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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 19, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST

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thank you for being here with us. "hardball" begins right now. the electoral college makes it official, donald trump surpasses 270 and wins the white house. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm joy reid in for chris matthews. a gunman shot and killed the russian ambassador to turkey earlier today. the attack was caught on camera as the ambassador was speaking at an art gallery in ankara. the gunman shouted in turkish "don't forget aleppo, don't forget syria." meanwhile, there was devastation at a christmas market in germany tonight.
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a truck drove through a crowd in the center of berlin, killing at least nine. there's also news on the russia hacking story. an nbc exclusive report has new details how serious the obama administration's response became on october 31, in a highly unusual move, the administration sent a message to the kremlin using the so-called red phone warning it not to interfere with u.s. elections. we'll have more on that coming up. but we begin with across the u.s., state electors cast their vote, and trump past 270. but they were met by protesters pushing them to deny trump an electoral win. this week, donald trump praised the electoral college. >> i never appreciated it until now, how genius it was. at the time, they didn't want everybody going to boston and new york. and everything else would be forgotten. and now it's the same thing.
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it's genius, i'm telling you. >> genius is now how trump described the electoral system in 2012 when he incorrectly tweeted that mitt romney won the popular vote and lost the electoral college. back then trump said, this election is a total sham and a travesty. we are not a democracy and added the electoral college is a disaster for democracy. he also tweeted, he lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. we should have a revolution in this country. to repeat, president obama beat mitt romney by 5 million votes, and an electoral college landslide. of course, trump views electoral colleges have changed. he's now a fan. meanwhile, a new poll out shows the majority of the country isn't hopeful about a trump presidency. 54% say they're uncertain. only 45% say they're hopeful. for more, i'm joined by jacob in austin.
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tell us how the scene looked earlier today. >> it was a fascinating thing to see, but it was not exactly a squeaker as some hoped. ultimately what happened here was we saw two faithless lectors vote for someone other than donald trump. the most interesting part is that hillary clinton had more faithless lectors than donald trump. four defected from her and voted for presidential candidates other than hillary clinton. again, what's interesting to me about this, this is a test of online activism translating into real world effects. we saw almost 5 million people sign a petition urging the electors to vote for anybody but donald trump. that's the exact opposite of what happened today. they were arguing that they can
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do ultimately whenever they want. that is not what they chose to do, for whatever reason, they had justification for that. now what happens is that the electors and their votes that were cast today across the country will be put in envelopes, sent to washington, d.c., a copy goes to the federal archives, another copy goes to joe biden and on january 6th, those vote also be tabulated officially at the nation's capitol in washington, d.c. and donald trump will become officially the president-elect of the united states and january 20th, the president of the united states on inauguration day. >> thanks so much. i think we all remember al gore ironically playing the role of joe biden back in 2000. and in a statement today trump thanked the american people for what he called an historic electoral landslide victory. he boasted about the size of his
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victory. let's watch. >> we had a massive landslide victory, as we know, in the electoral college. i guess the final numbers are now at 306, and she is down to a very low number. >> why would the cia put out the story that the russians wanted you to win? >> i'm not sure they put it out. i think the democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country. >> in reality, it was not one of the greatest in history. in fact, out of the 58 presidential elections, trump's win ranks 46th. i'm joined by a democratic elector from colorado. polly, thank you for being here. tell me what you hope happened today, give us the scene of what actually happened. >> i hoped today we would get 38 republicans electors who would put country before party and would support -- i really wanted
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them to vote for hillary clinton. but i knew that probably wouldn't happen. so then we encouraged them to vote for, you know, governor kasich or senator mccain or one of the republicans that we know would be a reliable president. anyone other than trump. and we hoped if that happened, we as hillary electors, would then join them to elect a president who would be responsible and not a demagogue or not somebody who was indebted to a foreign power. so that didn't work. then we hoped that maybe we could get -- we could deny mr. trump 270 votes. had that worked, then it would have gone to the house of representatives. and so, of course, i'm disappointed today and somewhat troubled by the fact that we could not find 38 republicans that would join us. however, i want to thank those republicans that did have the courage to withstand the pressure that they received, and
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vote for an alternative to mr. trump. >> polly, during the campaign, you really can't beat something with nothing, right? do you think maybe the hamilton elector strategy suffers because it didn't have a, this is the alternative to trump, it was maybe a mistake to vote for anybody but trump. had it gone to the house of representatives, it would have gone to trump. >> we did support governor kasich. but we found we had -- we actually wanted to see governor kasich and vice president senator mccain. that i think would have been the unity ticket that would have helped heal our country. >> yeah. well, polly, you've given us all a civics lesson. thank you so much for being here.
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>> thank you. and donald trump boasts about his fictional landslide victory, seems to have had at least one effect. a majority of republicans, 52%, get this, they think trump won the popular vote. the reality, of course, is that hillary clinton leads by nearly 3 million. then there's former congressman joe walsh who tweeted this over the weekend. >> joining me now is former general council to the republican national committee ben ginsburg in washington, and jonathan capehart, both political analysts. ben, maybe you might have wanted to saw florida off of the map back in 2000 when you were the general council to the republican party. i don't remember y'all saying that. what do you make of this idea that republicans are now sort of deciding that they can't handle the fact that donald trump lost the popular vote, saying just
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discount california? >> well, i think what you can't do is listen to polls. if there was one lesson we learned from this election, it's that sometimes we should not be listening to what the polls tell us. so in this case, if you're a republican voter, you know that donald trump won. so somebody asks you, did he win? you're going to say yes. >> yeah. and ben, were you surprised that there weren't more defectors from donald trump among the electors today? >> no. i mean, at the end of the day, this is a vote that was taken, and a few people trying to play elitist opinion makers and get electors who have pledged to do certain things and vote a certain way to change their minds, i don't think that that was really in the cards. >> jonathan, i want to redo what bill clinton had to say. he told a local newspaper in westchester county last night
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that donald trump reached out to him, called him after the election. according to the record review in bedford, new york, bill clinton said -- >> clinton also reacted to trump's claim that he won in a landslide, saying landslide, i thought something like 370 electoral votes was a landslide. he only got 306. what are your thoughts, jonathan? >> what do you say to that? what we've seen since election day is a president-elect who lives in his own world where he won the popular vote, he won in one of the biggest landslide victories in the history of ever. and then decides to call the former president of the united states, bill clinton, and, you know, sort of give a compliment
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to him about his wife. clearly being mindful of what that conversation might do to the former president. i mean, his wife lost the election. he took it very personally. and so while i understand former president bill clinton accepting the call from the president-elect, i'm not sure what the president-elect was hoping to get out of it. >> and it is weird, okay? i'll throw this to either one of you. donald trump's campaign trotted out accusers, women accusers of bill clinton during the campaign and tried to force bill clinton to get on stage with them and have to pass them in a debate back in october. they held this weird press
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conference before that debate to try to bait the president -- i mean, ben ginsburg, can you explain what could be in donald trump's mind to think he could have a chit chat as if it was 15 years ago? >> i think bill clinton is a member of the former president's club. >> go ahead, jonathan. >> let's give president clinton credit for actually taking the call. he didn't have to take the call. you reminded everyone it was like the ultimate indignity of the former president to have all of those accusers there. if anyone remembers the debate that year, the shots of president-elect in the audience, if his eyes and nose and mouth could breathe fire, they would have. >> thank you, ben and jonathan. up next, state electors met today across the u.s. to cast
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their vote for president. and despite some protests, trump haste past the 270 threshold. the roundtable is next. this is "hardball," the police for politics. ♪ ♪ sleep in heavily peace
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♪ ♪ sleep in heavily peace [ laughter ] welcome back to "hardball." that was hillary clinton played by "snl's" wonderful kate mckinnon, urging an electoral college voter to dump trump.
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the "love actually" parody has gone viral. and even inspired parodies of the parody. and today the real electoral college voters certified donald trump as the 45th president of the united states. so what kind of mandate have they delivered him? for more, i'm joined by our roundtable, mike lupica, and phillip bunn, political reporter for "the washington post." andy carney. thank you all for being here. i am going to defer you to you mike, because you probably know donald trump or covered donald trump more than anybody else at this table. why do you suppose donald trump seems to be so fixated on convincing his supporters that he won in a landslide when he didn't? >> yeah, it starts to sound like his real party is the flat earth society. and, you want to say to him sometimes, dude, you got the gig, okay? you can stop running now. but he -- he is going to -- joy, he thinks the next four years
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he's going to be carried along by the sound of applause. and that's not the way it works. i don't care if you're the most popular president in history. >> it's definitely not a landslide, if you look at the percentage of the electoral votes he won, he's in the bottom quadrant, i think. >> he's in the bottom five. >> like, below martin van buren, i think i saw. but he won the election. so, like, this idea of a mandate, i kind of think mandates are overrated. he has a republican senate, a republican house to work with. like, he can do whatever he wants. and what -- like, what's going to stop? what would a mandate give him that he doesn't have now? i think the whole concept is a little overrated. i do think that the circumstances of the election where hillary clinton won the
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popular vote by more than 3 million by the time we're done with this would call for some humility from a more normal candidate. but that's not really part of the trump brand and i don't think that's who he is. so these victory rallies don't really match what actually happened. but i don't know that like having a mandate or not having a mandate really matters. >> you know, that is an excellent point. because, with, you know, barack obama won decisively, particularly in his re-elect, by 5 million votes. he won two times. never, like, in barely. i mean, he won 360-something electoral votes. it was not even a question. and yet, republicans treated him as if he had lost the election and had been appointed by some outer borough judge in the bronx. they treated him like he had no right to even be in washington, let alone be president. >> well, it's an interesting question, in part because democrats have different attitudes towards government than do republicans, right? so the republicans, you know, digging in their heels and saying, we're going to oppose everything barack obama does.
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republicans as a base are more likely to say, yes, we don't want government doing anything. however, it's important to notice that over in recent polling, we've seen shifts among the democrats. democrats are more liberal than they used to be. they're more likely to say they support democrats on capitol hill dragging their feet. it will be interesting to see what happens there. but it's a fairly simple formula here, which is that donald trump wanted to win and he lost the popular vote and he's mad about it and that's why he keeps talking about it. >> it's arguable that the person who thinks he has a mandate is really paul ryan. do you think paul ryan, does he then go through and go ahead and gut medicare, go after social security? these are the things he wanted to do his whole adult life. does he do it? >> i think he tries. it remains to be seen who's really running the white house? >> like, is trump going to be doing these victory tours and -- and mike pence is going to be running the government with paul ryan and mitch mcconnell? >> that's what they said during the campaign and primary. >> ryan is going to have to overcome the stomach problem that he showed too often during the campaign, which was no guts.
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and if he wants to be the next thing in this party, maybe this would be a good time for him to show some. >> yeah. is guts going after medicare? >> well, i mean, it is from the standpoint that we know it will be a big political fight. but, look, paul ryan, yes, he has a house that has been with him for years now. the republicans, you know, have a solid majority in the house. and this goes back to your point about mandates. thanks to dawn, rescue workers only trust dawn, because it's tough on grease yet gentle. i am home, i am home, i am home
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we are back. tell me something i don't know. >> i'll tell you what you would know if you read politico today. ivanka and jared are shopping today. they will be attending regularly, walking to services. >> i was talking to john mccain yesterday, somebody we need more than ever, about the dumpster fire that american politics has become.
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he was talking about john glenn being the most honest, decent man he's ever known. >> i think we can all agree on. >> you pointed out earlier, there were 77,000 votes in three states that made the difference in this election. but we're talking about a 0.6% margin. that's the margin that will be made of a good get out the vote campaign. which is another sign the clinton campaign dropped the ball again. >> the biggest mistake by the clinton campaign this year. >> i think they ran an awful campaign that was marginally better than the one she ran eight years ago. >> i say not going to wisconsin or michigan. >> absolutely. go to michigan, go to philly.
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thank you very much. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. we'll be back tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. eastern. see you then.
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tonight on "all in" -- nine killed in berlin. tonight, the continue der box
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trump inherits and the real world danger of his twitter fight with china. plus, electoral college protests around the country. where does that energy go from here? and from striking deals with news outlets for coverage they could control to word that the trump rallies may never stop. >> they are saying as president he shouldn't be doing rallies. >> robert rich on fears of a never-ending campaign when "all in" starts right now. >> well, this is a way you get an honest word out. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. in 32 days, donald trump will become president of the united states. electors in all 50 states formally voted for president and officially awarded trump a majority of votes in the electoral college. it's a routine part of the

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