tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC April 26, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
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morning, the president was especially animated as he railed against the fbi and his former director james comey. most notably he suggested at some point he could intervene with the justice department and direct them to investigation the fbi. instead of the alleged russia collusion. the top people in the fbi headed by comey were crooked. you look at the corruption at the top of the fbi, it's a disgrace. and our justice department which i try and stay away from but at some point i won't, our justice department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with russia. there is no collusionings with me and russia. >> trump's also challenging the ver rasivity of copy's memos which comey wrote to document in realtime his conversations with the president, calling the memos phony, trump appeared to say that comey had fabricated some of the details of their conversations.
>> those memos were about me they're phony minimum mos. he didn't write those accurately. he put a lot of phony stuff. >> the president's attacks on comey may be part of his strategy to challenge the prosecution. it comes as rude giuliani tells "the wall street journal" he's trying to figure out whether mueller has an open mind. according to giuliani, a key question for mueller's prosecutor is do they favor comey over trump for credibility. if he tells his story to a decent fair minded arbiter, he thinks the whole thing would be over. when he asked whether he would sit down with the special counsel, he left the door open but attacked the prosecutors as being biased. >> does it make you want to talk to mueller? >> i can. the problem is it's such a -- if you take a look, they're so conflicted. the people doing the
investigation,ing you have 13 people that are democrats. you have hillary clinton people, you have people that worked on hillary clinton's foundation. they're all -- i don't mean democrats. i mean like the real deal. >> joining me right now is mieke eoyang, vice president at third way. ken vogel political reporter with the "new york times" and joyce vance legal analyst. ken, what does he mean in terms of news making today when he says he may get involved with the doj? we all know what it means when he says he's not involved. getting involved sounds like you're fired. >> it sounds a lot like that. he has suggested he might do just that on multiple occasions. he set different red lines suggesting he would do it if mueller waded into his business interests. we've seen indications just that is occurring. certainly would be logical to assume ta type of investigation is occurring. now you have him saying it again. you can tell he's bristling against his own legal team and
his staff telling him not to do that as well as the body politic at large including republicans. we saw the senate judiciary committee pass out of committee a bill to protect mueller. that's a pretty strong signal there would be quite a price to pay if trump did anything to either try to fire mueller -- >> basically told the people investigating him, if you investigate me anymore, i'll fire you. i get to joyce. general observation. it sounds like he's threatening them with firing if they do their jobs. >> that's right. he's not interested in having a justice department objective looking at the law. he sees this as a tool for his own personal and political protection. he wants people to look at his political opponents, he needs his own roy cohn, a guy who is a fixer for him as the attorney general and not someone interested in enforcing laws fairly. >> he wants to break into the dnc he said basically implied why didn't they break in. they were the victims of
hacking. he says why didn't they raid them. it's crazy. joyce, your thoughts about where he says don't ask me to -- don't ask your father to stop the car. there might be kids back there. this threat is pretty direct from trump. are you listening, joyce? >> i guess -- i'm sorry. she's not reacting, not hearing. back to you. this other question, the democrats, he's out there calling out the members of the prosecution team as a bunch of democrats. well, i don't think comey is a democrat and rosenstein is not a democrat. i'm not sure who is. >> we've seen this before. it has to do with talking about andrew mccabe and his wife and the length links to terry mcauliffe. it seems to be geared towards the end game to trying to sort of minimize or set him up to be able to minimize any averse finding that mueller has in regards to him to be able to say the whole thing was tainted.
the comey thing is more interesting to pit himself against comey. comey is really just sort of a bit player in this. it's not about comey. anything they would get from comey they would be able to get from any number of other witnesses they've already talked to. comey is in the news and he can't resist taking a shot at someone taking a shot at him. >> disputing the comey memos trump said during the miss universe, this is the first time he said is this morning on "fox & friends," did he stay overnight in moscow and never told comey otherwise. >> for instance, i went to russia for a day or so, a day or two because i owned the miss universe pageant. i went there to watch it because it was near moscow. so i go to russia. i didn't go there -- everybody knows the logs are there, the planes are there. he said i didn't stay there overnight. of course, i stayed there a very short period of time. his memo saidcy left immediately. i never said that. i never said i left immediately.
>> james comey when he was fbi director, he said in his memos on two occasions the president personally told him he hadn't stayed overnight in russia. trump's an apparent change of tune comes after overwhelming evidence and flight records eamericaed that showed trump did stay overnight in moscow. comey stands by his conversations and says trump's lie shows consciousness of guilt. here he goes. coaxy. >> do you think it's significant that the president lied to to you twice about that. >> it's always significant when someone lies to you, especially about something you're not askinging about, it tends to reflect a consciousness of guilt. >> he did that a lot of times with you, brought up stuff you hadn't asked about. >> correct. >> we've got our sound with you now, joyce. i've been waiting to ask you about the law here. trump is out there saying he did stay overnight after letting it
sit out there for a week his claim he hadn't. that is like trying to set up an alibi, i couldn't have been there during that event. he's been alleged to have witness to in the dossier. the two prostitutes. the question then is, what's this tell us that now he's coming out and saying yeah, okay. is he trying to avoid a perjury situation here? >> you know, he volunteered information to comey. it turns out it's not true. and so he's backed up his story and said no, i never told comey that i didn't spend the night there. and chris, this is why prosecutors love contemporaneous notes so much because jim comey when he wrote his notes down hadn't been fired, no special counsel had been appointed. and he had no way of knowing what might be of interest a year down the road. so prosecutors will look at comey's notes with that very deliberate point of view that he had no reason to make anything up back then opposed to the president's new revisionist
history version of those conversations. >> well, let's get over that again. all three of you now, i don't see any sense in him trying to plaster up this ridiculous alibi that he was on the plane back. he wasn't even there. he couldn't have been in front of the two prostitutes it couldn't have happened because i wasn't there. and now it's clear that he was there the night before for sure. and my question is, why would he say that knowing all this could be verified? tom roberts interviewed him, verified his position the day before he interviewed him. he was there at least one overnight and could have been witnessed this kind of thing at least in terms of opportunity whether he did it or not. why would eli? >> comey was saying he was concerned the first lady might find out he engaged in some kind of activities with these prostitutes and didn't want her to know. it's clear he's not as interested as now at protecting his fidelity in front of the
first lady given stormy daniels. >> why would eli to the fbi director who clearly has access to information. >> he can't help himself. he needs to be telling his narrative that makes him look like the good guy and then changes the story later when it turns out that wasn't the right thing to say. >> alger hiss, they couldn't prove he was a spy but did later. he went to prison for five years because he lied and said he didn't know whitaker cham bernardez here's a guy saying something that isn't true. he's not going to go down for what he said to comey in the white house conversation. i think he was afraid, wasn't he, he would have to back that up at a later hearing, a so-called conversation with mueller's people in which if he backed it up again, he would have perjure r jurred himself. >> it is important in the context. this would probably be considered hearsay in the context of this investigation. it was an informal conversation. it does get to the what i think comey was saying as to motive and intent. it's not exactly news that trump
has been known to change his story particularly on sensitive things like this. the point is, mueller has so much -- so much proof and so much evidence from so many different people that whatever comey said in this memo is probably a very tiny part of this investigation if really part of it at all on this point because he's talked to so many people. >> the salacious aspect of this thing. joyce, everybody has heard about the so-caused golden shower, the whole thing. they've all heard the grossness about it. a lot of people who don't like trump are generally think he's probably guilty. a lot of people are skeptical he would engage in something like that which everybody knows in russia is used against you if you're a u.s. businessman. what's consciousness of guilt thing? when comey said with anderson cooper that consciousness of guilt is established when you start denying things you aren't accused of? >> i think it would be a mistake to read too much into that and
make the assumption than jim comey was saying that the salaciousnent in russia actually took place. we know that the steele dossier was based on raw data, raw intelligence, even steele indicated some of it was correct, some of it was just information he had ror recorded. it does seem to show that overall the president is sensitive on these subjects that he's concerned about the investigation looking into his relationships with russians and it's very true that mueller has a lot more information than has come into the public domain likely knows exactly where those pressure points are, and that's frankly what we can expect from the next part of this investigation. >> but chris, on this we have to remember why this information was in the dossier to begin with, because it was sosa lashs. people believed it was kompromat, compromising information that the russians might have over the president. in a counter intelligence sense, that is a very big national
security threat that they could use that information to get him to do what they want for fear that it would be revealed. >> also so many people know about the russian m.o. when it comes to traveling u.s. famous personages. thank you meekia, joyce and ken. for weeks now, trump said he knew nothing about long-time fixer michael cohen's alleged payment to stormy daniels. now trump admits it cohen was helping him in the stormy case. that may prove hugely problematic for the president. plus, admiral ronny jackson with drew this morning from consideration to be the next secretary of veterans affairs administrator. he's at least the 24th, catch this, number 24 nomination to go down in this trump administration. tonight expect this near the end of the show, a bombshell report how reagan got jimmy carter's debate book prep. we get the answer to one of the most enduring mysteries in presidential politics. finally trump watch.
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of house minority leader nancy pelosi today pushed back against members of her party calling for impeachment of president trump. she warned the impeachment talk now was a gift to republicans and any move to impeach trump needs to be a bipartisan factor. let's watch. >> impeachment is a very serious matter. it is if it happens it
has to be a bipartisan initiative. i don't think that we have the information to go to that place. and i discourage any discussion of impeachment. on a political side, i think it's a gift to the republicans to talk about impeachment. >> i think that kid out there is crying wants impeachment. we'll be right back. i let go of all those feelings.
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giuliani. back to "hardball," president trump tried to distance himself today from his long-time consigliere and fixer michael cohen even as he acknowledged cohen has been helping him in the stormy daniels case. let's watch. >> michael is in business. he's really a businessman. a fairly big businesses i understand it. i don't know his business. but this doesn't have to do with me. michael is a businessman. he's got a business. he also practices law. i would say probably the big thing is his business. and they're looking at something having to do with his business. have i nothing to do with his business. i can tell you, he's a good guy. >> isn't his business your attorney, mr. president. >> just so you understand, i have.attorneys. i have attorneys, sadly, i have so many attorneys you wouldn't even believe it. michael somebody. >> mr. president, how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> well, as a percentage of my
overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. but michael would represent me and represent me on some things. he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal. he represented me, and you know, from what i see, he did absolutely nothing wrong. there were no campaign funds going intoing. > the acknowledgement from trump which came during his 30-minute rant this morning contradicts what he told reporters earlier this month on air force one. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> why did michael cohen make it if there was no truth. >> you have to ask michael cohen. michael is my attorney. you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> meanwhile a judge in new york ruled a court appointed independent official will determine which documents seized from cohen in the raid this months should be shielded by
attorney/client privilege. federal prosecutors investigating him for bank fraud it, tax fraud and campaign law violations related to the payment to dams. i'm joined by katie phang and julia ansley, national security and justice correspondent. both of you are experts. id think i'm a regular generalist. i watched a guy this morning say i don't know the guy. katie, it was unbelievable. he said he's in business on his own. i don't know what it is. i only had a tiny bit of thing with him. if i were michael cohen, but i know what it's like to be this morning at 7:30 watching "fox & friends," watching a guy you've been supporting, you love and he's just disowned you and said i don't really know the guy. katie? >> even a dog knows the difference between when it's tripped over and when it's being kicked. i think michael cohen got a swift kick this morning during that tirade that trump went on on fox and "friends." what's legally damning this
morninging is what you pointed out which is on april 5th on air force one, trump says i have no idea about this,000ed payment to stormy daniels. he today an he says he knew about it. donald trump just walked himself into a chair to sit for a deposition in at a minimum the stormy daniels lawsuit out in california. then he also showed why if you're rudolph giuliani, you got to be nervous. the man has who no discipline. give him a muzzle. how is he going to sit with mueller and go through an interview when he implicates himself in the stormy daniels lawsuit this morning on "fox & friends"? he's a terrible client. if i was his lawyer, i wouldn't let him anywhere near mueller and mike cohen got in trouble with the southern district because now trump says at the does a tiny little fraction of my legal work. cohen was relying on that
privilege as a shield in terms of the attorney/client privilege review of his documents. >> last week you're getting kisses blown at you from the president of the united states which means he's going to look out for you. tell your friends, he's going to look out. the boss is going to look out for me. this week the campo the boss says i don't even know you in fact, you only do tiny things for me. we know from m.o. that michael has been dealing with all the women problems he's had over the years. that's his job. that's his job, the fixer. how is the fixer going to stick with him? isn't this guy going to go running through the revolving doors into mueller's hands and say keep me out of jail. >> this is the same language we saw when trump was talking about paul manafort, michael flynn. they start off as people very close to him. he says he's a good guy and then he starts to try to make the work infinitesimal. >> that doesn't keep the guy
close. >> it seems like he's trying to play the short game but not looking at the long game of what this could mean. it could be also if you're reading the tea leaves, we might be getting ahead, he might it be worried cohen is going to flip. >> wouldn't you if you were one of robert mueller's people, i've come to trust you a lot in this analysis, call up in cohen? did you see your friend this morning? did you see how he separated himself from you? did you see him dump on you and say you're nothing but a guy that does little things for him and has a lot of business problems you don't know about but hope you'll get through them? he is pushing you away. come to us for protection. katie, they're going to play that, aren't they? >> sure. the federal prosecutors in the southern district of new york are going to do as well as the mueller. they'll say we give you everything we could possibly give you in order for you to flip. trump has publicly renounced him on television not to mention the fact that he's been doing it for
a number of weeks. think about what michael cohen has at play right now. he has an opportunity to deal. if he can deal right now and if he can strike something that's going to ininto your to his benefit, i would do that if i were michael cohen. now a special master has been appointed in the southern district of new york, that special master will be there's nothing privileged here. this guy doesn't have law clients. everything will turn over to the federal prosecutors. if i was cohen, i would be saying cut me a deal. >> did you ever watch michael cohen the way he does account walk bys? like checking out everybody in the crowd, checking out them checking him out. looking for opportunities all time. it's the way he operates. according to reports, allies close to trump and mike cohen have privately speculated cohen might cooperate with the federal officials investigating him. today "the wall street journal" reporting a sign of mr. cohen's state of mind he has groused about being excluded from white house posts he believed he deserved. according to reports he once told mr. trump, boss, i miss you
so much. i wish i was down there with you. it's hard for me to be here. the guy's cry. he's dying for a job. trump treated him like some kind of canine figure that helped him but never deserved to be brought into the house with him. >> there's a lot we could pull apart the relationship. >> we are. >> what's also important in this interview is the things this means for this case. the fact that the president said now campaign funds were used in this $130,000 payment. that now sounds like okay, then you do know where this money came from, mr. president. of course, like katie said contradicts what he said april 5th. it shows trump knows a lot more about this and he attacked michael cohen for wanting to plead the fifth. that could be a tool trump may want to use down the road. >> you know a conservative is a liberal who was mugged last night and a liberal is a conservative who was breasted last night. these guys now love the fifth amendment, not testifying in their own defense.
they like all the techniques i've person seeking not to be prosecuted in a criminal case, right? >> absolutely. so the fifth amendment that used to be what you could throw at hillary clinton and all the people that were affiliated with her now suddenly is the tool dejour for people that are close to donald trump and that are look at possible indictments. but the fifth amendment is an evil, evil wicked thing to use. it can come back to bite you and it's not to be used without some care. so michael cohen now ha that he's going to invoke his fifth amendment right needs to be careful in terms of how he approaches using that sword because he thinks it's going to shield him but in the end it's probably not. >> it does in the minds of most people right left and center suggest some crime behind it the whole thing. thank you, katie fang, julia ansley, you guys are great in different ways. i love the reporting and the law. up next, trump's nominee for va secretary withdraws his name from consideration. the admiral's gone.
he says the allegations against him are completely false and fabricated. why didn't he want to make his case to congress? he didn't want to. he didn't like the case. this is "hardball," where the action is. you can switch and s. [cars honking] [car accelerating] you can switch and save worry. ♪ you can switch and save hassle. [vacuuming sound] and when you switch to esurance, you can save time, worry, hassle and yup, money. in fact, drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved hundreds. so you might want to think about pulling the ol' switcheroo. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. ayep, and my teeth are yellow.? time for whitestrips. crest glamorous white whitestrips are the only ada-accepted whitening strips proven to be safe and effective. and they whiten 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. hello. let's go for a ride on a peloton. let's go grab a couple
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into this process i expected tough questions about how to best care for our veterans but i did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity. the allegations against me are completely false and fabricated. unfortunately, because of how washington works, these false allegations have become a distraction for the president. president trump also called the allegations false and warned democratic senator jon tester of montana who made the allegations public he'll have to "pay a big price to pay." let's watch. >> i watched what jon tester of montana, a state that i won by like over 20 points, you know, really they love me and i love them. and i want to tell you that jon tester, i think this is going to cause him a lot of problems in his state. these are all false accusations that were made. these are false. they're trying to destroy a man. >> that's a big love. loving all of montana. that's a big state.
according to nbc news, jackson is at least the 24th at least 24th unsuccessful trump nominee to a senate confirmable job. 24 down. i'm joined by sam stein from "the daily beast" and contributor. and i don't know, we were talking before we came on here. i find this miss if ifying. i trust tester. he's a careful guy, a moderate democrat from a conservative area of the country pep laid out the charges about public drunkenness. we've got charges about driving sfleeks crashes when you're drunk. this stuff isn't like well, it's either true or it's not. >> i'm of two minds. one is there's apparently 23 people attesting to these things, terrible work behavior. >> concierge, pharmacy, giving out the candyman when it comes to drugs. >> the second mind is, not one of them puts their names to these accusations. >> why are they afraid to say what they say is true.
>> he's set to run an agency for veterans who deserve top quality management and care. >> it's possible that one or two or maybe many more come forward had the nomination go forward. but it didn't. i don't think it's all because of the scandals. >> he killed the nomination. why? >> in addition to the scandals, there was already a real nervousness about appointing this guy who had runnen a staff of maybe two dozen people to run the va. he had little room to begin with. >> nobody backing him against these charges except the white house people. >> today scott pruitt testified on the hill and asked about the various charges surrounding him including the large raises two of his staffers got. today he said he knew about one of the races but didn't know the details. let's watch. >> i was not aware of one of those individuals even seeking a pay raise. i was an aware of another person going through the process. but i was not an aware of the
amount that was provided or the process that was utilized to evaluate that. that's what i've spoken to historically. >> that's bs directly contradicting when he denied knowing anything about the raises. let's watch. >> why did you go around the president and white house and give pay raises to two staffers. >> i did not. my staff did. i found out about that yesterday and changed it. >> i just found about it. he said many of the allegations don't resemble reality and suggested anyone attacking him was attacking trump's agenda. let's watch. >> much of what has been targeted towards me and my team has been half truths or at best stories so twisted they do not resemble reality. those who attacked the epa and me want to attack and derail the president's agenda and undermine this administration's priorities. >> i was a staffer on the hill. at the gave them money more than senators make. and he says now, i didn't know the procedure. that is bs. he approved those raises he may
not know the pennies but he knew he gave them up to $200,000 a year. >> during the clinton years, republicans would have called that answer lawyerly. he's trying to beak say i lied the last time i was on tv but i didn't know this one specific provision which gets me out of the lie. >> remember reagan? reagan gets caught telling and i it willian joke about the pope. he said i didn't tell that joke. i was giving an example of the jokes making the rounds. in other words, he was telling the joke. thank you, sam stein. up next, the wide world of donald trump, did the president's freewheeling interview there morning was classic howard beale and howard trump aside from punching back at critics he bragged about every aspect of his presidency. by the way, he gave himself ready, drum roll, an a plus. you're watching "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump covered a lot of ground on his unbridled howard beale call there morning with "fox & friends" in addition to taking on the mueller investigation, his fixer michael cohen and his latest cabinet implosion, he bragged about his handling of north korea. >> we're doing very well with north korea. and we'll see how it all comes out. look, it was very, very nasty you know, with little rocketman and with the buttons and you know, my button's bigger than -- everybody said this guy's going to get us into nuclear war. this is a much more dangerous ball game now. i will tell you it's going very well. mike pompeo did go there. he wasn't supposed to meet with kim jong-un but but he did. we have pictures of the two talking and meeting >> late today, the white house released two photos of mike pompeo with kim jong-un over the easter weekend touting pompeo's confirmation today as secretary of state. trump argued his and his party
deserved more credit on issues of race and offered another history lesson. >> people don't realize you know if you go back to the civil war, it was the republicans that really did the thing, lincoln was a republican. remember, i was going to get no black votes? i was going to get none. well, i got a lot of support. you know, i should have gotten much more. now, in fact, i used to go around saying what do you have to lose. so now they vo ford me. crime is way down. and really importantly the unemployment picture is the best it's been in the history of our country for african-americans. >> well, trump even graded his own performance as president. can you guess what he gave himself? we'll have ha next with the "hardball" roundtable. there they are. we do whatever it takes to fight cancer.
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welcome back to "hardball." among the wide-ranging topics covered in trump's freewheeling interview this morning, trump was asked to assess his job performance so far. his answer won't surprise you. >> how would you grade yourself now. >> look, i'm fighting a battle against horrible group of deep seeded people, drain the swamp that are coming up with all sorts of phony charges against me and they're not bringing up real charges against the other side. the message now everyone knows it's a fix. okay? it's a witch hunt. and they know that. i've been able to message it. i would give myself an a plus.
nobody has done what i've been able to do. i did it despite the fact that i have a phony cloud over my head that doesn't exist. >> let's bring in the roundtable. jonathan capehart ta, jan kerns, former spokeswoman for the california republican party and jonathan lew near from the "associated press." there was a michael savage edge to his voice this morning. he's angry. >> i heard him as someone who, he slounded like he was on the campaign trail like he wasn't talking to the american people. he was talking to his base who he knows -- watching "fox & friends." it was the greatest hits plus you know a little bit of michael cohen, a little bit of stormy daniels. throw in some race since we've got a red meat theme we're doing here. we're a year and a half into this, chris. and i want the guy to get new material. >> all i know is he's worried about michael cohen and he
shifted ob him like i'm in the big slip, you're in the little boat. padd padyourself away because i'm not going to see you again. >> there's a reason he sounds like the campaign trump. he's been talking with steve bannon again. that's why you see the return to president trump taking the message directly to the american people. that was a bannon thing. harkins back to the campaign. the president does have a lot to talk about. >> is he going to run for re-election? >> for certain. >> the organization is already formed in new york city. people are already in and out of the building absolutely the structure is there and building by the day. >> wow, john. >> i like the fact that he complimented kanye west on his good taste. >> you're with him. when you say anything good about this fellow, he's with you. >> the black vote was less than 10%. >> around there. he did better than romfully. >> he said they all voted for him. >> i can tell you they didn't. >> we can fact check that.
>> that's a hell of a percentage. >> even the fox news hosts seemed a little at times rattled by what he was saying. to back up your point, the president has been talking about doing this for awhile. advisers were like no, i don't think you should. >> you guys are looking like "fox & friends." one woman in the middle, two men on the outside. it's looking a lot more dangerously like "fox & friends." >> the president had a point on west. kanye west waded into this. barack obama race relations were at an all-time low under obama which is ironic. we know what candice would he wens said this week. it is true even though% voted for donald trump, the democratic party, their worst nightmare is for 5% of that to peel off. >> nixon, in every ethnic group, there's always one person that stands off to the other side. wilt chamberlain was a big nixon guy. that was about it really. >> look, if the president of the
united states has to guess back to abraham lincoln to talk about something great that republicans did for african-americans. >> was that 160s. >> by the way, it sounds like he read it in some crayon book. like he just came across it. >> probably. >> remember frederick douglass is? such great work for the republican party. >> yeah. >> look, the president wants to believe that he has a great, great record on race relations which is a fallacy and a lie. the republican party hasn't done anything specifically on race if you want to be honest about it. 1964. civil rights act. >> the big news tonight, i want to prompt you on this. he said i've been staying away from the justice department and let them do their thing. that could change. what kind of a threat was that? >> that's the headline. the idea he said i'm staying out of the justice department and let them go on with this. i'm not going to interfere until the day i might.
that is a concern. on a day that the senate committee voted through legislation to try to protect the special counsel. the president today sort of dangles a warning like hey, if this goes too far, i might step in. that could mean firing rosenstein or trying to dismiss mueller. that is as always, he says the cloud is hanging over his head. he's dangling the cloud over that. >> thank you jonathan capehart, jen kerns and jonathan lew mere. up next, it's been a mystery for decades how did reagan get his hands on jimmy carter's debate prep book? tonight we've got answers coming up next. you're watching "hardball." it can lead you on an unexpected journey... ...that brings you closer to home. for just a few days, it's only $59 to discover your heritage. so instead of telling stories of where you went... ...you can tell the story of where you come from.
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delivcrisp leaves of lettuce,s. freshly-made dressing. clean food that looks this good, eaten at your desk. panera. food as it should be. now delivered. jimmy carter came out of nowhere to win the presidency in 1976. his presidency was highlighted by his success forging a peace treaty between israel and egypt and marred by the iranian
hostage crisis. he left office with his reputation for high ethics and morality fully intact. i was proud to serve in his white house. joining me now is stu eisen stein his chief domestic policy adviser. quickly, you live in the present. you write about the past. jimmy carter left office in 1981, trump entered in 2017. that's 38 years separate. right? but here's the question. what's the difference between these guys, trump and carter. >> i didn't write the book to be anti-trump. i've worked on it for 40 years. i'm going to tell you some positive things about carter that other people make the decision. carter held his office at the highest standard of ethics. he respected his justice department. and even the independent prosecutor who happened to investigate him never criticized him. he was a great consumer
champion. he believed in conservation. and he really i think in many ways did everything possible to raise the standard of the office. he passed all the ethics bills. >> yeah. >> ethics going in, gifts while you're in, the revolving door going out, independent counsel, foreign corrupt practices act. all of these things, chris are, still there. the inspectors general, the independence of the judiciary. so he stood for a very high standard. i'll let others decide how trump relates to that. >> talk about something that made us proud. the deal between israel and egypt. tell me why he was able to bring peace between israel and egypt at the time, the one country that could make war with it and did so in '73? why did it happen with him, that kind of confrontation he brought both leaders together? >> first he was willing to break a lot of political china and take tough issues on regardless
of politics. city poured over intelligence reports about begin and sadat so he understood them. he took them to gettiesburg battlefield to show them the costs of continued war. he negotiated for 13 agonizing days and nights personally over 20 drafts and then chris, the last day, the 13th day, begin had decided no more concessions, i'm leaving. carter had a brilliant insight. he knew from the intelligence reports how much begin loved his eight grand children. he took photographs of himself begin and sa dad, hand wrote inscriptions to each of the grandchildren, walked over to a bag gin's cabin and handed it to him. as he was ready to go back, he saw the tears come in a bag gin's eyes as he went through each one of them. begin said mr. president, i'll give it one more try. the rest is lift. 40 years that treaty has never been violated central to
israel's security and to ours. >> you're part of all that. let me ask you about the great mystery. beall talked about it back then. how did reagan get hold of jimmy carter's debate book? you put the book together with burt carp and david rubenstein. it was a big book how to approach reagan, how he's going to attack you, how you defend yourself. how did that get in the hands of reagan's debate people? >> first i confirm with an interview one of 350 that i did have jim baker who was a campaign manager. >> for reagan. >> for reagan. jim told me that william casey, who was the overall chairman, had been with the oss, the president sesser of the cia during the war came in a week before the debate, plopped down our debate book and said i think you might want to look at there. baker said to me, i wasn't sure should i use it or not. i said i'm going to use it. we believe and there's a book out, as well, it has fingerprints, dave gergen's fingerprints, files.
>> who in the carter house? you write only three or four people had copies of that book. how did a copy of that book get out of the white house? out of the carter white house. >> according to the sources we have, bob dunn or lori. >> bob was our trip director >> i know. i know. >> right. he was in with corbin. >> lucy was the daughter of the governor who ran with john anderson. they gave it to paul corbin who was a labor organizer but had been arrested many times. and the thing is interesting, chris, because it shows the enmity on the kennedy side. he had been a ted kennedy supporter and the kennedy people were so as opposed to us, he got that book, switched sides, handed it to. >> casey. >> and casey did it to baker. >> you write in the bok that president carter thought that the fact that they fill muched that book from his staff, gave it to reagan's debate prep people had an influence in who won the debate. >> obviously, we had high
inflation iran and problems. the thing is this. all the polls showed before the debate, that we were ahead. after the debate, we dropped precipitously. >> i know. >> and interestingly, even after the debate, we still were even going in the last weekend when carter decided to come back and take one last look at iran and it caused a whole thing. but there's no question, they knew all of our attacks. when he said there you go again. >> was it a dirty trick? >> of course it was. baker indicates it was. >> i love reporting. stu, you're a really good write writer. you're smart. you are a very fluent writer. a hell of a book with all the stuff in it. a lot of good detective work. president cart he, the white house years, great education here. good democratic president. i was proud to work for him. let me finish tonight with trump watch. you're watching "hardball."
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trump watch, thursday april 26, 2018. the remarkable results of a fox news poll has been released. about two-thirds of us say it is important the mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion. 64% feel confident mueller is treating the white house fairly. 56% think it's likely mueller will find criminal or impeachable offenses. 71% of us think it's likely trump will fire mueller before the investigation is complete.
a majority believe the prosecutor is being fair and a smaller majority believe the investigation will find the president guilty. an overwhelming portion of the country believes the presidents will fire the prosecutor investigating him. it seems like the american people are all on the same page. this investigation is headed somewhere if the president would only allow it to get there. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes". >> tonight on all in. >> i have a phony cloud over my head that doesn't exist. >> the president's rambling tirade on trump tv. >> it's a fix, okay? it's a witch hunt. and they know that. i've been able to message it. >> unprompted musings. >> i went to russia for a day or so. a day or two. >> and explicitly threatening the russian investigation. >> our justice department which i try and stay away from but at some point i won't. >> then. >> he represents me like with this crazy stormy daniels deal.