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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 23, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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you can catch our exclusive extras as well as any night's show commercial-free. now, that does it for us. i'll see you back tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. can he handle the truth? let's play "hardball." well, today we live in a country governed by a head of state who believes in his right to dictate the truth and to punish those who refuse to speak it. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. in his latest attempt to erase, distort, or otherwise dictate the truth, president trump today threatened to punish his critics who have spoken out about russian interference. six former officials now face the prospect of losing their security clearances. they include former cia director john brennan, who is also an msnbc analyst. former nsa director michael hayden and former director of national intelligence james
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clapper among others. the officials are known for their outspoken defense of the u.s. intelligence community. they've all backed the conclusion that russia interfered in the 2016 election. and many have expressed alarm that the trump campaign may have collaborated with the kremlin to do just that. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders made that unprecedented announcement in an almost choreographed response today to a question served up by jen gizzie of the conservative outlet news max. >> senator rand paul today made a strong attempt to vitiate the credibility of former cia director john brennan, saying that he's, and i quote, "monetizing his security clearance and that it should be removed from him. he even called on the president to do this. >> not only is the president looking to take away brennan's security clearance, he's also looking into the clearances of comey, clapper, hayden, rice,
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and mccabe. the president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they've politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances, making baseless accusations of improper contact with russia or being influenced by russia against the president is extremely inappropriate and the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. >> well, this follows another attempt by the president to dictate reality when it comes to the kremlin's interference in the 2016 election. in a tweet last night the president appeared to claim that russia's attack on the election was itself a hoax, an apparent effort by trump to convince his base out there that it never happened, none of it. trump wrote, "so president obama knew about russia before the election. why didn't he do something about it? why didn't he tell our campaign? because it's all a big hoax, that's why. and he thought crooked hillary was going to win." in yet another reversal by this
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president after he repeatedly waffled last week over whether he believes russia attacked our election. however, sarah sanders said today that the president was not calling russian interference a hoax but was instead referring to allegations of collusion. >> so does he believe the interference was a big hoax or does he have faith in the intelligence agencies that have concluded definitively the other way? >> we maintain that russia interfered in the elections. the president, however, very much so and has repeatedly, as again have the rest of us, that his campaign colluding in that process is a total hoax and we still hold strong to that. >> he suggested overall that it's a hoax, though. >> president is referencing the collusion component. >> the president's reference. give me a break. joining me now is robert costa, political reporter for the "washington post." natasha bertrand, staff writer for "the atlantic." ken dilanian, national security reporter with nbc news, and david jolley, a former republican congressman from florida. i want to start a little out of
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order. what happened yesterday, robert, donald trump is for his own purposes an excellent communicator. nobody knew better how to reach the american sort of nervous system in 2016 than this guy. on immigration, all kinds of issues, stupid wars, he knew how to communicate. how come day after day now, we have to have a retranslation, a reinterpretation of everything he says? would? well, actually i meant wouldn't. i'm sorry wouldn't meant would. no, no didn't mean know in that context, it meant no in some other context. then we had yesterday talking to his base it's a hoax. today for the intellectual press he didn't mean that, he meant something much more narrow. is trump lying here when he says it's a hoax one day and has this person say the next day continuities a hoax? where's the truth? >> every day he's swinging his political ax against the credibility of the ongoing special counsel investigation, raising questions about its existence, working with congressional allies like devin nunes, the house intelligence committee chairman, to question
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the whole investigation from the start, its origin, the documents involved, the fisa warrants. he continues to refer to it as a hoax on social media. it's all about rallying the base around this presidency before mueller issues that report. >> and so to gather that up into one thought, today when he decided to go out and say we're going to deny intelligence briefings, the regular security briefings given the former top security people, we're going to deny those briefings because we want to punish people who don't sing my song basically, what's that about? >> the justice department, when it began the russia investigation, believes it had probable cause to start looking into the trump campaign, into different connections it may have had with the russian government or russian figures. what the president is doing when you talk to his advisers and his allies, he's trying to raise questions about the entire intelligence community, about core institutions of government, the fbi, department of justice, cia, about how they're scrutinizing him and his campaign and his campaign
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associates. >> well, i'll give you a nasty interpretation, natasha. i think he's out there to diminish the credibility of anybody krit sooigz him. we're not going to give him an intelligence briefing because they're out there making money on intelligence. they're monday tiges all this information. reduce them to guys just suck up money when in fact they're actually criticizing him for what he's done. he's destroying his opposition. >> i mean, it's pretty rich to have the white house complain about people monetizing their public service when the president of course visits his own golf courses and properties so much. but this is all about his obsession with attacking the professionalism of the very intelligence community that now is investigating him. that's really what it comes down to. what all these people have in common whose clearances that he wants revoked and whose clearances he does have the power to revoke is that they could potentially bear witness to him in the investigation. they could be witnesses against him as part of the russia investigation because they were all in some way a part -- >> what's that mean, to say you don't get a security clearance? if you're a guy like john brenn
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who's been docking the hell out of the guy i think appropriately. but what's it mean to say sorry, johnny no, more security briefing -- what's that mean? no more clearance. >> oftentimes these former intelligence, national security officials are called back into classified briefings, they're called back to give advice to people that are now in their roles. and we rely on them a lot. this is all a big national security issue because we rely on their expertise and their institutional knowledge. and if they don't have that clearance and they're not able to discuss these classified things with their -- with the current people in their jobs then that is a serious national security issue. >> i think it's a way of reprimanding or punishing people. reacting to the threat of having his security clearance pulled, james clapper said his clearance was nothing to do with his criticism of the president. >> well, the security clearance has nothing to do with how i or any of us feel about the president. and i don't get briefings. i'm not -- i don't have access
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to any classified information. it's frankly more of a courtesy that former senior officials in the intelligence community are extended a courtesy of keeping a security clearance. i haven't had occasion to use it. and it would not -- has no bearing whatsoever on, you know, my regard or lack thereof for president trump or what he's doing. i think this is just a very, very petty thing to do. and that's about all i'll say about it. >> former director michael hayden told nbc news that "i don't go back tore classified briefings although they occasionally ask me in to offer a view on something," as natasha just said. "won't have any impact on what i say or write." ken, you're the specialist on this. this is petty. i like that. jack kennedy once killed the subscription at the white house for the "new york herald tribune" which was a moderate republican newspaper. wish we still had a moderate republican newspaper. and of course nixon he wouldn't
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talk to -- he said no more interviews with the "washington post," don't let them in the house, i'll fire you if you let them in. what's this about pettiness here? why is trump thinking he can hurt the critics by denying them clearances? >> chris, i feel like we say this every week, but this really is a new low. people who practice law in the security clearance world say there's no precedent for this in american history. an american president using the power that he has over classified information to lash out at his political enemies. it's nixonian, chris. >> i think it is. >> and the hoax comment is so deeply cynical because look, donald trump has been briefed on very detailed intelligence that we have not seen in public that shows that vladimir putin supervised this russian interference operation. he's seen e-mails. he's seen communications intercepts. he's seen the fruits of human source reporting. he knows exactly what happened. and he's saying the opposite to feed his base. >> sarah huckabee sanders claims -- i don't like that word. says these former intelligence officials have politicized their public service. however, the former director of the defense intelligence agency, michael flynn himself, kept his security clearance during
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obama's presidency despite leading this overtly political chant. never forget. he had a clearance when he did this at the 2016 republican convention in cleveland. [ crowd chanting "lock her up" ] >> lock her up. that's right. yeah, that's right. lock her up! you guys are good. damn right. you're exactly right. there's nothing wrong with that! >> david jolley, former congressman. sir, thank you for joining me. i don't think that will be as resounding as the jail bars close with a clang they make when they slam them shut, he'll be hearing that lock her up. my thoughts on that, unless he cuts a really good deal. the partisanship of his behavior right there on the stage, on the podium was obvious and undeniable. he never lost his clearance because trump -- because president obama didn't do that kind of thing. your thoughts about what this guy's doing.
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obama. >> hypocrisy on display from sarah sanders and frankly speaking for the president sb enormous right now. to robert's point the president's trying to eliminate the good actors in this political script, and he is empowering the bad actors. it's very important to understand what goes into a security clearance background check. they ask about undisclosed infidelities, undisclosed financial exposure, if you're overleveraged. they're looking for pressure points for where somebody might be manipulated. but the only test of fidelity, the only question of faithfulness that they ask in a security clearance questionnaire is faithfulness to the country. fidelity to the nation. they don't ask about fidelity to a political party or to a political actor or frankly even to the president of the united states. what the president's doing right now is a garbage moment. he is suggesting that only people who agree with him politically should have access to critical national security information. and in the long run if he pursues this what it will do is it will close off the counsel he
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receives as the commander in chief. that is why it is more dangerous than we realize today. this is not merely a political moment. this is a moment of national security as natasha referred to. >> well, i want to ask robert about that little alley-oop play we saw in the press briefing today where a reporter who's apparently favorable to this administration just happened to have the question ready that sarah wanted to have asked, which was what about this whole question of security clearances? he asked the question. she -- it looked to me like a setup. what do you think? >> i don't know mr. -- >> are reporters supposed to play those games? i like when reporters say i want the other reporter to let me finish my question, i want that other reporter to get an answer to her question. but then we saw what looked to me like a little relationship there between a reporter and the press spokesman. your thoughts. >> well, that's speculation. i agree, reporters shouldn't play games. but that's not to say that mr. gizzi aechlt played a game. i don't have more information to offer on that, chris. what we're looking at is an administration, though, that's facing not just these questions on what's going on with the
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intelligence community but the paul manafort trial hovering over the entire presidency. will michael cohen, the president's long-time lawyer, cooperate? the russia question is not just about president putin. it's not just about the obama administration intelligence officials. it's a political firestorm that surrounds this presidency. that's what has so many white house officials and trump advisers and allies really on edge day to day. >> david, what did that look like you to watching that in the press room today? where it looked like there's a little cooperation from the far right reporter with the white house. your thoughts. did you watch it? >> so -- i did. whether or not mr. gizzie was involved in it -- and frankly i know him and i'm not sure he was. but what we do know was sarah sanders was prepared to deliver a very scripted moment. regardless of what the question was. she came to the podium ready to say, that reset the political narrative that we're going to be talking about tonight, and frankly draw a line on behalf of this president, that he's willing to revoke security clearances of his political opponents. >> ken? >> chris, it goes back even
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further than that. there's a whole machinery in place. this started with a story on fox news with tucker carlson. then it went to breitbart. and then rand paul started raising questions about it. this looked completely orchestrated to us, many of us who were watching this unfold. then it went into the white house briefing room. and now the president is threatening to revoke the security clearances of american patriots who served both republicans and democrats. >> it reminds me of the old play with judy miller where they do the alley-oop getting him ready for "meet the press." and then dick cheney would come in there, well, as we heard -- as we read in the "new york times" today, you know, tim, as we -- that avuncular bonding crap that goes on. your thoughts? >> chris -- >> i'm sorry. who wants to jump in here? go ahead. >> chris, this is a white house that is now run communicationswise by bill shine, the long-time friend of sean hannity and the former fox news executive. that's who's helping to run the com shop. >> isn't that sleep? i like to know that halle slasie's running the operation.
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third world government. natasha bertrand, david jolly and ken dilanian. the president lashed out at his long-time lawyer and fixer overt weekend and today we learned the federal government officials have more of his tapes. apparently a dozen more. what damage can they do to trump? lots of tape out there. all in the -- well, in the hands of the federal prosecutors. plus fire and fury the sequel. trump stays up late to shout at iran on twitter while at the same time seething behind the scenes over lack of progress in north korea. hey, mr. president, there was two years of negotiations to end the korean war. that's the way they are over there. read the history books. and the far left makes a play for the center of the party, the democratic party. does the sanders-ocasio-cortez help or hurt democrats in november? the round table weighs in on that baby. plus dick cheney, that's how you say, it gets duped by comedian sacha baron cohen. finally let me finish with trump watch. you won't like this one. this is "hardball," where the action is.
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a federal judge has postponed the start of paul manafort's trial in washington for almost a week. the trial will now start next tuesday, july 31st. the judge, however, rejected manafort's request to delay the trial even longer to give his legal team more time to prepare. today that same judge also approved prosecutors' request to allow five witnesses to testify under immunity. it's going to be a tough trial for this fella here in d.c. we'll be right back. what?! -welcome. -[ gasps ] a bigger room?! -how many of you use car insurance? -oh. -well, what if i showed you this? -[ laughing ] ho-ho-ho! -wow. -it's a computer. -we compare rates to help you get the price and coverage that's right for you. -that's amazing! the only thing that would make this better is if my mom were here. what?! an unexpected ending!
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cohen secretly recorded a conversation during the presidential campaign with trump in which they discussed buying the rights to karen mcdougal's story from the parent company of the "national enquirer." mcdougal, the former "playboy" model, says she had a roughly ten-month affair with trump beginning in 2006, something the white house denied again today. days before the election the "wall street journal" revealed that the "national enquirer" had purchased mcdougal's story only to sit on it, a process known as catch and kill. the recording was seized during the april raid into cohen's office and hotel by federal investigators. well, sources with knowledge tell cnbc that it was trump's own legal team that decided to release the tape, allowing trump's new lawyer, rudy giuliani, the ability to release his version of the tape's contents to put the spin on it. earlier today the special master overseeing the materials seized in the raid announced that there were at least 12 audio recordings which federal prosecutors will have access to. for more i'm joined by michael
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avenatti, attorney for stormy daniels and kimberly whaley, former assistant u.s. attorney and law professor. michael, thank you for coming on. i think you have a good political sense of this whole thing about your client stormy daniels and what michael cohen would be up to. do you think michael cohen is now based upon these recordings, now that he has all these recordings in hand as evidence to any case he wants to make, he has a lost support going into court, a lot of exhibits, that he's in a very strong position now to negotiate his freedom? >> you know, chris, i think he may be, but i think that this information potentially can be devalued with each passing day. and that's why i think that if michael cohen's going to do the right thing he needs to do it very, very quickly and come forward with what he has not only with federal prosecutors but also with the american people. we've seen a progression in the last few weeks, michael cohen trying to paint himself as a patriot, as a guy who loves his country. but i think he's trying to have it both ways. i think he's still holding out hope, chris, that donald trump
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is going to appear in the middle of this dark forest and lead him out to salvation. and if there's one thing we know about this president, it is that he has loyalty for no one, or to no one. so i think that michael cohen is kidding himself. >> how long can he stretch it out before he has to make a -- what's his shot clock? basketball terms, when does he have to decide i trust trump for a pardon or i'm taking my chances with mueller? when's he have to make that call? >> well, i think he has to make it pretty quickly, chris. and here's something to think about. if bob mueller ultimately concludes that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and i think he may very well conclude that, then what is the value of the information that michael cohen has on the president? it's not very high. so the longer that michael cohen waits to use his information to his own benefit, the greater chance he runs that it's going to be devalued to zero. >> on friday, that's just a few days ago, rudy giuliani called the tapes powerful exculpatory evidence for the president. however, his team has not released any recordings or transcripts to back up that
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statement. today in response to reports that there were at least 12 other audio recordings lanny davis, clinton ally, cohen's new lawyer, tweeted "latest news about michael cohen's tapes of conversations are being released by donald trump and his legal team who own and waived the privilege. will rudy giuliani call these tapes exculpatory again? as i noted before the tapes will speak for themselves. spin can't change facts." let's talk about facts. if you have a tape there of the now president talking to his lawyer fixer michael cohen about making payoffs to silence a person who had a relationship or said they had a relationship with him. would that be -- i think that's powerful information. i think if people see it's on the record now that this all happened, it isn't just his enemies talking, it will have a lot of influence on his life, his whatever, the way he lives, how we think of him. and i'm just wondering what the legal situation is of these tapes. >> so under -- >> what law do they show that he broke? >> under new york law it doesn't sound like he broke anything
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because only one person has to consent to a taping. >> no, i'm talking about paying off somebody not to publish something. you're basically using your power to kill a story. is that legal? >> under the campaign finance laws anything of value that's exchanged for the campaign that would help the candidate is considered -- >> so the newspaper company ownership is really kicking in some cash. >> it's like a loan. so if they said listen, we'll pay her sow don't have to pay her and that helped the campaign in that it sort of put down some bad information that would have hurt trump, sure, that should have been disclosed. >> michael, talk about that law there because i'm curious how you get to the perpetrators of this deal, this conspiracy to silence trump's girlfriends, if you will, women with whom he's had relations, kind of keep that out of the press and using money and friends to do it. who's exposed here? >> well, i think ultimately the president could be exposed as well as michael cohen. if on these tapes, for instance, chris, they had discussions about the flow of the money and
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how these payments were going to be made and the fact they were going to be made in such a way where it could not be traced back to donald trump but in essence it was donald trump's money or other people were carrying out these payments at his request, that could be be a significant and serious campaign finance violation as relates to violating the amount that can be contributed as well as they say follow the money. it could also pose a problem as relates to money laundering and bank fraud if in fact they were discussing how to shield these payments from regulators and others. >> what do you think's going to happen -- you've teased me here, michael. you're pretty good at this. but you've teased me. you think that mueller will come to the conclusion that under the constitution he cannot indict a sitting president. so he may decide to defer the charges for later. is that feasible? could he say i think he's committed crimes here, they may be high crimes, but i can't act on them because the constitution prevents me from indicting. what would happen if he decided that? would he drop the charges? >> well, he could defer them.
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what i believe is going to happen based on, you know, my understanding of bob mueller, who's one heck of an attorney and very by the book kind of guy, i think that ultimately he's going to conclude -- it's a different conclusion than i would come to. i would go ahead and charge him and make the supreme court kroefr overrule me, but that's just me. but i think he's going to conclude you can't indict a sitting president, i think he's going to defer the charges, he's going to issue a very detailed report and he's going to leave it up to congress to potentially impeach the president or to the electorate to throw him out of office in 2020. >> so going back to rudy, rudy's right in not letting the president testify. >> well -- >> if he can't be indicted -- somebody once said to me years ago in philadelphia if you're not running for re-election take the fifth. so i wonder whether he shouldn't just in effect -- if you're the president take the fifth. if you can't be indicted what have you got to lose? >> well, there's political ramifications here or there's legal ones and the political process isn't holding him
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accountable. the legal process, i agree with michael that i think bob mueller's going to follow the doj guidance, which says that you can't indict a sitting -- >> so throw it to the -- >> although i do think there's some ambiguity in the most recent statement on, that in that could you actually indict him and hold the trial for after he was finished being a president? because then it would -- >> but it still goes to the house. >> yeah. i think that's really what it boils down to and the fact the american public doesn't seem to care is a problem. >> two facts. the democrats look like they're going to win the house, at least narrowly, maybe by more, and they'll have the power of subpoena 37 it's going to be interesting. adam schiff and the rest will have the power of subpoena. and i think things are -- and jerry nadler as well, chairman of the house judiciary committee as of next january. the whole world's going to shift 180 come january if the democrats squeak back into power. thank you, michael avenatti. thank you, kim whaley. really valuable to have you both on. up next, president trump and his secretary of state launched a blistering verbal attack on iran's government this week. why are they playing with war again? is it just a war of words?
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i hope so. or are they heading for a confrontation? john bolton's in there with national security. god knows what's going on with the neocons back inside. this is "hardball," where the action is. making cars lighter, it's a good place to start, advanced oils for those hard-working parts. fuels that go further so drivers pump less. improving efficiency is what we do best. energy lives here. improving efficiency is what we do best. if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough,
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump dramatically escalated a war of words with the president of iran this weekend just before midnight last night trump tweeted to iranian president rouhani, "never, ever threaten the united states again or you will suffer
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consequences the likes of which few throughout the history -- throughout history have ever suffered before. we are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. be cautious." that's from the president of the united states last night. the tweet came hours after secretary of state mike pompeo delivered a speech slamming the iranian leadership. >> the level of corruption wealth among iranian leaders shows iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government. the proud iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses. and the united states under president trump will not stay silent either. >> that rhetoric appears to be a response to a warning from president rouhani of iran that "war with iran is the mother of all wars." for more i'm joined by david ignatius, columnist with the "washington post." you know, i get this terrible sense that the neocons are back in power. is it john bolton? this talk. i sense they're pushing regime change again. since when is the united states focused on corruption in other countries? we're looking for a cause for
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war it looks to be. your thoughts. >> i think we're pushing very hard. i think the president's tweet was his own personal stamp on an iran policy that's been developing over months. it's not just since bolton came in. i think this is a passion for mike pompeo. i think we have to understand, chris, that president trump thinks that the north korea summit, the diplomacy with kim jong un, showed that his fire and fury approach, these tweets threatening war, language that we never hear from presidents, works. that's what he's concluded. and i think he's going it try the same playbook now with iran with the same risks, the same rixz of conflict -- >> iran is a real country. it's not something created by churchill, the cairo conference. it's persia. and anybody who's ever met an iranian living here knows how sophisticated that country is. their military is almost first world. when it was israel's ally they gained tremendously in their
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abilities to make war. i don't know why we would ever -- how do we fight a war with iran? we're going to go over there and fight there? we're going tove aide them? what kind of a war -- >> i don't think trump wants to fight a war with iran any more than he wanted to fight a war with north korea. i think he thinks that bluster and bluff can get them to back down. >> regime change where you're going to knock off the ayatollahs with words? >> i think we have embarked on a slow motion regime change project, and the result of that is going to be another failed state in the middle east. if he succeeds. if the sanctions, if the squeeze oirn's economy succeeds, you'll have a chaotic iran, you'll have dissent in the streets, and then you'll have a crackdown and then you'll have an even more authoritarian leader in a failed iran. >> as i mentioned, as you mentioned, trump's rhetoric toward iran has become increasingly similar to his threats against north korea's kim jong un last year. >> i will say if iran threatens us in any way they will pay a price like few countries have
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ever paid. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> he does something in guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in north korea. >> what's part of his little err okay nous zone, his political base he likes to tickle. is it the evangelical base that are very pro israeli who are very hawkish in the middle east? do they get titillated by the idea of going to war with iran? what's he get out of this stuff? >> the rhetoric appeals most i think to the saudis and emiratis. and israelis. but i think the gulf arabs just love the idea of a president who's going to be tough and back up their militants against -- >> does it help the moderates?
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we've been hearing about moderates in iran since reagan -- since the toe missiles over there in exchange for the hostages. this is a game we've been sucked into. are there moderates in iran who will be bolstered, made enthusiastic, inspired by presidential attacks on their leadership? >> so there is a practicigmatic leadership. rouhani is more moderate than the eye cola khamenei. the iranian people near as i was able to tell when i visited that country, do not like this regime, and in that sense the administration's right. this is not a popular regime. there were mass demonstrations across iran for a brief period -- >> how do you know it's not just the english speaking -- >> because these demonstrations, chris, began in the far east of iran, in mashab. they spread essentially to every city in the country. they were calmed down. there's been an eruption again about a month ago in southern iran. so there is a lot of dissent in that country and people don't
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like the regime. they don't want to -- >> what good is this fire and fury talk from the president? any good? >> i i think it's a mistake. what it will do is put i think the leadership on guard. i don't think the iranians are going to be big risk takers with this president. and we'll see what the europeans do. the problem is this policy continued in the direction it's going will produce a failed state in iran and the chaos that goes along with that. is that in our interest? i don't think it is. >> thank you, david ignatius. that's why we had you here. up next -- that's why we had you here. up next a debate audience in virginia burst into laughter when the republican senate candidate claimed that president trump was standing up to the russians. no wonder they laughed. with trump's approval among republicans through the roof, however, is that unwavering support for the president a winning strategy? wait till you see it. we're watching "hardball." it's time now for your
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we have a president who is standing up to the russians. and now senator kaine, now we have -- >> they're laughing. welcome back to "hardball." that was virginia republican senate candidate cory stewart during a debate with incumbent democrat and recent democratic vice presidential nominee tim tayn. stewart's claim that president trump is standing up to russia, president vlad mish putin, elicited laughter from some in the crowd. however, republican voters largely support trump's actions in russia. believe it or not, catch these numbers. adorgd a new "washington post"/abc news poll, 66%, two thirds of republicans, approve of the way trump handled his meeting with putin last week. they liked it it. 2-1. a thin majority also support him when he questions u.s. intelligence conclusions on russian election interference. so most republicans just by a slight majority agree with him when and if he says it's all a hoax. let's bring in our round table. shawna thomas is the washington
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bureau chief for vice news. ginger gibson is political correspondent for reuters. and jonathan allen's a digital reporter for nbc news. hard question to you, shawna, which requires some real interpretation. are they with trump because they really agree he's not kissing butt over there in helsinki or do they just agree with him all the time because they hate the media and the liberals? >> well, i think it's a little bit they hate the media and the liberals. but even nbc news's own poll, nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, said 88% of republicans approve of the job president trump is doing. >> his very being. >> the job he's doing. and if you believe the economy is getting better and the unemployment numbers are down and the stock market is doing okay and the trade thing hasn't affected you yet and what you vote on is the economy, then why wouldn't you stick with him? >> let me go to ginger. you give lip service to what happened in helsinki. if you're a business person. less regulation on the environment. i like that a lot. or you're very pro life, i like
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his court picks. that'll get you mentally to say i like what he did in helsinki? is that how the republican mind works? is that the wiring? >> i think everyone's going to vote or voice their opinion in their personal interest. and if your personal interest says nothing's bad happening to me and more importantly who's the credible in these voters' minds negligenter telling them trump did anything wrong? it's surely not huck schumer, not paul ryan or mitch mcconnell. it's not jeff flake. and until they hear from someone they think is credible -- >> you're watching that simon & garfunkel number over there, they're both singing the same song with the same tone, harmonizing. how can americans, put america first type, believe in that? jonathan. >> i thought it was more like "back in the ussr." but i think it's difficult. and i think you see that in these numbers to some extent. there is a difference between the 88% of republicans who support him and the 66% who like what he did in russia and the
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51% who like what he's doing in terms of trying to discredit the investigation into him. i think those are important differences. it's not enough to make them say they don't support him. >> 22 points and 15 points as the differences. okay. >> well, 51 and 88. that's 37, right? they are not happy with the way things went in russia, even if they still approve of the president. >> so they're not all goose-stepping. i shouldn't say that. meanwhile, the democratic party is face its own identity crisis. alexandria ocasio cortez still fresh off her victory in new york and senator bernie sanders why wr in the red state of kansas supporting progressive candidates out there. they called for tuition-free public colleges, medicare for and everyone a $15 minimum wage for everyone. according to the "new york times," despite all the enthusiasm surrounding ocasio-cortez, many establishment democrats have bristled at the suggestion of the far left ideas espoused by her and mr. sanders represent the party position. ginger. >> i think democrats spent the last few years watching
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republicans tear themselves apart over how to deal with the tea party movement. and instead of saying okay, we have to move the party to the left or we need to keep the party at the center they're trying to say we can make the tent bigger and we can include everyone. and it doesn't mean that these folks represent the whole democratic party. it's an experiment. right? who knows if it's going to work or they are -- >> so what does a terry mcauliffe or joe biden say are you for free college tuition, are you for these litmus test questions? how do they deal with that? >> that's the question, is bernie sanders causing them to have actual litmus tests for the 2018 election? i agree with you. i think nancy pelosi and chuck schumer want the party to be as big as possible so they win. they want to win. but what are bernie sanders and alexandria ocasio-cortez -- >> in an all democratic district like south central l.a., like maxine waters. but you're running in an indiana district, you're running somewhere in the suburbs of philly. what are you going to do, john?
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>> well, listen -- >> do you take the democratic socialist line or say wait a minute, i'm an old school democrat. what do you say? >> two things. number one, alexandria ocasio-cortez and bernie sanders are not that far off of what the democratic party platform was in 2016. sometimes the difference is how loud you yell what your positions are rather than what the actual positions are. so that's number one. number two, i think what we found out with bernie sanders is there is some appeal to that progressivism in parts of the country outside of your sort of liberal havens on the east coast. there's a traditional populism and progressivism in minnesota and wisconsin and some of the farm states that smv bernie sanders is in kansas's third district. there's a history of that there. i think the messaging for the democrats has been awful. i think they are going through some civil war on style. but for the most part they seem to be pretty close on the actual policy. >> a test like abolish i.c.e. in the democratic party. >> and he i wanted to get in in
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here. but keep pushing me. finally, british comedian sacha baron cohen, best known for the movie "borat" has a new show that has been duping current and former politicians into embarrassing situations. in the now second episode cohen disguised as unof his many characters sat down with former vice president dick cheney. let's watch that fun. >> you started so many wars. afghanistan, iraq one and iraq two. which was your favorite war and why? >> oh, i think it was what we did in desert storm. i really do. i never thought of it as having a favorite war. >> of course. but you've got to enjoy it too. >> sure. >> sure. he just said i enjoy war. i don't know how thee guys fall for this punking but they do it. >> well, i think one of the issues is is this -- you know, is this truth through art? so in comedy and art those things are fake, they're made up. but is there some truth that he's getting at? and if there's a truth he's getting at -- >> cheney didn't know it was
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art. he thought he was giving straight answers. it's like colbert in the old days, ginger. >> it's not news, though. that's what we have to remember. colbert wasn't news -- >> but what about cheney, when he said how much he enjoyed wars? >> he's in an art portrayal -- >> he talks about the hundreds of thousands of people killed in these wars and cheney stuck with his guns literally? >> and he picked the one that worked. he picked desert storm, the '91 iraq war. >> one he wanted to continue. >> exactly. that was not a good moment for dick cheney. it was not a good moment for american politicians. and it is astounding that sacha baron cohen was able to get that access and have that interview. you would think people would be more alert. and more aware of themselves. >> his name's cheney. >> i'm sorry. >> go out in wyoming and ask. ask his wife, ask lynne cheney what's his husband's name. it's cheney. i didn't pick the name. these three -- i know it sounds more malicious. you're watching "hardball."
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♪ it's so hard to believe ♪ but it's all coming back me. ♪ baby, baby, baby. all you can eat is back, baby. applebee's. where are the children? checking up on these migrant families separated at the border under the trump administration's zero tolerance policy. so far only about 500 of more than 2,600 children have now been reunited with their parents. dhs and hhs say they're working as fast as they can and that some children will not be reunited at all due to legal concerns. think about that. a federal court has ordered that
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all eligible children ages 5 to 17 be reunited by this thursday. this is monday. right now the government's chance of actually meeting that deadline appears slim. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ let your perfect drive come together at the lincoln summer invitation sales event. get 0% apr on select 2018 lincoln models plus $1,000 bonus cash. moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis was intense. my mom's pain from i wondered if she could do the stuff she does for us which is kinda, a lot.
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back with the "hardball" round table. shawna, tell me something i don't know. you have 25 seconds. >> national hurricane season. the national insurance program runs out of authorization on july 31st. it will probably be extended for a couple of months at a time but that's not how we should be -- >> is trump outlawing floods? >> i don't think so. not yet. >> okay, ginger, sounds like he's wished them away. >> the united states chamber of commerce launched what sources tell me was a six-figure ad buy in washington state this week talking about trade and advocating for a republican that will fight trump on trade. and that means that the largest business lobby is really pushing -- >> and washington state is a trading state and always has been. i love to see that people are loyal to their roots. jonathan. >> there are 13 justifications for having a security clearance
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revoked. several of them are ones that donald trump or members of his administration have been accused of including possibly being swayed by foreign governments, sexual misconduct and personal misconduct. >> and what do you think of that? why are you laughing, jonathan? >> i think none of the people who might have them revoked under sarah sanders's formulation are actually guilty of those things. >> ginger, why is trump going after the good guys? >> trump cares about messaging. and it's a messaging fight. that's what it is. >> also, there's a credible idea that maybe all these people shouldn't have security clearance anymore. and not just democrats. republicans who haven't been in office for -- >> well, apparently -- >> all of them is one thing. >> institutional member, what was it like ten years ago -- >> but can president trump decide that? if he wants to talk to someone about something, can't he decide that? >> okay, shawna. >> just saying. >> no, i think it's reasonable from a certain point of view. thank you, shawna thomas. thank you, ginger gibson and jonathan allen. when we return tonight, let me finish with trump watch. it's interesting coming tonight. you're watching "hardball."
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trump watch. monday july 23rd, 2018. an ethiopian newspaper once began its top story each morning with a salute to its primary source of information. "his imperial majesty hallie selassie, lion of judah, king of
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kings of ethiopia, elected god said today." i get the sense our own head of state would like that same kind of news conference, the same kind of dictating the truth each day. consider how he spoke in just the past two days. on sunday he declared that russian interference in our 2016 election was a big moment, it never happened, that's why president obama, he said, didn't do anything about it. it's all been a democratic excuse for losing the election, he said. well, then today the president said that he -- he had it trumpeted, rather, that he's thinking of revoking the security clearances of former top u.s. officials who criticize him. in other words, he wants to allow governor-learned information only to go to those who voice the administration line. question, does this president know we live in a vibrant democracy, a democracy served by a free independent press, the hallmark of which is the right to speak freely and clearly to speak words not approved by the head of state. even and especially those words that challenge those coming from the seat of power. we certainly do not live right now under a dictatorship. yet we experience the near
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certainty of living under a head of state who appears to yearn for one. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> i have no confidence in a guy like brennan. i think he's a total lowlife. >> the white house attacks its loudest critics. >> people with security clearances are making these baseless charges. >> as the president's campaign chairman appears in court. >> that's what he said. that's what i said -- that's obviously what the proposition is. >> and the president's fixer has more tapes. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> tonight the mounting legal problems for the president by way of cohen and manafort. plus -- >> carter page, ph.d. >> congressman adam schiff on the release of the carter page fisa application. rebecca tracer on the midterm messaging from democrats like elizabeth war erren. and a message of apolo f


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