tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 31, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
sh -- issue. first time they have r had -- interesting way to take over the magazine. that does it for me. "hardball" starts now. crime and punishment. let's play "hardball." today paul manafort, the president's campaign. facing years in a u.s. prison. whatever you choose to call it, it is past. for a year and a half our country has been contorted into a reality tv show. this is the day we discovered
reality bites. good evening, i am chris matthews. heading into round one now. investigation is underway at a courthouse just across the potomac. he is facing 18 counts of tax evasion and bank fraud. charges that predate his time on the trump campaign. if found guilty, he could get up to ten years in prison. facing similar charges in federal court in washington. manafort joined the trump campaign in march of 2016.
manafort did work overseas. he also had business ties with russia. and he took part in that infamous trump tower meeting with russians. where the trump campaign was promis promised damaging information. nbc news national reporter is at the courthouse right now. >> reporter: chris, the prosecutors laid out a case of greed and lies. they described how paul manafort made $60 million working for
this ukrainian oligarch but paid through fictitious loans because he didn't want to pay taxes. in order to fund his lavish lifestyle. and the spigot dried up in 2014. committing bank fraud by lying on bank applications. and while this is not about potential russia collusion, it paints a picture of paul manafort coming to the trump campaign and working for free at a time when he was broke. they are not going to say this in the trial but reasonable people can conclude he was a ripe target for russian
intelligence at that time. now the real news today was the defense because the question was what kind of defense could he offer to these charges. it seems as if he is going to try to blame rick gates who was his right hand person who turned states evidence and flipped. and his lawyers made clear that they are going to say rick gates was running the business, and if anybody was at fault, it was gates. one witness, tad divine, the democratic strategy that worked for bernie sanders. how it is that american political consultants end up in a foreign country and it is
clear that he. he said i hope paul gets a fair trial. it was clear that manafort's lawyers was emphasizing that davine is a strategist. >> if you are donald trump watching what is going on, what is your concern because if rick gates has flipped against manafort, is trump still worried about manafort flipping. i wonder how nichiian can he be? if he has a bad jury, he is facing a bad jury. he sees the time he is going to serve. don't do the crime if you can't do the time and he is looking at a lot of crime.
what do you think trump sees the trial. >> i am staring at the back of manafort's head in the courtroom thinking the same thing. he is facing ten years in this trial, and even if he is acquitted here, he has to face it in a similar trial. he is putting on a vigorous defense. must have spent millions of dollars on this legal team. but you are right, donald trump musting concerned about what he might say. paul manafort was the only nonfamily member invited the to the meeting. he was a chairman, in on sensitive meetings with donald trump. there is a great possibility that he can testify to things that are damaging. >> i want to bring in everybody else. first david, it seems this is a big test for mueller. all business, everybody says brilliant and this is the first
time. first time at bat here. >> i don't want to be glip here, but it is like opening night for production. working on this for over a year. brought cases and put out serious indictment. he got several people to flip. now he has to put on a case in public with a jury. and with juries, there is a chance that something can go south. so the first time that we are going to see his full breadth. >> that doesn't tell you much, but said there, this is a probable democratic jury. i would say, let's start with
betsy, no one who is a republican wants to face a jury in d.c. >> potentially virginia is a slighter better jury pool to draw this. i believe it went for hillary clinton. the likelihood that -- >> not exactly dixie. >> that's right. at the same time 12 people. and if any one of those jurors decides they think that paul manafort is there on political defenses then mueller is in deep trouble. >> there is always a question in juries who think this is about big shots. >> today part of the presentation in the opening argument was that he had a $15,000 ostrich jacket.
>> a jacket made out of ostrich, i don't know. i don't have one. but such a lavish lifestyle. >> what did you think in terms of fairness, ken, what about, we just saw the sketch of the -- there is no photographs in the courtroom. what did you make of him in the prison garb. and then you see him in there in the sketch looking laike someboy from the pen. >> that was from the previous hearing. today he is wearing a black jacket. you don't bring a defendant like this in front of the jury. he gets to wear a suit. >> is that what he looked like in court? >> that was from a prior
hearing. today he wore a black suit with a grey tie. those pictures you are looking at now are from a previous hearing just before a judge. >> here is trump. >> i know mr. manafort, haven't spoken to him in a long time. i know him. >> i feel badly about it. they went back 12 years to get things that he did things 12 years ago. he worked for me for a short period of time, what, 49 days? >> it was five months by the way. five months, that is five times four, 20 months during a pivotal period. and then was promoted to campaign chairman shortly there after. trump praised him on the campaign trail, let's watch that. >> i have fantastic people, paul manafort just came on, he is
great. and paul manafort has done an amazing job. he is here someplace. where is paul? good. you made it. that is mr. manafort, who by the way is an amazing man. >> curious about gymnastics that he is trying to distance himself. we reported that he lobbiesed for a host of dictators, problematic third world bully types. you didn't have to be in the cia to understand that this could be someone who had skeletons in his closet. but they didn't do that. they brought him out and treated him like a prince. >> here is a guy who is on russian control.
the fact that he and trump didn't have a little trash talk about russia alludes me. >> he owed millions of dollars to oleg. at the end of the day, why was manafort invited to the meeting? >> this guy has money in his pocket. he knows something on trump that could spring him from prison. >> manafort was the chairman, he was in the room for meetings that gates was not at. he had more visibility into the finances of the campaign and the trump organization. he could have more value to mueller and his investigators than gates. he could be right out of the god father. thank you, betsy woodrow, dave
corn. paul manafort is the guy you want as your star witness if you are mueller. coming up, collusion is not a crime defense even if he insists there with as not collusion. will the american government buy that ploy? plus a hundred billion dollar tax cut for the rich. also trump is in florida rallies for this guy. >> ron loves playing with the kids. >> build the wall. and then mr. trump said you are fired. i love that part. >> he is teaching madison to talk. >> make america great again. >> running for governor of florida the the "hardball" roundtable will be weigh in. and let me finish tonight with
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on any one of thousands of risky sites. remember this trump tweet from june 13th, just one day after the historic meeting from kim jong-un president trump padded himself on the back saying quote, there is no longer a nuclear threat from north korea. today there is more evidence that trump's declaration might have been pre mature. working on their missile programs as well. the missiles are being built at the same facility that they were being built. same facility. the white house is not confirmed the story on the record as yet. we'll be right back.
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i have been sitting here in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime. collusion is not a crime. >> according to rudy giuliani, attorney at law. giuliani offering up a misleading line of defense. now president trump is doubling down on his lawyer's approach tweeting today collusion is not a crime. but that doesn't matter because there was no collusion except by crooked hillary and the democrats. the usual. a deliberate ploy to rationalize. anything the president may have done to advance the kremlin's conspiracy make him a co-conspirator. this comes after giuliani raised another campaign meeting. after his multiple denials.
here is rudy going in circle. >> there is no second meeting here? >> it is highly unlikely, i always have to leave the option open as a lawyer. i feel some of the things we feel are important. >> joined by michael smith. and paul butler former prosecutor. it seems to me the governor of the united states is now in the hands of atrika. it seems like they are the close, that is the crew, what do you think when you cover this? >> they are the ones that are driving the entire thing? that shaean hannity has a hand
it, of course he does. fox news and who has led that? sean hannity. this is the fbi agent who sent these text messages that showed anti trump bias. why are you surprised by it? >> i am trying to enuance yaate the best of my ability. roosevelt once said tell me who he speaks to after midnight. we know who he speaks to after midnight, rudy and sean. >> what would have happened to nixon? where would public opinion have been? >> let me get back to the law here for a second. this is a unique koounta.
collusion is not a legal term. >> if you look at a federal code, you won't see something called collusion. there will be conspiracy. when mueller is charged collusion, the actual crime is usually been conspiracy to defraud the united states which jared kushner, don jr. have exposure to it. >> so they go to that meeting and the meeting before that meeting. and after they had deliberation over it, that makes it more serious. it is like when the kids
reloaded the guns to shoot the parents. might be some deliberation. >> it is a pre meeting. the actual meeting is a big deal which make it is harder -- >> why is -- do you know, michael? >> the question came up about the first meeting and they are trying to get out in front as much as they can on this question. and they think the only exposure the president has is public opinion. >> if they have given a soft landing, put out the news that there was a meeting, give it all the way, they think it is a softening of the attack. >> what other choices they snv. >> they don't have one. rudy giuliani attempts why he brought out the allegation. according to a story, giuliani appeared to blame the maelstrom
he kicked up on inquisitive new york times reporters. told the daily beast that this included the paper's star maggie haberman. i think that is a good line from your colleague. why is rudy giuliani spinning the story of two meetings. >> i think -- >> i can't even admit occurred. >> one of the things he struggles with is the fact that there is so many fronts the president has to deal with. the cohen questions, the collusion questions and if you are going to be the lead spokesman for all of this, you need to be well versed in this. and to fight those questions at the same time. >> he has to spit out his story
that he doesn't believe. >> the president is obviously incredibly frustrated with the investigation and giuliani is frustrated that he thought he could bring an end to this. >> what is the legal term, the courtroom term for a lawyer who confuses the jury? >> i don't know, rudy giuliani. we know robert mueller, is not going to indict him. he is going to write a report to congress. and then it will be up to politicians. rudy is making a political argument. and the significance that the president's real lawyer is meeting with mueller. it sounds like trump's real lawyer is hearing from mueller that the investigation is now sn centering on mr. trump. this political defense may be effective with republicans and
congress. >> what is it called, reasonable doubt. give them something to buy. like a jury that wants to acquit a guy. >> they sit down and look at the calculation. and the only exposure is impeachment. and those votes are from the people and if you can push public opinion, you can control that vote. and that is their only aim. >> the prospect of the president will testify will become less likely. here is a big surprise. >> given some of the revelations of the last three or four weeks, driven further away from the idea of answering any questions? them. we don't think they have a legit investigation. >> do you think there will be a subpoena, a constitutional fight. >> thing we will win it. >> will they win it? >> it will take a long time, you
know, one theory about why the president has not been subpoenaed, the department of justice has a practice that if you are a target of the investigation, they don't subpoena you. so if president trump has evolved from a subject which means he has been investigated, they wouldn't subpoena him. if we are going to charge you with a crime, then it is not fair for us to come in and expect you to talk to us. >> the president can't be indicted. can the president take the fifth? >> yes, even under the justice department guidelines, he can't be indicted while sitting in office, but after being removed. he can be charged. >> he says it is an -- there is so much bs going on. >> i agree with maggie haberman,
i lost the thread of the defense. escalating their attacks on the special counsel mueller. let's watch the trumpians go to war against the prosecutors. >> special counsel is leaking left and right behaving like nothing so much as a prosecutor, he is more, if you will, you know, he is on a jihad of some sort and an ideologically inspired jihad. >> 439 days into the trump russian collusion, and still, zero evidence that the campaign did anything wrong. political example. i don't know, what do you make of that, is that logic? >> i think of the last indictment of the russians, it wasn't just some vague conspiracy. the russians work one named
trump officials to try to get donald trump elected president. doesn't sound like a witch hunt or politics. it sounds like national security. >> well-said. thank you, sir. i mean it. i wish everybody could have that clarity. that is the truth. thank you. up next, the trump administration is working on a plan to side step congress in order to give another round of the big tax cut to the richest people. the billionaires, did i pronounce it right, senator? this is "hardball." i held her. i found my tresiba® reason. now i'm doing more to lower my a1c. i take tresiba® once a day. tresiba® controls blood sugar for 24 hours for powerful a1c reduction. (woman) we'd been counting down to his retirement. it was our tresiba® reason. he needs insulin to control his high blood sugar
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i want to save the middle class. the middle class, the hedge fund guys didn't build this country. . we will cut taxes for all middle class households. >> i will never stop fighting for you against the washington establishment. >> certainly talked a good game. another tax cut for the rich, exactly what the president is up to. according to "the new york times," the trump administration wants to bypass congress and cut capital gains taxes. it would amount to $100 billion tax cuts according to some estimates. steve mnuchin has not determined
if the move is even legal however. last year trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax cut. made corporate executives even richer. writing for the washington post, the witch get richer, the poor get distracted. trump is a blue-collar guy. obsessed with cultural issues as the policies he passes benefit his enormous wealth. i am joined by susan page, susan, people are going to be unhappy in hearing this. but 89% of republicans believe he is helping the working people and 89% seem to think he is
helping the rich. that is fine. but trump seemed to be talking like the little guy. it is the guy in the garage who builds up the company. he or she should be making the money. he talked right. he said just the right stuff, the worker bee should get the money. and now he is talking about giving a ton of money. >> the distribution of the benefit if he does make this change in capital gains or tax is really extraordinary. two-thirds of the benefits would go to the people who are in the top of one%. people who make more than $7 million a year in income. >> and who are living off stock. >> well, you can live off stock if you have that kind of money. the benefits overwhelming go.
>> republican party is not just millionaires and billionaires. the regular people who is retired, why would they root for trump to do stuff like this. >> the economy theory is this would free up money to have investments that would benefit the little guy. what they predict would happen it would exacerbate what we see happening, the rich getting richer, and be the poor getting poorer. it would continue that trend and fuel it in a new way. >> you know what i discovered is a lot of republican businessmen, who are not if you consider them normally, are bad people. but they don't care what a ho e
horse -- they will put up with all of that embarrassment so they get a tax cut and relief on regulation. they want to sit by and watch this guy humiliate us make ridiculous comments about people. and mock people and bully them as long as they get their piece of money. some people, friends of mine say they are the criminals. they want the gravy from this guy. >> congressional republicans don't challenge president trump because he is delivering on the policies they care most about like tax cuts or nominations for the supreme court. so that is kind of what the reasoning is. i talked to some republicans on the hill today about this proposal on the capital gains tax cut and they say this is a bad political move for them in the midterms. it gives democrats a big tool to
use to talk about how president trump is not delivering for working voters, including and exacerbating the problems raised by the tariffs and the trade wars. >> for people like soybean farmers in kansas, where my cousin has a soybean farm in kansas and he is incredibly worried. >> thank you so much. up next, some republican political candidates are cozying up to trump this summer. some are keeping distance. less than 100 days we are going to have the big vote and you are watching "hardball."
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cookie. he is tough, he is smart, and he loves florida. and he loves our country and he is going to be your next governor. ron desantis. >> speak at a rally in support of ron desantis for governor down there. desantis has -- watch this ad. >> my husband is endorsed by president trump. but he is also an amazing dad. >> build the wall. >> he reads stories. >> and then mr. trump says, you are fired. i love that part. >> he is teaching madison to talk. >> make america great again.
>> big league, so good. >> i just thought you should know. >> fairly embarrassing. shot up in the polls after challenger put nam after the president endorsed him last month. mr. putnam's collapse, and mr. desantis's rise illustrate the extraordinary clout mr. trump now wields in his adopted party. let's bring in roundtable to handle that. michael steele, and host of the new podcast. i want you all to take a shot at this. rooseve roosevelt thought he could get rid of people, and he couldn't do it. this guy is out there laying down for this guy.
the wife is doing it. my husband is great, because he is imitating everything trump is doing. >> roosevelt had to deal with party bosses. there was no base necessarily. today, this is all driven by the base, that's why desantis is where he is. that is why he has popped up. the test for him is how does he translate in the general. that is the test ultimately for donald trump. you can fire up your hard right base for that. now you have to translate that to independence and center right democrats. >> who is the democratic nominee for governor down there? i am having fun with you. i am asking you, takes somebody to beat somebody. beth go ahead. >> to your point, the problem with the strategy is it doesn't work. we saw it in 2010, and 2014. barack obama incredibly popular
in his base. and it didn't translate. so it doesn't -- >> it worked for me. >> the fact that trump has been so successful at it is it is great for primaries, doesn't tell you how the generals are going to go. and in georgia, president trump got involved in that race. >> everything you have said is true. and i am stunned by this spiking in the polls. why does the guy spike up for an idiot commercial like that. it is like the ditto thing with rush limbaugh. >> i don't know how smart it is to have your wife sit there and say he is just like trump. >> would she rather have trump as her husband? just asking. >> i think in a case of georgia.
>> what tape was that? >> he was caught on tape. >> they went too crazy. to sound too hard right. >> editorial entitled trump's lose house strategy. trump is running a campaign strategy that puts the house at maximum risk while focusing -- the president tweeted again, today, i don't care what the political ramifications are. a government shut down is a small price to play. >> that tweet is disingenuous. they thinks this is the way to win the house. whatever the president's party typically loses seats in the midterm. he is trying to fire up the
people who got him in there. it is tough this time. a president with this charisma, this personality could do that. >> i think the "wall street journal" is screwing with trump's mind. why would a president facing a prosecution would want the subpoena party fall into the hands of the other party. oh my god, i lost the subpoena power again. lost the ability to defend myself. earlier today, asking about the new rhetoric coming from donald trump. and that collusion is somehow not illegal. >> what do you think when you see this republican president and his allies say even if they did collude with russia, that is not a crime. >> i find it extraordinary
offensive. i don't care if it is a crime, it is against the best interest of the united states. you do not collude. for a president to get up there and say, again, the stories change right along. first it was no collusion, and then, it doesn't matter. >> that republican party that she represents is dead as a doorknob. east coast. >> it is dead in jersey, in michigan and a lot of places. they keep trying to move the football, the goal post. collusion is impeachable. >> it matters to me. advancing a criminal conspiracy with the russians. >> i think to your point about conspiracy, i think that is where they now realize where mueller is going, and that is on the conspiracy piece in which the collusion piece doesn't
matter anymore. >> i want to get back to my point the subpoena power. the one who holds that subpoena power, they can subpoena all of these trumpies and bring them before their oath and put them in perjury traps. >> trump very much cares about keeping the house. he has got a huge advantage of keeping the senate. >> i think they are trying to be cute. i think trump wants to win any election he is in. >> i think if you are going to talk about strategiry here, there is also the size that says i don't think trump cares who has the house. if the dems have the house and they go down the impeachment
road. >> pound nancy pelosi in the ground. >> i don't think that can work for you long-term. and ultimately what he is going to run into -- >> what are the democrats going to do. >> nobody, no republican right now, and this is what they are looking at now. no one wants to hear his president say political consequences be darned. >> the "wall street journal" say he is saying that. if he gets the senate by 53 instead of 51. they get her through. that would give him power. >> roundtable is sticking with us. you're watching "hardball." but right now, our bond is fraying.
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crisp leaves of lettuce. freshly made dressing. clean food that looks this good. delivered to your desk. now delivering to home or office. panera. food as it should be. "wall street journa attorney general jeff sessions forming a task force which he says america is becoming less hospitable to people of faith. let's watch the ag. >> a dangerous movement undetected by many but real is now challenging and eroding a great tradition of religious freedom. there can be no doubt. it is no little matter. it must be confronted intellectually and politically
and defeated. >> well, ag sessions went on to praise the bravery of the colorado baker, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple. rare opportunity to arrest these trends. 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.
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president. >> he was born if iowa before his father moved the family to california. >> i like the scoop. >> yesterday was the funeral for kenneth lee. one of the first african americans to be accepted to the law school. mentored by thorough good marshal. when we return, let me finish with plasticic guns. you are watching "hardball."
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let me finish tonight with plastic guns. that's right, plastic guns. here is the president of the united states tweeting on that today. i am looking into 3d plastic guns. i spoke to nra. against having these weapons accessible. i immediately thought of the clint eastwood where the assassins assembles a plastic gun. why would anyone want a plastic gun. they could make themselves, couldn't be traced. the fact is my field of interest and knowledge is politics and not gun ballistics.
let's hope donald trump can come out against something as menacing as a plastic pistol. a limit to his embrace of the far right gun crowd. let's hope if donald trump will, the federal courts will. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. >> tonight on all in. >> i am working with the whole team as well. >> time for paul manafort. day one of the trial of donald trump's former campaign chairman. >> and paul manafort has done an amazing job. >> why prosecutors are calling manafort a shrewd liar. and what we know about the manafort defense. then the star witness. >> one person, rick gates. >> rick gates. >> why all of trump world is worried about rick