tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 29, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
knew. ikea, please fall back. why are there always the extra parts? >> always, always. >> i want to thank you both. great color scheme. you guys coordinated. that does it for our show. i'll be back at 6:00 p.m. on monday. "hardball" is up next. swamped. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump saw the mud clinging to his brand and didn't like how it looked to the country, including the trump people. more maybe just maybe it was the smell of the swamp as well. the smell of the rot at the top. a big shot using private and military jets to ease their official trips. maybe it was that, too, that led him to what he's just done. tonight president trump fired health and human services secretary tom price after price was unable to justify his decision to use private planes
for otherwise routine travel. driven by a series of investigative reports by politico, the stories of the secretary's travel expenses caused an uproar that ultimately the former secretary could not contain. the behavior that those reports exposed threatened to tarnish further a president who famously vowed to drain the swamp. here's how president trump expressed his displeasure with his now former secretary late today just minutes before price was officially gone. >> he's a very fine man, but we're going to make a decision some time tonight. >> we are looking into it and we're looking into it very strongly. i'm not happy. okay? i can tell you, i'm not happy. okay. >> in firing price, president trump sent a strong signal he won't tolerate government excesses at least when they embarrass him. former secretary price joins a list of growing top advisers and officials to depart this administration. joining me is peter baker, dan
diamond with politico who first broke this story about price's private plane trips, and janet johnson, a white house reporter with "the washington post" and clarence paige with the chicago tribune. let's get your take. first of all, congratulations on breaking the story that's made news now and has changed the shape of this cabinet. did they know when you broke the story about his use of private planes which cost about $300,000 or $400,000, not the $30,000 or $50,000 he claimed it did and another $500,000 in military planes of questionable use in this case. did they know they had stepped on it? >> they didn't realize how much we had when we first reported it, chris. they told the white house this would be a one-day story. they played us off. >> who said it was a one-day story? >> the hhs press people. the white house felt ambushed that they didn't have the full picture and by the time that hhs and price responded, it had already become a mushrooming scandal. >> peter, tell me what you think went into trump's head.
he seemed to have gotten the smell of this a couple days ago. wasn't like he erupted this friday night. you dump the garbage in politics in washington on friday night because they think people don't read the saturday paper, which is nonsense. i happen to like your paper. a lot on saturday morning because it's filled with news like this. people getting fired on friday night. of course -- >> politico will have that, too. >> i like the paper in front of me on saturdays. peter, tell me why trump who has covered up and put up with a lot of crap but this seemed to have gotten to his nose and eyes. this looks and smells bad. this big-shot behavior. >> first of all, mr. price is already in trouble anyway with the president because for months he had an seething about the failure to pass legislation to repeal and replace the affordable care act, president obama's health care plan. he blamed tom price for that in part. when this came up, there wasn't the reservoir of good will. it affected his brand. one of the things he's looking at in terms of his base is this
drain the swamp image he brings to the table. this has been a bad week per that. the luther strange defeat in the alabama primary. he was at the opposite end of his base on two things and the latest failure in the senate to pass health care legislation. the end of a bad week, he felt the need to get control of his public image again. >> i agree. it's become the capstone of the week. let's talk about the big picture. trump has fired the guy. heading to another airplane. another weekend at some luxury spot like mar-a-lago or his golf course, all paid for by the federal government. big plane. a gas eater. he seems to have no compunks. he flies his family all around the world. asia, africa, all at government extense with huge entourages. they aren't the romanovs. he and his family behave like the romanovs. where's the consistency here in the splurging of taxpayers'
money and it only is that price pays the price. >> when it comes with trump, a lot of that has been explained away by saying it's security. that the president has to -- >> how about spending one weekend a year in the white house. that would save money. he's never been there on a weekend. >> those complaints are adding up and adding up. with the president's base, they have a lot of tolerance when it comes to the president. they think he should be able to work wherever he wants, that his family should be protected. where people start to get angry is where they see someone like the health secretary who they might not have even known that person's name. >> some lower form of life. >> exactly. and they say that person using government taxpayer dollars. >> okay. >> to go to -- >> let's get ourselves in the heart and soul of tom price. i don't know the guy. he might have gotten the idea because he watches how the president behaves and his family. >> following an example there. but you know, funny thing about tom price, during the time of
the health care debate, this is his specialty and he was out of the country on another trip to, what, about three cities over in africa and europe. and trump was saying, where is he because trump's not going to go to capitol hill and start pushing for his own health care legislation. >> he'd have to read it. >> he would have to read it. heavens. can't have that. but this is what has been happening. there seems to be a combination of, first, a shortage of personnel. a shortage of reverence for the instructions they've got as far as travel rules go. but notice how the president is handling this even though he does have extravagant travel of his own. he once again is pushing off the onus here on his cabinet officer and his base goes along with that. they will point to congress, they'll point to the cabinet. they won't point to president trump. >> when a plane has engine trouble they start throwing chairs out the door. price isn't the only trump administration who has wrap up questionable expenses.
scott pruitt and treasury secretary steve mnuchin also are under scrutiny right now. according to reports today, so is interior secretary ryan zinke and veterans affairs secretary david schulken. secretary zinke's includes a $12,000 charter flight to take him to events in his hometown in montana and flights between two caribbean island ss. david schulken had a ten-day trip to europe funded at least in part. he and his wife spent about half their time sightseeing including shopping and touring historic spots. lucky to have dan diamond here of politico. how deep does this go? how wide does this go? misuse of federal planes? government planes misuse of private charter flights when you can take a train ride to philly. you can take the amtrak. splurge a little. put them in first class even. chartering a plane is a bit more. >> i went to college in philly.
and i did that drive over and over. it's only 90 minutes, two hours down to baltimore/d.c. once you start pulling on this thread it's clear the controls have not been there across these different agencies. whether that's because they shredded some of the career staff whom have these positions still to fill or the politicos who have come in don't have the same reverence. >> didn't price call the white house and get an approval on the use of these? >> he got approval for the military flights overseas but the jet up to nashville or san diego, the white house said they didn't know about that and they would not have approved a domestic flight that cost $20,000. >> would they have approved the military flights which cost a half mill? >> they would. they say it's necessary for national security, for communications. >> explain the national security, why the hhs secretary, he doesn't really command an army or a cia or any kind of dangerous, exciting agency. why he or she has to be flying in a federal plane, a military plane. >> i cover hhs.
i think they are exciting and he has the surgeon general in his army. >> let me go to peter bake or this. what is the breadth of this story? is this sort of a sacrificial lamb they throw price out the door? he's a doctor. he can go back and practice medicine, i assume. he can find another career. will this put the fire out or not? >> it's a good question. as long as there are more revelations it's going to keep the president angry and on the defensive. so you might see other changed. dr. price, mr. price, the secretary, had -- >> dr. price again. dr. price again. >> exactly. he'd been on the bubble for other reasons. this pushed him over the edge. but this is dangerous to an administration. it hurt president bush 41 when his chief of staff was using a government limousine to go to a stamp collection event and president clinton had an aide who took a helicopter to go golfing. these are things people remember and they stick. it's a lot more -- it's not particularly deep story but it's
a memorable story and it's the kind of thing that can hurt you politically. >> president trump joked about firing secretary price. if he couldn't get the votes on health care, something the white house continues to struggle to do. let's watch the first threat to mr. price, dr. price. >> secretary tom price is also here today. dr. price still lives the scout oath helping to keep millions of americans strong and healthy as our secretary of health and human services. and he's doing a great job. and hopefully he's going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as obamacare that's really hurting us. by the way, you going to get the votes? you better get them. he better get them. oh, he better -- otherwise i'll say, tom, you're fired.
>> you broke my heart. there he is. giving an evil eye right there. i've never heard a guy threatens people with firing them as a morale booster. >> that kind of applause will do it. >> the people loved it. they -- beat him up on the way out the door. bang his head on the car window as you put him in the car. the trump people are a gladitorial crowd. >> it reminds them of "the apprentice." reminds them of the coliseum. >> when it comes to actually firing people the president hasn't been able to pull the trigger on that. he's been waiting for people -- >> have we got a list? >> there's a long, long list. >> the press secretary -- >> they all quit. no one gets fired. they all resign. >> this guy did, technically. he put his resignation in early today but we know he was fired. trump said this afternoon, i'll decide tonight to fire him or
not. he was fired, right? >> essentially. they didn't have a close relationship. that played into the desire to see him out the door. >> let's talk about where this goes further because i get the feeling they don't have a clean theory of ethics in this white house. do they have someone who tells them what they're supposed to do. if they get their leadership from the top, trump is very unclear in the ethical department. >> they were briefed on taking military air abroad. and nick mulvaney sent out a memorandum saying you're here on behalf of taxpayers. it's up to you to do what's legal and do what's right. and that reminder, whether it's claiming price, getting him out of the white house or just the pressure that's now being brought to bear on the rest of the cabinet seems to be pushing for it. schalken put out an amail saying i haven't taken any charter flights and you can track my travel and know if i took it. >> he's the one with the price
hoshead right now, the one being looked at? >> he's not at the top of the list. >> who is at the top of the list? >> probably pruitt and zinke. >> is that what you think, those two right now are the ones in the on-deck circle of ethical problems on travel? >> it's possible. he likes both those cabinet secretaries and has other reasons to keep them in there. also look at white house staff. who had been managing the cabinet. we're hearing rick dearborn, the deputy chief of staff has earned the president's ire this week. he also is the one -- one of the ones who urged the president to go down to alabama for the rally for luther strange. turned out to blow up in the president's face. mr. trump is not happy about that. and rick dearborn has gotten some of the president's unhappiness directed at him as a result. so you never know -- >> robert porter okay? >> i think he's okay but today is friday. ask me again on monday. in trump's orbit it's always a game. it's always a guessing game on
who is on, who is up, who is down. just because you're on the outs with the president doesn't mean you'll be out. jiff sessions is still the attorney general and h.r. mcmaster is still the national security adviser for all the heat each of them has taken. they are still on the job. you can never tell for sure. >> peter, what is the name of your book about obama, the big coffee table book? "obama: the call of history." there's another book coming soon about bobby kennedy. >> that is definitely coming. and i did not set that up. i was trying to help you out. your book is beautiful on the president. thank you peter baker, dan diamond, jenna johnson. the ouster of tom price caps off a very bad week for the trump brand. what's going to hurt trump the most this week? the bad tax bill? everything that's going on in puerto rico? everything, the high flyers in the cabinet living on the taxpayers dime? the failure to repeal obamacare again. the big loss in alabama and
maybe it's his response to the devastation in puerto rico that could singe for a while. the head of homeland security says the recovery effort out in puerto rico is a good news story. really? 3.5 million people without power, running water, food and money is a good news story? you are doing a great job, brownie. the white house is already under fire for their response to hurricane maria, and this isn't going to help. congratulating themselves. steve bannon has beaten the president once this week. now looking for more republican scalps. he wants to lead a breakaway party and has the war chest to do it. and trump watch. this is friday. this is "hardball" where the action is. but we make more than our name suggests. we're an organic tea company. a premium juice company. a coconut water company. we've got drinks for long days. for birthdays. for turning over new leaves. and we make them for every moment in every corner of the country.
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i don't like to see that happen. and i think it's a shame because as a human being, tom price is a very good man. i can tell you. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump talking about hhs secretary tom price earlier today. now that good man, as trump calls him, is out of a job after the fehr firestorm over his expensive travel habits. it caps off a week that's not been good for the president or his brand. he took on the nfl over player protests. there was a major setback hosparty's plan to repeal obamacare. another one, senate leaders were forced to pull a plan vote due to lack of support from republicans. and now the defeat of his candidate luther strange by conservative roy moore in alabama in the republican primary this tuesday leaving him 0 for 2 against his former chief
strategist steve bannon. now even though price is out, other members of his administration are also now under scrutiny for their travel habits. all this as the administration struggles with the recovery down in puerto rico. but look at the picture now with the acting homeland security secretary calling the efforts there a good news story. why would you say that? i'm joined by ken vogel and a white house reporter for bloomberg. thank you. ken, we had your colleague peter baker on. let's put it together in terms of a time capsule of this week in the presidency. the young presidency of donald trump. i mean, tom price, nfl protest, health care, no repeal there trump loses with strange, bannon beats him, the official using jets and the puerto rican absurdity of claiming it's a good story. put it together. >> yeah, i mean, on at least a couple of those fronts, things are only going to get worse. the loss of luther strange in
alabama. mitch mcconnell is going to be getting potentially another, at best, another republican senator who is not going to be willing to go along with him. making it that much harder to pass big-ticket legislative items like health care or tax reform. and then the situation in puerto rico obviously very sadly does not appear to be getting better and trump has put himself out there as have members of his cabinet in a way vouching for the recovery effort in a way that appears insensitive right now and if things continue to get worse, could get very bad in retrospect. could be the george w. bush heck of a job brownie contrast to katrina. >> let's start at the beginning of the week. it was a bad week. i think trump thought he would take on a football player or two. maybe a group of them and win because he'd have the fans on his side. the white players on his side. the owners on his side. it turns out he was trying to
isolate these players militant in their politics. he got isolated. >> we have to remember these protests were basically small events in 2017. it happened in 2016 when she's p -- these protests started to gain steam. you had three or four players. and president trump wanted to make a political issue out of it playing to the base in alabama feeling like if he was able to get on the same side as the flag he'd be able to play to his base, get more people on his side, some of these football fans on his side. a number of these players, owners, the nfl commissioner, all spoke out against him in a forceful and united event. this led into this horrible week that the president has had that makes you sort of remember the days of infrastructure week where they were -- >> well, you are laughing, ken. i think the statues can go either way in places like battlefields. i think we'll keep the statues at gettysburg where the generals
fought on both sides. that's where the statues belong and some other places. but this one blew up in his face. people love football and the players. they're heros. they root for them when they got the ball. >> i think it does play to his base. >> really? tell me how. >> yeah, because he, you know, he is being -- in this way, he's being not politically correct in taking on people and potentially calling out their first amendment right to protest but the fact he's doing it in a way his base perceives to be in defense of patriotism plays right into that sort of positioning that he's already had and, as you suggested in the -- some of the southern states, may play to some of these latent racist sentiments that have served him well despite the fact we don't like to talk about them as political calculations. >> i think when you put your fist in the air that's one thing. when you kneel down, i don't see
that as an act of aggression. i think it's a fairly recessive like, i can't salute this right now. >> obviously, president trump is trying to rally up his base at a time when he knew during that rally in alabama that there was a good chance his candidate would not win. his candidate lost by about 10 points. this was a ploy to try to rally up his base and get them excited. not so excited about private charter jets and military planes and all of these expensive costs that -- >> talou and ken vogel. ken, i just think this week is going to end with people thinking about tom price and trump was right to nip this one in the bud because i think it was the one that people could understand. when you get on an airplane and you are back there if you are lucky to be on an airplane and back at 48d and these two heavyset people around you and you might get a cup of coffee two hours into the flight, maybe, maybe or some sort of
snack, they call it, that nobody wants because it's still left in the basket, how does this guy get to fly around not only first class but on a chartered jet. that's the resentment that got trump elected. there's more of this coming up next. the trump administration has called the recovery effort in puerto rico a good news story. but the mayor of san juan has blasted that in an emotional press conference this afternoon. she said she's begging for help. she's tough. i like this mayor down there in san juan. this is "hardball," where the action is.
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i am very satisfied. i know it's a hard storm to recover from, but the amount of progress that's been made. and i really would appreciate any support that we get. i know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people. and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane. >> a really good news story. that was acting homeland security secretary eralaine duk calling the government's response in puerto rico a good news story. but the mayor has penned a very different picture. let's listen to her. >> we are dying here. if anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying,
and you are killing us with the inefficiency. and the bureaucracy. we are going to see something close to a genocide. >> meanwhile, president trump responded to the crisis today by pointing out that the island is totally unable to handle the situation on its own. let's listen to the president. >> we're closely coordinating with the territorial and local governments which are totally and unfortunately unable to handle this catastrophic crisis on their own. just totally unable to. >> totally unable to. i'm joined by gabe gutierrez who is in san juan. how does that sound out there, totally unable? >> hey there, chris. well, you just played that press conference from san juan's mayor. the anger just boiled over today. up until now she kind of had been saying that fema had a lot of red tape and parsed her words
a little bit. local officials here up until today for the most part had been very careful talking about the federal response saying they appreciated the federal response. the governor over and over again has said that the federal government has delivered so far, even said that in his news conference with the acti ining secretary. but she sounded off saying this response, that comment from the acting secretary was just a good news story seemed to set her off and she repeated over and over that people are dying here. we didn't speak with just her. we spoke with a local representative saying the same thing. very frustrated at the federal response. we've been talking about the shipping containers that have been in the port for several days now. all this aid that isn't getting to the right place. today in a neighborhood outside san juan, some of that aid is trickling out and getting to some of the people but for many of them it's too little and it's coming too slowly. many still desperate for food, desperate for water. there hasn't been any power or communications systems and for
them hearing what the president said and i'll remind you, many of them can't actually hear what the president said. the telecommunications systems are decimated. when you ask them, do they think the federal response has been adequate, many of them tell you they don't think it has. that's not everybody here but there's a growing frustration among the folks that say they just haven't seen the robust federal response that you would see on the u.s. mainland. that's the way they feel. >> thanks for that sad report. gabe gutierrez in san juan. i'm joined by actor kamar de larose who you may know from one life to live. he just returned to los angeles after visiting his family in puerto rico. tell me about what you saw, what you feel, what you think about this whole thing. >> well, the majority of what i saw was desperation. it's catastrophic there in puerto rico n people are desperate. there's no active running water. there's no power. there's shortages of food and
fuel and lines to get all of that. lines that run thousands of people deep. so it's dire there in puerto rico and just like the correspondent before me said, people are dying. just like the mayor, i echo the mayor. people are dying, and we're not hearing about it. >> is there -- i guess my tendency is to think someone will come in, sort of a general macarthur type and bring order to the thing. is fema in charge? is the governor in charge? who is going around saying where are the bottlenecks? what's being held up? what are the logistics in we'll solve them. who is putting that together? >> it certainly doesn't feel that way. i'm not well versed on, you know, on the politics and the bureaucracy of this whole thing. i'm just one man, and i saw what i saw, and i experience what i
experienced, and i saw my family suffering. and i saw my friends suffering. and i walked into supermarkets and there was no water. and i stood in gas lines for hours to get gas and i stood in atm lines for hours to get cash and then they ran out of cash. so i -- you know, i don't know what's going on but there's definitely a disconnect there, chris. >> it's like it's not even part of america. it's like it's -- >> correct. and i also think that there's a denial. a denial of the deplorable nature of which this entire reeffort has been handled. and secretary elaine duke right now is, i know she's backtracking but she obviously stuck her foot in her mouth. she's trying to save face and has put a lot of people at risk with her lack of action. and i honestly believe she should consider resigning. >> i'm not a military person but
i sometimes wish there was someone like one of our great generals to get down there and make these bureaucrats get it working. get the truck drivers back to work somehow. get the stuff rolling. it's not like we're a poor country. >> and why did it take, you know, eight days or nine days to get 10,000 troops there. it took 48 hours to get 8,000 troops boots on the ground to haiti in 2010 when the earthquake happened. why has it taken eight or nine days to get troops to puerto rico, a u.s. territory. we're american citizens. >> one thing you'd expect trump to be good at would be the kick ass stuff and he's not. thank you, kamar. >> thank you for having me on. >> a strong, credible voice. steve bannon scored a big win over the president in alabama by knocking off the president's candidate down there. is the next step a broadcaeakaw political party. is he going to break up the republicans? i think he's trying to. this is "hardball" where the action is.
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last night we talked about starting a revolution with judge moore's victory. senator corker stepped down today. he's not going to run for re-election. and you're going to see in state after state after state people that follow the model of judge moore that do not need to raise money from the elites, from the crony capitalists, from the fat cats in washington, d.c., new york city, silicon valley. >> wow, that was -- welcome back to "hardball." that was steve bannon. the president's former chief strategist shortly after roy moore's primary victory in alabama. b bannon is now putting together a political coalition designed to back other insurgent republican candidates similar to moore all over the country. he's enlisted megadonors to help him pay for it. they have been in talks about creating a shadow party since back in july. resources also tell "the new
york times" that early plans call for the creation of a sort of think tank to articulate the animating issues of the coalition and that the coalition will ally with existing groups on specific issues and support vetted candidates and causes. according to some reports, bannon has met with prospective candidates who could challenge republican incumbents, including chris mcdaniel and roger wicker and kelly ward, she's a piece of work, running against jeff flake in arizona. she's the one not being very kind to john mccain. roy moore's victory has given steve bannon the green light to wage a war against the establishment of the republican party but at what cost. eliza collins, cara bardel and a congressional reporter for politico. so is this a breakaway movement to explode the republican party or is he really trying to create
a new faction, new subunit of the republican party to challenge the mitch mcconnell types? >> i think we're going to see how effective they are in the coming primaries. you have to remember with alabama there were other factors in play. >> like what? >> his involvement with the disgraced former governor bentley. he was the attorney general at the time when he sort of informed the legislators in montgomery to basically stop their impeach process and mysteriously later appointed to jeff sessions' senate seat. i was down there in august before the first round of voting. a lot of people said that may have had a much bigger impact -- >> do you think his name was a turnoff? >> it was a little strange. >> everybody has a name, but i thought strange -- >> moore or strange. >> this guy is eerie. i look at bannon. bannon looks like he is. that expression on his face.
militant, angry all the time. look at him. he never puts a coat and tie on. this revolutionary fatigue, ready to go like castro or something. look at him. he just looks like -- he's like michael moore from the right. no, look at him. it's all tough guy stuff. look at the way he holds the mike. everything is tough guy. what does he want to do, just beat up mitch mcconnell? >> yeah, he has said he wants to blow up the republican party, the establishment party. he tried this in 2014. >> why? >> because they rejected him. that's part of it. a lot of this from steve bannon and donald trump, too, stems from being rejected by the establishment class and they want to get back at him. >> he wants to replace them with people that have what trump ran on, whether or not trump is the top of the party, i don't think is the issue. they want strong on immigration. >> you mean strong against immigration. >> strong against immigration. they want the wall, anti-trade. they want -- >> so nationalism. >> right.
>> in the crudest form. >> it's not the republican party that mitch mcconnell represents. >> you think it would be interesting if they would at least adapt some of the stuff i like starting with, well, how about the stupid wars. why don't they take on trump for re-activating the war in afghanistan which he ran against and now is going to continue in perpetuity. >> the president's announcement regarding afghanistan last month. that's again something that is -- >> is bannon going to fight that? >> doesn't seem like it so far. >> why? >> if you look at breitbart and what they are focused on, it is those issues of trade and immigration that really jazz up the conservative base. and that's what you'll see continue in these other primaries going on. look at kelly ward in arizona. jeff flake is going to be the perfect test case of that because flake has been that classic let's reform the immigration system. >> kelly ward, i have -- i don't understand this. she said john mccain should quit because he's in bad health and should get out of the way.
that's pretty rough. >> bannon and breitbart world -- >> so she can have the job. she wants him to go away, leave the seat so she can be the senator even though she's never been elected. >> a lot of self-interest at play. bannon and breitbart believe the voters are so angry with anyone with the word incumbent in front of their name in washington. >> the tricky thing is not to have a job so you can't be an incumbent. it's amazing that you can make a living doing this. have you noticed that? how do they all get paid? is this family? >> the mercers. they are going to fund these. >> follow the money. >> he's got a bank roll. >> the round table is sticking with us. next these three will tell me something i don't know. hopefully something you'll be talking about all weekend. i'm raising the bar. this is "hardball" where the action is. liked to style my dog as a kid... and were pumped to open my own salon. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor
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it's friday night. back with the roundtable. eliza, dazzle us with something we'll talk about all weekend? >> it's not just the anti-establishment republicans upset with mitch mcconnell. most recently because of failure to pass obamacare. yesterday i was talking to rep mark walker, head of the republican study committee which is conservative but not hard line. and he said this is the eighth or ninth inning of strikes against mcconnell, and he's going to leave it up to the senate if he should step down. >> they don't like him? >> he didn't say he should stay. >> we'll see. kurt. >> you know, during the obama
administration, republicans in congress issued more than 100 subpoenas for discovery against the administration. this year, less than five from republicans in the oversight committee. >> whoa. they are being nice. >> very nice. >> i thought -- >> we weren't that nice when i was there. >> so remember the name michael grimm. before we had -- >> the guy who was going to beat up that guy. broadcast him like a -- >> threatening to body slam reporters and admin officials, throwing reporters out of meetings and threatening to arrest us. michael grimm was the congressman who threatened to throw a reporter over the balcony and he's was in federal prison for tax fraud and he's running for congress again tomorrow. >> i think i'm for donovan. eliza and kurt, thank you. the sally quinn is coming here. a new memoir out and it touches on everything from marriage to her use of hexes against people who did her wrong. you're watching "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." people think about think about washington, d.c., spirtituality isn't the first word that comes to mind. in a new book, "finding magic," journalist sally quinn explores what the word faith means to her and describing what it's been like to live in washington, d.c. through watergate, vietnam, and 9/11. she writes, washington is all about power, and seeking power, eachb makes people, even good people, do bad things. that's sally quinn talking. i'm joined now by sally quinn, always one of the most frightening people in washington. glamourous, yes, i'll give you that. but when you wrote for "the washington post" and went after steve martin dale, they died. i used to read it on the bus, these pieces in "the washington
post" when your husband was running the paper, a hugely successful paper, "the washington post." it crackled with excitement. now you write a book where you say, if you think i was scary as a reporter, i can put a hex on you. talk about the spiritual power of wishing someone to die. how does that work? >> let me just say. >> no, you can't run away from it. it's the only book i've read about d.c. and spiritual power that comes alive with a really smart person with strong focus. >> yes. well, i did in my youth, because i was raised in savannah, georgia, in statesboro, georgia, by presbyterian scots who believed in the standing stones and time travel and the occult and ghost and psychic phenomenon and astrology and tarot cards. so i was raised, that was what i call my embedded religion. >> does it work? >> well, i don't know whether it works or not. >> but you knocked off a couple
of people with hexes. >> i did put hexes on people, but you can also call it spells or prayers or wishes. i didn't wish them to be knocked off. i wish them only to suffer what they had caused me to suffer. >> so it's justice? >> yes. so if you're in washington, for instance, look at how many people wish other people ill in washington, d.c. and i cannot tell you how many people, my friends, who don't believe in this, have begged me to put a hex on donald trump. and i don't do it anymore. i'm not doing it. it's over. >> one of my producers, she said n washington, no one's late for an execution. when somebody goes down like tom price, there's a sort of, it ain't me. let's talk about your husband who we both liked. you were married to probably the greatest journalist in washington in modern history, the editor of "the washington post" who brought down nixon, did the pentagon papers, all
this incredible stuff. and every single person wanted ben to respect him. what i always wanted was ben to look at me and say, you're great, chris. >> he loved you. you made him laugh. >> well, here's the story. you're married to ben. >> and he also admired you because of the books that you wrote and he thought you were a great american. >> my last book on john kennedy, when i did that book and you had that wonderful party, i got there early at georgetown, ben was sitting there and i could tell there was something wrong. you protected this great man who was suffering from dementia. he was so charming and good looking. >> sexy. >> all that may be true from your perspective and it should be. but ben bradley was such a guy that i didn't recognize, but i did notice he was reading my book and he was puzzling. when did that start, this beautiful couple, when did you realize that he had a problem? >> well, he was diagnosed eight years before he died.
but i got him diagnosed because he started turning against me. he started becoming hostile. >> you write that. >> and we had a fabulous marriage. i mean, we were really in love with each other. >> that comes with dementia. that's classic. >> but i didn't know that. so we went to a shrink and say, he's saying awful things to me. and he would say, i love you, i would never say that. i thought he was gas lighting me. then he was diagnosed, because he was getting forgetful, then i read about it and saw the classic thing. >> there's three or four great stories here. first of all, you're frightening sometimes. >> only three or four? >> i'm going to tell you some of the big stuff. the parts i like to read, what i liked, the hexes of course. how could i not like the fact that you knocked off some people by wishing them evil. you actually succeeded. and the other thing is about your love for the guy we all admired. and you were the social ash
tricks of this town. you decided who was in and -- >> was? >> okay. her new book, "finding magic," it's about spirituality of a kind -- i felt in the peace corps, it wasn't going to church spiritualism, it was a feeling of really happy connection to your world you're living in. i know what you mean by this spiritual thing. it's lower case christian. >> it's christianity with with a c. >> it's just really good. and i think she's a great person with a hell of a story here, and a great read. she's a great writer. most importantly that. when i come back, i want to talk about the trump watch tonight, this friday night. >> washington is a spiritual hardship post, and that's what people should know. >> we do have the lincoln memorial. this is "hardball."
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trump wants friday september 29th, 2017. i've noticed in washington that no one is ever late for a hanging. there's a zest that someone has gotten the axe, someone not you. it's called in german shodden freud. and yes it's fairly grotesque. why would anyone get a kick out of someone getting knocked down, shoved into humiliation by the sometimes unpredictable shifting standards in this city. the fact is nothing and therefore no one is all that secure here. especially in trump's washington. and that applies to the people working for him most of all.
when you come roaring into town like oliver cromwell looking for witches to burn and condemning the establishment, you have to expect some blowback. tom price was supposed to repeal obamacare. instead, he got repealed. the trump family has allowed the oligarchs to reign freely and write expensively. meanwhile, they've behaved themselves like the romanovs. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> drain the swamp. >> tom price is out. >> i work at the pleasure of the president. >> the man tasked with killing obamacare packs his bags. >> tom, you're fired! >> tonight, the reporter who broke the story that led to the price resignation. what this means for the future of american health care, and the implications for the other trump administration travel scandals. >> this is the swamp. >>