealing with hurricane sandy, for example, jeb bush dealing with hurricanes in florida. there's an opportunity to demonstrate some leadership there and put partisanship aside. there were people on both sides who felt, as much as they felt it was positive and constructive. >> something missing, you mentioned a couple of the previous examples in 2005. president bush's response to
hurricane katrina. it was widely praised for fema director brown. >> and brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. the fema director. >> in contrast, president obama's response to hurricane sandy days before the 2012 election got mostly positive marks. he toured devastated parts of new jersey with governor chris christie. he met responders and he comforted victims. >> are you okay? >> tough on you. >> better days. >> help you get it all together. all right? i promise. i promise. you're going to be okay. >> a lot of this is, it is emotional when presidents visit scenes like this. a lot of it has to do with trying to lift the morale. a lot of messages are simple.
at the same time katie is talking about possible missed opportunities. in the wake of charlottesville, in the wake of what that did to this nation, the kind of debate that came from that, you have all of these things in houston that belie, such a torn and divided nation. you have all these people receiving across the lines of division that we've talked about existing. and maybe today wasn't the appropriate place, necessarily. i the do wonder, as a quick counter example. >> there could be. >> the press conference with bush during katrina. it is all come from there. the play book is, show empathy. get involved. show you're active. be on top of and it don't overpromise. i think the empathy is one the
president struggles. with he is not a hugger. it is not what he does. and his message is predicated on the idea that there are bad people holding the country back. bad guys in this fight. i'm going to get them. it is hard to make turn from i'll be a uniter. it is not his natural wave length. i'm not sure i see him doing that. >> the reality show president, never the role he played before he came to politics, either. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,...
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tell me something i don't know. >> i think it is important that people realize consumer confidence has been going up since trump won the presidency. but ceos of coil like jpmorgan and others don't see it translating into people spending more money. so there's a divergence between the soft data and the hard data. >> all right. katie? >> you may know there's a lot of speculation about whether or not the president will endorse in the primary against jeff flake. what you may not know is that there are a lot of people around the official republican party apparatus who are also very mad at jeff flake. i was at the rnc summer meeting last week and there was very much frustration that he would write a book in the first place that was against president. >> he is in a world of trouble.
>> so what are americans afraid of? had according to a poll, by chapman, a college, that hurricanes rank 40th in the list of things americans are most afraid of behind terrorist attacks, obamacare and reptiles. >> "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight -- >> we won't say congratulations. we don't want to do that. we don't want to congratulate. we'll congratulate each other when it is all finished. >> the president visits texas in the middle of the most extreme rain event in u.s. history. >> thank you, everybody. what a crowd. what a turnout. >> my guest, new jersey governor chris christie. >> we have a friendship for 15 years. then the latest news on the russia investigation with the ranking member of the house intelligence committee. and a new case for the pres