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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 4, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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one last thing. a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll is out. hillary clinton, 47%. donald trump 38%. thanks for watching. sayonara. >> "hardball with chris matthews" is next. mayday. every man for himself. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews from washington. this evening, president obama hit donald trump when he was down and boy, did he love piling on in this late in the day press conference. he did so as trump's campaign reached a scary new low point today with a pair of alarming poll numbers. according to the latest nbc
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news/"wall street journal" poll, hillary clinton leads trump now by nine points, 47% to 38%. nine points in our poll. but catch this one. the latest mcclatchy poll is even more dire for trump. the republican nominee is down 15 points. not just double digits but closing into 20 points against clinton. trump gets just 33%, that's the lowest i've seen in a poll nationally, to clinton's 48%. 15 point spread there. that's a huge fall from last month. catch this. last month, clinton had a slim three-point lead. now it's 15 points. the dropping poll numbers are the latest evidence and most stark yet that donald trump has been hurt badly by the events of the last couple weeks. new polls in several key states also show trump bleeding bad. remember the phrase battleground states? you don't hear that anymore. in florida, clinton leads by six points. in michigan, she's up by nine. pennsylvania, where i come from, trump up by 11. he has to win that state. in new hampshire, she has a 15 point advantage. that's a state he's been counting on. meanwhile, a string of republicans have recently said
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they won't vote for their party's nominee, including congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania, adam kintsinger and adam hahn of new york who said they would cross party lines and vote for hillary clinton. in recent days, trump has pushed the concern that the election's going to be rigged. that's his word he's using now. late today, president obama was asked about that suggestion by trump. >> i have never heard of somebody complaining about being cheated before the game was over. or before the score is even tallied. so my suggestion would be, you know, go out there and try to win the election. if mr. trump is up 10 or 15 points on election day and ends up losing, then maybe he can raise some questions. that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. >> boy, did he love putting that knife in. doesn't seem to be the case now.
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going to katy tur in portland, maine, where donald trump just spoke today. michael steele is with us, former chair of the republican national committee and msnbc political analyst and paul singer, washington correspondent for "usa today." katy, does trump hear it when the president puts the knife in, when he hits him hard like saying oh, if he's up by 10 or 15 he can claim he was rigged if he loses the election but that doesn't seem to be the case now. zing. >> reporter: i think he does hear it. that's why you hear him respond. he's never been one to take a slight perceived or otherwise. that's why we always say you see him counter-punch. i think what's going on right now, i know what's going on behind the scenes of the trump campaign and outside of the trump campaign is literally everybody is telling him to get it together, to get back on message, reset this campaign. i think we said he needs to reset it. i think nine or ten times at this point during this election season. but right now, if donald trump does not, the issue that he's
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facing is that he's going to go farther down in the polls. that's what the gop is fearing. frankly, if you are going to look at poll numbers, that is one of the only things that i think donald trump pays such close attention to that could potentially change his mind. he could have newt gingrich and rudy giuliani, chris christie, reince priebus, don jr., saying you got to get it together, get away from controversial headlines. when he sees his poll numbers dropping, that's when i think you will see donald trump start to change. today we saw something of that. he did try to pivot. he focused on president obama, he focused on hillary clinton. the issue was he still got tripped up. he still strayed from his message. he still brought up things that were baseless like the video that he said he saw of the iranians offloading cash and the iranians took this video and sent it to the u.s. we are still not sure what he's talking about. the campaign said they were referring to a video on the
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morning shows yesterday that seems to be the video of the american detainees coming off the plane in switzerland. he also was talking again about the san bernardino terrorists saying people saw bombs all over their apartment and didn't report that. that's a baseless claim. those are the things that drive headlines that the trump campaign does not want to see. the best advice he is getting from what i am hearing from folks is for him to be quiet, don't make the news, and let the press focus on hillary clinton. >> wow. he's a long way from that. >> oh, yeah. >> what do you make of this? we will get back with katy on this point. this word intervention. the word intervention in my experience is when somebody's got a dope problem or booze problem, to be polite. an addiction problem. they are using something they shouldn't be using and it's changed their life, their marriage, their job, so somebody has what's called intervention. >> right. >> their friends. >> right. >> newt gingrich has been using that word. >> yeah. >> it's a killer word. >> i think because newt sees
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this as that serious. where he sees -- >> why is he telling the press he's doing an intervention? >> well, that's what's irritated the trump campaign. quite frankly, some other folks around town. was getting that out in front because now that's one more layer they have to deal with in trying to right this ship. of course, you know donald trump well enough to know that when you start talking about him that way, he gets defensive. >> who wouldn't? >> right. like intervention, we're not doing no stinking intervention. >> remember when reagan was so kind to go after mike dukakis saying i understand he had some counseling and 20, 30 years ago you couldn't even talk about mental illness. you still can't in many circles. most people are sophisticated about it, understanding. they say if you had counseling, there's something wrong with you. there's this old theory the candidates had, nixon, he had gotten counseling back in the '50s, which is what nixon went through, i can understand it. but this idea he needs counseling, he needs best friends to come in and put him
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down, get his head straightened out. >> the problem for trump at the moment really is, this has been through the campaign, that conflict is his brand and his success. it's almost like triumph the comic insult dog. he makes his brand off of being in your face and katy's right, people are telling him step back from conflict, be quiet and sit still for awhile. that's not his brand, not his strength. how do you tell a guy who made his whole career, even his business career out of conflict, that the way you will succeed now is to take conflict out of this for awhile and sit still? i don't see how you can get him to do that. >> rudy giuliani today is no calm customer either, downplayed reports he and gingrich were going to hold this intervention. here's the former mayor. >> first of all, i find the word intervention completely out of line. >> i agree with you on that. >> that word i think honestly, i love him dearly, but i think that word was used by newt in a
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memo that got around. >> what was this meeting about? >> there wasn't a meeting. i meet with donald trump all the time. i was with him two days ago, spent two and a half hours with him. we talk. we talk about issues. sometimes we make changes. sometimes he makes changes. it's an evolving campaign. he's a new candidate. that adds a little bit of more of a learning curve than would normally be the case. but you get bad weeks and good weeks. >> that's for sure. let me get back to katy, what do you think he thinks of the word intervention when he catches rudy talking about it? by the way, dearly in love with newt gingrich? nobody is dearly in love with newt gingrich. maybe his wife. but dearly in love with is an amazing statement from giuliani. what do you think trump thinks when he hears his friends talk about like he's got an addiction problem or whatever it is? >> reporter: i don't think he likes the word intervention. i don't think he likes the word addiction. that does imply some sort of substance abuse. but you may not be able to say that. ultimately, donald trump has
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something of an addiction to headlines. he has an addiction to creating controversy, drama. he likes dominating the newscasts. he likes dominating the newspapers. that's why you have seen him jump from one controversy to the next. we have just seen him extinguish a controversy by creating another. in the past two weeks, five, six or seven, taking the past two days into account, the melania plagiarism, donald trump trying to link cruz's father to jfk, then the russian hacking stuff, calling for that, then we are getting into the latest headlines with trump fighting with the khan family and now not endorsing paul ryan. >> how about going after melania's immigration papers? i don't know if there's any truth at all to this burks t th seems to be the very thing to drive him off the handle. it drives him crazy. >> reporter: potentially.
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normally spouses are off limits but the reason she's getting a little more focus on her is because donald trump has been so fervent about his immigration stances, about building a wall, about being strong about the borders. so naturally, reporters will start looking into melania's status and past and now there are questions surrounding when exactly she came to the united states. the photos that came out over the weekend in "the new york post" were dated a year before she and donald trump say that she came here. we asked the campaign if they dispute that date and they said they basically did not dispute that date. they just referred me to melania's statement that she never did anything wrong, she came here legally and followed all of the rules. >> this is the kind of thing that happens in the press when you're down, by the way. not knocking the press but when you're down they start to eat on your bones. house speaker paul ryan also commented on trump's stumbles since the convention. here's what he had to say to a local wisconsin radio interviewer.
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>> would there ever be a bridge too far where you -- >> i have always said of course there are moments in that, i'm not going to get into the speculation or hypothetical. none of these things are ever blank checks. that goes with any situation, in any kind of race. but right now, it's important that the voters, he won the delegates. he won the thing fair and square. it's just that simple. >> well, they are all going around the place. what do you make of this? it seems like people are talking about him to the media. they are not talking to him. they are talking about him like he's a case. >> yeah. that's rubbing a lot of people raw at this point. i think for paul ryan and a lot of other folks, asking is there a bridge too far is getting to the point of ridiculous because here's the rub. he made it. donald trump won, 13 plus million voters in the primary. he went through the process. he's the nominee. to sit there and think that paul ryan, who is the titular head of the party in many respects is
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now just going to go oh, i'm sorry, we can't do that, it's just not real. it's not realistic. >> you think he wants to get the nomination under rule 9? >> no. >> because people tell me the only person that could replace trump if there was ever some dramatic overstep by him and they said this is enough, a bridge too far to use that interviewer's questions, the only guy that could unite the party would be ryan. >> that won't happen because that will not unite the party. all the trump voters are going to not sit back and go oh, okay, we'll accept that. this is not realistic. so here's the thing. everybody now, this is where trump needs to help the rest of the party, they trying to help make him a better candidate, try to inform him and get him up to speed on national security so he understands that nuclear triad -- >> did you see what the president said to him? if i give him classified briefings he's got to keep them secret as if he's not capable of it. >> that's the concern. >> they treat him like a kid. like a juvenile delinquent or something. this guy can't control himself.
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>> michael would understand this better than any of us, i think. part of what an election involves is organizing the party at the grassroots and through the states. the hillary clinton campaign, if you watch that convention, the democratic convention, was stacked with political leadership within the party, all willing, governors, senators, all willing to go out in the field, mobilize -- >> boring stuff. >> mobilize their fund-raising networks and move the ground for her. donald trump needs to grab that party's infrastructure and have it enthusiastically embrace him. >> so the democrats have a better organized political party this year. what a weird turn-around that is. >> the smart politics for donald trump, this is what he has to understand, paul ryan is his biggest ally right now. he's not the enemy here. paul ryan is the guy who will muster the forces to go work through the rnc and the states to help you win this race. >> why is trump haywire? >> because he's still in a dw
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defensive crouch, in my view. he's listening to say stuff about him, infer stuff about him and he's defensive about it. he needs to thicken the skin and recognize you are running for president. you are now in the thick of this. this isn't a business deal anymore. >> they think it's all about temperament. the iq testing, i think he's ahead of most of these guys. it's temperament. he gets really ticked off. >> he's an outsider. >> that's the hardest thing about politics, putting up with the stuff thrown at you. i don't think i could do it. katy tur, thank you for being there with the latest. you got to write a book after this. you have to write one. michael steele -- >> reporter: you tell me every time i have to do it now. >> i just think you have all this stuff. all the notebooks. coming up, we keep hearing it from donald trump about how the presidential election might be rigged. president obama recently actually certainly popped a hole in that balloon today. made a lot of fun of this guy. plus trump is hoping to turn things around over that $400 million payment to iran this
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january. this is august. and we are talking about it. it might sound like a political winner for trump but when you dig into it, it's not what trump makes it out to be. it's not ransom. it was part of an overall deal. it wasn't fresh money coming from somewhere to pay off kidnappers. we will get the facts coming up. president obama's making good on his promise to do whatever he can to help hillary clinton and defeat donald trump. with trump's allies pushing the birther line again, that's cory lewandowski pushing that again, it's a reminder that for this president, this thing's personal. never forget what trump did to obama. made him show his papers. like he had stopped him in his car. finally, let me finish with a matter of nuclear weapons. that is not trump's strong suit. new bikes aren't selling guys... what are we gonna do? how about we pump more into promotions? ♪ nah. what else? what if we hire more sales reps? ♪ nah. what else? what if we digitize the whole supply chain? so people can customize their bike before they buy it.
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that worked better than expected. i'll dial it back. yeah, dial it back. just a little. live business, powered by sap. when you run live, you run simple. let's take a look at this new advertisement. the ad from a house republican running for re-election out in colorado. >> people ask me what do you
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think about trump? honestly, i don't care for him much. and i certainly don't trust hillary. i'm a marine. for me, country comes first. my duty is always to you. so if donald trump is the president, i'll stand up to him. >> i guess he wants people to vote for gary johnson. he'll be on tomorrow night. that's colorado republican mike kaufmann promising to stand up to donald trump but not clear where he's going to end up as a voter. the latest example of a republican running away from his party's nominee. not clear who he's running to. yesterday, illinois's republican said he wouldn't vote for trump either. for more people... to experience... complete protection from frequent heartburn. nexium 24hr. the easy-to-swallow tablet is here. [dance music playing] [music stops] woman: looks like it's done.
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our country needs change and she will never give us change. never, ever, ever. the fact is, she helped create our rigged system. i'm afrid the election's going
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to be rigged. i have to be honest. it's a crooked system. it's a rigged system. >> welcome back to "hardball." donald trump likes to make the claim the election is rigged. the whole system is rigged. he's pointed to several court cases nationwide in which restrictive laws requiring voters to show photo identification have been thrown out of court. he said those decisions open the door to fraud come november. but tonight, president obama said he isn't buying trump's claims of a rigged election. >> if mr. trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated across the country, including in places like texas where typically it's not democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that's ridiculous. that doesn't make any sense and i don't think anybody would take that seriously. i have never heard of somebody complaining about being cheated
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before the game was over. or before the score's even tallied. so my suggestion would be, you know, go out there and try to win the election. if mr. trump is up 10 or 15 points on election day and ends up losing, then, you know, maybe he can raise some questions. >> i'm joined by stephanie, president of emily's list and j.d. good to see you. let me ask you about how this is hitting you. is there any evidence out there, rigged is the kind of term they use in third world countries. if i lost it's rigged, if i win -- >> chris, chris, are you suggesting there's not hyperbole in politics? perish the thought. >> tell me about this one. >> it might surprise you a little bit. let me begin in florida where
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i'm now a voter. i have absolute faith in what happens here in florida. i have been a voter, i have been impressed with photo i.d., checking signatures, they do it right here. here's what's surprising and it's not the traditional republican/democrat breakdown. i was alarmed to hear today that out in arizona, has the same date for the primary as florida does, august 30th, secretary of state michelle regan and helen purcell are not going to enforce the harvest laws on the books. they say they won't enforce them. tohe presidential election, yes, there are real concerns. court cases and terry mcauliffe, the guy who could raise all that money from the chinese and the clinton/gore '96 campaign, first tried to issue that blanket pardon or change in status for felons. the virginia supreme court said no. so he's going to sit down
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individually and sign 200,000 changes in status? that is one guy intent on putting virginia in the democrat column. >> what about the republican open statements in places like pennsylvania, where two top republicans who run the state said they believe that photo voter i.d. laws would help them win elections? let them speak. here they are. we heard from several republican officials up in pennsylvania who revealed the intention, the motivation of the photo i.d. law. let's listen. >> voter i.d. which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> do you think all the intention drawn to photo i.d. affected last year's elections? >> yeah, i think a little bit. i think we probably had a better election. think about this. we cut obama by 5% which was big. a lot of people lost sight of that. he won, he beat mccain by 10% and he beat romney by 5%. i think probably photo i.d. had -- helped a bit in that.
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>> it will kick the democrats in the butts. if it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks, so be it. >> it just so happens a lot of those people vote democrat. gee. >> i'm not going to vouch for that third guy but i will vouch for the two top republicans because they are serious leaders up there. they are saying -- >> why don't we vouch for your old boss, jimmy carter? >> what about carter? >> on the bipartisan commission with secretary of state jim baker, 2005, ballot reform, they both came out saying photo i.d. is a valid way to get that done. >> fine. that's their opinion. that's their opinion. >> so you're just going to discount, there's bipartisanship and somehow it doesn't count? >> i let republicans speak for themselves in pennsylvania. they offered up honestly their candid fact. it was political motivation that led them to be for photo i.d., not cleaning up elections but winning elections. go ahead. >> that's exactly right. what we have seen, chris, in the
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last many election or last legislative cycles is that the republicans know that if the voters actually have access to voting, they are in trouble so the best way to do that is to change all of these laws through the legislature, add all these barriers, tear apart the voting rights act to prevent people from voting. it should be as free as possible. >> we could say the same thing, we could say the same thing about california, where jerry brown and the democrat dominated legislature has changed things to make it easier to sign people up without i.d. we can recall the words of selwin duke in the american thinker where the democrat strategy is not get out the vote -- >> keep in mind voting is a right in this country, though. you are talking about a constitutional right. >> let's not have any type of documentation and ta-da, that makes for a very curious situation. >> let's find something we can agree on here. why would a candidate four months before an election claim
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the election was rigged unless he thought he was going to lose? >> i'll tell you the real reason why. >> ywhy is he talking about a rigged election now? >> you had a rigged nomination on the democrat side and you had three senior officials -- >> stay on donald trump. stay on this point. i try to ask these questions. >> now you are going to redefine the terms. you asked a question about rigging. there's a legitimate concern. i know it's not in the interest of the democrats. you wanted to collapse that news cycle. let me tell you why the three people left. not for the e-mails that have already come out but the e-mails that are coming out ahead. they are looking to try to -- >> okay. why is donald trump raising the issue that this election is going to be rigged? >> it's clear, he feels like he's losing. that sounds like somebody who is already losing. president obama is exactly right. maybe you should play out the election first. this is the united states of america. [ speaking simultaneously ]
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>> what i hear president obama today, spoken like a true denizen of cook county, chicago where we know the elections always go right down the line. >> just a question. why is trump talking rigged elections at this point? >> because there are legitimate concerns. you can define rig, i guess the way mr. clinton asked for the definition of what "is" is. i will tell you this. there are legitimate concerns that efforts are made for example in north carolina last month, where three federal appeals court judges said they could determine the intent of the legislature. i don't know how they can move into clairvoyancy but they have done so and it stinks to high heaven. it's partisan and it's wrong. people need to be who they are when they come to vote. >> i like the political leaders to admit their motives like the guys in pennsylvania. thank you both. >> excuse me. democrats don't want to win elections? wait a minute. we are all in this -- >> no. we just want voters to be able to vote.
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>> up next -- >> that's what i'm saying. voters who are documented can vote. what's wrong with being who you are, who you say you are? >> thank you. we have been over this so many times. thank you. up next, donald trump keeps slamming president obama and hillary clinton over that $400 million payment to iran. the facts about that payment by the person who wrote the story for the "wall street journal." i'm anne. i'm a scientist.
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the woman killed in a stabbing spree last night in london is identified as darlene horton from florida. five other people were wounded in that violence. charleston church shooting suspect dylann roof was assaulted by an inmate at the jail where he is being held. and president obama says zika is a serious threat to americans and is urging congress to approve funding to fight its spread. back to "hardball." what we have is the manufacturing of outrage in a story that we disclosed in january, and the only bit of news that is relevant on this is the fact that we paid cash. the reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining
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sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with iran that we couldn't send them a check. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was of course president obama late today defending the administration's decision to send $400 million in cash to the iranian government around the same time that four american prisoners were released to american officialofficials. the news of the deal was reported back in january of this year. the payment was reported in "wall street journal" today, reporting that wooden boxeses, basically, stacked with euros, swiss francs and other currencies were flown into iran in an unmarked cargo plane. the story has become a political gift for trump, who was desperate to change the story after a week of stumbles. >> that probably was hostage money to get hostages out for $400 million because it was exact timing. our leaders are incompetent.
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>> the shipment of cash is part of the settlement of a dispute over a failed arms deal dating way back to the days of the shah. iran paid this money for weapons but after the islamic revolution of '79 we never delivered the weapons. still, the administration is trying to defend the optics of something that for many americans is reminiscent of the reagan era, iran-contra deal. for more, i'm joined by one of the authors of the "wall street journal" article, carol lee. the president rarely does media attacks. he did one today saying that your piece was manufactured, that it was a six or seven month old story. he was saying why did it run today. >> well, i think as you outlined, what's new here is the fact that this payment which we all knew was going to go to iran happened to land in iran at around -- at the same time that
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the u.s. was getting back four americans that were detained in iran and that it came in the form of cash. not u.s. dollars, because that would be illegal. but that has created a political firestorm and is raising questions once again. these questions were raised in january from critics of the iran deal about whether this settlement with iran that coincided with the release of these americans was, in fact, ransom. when you talk to administration officials, they vehemently say it was not, the u.s. does not pay ransom, but there were some in the justice department as our justice department reporter reported today that raised concerns about the optics of this, that it would be seen by iran as a ransom payment. iran is describing it as a ransom payment. >> iran has been saying it was a deal. let me ask the old cutter
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question which i try to come up with. would our people have gotten home if the money hadn't been paid? >> that's the question that has been asked of the white house and to other administration officials and they say yes. but what's clear is that iran wanted some sort of deliverable up front. there were three things happening -- >> no, no, i'm not clear. would we have gotten our people back if we hadn't made the payment of $400 million? yes or no? >> well, that's the white house says that yes, they would have. that these were things that all happened on separate tracks. >> why were they so coincidental? why did they happen within one day of each other? >> these are all the questions that members of congress are asking and reporters are asking, and you know, in terms of what the method of payment and the timing of the payment, those are also questions that members of congress have been asking since january and have not gotten answers to. >> listen to the rest of this. you might learn some things. thank you, carol lee, from the
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"wall street journal." here's the question. assuming reasonability of getting the hostages back and this debt we had to settle all these years, there's an old thing in negotiations nothing is decided until everything is decided. it happens all the time. until everything is agreed upon, nothing's agreed upon. that still doesn't make it ransom. ransom is when you go to the bank and grab some money from somewhere and pay it to get somebody home. this is what was part of a deal. i don't know why somebody at that press conference today didn't say wasn't this all part of a deal, an arrangement and therefore, it seems reasonable. it doesn't break our precedent. what do you think? >> i'm not surprised donald trump thinks we paying a debt we owe is ransom. because whenever he paid a bill it was a surprise. he don't want to do it. >> that is part of his --
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>> right. there are a lot of people that didn't want to make any deal with iran so they object to any deal. they objected to the iranian nuclear deal. >> so it's not ransom? >> of course not. it's idiotic to think it was ransom. we do not pay ransom for a very good reason. if you start paying, you cannot stop. >> was it part of the deal? >> what we had is an opportunity that was opened up by the successful iran negotiations where we had new channels and had a moment where we -- >> same question of the average guy or woman watching that wants to know. would we have gotten our people back if we hadn't paid the money? >> yes, because what the iranians were interested in most of all -- >> why did it happen within a day? if it wasn't connected why did it happen the next day? >> because we had a moment where we could take care of all this business at once and you don't know if it's going to happen again. we got a very good deal in this repayment. we owed them $400 million. adjusted for inflation, that's $1.4 billion. we paid them $300 million interest on top of that. they were asked for $10 billion.
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the court where this could be adjudicated. obama really knows the art of the deal. he struck a great agreement here. we got the prisoners out. >> suppose we said we want the nuclear deal, we want our people back but no deal on this. would that have worked? >> yes. >> would that have worked? if we said we're not paying the money, we want our people back and will make the deal with the nuclear arms, would that have worked? >> yes, here's why. we got the nuclear deal back in july. remember, it was already a done deal. january 17th is when the whole thing was implemented. they ripped out their centrifuges, destroyed their reactor -- >> i know but they could still be difficult. >> we gave them 14 prisoners. that's what they wanted back. >> that was the deal. the other thing was unrelated? >> they are connected so there's something going on there but it's not a quid pro quo. >> okay. i think they're related. i think we will find out over time everything is related with the iranians because they know how to say no. they can be sticky and say no.
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thank you. up next, president obama's once again going on the attack against donald trump. this fight is clearly personal. remember he stopped this president, as president of the united states, and asked him for his papers. never forget that. he had to show his birth certificate because of this guy trump. don't think people forget that kind of stuff. she spent summer binge-watching. soon, she'll be binge-studying. now she writes mostly in emoji. soon, she'll type the best essays in the entire 8th grade. today, the only spanish words he knows are burrito and enchilada. soon, he'll take notes en espanol. get back to great with the right gear. from the place with the experts. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great. good luck with the meeting today. thank you. as our business is growing, and you're on the road all day long, it's exhausting. holiday inn has been a part of the team. you're on the fourth floor.
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i would ask all of you to just make your own judgment. i've made this point already multiple times. just listen to what mr. trump has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear triad. i obviously have a very strong opinion about the two candidates who are running.
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one is very positive and one is not so much. >> he is unbelievable. when obama's got the high hand, when you know he's winning, you see how he threw in the word triad because he knew trump didn't know what a triad was? welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama at his peak in a press conference a short time ago. he's taking an active role of course in the 2016 presidential campaign and hasn't shied away from criticizing donald trump. not at all. in fact, he likes doing it. let's bring in ruth marcus, who i agree with every time she writes a column for the "the washington post," michael tamasky and sarah isger-flores is a republican strategist. thank you all. first, he loves this because trump doesn't know anything about nuclear weapons. doesn't know anything about -- doesn't even seem to remember us kids hiding under the desks. doesn't understand the cuban missile crisis, they are for deterrence, not use, that you can't use them in europe, it's a crowded little country where
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they are all allies of ours, you don't use nuclear weapons. trump doesn't know what he's talking about. >> you don't think it was a coincidence the president used the word triad? hugh hewitt asked donald trump about the nuclear triad at one of the debates. >> and he didn't know what it was. >> in fact, hugh was pretty kind to donald trump at that debate because he had spelled out what the components of the triad were and donald trump still showed no familiarity with it. in fact, actually it was really interesting, he was "the washington post" awhile after that in march and we also asked him about the nuclear triad and he didn't actually seem even then to know what it was. >> i'm studying the '64 campaign and watching it being replayed. the candidate didn't know, we shouldn't have to wait until saturday to know what the republican meant on monday. everybody in the republican party voted for civil rights except goldwater. they are trying to do the same thing. you can't read the guy correctly, he's not articulate, not clear, he makes stupid comments and he's not a typical
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republican. they are doing the same thing against trump now, the democrats. >> yeah and it's working according to the polls right now. here's the thing about trump. it's not only that he didn't know what the triad was and then didn't know again later with you. he doesn't care that he doesn't know. he's never read a book about this. he's probably never read a "new york times" article about nuclear deterrence. he doesn't care at all to know anything -- >> isn't he worried about winning? >> yeah, he has a different idea about winning. he thinks he can just win by going up there and winning the way he won in the primary. it's a different scene in the general election. there will be five times as many voters and they are not all republicans and not all base republicans and he can't do it this way. >> you remind me of the way i look at presidents when they dance at inaugural balls and they can't dance. obama can't dance, w couldn't dance. they think you do the freddy or some sort of one-step stupid thing. in the old days, presidents like gerry ford took dancing lessons just for that. these guys don't think they have to do nuclear lessons. >> right. >> here's the big difference. >> they don't seem to need to
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prepare. does trump prepare himself on the policy issues? does he? >> it's pretty clear he doesn't. but it hasn't shown that it's mattered that much. set aside -- >> does it matter to you? >> of course it matters to me. it matters to some people. >> that's why you're here. tell me whyt matters to you. >> donald trump is most effective when making the case that this president knew a lot about foreign policy, he read a lot of books, he went to harvard, yet look at isis, look at the failures in foreign policy. just because you are smart, just because you went to harvard and know what the nuclear triad is doesn't mean the world isn't in shambles. he can't stick to that message. >> how would trump have prevented isis? >> he doesn't have a message on that. but he is effective when it comes to that message. >> this is the part of politics i love the most. the personal part. i do believe that this president who i obviously like has pride. maybe it's not all worthy of the pride but he's got it. he doesn't like as the first african-american president to be told by some character like trump show your i.d. card.
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you are stopped in traffic, basically he said he stopped him as president, said let me see your birth certificate to prove you're not here illegitimately. i have a sense, most people i work with think that, too, the president will never let him go on that. wasn't to thump this guy. >> if you were the president, would you let him go on that? >> i'm not the president. >> he jabbed the president for months and months and months over the birth certificate and actually, sarah raised an interesting thing because it wasn't just the birth certificate. it was the question of whether he really was smart. how did he get into harvard, how did he get into columbia, where was, where are the transcripts, right? >> oh, nobody knew him as harvard, are we sure he was there? whacko stuff. i will let you defend that later. next they tell me something i don't know. ♪ one♪coat, yes!
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ruth, tell me something i don't know. >> we all talk about how much -- how well donald trump is doing with the non-college educated white guys. a source in michigan tells me that actually the union polling shows that trump is doing less well than mccain and less well than mitt romney with their members. >> but they're democrats. >> not necessarily. >> i think he's got that group. we'll see. >> arizona is the state to watch. clinton might win it. mccain could lose in the general election and the sheriff, joseph arpaio running for re-election against a democrat, the democrat is ahead. >> you think mccain's going do lose? >> i have no idea. >> do you want him to lose? >> it's margin of error. >> check out the letter to jay nixon, 49th out of 50th in spending for public defenders.
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the head public defender appointed the governor to represent the next indigent because he's out of attorneys. >> that is great. bravo. if there's a car theft situation, it's sad, the people that bring them to court, the defenders. thank you. when we return, i'll finish with the matter of nuclear weapons, which does decide elections often. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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let me finish tonight with a
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matter of nuclear weapons. they can, we know, blow up the world. we saw what they did in japan. we know the power of such nuclear weapons today is far greater than what were at the heart of hiroshima and nagasaki. and we know the reason we had a build-up of nuclear weapons during the cold war was for the purpose of deterrence. no side could use it without knowing the other side would retaliate. this is the age -- time people of my age grew up in. it's why we were overwhelmed, all of us, by the end of the cold war, after the coming to office of mikhail gorbachev and the historical sitdowns with ronald reagan. today president obama was asked what he thought about donald trump having power over the
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nuclear arsenal. he said we should all make our own judgment. listen about what trump has said about when he would use them. he said he wouldn't take it off the table in the middle east and even in europe. quote, i would never take any of my cards off the table, he said. when i said that nobody in the world wants to hear an american presidential candidate talk about using nuclear weapons. mr. trump said -- well, you just gotta call this troubling. let's watch. >> would there be a time when it could be used? possibly. >> you whole world heard it, david cameron and britain heard it. the japanese heard it. they're hearing a guy running for united states talking about using nuclear weapons. no one wants to hear that. >> then why do we make them? >> we make them so we keep other people from using them. it's called nuclear deterrence.
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didn't people our age growing up knowing that? they don't like bricks or bags of cement or steel beams. they're built not to fire, but to deter. you don't have to like the idea of mutually assured destruction to know what it is. ronald reagan hated it. can't we agree on one basic thing, you have to get it about nuclear weapons. they're not to be used. they're to deter. can any of us be entirely sure that donald trump gets it? that's a serious question for all of us. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. >> tonight on "all in" -- >> i'm afraid the election's going to be rigged, i have to be honest. >> of course the election will not be rigged. what does that mean? >> the president versus donald trump. >> i obviously have a very strong opinion about the two candidates who are running here. one is very positive and one is not so much. >> then trump

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