tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 2, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT
in texas on tuesday will return to houston. if you want to help find out how to help go to nbc news.com/harvey. that is our broadcast. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. touch's letter to comey. let's play "hardball." and good evening, i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews in what has turned out to be a busy friday night. the white house announced president trump will give us his decision about young people brought here illegally as children to remain in the united states. there is also new reporting on the russia investigation. special counsel robert mueller obtaining a letter drafted by
the president and by his senior aide steven miller in may explaining the president's rational for firing james comey the fbi director t. letter was never sent, the white house counsel believed it was quote problematic. according to "new york times" which broke the story quote a different letter, written by the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein and focused on mr. comey's handling of the investigation into hillary clinton's private e-mail server was sent the day before he was fired t. multi-page letter enumerated trump's long-simmering complaints with comey, including comey was unwilling to say personally trump was not under investigation in the fbi inquiry into the russian meddleing in the 2016 election t. letter quote did not dwell on russia. also today, president trump responded to that washington post report last night that he
may be on a collision course with his new chief of staff, according to "post," trump chafes at some of john kelly's moves to restrict access to him. he dubbed him the church lady because they considered him strict and morally superior. we have a lot to get to. joining me chief white house correspondent halle jackson at the white house t. washington post ashley parker, matt welch. matt, you have this story in the washington post again the "post" and the "times" reporting on this letter the letter that was not sent detailing the president's ratiall rational fo james comey. how much was this original
letter aimed at comey and his investigation of trump and trump's world? was it a passing reference, do we know? was it more detailed than that? how much does this letter suggest that was on the president's mind? >> reporter: sure, so again, we haven't seen the letter. we have just spoken to people familiar with it. but our understanding is that this letter sort of laid out the president's frustrations and grievances with director comey. as we said, the story was very little explicitly focused on russia, other than e other than the language we actually saw in the final statement that the president put out, where he expressed frustration that comey had told him privately several times he was not the focus of the investigation, but he would not say that publicly. so our understanding is that little portion was in the original draft made it into the final version, but the draft, itself, was really an outline of the president's sort of wide ranging grievances with his fbi director at the time. >> so when we have the white
house lawyer the white house counsel vetoing apparently that letter you are describing saying it was problematic. do you know was it specifically the references to not publicly stating pump u trump, himself, wasn't under investigation? specifically russia, were those the things the lawyer mcgan looked at and said that's a problem? >> reporter: i think without knowing everything, i think mcgan was worried partially about the tone of the letter, which was described to us as a rant and mcdependant was this person in the meeting in the oval office said, tried to slow down the process, he said, you know what, attorney general session and his deputy rod rosenstein are coming by the white house for lunch. let's talk to them. let's hear what they have to say. let's solicit their opinions. so there was sort of an effort to get broader buy-in on this than just the president being frustrated with his fbi director and having soured on him long ago. >> all right.
let me bring halle jackson into this. you are standing in front of the white house. let me ask you about what's going on inside that building. you had that report last night, that washington post support, the president chafeing under the new white house leadership of john kelly the new chief of staff the president on twitter trying to send another message, what is going on inside the building behind you? >> reporter: look when you look at the palace inteeg, there are a lot of moving pieces, i think some relates to john kelly and how the president is interacting with him. let me highlight a guy i'm in gary cohn? a top economic adviser at the white house, focused on tax reform, has been out trying to push the administration's line on this and talk up the white house's position and how he wants to get it done and continues to be dogged whether he will stay, whether the white house has confidence in gear cohn. whether the president has confidence in him and while
publicly the line is yes, that is also something that we have we heard in the past about people who ultimately are no longer inside the building behind me, steve. you mentioned one other thing at the top of your show about what is happening inside the white house. >> that is this decision over daca. while we know this won't be announced formally until tuesday, although, that does not preclude some tweets between the president when the now and then. it has been a subject of the internal consternation here when you talk about what is happening behind the scenes. multiple sources has told nbc for days the president is leaning towards ending daca. now hurricane harvey changed that, some in the west wing worry about rolling back, rescinding daca at this moments, given what happened in texas and louisiana, state by the way have 126,000 dreamers or daca recipients in them. >> i also want to tell you about
senator john mccain has been a bit of a thorn in the side of this administration, now out with criticism. telling foley le senators, quote, we have to respect each other or at least respect the fact that we need each other. >> that is never been truer than today, when congress must govern with a president who has been poorly informed and may be impulsive. we must, where we can, cooperate with him. we are not his snowboard that's. we don't answer to him. we answer to the american people. pe must serve as a check on his power. let me ask you what mccain is say income light of the reporting we are getting halle was talking about, about the relationship between trump and his new chief of staff. because one of the things kelly was supposed to do is create an environment where donald trump wasn't going to be quite as impulsive, where he was going to be surrounded with a sound counsel before he went and made decisions, mccain seems to be saying in that letter i can not
seeing it yet. >> also since kelly has been on board the president picked fights even more so with jeff flake the junior senator in arizona, that has gotten under the skin of the caucus in the senate. trump has been burning his political capital. it's easy and fun to watch john mccain vs. donald trump. they have been going after each other. there are a couple lines worth dwelling on, one is the senate and the congress needs to do its basic minimal work and it has not been doing that. they're not passing budgets. they're not going through the appropriations process. so as trump goes through a new phase, he's this outsider president, wageing war against his own white house in a way, congress is playing into his hands by not doing anything. he can run against congress, talk against corporation because congress isn't doing its minimal work in addition to the president not doing a whole lot to work to pass this
legislation. >> we mentioned the president vouching for his chief of staff on twitter today, also using twitter to take a shot at james comey, mr. has been some reporting. you've written about this. what the president was basically trying to say on twitter, he was going after comey's credibility. you put it up on the screen. okay. this tweet is a reference to something you reported on. take us through what you know about james comey the hillary clinton e-mail investigation last year and the president saying he made a decision long before he announced it. >> reporter: sure this tweet seems to be news that broke yesterday which basically came from two senators on the judiciary committee who found and then wrote a letter to the director of the fbi saying comey had begun drafting a letter to basically clear hillary clinton before the fbi had even finished
the investigation and interviewed her, i believe. and so he was basically saying what he has maintained for a long time, which he put in a tweet. this is a rigged system, of course, now, it certainly behooves him to do anything he can to undermine comey's credibility because comey is going to be the key, but one of the many key people in this expanding russia probe. >> halle, this is something we saw, we were talking about yesterday. yesterday the news was trump's legal team had met with mueller, the special prosecutor had submitted paperwork to him, basically trying to impeach the credibility of james comey. you see a legal strategy, now a public strategy. >> reporter: sure. it's not a totally surprising one nor a totally new one, steve. look at what the white house is saying about this special counsel probe repeated from the podium, hey, we want to cooperate. we want to do what we can to work with the special count sell, to work with bob mueller. other than that we won't say much and will refer you to our
comments several months ago on this. >> that said, clearly, you put out publicly now, a direction this liam team appears to be moving in. again i would point out this is something before ty cobb came on board, when you saw, for example, john dowd, the other lawyers take over, a hint that that is the direction that this administration this team would be move income when it came to the president here. >> matt, we are talking about a situation within you have a special counsel mueller in place. i'm not sure how much public opinion matters on who is more credible. i am curious, obviously, trump's critics are out there saying, look, there is all sorts of reason to believe he went after the fbi director. this could be obstruction of justice, we know mueller seems to be looking at that question. on the other hand, you look at james comey's public credibility. it wasn't that long ago. every democrat hated him, every republican hated him. this is somebody, i'm curious from a pr stand poipt. >> it's clear a lot of the part of the case that the trump team
is most worried about is the potential obstruction of justice charge relating to his dealing with comey and whether he pressured comey to drop the investigation and at various points here. and so what do you in those situations, you try to impeach the credibility of both witnesses. the in fact that we are talking at the beginning of a cable news program about two different sets of draft memos shows me that somehow we have gotten to a stage in this investigation in this thing where it's going to -- it's getting somewhere kind of fast. these are legal strategies aired in the court of public opinion in advance of something. it feels to me by the tone of seduction, something is faster than previous thought. >> we keep getting these glimpses that erupt. it makes you wonder how much more is going on, maybe behind the scenes, we don't know about. maybe no. again these will be revealed with time certainly. halle jackson, ashley parker, matt welsh.
thank you for joining us. it has been a busy day, it has been a rough summer for trump. congress is coming back on tuesday. they havep big issues, the republicans have been loyal, the question, is that about to change? here's a cleanup from hurricane harvey begins. are there enough construction workers to rebuild that part of texas? analysts say many workers fear being deport and might not show up in obama versus trump. more evidence the president's number one mission in public may be to undue a lot of actions of his predecessor. finally, stick around for three things you might not know tonight, courtesy of the "hardball" roundtable. the is "hardball" where the action is.
of texas, in crosby, texas, this is the second fire in two days. th in within the past hour, huge plumes of plaque smoke shot into the sky t. plant lost power after hurricane harvey, an executive says there are up to eight containers at the site that could burn and explode. we will keep an eye on that situation, of course, be right back after this. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. i am still going to look into corrupt judgment. it's unique right now. >> regardless of what he truly wants to get done, whatever that may be, he has got to be his own worst enemy. he couldn't be any worse at achieving goals in politics. >> welcome back to "hardball."
those were actually trump voters. they were describing their disappointment with president trump in his first few months in office. that was a focus group a few days ago. as the summer ends, it may bring a stormy fall for the president. there is the ever present russia investigation. there are reports today special counsel bob mueller is looking at that early draft, that draft not sent of a letter in which trump outlined his rational for firing james comey, and as congress returns from its summer break tuesday, those congressional investigations into russian election meddling will continue t. senate judiciary committee are expected to introduce donald trump junior. a date has not been disclosed.
i am joined by non john nichols, author of horsemen of the trumpocalypse. and a former bush-cheney senior adviser and ms nbc political analyst. thanks, for joining us. john, let me start with you. it's been about a month since republicans and since democrats for that matter have been together in washington. they're coming back after charlottesville. they're coming back after this storm. they're coming back after further revelations of russia we are talking about in the last few minutes. i guess my question to you is specifically the republicans. we know where the democrats are. the question is the republicans, does the past month, be, away from walk, do the events we've seen, does it change anything towards their posture towards their party's president? >> i think it does, i will complete on you. the democrats will come back super charged because -- >> before you say? >> no, many of them were still, they were against trump, they were resisting, now they have
been back with constituents in these drivenlths i have been to some of the town meeting, the second and third top sick impeachment. >> the democratic electorate does not want to hear about common ground? >> that's one element of it. then you bring the republicans back. there will be some republicans who will come back you know still to beg towards trump. but here's what i have seen. a tremendous number of them have had town meetings, anecdotal gatherings with folks on main street, where they've had an awful lot of people saying what the hell is going on. they will come back and be much more tougher on the administration. >> what does that mean, what does that look like if that's the mindset? >> if we go back to the meeting mcconnell had with trump. which ended up with yelling, right? at the end of the day, i thiere will be more yelling, i don't
think they want to be on your show, there will be people saying this can't deep e keep going this way and also do you understand that the speaker of the house, paul rienyan, who i d has been too much of a facilitator, he grumbles but backs him up. he now faces probably his most serious election challenge of his career and many other republicans feel that as well. so when they get together, suddenly i think this august break shifts them towards a lot more 2018 discussions, those discussions make them say to president trump, you have to have a coherent agenda, and it can't but know shifting from day-to-day. >> all right. let me get a republican here ask him, robert, what do you make of that? you got john nichols saying the republicans will come back with a different posture towards president trump. do you agree with that? >> yes, but i agree for different reasons. the reality is we control this town, we control all the branchs of the government t. reality is
you got debt ceiling, looming of the a government shutdown, harvey back there. so i think what president trump is going to hear from a lot of congressional republicans is please stop talking about building a wall, let's talk about the reality in front of us. we have to fund the government or we will go into the red. we have to raise the debt ceiling or if not, we will default on our credit. these are real things that have to happen between now and september, between now and the end of the month or the government will shut down. so i think will you have two postures here, one some real policy coming out of the congress. you will have the other side of pennsylvania avenue talking about tax reform, perhaps talking about immigration, perhaps talking about daca. >> that stuff is important. but that's not what the reality is on the ground. i think you will have a lot of republicans saying, mr. president, what is our strategy on north korea, specifically? what are we going to do here? the reality is they have a
weapon. they clearly are testing this over japan, what is our foreign policy here? but let's be crystal clear here, i think to my colleague's point, yeah, 2018 is looming the reality is again the government could shut down, we could go to war with north korea, we don't have a plan b. >> they're politicians, elections are always on their mind, it's possibly a primary challenge, the next election is always on their mind, let's ask about the psychology of a congress member, who is on some level thinking of an election. i keep thinking back in the election paul ryan a few weeks before election day had all the members on the phone and said can you give this guy up. you can give donald trump up and save yourself and those republican members of congress watched a few weeks later, not only did he win the election, he won 90% of the votes of republicans. they didn't think they were going to get anywhere near that in their own party.
does that haunt them that maybe this guy knows my base better than i do? >> what i am hearing from capitol hill, it depends on what republican district you represent. if you represent a strong trump county, you are scared to death that the president is going to primary you. you are scared to death that the president may tweet out in response to a republican opponent so that's reach because, obviously, he won those trump counties by significant margins, steve. you know that. however, if are you a flake, if or if you are perhaps a susan collins or perhaps are you a pat toomey, maybe not so. maybe you don't fear the president as much because based on the focus groups that we just we heard from in pittsburgh, that's my neck of the woods, i'm from pennsylvania. those are my people and perhaps maybe a pat toomey and some of the others are listening to those type of trump voters saying look, he had us at hello here. but the reality is there is chaos out of washington, d.c., just as quickly as they shift
it, basically they're rigging democrats. these are blue collar hard working americans who are fiscally, socially conservative, they could very easy go back to the democratic camp. i think a lot of members of congress know that. >> let's talk about jeff flake, his colleague, john mccain this is his op ed in the washington post, americans revoild coiled from the repugnant spectacle of white supremacists marching in charlottesville, there is nothing in their hate-driven that can erase hate. they are going after donald trump. john mccain just one re-election, he doesn't have as to worry about an election in 2018. i'm curious, do you think charlottesville, do you think that changes anything? >> it changes it, an immense amount. there has been so much coverage of charlottesville. much of it has been brilliant. yet i don't think people have begun to understand the full political impact. it's two fold. for people who are always a little embarrassed by trump but
like some other things, that embarrassment level went through the roof. >> that has had a huge impact on moderates, on independents and on some republicans. it has also again supercharged the democrats. they're going to be much more comfortable now. >> i guess question i have is the context of it. a guy that began his presidential campaign talking about mexicans, a guy that called for a ban on all muslims coming into the united states as presidenttial candidate, how -- the confidence that charlottesville is going to mark a breaking point when that's the track record? >> i will tell you again i had the luck of being on a little book tour and doing other things, around the country more sometimes outside of washington and what i want to emphasize to you is people really get the word nazi. they really get the word fascist. they really get cop fed rat, slavery, things -- owe
confederate, slavery, things like that. they should have been shocked and ter need in 2015 when he was talking about banning muslims and when he was saying things about latinos. now you have gone into like the hard wiring of the american history, you know, i mean, you've got nazis marching. you've got people marching under confederate flags, and i just think this has shocked a lot of people into a much more critical position. >> we are up against the break, quickly, what do you want to say? >> very quickly, i don't think most americans are embarrassed by this, i think most americans are offended by this, to stop and think for a moment a president of the united states are saying both sides are to blame here. this is not embarrassment, this is offensive. most americans know that. >> thanks, to both of you for joining us a. quick break up next as the cleanup gets under way, there is a growing concern the trump administration could end up hindering that rebuilding effort in texas. >> that is ahead this is
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provide a billion in hurricane relief funding. that's a look at what's happening. now back to "hardball." we love you. are you special. we're lear to take care. it's going well and i want to thank you for coming out. we're going to get you back and operating immediately. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump promising texas they'd be able to rebuild immediately after hurricane harvey the president's immigration policies could hinder the rebuilding efforts since his pledge to start mass deportations and build a wall against the mexican border appear to have an increase of immigrants staying close to home. texas relies on undocumented immigrants, the puig research estimated last year they make up 28% of the state's construction work force and the need for
workers will only increase as houston works to recover. i am joined by ms nbc contributor, texas professor, victoria, take us through this. i guess at a practical level, massive rebuilding job in order here. we don't know the full scale of it. it will be off the charts. that statistic jumped out at me. i didn't realize. you are almost at one-third of the construction work force is undocumented. connect that to president trump's policies, is there a direct connection between trump's policies and the ability of the construction through the rebuilding job like this? >> reporter: very much so. houston is consistently one of the fastest growing cities, so there's a lot of building going on, but following the trump administration coming into power, we saw that undocumented persons were getting nervous about staying if texas. staying so close to the border because of president trump's strong stance on immigration. then you lay on top of that, the
anti-sanctuary cities that texas passed. folks are leading those construction workers, they're leaving texas. so there is already a shortage in houston in the larger state of construction workers. and now we get hit with harvey. we are going to need massive reconstruction efforts. we will need those construction workers who have been leaving. this isn't just theory, steve. we know from practice. we know from hurricane katrina, that literally northerns was built on the back of latinos, more specifically, latinos and documented labor. the same thing would be needed for houston, but given the climate right now the question mark is, are we going to have that man power? >> well, do you have a sense? are you able to put any numbers on it if there is the potential for a shortfall of workers, how significant that shortfall would be? is there a number or a rough estimate can you put on it? >> reporter: what we have been seeing, as we said, in houston
we know that about 10% of the population is undocumented, which is close to double of the national average and in houston, of those undocumented persons, a quarter are construction workers. so i haven't seen exact ybs yet since president trump took office, just hearing some folks on the ground, folks working with construction workers, added a advocates wie know they are leaving, going to other states that don't have this climate texas does. >> i imagine somebody on the hard line side of the immigration debate might put it and they'd say, well, those jobs should be for american citizens. if there are fewer undocumented immigrants who are taking thoseoit means more jobs for american citizens and ultimately that's a good thing? >> reporter: and that's a valid argument. that's a valid line of argument. then the question is, how much are we willing to spend on the rebuilding effort? how much is congress willing to
give if terms of dollars to rebuild? how much is fema going to give. if you want to do this purely with american workers, you got to be prepared to faye wages that american workers have going to need and pay into that. so that is a question congress will have to grapple with. >> okay. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. >> reporter: absolutely. up next, president trump continues his all out attack on the legacy, the governing legacy of president obama. that's ahead. you are watching "hardball."
. welcome back to "hardball." well on the campaign trail, donald trump promised to go after barack obama's legacy, obamacare, environmental regulation. on thursday, mcclatchey reported president trump is expected to end the obama era program that shields young people from deportation. it allow los him to fulfill one
of the campaign promises. let's take a look. >> we love the dream ertz. we love everybody. >> late friday the white house announced a decision announced on tuesday, so is the another campaign promise he has yet to fulfill? repealing and replace og baum care? he is actively killing it by attrition. he is cutting advertising by 90%. for more, i am joined by the roundtable, a princeton contributor wrath rin rand pell, a columnist for the paug washington post and anne adam seeing freed. it sounds like we are getting mixed signals in terms of trump's intent on daca. you had that report yesterday, he was going to end it. you have that comment we showed. he says, we love the dreamers, whatever that means. we have the report saying maybe harvey has complicated this. do you have any sense where this will land? >> based on his executive orders to undo the decision by president obama, which allowed
those folks from those young kids coming from el salvador, honduras, he's ended that. is that any indication daca is done? >> do you think? halle was saying it sounds like the politics, maybe, from a timing standpoint of what's going on with harvey. >> it might be that. that might be the case. it also might be the case he is failing with regards to the wall. he needs to throw some ret made to its base. i think harvey is guming up some matters. i think in the end, he is going to appeal to the base by doing this. it seems to me. >> katherine, immigration polling to me is a very hard one to physical out, because i think a lot of times the number that's on the surface can be misleading or can tell a part of the story. i think more than a lot of issues is subject to how you ask the question, how you phrase the question, that being said, when you look specifically at this issue of daca, when you look at this issue of kids who came to the country. their parents brought them here. they had nothing to do with the decision and having protections for them, that does poll well.
>> that polls well among republicans even among trump's base. >> even which is which during the campaign he was saying he was going to repeal daca. if you remember he ran entirely on a campaign on how tough he was going to be on those darn illegals, but he would not commit to undoing daca. he said he had a big heart, things along that line. >> he says we love the dreamers. there is some recognition. >> i think republicans on the hill realize this as well and part of the reason i am a little more optimistic than you are, hopefully i'm not going to be eating my words in a few days is that paul ryan came out and said he does not think that trump should take this action. orrin hatch and relatively right wing republicans have said the same thing. i think it would be embarrassed to be overruled and what matters is showing he se power. not being humiliated. maybe he'll hold his fire. >> you mentioned the republican
reaction, president trump as katherine is saying, he is under pressure from republicans not to end the daca program. there is what ryan had to say. >> there's a lot in the news right now that the president might be looking at pulling back daca. the dreamers act. >> yeah, i actually don't think he should do that. and i believe that is something that congress has to fix. >> and arizona senator jeff flake, he has been a trump critic of late. he tweeted, congress needs to take immediate action to protect daca kids, orrin hatch, care of the powerful finance committee said i've urged the president to the to rescind daca, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a legislative solution. what paul ryan is saying he wants congress to address this the position is barack obama did this, no president should do that. he should undue that and you should immediately pass in this congress.
i am wondering, this has been a major fault line in the republican party, if something seeming as daca comes before congress, democrats are for it, paul ryan is for it, maybe orrin hatch is for it, if there the a major revolt from that republican base, we have seen immigration issues that have brought that out. >> look at that republican barracks only 22% support ending daca. there will be massive political fallout if they do end daca. you will see hispanics, completely move away from the party. 44% of voting eligible hispanics are millenials, they don't identify with the republican party as well, if you do that within ten days of pardoning joe arpaio, what message does that send us? >> id wonder if the polling on the doesn't always capture it. this is a good example. right now you poll the idea of daca conceptually is popular. do hosts call this amnesty and the republican base sees something very different?
>> no, this is the thing. i really don't. so if all that we are saying is true, it seems that it would make no political sense for president trump to be pursuing this right now. you be it seems to me to be the case what he is doing is he is really speaking to that cultural anxiety at the heart of his base, his immigration policy isn't really about law and order. it isn't about undocumented workers. it's really about that cultural anxiety that is at the heart of those core trump supporters that believe america is changing that america doesn't look like it is supposed to look. daca is a part of this. the wall won't be built. he can at least stay. he told the honduran kids, they're not coming. we will send them back. it seems to me this is a part of this other agenda, it's at the heart hoff how we understand the political actions of the base at the heart of trump. >> but there is another reason why this timing is coming now, right? it's that there are these republican attorneys, general, who are threatening to sue the
administration coming september 5th, next week. so basically, they have forced this deadline upon him. i think he doesn't want to make a decision one way or another. >> it looks at least before today, the last couple days, there was an opportunity maybe legislatively for him to repair the wall, it looks like the wall, maybe we can put that on hold until december so it becomes just a question of daca. we'll see if that decision comes out the white house suggesting tuesday. we'll find out, roundtable, they are staying with us. this is "hardball." where the action is. thanks for loading, sweetie.
>> the department of labor released its numbers, the expectation of the economy creating 356,000 jobs in august. >> that missed the wall street expectation of 180,000, it's down from 190,000 created in july. the unemployment rate edged higher to 4.4%. it is expected to hold steady at 4.3. we'll be right back..
sheriff clarke is expected to take a job inned. 's -- under increased scrutiny while four people and a baby died at the milwaukee county jail. back now with the round table. evan, this is one of those political characters. sheriff arpaio kind of falls in this category, i think, too. he had prominence before but who had gained a new level of national prominence through donald trump and probably wouldn't if any other republican would have won last year. this is a guy, sheriff clarke who speaks to a part of donald trump's base. you're a republican. what is the message that sheriff clarke is delivering and how
many is he speaking for? >> i don't know what the message is other than he's played to the worst base instincts to a portion of the republican party that shouldn't be there. if he goes in the administration with his 32 pieces of flair, that's an embarrassment. he's been an embarrassment as a sheriff. he's disgraced anybody who wears a uniform. look what it says about donald trump in the past week about what he views law enforcement as. he celebrates arpaio and clarke as somehow heroes of law enforcement. they are the exact opposite of what we want law enforcement officers to be. they don't follow the rules. they have no problem ignoring federal court orders. they have no problem mistreating people in inhumane circumstances. but, hey. donald trump says they're great for keeping us safe. >> i think politically, what evan's describing roughly, it reads to a certain part of the electorate as a guy who's willing to do the tough things you need to do to maintain order. it's the old law and order message in some ways we had in
our generation. it feels trump brought that back. >> and it's so deeply racialized. i've said in other places this is a presidency of hate having to do not only with dhaka, having to do with the transgender ban, the comments at charlottesville. also embodies his law and order. he imagines himself as a strong man who stands above the law. who executes it cruelly. and sheriff clarke is a great emblematic example of that particular position. here's a guy who thinks he stands above the law as he supposedly represents it. what do we see? we see people dieing in his jails. we see him flouting the law at every turn when it tries to hold him accountable. this seems to me to reflect generally donald trump's orientation to the whole matter. >> and i grapple with it. i'm trying to figure it out. i don't have the answer in terms of how many people like a sheriff clarke speaks to arpaio. arpaio last week when the pardon went out, the media coverage of
it was almost universally negative. highlighting all of these problems, these issues, these legal problems. yet i know he was defeated for re-election last year. he also managed to have for a generation politics of arizona. won five elections. that style does reach i think maybe a bigger part of the electorate than we acknowledge. i think it does. >> yes. for worse. i think absolutely for worse. not for better. these are people who represent our basist instincts. who make people feel good about the fact that they can, you know, wish the worst upon people that don't look like them and don't speak like them because, hey, that's law and order. right? i mean, it's basically finding a way of justifying this viral hatred. and acting upon it in violent ways that in the end put people's lives at risk. remember that both of the
sheriffs you're talking about had a large number of people die under their watch in their prisons or jails. so this is a way of excusing that kind of behavior and justifying it as saying it's in the best interest of the country. >> all right. the round table is sticking with us. up next, these three will tell me something i don't know. this is "hardball," where the action is. thanks for loading, sweetie.
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and we're back with the "hardball" round table. eddie, tell me something i don't know. >> there was a tweet out there about the incoming class at harvard university that 41.2% of the incoming class are legacies. 41.2% are legacies. 9 out of 10 of those legacies are white. and the doj is worrying about affirmative action. >> kathryn? >> donald trump jr. is going to be giving a speech at the university of north texas to the tune of 100 grand. and the questions will be provided to him in advance. >> evan? >> foreign policy circles are getting worried about china's aggressive expansion. they've been going using the
one-belt policy to go into africa, greece, the bahamas, jamaica. >> that is going to do it for tonight. that's all for "hardball" right now. chris matthews, he returns next week. join him tuesday. special guest al frank. . the rachel maddow show starts now. >> thanks to you at home for joining us at this hour. rachel will be back next week. now we have a ton and a half to tell you about this evening. the white house has spent the week hinting and signaling about an eminent decision from the president on the fate of 800,000 young immigrants in this country. and tonight we have some surprising news from that story which we did not see coming and we'll be getting to that news tonight. but tonight the chemical plant that we've been telling you about in crosby, texas, the arkema plant that had to be abandoned in the flood, tonight, towers of flame erupted from that plant. and we have an intriguing new glimpse into the trump-russia