tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 16, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
and afterwards, rach rachel maddow will join me for a very special discussion on "the beat." i'm very excited to have her. that's tomorrow 6:00 p.m. eastern that is our show. i'll see you back here tomorrow 6:00 p.m. eastern with rachel and that story. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. >> it's not my fault. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. donald trump is a big leader of a divided republican party that is clearly not big enough to govern. today he decided to send a message to his critics denying that fact. dogged by news reports that he sun raveling and unfit to serve, a defiant trump began this week by holding a 45-minute outdoor news conference. and during that thrown together event, the president tried to change the narrative, resorting to his favorite tactic, smearing
president obama. he accused his predecessor of not calling the parents of fallen soldiers with expressions of pride and sorrow. let's listen. >> the traditional way, if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. a lot of them didn't make calls. >> right. he was asked to clarify. >> earlier you said that president obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. how can you make that claim? >> i don't know if he did. no, no. no. i was told that he didn't often. and a lot of presidents don't. they write letters. excuse me, peter. i do a combination of both. sometimes it's a very difficult thing to do. but i do a combination of both. president obama i think probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't. i don't know. that's what i was told. >> that's what i was told. that's what i was told. thank you. we were told by peter alexander the truth, which is previous
presidents, including president obama did make heartfelt calls to the parents who had lost their young southerners daughters in harm's way. that attack by trump came after a larger more startling revelation. president trump acknowledged the last nine months have been an outright legislative failure, and he and his congress were incapable of majoring on any major campaign promise this year, immigration, health care, or tax cuts. let's watch. >> would you be okay if tax reform were not passed until next year as opposed to this year? >> well, i would like to see it be done this year, john. i would like very much to see bit done in year. so we won't go a step further. if we get it done, that's a great achievement. don't forget, it took years for the reagan administration to get taxes done. i've been here for nine months, a little more than nine months. >> actually, ronald reagan, i didn't really like it when he did it. but he did it in a matter of a few months in 1981, within his first year in office. this comes days after his former chief strategist steve bannon vowed to wage an all-out war against the elected republican
congress. perhaps sensing blood in the water today, donald trump and senate majority mitch mcconnell papered over their differences and tried to present a united front. >> my relationship with this gentleman is outstanding. has been outstanding. we are working very hard to get the tax cuts. we will continue to work hard to get the health care completed. >> thank you very much, mr. president. i want to underscore what the president said. we have the same agenda. we've been friends and acquaintances for a long time. we talk frequently. we don't give you a readout every time we have a conversation. but frequently we talk on the weekends about the issues that are before us. >> yeah, they're bus soosom bud. at one point trump suggested he would tell bannon to back off. >> we have a very good relationship with steve bannon. steve has been a friend of mine for a long time. i like steve a lot. steve doing what steve thinks is the right thing.
some of the people that he may be looking at, i'm going see if we talk him out of that. but frankly, they're great people. what mitch will tell you is that maybe with the exception of a few and that is a very small few, i have a fantastic relationship with the people in the senate, and with the people in congress. with our house of representatives. i have a great relationship with political people. if you read the papers, you think i'm like on one island and they're on the other. well, that's not the way it is. we have a fantastic relationship. i'm friends with most of them. >> i'm joined by kristen welker who was at the white house this afternoon and was there for all of it. kristen, it's hard for me to get all of this straight. just last week we heard the president say he hates everybody in the white house. and now we have the feeling he likes everything on capitol hill though he is not getting anything through capitol hill. and we really get the sense he doesn't think much of mitch mcconnell's leadership. what did you make of today? >> not only in terms of the comments he made last week about
people here at the white house, think of all the times he has attacked mitch mcconnell on twitter. i asked him than. he tried to brush that aside. look, i think this is a president who is starting to accept the reality he needs to work with the establishment in order to get his legislation passed. at the same time, i think he feels like he has to walk a bit of a fine line. that's why you heard a lot of mixed messaging today when it came to steve bannon, indicating in one instance he supports steve bannon completely. and then on the other hand, well, he might talk to him and try to dissuade him from so aggressively waging war against the establishment. the bottom line, though, chris, if you talk to officials here at the white house and sources on capitol hill, they say that a grim reality is starting to set in, which is there haven't been legislative achievements. and so they need a win on tax reform. you're going to see the president continue to crisscross the country i think as he tries to sell this tax reform plan. and i think you're going to see more outreach with leaders on capitol hill.
and by the way, ivanka and jared are hosting senators this evening to talk about tax reform. so this is all hands on deck because this is a president who couldn't get health care done. and so he is turning to tax reform. by the way, that was his excuse with health care as well. that it took obama so long to get obamacare passed. bottom line, though, he feels as though he needs a win on one of these legislative issues, chris. >> thank you so much, kristen welker at the white house. by the way, despite controlling the house, the senate and the white house, the republican party have gotten nothing done through the congress this year. but the president during a meeting today refused to take any of that blame himself. let's watch. >> despite what the press writes, have i great relationships with actually many senators. but in particular with most republican senators. but we're not getting the job done. and i'm not going to blame myself. i'll be honest. they are not getting the job done. >> in fact, during his press conference today, he went to great lengths to show just how well he was doing. let's watch.
>> my relationship with this gentleman is outstanding. we will set records in terms of the number of judges. the level quality is extraordinary. i have a fantastic relationship with the people in the senate and with the people in congress. i mean, with our house of representatives. i have a great relationship with political people. we have a fantastic relationship. i'm friends with most of them. i can say, and i don't think anybody could have much of a higher percentage. but i'm friends with most of them. i like and respect most of them. and i think they like and respect me. the people of alabama who i like very much, and they like me very much. many of the senators are running in states that i won by massive amounts. we just hit a new high today again in the stock market. we have the lowest unemployment rate in i believe it's almost 17 years. james lee witt gave us an a plus. we're doing a good job. kirks you imagine buying a used car from this guy? can you imagine that? look at the white walls on this.
look at the dual exhausts. it's illegal. for more i'm joined by john be right back bin and cornell, an msnbc analyst. let's talk about the realities, bottom line. he hasn't gobi anything on immigration except stuff by executive order. he hasn't done anything except for gorsuch getting him by the filibuster rule. hasn't gotten anything done on health care. doesn't look like even today i began to hear for the first time maybe next year we'll do tax reform. john, i didn't hear a lot of confidence when he was asked about it. didn't get anything done. and i can't say lying. saying that ronald reagan took eight years. ronald reagan, whatever i may have said at the time, did get it done. he got it done. i was opposed to it. i was working from the opposition. he got tax-free and all that stuff done the first year. why does trump come out to a bunch of republicans somewhere
saying something every republican knows that isn't true. why does he keep saying this bragging stuff that isn't true? why does he brag when see wrong? >> let's not be too dismissive of the gorsuch. you did that. the president reminds me of a quarterback playing a football game who keeps calling time-out to also do the color analysis and roar report on himself. do. >> they do that? >> my point would be it would be the same thing as if they were. and he has a loft information that he doesn't need to do. it gets him off message. >> but if you can't believe most of what he says, you believe any of it? >> it is something wrong that we have the house, the senate and the white house. well can't repeal and replace like we had promised or some of this other legislation. so the big difference is he has decided i got to govern. this was the team they were giving me. i'm going to work with mitch mcconnell who i'm sure said steve bannon is not going to help my effort for you.
so i think the president backed off. steve bannon is looking at this completely different. he he is looking at that this is a transformational president and this is an incremental senate. >> who is helping who? cornell, a few moderates, the two women murkowski and collins from the different coasts, and i see renegades, rand paul, and you never know what he is going to do, and john mccain, the ultimate maverick. they're always going to be there. he has less than majority. it's not going to help to have the vp. he doesn't have the votes. and then he has this guy bannon coming along smashing windows, saying i'm bringing this house down. i'm going get rid of flake. i'm getting rid of the person in nebraska. fisher, i'm going to knock out orrin hatch. that might be helpful either. i don't know where the party is going that it's going to get anything done. >> it's not helpful. two big things here. one is look, these are the seeds that they started planting in 2010 when then speaker boehner and the rest of them, the tea party when people say i want to
take our country back and the tea party revolution started happening. this is it coming to fruition, right? and we do have to take bannon seriously because we know how you take out an incumbent today is probably through a primary. but problem for republicans is this. when you take out moderate republicans like that, do you in fact get the republicans that have to go on television and say i'm not a witch. who can't win in a general election. >> or the second amendment favorite out in nevada who said it's time to use our second amendment rights to go after incumbent politicians. >> you go so far outside of mainstream, it becomes problematic for the republican party. but the other part on governing, here is for me the fundamental problem. when you look at the health care package, it's not like you a majority in public polling who is for any of this. they're not trying to pass anything. >> during the press conference, senator mcconnell had a not so veiled message for steve bannon, who endorsed several right-wing candidates back in 2010 and 2012. let's watch. >> the goal here is to win elections in november.
back in 2010 and 2012, we nominated several candidates, christine o'donnell, sharron angle, todd akin, richard murdoch. they're not in the senate. and the reason for that was that they were not able to appeal to a broader electorate in the general election. my goal is as the leader of the republican party in the senate is to keep news the majority. the way you do that is not complicate it. you have to nominate people who can actually win because winners make policy and losers go home. >> he is the driest man in the world, but he did make a couple of points. he had two rape candidates, talking about rape in a crazy way. he had a woman who said i'm not a witch. they were a pretty loony toony bunch. >> i have no idea where steve bannon. >> are you afraid of him? >> i'm not afraid. >> can you say something against
him? >> i'm not afraid of you and i'm not going to say anything against you. here's what you have to understand about steve bannon. he was the architect who figured out that president trump could win by winning the rust belt states, not by going after colorado. he is a smart strategist. number two, he understands the trump agenda probably even better than trump himself. >> why is he out of the white house? why did they fire him? >> i don't think his style works in the white house. it works much better outside of the white house. he doesn't need anything. >> does trump's style work in the white house? >> i think you have to -- >> ha! are you kidding me? >> you can't have two trumps in the white house. you to build it around him. steve bannon is somebody who is going to be serious in this. and i think mcconnell is probably nervous about it. >> let's talk about trump's attacks today as fake media. he went after the democrats, called them the usual stuff. said they're just obstructionist. oj judgeships the democrats are hard to get. he calls them all people he
hates. this guy doesn't like anybody. when a president looks around the room and sees only people he hates. he doesn't like mcconnell. he doesn't like any of those guys. i want to make that point, trump also attacked democrats saying they're good at obstruction. let's watch. >> democrats are holding them up beyond anything -- beyond comprehension, they're holding them up. frank, they will have terrible, terrible policy. terrible policy. and perhaps they're not even good politician, but they are good at obstruction. >> cornell, defend the democrats. >> are you kidding me? my head is about to explode. they're complaining about obstruction? who was more obstructionist than the republican congress against obama when they said we're going to try to make everything president obama does fail. who blocked more judges than republicans do? they would not let him do anything. this ideal that all of the sudden democrats are obstructionist? no. reach across the aisle.
come to democrats with something they can work on and compromise on. [ overlapping dialog ] >> can the republicans stand up there and say they didn't block everything obama did to do. >> i'm not going to argue with you. it started in the mid-'90s when both sides did that. this is now we have legislation by executive order. >> who was born yesterday like trump? i don't think trump knows a look. >> do you agree that the democrats and that is payback and they're being obstructionist? >> at no time did nancy pelosi -- >> okay, let's go fact check. >> everything that -- >> did obama send letters of conciliation and feeling to the parents of soldiers that were lost in action? >> i'm sure he did. and imsure he felt horrible every time an american died on battle. >> why did trump say that? >> it was a mistake. he shouldn't have said it. >> did ronald reagan take eight years to pass tax cuts? >> i don't know what the exact term. >> he did it in the first year.
why does he keeping saying stuff is wrong that you have to defend? >> i do not defend it. you don't talk about predecessors. you don't criticize them. it adds nothing to the equation, and i think that's wrong. >> and you don't use dead soldiers to make a political point. no. >> and i think that's true. thank you, jobr rk, john braben saying the truth. and thank you cornell belcher for being very strong tonight. president obama promised to put an end to stupid wars. but his administration now ratcheting up the heat, trying to start a new war with iran, keeping the heat on that guy kim jong un as if he is trying to hurt the guy's feeling and maybe get him into a war? what's the point? trump is threatening to totally terminate the iran nuclear deal. and secretary tillerson is offering up alarming talk of his own saying diplomacy with north korea will continue up until the first bomb drops. that's what the japanese said right before pearl harbor. they talked before the bomb dropped. plus the russian investigation. president trump said he has no
plans to fire special counsel mierl this as they question reince priebus. is the special counsel getting any closer to establishing an obstruction of justice case against trump? and according to a new report, president trump openly mocks his vice president's far rights view, even joking that pence wants to hang gay people that was a joke, we hope. finally, let me finish tonight with trump watch. you won't like it. this is "hardball," where the action is. ♪ it's your eyes. that's why there's ocuvite, from bausch + lomb. as you age your eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish those nutrients. ocuvite has lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3. nourish your eyes to help them be their healthy best. ocuvite eye vitamins. be good to your eyes. ...has grown into an enterprise. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one.
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2020. >> oh, i hope hillary runs. hillary, please run again. i think she is going to run again. look, when they take a knee, there is plenty of time to do niece and there is plenty of time to do lots of other things. but when you take a knee, that's why she lost the election. i mean, honestly, it's that thinking. that is the reason she lost the election. when you go down and take a knee or any other way, you're sitting essentially for our great national anthem. you're disrespecting our flag and you're disrespecting our country. >> i don't think we need to get down on your knee, you're sitting essentially. that's not how we do it at church. we'll be right back. it's like when am i gonna be able to sneak out of here and go have a cigarette? i just knew i had to quit, and chantix was the method that actually worked for me. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
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>> unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction. >> i would be very, very cautious. i think i'd be a lot slower. she has a happy trigger. >> where did that guy go? i liked that guy. welcome back to "hardball," at least on that issue of not stupid wars. donald trump ran for president railing against the hawks, the neo cons, et cetera, that drove sexual abuse stupid wars. and he used that phrase all the time, stupid wars. he promised dip circumstances not destruction. one of the big reasons i think he won very well in the rust belt, by the way, because they're the young kids that do all the fighting. and yet president trump is now dangerously escalating the rhetoric on two fronts. on north carolina, he insults the leader, kim jong un, and threatens to totally destroy the country over there. over the weekend his secretary of state vowed, catch this, until the first bombs drop. let's watch that. >> the president is also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. he is not seeking to go to war.
>> so he doesn't think it's a waste of time? >> no, sir. he has made it clear to continue my diplomatic efforts, which we are, and we will -- as i've told others, those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops. >> how exactly will pyongyang interpret that? we'll talk until we fight and drop bombs. even as president trump acknowledged the modified tone of, he again threatened to terminate. let's watch. >> we have the iran deal that right now is being study. and i think a lot of people agreed with what i did. i feel strongly about what i did. i'm tired of being taken advantage of as a nation. the iran deal was something that i felt had to be done. and we'll see what phase 2 is. phase 2 might be positive and it might be very negative. it might be a total termination. that's a very real possibility. some would say that's a greater possibility. >> bret stephens, a columnist
with "the new york times" and david corn for mother jones. both are msnbc contributors. thank you, gentlemen. what do you think of this turn? you can say it was nationalist, isolationist point of view. but it was his point of view in the campaign. it was against the neo cons. it was against all this globalism. it was against this war-like jingoism if you will. and the freedom that w promoted. now he sounds like somebody, i don't know, he is talking like the -- what do you call it? what is it called? what's that group called over there? >> the foundation for democracy? >> the foundation for the new century or something like that. >> the key word you just used, chris, is against. donald trump is not man of policy. he is man of impulse. and when he ran for the campaign, and he is a situationalist. he'll say what gives him an advantage at the time. >> what's the new situation? >> going back to the impulse. he is against the iran deal obviously because it was obama's deal.
everyone around him, tillerson, madison, kelly, wants to stay in the deal. iran has been judged as being in compliance. his impulse is if obama is for it, i'm against it. north korea, he is kind of a bully. so how does he deal with marco rubio during the campaign? you call people nicknames and you deride them. marco rubio didn't have nuclear weapons as far as we knew. so his impulses or what drives him. and it's not matter of him changing his policy from where he had it during the campaign. >> what is the logic between about hume mill yailiating kim ? we all know when you a third generation head of a country, basically a king, almost a deity, and the people in the country, certainly the officer corps, the field generals look up to him. to call him bad names and make fun of him and call him rocket man, the whole routine, what is the purpose of that
strategically? >> i don't think there is a purpose. look, i find myself in a strange position. because as a foreign policy hawk, i supported the decertification of the iran deal. and i agree that the last 25 years of diplomacy with north korea haven't worked. the problem is 95% of policy lies in the execution. and in this case, execution lies in the hands of a temperamental president who seems to think that all of his opponents, whether it's kim jong un or marco rubio can be subjected to schoolyard bullying with equal effect. and that's really dangerous. you want two things in foreign policy. you want clarity, and you want credibility. and with this president, you have neither. just listening to your last segment on politics, i was thinking that the president reminded me of the black knight from the monty python skit. no matter how many embarrassments he suffers, he keeps saying it's just a scratch
and he is going to fight on. at some point he is going to be immobilized by his own rhetoric. >> like a guy going through a vegmatic. this one grabbed me. 46%, a plurality of republicans said they would support a repeative strike against north korea. 41% would oppose it. back to you. i want you to start with this in the ping-pong match we're having here. how do you have a preemptive strike against a country with what huge numbers are artillery facing south against our allies south korea? how do you puncture them in a way that oh, you got me. i got nothing i can do about it? how does that happen? >> look, god forbid. if nothing else, there are an estimated 300,000 americans, about 30,000 american troops and many american civilians in south korea. we're talking about the possibility of about a million dead in seoul which is just miles from the dmz. a serious policy with north korea would do everything we can
to squeeze china to change the regime in north korea or at least change the policy in north korea. but this kind of brinkmanship with a 31 or 32-year-old leader who seems to be remarkably trigger-happy i think is insane. you were talking about reagan earlier. this is not how reagan would have dealt with the soviet union or even much lesser powers. >> we nicholas kristof. this is a scenario where we step by step leads to something nobody really wanted with third world war consequences. it could happen. you could test that guy's id, his self-notion and that guy's id would say i've got to fight back. >> or you could set a red line that that guy could cross and trump would say i've got to act. >> and it's even more dangerous than that. trump keeps making threats. now we look at trump. some people see him as a buffoon. some see him as a bully.
>> some people call him hitler. >> yeah, right, and can dismiss it. but if you're sitting in north korea's place you got to look at these threats as real. and if he is going to take out you or your nukes before you can use them, that gives you an incentive to strike. and what strikes me right now is you and i bret are used to having ideological debates over foreign policy. it's what we've done for the last couple of decades. now we're really talking about a dividing line between someone who is competent and responsible and completely bonkers. >> that's not where we should be in a democracy. thank you so much, bret stephens. good to have you as our colleague. did i say that right? >> i think you got that right. wasn't too hard to say. >> it is hard. well, i don't even like the word. it seems a little pompous. david corn, thank you. how about friendly ally? up next, president trump responds to the russia investigation, once again denying that his campaign included with russia. he is denying totally any collusion. but the mueller probe isn't slowing down one bit. top investigators have interviewed former white house chief of staff reince priebus.
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the most common side effects of viberzi include constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. stay ahead of ibs-d with viberzi. the whole russia thing was an excuse for the democrats losing the election. there has been absolutely no collusion. it's been stated that they have no collusion. they ought to get to the end of it.
because i think the american public is sick of it. >> are you considering firing robert mueller? >> no. >> that was president trump of course today once again denying as he should, he has to, that his campaign colluded with russia during the election. of course he has to say that and despite the progress and the special counsel's probe, he says he is not considering any attempt to fire mueller. this comes after reince priebus was interviewed by mueller's investigators for a full day this past friday. according to "the washington post," the interview is a sign that mueller's investigation is now reaching into the highest levels of trump's aides and former aides. politico points out that as the top aide to the president, priebus was present for many meetings, including discussion on firing comey and was near the oval office when trump allegedly asked comey to go easy on flynn. joining me is paul butler, former prosecutor and msnbc analyst. what do you think went on and on all day probing of the mind and memory of mr. priebus? >> so of course they're
interested in collusion. and mr. priebus was the head of the rnc during the campaign. so they want to know what his involvement with the russians were and what he knows about trump. but they're especially interested in obstruction. because priebus was everywhere that trump was. reportedly, he was very concerned what trump would say. so he always wanted to be there to kind of monitor him. and especially at that meeting, where trump famously excused the vice president, the attorney general and priebus and said i want to talk to comey alone. we have this image of priebus outside the office looking in. oh my god, what are they talking about? so they're going to ask him about all of that. what were you so concerned the president was going to say to the fbi director? >> let me ask you about exposure of mr. priebus himself. if you're sitting in a room and three or four people, or one other person is talking about committing a crime, obstruction of justice, to what extent are you exposed to the law? are you part that of if you sit there and don't comment or go good point, interesting point
and play along with the guy? if you're working for president you're not going to say that's bs, or that's stupid. don't do that. that's crazy. that's illegal. if he didn't do those things, is he incriminated? >> it's a great question, chris. if you're a typical prosecutor, somebody being prosecuted by the federal government, say a low level drug employee, that would be enough for conspiracy. unfortunately, you said the magic words, working in the white house. different process that applies to these guys. so unless there is some kind of smoking gun evidence. i think priebus is more useful as a witness, as someone who can tell what trump was actually thinking, what he did as opposed to someone who is the subject. >> they're trying to squeeze him by threatening him. saying we might have something here if you were in that room. >> other people they are definitely going hard after like manafort. >> okay, let's talk about manafort. what about the $60 million in transactions it turns out that he accumulated with this russian oligarch? >> you know, it's just another nail in the coffin. the special counsel has so much
evidence on manafort that he could bring a case tomorrow if he wanted to. yes look at the way he has gone in, the "hardball" no-knock warrant. >> yeah. what did that tell you, the no-knock warrant a coupe of weeks ago? >> that was symbol that was a sign to anybody who is concerned that the special counsel mueller isn't treating this very seriously. and it was also a signal to manafort that you need to cooperate, because we are very serious, and you're going to jail future a long time unless you play ball with us, which means give us the goods all the way to the top. >> how many times do you think that fellow said to himself why did i agree to be campaign chairman for this guy? i'd be walking the streets with lots of money right now and nobody after me. >> a lot of people are implicated who took these positions with trump. jund to wonder what they're thinking now. michael flynn is exhibit a. president obama warned trump about michael flynn. as did sally yates.
trump just didn't listen. when you lie down with, you know -- >> he should have probably warned flynn about trump. paul butler, thank you, sir. >> thank you. up next, new reporting on the relation between trump and his vice president. this is a little bit hilarious, actually. trump has mocked pence's far right views, belittling his determination to overturn roe v. wade and joking the vice president wants to hang gay people. let's hope it's all for fun and nonsense, that he would never do such a horrible thing. you're watching "hardball." paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that. lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment. time to open the laptop... ...and compare medicare health plans. why? because plans change, so can your health needs. so, be open-minded. look at everything-like prescription drug plans... and medicare advantage plans from private insurers. use the tools at medicare.gov. or call 1-800-medicare. open to something better? start today.
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would you speak about your support for the 20-week abortion ban bill? how important is this bill to you, and what are you doing to work with leader mcconnell to make sure this gets through the senate? >> i'll let mitch. you want to talk about that? >> was the question about the -- >> the abortion ban bill. what are you going to do?
>> it is supported by virtually all of my members. and we expect to have a vote on it at some point. >> remember the old phrase from harry truman, the buck stop here is? in n that case the buck stopped with mark mcgwire mitch merchandise. he flipped that quickty live to him that is president trump deferring to mitch mcconnell in his support for legislation recently passed by the house that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks. while the trump administration formally supports the measure, formally vice president pence titled the danger of president pence says trump has mocked the vice president privately over his views on abortion and gay rights. it says during a meeting with a legal scholar, the president, quote, belittled pence's determination to overturn roe v. wade. the piece goes on to add when the conversation turned to gay rights trump moegsd towards pence and joked, don't ask that guy. he wants to hang them all. i assume and hope that's a joe. libby case with "the washington post." jonathan allen national political reporter for nbc news
digital. and national reporter for bloomberg politics. sahil first. what do we make of the president chuckle worthy making his vice president look like a character out of the da vinci code? >> it kind of shows where he hit all the right notes in the campaign, evangelical supporters. >> you think he is devoted to the social issues? you think he is anti-gay rights? >> deep down. >> you think he is anti-abortion rights? >> married a new yorker who appeared in "playboy" once. and he called himself very, very pro-choice in 1999. so of course there are questions about how commit head is to these things. mike pence on the other hand certainly is. he oozes that. he has had a record for it. he has a -- >> you don't think he had a road to damascus conversion on the issues do, you? >> well, we don't know. he has never talked about that. in his interview. >> tell me what you think. >> in his interview with you during the election, he went way off script on the issue of abortion. >> because he didn't know the
script of the pro-life poyrks and hiss remarks are indicating this is a man who really believes it. it seems like a snarky way. >> joyou're chuckling. >> after the da vin shi code, some weirdo go that imagine that lates himself. that's the way he describes him. >> that's very graphic. there are two things going on here. president trump as he showed on this show doesn't know the script. went so far as to say women should be punished for having abortions. >> in some way. i love this. there should be some form of punishment. he didn't say imprisonment or fining. some form of punishment. weird thinking there. >> it was little weird thinking. and it was so bad so, off message that the pro-life right was angry at him for botching it and saying what they've been trying to not say. >> let me go to lib. his vp is for real.
i completely believe that pence is pence. he isn't playing pence. he is pence. and everything he says on social issue, moral issues as he sees them, he believe. >> absolutely. and i do have to say one thing. gay rights activists are not laughing at this. was it a joke? >> of course it's not a joke. cruelly killing somebody. >> over this kind of language, coming from the president of the united states, even ribbing his vp. but you to look at what mike pence gets out of this job. he is the long suffering sidekick to donald trump, gets a lot out of this, chris. just recently -- >> well, he has read the constitution. i'm sure he has perused it. it says he is the next president if something goes wrong. health and human services has a draft strategic plan out that starts about life starting at conception, not even birth, not even talking about fertilization or afetus. they're talking about conception to rewrite the way that a federal department thinks about life and abortion could be a
major win [ overlapping dialog ] >> from their perspective they have somebody in there. >> it's a really important point. because regardless what president trump believes on the stuff we can go back and forth on this, he has implemented the policies of a mike pence social conservative agenda whether it's appointing pro-life judges. >> you honestly think he wants to outlaw abortion in effect? >> what he wants deep down is irrelevant because he is taking the action -- >> anyway, the new yorker, i think the republican party would be in tatters if they outlawed abortion. the new yorker piece also quotes former trump strategist steve bannon as saying trump thinks pence is great. but according to a long time associate, trump also likes to let pence know who is boss. that may offer some insight into pence and others in the administration publicly praise president trump. a "washington post" report out today notes that one defining feature of managing trump is frequent praise, which can leave this team in what seems to be a state of perpetual compliments. the white house pushes out news releases overflowing with top
officials heaping flattery on trump. you ever look at the faces of the guys in north korea? they're all the same. everybody has the same expression. it's concern or it's laughing. and they're always sort of making sure they're in sy synchronized swimming with the dear leader, right? does that sound like trump's people? yes. it sounds like them. >> the vice president has observed that prime directive. he knows the president loves to be praised. he is very happy to play that part. and i think the thing he hates the most about this proyl it is exists. >> which is ordered by president trump at indianapolis. let's watch. >> i actually got mike standing by right now at the indiana pacers game. what about the anthem? >> wait. one of them is kneeling. >> get out of there, mike, bail it, ditch it, mike. >> we are inside the starbucks, mr. president. >> mike, i need you to check the cups. okay? do they say happy holidays or do they say merry christmas? >> the cups say pumpkin spice is back, sir. >> get out of there right now,
mike. bail! in the private jet, vamoose. >> i see the groom. he is waiting patiently at the altar. and then i see -- uh-oh, there is another groom. >> get out there, mike, bail, ditch it! i know you hate this word. abort, but abort, mike, abort. vamanos. >> vamanos. he always gets the word wrong. i like the sidestep dance that pence had to do there. >> it is a question who have is pulling the strings. mike pence had the opportunity to make this moral stand that was going to play well. and donald trump said actually, i'm the one that told him to do that. >> but exactly what mike pence is doing all the time, right? ehas to be the sycophant, and he has to take the abuse wlarks . >> what is a sycophant snar? >> a yes man. somebody who sucks up. >> stay with us. three scoops you might be talking about tomorrow. you you've get them here. this is "hardball."
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but you can kelme kelly wise, kelly wise the dancing clown. oh, don't go. i'll give a coat. a crazy, crazy coat. how about this? okay. so puerto rico actually was worse before hurricane maria, and the hurricane did actually blow some buildings back together. and i don't know why elizabeth warren won't tweet about that. >> that's insane. >> i know. you want another one? >> no. shut up. >> okay. so secretary tillerson did not call the president a moron. they were sharing a sundae and the president asked if he wanted more sprinkles? and the secretary said more on. >> we'll be right back. switch to walgreens. we make it easy to seize the day, so you can get more out of life and medicare part d. just walk right in for savings that will be the highlight of your day. walgreens has $0 copays on select plans
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moreno. donald trump himself said they're looking into it today. republicans are still standing behind him. >> what did he do wrong again? >> he sponsored a bill that basically tied the hands of the dea to go after the drug distributors. >> why would he do something like that? >> you would have to ask the congressman that. where is he going to go from here? republicans say this is an attack on him. but trump has an out. >> sounds like a good one. >> he can say hey, let's get rid of the guy. >> the president's budget director used to be a congressman. shut down his congressional campaign committee. before doing that last month he doll ed doled out about a half dozen checks to people he is lobbying right now. >> very sacrificial. >> very sacrificial. not illegal. but it certainly doesn't feel like the swamp being drained. >> no. still swampy. >> a new cnn poll finds that president trump's approval rating on dealing with hurricanes has crashed. it's fallen by 20 points in the last month. he got high marks for hurricane harvey. hurricane maria, which hit puerto rico, not so much he is
someone just sent me an old book of winston churchill observations. i immediately discovered one that fits that bloke in the white house to a t. quote, the end comes often early to such men whose spirits are so wrought that they know rest only in action, contentment only in danger, and in confusion find their only peace. when churchill published this thought in the novel he wrote at the end of the 19th century, but it sounds oddly like our 21st century president, donald trump. only in confusion does he finds his peace. up at 6:30 a.m. jumping to see the headlines. tweeting out his sentiments before he even sees the sun. finding contentment only in trouble. today in the rose garden, the president blamed all the affairs on the republican leader, mitch mcconnell. none of it on himself. he accused the major press of putting out fake news. attacked the democrats for obstructing his court appointments. it's as if he doesn't get enough dazzle out of this country's really dangerous strike with north korea and is pushing to
unravel the nuclear agreement with iran. he wants something more. back to churchill. why is donald trump so relentlessly bent on starting fights? why is that where donald trump finds his only peace? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> obamacare is finished. it's dead. >> trump world gives up the game. >> is going to blow that thing up. going to blow those exchanges up, right? >> as the president lashes out over his lack of achooinchts ie >> i'm not going to blame myself. i'll be honest. they're not getting the job done. >> and explains why he hasn't called the families of fallen soldiers. >> president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. then, new reporting on what the president says behind closed doors about people of faith. and the high stakes legal showdown over a subpoena for the president and the woman who says he groped her. >> all i can say is it's totally fake news. >> when "all in" start