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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 13, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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the field, but instead of breaking it up he starts body slamming the third graders, yeah, take that, take that, take that! >> the president's tweets are so insane the news can't even show them now. it's getting to the point when he talks to reporters they're going to have to blur out his entire face. >> only a slight stretch. well don't show some of those lying tweets. that does it for "the beat." "hardball" starts now. send them back. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. send them back. until recently, that was the message donald trump and his legions were sending to the four progressive women of color serving in the u.s. congress. now it's to the world. the president once said his only priority is stopping illegal immigration. well, now his administration is taking unprecedented steps to
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make it harder for legal immigrants to stay in the country legally. yesterday the administration rolled out a new rule making it harder for low income legal immigrants to receive food stamps or any other form of public assistance that they would be allowed to stay here if they ever took any of that assistance. this morning acting citizenship and administration director ken cuccinelli defended this new ru ru rule. >> would you also agree that emma lazarus' words etched on the statue of liberty, "give me your tired, your poor" are also part of the american o american ethos? >> they certainly are. >> all immigrants who can pull themselves up by their bootstraps are welcome. this afternoon president trump defended cuccinelli and the new administration policy when asked if he thinks those welcoming words should be changed. >> well, i don't think it's fair
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to have the american taxpayer, you know, it's about america first, i don't think it's fair to have the american taxpayer pay for people to come into the united states. so what we've done is introduce what took place many, many years ago at our founding virtually. we are just reinstituting it. and i think it's long overdue. >> well, nbc news reports that, quote, the rule change would require immigrants applying for a change in immigration status like a greencard or those seeking to come here to prove that they are unlikely to ever need public assistance and can bar immigrants who had received assistance above a certain threshold from even being approved. "washington post" columnist eugene robinson points out that that rule will also change the composition of those let into the country writing the new rule would drastically reduce legal, i repeat legal immigration from low income countries, not coincidentally, i'm sure.
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this assures that fewer black and brown people would be granted resident status. in an interview with the hill late today, cuccinelli defended his remarks saying the rule change was about self-sufficiency. >> this is a part and parcel of america's immigration history. we want people to come here. we're the most generous nation in the history of the world when it comes to immigration and having open arms, but we do expect people to stand on their on two feet to care for themselves. >> for more i'm joined by susan page, washington bureau chief for usa today, jonathan swan, national political reporter for axios, michael steele, former rnc chair, juanita tolller at the america for progress action fund. juanita i want you to start. what does this smell like to you. >> it says immigrants, if you want the american dream, get it before you come here. >> come with money? >> come with money, come with education, oftentimes come with pale light skin. >> tell me about the skin part. >> i mean, trump has said
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repeatedly one african nations are shit hole countries but he would welcome anyone from norway. this is founded racism from the trump administration. >> jonathan? >> you're are from australia. >> how do you hear this yourself as a person? >> i mean -- >> needy people. >> it's not like they've been particularly subtle about this. this has been stephen miller's singular obsession for two and a half years, this particular regulation. the law itself has been on the books since 1880s. it's never actually been properly clarified. >> what does it say? >> it talks about a public charge, about people basically causing a charge to the taxpayer. but it with us never properly articulated in regulation. now they're using this opportunity, stephen miller saw this as an opportunity in his mind to dramatically reduce the number of legal immigrants and to change the type of legal immigrants that come into this country. and it actually fits in with what they've been talking about. they don't want people who are
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poor and low school. >> the notion we have, sort of the notion -- the picture we have of our country on ellis island, kind of poor looking, right? there is the italian wave, the jewish wave, the irish wave, the different generations of waves all coming with basically a bag full of clothes, maybe. >> you come here, you're poor, you don't have any advantages you work hard. >> the german wave. >> you succeed, you get rich. it's not that you come here and get richer. you come here rich and get richer. jonathan is right. it's not subtle. it's also not surprising because donald trump has talked for a long time wanting to go to a merit-based system, merit-based meaning you get points for being better educated, having more money. congress has been completely uninterested in doing that. he is now trying to do that administratively. >> before the kennedys came along, they were elite, but they had some sense of what it was like to be immigrants. some sense. and they changed the law. it wasn't a quota. it wasn't northern europeans. the law used to be if you have a lot of people like germans, a
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lot of english people, then you can get a lot of english and a lot of germans in, which makes it very hard for jews and italians and everybody else to get into the country. >> that's right. to jonathan's point, this particular aspect of the law has been in place. they're now you can say weaponizing it and making it a real part of -- >> why? >> well, it's largely to your point about how the president has already articulated his view of who should come into the country. but here is the other side of that coin. this message resonates with a lot of people out there with this idea that you come here to then automatically go on the dole, to automatically get something from the country. >> right. >> so from that particular perspective of the narrative, this works. this resonates with a lot more people than you may think who agree that, you know, you mean you got on a plane and flew to the united states and now you're on public assistance? wait a minute. how does that work? >> how hypocritical is that when not so long ago. >> i'm just saying how --
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politics works. >> say you get here on your own and you want to bring your mother, your uncle, your aunt, whoever. you take care of them. >> the presumption would you would take care of them. but what this ruling would say that you need to show us you will take care of them because if the idea is that you're going to bring grandma here and she is going to suddenly get a check from the government, guess what's going to be denied. or better yet, if she is already here and faums on hard times. >> the very important context here, really cannot underline this enough. i spent all day talking to the trump administration for the last two and a half years. forget the wall. stephen miller doesn't care about the wall that much. this was his number one priority, this regulation. >> chain migration? >> he believes that this will dramatically reduce the number of legal immigrants. it's a big deal. >> let's talk than, because you talk about brown people, latinos, latinas coming here. the message from trump from the beginning when he tried to be pure, i'm not against legal
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immigration from the south, from guatemala, honduras, wherever, belize. i'm not against mexicans coming here for a better life. they should do it legally. now the word is out don't bother. if you're poor coming from mexico looking for a job, you're going to be poor. >> or on top of that, if you're here legally, now you'll be penalized. you followed the rules, but now it will be held against you if you seek support for food, for medical care, for housing. and that's going to lead a lot of problem in latin communities and others. >> the move to tamp down on legal immigration comes a week after the massacre in el paso where the gunman parroted the president's own words calling illegal immigration across the southern border an hispanic invasion. asked than at the white house last week, president trump reiterated his views on immigration. >> i think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. i think you have to come here legally. ideally, you have to come in
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through merit. we need people coming in because we have many companies coming into our country. they're pouring in. i believe we have to have legal immigration, not illegal immigration. >> we have to have legal immigration. back in 2016 built on what was an immigration policy speech then candidate trump argued that an immigration system based on merit was about serving american needs. >> we take anybody, come on in, anybody. just come on in. not anymore. remember, under a trump administration, it's called america first. to choose immigrants based on merit, merit. skill and proficiency. doesn't that sound nice? >> you know, there is a real value system here. everybody to the left loves meritocracies. the better educated and all that crap. now trump seems to be saying the
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same thing. if you have technical skills, you're merited preference. you're a better person. he makes you sound like a better person. how about if you don't have technical skills but you want to go to america? >> here's the rub with this policy. to jonathan's point, when you read it and flesh it all the way out, that individual who comes here on merit, who has the job that's doing him very well or doing her very well loses that job, and then for a year or two years is now on public assistance, they're up for greencard renewal. under this current system the way it's read, when they apply and they put in there that they took government assistance, whatever, for two years, they could technically be thrown out. so how much does this merit part really weigh? >> okay. >> let's remember that immigrants serve american interests when they are not so skilled. who fills a lot of the jobs in america that we need? who provides young people who are in the workforce helping older americans who are -- >> let's go to that. business needs two kinds of workers. let's face it, high-tech
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businesses, silicon valley, they're looking for engineering background, who can be programmers, we know all that i was talking to a guy at a fish store, who wants to work at a smelly fish store? somebody from jamaica who wanee a minimum wage job. >> what about the chicken place. 10 there is different kinds of economic deeds. when he says what's good for america is an open question. >> but immigration is his prime directive, right? what was the first issue that donald trump talked about when he announced for president? it was immigration and especially opposing immigration for mexico. when donald trump gets into trouble, his reflex is to go back to immigration as an issue that he believes and that he is comfortable with and he knows his base will support him on. >> today's comments from ken cuccinelli are nothing new from the immigration hard-liner. now you know how he got his job at immigration.
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when he was tapped as acting director, politico reported on the former attorney general's history. as a virginia state lawmaker cuccinelli backed changes to the constitution of his state to -- or commonwealth to restrict birthright citizenship and sought to deny unemployment benefits to workers who didn't speak english. he issued a legal opinion that authorized law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone stopped by police. so this guy, you know you apply for a job with this guy, do the job before you get it. >> all the evidence is there. we know where this is coming from. we clearly have a sense of cuccinelli's history. again, i can't let go of the hypocrisy at which he can out the this as a good policy knowing that it probably would have impacted his italian and irish ancestors. >> my grandparents came from other countries and they wouldn't have come with many skills. one chaim in as a chauffeur. the other as a mother's helper. i'm not shurp they would have passed must were this crowd. what do you think, michael?
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>> you're right, it wouldn't pass muster. here is the other side of the rub. where is the congress going to come down on this when they come back to washington? how do they then begin to speak about this in the context in the various examples that you've given, because we know that's not how the world rolls. you just don't have people coming out of mit versions from their home country to the united states. >> if it was so great, they might not have left. >> right, exactly. so the question becomes for all the skill sets that are required to get the job done in this country, why are you going limit it? why are you going cut it off so you can only achieve at this level when you know the vast majority of the work is going to be done by that person working in a chicken factory do. >> you think congress is going to do anything? i assume congress won't do anything. >> i assume congress won't bo b doing anything about it either. that's why trump is making this play right now because he is going to have a runway on this issue. the congress on the right is going to be afraid to say anything about it and the congress on the left is too disjointed. >> i just wish they would issue
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again the chance of having a comprehensive and immigration bill in the president's face, in mitch mcconnell's face. >> pass it in the house. >> go ahead, you make our day. pass this in the senate or stop talking. my guests are sticking around. coming up next, plastic straws and wind turbines. the president dials up the culture wars ahead of the 2020 fight. plus, trump refused to back off on pushing a clinton-themed conspiracy nonsense on the death of jeffrey epstein. and where, by the way, the case against epstein headed right snow he is dead but there is more case coming. is trump about to come to the rescue of one of his former "celebrity apprentice" contestants? rob blagojevich, we call him b-rod here. much more ahead. stay with us. medications seem to be the number one cause for dry mouth. dry mouth can cause increased cavities, bad breath, oral irritation. i like to recommend biotene.
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his base is expecting a wall, expecting illegal immigration to be stopped.
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this president forgets who his base is and listen to some of these folks advising him on illegal immigration, the wall and gun control and jobs and visas and american worker, it's going to be a dandy of an election. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was fox business host and unofficial trump adviser lou dobbs, last night warning the president not to appear soft on the issues most important to his base. the president has been signaling he will run as far right as possible, of course, rather than risk losing a single vote from his base. according to "the washington post," that means dialing up the culture wars. quote, trump is deliberately amplifying public tensions by seizing on divisive topics to energize his base, according to campaign aides and white house advisers. the president is following much of the same strategy he pursued in 2016, inserting himself into the issues, his supporters are
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already discussing using blunt us against them language without regard to nuance or political correctitude. at the heart of the message fault lines like guns, immigration, and race. >> the democratic party is now being led by four left wing extremists who reject everything that we hold dear. they want virtual immunity for illegal aliens who have committed horrible crimes and murder. the homicide rate in baltimore is significantly higher than el salvador, honduras, guatemala. i believe higher than -- give me a place that you think is pretty bad. give me a place. the guy says afghanistan. i believe it's higher than afghanistan. virtually every top democrat also now supports late-term
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abortion. it's not only late-term abortion, it's killing the baby after the baby is born. >> we're back with susan page, jonathan swan and michael steele and juanita cobber. i have a theory he is not going give an inch on immigration. >> oh, no. >> he wants the last right wing voter to go with him, and he can't afford to give any of them up to win the election. >> no, you're exactly right. honestly, as a person of color, i'm bracing myself to hear this drumbeat for the next 18 months. this is a lot. and he is not going to back down. he is going to continue to escalate this. we saw it with his attacks on the squad. we saw it with his disgusting racist language from the moment he descended the escalator in 2015. what i think needs to be dealt with, though, is the fact that his racist statements and everything that he is saying right now has a negative impact in yields dangerous violence. >> where does he pick up, susan? i think he has pushed this way
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too far. i think suburban white women are not going to like signing on to a guy who is clearly racist or seems racist. i think men may stick with him. i think the big cities are going to vote much more heartily against him than they did looking at him coming. now they see him here, he is much more frightening and vote in higher numbers. he has to make up with that he can't bring the same vote out le had in 2016. >> you know, think about this. what if the economy continues to be pretty good or really good and the relative continues? could he appeal to a share of the hispanic vote? i think he probably could. could he get back some of the republicanss? there are moderate republicans including women who don't like the way he behaves but very much like the direction of the economy and stock market. that seems to me one scenario that would make it possible for him. >> but he is not talking about that. >> michael, you're a former rnc chair. who was somebody that sat in the bushes and didn't vote for him last time and will this time? who was waiting for something better from trump. >> it's not a question of
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waiting for something better. you have have to keep in context, one, the disdain for hillary clinton in 2016. >> yeah. >> kept a lot of people off the playground. two, when they looked at trump, they were like really? i don't think so. but now to your point about the economy, those are the people who feel the economy is doing well for them. maybe it is. maybe it isn't. we don't know. but they feel that. and that is to susan's point can be a huge draw for the president. it is the card that he won't play to your point. >> he is not playing it. >> he didn't talk about it in 2018. a lot of republicans wanted to talk about it. democrats talked about health care and trump played the caravan card and paid a price for it. i think where you're going see the president come down is he is going to keep playing with the memes that he's got going right now on race and immigration, and then knowing that people feel good about where the economy is. the first quarter of next year is very important. if the downturn begins in that quarter, that means by the time you get to this point next year,
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there is going to be a lot of scrambling on the trump team because they have to make that space up somewhere with votes they don't have right now. >> he spent $2 billion in advertising to take claim for the economic improvement. >> of course he is. >> there is a new issue -- no issue too small for trump to weigh in. on the ongoing debate over the use of plastic straws, the president made it clear he is against what his campaign calls liberal paper straws. i'm learning this crap every day. this is something i don't even know about. his campaign has started selling plastic straws stamped with trump's name on them. they have earned more than $670,000 in selling them. susan, this is obviously -- this is like freedom fries, one of those weird cultural things. screw the climate change talk. they're all a bunch of intellectuals and pencil next and all. this makes the statement, right? this is the piggest way of saying we don't care about you people. >> thing is not as powerful a wedge issue as race and immigration. maybe i'm underestimating the
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power of the straw. >> forget wedge. trump, their campaign, you got to remember you guys were all here, i covered it day to day. their last campaign wasn't a campaign. it really wasn't. trump won despite barely having a campaign. i started to kick into gear in the summer of 2016. they've actually got a pretty powerful campaign now. and they sure as heck have a powerful fundraising machine. low dollar donors. they're sucking in money. they're going to have an absolute ton of money. i get the text messages offering me straws. i was getting texts. >> reagan ran on morning in america. it made everybody feel good. >> i know because i get the text. invasion. >> it's all going to be negative? >> i just based on what i get from the messaging, it's mostly the immigration. this is the hard-core -- >> the other side of the game, vice president joe biden still leads the pack of presidential contenders, a series of gaps
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might weaken biden's standings. according to "the new york times" some of his advisers said in introduce that they're privately -- not privately to say to a newspaper -- but his recent gap spree would be cemented into the larger narrative of the presidential race. juanita, i like when people say private. >> when talking to the press, right? >> don't tell "the new york times." what you think? >> i think, one, the gaps are being a little overplayed, but they are important because we must remember that he served under obama, who would not be afforded this type of leeway if he was making mistakes like thinking ergo? >> i think it comes down to impact. how many voters are going to move away from selecting him as their number one pick as a result of these gaffes? i'm not sure it's going to be enough. >> you know what i would say if i were biden? i think about it all the time if i were biden. yeah, i got a legal of mileage on me. but i know the directions now. i know how to get there. make me your designated driver. i know how to get there he's got
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a lot of miles on him. >> he has a lot of miles. he has been in the senate since he was 29. i think the country knows him. the core constituencies of the democratic party know him. that's why he is sitting at plus 15, 20 points ahead of everybody else. i think the gaffes are baked in. i don't know how you see it when you cover the campaigns and stuff, but i just think that a lot of voters right there just don't really see that as a weight for him as much as maybe the established order and some of the special interests. >> i will say the trump people have been surprised at how resilient his polling, biden's polling has been, particularly after his first debate performance was a catastrophe in almost everyone's eyes, and his polling barely moved. >> it's like the stock market. if you're a moderate, where else are you going to put your money? >> it's hard to think that people's minds have been changing about joe biden at this point. >> let's also remember hasn't checked in yet. >> susan, you got cut off. go ahead. >> i think it's a problem for
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biden actually. it's been surprising that his polling hasn't eroded given the trouble he's had, the amount of negative press. every time he makes a gaffe like this it reminds us that he makes gaffes, which he has always done. it also reminds us that he is 76 years old. if cory booker made these gaffes, it would not raise questions about his age and his vigor, but when joe biden does, it does. and he keeps making them. and it's hard to imagine he will stop making them. >> yeah, i see your point, susan. i don't feel that on the street. i just don't feel that from folks when i talk about joe biden and the gaffes, they laugh. they're like yeah, it's joe. >> we'll be having this conversation. thank you. there is only one guy running in that moderate lane right now. if kamala harris goes into that lane or, you know, amy klobuchar, somebody jumps in that lane with him, he'll have some competition. but right now i think it's center left against left. it works for him numerically. anyway, thank you. >> thanks. >> thank you, juanita tolliver, jonathan, susan, michael.
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up next, the latest on the investigation into the death of jeffrey epstein, including an fbi raid on his private caribbean island. there it is. and president trump today defending conspiracy nonsense tying epstein's death, where do you think, to the clintons. you're watching "hardball." great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wow. thanks, zoltar. how can i ever repay you? maybe you could free zoltar? thanks, lady. taxi! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ who used expedia to book the vacation rental which led to the discovery that sometimes
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welcome back to "hardball." attorney general bill barr has directed the bureau of prisons to temporarily reassign the warden of the facility where jeffrey epstein died until an investigation into his death is completed. the two guards assigned to watch epstein were also placed on leave. well, the announcement came hours after president trump defended his decision to retweet an absurd conspiracy theory about the death of epstein. >> yeah, he's a very highly respected conservative pundit. he is a big trump fan. that was a retweet. that wasn't from me. it was a retreat, which is what it was, a retweet, was from somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit. so i think that was fine, yeah. >> well, he is talking about this weekend where the president, himself there, retweeted a false conspiracy theory that implied that former president bill clinton was somehow connected to epstein's
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death. take that for what it's worth, which is nothing. when asked explicitly if he believed that president clinton was involved, the president equivocated. do. >> you really think the clintons are involved in jeffrey epstein's death? >> i have no idea. >> "i have no idea" that is awful. meanwhile, the investigation continues as the fbi confirms that they conducted a raid on epstein's home and private island in the u.s. virgin islands. while epstein may be gone, he has passed away, investigators are looking into the role a socialite friend of epstein's played in his crimes. according to multiple epstein accusers, ghislain maxwell helped to enable his crimes, all the trafficking stuff with young girls. i'm joined by former federal prosecutor vanessa rigadias. i want to ask paul a couple of the legal questions up front. first of all, the political question. where does the president get the chutzpah to throw out bill clinton and try to trash his
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name into this mess? >> you know, i think donald trump is trying to deflect. if bill clinton has exposure, so does donald trump. bill clinton's social lies with epstein. so was donald trump. bill clinton was on the plane with epstein. so was donald trump. the fact is mr. epstein took his own life. he died while he was in the custody of the trump administration. bill barr directs the bureau of prisons, and they allowed, in so ways that facilitated mr. epstein's suicide. >> well, that's not fair. what do you mean facilitated? >> they were on notice that he wanted to take his own life. he was on suicide watch. >> what do you make of pulling back, not having the guards there? about not doing the half hour checking of him, make sure he had a cellmate who could watch him. what do you make of all that? >> at minimum, it was negligence. what the inspection by the inspector general, the justice department and the fbi will look at, was it knowing and intentional. again, you know that suicide is the leading cause of death of
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people who are in prison. we also know that mr. epstein tried to take his own life earlier. the decision about whether he should be taken off a suicide watch is one that is made by a medical professional. here it seems like the jailers made that decision, again, at minimum negligence. at worse, something much more sinister. >> in a statement -- what do you mean by sinister? >> again, obviously there are concerns that mr. epstein had information, very valuable information. >> we're saying do you think there was foul play there? >> i think that's a question that has to be asked. i think the answer is probably not. >> would an autopsy answer that question? >> an autopsy not not -- it would show cause of death. again, we know that mr. epstein didn't have a whole lot of options. the only way that he might have not spent the rest of his life in prison is if he had incriminating information on people high up. >> ergo? >> you know the documents that were released on friday named names, including people who were on the plane a lot.
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>> one of the issues you have a there, paul, if somebody benefitted by his death, somebody killed him. that's a hell of a leap. >> not necessarily. they knew he wanted to kill hymn. again, when you're in the custody of federal officials and you want to kill yourself, they're supposed to not let that happen there. >> is a middle ground here. okay, thank you. in a statement u.s. manhattan district attorney berman writing to those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others yet to do so, we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment which included a conspiracy count remains ongoing. that's the prosecutor. one person who remains of interest is ghislaine maxwell who according to a growing number of women was the prime organizer of epstein's three a day massages and reportedly paid
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for and recruited the girls that came to his mansion. what do we know about the role of his partner, if you will, this woman. >> well, ghislaine was everything to him. first of all, she comes from a huge family in england, and she had a massive rolodex. so she was able to introduce him to everybody in society. but it was his money but her contacts. she was in a lot of ways his entree. but she also was completely in love with him, and she was willing to do anything that he wanted her to do, including, you know, recruit these young women, which i spoke with something who said she was quite glib about it. she said yes, of course, this is what i do. in some ways he must have made her feel like it was her fault for not being enough for him, that she was then go get them. >> just to talk about the law here, because that's what we're talking about, the age of consent in florida is 18. these were girls younger than
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that age. she must have known she was breaking the law by being a procurer for him, wouldn't she? >> one would assume, but i assume she thought they were above the law. i don't think she was ever going to think up it would end up like thinking where is she? >> if i knew that, i might have a large reward. i don't think that the feds know where she is. that's what "the washington post" has reported. i heard she might 400 pounds and living in florida. >> i heard that. i have no idea. >> she was extremely thin. so the idea that she would be that heavyset was amusing to some people. a colleague of mind found some public recordsle lesisting her teaneck, new jersey. we don't know. it is possible they lost track of her. >> i have to good over to paul. you're a lawyer and you specialize in the law. one thing culturally that goes on in politics that i find really dismaying is politicians
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need money. a lot aren't that wealthy. they live on their salaries. they love travel and private planes. they to get around for their professional and political reasons. they become so-called friends with the wrong fricking people, and these people are frightening and they want something from them. they want the prestige of hanging around a politician, and these relationships are awful, the names that have come out. i don't want to use their names tonight. but the names, why do people know a guy like this guy epstein? why do they event want to know him? >> because a lot of times the most valuable asset that politicians have is access, access to their power that they exercise presumably on behalf of the american people. but then they end up sometimes giving that access to sleazy characters like epstein who was running this vast criminal conspiracy. and the fact is that other people participated. somebody had to train these girls. somebody had to recruit these girls. and along with epstein, they coerced these girls into sexual trafficking, even though epstein has left this earth on his own
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terms, these other co-conspirators should be brought to justice. >> well said. paul butler, vanessa gri griggdorias. up next, the prison sentence of rod blagojevich. president clinton says a lot of people think his 14-year prison sentence was unbelievably unfair. we'll see. you're watching "hardball." all. ♪ ♪ ♪ the first person to survive alzis out there.ase and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen by funding scientific breakthroughs,
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well, he is in a really tough position. >> absolutely, yeah, yeah. >> i think rod is a tough guy. >> he is a great guy, a great guy. >> but he is in this horrible position where he's really sort of got to be nice. >> right. >> he can't come out with a ranting, raving lunatic and attack darryl because some day in the not too distant future, maybe one of your fans is sitting on about a jury. >> that was "celebrity apprentice" host donald trump then talking about the tough
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position of contestant rod blagojevich in 2010. according to nbc 10 news, the former illinois governor was in the midst of a lengthy media tour at that point to try to rehabilitate his image after he was caught on tape trying to sell off the u.s. senate seat in illinois that barack obama had vacated when he was elected president. his time, blagojevich's time on "celebrity apprentice" was short-lived after he botched a harry potter-related presentation. >> your harry potter facts were not accurate. who did the research? >> there was not a specific direction who did the research on harry potter. >> you went to orlando to learn about harry potter. nobody else did. so wouldn't you have been the one to know the product and learn the product? >> i feel like i knew the product. in fact, i wrote a lot of the text, you know. i talked about the different houses and i was the one who said houses and classes interchangeably because i was trying to be more explicit so
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people can get an account of it. but it's slithering and hufflepuff and ravenclaw. >> governor, i have great respect for you. have i great respect for your tenacity in that you just don't give up. but rod, you're fired. i feel badly for him. he tried. it's pretty sad. >> what appears that trump still feels badly for blagojevich, and that's up next on "hardball." at. you're going to be seeing a lot more of him now. -i'm not calling him "dad." -oh, n-no. -look, [sighs] i get it. some new guy comes in helping your mom bundle and save with progressive, but hey, we're all in this together. right, champ? -i'm getting more nuggets. -how about some carrots? you don't want to ruin your dinner. -you're not my dad! -that's fair. overstepped. ♪ ♪ ♪ applebee's handcrafted burgers
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last week president trump said he was considering commuting the rest of illinois former governor rodriguez blagojevich's sentence. blagojevich has served seven years of his 14-year sentence. blagojevich's conviction involved three separate shakedown attempts, one involving a children's hospital, one involving a racetrack, and one involving barack obama's senate seat, which was caught on tape trying to sell. trump told reporters that he has been in jail for seven years over a phone call where nothing happens. he shouldn't have said what he said, but it was blagojevich. anyway, i should they was braggadocio. i guess many politicians have done it. i'm not one of them, by the way, trump said, that have said a lot worse over telephone. the next day four illinois members said too a strong stand, where four of our last eight governors have gone to federal
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prison for public corruption. fox news reported on thursday blagojevich made it to processing for his discharge from prison. however, a commutation was put on hold after a trump administration official became concerned about opposition to the idea. and that night trump tweeted white house staff is continuing to review of this matter. i'm joined by jim warren who knows this stuff about chicago, former managing editor of the chicago tribune, executive editor of the news garden. it's great to have you back on. >> hi, chris. >> first of all, tell us, what's your sense of the gravity of the crimes committed by the former governor and the sentence he got of 14 years. put it together. >> i think it was very serious. it was clear public corruption for those who don't remember, it was caught all on fbi wiretaps. you mentioned the main three. the most high profile is trying to monetize the obama senate seat. you listen on tape time and time again as he tried to get 2500 grand out of a head of children's hospital and raise
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the state reimbursement rates for pediatric rates and then get 100 grand out of a racetrack owner regarding some legislation of interest to them. i would say serious. but 14 years? i don't think. there are a lot of guys who commit attempted robbery and bank robbery who get out a lot less time than that. a very tough republican law and order judge hammered him in the sentencing. but i think trump ultimately is right about commutation, but wrong on the reasons. these are all crimes. >> okay. talked to the former governor after he was charged in 2009. here goes. >> so basically, as your bottom line, it's okay to trade the president's senate seat for a job for you in the private sector. >> no. >> a job for you in the cabinet. is that your belief that that's fair? >> i'm not saying that at all. i'm saying the decision -- >> why don't you say it one way or another? is it honest or not what you did? >> it's the sort of thing you ask your lawyer about?
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>> are you an innocent man? >> very much. so i never, ever intended to sell the senate seat for financial gain. when the prosecutor said he was stopping a crime before it happened, that prosecutor mutilated the truth. i was conducting politics to get the most done for the people of illinois. >> okay, that's the problem. we've jhun just gone in a circle here, governor. >> go ahead. >> we've just gone in a circle. >> why? >> two minutes ago you said you didn't know if it was wrong or not. >> i never reached a decision to do anything along those lines. >> let's hear what the jury thinks. >> that was a "hardball" conversation, jim. what do you make of that? he didn't know that it was criminal then he said i know it wasn't criminal. what is it? >> it reminds me of some of the commonalities with trump. they both love the limelight, love the media, but were given to both deceiving people, attempting to deceive them like he tried to deceive you and self-deception. >> can you do business in chicago at any time in modern history without pay to play?
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i've heard stories about the mayor's car will be around in a half hour. you better have the $25,000 check ready for the next fundraiser. don't you have to pay to be treated well in chicago politics? >> oh, yeah, i think by and large that's reality. you mentioned the business about politicians' love of money in the epstein segment. when the fbi wiretaps catch you trying to get 25 grand out of the head of the children's hospital, that's more than pay to play, although it's interesting. his second -- you may not remember, but his second in his reelect in 2006, there was all this pay to play stuff out there, and the public didn't care. they reelected him. we in the press were outraged. the voters weren't. >> what do you think trump is up to here? is he trying to win this so the working class, ethnic vote? what's he up to here. >> okay, so let's speculate. so he gets out of the federal prison in colorado and very quickly gets a book deal, probably a talk radio gig and also starts appearing on fox news channel and other
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conservative places as the democrat from the blue state and evil chicago who supports donald trump. what does that get you? you had reverend jackson and his convicted felonious son jesse jr. who sent letters to the white house and apparently caught the attention of at least jared kushner so there is the notion that maybe in an african american community, very sensitive to notions of criminal injustice, this might play. but for those republicans in illinois who are trying to get back a couple of seats they lost in the suburbs, they are gagging at the motion of having to defend trump on this. >> thank you, jim warren. you're the best on this. by the way, it reminds me of the way you sing the song, it sounds like the buddy cianci story. up next, a window into the soul of trump. you can't miss this. stick around for this baby. you're watching "hardball." ing . this summer at panera,
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i want to leave you tonight with yet another window into the soul of the man now sitting in the oval office. we all know, we sure do, what president trump tweets and says. it's all in the public record on which historians are bound to one day give a powerful verdict. but there is also the person donald trump and how he deals with people who decide to get close to him, but all too soon wish they hadn't. here's what trump said near the end of his inaugural year as president about people he hires. >> there are those that are saying it's one of the finest group of people ever assembled as a candidate -- as a cabinet.
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and i happen to agree with that. we have an extraordinary group of people around this table. this is a tremendous amount of talent. >> for that kind of applause for the people he picks doesn't last long when you get in trouble or do something trump doesn't like, he drops you like a hot potato. >> i know mr. manafort. i haven't spoken to him in a long time. he was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time. >> do you remember george papadopoulos during that march meeting? >> i don't remember much about that meeting. it was a very unimportant meeting. it took place so long time. i don't remember much about it. i don't know matt whitaker. matt whitaker works for jeff sessions. >> here is a tweet on the man who served for years as his personal lawyer and fixer, quote, if anyone is looking for a good lawyer, i would strongly suggest you don't retain the service of michael cohen. but michael cohen got no worse than the usual trump kiss-off to someone no longer useful. quote, i hardly even knew the
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guy. vicious, but not smart. dumb as a rock. lazy as hell. a low level staffer. totally incapable. got the point? message to future trump job applicants, don't do the crime if you can't do the time. this friday we're going to talk to some of the former white house staffers including anthony scaramucci, omarosa manigault newman. that's all this friday. what a night. this is "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> take in by the way billions and billions of dollars in tariffs are coming in, and china is paying for it, not our people. >> donald trump gives up the game on a key issue. >> we're going just this season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on u.s. customs. >> tonight new recession warnings, and new concern about the trump economy. the white house defends its plan to curb legal immigration with a


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