tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 11, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
even the pd, the corrections facility destroyed. it's pretty bad in st. thomas and st. john, ernice gilbert, thank you for that report on another part of the storm we wanted to make sure to cover. praying for you. that does it for our show. hash "hardball" starts right now. danon rips the scab off. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. we've got news tonight on the recent developments in the russia investigation as well as steve bannon's remarks about the firing of former fbi director james comey. but first, just a word on hurricane irma. it has left a trail of destruction across much of the state of florida, as we know, triggering severe flooding now in jacksonville, florida, the state's largest city. more than seven million homes and businesses are without power
tonight across the southeast. and officials are going house to house now in the florida keys, which took the brunt of the hit as the storm first made landfall. here is what it looked like here on msnbc when the big storm moved through. >> this is the rain that's -- >> wow. >> -- hitting me. >> wow. why don't you get under the overhang there. >> this came off one of the palm trees to the east of me. and i'm not going let go of it because it actually could just fly around. it probably weighs about 25, 30 pounds. >> the angle of approach can make all the difference. and a storm that is more parallel -- agh! that hurt. >> that hurts. we'll get the latest on irma, now a tropical storm, ahead on "hardball." but now to the russia investigation into what steve
bannon is now saying. just weeks after he was ousted, bannon is re-igniting the debate over president trump's firing of former fbi director james comey, a subject the white house has tried to avoid amid the obstruction of justice administration into the president. bannon said on "60 minutes" that trump's decision to cut comey loose was the biggest mistake in modern political history. let's listen. >> i don't think there is any doubt that if james comey had not been fired, we would not have a special counsel. >> someone said to me that you described the firing of james comey -- you're a student of history -- as the biggest mistake in political history. that would probably be even too bombastic even for me, but maybe modern political history. >> so the firing of james comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history? >> if you're saying that that's associated with me, then i'll leave it at that. >> i'll leave it at that. anyway, the remark re-ignite 2d debate over comey's ouster and
forced the white house once again to defend the president's decision to fire him. in the briefing today sarah huckabee sanders accused comey, there they go again, of making false testimony, among other things. let's watch. >> do you have a reaction to steve bannon's comments on "60 minutes" saying that the firing of james comey was the biggest political mistake in modern history? >> certainly i think that has been shown in the days that followed that the president was right in firing director comey since directors's firing, we have learned new information about his conduct that only provided further justification for that firing, including giving false testimony, leaking privileged information to journalists. he went outside of the chain of command and politicized an investigation into a presidential candidate. >> perfect flakery. meanwhile, following reports robert mueller's team of investigators want the talk to multiple current and former white house aides. some are now lawyering up
including. and former chief of staff reince priebus. they're all getting ready for their testimony. joining me right now is michael isikoff, chief investigative correspondent yahoo news. and annie lenski. and paul butler is a former legal prosecutor and msnbc analyst. paul, i listen to the flackery. a little country, a little sincerity. but basically, she was reading from a list of flackery notes. everybody knows he fired him. he fired comey because he was getting too close on the russian investigation. now we have this guy ripping the scab off, and an indelicate way of saying they're back to where they don't want to be, defending the firing of comey which was done to prevent any further progress on the russian investigation. and everyone watching now knows the motive. now they are back to the bs again. >> that's right. it's so ironic because there actually were credible reasons to fire comey, although those unsupported allegations he made against hillary clinton. but that's not why comey was
fired. and so now we have this spectacle. you know, when he says that it's the biggest blunder in political history, he's got insider knowledge. so that makes me think is this a bigger blunder than bill clinton allegedly lying about whether he had sex with monica lewinsky? because clinton got impeached for that. he wasn't convicted in the senate. but bannon is implying this could go even further. >> i find it interesting because there is a catch-22 buried in this. if trump is guilty as hell and knows it, firing comey makes sort of instinctive sense. one guy knocks him and then knock the next guy down. keep knocking them down. >> true. >> this sort of assumes what bannon and his weird strategizing is saying oh, he is clean as a whistle. why did he fire comey? i don't think anybody up there thinks he is as clean as a whistle. >> i think bannon is seeing as the knock-on effect as the biggest mistake in modern political history. i think he is seeing the hiring of mueller as an existential
threat to the white house and to the presidency. >> when is steve bannon some intellectual? >> he has called things pretty darn well. >> on jeopardy first to see how good he is. >> a smart guy. he went to harvard business school. and he has done pretty well in the last two years. >> the theory of credentials, the establishment has just got it made. michael, you're reporting on yahoo news now that the fbi is investigating the russian state-funded news outlet organ sputnik to determine whether it is acting as an undeclared arm of the kremlin in order to check foreign propaganda. the bureau has interviewed a former white house correspondent for sputnik who says that his supervisors would regularly say moscow wants this, or moscow wants that. feinberg says he was directed to raise questions in the white house briefing about a non -- a now discredited report that casts doubt on russia's role in the dnc hacking, and also
suggest eed assad was not behin the chemical attack. they said no, they fired him. you know what this reminds me of? "the americans." it's like the center. it's like moscow says, the center says. and then frank comes in with the big news in that series, and it's always bad. so you've got this story. tell me what the story is about. >> first of all, this is significant, because you have these two russian news organizations in the united states. sputnik and rt. >> are they accredited anywhere like up on the hill nor the white house? are they allowed in the door, given press credentials? >> andrew feinberg, the reporter who -- >> he is an american? >> he is an american from the washington suburbs who was the white house reporter. so he had white house press credentials to go in there on behalf of sputnik. now both sputnik and -- >> but he just sort of choked on this crap. he wouldn't do what they finally toad him to do, go in and bs
this thing and propaganda. >> that's right. and he talked to yahoo about it, about how he was fired after he refused to ask that question about seth rich that they wanted him to give circulation to this bogus conspiracy theory. and then he wrote a piece for politico about it. and it was after that that the fbi reaches out to him, says they want to talk to him circumstances there any doubt -- it seems like the fbi has a simple one here. are t and is sputnik a propaganda operation? isn't the answer obviously yes? >> well, the u.s. intelligence community basically said that in its january report saying that both rt and sfut sputnik played a role in the russian influence campaign during the 2016 presidential election. that they were there to further kremlin propaganda, to boost donald trump, to attack hillary clinton. >> so they were already there? but what's your news?
what's your scoop then? >> well, the fact that the fbi is investigating this and trying to bring them under the orbit of the foreign registration act. >> what is the find they catch? >> it's a criminal offense. it's not often. >> can you put some russians in jail? >> you could conceivably. but the more important thing -- >> well, that would be exciting. i think a lot of people watching would like to see some of the russians solved in screwing with our election behind bars. >> if i may make the point here that -- >> you're not getting enough time here, is that your problem, michael? make your point. let's go. >> the point here is you're covered under fara. >> fara being? >> the foreign agent as registration act. anything you disseminate has to be labeled as propaganda. >> the word. >> every piece of information you put out. >> wouldn't that discredit every word you said if this was propaganda? >> exactly. if you're a news organization, you're presenting yourself as reporting news, and it would have to be labelled this is
propaganda at the end of every story. i think it would undermine your credibility. >> can't seem fair and balanced. last week "the washington post" revealed that the russian firm bought ads targeting american voters through fraudulent facebook accounts. a report in the daily beast now estimates that those propaganda posts were likely seen by a minimum of 23 million people and might have reached as many as 70 million. annie? >> yeah. >> a lot of power throughout in the propaganda operation. >> i think this is one of the most insidious stories to come out in this entire discussion about how russia has sought to influence our election. because you wonder how in the world were those 20 million people targeted? and that is the question that we don't have answered yet. but that's where you begin to wonder if there is any sort of nexus at all between the trump campaign or supporters of his campaign and information about where exactly those ads should go. because they didn't go randomly. i mean, i certainly didn't see
any of those on my facebook feed. i don't know many people who did sort of in my immediate family, in my network which is very truth-based. so you have to wonder who was -- how did they get the targeting on that? and i think that is the key question here. >> but do we know what's in those ads yet? >> that's a very good point because facebook has refused to disclose them. they say they have to protect the privacy of its users. now its users in this case were fake account holders tied to a russian troll agency. but they have to follow the rules. >> how is that private information if it's already been posted? how do you maintain the privacy of a client when you've already put out their propaganda as the relationship you have with them? >> so it's waived. of course the department of justice has firm guidelines. whenever there is a concern about infringing on the press because of the first amendment. but at the end of the day, if robert mueller or some official of the justice department wants this information from facebook, they will get it.
>> well, on friday, a reporter with "the new york times" released a letter of intent between the trump organization and a russian developer for a planned, catch this, trump tower in moscow. it's the latest evidence that trump was pursuing business deals in russia during his campaign for president. get it? he was pursuing business deals during the race for president, the campaign, despite his numerous public denials on the record that he has nothing to do with russia. let's watch those denials. >> i have nothing to do with russia, folks, okay. >> i don't have any deals in russia. >> i have no relationship to russia whatsoever. >> have i nothing to do with russia. i have no investments in russia. none whatsoever. >> 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. >> the word "liar" is a cruel word, but there you have a guy saying i've had no relations, business relations, and now we have documentary evidence of a
approximately to build a trump tower in moscow. >> yeah, that's right. but i've got to say, is this the first time a politician has lied? i mean, it's not exactly against the law. he was not under oath in any of those circumstances. >> but at least make it a lie about something. it's not illegal to have business in russia. so when he lies about it, it sounds like a cover-up, like he is afraid of what the investigation will reveal. >> i'm a prosecutor like you, i would begin to think this guy is covering up because he instinctively covers up. you say business in russia, why would he deny it? >> again, there is no reason -- >> if there is a sitting out and he is trying to build a building over there, a real big building like trump likes to, why would he lie? >> actually, if you parse every one of those -- >> i'm not parsing anymore. sexual relations. i know how they go. >> speaking in the present tense, right? >> you know what, michael? >> yes. >> you've been beaten up too many times. thank you, michael isikoff. he has been through two many words.
great reporter thoughs annie lynnskey. severe flooding in jacksonville. that's going on right now. and of course the damage has been done in the florida keys where the hurricane first made landfall. and that is a vulnerable place down there. it still is. the devastation down there is widespread. we're going have have the latest on the devastation left in irma's path in just a minute. we're starting to seery tirements and not nice retirements from moderate republicans in congress. that's a bad sign for a political party that hopes to keep control in 2018 in the midterms. one reason the moderates are calling it quits. steve bannon. he has basically declared war on mainstream republicans and is plotting pushlgs if you will against several key centers. but a lot just don't want to be associated with trump and the water right now. finally, the "hardball" round table will be here with three things you might not know tonight. you'll know them later here. and that is "hardball" where the action is.
in her first television interview since losing the 2016 presidential election, hillary clinton pulled no punches when talking about president trump. she mocked trump for underestimating how difficult the presidency would be and had this to say about the, quote, out of body experience she had while attending the inauguration. let's watch. >> i had a big decision to make. was i going to go to the inauguration. >> well, defeated candidates don't necessarily show up. >> no. >> but you're a former first lady. >> but i'm a former first lady and former presidents and first ladies show up. so there i was on the platform. you know, feeling like an out of body experience. and then his speech, which was a cry from the white nationalist gut -- >> this american carnage stops.
>> what an opportunity to say, okay, i'm proud of my supporter, but i'm the president of all americans. that's not what we heard at all. >> we'll be right back. it lets you know where your data lives, down to the very server. it keeps your insights from prying eyes, so they're used by no one else but you. it is... the cloud. the ibm cloud. the cloud that's built for your business. designed for your data. secure to the core. the ibm cloud is the cloud for enterprise. yours. the ibm cloud is the cloud for enterprise. i got some financial how'd that go?le ago. he kept spelling my name with an 'i' it's bryan with a 'y.' since birth. well, i happen to know some people. do they listen? what? they're amazing listeners. guidance from professionals who take their time to get to know you. [bullfighting music] [burke] billy-goat ruffians. seen it. covered it.
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a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfinitymobile.com. welcome back to "hardball." as the sunsets over florida tonight, thousands are surveying the damage left in hurricane irma's wake. flooded streets, downed trees. you see them all over the place, and crushed cars littered the sidewalks from miami all the way to tampa. and currently irma is sitting over georgia. irma has now weakened into a tropical storm as it continues its damaging trek north, however, heading towards north carolina, south carolina, and alabama -- not in that order. downtown jacksonville is under a flash flood emergency right now as the city is experiencing record storm surges. statewide more than seven million homes and businesses are without power, and 220,000 people continue to huddle in shelters tonight. officials have warned that it could take weeks to restore power to people down in florida.
here is governor rick scott. >> power outages. we have about 65% of the state without power. it's going take us a long time to get power back. i know for our entire state, but especially for the keys, it's going to be a listening road. >> well, residents in the keys have only begun to assess the damage. >> water damage. certainly wind damage here. homes are obliterated. looks like tornado alley in some places here where they've been shredded to pieces. so it's a mix here of what we've been seeing over the last several blocks. the high water damage has flooded out neighborhoods, but also homes have been torn apart by irma's powerful 130 plus-mile-per-hour winds. >> what a beautiful part of the country. anyway, not now with this damage. on the tiny caribbean island of st. martin, desperation is mounting. "the new york times" reports the disintegration of law and order has set in as survivors struggle
in the faces of severe food and water shortages in the absence of electricity and phone service. for the latest we turn into catie beck joining us from jacksonville, florida. catie, tell us what is happening right there as the storm passed through. >> hi, chris. this is a low-lying neighborhood in downtown jacksonville. it is right next to the st. john's river. and this is really the storm surge that is wreaking havoc on this city right now. you can see this entire neighborhood behind me is submerged. the further you go down, the deeper the waters get. so unfortunately, we can't show you what's at the end of that block, which is waters that we're told are as deep as five feet at this point. we've been told that authorities here have been in rescue mode all day long, taking canoes and kayaks throughout these communities here along the riverfront, making rescues, getting people out of harm's way. the reason for that is as the tide comes in and out, these water levels are going to continue to rise and fall. low tide is at 8:00 tonight.
so what we're seeing right snow probably the lowest the waters have been all day. around 2:00 a.m., that surge is going to come right back in and fill in this neighborhood. this process we're told could take a week or more for all of the waters to recede. their power outages here are substantial. almost no one in jacksonville has power, and nothing is open. so folks are really hunkering down in those shelters and trying to find the resources they can. some people are trying to come back and survey the damage in their home. not wise at this moment, especially with the tides coming in and out and being unpredictable. but certainly a long way from back to normal for is the t city of jacksonville. >> thank you so much. msnbc's catie beck. for more we're joined right now by the mayor of jacksonville himself, mayor lenny curry. thank you so much for joining us by phone. i have to tell you i'm not often in this mind-set, but i am impressed by the urgency with which the officials in florida led by the governor, governor scott have addressed this threat. they have talked about it as a serious threat from the first
moment it appeared over the horizon from the caribbean. they have gotten people in their ear sight. they have got the people ready. people are being told by officials what to do. it does seem that if we have a more limited loss of life than expected, it's because of public action. your thoughts. >> that's right, chris. thank you, and good evening. the governor has been on top of this, working with us well before the storm. president trump's white house has been in touch with the governor and reached out to us before the storm. and we here locally, you know, we began evacuations on wednesday. we told people these are voluntary, but they're eventually going to be mandatory. and we're starting them early because of the traffic flow coming into south florida. we moved to mandatory on friday. unfortunately, some did leave. and now we're dealing with a once in a lifetime flood surge, storm surge. >> how deep is the water in jacksonville?
i'm looking at somebody about two or three feet. but that's just the tide coming in. >> chris, we've got people -- so the information that was available to us this morning was not previously available to us was that we have category 3 storm surge and tropical storm weather. so we had to move quickly this morning. i had to tell people that we need you to call us. we need to know where you are. we need to put a white flag or something white to represent that on your home. so we can see it from the outside and we can come get you. and that's what our search and rescue teams, firemen, policemen, state assets sent in by the governor have been doing all day. we remain in rescue mode at this moment. >> well, are some people staying behind and just resisting all direction, all advice to the contrary? >> there are certainly people that stayed in areas that we wish they would not have. but now it's time for us. that's behind us.
the event is the storm is gone. the floods are here. and we just got to get in and save lives and take care of our people. >> thank you so much. i've got friends down there. and i hope they're well right now tonight. mayor lenny curry of jacksonville, florida. meanwhile, in the florida keys, officials say there is no fuel, no electricity, running water, or cell service. many homes were devastated. look at these pictures. and residents are unable to return home to even look at the damage. i'm now joined by miguel almaguer, who surveyed the destruction in the keys earlier today and joins us now from florida city, florida. thank you so much, miguel. give us a sense of what you're looking at down there. you got a look at it all. >> it was our first time to get a good look at what happened in the florida keys. as you know, irma made landfall first in the keys with wind speeds of 135 miles an hour plus. we also are told that the wave there's were towering up to 15 feet tall. so imagine the damage there. we saw some homes that were clearly ripped apart, ripped to shreds by those powerful winds. we also saw homes, entire
neighborhoods, city blocks that were still under water, under a couple of feet of water. and some folks were actually wading through their neighborhoods. we know that the military is now on scene, the national guard is going in to help. the navy is just offshore with three warships prepared to help in search and rescues which they'll deploy tomorrow, and also with an arrange of supplies, everything for food and water for folks that may be trapped there. during the peak of the storm, year told about 10,000 people remained behind. they did not choose to evacuate. they were there when irma made landfall on sunday and tore through the area. one person who was there told us it sounded and looked like a nuclear bomb went off. that's how hard and how fast this impact was. many people still remain there today. others cannot return home. the police have actually shut down u.s. 1 behind me. it's the main artery, the iconic road. >> sure that. >> leads in and out of the keys. that's shut down. only emergency personnel and construction crews are allowed to go back in. they're still assessing the
damage, taking a look at roads and other infrastructure to see how they fared in this storm. so certainly several days of cleanup, if not weeks or months ahead, chris. >> well, that main drive has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country, maybe only in comparison or challenged by northern california. when you drive down, you can see the ocean on one side, the caribbean on the other side. you see gulf of mexico on the other side. it's all there. was that road closed during this? could you still travel that during this event? >> no. during the storm they had opened it for folks to evacuate one way out. but when the storm actually touched down, they closed it. much too dangerous for anyone to be on that fairly narrow strip of road. >> yeah, it is. >> as the storm was coming over. over my shoulder here, you'll see this is probably the national guard that's arriving here now. these high water rescue vehicles will likely be used to go and snake through those neighborhoods and pull people out of homes that remain stuck there. so you can see the guard, the
navy working tonight, working overtime to do what they can to pull out anyone that may need help, chris. >> well, this is an amazing time to say. but i have to say everybody should get a chance in their lifetime to see the keys. they are something else in our geography. and you're down there reporting on the worst time ever to be down there. it is generally one of the real wonderful spots in our country. thank you, miguel almaguer for this great reporting. >> you got it. up next, a top republican senator and frequent critic of president trump signals that he just may quit in 2018. that's bob corker there of tennessee. a number of moderate republicans say they plan to give up their seats, just walk away. why are they leaving? and does it have anything to do with president trump? what do you think? this is "hardball," where the action is. w social security ales w social security ales i keep hearing about? sure, just sign up online. then we'll alert you if we find your social security number on any one of thousands of risky websites. wow. that's cool. how much is it? oh, it's free if you have a discover card. i like free! yeah, we just want you to be in the know. ooh. hey! sushi. ugh. i smell it!
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there is a lot of polarization around here. it's going to be difficult to get some things done. i'm going to continue to be a voice for the sensible center and might just do it from the outside rather than from the inside. i am concerned about this growing isolationism, nativism, protectionism with a touch of nihilism. these are not attributes of a great nation. i'll not rule out running for office again, but i have no plans to run in the 2018 cycle. >> that was pennsylvania republican congressman charlie dent on why he is not running for reelection next year, along with dent, moderate republicans dave trott and dave reich card
announced they're stepping down opening up for democrats to win those swing district seats. as nbc news points out, the more retirements the better chance democrats have. while on the republican side bob corker said today in a statement that running for reelection has never been an automatic for me. while we are in a strong position, i'm still contemplating the future and will make a decision at the appropriate time. i'm joined by now by charlie dent in his first sit-down interview since he announced his retirement. well, i'm kind of surprised. it seems to me that you've been a stalwart republican, the kind we all grew up with in pennsylvania. we don't have right-wing republicans generally in pennsylvania, except for santorum. and he is sort of gone. and yet you fit the mold of tom ridge, of bill scranton, of arlen specter, of all the leaders i grew up with, moderate republicans. i don't know if i voted for any of them. but i used to really like when i was a kid scranton. i knew there were good moderate republicans.
why are you leaving the band? you're leaving it to trump world. you're leaving him to run the show. >> i've been leaving, chris, because i've been thinking about this since september of 2013, since my t government shlt shut down. i've had these conversations with my family. i'm in my seventh term now. it will be 14 years at the federal level. i thought i want to leave at the top of my game. some people hang here too long. and of course there is some frustration. >> if it weren't for trump, would you stick it out? >> probably not. i really -- i really feel strongly -- >> really? why am i getting the sense that trump is bad news for you and you don't want to be in his world? >> it's not just the president. we were having challenges prior to donald trump. i mean the simple basic task of governance. just funding the government through a continuing resolution or preventing a default. these shouldn't be very difficult things to do. but they became excruciatingly hard. just these really basic acts. we have some responsibilities. and we just can't get them done. and if you can't take care of
the basics, the fundamentals, then how can you advance big policy initiatives like tax reform, health care reform, infrastructure. that's i guess the frustration for me. but don't get me wrong. i love this job. it's fun. you get to do at love interesting things, meet a lot of great people. but it's just getting harder to do the basics. >> is the republican party a governing party right now? is it interested primarily in governing the country? is that's what it's doing? >> we don't have -- >> because we don't see that. >> well, i'll tell you what. the battle prior to donald trump was this. we had the purists versus the pragmatists. and the pragmatists were largely the governing wing of the party of which i was a part that was the battle that was the litmus test. now since donald trump has become president, the litmus test is more trump loyalty. are you loyal enough. but we still have this underlying fight. between the pragmatists and the idea loologu ideologues. in many respect the ideologues have the upper hand. you look at the all the big
issues we have to deal with from budget agreements, debt ceilings, violence against women relief, sandy relief. we all had a small number of republicans, 80 or 90 that would vote for the bills to enact them into law. >> you know what bothers me? i've always wanted government to work. i tend to be progressive, but i also want it to work. and when you had something like the immigration bill where the republicans and the democrats found a compromise a number of years ago, and this house republican leader wouldn't even bring it up. the speaker wouldn't bring it up because he didn't have a majority of republicans behind it. so it wasn't going to be majority rule. we weren't going to get anything done. we've got enough checks and balances in this country without having new ones like the hastert rule. and what did you feel than when that came up? there wasn't going to be an immigration bill because the leadership and republican party said we're afraid that it will pass. >> well, what i've always said, the so-called hastert rule, the majority of the majority, i would argue that that rule has
never been violated there are always -- there was always a majority of support in the house republican conference for these initiatives. there weren't a majority of votes, but there was always a majority of support. so i've never bought into the hastert rule so much. we violate it whenever we must. that's way it's been. now a lot of us want to deal with these children, the daca children. we want to deal with them. we have a bill. and i think many of us, now the pat president has acted on that issue, we must do something legislatively. and there is going to be a big push to move that. >> as you leave next year, i want you to consider, because we'll have you back a number of times. >> sure. >> i keep wondering why good compromise doesn't solve the problem. for example, if you want to have a big infrastructure bill and the democrats run around saying we can't do it unless it's -- if it's not david, if it's not labor unions, and the republicans say no, we don't want that. why don't you double breast. just say have some of the jobs will be union and some won't be. there are ways to compromise and still put a million people to
work. why doesn't that happen? why don't they sit down and say we'll double breast. some union jobs, some nonunion jobs. but let's spend some money and build some stuff. it doesn't seem like anybody wants to compromise. just cut the cards, move forward. >> you can you move forward on an frisk bill. and on the bill of davis bacon, i'm not a fan but it's going to be a part of the infrastructure. the votes are there. >> why don't they get around all these things? >> i tell you. what because we need to focus it. infrastructure is not hard to do. the trick is financing it. that's why we got to get this tax reform right. we have to put some revenue on the table to finance infrastructure. that's the key thing right now. the highway bill is not going to be that hard. >> how did lincoln build the railroad during the civil war, huh? how did mr. do nothing create the interstate highway system during the do nothing '50s. they built the empire state building in the depths of the great depression. we built this city in the depths of the depression. why don't people do things like they used to? >> on infrastructure we don't live in 1950s anymore.
>> what do we live in? >> we have a lot more rules and process to go through. you can't just say we're going to take pass the highway bill and take the spade and put it in the dirt. >> are you proud of amtrak, the acela, getting on that train, compared to any train in the world it's a joke. >> by the way if you ride the train from philadelphia down here to washington, that's the best leg of amtrak. that's the one that works. >> well, you don't get on this that crazy jalopy feeling you get around baltimore. thank you, u.s. congressman charlie dent. up next -- i hope you stick around around. the round table weighs in on steve bannon's declaration of war on the republican establishment. he wants to get rid of guys like this. is he succeeding? this is "hardball" where the action is. >> the republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. that's a brutal fact. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs...
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you unless they're put on notice they're going to be held accountable if they do not support the president of the united states. right now there is no accountability. they have totally -- they do not support the president's program. it's an open secret on capitol hill. everybody in this city knows it. >> and so therefore, now that you're out of the white house you're, going to war with them? >> absolutely. >> welcome back to "hardball" that was of course steve bannon declaring war on republican leaders in congress. bannon blasted house speaker ryan and majority leader mcconnell saying they don't want president trump's agenda implemented. interesting point. maybe right. the white house responded to questions about bannon's statement earlier today. let's listen. >> the president wants to work with all members of congress. obviously that includes republican leadership as well as democrats. >> would you like to see different leadership in the republican congress? >> look, right now the president is committed to working with the leadership we have. >> my god. politico reports that bannon is also plotting primaries against several republican senate incumbents. he is specifically targeted four senators -- dean heller out
there in -- where is it, nevada? jeff flake in arizona, bob corker, tennessee. and roger wicker i believe in mississippi. the challenge from the right is yet another headache for majority leader mcconnell, who was snubbed last week by the president after trump struck a deal with democratic leaders. democratic leader chuck schumer says he got a call from the president raving about the press coverage of the deal that's struck. here is what he told "the new york times." >> i got a call early this morning. he said this was so great. and here's what he said. "do you watch fox news"? not really. "they're praising you" meaning me. >> rachel bait is congressional reporter for politico. the national analyst for nbc news and msnbc. rachel, thank you for joining us. first time you're here. let me ask you about this. is bannon relevant? can bannon by himself destroy an incumbent? >> absolutely he is relevant
right now. i can tell you. >> did he get rid of somebody? >> he's going to try. he got a president-elected. so yeah, i think he's got some oomph behind him right now. and we talk about him potentially primarying some republicans in the senate, also trying to take out speaker ryan. he sound and alliance with a bunch of conservatives in the house who are also really upset right now because they're not getting obamacare repeal done. they're ticked at leadership. so he is whispering in their ear. potential ally to take out paul ryan. >> so you're betting he is going to dump ryan? >> i think he'll try. >> try, try, try. do you thank you he is going to win with any of these cases? >> i think that potentially on primary, it could be a big problem for mcconnell when it comes to senate primaries and pushing candidates further to the right. and then when they go in the general election. >> that is true. john holliman, i heard of presidents like franklin roosevelt saying they're going get rid of people who don't play ball with him. it never seems to work because the people in the districts say
stay out of our voting. don't come in and tell what's to do. >> that's true. however, it's fair the say at this moment that breitbart is a more powerful media institution and a more powerful institution on the right than fox news. and i think all of us would agree for the last 20 years if fox news decided to get behind the candidate, that was trouble for the incumbent. if steve bannon decides to train all breitbart's fire on an incumbent republican and -- and the president of the united states decides to do the same or not support the incumbent, you're going to have a vulnerable incumbent in that circumstance. whether they will get rid of them or not, that's going to be a messy primary if that's the way the game lays out. >> let me challenge one of the other grassroots on this. clarence, it seems to me that the people at the local level like this guy in alabama, this guy running against strange more, the guy with the ten commandments, that whole things. >> right. >> he's got grassroots support. it looks to me like trump is playing a little trainingle there. i think i'll go with the guy who is winning.
so the people are behind him because they like that fundamentalist right wing thing. it's not so much trump or bannon. it's people. >> moore has been the donald trump of alabama for decades. >> it's a pretty conservative state. >> and moore was responsible of the ten commandments on public property. >> i'll go back to you. i'm not sure if it's trump or bannon. it's the conservative grassroots far right thinking of voters in places like mississippi in primaries. >> you know, it's interesting you bring up the point. is bannon going to be effective? is breitbart going to be effective. this whole thing, there was a series of stories last week where, you know, reports that bannon was talking to the freedom caucus about who could take out paul ryan. i think it showed the limits of that actually. because there were a lot of republicans who heard these stories, heard these rumors, and it had the reverse effect with speaker ryan. i saw a lot of republicans who were ticked at leadership read these stories and go what the heck, man. if you're going to do blind quotes, why don't you come out and say these things publicly.
we saw "the wall street journal." same. >> i don't like snakes in the white house, no matter who is president. let me ask you about tarkanian. i saw him today. he impressed me, john. can he beat heller, even with trump's help? >> maybe. look, i get a lot of fire training against steve heller. tarkanian has run before and has not been able to get through primaries let alone to get through further than that. he is an impressive guy. >> i thought. so shirks a relatively impressive guy. very tv friendly. again, i don't think it's like that bannon guarantees a win for a challenger. and i don't think that trump will always go with challenger, to your point. my only point is in terms of the disarray that can -- that unfolds for the republican party, if this is going to be a jihad, which is everything bannon is signaling here, that is an ugly way to win, even if you're an incumbent who survives that primary, it just creates a lot of chaos and disarray on the field as you get down to the election. >> i'll start with you in your
reporting. you start, rachel. will is there be casualties next year because of what bannon is up to? >> very possibly i think, yeah. >> will there or won't there? >> yes, there will. >> okay, thank you. >> clarence? it is "hardball." >> i suspect there will be. and -- >> that means there will be? >> bannon is bullying his way to the front of the pack here and into control. and because it's an off-year election and breitbart readers tend to be the core voters for the republican party and primaries, that just gives him extra oomph right now. but i would just love to see his effort lose. because i hate to see bullies. >> yeah, i see the tree branches rotting and falling more than i see people chopping them down. that tends to be the case. you can sense when somebody is going down. >> sure. >> who was the guy from virginia who was a big leader in the republican party and all of the sudden he is gone? the professor beat him? >> eric cantor. >> good old eric cantor. >> from the voter. >> good old eric cantor. that's the case with some of these incumbents. they are pretty distant from
voters. but i think clarence has gotten the right vote here which is to your thing earlier. yeah, it's the people. but in these praerks especially in relatively low turnout primaries, breitbart is channeling that part of the party. the reason this all comes together is there ra lot of really, really angry republicans who are energized by what steve bannon is saying, by what donald trump is saying. it's the synergy between the media organ, the angry bannon, the powerful trump and a bunch of people who are just the same things that were driving them in 2016 only they're now bringing it to republican politics. >> who would win a debate on stage, michael moored on steve bannon? who would win the debate when it went head to head? john? >> man. >> they look sort of alike. >> i think michael moore has been in a lot more of those debates than steve bannon has been. he has been around television show. i give to it michael moore. >> who would win? >> i'm going to go with the same, yes, performance wise. >> bannon is a seasoned talk show host too. the thing about this debate, facts would have nothing to do with it. i know that. >> that's a radio show.
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secretary mnuchin. last week they came in try to rally around the deal trump suddenly spoke with democrats, totally going against gop leadership. and for the first time in a long time we hear the house republicans defend trump and stick up for trump. they actually booed and hissed at them and drove them out and lectured them for going against leadership. and i think it's significant because it shows the souring leadership. >> between the leadership and --? >> between house republicans and the white house. >> clarence? >> well, outside the beltway, i got to salute. kimberly page barnett, a candidate for the republican primary for the mayor of charlotte who recently on facebook advertised that she should be a mayor because she is, quote, republican and smart, white and traditional, unquote. that little white in there has gotten her in trouble with the county party to say the least. >> it's irrelevant. >> clarence mentioned facebook. you talked about it earlier today on the show. the combination of this fake news story and the story about
fake users from last week and the connection to russia, we have seen about i think about 120th of the degree of the problem. and facebook will be forced to come clean about this stuff. and it's going to be a huge, huge story about both 2016 and -- >> reaching some 50 million people. rachael bade, clarence page and john heilemann. we'll be right back. it can detect a threat using ai, and respond 60 times faster. it lets you know where your data lives, down to the very server. it keeps your insights from prying eyes, so they're used by no one else but you.
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together with the first lady and white house staffers, the president observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., marking the moment the first plane struck the north tower of the world trade center center. a short time later the president attended a ceremony at the pentagon. tonight in lower manhattan, two vertical columns of light are shining into the sky at the site of the world trade center in memory of those who were lost this day 16 years ago. tonight on "all in" -- >> we've got downed power lines all across the state. we've got roads that are impassible still across the state. >> hurricane irma's path of devastation. >> this debris field extends all the way down. >> tonight the scope of irma's destruction as florida starts to pick up the pieces. >> i know we got a lot of work to do. but i'm happy to be alive. plus florida republicans on the climate discussion. >> scott pruitt said now is not the time to talk about this.