tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 10, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
that does it for "the beat." i will be filling in for rachel maddow at 9:00 p.m. eastern tonight. s so see you then. but first it's "hardball" with chris matthews. >> deeper into russia, let's play "hardball." ♪ ♪ good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington tonight. we learn of deepening ties between trump fixer michael cohen and russia. the more those ties raise questions about donald trump's possible connections through cohen to the kremlin, the more they show why the russians would use cohen to deal with trump. the fact is that michael cohen was advertising himself as the man who see if you want to reach the new american president.
it was michael avenatti the lawyer for stormy daniels who first revealed cohen's ties to the company columbus nova, which is associated with a russian oligarch named viktor vekselberg. the u.s.-based company deposited $500,000 into a shell company, it's run by vekselberg's cousin. vekselberg is a close ally of putin. according to "the new york times," both cousins and trotter and vekselberg have been questioned by special counsel robert mueller impa. michael cohen's lawyer wrote, this document is concerning for a number of reasons, including the number of blatantly incorrect statement its contains. nbc news has reviewed financial documents that appear to support avenatti's claims. yesterday in a statement the company denied that vekselberg was involved with the payment
and said the firm was wholly owned and controlled by u.s. citizens. they added after the inauguration, the firm hired michael cohen as a business consultant regarding potential real estate issues and other ventures. mother jones cite s.e.c. filings, reporting that columbus nova had close association with vekselberg's russian company called the renova group. you can see that vekselberg's cousin in trotter described it as his affiliate. they were sanctioned but have not been accused of wrongdoing with the investigation into cohen. it's unclear where the $500,000 payment from the russian affiliated company went. but according to what avenatti says these documents show, it's a small fraction of the $4 million that michael cohen received, which some companies seemingly paid for access to the
trump administration. the russian investigation is now expanded into an equally troubling pay for play controversy tied to the stormy daniels affair. i'm joined by michael avenatti. i want to paraphrase a line from casablanca, a great film. of all the law firms in the united states, why did victktor vekselberg go into michael cohen's? >> i think it's pretty obvious. because michael cohen was advertising that he could deliver access to the highest office in the land. i mean, that's the only explanation. michael cohen is no learned hand. he's no legal genius. he doesn't know anything about accounting or real estate or aerospace or all the litany of other excuses we've heard from these companies as to why they hired michael cohen. let's call it like we see it. they hired him for access to the u.s. president, period. >> were they paying him money for a service or were they paying him to help out trump pay
offer his bills to stormy daniels? how did that money get funneled from the russians potentially? it's fungible, i know that, but how could money like that fall into the same account that paid stormy daniels off for the 130,000? >> it's a good question. there were multiple payments from january 2017 until august of 2017, totaling approximately a half a million dollars into that same bank account that michael cohen had established and used to pay the $130,000 to my client back in late october. we're not aware of significant funds having been deposited into that account during the months of november and december. by the time the russian oligarch directed that first payment in january, we believe that those funds and funds thereafter went to replenish that account from which the $130,000 had been paid. >> what was your reaction when you realized your case, which involved all kinds of aspects of the law and hanky panky and
certainly cover-up, when you realized there was a russian piece to this? >> it was shock and bewilderment when we first realized that. you go into a case, you never know what you're going to get. it's like a box of chocolates. but little did we know we were going to get this box of chocolates. and that these two distinct matters were going to be cross-pollinated. i think at this point there's no question they're cross-pollinated. you raised the issue relating to the inaccuracies or alleged inaccuracies that michael cohen's counsel have raised. i find it rather ironic. they're talking about $25,000 worth of payments, or deposits and we've identified over $3 million worth of deposits, but they don't want to talk about the payments from the oligarch or nof artis or at&t or any of that. they want to distract away from the facts because the facts are damn ugly. >> is that what michael avenatti referred to when he said it was
inaccurate? when someone's 95% right or 99% right, they call it inaccurate. what do you make of that? was avenatti talking about that difference of a couple percentage points rather than the heart of the thing which is russia money came into his bank account? >> well, you mean michael cohen. >> yeah. >> but i think that's exactly what he was referring to there. they're talking about how it's got all these inaccuracies in it, and the best they can point to is 25 grand. they haven't pointed to a single inaccuracy on the issue you've teed up tonight, which is the payments from the russian oligarch or the entity at his request. >> why do you think mueller let the southern district of new york handle this case rather than handle it as the special counsel, if it was russian-related? or he didn't know about it? >> that's an interesting question. we don't know when the referral took place. he may not have known of the payments at the time he referred
it. let me tell you what i know about bob mueller -- >> you knew what he didn't know? >> it's all a question of timing. bob mueller is an incredibly intelligent, aggressive by, one of the best in the business. and i think he'll be very careful as it relates to overstepping whatever boundaries he has by way of his mandate and i think he's wise to do that. >> would you tell a judge your source for this document, this information about the russians and his cousin and trotter and this guy? will you turn that over to a judge on request? >> it would depend on the circumstances of the request and whether we could protect the source of our information under the attorney/client privilege. let me say this, we haven't done anything wrong in this case. we welcome the investigation by the treasury department. we're confident we're going to be cleared. the bottom line is, the american people deserve to have this information. the remaining bank documents should be turned over by michael cohen. if he doesn't have anything to
hide, he ought to release the 14 or 15 months' another of bank statements and let's be done with it. they're not going to do that, because we've only scratched the surface. this whole thing stinks. >> what did you make of the mother jones story? david corn's operation, they dug in deep, they show a strong connection between these american cousins, and trader, with vekselberg. >> they have a lot of history in this. they did a piece not too long ago, looking into many of the same issues. i thought that piece was pretty solid, very well reported. i was impressed they were able to do it in such a short period of time. i read it and came away very impressed with its conclusions. >> great to come on the show. thank you. >> thank you. >> for more, let's turn to kim waily, former assistant u.s. attorney and ken dilanian for nbc news. your thoughts about the relationship between the cousin over here in the united states who apparently they're saying was making the $500,000
investment with michael cohen's firm, saying he's unrelated to his cousin in russia who may have had a geopolitical interest in this whole thing, that's certainly larger than some cousin in the united states. what do you make of the claim of independence? >> listen, i think it looks like people are making whatever kind of factual distinctions they can make and it's grasping at straws at this point. we're beyond the point where anyone could legitimately say there was no collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. i mean, we have after the election, we have a russian oligarch funneling money to mr. trump's personal lawyer and we don't know where that money went. i mean, this is well beyond atmospherics of kind of being specific and detail oriented on some of these facts. i mean, we're all head-spinning at this point. because it's so complicated. it's a hot mess. and i'm glad that robert mueller is going to sort it out for the american people. because it looks like congress isn't going to do anything about
it from a political standpoint. >> what do you make of this bag of tricks? this guy is the jack of all trades apparently, michael cohen. he's an accountant, a consultant. he helps people with real estate. this money is pouring in and they write down what he's doing for them. and you wonder if they're just buying influence and they have to put something on the paper, kim. i don't know what the russian wants, but he went around all the law firms in new york and found out which one was trump's, who was his fixer. of all the law firms in new york, it comes down to, why did they walk into his? this guy's no big lawyer. >> so it's access to mr. trump, which on the campaign trail of course he made a big deal out of, with respect to hillary clinton. and we also have to wonder, okay, the math isn't adding up. we know $130,000 went to stormy daniels, but there was a lot more money in that account. did it go to pay people to influence the election, to hack some of the e-mails? did it go in exchange for lifting or being easy on sanctions for -- mr. cohen also
worked on a potential pro-ukrainian, pro-russian deal. we don't know any of these things. but we're so beyond -- the bigger question in my mind is, how big is the fraud on the american people? are we going to actually clean house and start getting things in order? because this is just getting very, very disturbing. >> ken dilanian, your thoughts? >> chris, what we obviously have here is a massive influence peddling scandal. michael cohen is getting money from companies purely because of his access to donald trump. the question is, do we also have a russia connection? do we have a collusion connection with this oligarch, vekselberg? and i find it incredible that michael cohen was willing to accept half a million dollars from a russian-linked entity when the russia scandal was breaking. he had been named in the dossier as having gone to a meeting in prague.
he denies this. but essentially coordinating a cover-up of connections between the trump campaign and russia. he's clearly part of the russia investigation. this is a guy whose father-in-law is ukrainian, he's been doing business with the russians for years. he was involved with the trump tower moscow, with a russian guy who's been linked to the mob. so the idea that he would take money from vekselberg, and he also accepted money from at&t and from a drug company. we can understand that, that's washington. we've seen that movie before. but what did this russia-linked firm want from the trump administration? that's not obvious. it's not entirely clear. did it want sanctions relief? vekselberg has an interest in a major aluminum firm that is also owned by oleg deripaska, a man under sanctions, having to reli relinquish his stake in that company. lot of fascinating questions here. >> why is it that everybody working with trump and the campaign, the transition, and
now it seems, have one relationship with trump and another one with russians? i go back to my old arguments. i've never seen so many russian related figures in my history of covering politics. they're all russia related in some way. >> i agree with you, we've never seen anything like it. now donald trump has a history of being in the real estate business in russia. the condos in florida are called little moscow. his son once said, a large percentage of our assets are coming from russians. we don't know the answer. potentially robert mueller knows the answer, if he's got trump's tax returns and his business records. he knows to what extent trump has been in business with and in debt to russians. but the american public elected donald trump without knowing the answer to that and i think it hangs over the trump presidency, chris. >> thanks so much, kim and ken. coming up, vice president mike pence says it's time to wrap up the mueller
investigation. really, mr. vice president? just as new avenues of possible collusion are starting to emerge. that sounds like richard nixon saying a year of watergate is enough. and john mccain says gina haspel's refusal to denounce torture is disqualifying. can mccain still have influence on a party that's drifted so far to the right? and can trump use his breakthrough on the international stage to get a fresh face on his presidency? size ph that's the question for the "hardball" roundtable tonight. and you won't like this one, this is "hardball." you might learn from this one, however. it's where the action is. s moret than a good bedside manner. i don't know how to say this. it's ok doc. give it to me straight. no you don't understand. i don't know how to say this. i'm just a tv doctor.
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trump. officials tell "the times" that trump berated her on wednesday in front of the entire cabinet for what he said was her failure to adequately secure the nation's borders. two of those officials say that nielsen has drafted a resignation letter, but has yet to submit it. trump has reportedly urged nielsen to be more aggressive in handling illegal immigration according to "the times." quote, one persistent has been mr. trump's belief that miss nielsen and other officials in the department were resisting his direction that parents should be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the united states. a report adds one person close to miss nielsen said she is miserable in her job. in a statement late today, nielsen said she won't be leaving her post. we'll be right back. the next big thing in food was once a little paper box. now we can easily take out food from a restaurant. let's stay in and binge-watch the snow. genius.
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robert mueller and trump's legal team. the latest sign, vice president mike pence today called for an end to the special counsel's russia probe altogether. here's what he said when andrea mitchell asked him about robert mueller. >> do you think he can be trusted? do you think he's a bad guy? >> you know, our administration has been fully cooperating with the special counsel. >> do you think his investigation is a hoax? >> and will continue to. what i think is that it's been about a year since this investigation began. our administration's provided over a million documents. we fully cooperated in it. in the interest of the country, i think it's time to wrap it up. and i would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion. >> well, pence's language which comes as we approach the one-year anniversary of the mueller probe, is eerily similar to what he heard from former
president richard nixon after a year of the watergate investigation. >> i refer of course to the investigations of the so-called watergate affair. as you know, i have provided to the special prosecutor voluntarily, a great deal of material. i believe that i have provided all the material that he needs to conclude his investigations. i believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. one year of watergate is enough. >> we know how that worked out for nixon. but pence could also be foreshadowing something more. rudy giuliani told "the wall street journal" this week that trump's legal team has set a one-year anniversary of the probe as the date they hope to decide whether to comply with mueller's request to interrogate the president. that's a week from now.
today rudy giuliani also suggested he blamed rosenstein, not mr. mueller, for the russia probe. he said that rosenstein put mueller in his position as special counsel to, quote, steamroll the president. joining me now, robert, on the reporting end of this i think this, what do you think? do you think the vice president was on a mission there from the president? >> he's toeing the administration's line. the vice president didn't go that far with his rhetoric, but he knows that people from rudy giuliani to president trump, people inside the administration, continue to call for this investigation to end. he's echoing those sentiments as he has many issues in the past. >> who is the message to? because it can't be to the prosecutor, to mueller. is it pressure they think will come in the polls? how do they think it's going to work its way to making any difference, this call to end it?
>> the timing is important. it comes as republicans, some establishment republicans in capitol hill are ratcheting up criticism of special counsel mueller. there's talk of impeachment measures forwarded in the house by conservatives who are close to president trump. vice president is close to the koch brothers, with financial interests in the republican party. he's from a different wing. he's showing that that wing, not just the trump wing, has real concern about the mueller probe. >> what do you make of this pegging it to the one-year anniversary? i think once again in the trump administration, didn't know their history and realize that nixon pulled the same number. >> right. it's a way of making concrete, chris, the duration, the time. there's been argument that the mueller investigation has gone on for too long. so one of the ways in which donald trump, forever the showman, forever the reality show director, wants to make that concrete by ending or making the decision on the year
anniversary. so at that moment, you could say it's been 365 days. right? and so i think it's really about optics at that moment. >> well, pence's call to end the probe comes after george f. will said that vice president pence has overtaken president trump has america's most repulsive public figure. will writes in "the washington post" that trump is what he is, a floundering inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not at all compensating vanities. why would pence be such a useful tool of this president's? >> well, let's be very clear. since the election, we have been kind of keeping pence apart, separating him from donald trump. the reason why michael flynn was fired is because he lied to pence. with this interview, joe
scarbrough made it clear this morning, we need to ask mike pence, what did you know and when did you know it? he's completely implicated now, i think, in a very serious way. he led the transition team and now he's carrying the water as bob costa just said. so part of what i think george will is getting at, we know who donald trump is. donald trump is clear, he will lie to you, straight to your face. he's clear. he's a narcissist. i want the ratings, i must be number 1. he's clear, i'm greedy, i'm going to pursue money at all costs. he's clear who he is. but mike pence claims to be the moralist, the person who seems to embody a kind of pious orientation, who's always talking about his values, yet what is being revealed is that he wants to be a toddy for a charlatan. >> let me stop you there. what is the pence/russia connection? is there one? >> well, i'm not sure.
i really don't know. >> you said he's in on this now. you said he's part of this russia problem. how so? >> well, part of what i meant was, there's a claim that he didn't know, that he wasn't aware of what was happening. and so part of what i've been -- what i believe, is that he's been on the inside since the beginning. when chris christie was removed from the transition team, who was made -- who was placed in charge? it was mike pence. and so all the folks who came through came through him. >> i have a question for robert on the reporting end. what is this new focus of anger, antipathy toward rod rosenstein? is he the new guy they're trying to get out of there, the trump people? >> there's a real fight going on between the house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes, freedom caucus chairman mark nunes. both republicans, friendly with trump. they're trying to uncover more
documents related to the surveillance warrants of trump campaign associates a couple years ago and trying to find out more about what happened. the data behind it. and the fbi, the doj are wary of giving up too much information on that because they could put sources at risk. that's what i've reported this week with my colleagues. >> sounds like they're focusing on getting rid of rosenstein. thank you, eddie and robert. up next, senator john mccain urges his colleagues now to reject trump's pick to head the cia. he says gina haspel's refusal to condemn torture is disqualifying. but will he be able to sway the congress on this issue? this is "hardball," where the action is. thought much of it at all. people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool?
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i think that we should hold ourselves to a stricter, moral standard and i would never allow cia to be involved in coercive interrogations. >> where was that moral compass at the time? >> senator, that was 17 years ago. when you're out in the trenches at far-flung outposts in the globe and washington says, here's what we need you to do, this is legal. >> i know you believed it was legal. i want to see -- i want to feel, i want to trust that you have the moral compass that you said you have. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump's nominee for cia director gina haspel during hers confirmation
hearing yesterday. struggling to say whether she thought torture was immoral. during the hearing, haspel answered questions using her role with enhanced interrogation techniques after the 9/11 attacks. last night, senator mccain proved once again he's willing to buck his party and the president. he said while he believes haspel's a patriot, her role in overseeing the use of torture by americans is disturbing, her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying. i believe the senate should exercise its duty of advise and consent and reject this nomination. according to "the hill" newspaper, quote, it doesn't matter, he's dying anyway. the white house did not deny this account, according to "the hill" newspaper. they said in a statement that we respect senator mccain's service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time. mccain, who is battling brain cancer, will likely not be back
in washington for the actual vote. haspel's confirmation isn't the only issue he's taken a moral stand on. according to an advance copy of his new book, he writes that he stands by his decision, late in 2016 to provide then fbi director james comey with a copy of a russian dossier from christopher steele. he writes, even a remote risk that the president of the united states might be vulnerable to russian extortion had to be investigated. ron, take on two figures that are in the news right now on the issue of torture, john mccain and dick cheney. how are they doing in this moral battle? >> they've been at this moral battle for a long time. john mccain was the conscience of america on this, having been tortured so brutally himself. that brought about change in 2003, 2004, 2005, when it start
said to become clear what we were doing. cheney, unrepentant, i did the right thing, i'd do it again. mccain saying, this is not who we are as a people. right to the finish, 17 years later. >> what do you make of cheney while he's at it? i think i know the answer, because i've watched him for decades. is it just a killer instinct, he just destroy his opponents, whether domestic or foreign? they must be destroyed, killed? >> cheney is a guy -- cheney will go to his grave saying he did the right thing. he doesn't care how many reports say it's not effective, it costs us so much, it gains us virtually nothing. the spanish inquisition, chinese water torture, this has been around for a long time. cheney will not give. that's his way. let history decide, i'm standing on my position. and basically you know what, go to hell. >> he's the guy that lied and
said iraq had nuclear weapons, knowing they didn't? >> absolutely right. >> how do you explain that? >> the fact of the matter is, cheney has always been a player who believes ends justify means. i will do what i need to do at time present. debate it all you want once it's over, and he's that way now with torture, just like he is with wmd. history's judgment is really clear on this, chris. look at all those years we went through all the debates in the 2000s to finally bury torture, to admit water boarding is torture and say, it ain't good for the united states. it undermines our basic values to the world and as a people. people agreed on that, 2007, bush signs executive orders, obama follows with other ones. now like a demon it rises again. significantly because gina haspel is picked by trump to be the person who should lead the cia. let's ask this question. of all the officers, all the fine talent, men and women both in the intelligence community, why pick this one person
literally one person, who is the most controversial figure involved in this most controversial policy of the united states. >> you're the best. thank you very much for coming on. up next, president trump welcomed the detainees he helped bring back to american soil. but can this erase the damage caused by his scandals? you're watch "hardball." liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe. yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that.
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so, i want to thank you all. it's very early in the morning. i think you probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3:00 in the morning. that i would say. >> that was donald trump of course overnight welcoming home three american detainees freed by north korea. trump built on that positive development hours later announcing a date and location for his upcoming talks with
north korea's leader. trump wrote on twitter, the highly anticipated meeting will take place in singapore on june 12th. we will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace. some see trump's success on the world stage as a chance for him to put a fresh new positive face on his presidency. writing in "the washington post," phil rucker reports that for trump, each bold stroke is like a spritz of febreeze on his narrative of domestic scanned, momentarily masking the expanding russia probe of special counsel robert mueller. >> michael crowley for politico, heidi plibis and anita kumar for mcclanchy. >> will this work? >> it's high reward, but my risk. right now, what you have is trump getting ready for one of the most extraordinary meetings we've seen in diplomatic history, in the modern era.
and it's pushing the russia scandal out of the headlines. he's got a great flair for theater. that event last night was uncanny stage craft. it was pretty weird to be talking about the ratings when you have three guys released from captivity from a brutal nation. but the lead-up is great. the problem is, there's huge risk involved. he's going to the summit, it's going to dominate the headlines. but if he doesn't clinch a clear successful detail, things could get scary really quickly. former joint chiefs of staff michael mullen gave a speech that got a little bit overshadowed by trump ripping up the iran nuclear deal. he warned that he thinks we're closer to nuclear war with north korea than ever before. because if the summit doesn't go well, we're back to talking about military actions. so i think it's a little early for trump to be counting his ducks. he's having a nice run on these foreign policy issues dominating the headlines, pushing out the stories he doesn't like. and the rewards could be very high.
but the risk remains extremely high. so i think right now, we have to be very cautious about it. >> let's continue the febreeze metaphor. febreeze only masks major odors. so if there's a major failure on either front, north korea or iran, like michael says, in the end, what matters is the results. it matters how this ends. we took a huge gamble in scrapping this iran agreement. and now according to state department briefing that was on background, without really a plan b for what is going to happen. it's possible that the iranians could cry uncle and give us a better deal. or it's possible that the europeans who we are counting on to execute all of this, say, no, and balk. it's possible they don't let inspectors in. there's a lot of ways this could end badly, including getting involved in another major confrontation in the middle east. and i bring you back to some of the major pillars of america first. if you recall, chris, a major
pillar of america first was getting us out of these conflicts, these never-ending cycle of war in the middle east. so that is where i think it really hurt him with his base, if we march into yet another armed conflict in the middle east. >> sure, i think it's working in the short-term. they're really banking and counting on all the theatrics of yesterday. but it's two days in a row now. there are a lot of people who are concerned about getting out of the iran nuclear deal, but his supporters are happy he made good on a campaign promise. and i think he felt good about that. the next day, we have north korea. he went out to the airport, to andrews air force base, took the first lady, took the vice president. today all day the white house was talking about how well they did. they sent out a statement to the media saying it was the president's victory for the world. they're feeling good about it. what they're banking on, in
washington, everybody's obsessed with the russia investigation. but out in the rest of america, they care about security, foreign policy and security, and they care about the economy. both of those things, depending on who you are, you're doing pretty well right now. so they're feeling pretty good about that. they think they can ride that for a while. >> well, the first two of you had a different premise than the third of you. because the first two of you assumed it wasn't going to work. but anita is arguing that it could well work. i want to get back to you, michael and also to heidi. suppose it does work. suppose we get them to give up their nuclear weapons, won't that overshadow a lot of the bad stuff, or won't it? your thoughts, michael? >> chris, i think -- i mean, yes. the answer is yes, but it's going to be a real puzzle, because that will be, first of all, a jaw-dropping foreign policy success. and you just are going to have to give donald trump a lot of credit. you're going to say that his extremely unconventional approach to foreign policy has had a breakthrough success. at the same time, does that mean you can dismiss the domestic scandals? i guess it's gonna be a
political question. how does the american public, how do the congress feel about the fact that you may have had a president who committed potential crimes that are being investigated, versus a guy who has eliminated a grave threat to the united states in the form of a nuclear armed hostile power. i don't think you can predict how that will play out. but you cannot deny the accolades this president will get if he strikes a real deal with kim. but one last point, chris, they could walk away from that summit with a lot of nice words and even a piece of paper that looks great. but following through on that deal, and in particular, verifying it, that the north koreans have dismantled dozens of nuclear weapons across a very large, mountainous country is going to be extremely hard and take many years. success is going to take a long time to establish. >> chris, we've set the bar so high for this deal with north korea and it comes amid rejection of the iran deal.
we cannot accept a deal sorry to the deal we cut with iran which may be in a previous situation and different reality trump would have eagerly accepted and called it a victory. we can't do that now. and kim jong-un also is watching what's going on with trump supporters, egging him on and saying that he already deserves a nobel peace prize, that a deal is already baked in the cake. and so the trump administration is very much dependent -- the trump administration is now dealing with a kim jong-un who feels that he has a really strong negotiating position. >> well said. made for tv welcoming ceremony overnight, president trump also had some unexpected praise, i don't know where it came from, for north korea's leader. let's watch. >> we want to thank kim jong-un who really was excellent to these three incredible people. they are really three incredible people.
>> you know, there's also possibilities that you're watching what looks like a reality show. he talked about the idea of a big crowd in terms of ratings at 3:00 in the morning. would have thought about ratings when you're bringing home captives who have been over there for a while? tell me what historical echo -- i remember when reagan had been horrified like we all were, by the loss of 241 marines in lebanon when that barracks was attacked. i wonder if he can mask it that way, what's going on with everything, with stormy daniels and all that, in this short run. >> first of all, we're overwhelmed by headlines, it's impossible to remember. eric schneiderman feels like it happened in december and it's the beginning of this week. there's a phrase in military theory, they say, escalate to
deescalate. trump had the whole nation terrified we were on the brink of nuclear war. suddenly he did this 180-degree pivot. admittedly with north korea being willing to come to the table, he's dramatically changed his rhetoric, dropped the insults and threats and now he's complimenting kim, which is bewildering, but it's creating a sense of euphoria, in contrast to the deep alarm people were feeling on the other hand. maybe you have to give the guy credit. he's a psychological master, pulling the strings of our emotions and we'll see if it's going to lead to real results. again, that's the big question. >> obama also got -- >> if this doesn't work out, can he pull a reality tv number and say, i'm firing you, to kim jong-un? just blame it on him and walk away as if he came off the boss. can he pull it off with this guy like he did on television? >> he can pull it off with his base. but at the end of the day, we're going to walk away from this,
there's going to be a lot of footage of trump building up the anticipation here that we're going to have a major breakthrough and he's going to get a nobel peace prize for it. >> so true. >> so i think for everyone other than his base, it's going to be a failure. >> i'm with heidi. the expectations now are so incredibly high. but look, this is going to be happening in the next few weeks. i still think that people around the country really, number one, care about the economy, and that's going to be the major issue for the mid terms. it's not looking good for republicans. i'm not sure that whee che can about that. but i still think the economy is the number one issue. up next, we'll be back with tell me something i don't know. you're watching "hardball." groo. laura can clean up a retriever that rolled in foxtails, but she's not much on "articles of organization." articles of what? so, she turned to legalzoom. they helped me out. she means we helped with her llc, trademark, and a lot of
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we're back with the "hardball" round table. michael, tell me something i don't know. >> you might know that the u.s. ambassador in jerusalem is opening monday. jared kushner and a u.s. delegation will be there. there had been a lot of speculation that might be the moment for the u.s. to drop a proposed middle east peace plan. chris, expectations are very low that's going to happen. i know state department employees have been given guidance to give a generic answer. we're still working hard on the plan and will present it if the time is right when asked about this don't be holding your breath for a plan next week. >> heidi? >> chris, the investigations into russia are taking on many forms, including what's going on in the southern district of new york, but one that hasn't got a lot of attention that maybe should is an outside civil suit that's been filed by a group of victims of the wikileak hack. two democratic national committee donors and also a former employee at the dnc whose personal information was hacked,
including social security numbers and they're claiming damages. they are suing and they're getting a hearing on may 17th. and so far this case is going forward and may 17th they'll get their hearing. >> anita? >> sure, there has been a lot of talk about how republicans are in trouble in the midterm elections. i'll give you a statistic that shows just how good the democrats feel. in the charlotte area of north carolina, there was a primary on tuesday and the first incumbent republican congressman lost. he was the first one to lose in 2018, but what was interesting about it is the democrat who won, who easily won, dan mccready, he got more votes than all three republicans combined. the democrats will really be coming out in full force. >> i've always had a lot of hope for north carolina. thank you, michael crowley, heidi pryzbyla. as you can clearly see,
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trump watch thursday, may 10th, 2018. they're back, the people who ran the george w. bush presidency into the ground, those whose instinct is for war, who speak in the neo con language of wmd and homeland and regime change. john bolton, who want the united states to bomb iran and has said so again and again now has the title and position of national security adviser, at a time when his country's security is far down on his list of ambitions,
well behind the many world capitals he continues to want to overthrow, starting with tehran. another aligarch of the neo con order showed up. dick cheney showed up as a witness for torture. he wants it. he likes having it in his toolbox. both these hawks are back with their heads up in public, as if we forgot their actions early in this century, when they took the president to a war that only made sense to those who never had to fight a war. now they're back on their road to taking another president to another war in iran. listen to their words. some of us saw these neo cons beating the drum to invade baghdad. listen to the weeks ahead. listen hard, how they killed the deal restricting iran's nuclear program they'll still be popping up with a case for a military strike. they want this war. they've said so before.
name a war the neo cons haven't wanted. mr. president, keep an eye on these guys. they took down one president. they're gunning for a second. that's it for "hardball." "all in with chris hayes" starts now. tonight on "all in" -- the president weighs in n his attorney's secret slush fund. >> he was selling access to the highest office in the land, at best that's what he was doing. >> tonight why the best case scenario for president trump's lawyer is looking less and less likely. then as the white house echoes a former president -- >> i think it's time to wrap it up. >> one year of watergate is enough. >> -- the latest devin nunes trick to stop mueller. >> i like shelden a lot. what to expect as the time and place for the summit