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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 23, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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"snl." what did you think of her impression? let us know on our facebook page facebook.com/the beat with ari. i'll see you back here at 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. tipping point. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. there are several big developments in the trump russia investigation tonight. first, there's brand-new reporting from are the "washington post" that special counsel robert mueller is seeking to question president trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser michael flynn and fbi director james comey. according to two people familiar with his plans. it suggests mueller's investigation is intensifying focus on possible efforts by the
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president or others to obstruct or blunt the special counsel's probe. meanwhile, nbc news has confirmed reporting from the "new york times" that the special counsel questioned jeff sessions last week and also interviewed james comey late last year. the highest profile figures to join a growing list of witnesses called to speak to the special counsel's team. among them, former campaign adviser george papadopoulos and michael flynn are both cooperating with investigators. . the probe proceeded on three fronts, looking at possible collusion between the trump campaign and moscow, possible obstruction of justice and trump's reaction to the investigation, and also possible money laundering involving the trump family, associates and russian interests. attorney general sessions could be central to both the collusion and obstruction inquiries as his multiple testimonies revealed, significances did not tell the whole truth about his meetings with the russian ambassador
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during the campaign. he was a key figure in the firing of james comey. sessions is also the first known member of president donald trump's cabinet to be questioned. as nbc news reports, had his rank within the administration may indicate that mueller is zeroing in on central characters as he enters the more advanced stages of the investigation. however, the president told reporters today he was not concerned about what his attorney general told the special counsel last week. >> thank you. >> attorney general told the special counsel? >> no, i'm not at all concerned. no, i didn't but i'm not at all concerned. thank you all very much. >> james comey is also central to the investigation of possible obstruction. as "the new york times" reports, the interview with mr. comey focused on a series of memos he wrote about his interactions with mr. trump that unnerved mr. comey. in one memo he said mr. trump asked him to end the fbi's investigation into the former national security adviser
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michael flynn. end the investigation. i'm joined noud by ken dilanian with nbc news it, natasha bertrand who covers is the russia probe with the atlantic and jill wine-banks, all three of you, i want to know what you make of these two witnesses being called, comey already and sessions very soon. and then the president. >> chris, what i think this shows is mueller is accelerating sat ob struskz justice aspect of the probe. the three pillars of this investigation, it looks like the obstruction case is going down the track further and faster than the collusion and money laundering. there's a lot we don't see but the obstruction witnesses we know who they are and what stories they have to tell. it's not a surprise that comey is a key witness. what's surprising to me is it's happening now and seems like it's speeding up.
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>> natasha, explain how you see what kind of a case mueller is going to make here with these hot witnesses now. >> it seems like ken said he's moving more quickly along the obstruction path. that doesn't necessarily say to me or others talking to people in these circles that this indicates that the investigation as a whole is wrapping up. it just means perhaps one of phase of the investigation is closer to completion than another. one of the things that struck me about the "washington post" reporting in terms of what mueller wants to ask trump is he really wants to hone in with trump was so angry with sessions and yes, why at one point he wanted sessions to resign. that to me says that mueller is honing in on the idea that perhaps trump wanted attorney general sessions to resign so that he could perhaps appoint someone not recuseds from the vision. that is another aspect of the probe that could perhaps come into play. >> well, let me go to jill on this. you've been through this before
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in history. it looks to me like trump was trying to kill the investigation of trump. it isn't complicated. he didn't like having an attorney general out there fighting for him, not just defending him and killing investigations. it's clear he didn't like what comey said when he want put down the sword and let himself become a knight of the trump roundtable. he wasn't going to play that part. it seems to me, he wanted to protect flynn because flynn new something. watch this thing as a detective story, it seems to come out trump's hiding and using all his powers as president to protect himself. >> everything you've said it absolutely correct. i agree with you completely. it certainly looks bad for trump. but it probably actually is bad. it's not just that it looks bad. we can also assume not just that flynn knows things. we know that comey knows because he was in charge of the investigation into the russian collusion and the russian
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wrongdoing toward our election before he was fired. now, whatever he knows of course, the fbi still has in its institutional memory and can be used as evidence of any campaign cooperation with the russians which is a very serious underlying crime. it's always easier to make the obstruction case than it is to prove this underlying relationship with a foreign government. so that's why it may look like it's moving faster, but let's not jump 0 conclusions about this because we don't know what papadopoulos knows, what flynn knows, and we dove know what sessions knows. remember sessions was involved in the campaign. he may have substantive information about relationships with russia. he after all did not report at least two meetings with the russians that he probably should have reported. he may have participated in others that we don't know about yet. so i'm going to give the break to mueller who i believe has a lot more information than we're even speculating about.
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>> to make your point, jill, we didn't even know he had interviewed comey. apparently in december an the end of last year. now his train is moving a lot faster than the media's. when it comes to meeting with the russian ambassador, the attorney general exhibited a pattern of what i like to call rolling disclosure, letting people know the truth when you the have to. during his confirmation hearing last year, he said at first he had no communications with the russians. >> i didn't, did not have communications with the russians. and i'm unable to comment on it. >> well, and then once his meetings were revealed by the press, rolling disclosure, sessions said in march, march a few months later that the meetings were not about the trump campaign. >> i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. >> well hen in october, a few
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months later after that, sessions said it's possible he did discuss some of the campaign's positions with the russian ambassador. >> i don't think there was any discussion about the details of the campaign other than it could have been that in that meeting in my office or at the convention that some comment was made about what trump's positions were. i think that's possible. >> you know, you wonder about this ability to just sort of fade on the memory. some of it is the soft accent and nice folksy way and a nice likable guy but if chuck schumer tried that, nobody would give him an inch. of course, you remember, you remember everything. >> it's no accident jeff sessions went into this meeting with a criminal with defense attorney. is he looks like he might have exposure. there was some intelligence reporting, eavesdropping on the russian ambassador where he reported back to moscow he had a
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substantive conversation with sessions at theplay mayflower hotel. that's the reason copy testified that sessions probably had to recuse himself. so there's absolutely the story evolved and there's a real question about does he have any exposure. >> talk about that, natasha, and what he would know. this is a question i know having worked in politics years ago. i get to jill on this and back to you. when you're in politics sitting near the top, all the conversations are going on around you and you're hearing things, you're a fly on the wall. what did that mean? i'm trying to figure this thing out. you're always trying to figure the thing out. if sessions is a political animal which he is, he got this far, attorney general, s'more from that state all these years, he knows how politics works. if he heard a russian accent, your ears would pop up. what is going on with us and the russians and by the end of the
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campaign, you damn well know what the deal was with the russians because you would want to find out. your thoughts? >> it's very unlikely all of this was happening around him and he never noticed why are all of these russians approaching the campaign? why is this happening? the two meet it is he had with kislyak, he didn't disclose to congress. the meeting had he with george papadopoulos he seemed to have completely forgotten until it came out that papadopoulos had been in that meeting and actually pitched the trump campaign to meet with putin. so this is something that is genuinely, it's curious and it also another aspect of this is that sessions is you know, potentially facing some criminal exposure. we don't know the whether or not mueller knows. perhaps he misled congress. perhaps he contributed to something that would resemble obstruction when he made the decision to write the letter that would then help trump come up with a decision to fire comey. so these are all questions that mueller wants to know the answer
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to. he's been speaking to flynn and papadopoulos over the past several months and they likely have given him a lot of information what sessions did and didn't know during the campaign. >> along this point while i've got you, natasha, can you turn an attorney general? can you turn an attorney general -- can you find that he discovers he is in trouble in a conversation with mueller and goes wait a minute, if you put it that way, i look guilty. i'm part of this effort to clean up the president's by getting rid of comey because i wrote this letter. this could be a step towards a commission of conspiracy. i'm guilty. it seems that's going to flash in his brain. your thoughts? >> some legal experts have said that mueller, you know, would not have gotten to sessions this quickly had he not thought that perhaps he had some evidence that maybe sessions had said something in the past that wasn't true that he potentially get him on. that's part of the reason why he
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hasn't perhaps interviewed donald trump jr. yet. he thinks there's a possibility that sessions has information he can then give to mueller that can help him further bolster his case. whether or not that's leveraging is criminal exposure against sessions or saying you need to tell me this or you could be in trouble, that remains to be seen. >> donned junior's time in court will be nervous for his father. sessions testified in october he was not aware of any campaign surrogates meeting with russians. >> you don't believe that surrogates from the trump campaign had communications with the russians? is that what you're saying? >> i did not and i'm not aware of anyone else that did. >> however, former campaign adviser george papadopoulos later revealed sessions did preside over a meeting in march of 2016 papadopoulos told sessions and trump his connections could arrange a meeting between trump and putin.
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here's what sessiones the said when he returned to the hill to testify in november. >> i do now recall that the march 2016 meeting at the trump hotel that mr. papadopoulos attended but i have no clear recollection of the details of what he said that the meeting. > george stevpapadopoulos is cooperating with investigators. yesterday his fiancee told it the "washington post" i remember history will remember him like john dean adding there's a lot to come. there's a fruitful statement. the girlfriend, fiancee of his who has intimate information about what he thinks thinks of himself as she and he perhaps think of him as the number one stoolie here, the number one witness for the prosecution. >> it could be, and i will point out that john dean has said that a big mistake that the nixon white house made during watergate was underestimating
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how much he knew and that's why he got in so much trouble. we shouldn't underestimate what george papadopoulos may know. and it could be that he is the john dean and that he reveals everything that we need to know. and i also want to point out, you've mentioned several times this i don't remember, i don't recall and how many times our attorney general said that. and in nets ordinary trial, any ordinary jury is going to say, that is not credible. a man of his education, a man of his position, a man of his experience does not forget all of those meetings. he does not forget that he had a conversation about surrogates meeting in russia. it's not believable. he could be in substantive tub trouble for perjury. he could have misled the congress when he was being confirmed. there are so many things that he could be in trouble for and maybe he will want to protect himself and he will cooperate. >> ken, where we heading?
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ing. > george papadopoulos knew before almost anyone the russians had hacked e-mails. there's no way he kept that information to himself. he's a low level campaign functionary. his whole purpose was to please his betters. he had to pass information on. the question is who knew about it. >> jill, it seems to me the most powerful witnesses this sounds like first grade commentary, but the one with the really good memory and john dean it turned out was his memory -- as one of those tape recordings. he was as good the one they reaped, it was a recording, his memory was like a recording. and when it came out and the tapes came out, everything he said was verified verbatim. do we have any witnesses like that in this case? how powerful will they be? >> it's impossible to guess because only mueller knows the answer to that right now. dean was incredible in his memory and he testified without knowing that there were tapes. he was taking a big risk in
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giving the kind of detail he did. you are right. when he said there's a cancer on the presidency and he told the president that on march 21st and you play the tape of march 21st, that's exactly what he said. that was true with every conversation he testified to. i'm hoping there is someone like that. unfortunately, so far, although the president threatened that there might be tapes that would get comey in trouble for saying what he said about the white house meeting, so far the president hasn't produced them. i hope there are tapes. that would be most helpful and interesting. >> my second effort memory has come through. the rod was called memorex. they used to show how it sounded just as faithful as the or sound made on this earth. thank you so much ken, jill ad a natas natasha. the news special counsel mule ter questioned the attorney general and the former fbi director comes as trump is throwing up another smoke screen to distract from the russia
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investigation. his weapon is smoke. when he's in trouble, his strategy is to attack the investigators and the pleadia and that the average person doesn't know what's going on. plus, more on the news robert mueller wants too question trump in the coming weeks. his allies think it's not a perjury trap. why would they be so worried about it if they're not so worried about perjury? don't they think trump is telling the truth? trump says ending the shutdown of the government is a big win for the republicans. sounds like he's happy to take credit for ending the shutdown even though he was sitting in the white house worrying about his birthday cake not eaten after his first year in office like mrs. haver sham in "great expectations." let me finish tonight with the trump watch. this is a doozy. this is "hardball" where the action is. with 33 individual vertebrae and 640 muscles
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criticism that the obama administration did not do enough to address russian meddling in the lead up to the 2016 election. biden argued that any public announcement about russian medsing would be aimed at tipping the election in favor of the democrats. >> can you imagine if the president of the united states called a press conference in october with this fellow and bannon and company and said tell you what, the russians are trying to interfere in our elections and we have to do something about it. what do you think would have happened? ask yourselves, what do you think would have happened? would things have gotten better or would it further look like we were attempting to delegitimize the electoral process because of our opponent? >> we'll be right back. why suffer? stand up to chronic migraine with botox®. botox® is the only treatment for chronic migraine shown to actually prevent headaches and migraines before they even start.
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welcome back to "hardball." robert mueller's probe inches
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closer and closer to the oval office, president trump and allies are stepping up attacks on the fbi, the agency whose probe into russian meddle ultimately led to mueller's appointment. axios reports that are attorney general sessions has been pressuring fbi director christopher wray to fire deputy direct ker andrew mccabe. repor today the president pushed back on the allegation. >> did christopher wray. >> no, he didn't at all. >> he did not threaten? >> he did not even a little bit. no. he's going to do a good job. >> the white house confirmed it's calling pore changes at the fbi even as it investigates the trump campaign. deputy press secretary said in a statement the president has enormous respect for the thousands of rank and file agents believing senior leaders
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including former director comey and others have tainted the agency's reputation. i'm joined by steve schmidt, republican strategist and former assistant director for counter intelligence at the fbi. gentlemen, thank you. steve, you and politics, me and politics. let's talk about, what would you do if you got the federal prosecutor coming at you, you got your attorney general being called in and you've got comey, the guy you fired as fbi director called in. it's all about you, it's all about obstruction of justice and now you squeal and say these guys are tainted, they're deep state, the bad guys, don't trust them. who is he talking to? >> well, he's talking to his base. he's talking to the faction of the american people about 32% are with him till the end. i do think, chris, it's important to understand that the abnormality of what's happening here, this allegation that
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there's a deep state, that there's a conspiracy within, that there's a fifth column in the intelligence services, in the law enforcement community, deeply embedded in the american justice system, that is attacking the constitution, the legitimacy of the presidency of this president, all of this is the hallmark of autocratic behavior. in every autocratic system that's ever been, there's always been the allegation of conspiracy. it, of course, conveniently also the scapegoating of an ethnic minority. we can think about that insidious and terrible tv ad that the president's team had up on the arizona this weekend. so this conspiracy abetted by members of the republican majority in the congress and it's abetted by a television network that's increasingly come to resemble state-run tv and an autocratic society much more than it has been as a
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conservative television network as we would have recognized it in the past. >> frank, let me ask you about the long knives, the knifes are out. going after people like mccabe, trying to make them the bad guy. tell me about that as a strategy. i think it's a smoke screen and something for people to talk about whether it's hillary's e-mails or benghazi over and over again. it seems like if you do say something i billion times, people think it's really important. >> it's a scorched earth policy designed to attack your attackers and it's something i think we've seen trump do throughout his career professionally and politically. i want to talk about the deep state because it's answering your question which is first of all in, 25 years as an fbi official, i've never seen anything that looks remotely like some kind of deep state conspiracy. the closest we're coming to it is within the halls of congress. announce is waving around a memo he won't show to anybody, he won't release it and claims it
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contains clear evidence that seems to be only in his possession that the fbi exploited or abused the foreign surveillance court in order to get surveillance on carter paing and my message to the people in congress holding on to this is look, you've got three options. if you've got that kind of information, release it. let the fbi get their act together and correct whatever happened in that phi sap affidavit. give it to the chief judge of the fisa court. give it to the duly appointed republican director of the fbi, right? or you could give it to the inspector general of the department of justice. but sitting on it shows yourself to be a political animal motivated solely by politics. >> the kingpin of this escapade, mr. nunes goes down to the executive office of the president, gets some dirt. next morning slows up with the dirt at the white house as if he discovered something like the pentagon papers and made it look like he was blowing the cover on the bad guys, the democrats.
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he is a tool. the president this morning renewed another attack on mueller's probe referencing peter strzok the former counter intelligence official who mueller removed from the investigation last summer. mueller got rid of him after learning about text messages he exchanged with another fbi employee critical of trump. president tweeted in one of the biggest stories in a long time, the fbi now says it is missing five months worth of lovers strzok page text, perhaps 50,000 all in prime time. that's trump building it up. the tweet comes two weeks after trump accused strzok with no evidence of treason. over the texts in which in an interview with the "wall street journal." gop lawmakers say they're evidence of anti-trump bias atton levels of the fbi. let's lis. >> and we learned today in t aftermath of his election there may have been a secret society
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to include page and strzok to work against him. when folks speak in those terms, they need to come forward to explain the context. >> there's a text exchange between these twos fbi agents. these two supposed to be objective fact centric fbi agents saying perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society. i want to know what society you're talking about because you're supposed to be investigating objectively the person who just won the electoral office. >> i keep reminding myself trey gowdy spent 1 million hours grilling hillary on benghazi and he go nowhere. >> there's zero evidence that any of these fbi agents who have had their private text messages compromise, there's zero evidence they misused their badge, their office, their
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credentials to abuse the president, his family or any of the president's supporters. again, this is smear campaign directed at these twos agents absent any evidence. this is latter day mccarthyism. and it is entirely about what it seems to be about, which is trying to blow smoke around this investigation to obstruct the american people from finding out what went on here at all costs. >> it says to me the more smoke, the closer they're getting. thank you, steve schmidt and frank. much more on the reporting tonight, special counsel robert mueller is looking to question now the president himself. one of trump's top allies says he should avoid the interview. roger stone says the president should not go anywhere near an interview. it could be a suicide mission. a perjury trap. that's what roger stone says. he's been advising trump for 20 years. he says don't go anywhere near a hearing room.
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this is "hardball" where the action is.
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would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of. >> 100%. >> so if robert mueller wanted to speak with you about that? >> i would be glad to tell him exactly what i just told you, jim. >> that was, of course, our president this summer saying he would be 100% ready to talk to special counsel robert mueller
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under oath. months later his allies warn by opening himself up to questioning, the president could be walking into a "perjury trap." there's a hot new phrase. according to "the washington post" mueller wants to question trump opt departures of both national security adviser michael flynn ho hated to see go and fbi director james comey he was glad to see go. in june comey told congress the president had asked to let flynn go. let's watch. >> understood him to be saying what he wanted me to do was drop any investigation connected to flynn's account of his conversations with the russians. i took it as a direction. the president of the united states with me alone saying i hope this, i took it as this is what he wants me to do. >> and the president himself told nbc's lester holt he fired comey because of the russia investigation per se. let's watch. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. i said to myself, i said you know, this russia thing with
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trump and russia is a madeup story. >> i love these conversations between trump and trump. for more, i'm joined by susan page, washington bureau chief and michael steele former chair of the republican national committee and political analyst and jamal sim mon, a democratic strategist. here we go. let's think about this happening as a dramatic moment, trump versus mueller. is it at the ends of the show, i'm going to compare it to colombo. it's always the bad guy who is completely powdered up and is perfect and totally calm and sure of himself. it's usually robert culp or someone like that. this time mr. suave will be in there, will he begin to sweat. >> he's not like robert culp. he's volunteering all kinds of information, incredibly legally problematic for him. the qualities. >> everybody likes lester holt. maybe he was charmed. >> the qualities that president
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trump has to be expansive, to be hiler bol lick, to want to win you over, those are exactly the opposite qualities that you want to have when you're testifying under oath to a prosecutor. >> wanting to win you over. >> yeah, wanting to win you over. >> trump's not that guy. >> he's the guy who wants to win you over. i can see him wanting to defense mueller that everything you know, everything you've seen, everything you've read, whatever you heard from everybody else, that's not true. what i'm about to tell you is the truth. and he begins that convincing argument which leads to what you were saying. > he's already on the record saying i got rid of the guy because he's coming at me on russia. >> there are reports he said the same thing to the russians when he visited him in the oval office. this is not the first time anyone's asked trump these questions. it's not just trump in jeopardy here.
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jared and his son don junior may have some trouble also. >> according to "washington post," trump told his teams of lawyers he's not worried about being interviewed because he's done nothing wrong. back to you on that. it's a question of how weavy can he be. i wasn't trying to protect him. i didn't foot drag about that. i didn't keep him around because i was afraid. i didn't ask comey to go light because i was afraid to come at me. all the circumstances suggest big fish has been caught by copy and a big fish is going to talk. >> the big fish meaning president prump. >> no, michael flynn. >> michael flynn is a huge problem and concern for trump because he was there during the campaign in the early days of the administration. whatever was going on, he presumably knew. >> he was his national security guy who would be talking to the
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russians about sanctions. by the way, he was. that's why he was fired. he was talking to the russians. >> he's cooperating now. >> now he is telling them. >> that has got to be -- one would assume this is an issue of incredible concern to the president's lawyers. at least. >> i'm not a lawyer, i say it a thousand times with sort of pride. just kidding. i do like lawyers. i think they've got a case. >> they do have a case. and it has been for quite some time one that runs in the obstruction of justice lane. at the beginning of this whole episode, a lot of the conversation was around this idea of collusion. the legal beagles out there, we're not following collusion. we don't know what that is. we're looking at this. it is that thing that michael flynn, that papadopoulos and others through their questioning and answers have brought to this table now. they give the president. >> jim, i know where you're
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going. there's a smorgasbord of cases they can make here. they can go after money laundering and all that will russian money they poured into deutsche bank and the 666 dress, go after him on collusion. so many meetings with russians, a and, of course, obstruction. i think all three plates are sitting on the buffet table and it's up to this guy when to go for them. >> let's not forget about the air force one statement drafting which we think donald trump was involved in figuring out how do they cover for the meeting don junior had with the russian lawyers when had he said we've got dirt on hoda kotb and he said great. >> roger stone says don't go to this. that's not a vacate recommendation because how does he avoid it can he say i'm not going to testify. >> legally he can say i'm not going to voluntarily testify. he could be subpoenaed. as clinton was. >> it has to be taken before a
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grand jury? >> could be. they would presumably work it out. it is hard to imagine this unfolding without president trump having to testify under oath in some way to the special prosecutor. >> i don't see mueller giving up that card and negotiating that off the table. i don't see that. >> they're not going to give the guy 50/50 take home. who wouldn't want a take home exam. we'll figure this thing out. >> he's so disciplined. he's so undisciplined no telling what he says. >> the roundtable is sticking around. up next, president trump can't help but gloat over yesterday's deal to reopen the government. is he popping the cork confident champagne bottle early and how much credit does he deserve tore what happened? he was in the white house crying over his birthday cake, wasn't he? you're watching "hardball." say carl, we have a question about your brokerage fees. fees?
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welcome back to "hardball." over the past few days, president trump has remained out of the limelight, the place he loves to be, the limelight. he finally resurfaced late last night spiking the football hours after the shutdown of the federal government ended. trump tweeted big win for republicans as democrats gave on absolutedown. caved on it. it's not the first time he's taken credit for something he actually didn't do. here he is earlier today. >> we're bringing business back to the united states for the first time in many, many years. many, many decades really. >> he's something actually. he or rather his co-author in the "art of the deal" called truthful hyperbole. an innocent form of exaggeration. a very effective form of self-promotion. here are a few more examples from the past year. >> since my election, ford, fiat chrysler, general motors,
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sprint, softbank, lockheed, intel, walmart and many others have announced that they will invest billions and billions of dollars in the united states and will create tens of thousands of new american jobs. >> of course, the stock market is at an all-time high historic high. it's never been -- it's going up i think it was 54 times since i was elected. >> so congratulations. we have created nearly 2.2 million jobs since the election. by the way, african-american unemployment is the lowest it's ever been in the history of our records. >> we're back with the roundtable. what do you make of that? michael, it's not even pontificating. it's bragging. >> it is bragging. it's taking a fact and expanding it and exaggerating it and wrapping it around. >> 61 degrees today in
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washington. he should take credit for na. >> this is his style. it is the consummate salesman style. i'm always selling. he's always making the point and it's always what i'm doing for me and for you, by the way. you do get something out of this because you're listening to me and hearing me tell you all these wonderful things. that's the president's style. what washington has still yet to adapt to is how do you respond to that? how much of that do you take as truth and how much of that do you actually go and write about and share with the public? and he knows as long as he's got you off balance like that, it works. >> you know, if had he not been basically boxed out of these negotiations at the end of the shutdown, we would still be in a shutdown. however they kept president trump from engaging it meant republicans had a consistent message which they didn't have before. it robbed the democrats of a big target which trump would have been. it was crucial in getting the government to get funded.
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>> doesn't want to hear that, by the way. he doesn't want to know that that fact that this worked and he got boxed out of it by his chief of staff and by the speaker or the majority leader. >> he was pretty good bragging about the women's march over the weekend. that was his, too. that was his baby. when it comes down to giving trump a pass, some top evangelical leaders are turning a blind eye to his past discretions and came to his defense following recent reports about his alleged affair with adult film star stormy daniels. let's watch. >> evangelicals did not vote for donald trump based on his moral qualifications. but based upon what he said he was going to do and who he was surrounding himself with. you get a mulligan. you get a do over here snoop. >> a mulligan for 70 years of his life. >> hey, the guy -- this is what he's committed to. as long as he commits to that
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and continues on that, he will have the support of evangelicals from a policy standpoint, he has delivered more than any other president in my lifetime. >> i've never heard faustyian bargains did described so well. as long as you're with us on the issues, you're. >> giving up all mort authority. the evangelicals supposedly there to bring their moort authority but then they do deals with trump and they've been willing to sit underneath the same tent with people who are absolutely not living up to the text. >> a lot of moral credit to barack obama for being a good husband and good father. he was always a good man. remember how they used to lavish credit on him? not a minute. >> it makes the evangelical community like every other lobbying group in time. >> they want stuff. >> and if you give them that stuff, they'll support you.
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>> very simple admonition just shut the hell up and don't preach to me about anything ever again. after telling me who to love, what to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don't matter, the grabbing the you know what doesn't matter, the outright behavior and lies don't matter, to shut up. >> if you're a baker, you do not have to bake a cake for a gay wedding. > they have no voice of authority anymore for me. >> you are very authoritative. this is a final statement. >> it rubs me raw. >> this is a final statement. the roundtable sticking with us. you're watching "hardball." with zero dollar copays on select plans and reward points on prescriptions. so no matter where you're going or who you are, it's worth the trip. we'll help you find low cost prescriptions including zero dollar copays on select medicare part d plans.
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back with the "hardball" roundtable. three big scoops you'll be talking about tomorrow. susan? >> president trump is learning is the value of the talking and talking loud. melania trump has learned the power of not talking. she didn't say a word after the stormy daniels disclosures but she has canceled her plans to go with the president to davos. that speaks powerfully. >> you have the scoop on that. this is new. >> it was out today. i think it sends. >> news for me. michael? >> governor mcmaster of south carolina is not a happy camper today as the president has now imposed sanctions on washing machines and samsung recently opened up a plant in south carolina where they have 600
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employees. they're going we don't know what to do with this plant if she is stay in place. the tariffs stay in place. the president's global policy on tariffs and sanctions will have a very local impact and he'll hear it from his base. >> continuing the state-based part of this, lieutenant governor of virginia justin fairfax, first african-american lieutenant governor in virginia history yesterday stepped down from the dais when they began to honor stonewall jackson. they were supposed to do an event for robert leon friday and canceled it. i'm hearing they'll do the event tomorrow. he's planning to have another silent protest and leave the die yas. rural conservative virginia coming in conflict with modern virginia. >> battles were fought in virginia, too. thank you susan, michael and jamal. you're watching "hardball." bls of every week.
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today. it's a list that celebrates women and minorities. "the shape of water" dominated with 13 nominations just shy of the record. the world war ii drama "dunkirk" was nominated eight times while "three billboards outside of ebbing, missouri" got multiple nods including a lead actress nomination for tran ses mcdormand. familiar faces like meryl streep scored her 21st nomination for the "post." gretta gerwid nominated for her film "lady bird." that film including best picture. when we return, let me finish tonight with trump watch.
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trump watch tuesday january 23rd, 2018. the man in the white house is behaving now like a character on that old detective show "columbo." he's acting like one of the bad guys. you remember them. always rich, high ranking in society, suave and charming of manner, never giving off a whiff of guilt and speak as if their words were powdered with talcum. this is president trump crooning on and on how he has nothing to fear from bob mueller. yet, there are some little details mr. mueller would like to clear up like why did he, trump, delay in firing michael flynn after knowing flynn had lied about his conversations with the russian ambassador? why did he after firing flynn ask fbi director james comey to
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go easy on him? these are questions the special counsel will want trump to answer. but the story line here is the slow grinding ungam russ advance of the forces seeking truth against those hose are seeking to hold it tight to himself. if it were a contest of arrogance, trump's got a fighting chance. if it's about the facts, mr. president, let's see. as detective colum bo would say, just one more question, sir. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> if mr. mueller asked the president to submit to an interview, is that something that the president would be open to. >> new signs that mueller time is coming for the president. >> the witch hunt continues. >> as his sitting attorney general goes before the special counsel. >> i would have gladly had reported the meeting. >> tonight, why jeff sessions is is the key to so much for robert mueller. and what lies ahead for t

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