tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 23, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
tonight, rachel maddow has a very special guest. you can see it -- i don't know how to do this very well. right here. attorney general eric holder, his first interview since leaving office. well will all be watching. you may want the watch as well. 9:00 p.m. eastern. straight ahead, it's "hardball with chris mathews." >> firefight. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. when you're in a hole, stop digging. especially when we're in the hole with the widow of a lost serviceman who died in a dangerous mission in africa. donald trump would be wise to learn that lesson. instead, the president seems incapable of letting it go. letting anything go. last week he attacked a u.s. congresswoman for reporting what he told the wife of that american soldier. that is sergeant, sergeant la
david johnson who was killed in niger. he called that congresswoman frederica wilson a liar. well, today the widow, nyaeisha johnson says congressman wilson was 100% correct. >> what he said was -- >> the president? >> yes, the president. he said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways. and i was -- it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. he couldn't remember my husband name. the only way he remember my husband name because he told me he had my husband report in front of him. and that's when he actually said "la david." i heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband name. and that were hurting me the most. because if my husband is out here fighting for our country, and he risks his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? >> well, the president still couldn't let that go.
he responded a short time later. quote, i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from beginning without hesitation. the weekend trump continued tweeting his attack on congresswoman wilson in starkly political terms. on saturday he said "i hope the fake news media keeps talking about wacky congresswoman wilson in that she as a representative is killing the democrat," that's how he said it, "the democrat party." on sunday he followed up with quote, wacky congresswoman wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for the republican party. a disaster for dems. you watch her in action and vote republican. the congresswoman rejected the criticism. >> that's the way he is. and i'm sick of him giving people nicknames. he doesn't want me to give him a nickname. >> president trump also strongly defended the performance of his chief of staff general john kelly. let's watch that.
>> he is a very elegant man. he is a tough, strong, four-star marine. a four-star marine, you've got something to special to start off with, okay. he was so offended because he was in the room when i made the call, and so were other people. and the call was a very nice call. he was so offended that a woman would be -- that somebody would be listening to that call. he was -- he actually couldn't believe it. actually, he said to me, sir, this is not acceptable. this is really not. and he knew. i was so nice. look, i've called many people. and i would think that every one of them appreciated it. i was very surprised to see this, to be honest with you. >> i'm joined right now by usa today's heidi przybyla, jonathan swan and msnbc blk contributor sophia. i want to start here, this seems
to be the battle that's not going to end. it's a battle between a widow who is obviously distressed. she lost her husband. they're young married people. obviously beautifully in love. and it's so obvious. and very cloudy circumstances, fighting in a front we didn't even know was there. i'm sure she knew. but they said he signed for this. what, to go to nigeriaer and fig fight in africa? i think she is distressed. she gets a call from the president. he bungles the conversation to some extent. explain how you see it? this doesn't look like it's going away, ever. >> two comments. first and foremost, the president's tweet this morning after the young widow was on "good morning america" and she was expressing how she took the call, which is consistent with what congresswoman wilson said, the president tweeting after that is stunning i think to everybody, that he doesn't understand that this is not something he can win. that for him to basically -- he called her a liar in nice terms. he didn't say the word "liar,"
but he said i remembered his name. i said it often. and then he said that, you know, he had a nice call with her, which is in direct contradiction. the second thing that is a problem for him, now he has the ire of black women in america, who whether right or wrong, see this as a racial attack on two fronts, the young widow and congresswoman wilson. so now you've got the cbc members who are black women saying we want him to apologize. general kelly, they're talking about, and then trump to the widow. so it's escalating now into a racial issue which it probably wasn't. >> i think wacky is a term i think we can agree on. if it doesn't carry a gender reference, it does carry something that's pretty dismissive, heidi. it's not like -- i empty browse, i grew up with nuns for eight years of grade school. so i'm familiar with the empty brows shot. but wacky, i get a feeling that wouldn't be addressed to a white guy. just a guess, but i don't know. >> all right, chris.
let's run down the list here. the mayor of san juan, the khan family, judge curiel, megyn kelly and elizabeth warren. what do they all have in common? they're either a minority or a woman. and not that he hasn't picked fights with other people like mccain or little bob corker. >> oh, we're going get to that in the next segment. he is definitely going after mccain. >> right. but there is a certain pattern here that can't be denied. at the same time i think that sophia is right that we cannot as the media continue to also try to rationalize that any of these outbursts are some kind of clever ploy to the base. no. there is also a pattern here of this tweet went out almost immediately after the interview. there was no contemplation to this. this was not some kind of strange strategy. >> why does he waste his weekends on the american presidency with grudge matches, john? because it's saturday and sunday morning. he gets up early, not to go to church, but to continue this crazy firefight that he knows he can end in a minute by saying
out of respect for the lost serviceman, i'm going call it right here. this is the end of it. >> because the way he has lived his life for 30 years has been waking up in the morning, watching obscene amounts of television. and now that he's got twitter of a tool, he is live tweeting. we see him responding in realtime to television. >> president trump defends his use of social media, especially twitter. it's not really social with him actually. it's a means of settling scores. let's watch. >> it's such an interesting question because i have friends that say oh, don't use social media. see, i don't call it tweets. tweeting is like a typewriter. when i put it out, you put it immediately on your show. and, you know, they're well crafted. i was always a good student. i'm like a person that does well with that kind of thing. and i doubt i would be here if it weren't for social media. and i have a tremendous platform. i think i have 125 million people between twitter and instagram and all of them and
facebook. i have a tremendous platform. so when somebody says something about me, i'm able to go bing, bing, bing and i'm able to take care of it. otherwise i would never be able to get the word out. >> sophia, the use of the partisanship here. the u.s. president of the united states talking in his role as head of state. a guy who has to tell people a husband has been lost in war. that's a role that is sacred and has nothing to do with politics because every president has to do it. this isn't a war we're officially declared in. it's just the hell that happened to this guy. and yet he keeps talking about the dems and the democrat party and how this is going to hurt him in the next election. his mind-set is totally next -- it's one thing to think like a politician. he talks like one. and he ran against them. 2020 is on his mind. he said this is going to hurt
the dem party and hurt the dems. >> president trump has not yet grown into the role as commander in chief and president. that's the disconnect. he doesn't understand as george w. bush said so eloquently last week in his remarks at the spirit of liberty conference that a president set acetone for the children. he sets a moral leadership. what he says actually matters. he doesn't get that. it's obvious or he wouldn't be tweeting about a widow who just lost her husband under, as you say, difficult circumstances. >> john? >> i completely disagree with you. what politician would speak like this about the widow -- >> i agree with you. i'm saying that. >> so, yeah, but you said he is talking like a pol. >> oh, i see. >> there is no politician. they might be thinking that. they wouldn't say it. >> it's being unable to control your impulses. like he immediately sees her on tv and makes no distinction that she is a pregnant widow who is in the depths of mourning the
loss of her husband. >> clearly in love with her husband. it seems obscene, real. and the question mark in her head and heart, how did it go for him? you always think this. what was it like for him at the end? was it quick? was it horrible? was it scary? was it all those things, was it torture? did they haul him away and torture him? why was he found so far away from the site of the fight. what was going on here. you got to wonder about this. >> they could all be true. >> they could all be horribly true. and by the way, he was never in a situation like, that trump. >> he thought he was being sympathetic, chris, but in trying to regurgitate the words given to him by john kelly, he wasn't able to show the compassion that most humans show. >> i'm a little bit like trump that way. sophia, i know you quoted eloquently george w. but i don't really like what he did to our country when he was president. he took us into a war. killed 100,000 people. killed 4,000 of our people and n a war that makes us look worse
than were. it is not a good leadership from our president. and i join him personally and not just chaney ain cheney. i wish he would say something clearly about why he went down that primrose path with dick cheney and what it did to our world. it didn't help us. but, but you're great. i absolve you all sins. but thank you. it's great having this panel. heidi prezioso as always, jonathan swan. i need a translator, but great anyway. no, just kidding. there are new questions being raised about the u.s. role in niger. it's niger, not niger. >> i didn't know there were troops in niger. john mccain is right to tell the military because this is an endless war without boundaries, no limitation on time or geography. you got to tell us more, and he is right to say that. >> he didn't know we had a thousand troops in niger. did you? >> no, i did not. >> americans should know what is going on in niger. >> yes. >> should know what caused the
deaths of four brave young americans, should know what kind of operations we're engaged in. and one of the fights i'm having right now with the administration is armed services committee is not getting enough information. and they deserve it because we represent their families too. >> well, a new coalition there, whoopie goldberg, joy behar and senator john mccain. you know you're powerful when that big three gets together. senator mccain said he will receive a classified briefing on niger this week. meanwhile, sergeant johnson's widow myesha johnson said she was still trying to get her questions answered. good for her. here we go. >> the questions that i have, that i need answered is i want to know why it took them 48 hours to find my husband. why couldn't i see my husband? every time i asked to see my husband, they wouldn't let me. >> this afternoon, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff,
general joseph dunford briefed reporters on the investigation into this month's attack. he promised transparency for the families and the country. >> on the 4th of october, u.s. and nigerian forces moved back to the base. the patrol came under attack from approximately 50 enemy using small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and technical vehicles. the only thing i'm asking for is a bit of patience to make sure what we provide to you when we provide it is factual. with regard to being transparent, i think we do yo' all the families and the american people transparency into events like this. and we intend to deliver just that. >> i'm joined by national security reporter ken delaney. what do we know than fight in the jungle? >> chris, my colleagues have been asking questions all day. what the heck happened here. how did they get in this situation.
the prevailing theory is this was a setup. this team of green berets was on a reconnaissance mission, as the general said. they stayed overnight, and in the morning they visited a village that apparently was infiltrated with isis supporters. and the bad guys were made aware of their presence and essentially ambushed them on the way out. that were in light vehicles. they were not anticipating a fight. they engage in a firefight. they moved a mile down the road to another location. the fighting got really intense. and it wasn't -- it an hour elapsed before they called for help. and when they finally called for help, it was another hour before french mirage jets arrived on the scene and sort of flew low over the situation. and our sources are telling us dispersed the enemy fighters. but this raise as host of questions about why these guys were in this situation where they supposedly thought there wasn't going to be a conflict how. these enemy were able to amass without the u.s. military knowing about it, chris. >> and there were how many people attacked him? 50? >> that's right.
general dunford confirmed the number of enemy was 50. they have technicals which are pickup trucks with heavy weapons, rpgs and mortar. >> why it was a complete shock that they would be attacked by an enemy they were pursuing. they were going out there doing reconnaissance on an enemy. i'm wondered why this is considered a surprise. >> you have just raised the fundamental question that we are all asking, right. it's kind of a balance. they are in this region because there are isis militants around. but these are green berets. these are not the special operations forces that go on these door-knocking missions. these guys are about visiting villages, offering support, gathering intelligence. so we don't understand and the military has not answered how it was that these guys got into this engagement, why there was no overhead surveillance initially to realize that this enemy, these militants were asemi-abouting for a fight. why they didn't realize this village was compromised if in
fact it was compromised. these interest questions that the investigation is trying to answer, chris. >> we've still got to get some more. by the way, what is hvt? >> high value target. the guys that go after, militants. >> thank you. ken delaney, thanks for that report. a big nbc break tonight. coming up, john mccain's biggest battle. he is under fire from trump outrider steve bannon right now. but mccain remains every inch the maverick, hitting trump for getting out of the draft during vietnam. i thought this was coming. it has come. john mccain has remembered who dodged the draft. plus 15 days to go before that must-win election in virginia. can democrats close the deal on a state they have come to claim as their own? they're getting nervous. in my opinion that. >> should be nervous about virginia. and so much for trump the deal maker there is reporting from "the washington post" that lawmakers in both parties find the president untrust worthy, inconsistent and they don't trust him as a negotiator because he is not getting anything done. finally, let me finish tonight with the documents that are coming out this thursday on
the kennedy assassination. they could be very interesting. and that is "hardball," where the action is. why do you do it? it's not just a pay check, you actually like what you do. even love it. and today, you can do things you never could before. ♪ ♪ you're developing ai applications on the cloud. finding insights hidden in decades of medical documents. and securing millions of iot sensors. so get back to it. and do the best work of your life. ♪ ♪ only fleet enemas feature the lubricated gentle glide tip, and do the best work of your life. for comfortable relief in minutes. not hours. fleet enemas. the start of fast relief. get your coupon in sunday's paper. ltry align probiotic.n your digestive system? for a non-stop, sweet treat goodness, hold on to your tiara kind of day. get 24/7 digestive support, with align. the #1 doctor recommended probiotic brand.
also in kids chewables. welcome back to "hardball." this weekend president donald trump tweeted that, quote, subject to the receipt of further information, he will be allowing as president the long block and classified jfk files to be opened. in 1992, congress ruled that all documents related to john f. kennedy's assassination could be released within 25 years, unless the president at this time asserts that doing so would harm intelligence, law enforcement, military operations or foreign relations, according to nbc news. well, the deadline for the declassification of those documents is this thursday, october 26th. i'm joined by nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss. michael, what do you want to know or what do you think might come out of these documents that apparently are going to be released online this thursday. >> yeah, two things, chris. number one, what was oswald doing in mexico city just a few weeks before the assassination?
we know that he was talking to soviets. he was talking to cubans, that the united states had some surveillance of all this. what was going on. did he make a threat against john kennedy that should have been transmitted to the secret service? and the other thing is did the cia and fbi pick up information not only in mexico city that should have warned the secret service and the people around john kennedy in dallas, might have spared us the trauma of that death. >> it seems to me there would be two motives for what you're describing. the first one big motive would be to avoid stirring up real hot war 2001 us and the soviet union if they were in on this thing. >> right. >> anyway, even knowledgeable about a planned assassination. and number two, the cya. the cia and the fbi knew a little bit. didn't act. >> exactly. both of those things. both true. and we know that lyndon johnson privately was saying at the time a few weeks after the assassination and later, he
thought that kennedy was trying to kill castro, and castro got to kennedy first. he never said that in public, but johnson in the weeks after the assassination was terrified that information would get out to the general public that suggested that the soviets were behind this, the cubans were behind this, because he felt if that was the case, there would be enormous pressure on johnson to either invade cuba or even retaliate militarily against the soviet union. he didn't want to do either of those things. >> everything you say is true, michael beschloss, and i mean it. everything you said is so helpful. it's so helpful for you to give us the history of all this. history is going to come alive this thursday. >> it's going to be fascinating. and congratulations, by the way, on the great new book, "bobby kennedy" next week. >> thank you, sir. you've done more than your service here tonight. thank you, michael beschloss. it's called "bobby kennedy: raging spirit." it comes out next week. i'll have more on the kennedy documents at the end of the show. it is going to be fascinating. coming up, john mccain turns
up the heat in his battle with donald trump. going after him for evading -- this is something i knew was coming. it has come. evading vietnam with some concierge doctors who looked out for some little boys. this is "hardball," where the action is. i text in full sentences. i refer to every child as chief. this hat was free. what am i supposed to do, not wear it? next thing you know, i'm telling strangers defense wins championships. -well, it does. -right? why is the door open? are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood? at least i bundled home and auto on an internet website, progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto. i mean, why would i replace this? it's not broken. we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you?
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welcome back to "hardball." senator john mccain has again proven why he is known as a maverick within his party. in an interview about his service during the vietnam war, mccain took a thinly veiled, very thinly veiled swipe at president trump, who in 1968 received a medical deferment from the draft because of a bone spur on his foot. while he didn't mention the name of the president by name, the implication was very clear. here is mccain on c-span last night. >> one aspect of the conflict, by the way, that i will never, ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of america. and the highest income level found a doctor that would say
that they had a bone spur. that is wrong. that is wrong. >> well, mccain expanded upon that comment in an appearance on "the view" today. let's watch this. >> still makes me mad when i think that if we are all asked to serve, wonderful. >> yeah. >> but if some of us are allowed not to because of our income or our position or our influence, then that is a disgrace. >> yeah. >> i don't consider him so much a draft dodger as i feel that the system was so wrong that certain americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country. >> what is your relationship like with the president? >> almost none. >> zero. >> wow. >> that's terrible. >> almost none. >> that's an honest answer. as a candidate, donald trump famously questioned mccain's service in the military, saying he is not a war hero. and as president he has continued to jab at the senator. on friday, ousted white house
strategist or outlier steve bannon took on mccain, as well as the second president bush in his speech to california republicans. here is how the audience reacted when bannon mentioned mccain's name at this event. >> within 24 hours of each other, there were three speeches. president xi in china, our beloved president george bush -- [ booing ] that's a piece of work. and john mccain. [ booing ] >> you heard it. hang him. as politico reported that report, when bannon mentioned that name, someone in the audience yelled "hang him." ken vogel is with "the new york times." carla, it's good to see you again. i haven't seen you since chronicle days. thank you for coming on. could you hear that guy yell "hang him"? >> oh, yeah. this was one of the most shocking things i've seen. i've covered these conventions for almost 20 years. and to listen to bannon mention
mccain and that cry of "hang him." i was expecting someone in the audience to respond, to say no, to get up and walk out. there was complete silence, chris. it really showed how there we were in orange county, the birthplace of the reagan revolution. >> true. >> and the 11th commandment, thou shalt not speak ill of another republican, the 11th commandment has been shredded. >> i think it was mccarthy knew he would run against lyndon johnson when he could go any bar in america and not get punched in the nose. now you can go into any trump rally, say something horrible about a war hero like john mccain and not get punched in the nose but have something yell out like they're jane fonda. what's going on here? what happened to the ideology of being supportive over of our troops. he got shot down over hanoi. he ditched the plane, crashed into -- i have been over there
in that little lake in hanoi. he didn't surrender, put his arms up in the air. he crashed into the enemy capital and got beat up in the water, barely got out of the water alive. and then he went to prison for seven years while he was beat up for another seven years. and this guy questions his service? this is pure -- i don't know what it is. your thoughts. >> yeah, i think bannon's speech and the reaction to it from the crowd there in california in some ways encapsulates these two prongs of the trump zeitgeist, if you will, this ferocious anti-establishment sentiment, as well as this sort of rejection of what they see as political correctness that they can be as brash and as sort of unpolitically correct as they want. and certainly there is no less politically correct thing to do in american politics than to scream out "hang him" about not just any war hero, but john mccain, who went on of course to have a very decorated career in the u.s. senate. >> carla, i don't see mccain as
establishment. i think shea maverick. he always has been. he is the guy that pushed mccain feingold. they really cleaned the swamp. unfortunately the politicians and the courts overruled them because they wanted to have their access to the honey bin again or the honey jar. lots of campaign, unlimited money. >> that's true. >> he tried to literally empty the swamp, drain it. how can you call him mr. establishment, i don't think. >> i think what you're seeing too is this battle scarred grizzled veteran fighting his last war for the soul of the republican party. i mean, he is there talking about, as he did with his liberty medal speech, talking about lofty ideals like america being the last best hope. that is not the kind of rhetoric we're hearing from trump. and the folks that were there in california cheering and cat calling bannon on i think are a lot of younger republicans who like the mano a mano, who like
the aggressive talk. and frankly a lot of them, chris, do not remember the vietnam war, were not born in the vietnam war. >> wow. >> and can't really respect what he has been through. in that service. >> trump remembers the vietnam war when he tried to avoid vd. i think that's what he was saying. anyway, let's take a look at that. >> you know, i'll tell you, it's amazing. i can't even believe it. i've been so lucky. >> right. >> in terms of that whole world. >> you have never gotten a social disease. >> it is a dangerous world out there. >> it is. >> like vietnam sort of like. >> it is. it is your personal vietnam. >> it is my personal vietnam. >> you've said that many times. >> a great and very brave soul too. >> there he is bragging about not getting a sexually transmitted disease as his alternative to service in the jungles of vietnam. anyway, last week senator mccain scathingly rebuked a reporter for asking whether he would oppose all of trump's initiatives because of their relationship. let's watch. >> has your relationship with the president degraded to the point that you are not going to
support anything that he comes to you and asks for? >> why would you say something that stupid? why would you ask something that dumb? huh? my job as united states senator is a senator from arizona which i was just reelected to. you mean that i am somehow going to behave in a way that i am going to block everything because of some personal disagreement? that's a dumb question. >> ken, have you ever been rebuked by a politician that powerfully? he really made the guy look like a doofus. your thoughts. >> in fact, may have been rebuked by senator mccain that powerfully. but it does go to show that senator mccain sees this as about something bigger than him versus donald trump. it's about the honor of public service and the honor of our discussions of our public life, including the senate and the executive branch as well as the military. and i would just say per what carla said and what you asked about, mccain being held up as sort of an avatar of the establishment is not correct.
and it really undermines, undervalues the way in which he has bravely stood up against his own party, not just on campaign finance reform, but on immigration reform, on climate change and the way that it's come around, i don't think that steve bannon or trump has really taken such a hard stand against a sacrosanct issue in the republican party like john mccain has. so it's a little ironic that they're calling him out. >> ken, your intellectual capital is wonderful that was all true. carla, it is so great to see you reporting back for us too with politico. but please come back. carla marinucci, formally of e "the san francisco chronicle" and now a politico out of oakland. by the way, good luck with the warriors. i don't think they need my luck. anyway, ken vogel. up next, democrats around the country are getting nervous than must-win governor's race right across the river here in virginia. this is "hardball," where the action is. you never told me you were a hero. you are my hammer out there. don't let these young guys see you fold.
♪ i'm only human ♪ i make mistakes get down! ♪ i'm only human ♪ it's all it takes ♪ don't put the blame on me thank you for looking after my son. we're brothers. we look after each other. thank you for your service. rated r. in theaters friday. in the mirror everyday. when i look when i look in the mirror everyday. everyday, i think how fortunate i am. i think is today going to be the day, that we find a cure? i think how much i can do to help change people's lives. i may not benefit from those breakthroughs, but i'm sure going to... i'm bringing forward a treatment for alzheimer's disease, yes, in my lifetime, i will make sure.
welcome back to "hardball." with 15 days to go before the must-win election for governor in virginia, right across the river here, the "washington post" reports democrats are getting jittery, writing the democratic national committee gathered in las vegas over the past week with one worry on every activist's mind. we better not lose the virginia governor's race. so true. democrat ralph northam is in a neck and neck race with ed gillespie on the right in a contest where turnout is key, not only an off year, an odd
year election. virginia's current governor terry mcauliffe says the path to defeating trump in 2020 will run through this state house. >> we spend too much time focusing on presidential, and then we don't focus on state and local. the dnc, i'm happy, they just gave us a million and a half for the virginia's governor's race. i'm very excited about that. but we have got to focus more on the local races. governors are the future. and those governors are critical to the redistricting in 2021. 2020 will take care of itself. >> he was there with kasie hunt. i'm here with larry, director for politics at the university of virginia. larry, you know your stuff. how do you call this two weeks out? >> it's leading to northam and the whole democratic ticket, but not overwhelmingly. remember last fall, we'll never forget it when the polls and pundits we said hillary clinton would win. so democrats are right to be nervous. it actually helps to be on the edge, and not overconfident.
>> you know, i remembered when gillespie, who is the republican nominee for governor this time was running for senate against mark warner, and he was up 10 to 12 points. oh only lost that race by 0.8, less than a point. he underpolls. i'm wondering if a guy underpolls by double-digits, which he does, how can you trust a margin of error poll by anybody? >> well, that's a good point. but i would counter it by saying ed was running in 2014. and he had the wind at his back because president obama was really the cause of the takeover of the republicans in many of those seats. and now the wind is at his face because of president trump. so it's exactly the opposite situation. >> well, the issue of civil war monuments, of course, helped spark the protest down in charlottesville which turned out so bad and turned violent of course. here is how president trump characterized it. >> not all of those people were white supremacists by any
stretch. >> white nationalists. >> those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. >> well, that was not a good moment for the president. on the stump for northam in richmond, president obama addressed his successor, but not my name. >> if we're going to talk about history, we should do it in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. not in a way that divides. we shouldn't use the most painful parts of our history just to score political points. >> you know, larry, i think that trump is sort of chasening or warning the democratic candidate for governor. don't push this issue. this is a wedge issue from the other side. it's not going help you. >> it's absolutely right. i think northam got too far out front of that issue. >> yeah, i do. >> in the summer. and that could hurt. and obama had exactly the right balance which is honor the past
but add to it and give it texture. that's the right approach. and northam has moved more toward that. but he almost went off the rails in august with this. >> i think if he loses it will be because of that. anyway, larry sabato, you're the best. thank you so much for coming on "hardball." invite me down there some time. i love charlottesville. >> come down. >> up next, donald trump told us he was great negotiator, a real deal maker. but after nine months in office, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they don't trust this president to make a deal. why should they? nothing has gotten done. you're watching "hardball." panis have come together to bring you more ways to help reduce calories from sugar. with more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all, smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels, and signs reminding everyone to think balance before choosing their beverages. we know you care about reducing the sugar in your family's diet, and we're working to support your efforts. more beverage choices. smaller portions. less sugar. balanceus.org.
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welcome back to "hardball." candidate trump, remember him? sold himself as the great negotiator, a real estate deal maker who knew how to get things done. here he was. was. >> i will bring america to a new level. i will negotiate details that nobody can negotiate like i do. nobody i know everybody that i'm running against. i mean, nobody is going to be able to do the kind of things i
can do. it's supposed to be you get along with congress and you cajole and you go back and forth and everybody gets in room, and we end up with deals. >> you're supposed to gather people around and make great deals. i want to make great deals from my side of the equation. but otherwise you're just going to have a stagnant country like you do right now. you have no negotiation. you have washington is in total gridlock. >> i get elected president, i'm going to be in the white house a lot. i'm not leaving. we have deals to make. who the hell wants to leave? >> he has been gone every weekend. but roughly, nine months into his term, there is little evidence of a deal maker in president trump. it's begun to show. according to "the washington post," congressional republicans seem to agree, quote, some republicans are openly questioning his negotiating abilities and are devising strategies to keep him from changing his mind. the deal making deals that propelled trump's deal in real estate and reality television have not translated well to government. for more i'm joined with the "hardball" round table alexei cameron of axios, dave
decaminiti and phil who wrote that article for "washington post." phil you start here. it seems the big difference between real estate and politics, a real estate baron tycoon can walk away from the deal. if he doesn't like the deal on the table, he walk ways from it. presidents have to do certain things. he has to pass a budget. he has to deal with the debt ceiling. and this month and next he needs a tax bill. >> there is another difference. in real estate when you're negotiating as trump did, he could make one offer and change his mind and make another offer there is no expectation that you act ethically or morally and tell the truth all the time. in politics there is, because you're a public servant. >> that's a problem that republicans are dealing with is they don't know whether to take him at his word at any given moment. and they decided in many of these cases they don't actually want to bring him into the table on the discussions until the very end because they're not counting on him to sell these deals and they're not counting on him to be a reliable partner
in the negotiations in the first place. >> alexei, do you believe he has any philosophy of government? >> he doesn't understand that the business dealing strategies does not work in washington. a congressman told me last week he is not well versed in any details of the tax plan how. can you negotiate what's on the table if you don't know? >> look at this. tomorrow president trump is taking a rare trip to the capitol to meet with republicans. they're supposed to discuss the path forward on tax reform. among the guests tomorrow senator bob corker of tennessee. here is what he said about tomorrow's presidential appearance. >> more of a photo op. nothing more, nothing less. i think to read anything more into it would be spending a lot of time on something that shouldn't be spent a loft time on. i don't know, it's -- this is -- it's going to be up and down for the next three years. and people just -- i mean, this
is just the way it's going to be. >> that's rather fatalistic. but he thinks it's just going to be a picture taking ceremony. that's all it's going to be. >> that illustrates one of president trump's problems here. he has totally lost bob corker. >> one of the 50 he needs? >> he certainly is. and he has essentially said i'm not going to vote for something like this if it increases the deficit. well, that's one of the central efforts that republicans are dealing with right now. >> he has probably lost mccain on everything. that leaves him with mccain and no one else to lose. >> trump is good at engaging on the service level. but there is little to no significant follow-through with them. right? and that's reflected from his business dealings. >> so what is he good at? all three of you. jump off. what is he good at? >> he is good at picking up the phone and making somebody feel like they have his support. he did it to senator alexander. >> he did a great job with the widow of the serviceman, didn't he? >> but he talked to service alexander four times on the phone, made alexander think the president would back this
bipartisan health care deal with patty murray and totally did a 180 last week and now it isn't supported. >> the same docket as chuck and nancy when they had chinese. they say with chinese you're hungry an hour later. the same deal. you're how longry for a deal an hour later. >> that's within of the reasons he has this ever rotating cast of allies capitol hill. the recent is lindsey graham. lindsey graham and donald trump do not have a good relationship going. >> not at all. >> but when you have someone who can't decide what his legislative priority is going to be within these large pieces of legislation, this is what happens. >> we've heard stories. we've all heard them from people who have done business with him in new york. two things you. can't trust him to pay his bills. let's start with that. if he never pays his bills in new york and challenges the other side to pay him then he counter sues and ends up not paying anything, that's not a good way of building the next deal. >> no. i've heard from so many democratic aides that say there is no trust among their bosses
with his word. i think we're going to start seeing this reflected in his base supporters as well. >> is corker just given up on this guy? that was a pretty profound fatal stirjts it really was. >> in the next couple years will be useless. we're stuck with this guy. >> it sounded that way. although you talk to other republicans on the hill, and they see some reason to hope. >> like what? what is that? >> they're just so much at stake. not only for trump, but for the party, for mitch mcconnell's leadership in the senate for the midterms next year. they need to show that they can govern. >> you're all copping back here. the roundtable is sticking with us. as always, i say it this time. you're going to give me three great scoops that everybody will be watching tomorrow with a frenzy, it's going to be so exciting. this is "hardball," where the action is. morning on the beach was so peaceful. until... it... wasn't. don't let type 2 diabetes get between you and your heart. because your risk of heart attack or stroke is up to four times greater. but there are steps you can take to lower your cardiovascular risk.
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we're back with the "hardball" round table. alexi, tell me something i don't know. >> so there is a fascinating democrat versus democrat in california between young members like kevin de leon fighting against dianne feinstein who are establishment. that's reflective of this sort of hillary clinton versus bernie sanders fight that we saw in 2016. sanders supporters are still upset after the election. not because of trump, but because hillary beat him out. so now we're seeing these grassroots progressive dems fighting against these establishment dems. >> who is going to win in california next year? feinstein or this other guy? >> we'll see. >> gabe? >> republicans will likely vote for difi in that one. but keeping with the democrats
for now, coming off their meeting in las vegas for the last week, a democratic national committee itself is really hurting for money right now. they don't have that much cash to operate ahead of the midterms. that may change. >> the republicans are beating them in money? >> definitely beating them in money. but when it comes to individual democratic candidates, not the dnc, they're actually swimming in it. according to reports that have been coming out over the last few days. >> like ralph northam. >> like ralph northam, for example. but there are three dozen house incumbents who are being outraised by their democratic challengers. >> steve bannon in the two months since he left the white house, he has not only been declaring war on the republican party, but he is trying to lose weight. he is on a hippie diet of co kombucha, cider shots. >> thanks, alexi mccammond, and phil rucker. when we return, the documents coming out three days on the kennedy assassination.
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let me finish tonight with the release this thursday of the jfk assassination files. i'm hoping that the records will show clearly and finally whether lee harvey oswald acted alone on november 22nd, 1963, or whether he received help. or the promise of help in his planned escape. i'm hoping to release the records also this thursday.
we'll answer some vital questions. what did oswald say to the soviet and cuban officials when he visited their embassies in mexico city that september? did he alert them to his plans? did he even have a plan then to kill the president at that point? how much did the cia or the fbi know about oswald prior to the assassination? was he on their radar after returning from the soviet union? did think think it important that he joined up with the pro-castro fair play for cuba committee? well, the president's brother bobby would never give up his suspicion that his brother's particular enemies were behind his killing, that he was not simply killed for being president of the united states. those enemies were finally actually really bobby's enemies as well. it's why his early reaction to his brother's death was -- i thought it would have been me. the initial suspects included right wingers who resented the administration's push for civil rights, the mob kennedy spent years pursuing, the cia that refused to support kennedy's bay of pigs with a full attack on
cuba. anti-castro forces bitter for the same reason, and finally pro castro elements angry because of the kennedy brothers' campaign to remove castro from the scene. the question is whether he acted alone or with help from havana or moscow. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for beings with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> the president said that he knew what he signed up for. >> la david johnson's widow speaks out as the president disputes her account. >> he couldn't remember my husband name. >> tonight new reporting on pentagon documents that contradict trump's claims on gold star families as the calls for a john kelly apology grow. >> he owes an apology to the american people. then -- >> caution. >> gabe sherman on the latest sexual harassment scandal at fox news. >> the silencing of them