tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 14, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
why was it important to you? >> well, because, for the girls, you know? i wanted them to come home to family. there was just parts of the girls' lives that i just knew were going to be okay because mom was there. >> what's the best thing about michelle obama that makes you proudest? >> well, now i -- my saying is, when i grow up, i would like to be like michelle obama. >> ahhh. >> ahh. wow. >> and she gets the last word on our show tonight. "hardball with chris matthews" is up next. up to his elbows. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. there's an old saying, when you're up to your elbows in alligators, it's easy to forget the goal was to drain the swamp. and that's exactly where
president trump finds himself today. up to his elbows in alligators. after last week's rebuke in the midterm elections, fears that special counsel robert mueller could be closing in and the potential onslaught of subpoenas from the new democratic majority in the house, president trump is angry and the bad optics of his recent european trip only added to his frustrations. "the washington post" reports now that trump's five days of fury, during his 43 hours in paris over the weekend, quote, trump brooded over the florida recounts and sulked over key races being called for democrats in the midterm elections, that he had claimed as a big victory. he erupted at his staff over media coverage to skip a ceremony honoring the military sacrifice of world war i. and while the "l.a. times" reports that with the certainty that the incoming democratic house majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of
additional indictments by special counsel robert mueller, trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment. the president's frustration since the election have boiled over into outbursts against foreign leaders, reporters, and white house staff. increasingly the subject of trump's ire, his chief of staff john kelly and homeland security secretary, kirstjen nielsen. "the post" noted that trump has been plotting a staff shake up. quote, he told advisers over the weekend that he had decided to remove nielsen and that he also was seriously considering replacing white house chief of staff john kelly. in an interview today, trump said simply, i will be making a decision on homeland shortly. i have not made decisions yet. i will be making changes on various things. wow. i'm joined right now by yamiche alcindor, white house correspondent for the pbs "newshour," eli stokols, white house reporter for "the new york times," susan page is a washington bureau chief for "usa
toda today". what is going on? eli, you're on top of this thing. why is trump acting like peter the hermit in the guy in, you know, "network," i'm sick and tired and i won't take it any longer. why is he angry and hiding? z >> you highlighted a lot of things he was angry about, the return s being worse for him ovr the last several days, the trip not going well in france. but he was on this sugar high of campaigning. he was doing it for weeks and weeks. he was reveling in the adulation and adoration from his fans at all of these rallies and kind of felt convinced if he did this just like in 2016, it would work out in the end. and i think it really affected him to step back and realize it department work. he told voters over and over again, you have to pretend i'm on the ballot. voters delivered a message on tuesday, that's become clear. and it is not a message that is good for him or, as one person put it, good for his brand.
so there's a lot of frustration over that. and wallowing, i think. and also, sort of an uncertainty about how to respond, what to do to pick up the pieces and how to turn the page. >> and yamiche, he came right at you as the symbol of all that frustrates him or whatever. but do you think he likes being president right now? i get the feeling as wonderful as it must be to get up in the morning and say, i'm president of the united states, every young kid's dream of a job and say, here i am. but, i've got deal all of these people coming at me, i'm not as popular as i thought i was, and i've got enemies coming at me that could ruin my life, ruin me, put my kids in prison, and make me wish i had never come here. >> it's clear to everyone who covers the people that he feels what people who don't feel like going to their job is doing, holing up, hiding under the sheets, tweeting when he wants to, except he's president of the united states. >> tell me about that hiding. the president does a lot of, the boy scouts come, they shake some hands, future farmers come, he's
cut out all of that stuff. and he's going to executive time and now he's getting something called policy time. more time alone. >> and there's also the idea that he didn't leave the white house on the day after veterans day to go to arlington cemetery, and it's a very, very short ride. but eli has this right. there's something about the branding and the sugar high of campaigning being over. >> you can see arlington cemetery -- >> you can basically see arlington cemetery from the white house. and when you think about it, president trump had to watch cable news and all these other places, talking about how he punked out because of the weather, all of these pictures of obama holding umbrellas and delivering speeches in the rain. >> he loves photo opes and he's refusing to do it. >> give us some depth. is this guy -- he's not bipolar. there's no clinical problem with the president that i know of. so what's his problem? is he hiding so he can make some really nasty decisions? fire kelly? fire nielsen? go to war with john bolton? what is he up to? >> you do get the sense there's a gathering storm around the
white house, because of two things. democratic investigations, robert mueller's report. and one of the things that i think makes things tough for president trump is he doesn't have a cabinet around him that he trusts. he doesn't have a kitchen cabinet around him that he trusts. he has family members whom he trusts and that's about it. and i think when you get into trouble, we know how presidents like to rely on people we know will have their best interests and who can give them good advice. i'm not sure there are very many people around president trump that fill that role. >> but i don't believe that either, too, and i don't believe his family members are interested in him entirely. i get the feeling that jared and ivanka, they've got their own middle east goals and everything. they have their own policy agendas. i'm not sure they're not more in love with maybe john bolton than the president should be, you know? i don't trust that whole operation. i think they came with a purpose, too. your thoughts about trump? why is he in this funk? why is he hiding, why is he in a cocoon? and why is there a lid on the white house? when they put the lid on, that means nothing is happening. hencefort today, they put the lid on at 10:00 in the morning here, i believe. nothing's happening here -- or monday. nothing's happening here in the
leader of the free world's house. >> but chris, i don't think that there's anything particularly new here. the trump administration has been a center of chaos and a locus of chaos since the president was inaugurated. and he's had staff turmoil, he's had staff turnover, he's been in over his head from the second he took the oath of office. i think we're going to have two more years of this. we may have six more years of this. because it boils down to the fact that the president lacks the intellectual and emotional discipline and sophistication to manage a large organization. ideology and partisan politics aside, he is not good at managing people or process. he surrounds himself with third-tier people who don't challenge him, because he's insecure. and those problems are coming home to roost now. we've seen them in motion, again, since he was inaugurated. the big difference now is that a hostile house is staring him in the face.
and he desperately needs people now who can defend him against this, you know, incoming launch of subpoenas, that's going to begin in the new year, in which they're very sorely prepared to deal, as well as the mueller investigation. and i think he is definitely feeling the pressures of this. but the trump we're seeing right now is the donald trump who's always existed. he ran his business this way. he got up late in the morning, he didn't pay attention to detail. he cracked under pressure. and he tried to paper all of that through the force of personality and marketing, which he was able to do when he was running the trump organization that had maybe two dozen employees. the federal government employees 2 million people. it's a vast bureaucracy and the white house is a conflicted place. >> well, the tension in the white house has also spilled over to the west wing, to the east wing, that's where the first lady holds reign. and late today, the white house announced the departure of john bolton's deputy, mira ricardel,
just one day after the first lady's office called for her to be fired. there's a picture of her on the left. chief of staff john kelly and bolton had also clashed over his deputy, with nbc reporting that from four people familiar with this situation, quote, bolton recently learned that kelly has quietly mounted an effort to oust ricardel and was furious. nbc news also reports that kelly has run afoul of the first lady, noting that kelly had repeatedly denied her request to promote some of her aides and then having learned of the dispute, the president was furious and told kelly to give the first lady what she wants. you know, i don't understand these people, eli. why do they fight with first ladies? give it up. the first lady sleeps with the president of the united states. she's -- well, they normally do. they are, okay, they're close to them. the president relies on an emotional connection with the wife. i think we're all familiar with this, pretty much. if mama's not happy, nobody's happy. i don't understand why you go to war with -- why would the chief of staff mess with --? if she wants to promote some of her people inside, why would he say no?
>> and typically, the first lady isn't commenting on releasing statements and trying to have an influence on the personnel at the national security council. >> that's because the nsa lady went over there and tried to ruin her trip. >> that's the first lady's version of the story. >> she wanted a seat on the plane. can't the first lady go on her own trip? >> i don't know the particulars of what happened on that plane, but, yes, it was a mess. this is a person on the nsc who has also had issues with defense secretary mattis. there were a lot of issues. i think it gets back to the point that tim was just making about the organization and the atmosphere that trump creates. there is always back-biting, there is always rivalries. trump sort of creates this climate where that just inevitably happens. and them you see him as an executive not really wanting to pick a side or make a decision. and that continues to pit people against each other, even after she put out that statement yesterday, the white house said, nope, she still works here, and it wasn't until today, tonight that she was replaced. >> i've worked with people that like to have competing staff.
they don't want to hear there's a meeting that they didn't run, the boss. they want to have people rival each other so they can manipulate everybody. this is an old kennedy trick, a roosevelt trick, assign the same speech to two or three people and see which speech you like, get 'em -- but this is different. but from what i've been reading today, trump likes it when people hate each other. >> but people have always talked about melania trump being different from president trump. what we saw was president trump-like actions out of melania trump. she could have just whispered to her president and say, we need to get rid of this lady. instead, it's is a public embarrassment to release -- >> why did she go outside, then? >> that's the question everyone wants to know. there's this idea, why would you have to go publicly if you're the first lady. i was just married, happy wife, happy life. >> i like that. happy wife, happy life. anyway, meanwhile former white house staffer omarosa manigault newman said the president's recent behavior is classic trump. >> this is a clear example of
donald trump being embarrassed and as a result, you see him sulking. and he's pouting, like a child. and as a result, he's going to continue to lash out and everybody around him will be miserable. just way he likes it. >> just the way he likes it. that's the part she does that. susan, stepping back from the family turmoil in there, i get the feeling that a lot of they think so are happening right now, and that's why the president is objectively worried. look, mueller's going to act. he's probably going to go after roger stone. he may well go after donald jr. in the very near future before christmas, before the holidays. could happen. to prevent that, to preempt it, he brought in whitaker, to possibly stifle further indictments, a report going to the congress, whatever, do the best he can. at the same time, he's saying people on the hill are starting to react to whitaker, and saying, they've got to take steps to -- we'll get to that later in the show, to protect mueller. all of this is objectively, it seems to me, coming and trump realizes, he's going to lose the
subpoena power, he's going to lose the house, he may lose control of his tax returns, everything. >> and these are things that are beyond his control to affect. you know, before this, he's had control over congress, he's had the bully pulpit. he maintains support of his core supporters. but when it comes to legal action from muriel, when it comes to subpoenas from the house democrats, those are things that he can't do anything about. and i think you get this sense of growing realization about what that will exactly mean. i think during the campaign, it was not clear that the president understood how much difference in his life it was going to make if democrats won the house. and i think that is dawning on him now. >> yamiche, do you think this is like the guy who's been dumped on at work and goes home and kicks the dog? is this what this is about? he just seems to be hitting everybody who are below him? >> there are all of these aides that are telling people that he's basically angry at everyone and raging out because he's basically an unhappy person right now. and i go back to that human idea
that everyone gets in a bad mood, everyone gets mad, but everyone isn't the president of the united states, which in this case, you still have to do your job, which some people are saying, isn't in the mood to do and it's running the free world. >> two years from gwenn ifill. it's good to have heros. we all need heros. yamiche alcindor, eli stokols, susan page, you guys are like the ghost of christmas past. you guys know this guy and you're bringing it all up. everybody who ever knew trump say, same old trump, same old trump. we have some breaking news now. nbc news is now ready to make the following call. nbc is calling democrat andrew kim the apparent winner in new jersey's third congressional district. that's another democratic pickup. and coming up, trump's attempt to install a loyalist at the very top of the justice department, that would be whitaker, is generating backlash on both sides of the aisle now. are republican lawmakers finally onboard with legislation to protect mueller and his investigation? plus, after a democratic
victory last week, winning between 35 and 40 seats in the house of representatives, can the party ride the blue wave out of the midterms into 2020? and the progressive caucus in the house is now facing off against a more moderate group of incoming democratic freshman, fresh people, i guess. can pelosi keep both groups happy? and an illuminating look at the new democratic members of congress. wait until you see this as the many faces of -- what was it? what was that? i forget. i'll think of it. many faces of -- anyway, this is "hardball," where the action is. anyway, thi where the action is. insurance that won't replace
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hostility toward the mueller probe has created a sense of urgency to protect the special counsel. a push to ensure that justice will be served, not stifled. however, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell today, late today, blocked a bipartisan effort led by democratic senator chris coons and republican senator jeff flake to vote on legislation to ensure the investigation continues unimpeded. in response, senator flake announced he'll hold up the confirmation of trump's judicial nominees in committee and vote against them on the floor until the full senate votes on the bill to protect mueller. so he's going to fight pack to some extent. here's senator flake late tonight in a press conference alongside senator coons. >> when you have the attorney general fired and the oversight for the investigation moved to someone who has not received senate confirmation, who has expressed open hostility to the mueller investigation, then there's a problem. and i think that most of our colleagues feel the same way.
i have explained today, i have committed not to advance anymore nominees through the judiciary committee. they will not receive my vote. and with the margins we have in the judiciary committee, it will mean they should not move forward. >> should matt whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the investigation? >> yes, absolutely. >> senator flake? >> yes. well, i think he shouldn't be in that position at all. >> well, even trump's outspoken ally, senator lindsay dprey gra south carolina, who had previously backed away to protect mueller conceded to reuters yesterday that it probably would be good to have this legislation in place just for the future. i'm joined right now by natasha bertrand, a staff writer at the atlantic and glenn kirschner is a former federal prosecutor. this is kind of a wet noodle to throw at this guy, i'm sorry. we've got 30 judgeships already to be confirmed on the floor, they've already gone past the judiciary committee, where, you know, you know, this guy could have held them up a day or two. but you know, i don't sense this as a real threat to trump. >> it doesn't seem like it.
and it really does seem like at this moment in time, mueller needs protection. so whether we see this bill actually pushed through and land on the president's desk. chris, i think one of the most interesting questions from a legal perspective is what happens if a bill to protect robert mueller lands on the president's desk? he's got two options, right? he can sign it. what does he do? he's enabeling and protecting the person who is investigating -- >> could also be april 1st, it could be april fool's day, because i don't think it's ever going to get on his desk. because mitch mcconnell represents the 91% of republicans in this country that back trump all the way down the line. >> i dpragree, it may not, but maybe there will be a significant push and they'll get something to him. but he signs it and he's protecting the person who looks to potentially take he and his family down. or he vetoes it, and we have to ask the question, if he does that with a corrupt intent, is that something that mueller could use against him. it is a very sticky wicket. >> so i'm sitting around like everybody trying to figure out, why now? why everything now? why did he bring in whitaker now? well, it's the day after the
election. he can get away with it without paying a price. but he wants to act ahead of mueller. mueller could indict, what, corsi? he can indict roger stone, and trump will live with it. except stone knows an awful lot about what trump has been saying ever since he started running for president. he knows a lot he can rat him out on. but what's he do when his kids are indicted? the kids can't rat him out? the kids can't flip. the kids will go to prison. and i don't think trump wants to go after that. >> i think it was pretty common knowledge that after the midterms, the mueller investigation was going to ramp up. there was exposure for roger stone, corsi, all these players that could link the trump campaign directly to wikileaks. and i think the president is really worried about that. but we also have to ask the question -- >> wouldn't you? >> -- why now. >> this is the only objective reality the guy has actually faced. >> and now we know the questions that mueller has asked the president in these written questions that trump is apparently responding to, it's focused all on conspiracy, not necessarily obstruction of
justice. >> you mean collusion -- >> conspiracy -- >> you're advancing a criminal conspiracy, you're guilty. but glenn, i don't think this is anything more than a joke, this written stuff. it's just to slow the thing down. it's like negotiating with the north vietnamese during the vietnam war. we'll talk and we'll fight, we'll talk and we'll fight, but we're not going to give anything. we're just going to play games with you. >> right. >> anyway, we already know that whitaker is effectively trying out for the job in the administration by defending the president publicly on places like fox and slamming the mueller probe in media appearance ss. and it's now apparent that those efforts paid off. according to politico, great reporting here, the white house foisted whitaker on attorney general sessions to be his chief of staff. former white house council don mcgahn pressured sessions into hiring the little-known attorney -- that would be whitaker -- as hi nuz chief of staff. sessions came away from his interactions with mcgahn with the impression that he had little choice but to comply with the white house' demands. this is so machiavellian.
so they put this guy as his number one assistants, his chief of staff, all the while planning to use him to replace the guy. >> they wanted him in this position since last year. they been interviewing whitaker for top-level positions either in the white house, to defend himself against the mueller investigation, or to be the deputy attorney general. so the idea that trump did not know whitaker before he appointed him as acting attorney general is just completely absurd. they've known since last year that whitaker was a big critic of the mueller investigation. >> how tight a hold cousin the president have on whitaker? glenn? i think he's got a hold -- if this guy even says the word "recuse," he'll wish he was never born. >> again, that's a great question, because there is at least some reporting that whitaker has consulted with the professional responsibility advisory office. chris, these are the ethics gurus. some of these guys have been in place for decades. and what they do and all they do is they study these issues to see whether a department of justice official is recused, needs to remove himself, not only if he has an actual
conflict, but i can tell you, as a former career prosecutor, we're big on the appearance of conflict. because if we have the appearance of conflict and we're overseeing an investigation -- >> would trump rather have the appearance of conflict or his son in prison? >> trump doesn't care about the conflict. trump installed whitaker for this very reason. >> natashnatasha, you know abou. does whitaker have the stuff to say to these ethics guys, look, i'm here because of one guy, not because of you, and i'm not recusing myself. >> he seems to have a one-track mind. the reason why he was doing the media rounds last year was to get president trump's attention. he's baeen wanting trump's approval for the better part of the year and he knows that's the way to the tonigp. >> he won't double cross him? >> not now. >> meanwhile, there's more bad news for roger stone. "the wall street journal" reports tonight that mueller's office is crediting whether mr. stone tried to discredit a
witness. stone has said that radio personality randy credico was his back channel to wikileaks, but credico denied it. "the journal" reports that e-mails sent to credico say that mr. stone threatened to sue the blank out of him, called him a loser, a liar, and a rat and told him to prepare to die. that's roger stone talk. separately, nbc news is reporting tonight that text messages provided by stone to nbc news show that credico appeared to be providing regular updates to stone on wikileaks founder julian assange's plans in the days before the hacked e-mails were released. for instance, in october, texts shows that credico predicted hillary's campaign will die this week. six days later, wikileaks released its first dump of e-mails stole orphan knn from p. this gets to the belly of the beast. if trump's people, and the person of roger stone and credico knew all about what the russians were planning to dump on wikileaks about hillary and podesta and all the other people in there in that campaign, to
humiliate them and mis -- distract the american voter, if that's all part of a deal, then trump knew about it. there's no way roger stone didn't know all this crap was going on and didn't tell trump. >> and that's russian conspiracy and collusion all day long, if they told trump. and it sure seems like they would have. but there's this unholy trinity of stone and corsi and credico and it's a race to the payment in terms to their credibility because none of them have any credibility. >> but they're not kboigoing to prison. >> here's what i find most interesting. two of the three say they expect to be indicted. stone said he's probably going to be indicted. corsi said he's probably going to be indicted. credico went to the grand jury, testified for three hours by his own account, because he came on msnbc right after that, he was still sweating, and he said, boy, they sweat me for three hours. and he told a little bit -- he has never said, i think i'm going to be indicted. that tells me something. and if i can talk about one of the e-mails, because -- >> you mean he talked. >> yeah we now have these e-mails and stone says it's
credico and credico says it's stone with respect to who's really in communication with julian assange. but you know what? here's a great bit of insight into what stone was involved in and what credico was involved in. he says that credico texted stone the following. quote, why can't you get trump to come out and say that he would give julian assange asylum? what does that tell us? it tells us that credico knows that stone is the guy who's got access to the president. >> quid pro quo. thank you so much, natasha bertrand and glenn kirschner. we're getting into it here, aren't we? we're getting to the heart of this thing. up next, the battle for 20 is 20 is underway. a very potential 2020 candidate is going to join us here in one minute. this is "hardball." sherrod brown of ohio, the victor! this is "hardball," where the action is. this is "hardball," where the tion is. -computer, order pizza. -of course, daniel. -fridge, weather. -clear skies and 75. -trash can, turn on the tv. -my pleasure. -ice dispenser, find me a dog sitter.
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welcome back to "hardball." tuesday night was a big night for democrats in the great lakes states of pennsylvania, wisconsin, and michigan. the democratic candidates for governor and senate swept those states, only two years after donald trump picked them up. essentially knocking down that blue wall back then. but democrats were less victorious than neighboring ohio, where the state elected only one democrat to statewide office. that would be senator sherrod brown, who was re-elected to his third senate term. here he is on election night. >> you all showed the country
that progressives can win and win decisively in the heartland. and you showed the country by putting people first, and by honoring the dignity of work, we carry a state that donald trump won by almost double digits. we as progressives signify -- we celebrate the dignity of all work. when we fight for workers, we fight for all people, whether you punch a clock or swipe a badge. whether you work for tips or you work for a salary. whether you're raising children or you're taking care of an aging parent. and we -- as we celebrate the dignity of work, we unify, we will not divide. >> so how did a progressive democrat win in a state that voted for donald trump by double digits? for more, i'm joined by the man himself, the newly elected senator from ohio, sherrod brown. it seems to me, an old labor guy
once said this to a senator i knew. he said, you dance with the one that brung you. the people that built the democratic country. the people who worked with pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, wisconsin. it's always been democratic territory. trump stole it, he grabbed it, i should say, two years ago. how'd he get it back? >> you get it back by talking about the dignity of work. i think you point out this sort of phony populism of donald trump, where he talks about working class voters, but he divides them. >> does he know any? >> probably, he probably doesn't know too many of them, number one. number two, the white house looks like a retreat for wall street kpeexecutives. but he has put this phony populism out there. and real populism isn't racist. real populism isn't anti-semitic. real populism doesn't push people down, it lifts people up. it doesn't divide workers, it doesn't call people names. and a campaign against donald trump is, you put up his phony populism that's really for wall street against real populism that's for workers and as i said
there, when you talk about workers, you're talking about all workers, whether you punch a clock, whether you work for a salary, whether you work at a hospital, working construction -- >> well, bill clinton won in '92, he said he was for the people who work hard and play by the rules. he's for the regular guy who does 50 hours of work, comes home, have a beer, watches a little tv, worries about his family. >> should be able to get ahead. if you work all your life and you've followed the rule and you've contributed to your community, you ought to have a secure retirement. and we really don't here. >> here's the bad news about the failure to meet that goal. 52%, i believe the latest number is 52% of people who don't have a college degree were for trump. and 52% of people with a college degree are for the democrats. how'd the democratic party become the party of gown and the republican party the party of the townys. the regular people. how'd that happen? they flipped. >> it happened because democrats weren't listening well enough, i think. democrats on trade and tax policy. and we have seen the business plan and you and i have talked
about this and we've talked about this a lot when i've watched your show. we've encouraged business through trade and tax policy to shut down production in mansfield or dayton, ohio, and move overseas and collect a tax break. and it's a tax policy, it's a trade policy, we haven't looked out for workers. this town, frankly, doesn't really understand the dignity of work. i was talking to a teamster -- a group of about 200 teamsters last night in washington right around the time i saw you coming off your show. and talking about their pensions. and these workers understand the dignity of work. and it's -- you know, we've got to reach them. we've got to speak to them where they are, they've worked all their lives. they believe that washington doesn't even understand the collective bargaining process. you give up money today, you're a worker in philadelphia. you're at the bargaining table with your union. you give up money today to put aside for the future. >> you don't have to make the announcement here, although i would like you to make the announcement when you decide about running for president, because i always thought you fit the uniform of who should run. how do you be tough against
trump without getting down into the crap hole with him? marco rubio tried to get dirty with him, it didn't work. he made a fool of himself. how do you stand up -- if you're debating him on television and he comes up behind you and stands like a galut behind you, how do you show you're tougher than he is. >> in the primary, he called them all names and they called him names back. that's not the way -- you don't make it personal. i don't use the president's name very often, but i do talk about the interest groups -- i had a bill in congress that i handed to the president of the white house. it's the patriot corporation act. it says simply, if companies pay their workers well and benefits and make their production here, they get a lower tax rate. if they pay their workers $8 or $10, they're levied a corporate freeloader fee, because those workers get medicare, those workers get housing vouchers and food stamps. so you challenge this president, you make that contrast. his phony populism that calls names and degrades people and
pushes people down versus the real populism of supporting workers. it's a pretty simple argument. you don't do it by name calling. >> i want you to run because i want somebody to stand up to trump with working people. >> that's what i've tried to do for my whole career. >> because you dance with the one that brung you. thank you, sherrod brown, senator from ohio. senator again. up next, who's playing "hardball"? well, you're watching it. we'll be right back. , you're wat we'll be right back. (pirate girl) ahoy!!!!! gotcha! (girl) nooooooooooooo!
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welcome back to "hardball." congress is back in session today and the house democrats are back fresh off a big midterm election victory. last week, picking up two seats in california and new jersey today. and while democrats take control in january of the house, the two factions in the house, the progressive caucus which keeps getting bigger and the more moderate group of incoming freshman members will have to compete to set an agenda. which faction will control and reins and who will lead them is still in question, which makes it interesting. house minority leader nancy pelosi is confident she'll once again take the speaker's gavel, especially as no one's out to challenge her, at least not personally. pelosi will have to try to bring together those two new forces to incoming freshman members, 12 of which have promised to vote against her in the ever-growing progressive caucus which wants some issues decided up-front. pelosi got a taste of the difficult task in her first day back as congresswoman.
congresswoman-elect alexandria ocasio-cortez joined a climate change protest. she went to a protest out in front of the speaker's office. this is how it works now. i'm joined right now by tonight's special "hardball" congressional roundtable, congressman-elect joe magoose, tom reed, and former congresswoman donna reid. all three of you know what it's like to be in the house, at least, you're learning, sir. let me go to congresswoman edwards. how does nancy pelosi decide that she lean in and get some support from these new members, some of whom are moderates, they get elected in sort of purple districts, red districts. they said they weren't going to vote for her. how does she get them out of that promise? let's start with that one? >> i think that she can. and obviously, she can afford to lose some of them. so that's okay. and i think nancy pelosi is actually masterful at making sure that she manages the entire caucus. and i think that's what people are going to see in her leadership. and i think that they will be able to vote against her in the
caucus, to get her nomination to the floor. and they'll be able to either vote present or vote for her on the floor. >> is there enough -- is there enough strays out there that she can let go and still get the majority? >> well, remember, she got those strays and some of them the last time that she ran. it's not that she hasn't ever faced opposition. but here's the thing, for democrats, it makes no sense to being have this fight right now. tough leader who brought you to the dance, who got you your seat, and now you're going to throw her out when she's brought in more women than have ever been in congress before? it makes no sense whatsoever. and this is not the last vote that these young democrats are going to have to cast. so i suggest they really think about that. >> congressman-elect, i have to tell you, i've been watching this thing for 60 years. and every time the republicans want to knock off a democrat in the middle part of the country, they take some ethnic person, black, italian, jewish, whatever, someone who's a little different than the people in their district and that i cmakee
face of their district. they say, i'm running against somebody, teddy kennedy, somebody that they don't like. how is it in your race? did you have to defend pelosi? >> look, i don't think that tactic necessarily worked this time around. i represent a district that's 90% white, so being a person of color, again, i'm just not so sure that that argument -- >> so they went directly against you? >> but they didn't pull it off. and i tend to agree with congresswoman edwards. i don't know necessarily that this is the battle we should be focused on right now. >> well, you have the battle. you're going to vote a week after thanksgiving. aren't you goat ing to vote? >> i'm going to vote, but i think the freshman class wants to get to work and move on to the big, important policy debates. >> meanwhile, carter beat jim jordan. according to politico, president trump has privately urged the house leader mccarthy to strike a deal. a deal could include an appointment as the ranking house member on the house judiciary committee, a key post that will
be involved in many of the democratic investigations against the president. anyway, let me go to congressman reid, congratulations on your victory. >> great to be with you, chris. >> is there a chance you might vote for pelosi? >> that's part of what i've offered. we're part of the group that's trying to reform the rules of the house to get the house working for the american people. so any candidate i've been open to supporting as long as we reform the rules of the house to make it not this top-down speaker-driven controlled organization that it has welcomwelcombecome. it's got to be responsive to the american people. i think we can get there. >> why don't you pass a rule that says, you have to bring up for a vote anything that will happen? because i saw this with the immigration bill a few years ago. it was going to pass overwhelmingly and they wouldn't even bring up the damn eed thin. >> that's the cornerstone of one of our reforms. we're guaranteed an opportunity to vote for it on the floor of the house. you're absolutely right, chris. i agree with you on this? the house needs to reflect the will of the people that have been elected as members of
congress to represent their districts. and having that block of a top-down, speaker-driven controlled organization has to come to an end. that's why i'm glad to be part of this. >> you like the idea of having a freedom caucus, tea party type on the judiciary committee? >> well, you know, i'll leave it to up -- we'll leave it up to their role in the congress. there's a role for them in our caucus and our conference and they're going to relish that role and stand firm for whatever they believe in. but at the end of the day, i'm here to legislate for the people back home. and that's why i'm glad to be up here with a new member coming in from colorado, who i think we can develop a friendship and relationship with to governor -- >> are you in the progressive caucus, sir? >> i am, although i agree with representative reid regarding the problem solvers caucus. i think the reforms are good thing and i think leader pelosi issued a statement today that was largely supportive of him. so hopefully there'll some changes. >> here's some good news. rick scott has assumed he's won. he's attending orientation for freshman senators on capitol hill. there he is. he won. the problem is the recount in that nah florida senate race isn't over.
it's still underway and they're waiting to hear from the military votes coming in later this week. and today, chuck schumer said if all 8 million votes can't be processed by tomorrow's deadline, that deadline should be extended. >> do you feel as if that deadline should be moved out? >> absolutely. every vote should be counted. it is unconstitutional to say every vote should count in rural counties because they can count quickly, but every vote shouldn't be counted in populous counties because it takes them longer. >> if the ballots are in and out cou -- not counted by then, we know that florida law has a fallback and that fallback would allow for the tally that stood before the recount started to be the actual tally. >> if the tally went back to tuesday night's number, that would be election night, it would also mean those voters who submitted absentee ballots, provisional ballots, military ballots would be totally ignored. donna, how do you tell people who bothered to vote by absentee, we're not going to
count your ballots? >> you don't. it's a really simple principle here and republicans should get this. count every vote that's been cast. i feel like we're doing a replay of the 2000 election. that is nowhere we want to be in 2018. count every vote. >> why does a state have -- well, any of you. congressman reid, you can answer this. why does a state set deadlines lake thursday this, friday that, when they know they can't count that vast? >> obviously, every vote should count. but you do need to make sure that you don't change the rules in the middle of a recount. whatever the rules are, i think we should adhere to them as we go forward. >> in other words, go back to what happened -- so whatever was being reported on television on election night -- >> no, no, no. >> that's what the rule says? >> no, i think every vote should be counted, but at some point in time, you have to recognize, you need to bring finality to these elections and move forward to the next cycle. >> but one of the challenges here is that there was an overwhelming voter turnout, a lot of absentee ballots, provisional ballots, overseas ballots. so for an election that was not
pribl predictable. so what's wrong with the principle of counting every vote? when i show up to vote, i don't think, well, they're not going to take this one because i did it by absentee. i mean, it makes no sense at all. i don't even think you can at a. you can't explain that to the american people that you cast a vote but you're not going to count it because you ran out of time. >> i'd like the states to agree on one form of machinery, the same rules for every state. if it's an id, it's an id, whatever the deal is, same for everybody so it can't be played like gerrymandering, like a gimmick. up next, the difference between diversity in the newly elected democratic caucus and the monochromatic look of the republicans, the many colors of beneton. you're watching "hardball."
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the newly elected members of congress took their first group toe toe, a history making group, of course, when you look at the new members straeparated by par the contrast is sticking. the republicans class is mostly white men, with only one female republican elect, west virginia's carroll miller. two republican women whose races have not yet been called yet by nbc, including california's yun kim. the democratic freshman class, overwhelmingly diverse and female includes the first muslim and native-american woman elected to the house and the first back woman to be elected from massachusetts and connecticut and the first black male elected to congress in colorado. we're back with the round table. what do you make of your party? it's the u.n. >> it's pretty incredible. >> there's a hindu member in there too. >> it speaks to the unity in our party, believing in equality and
justice for all. that everybody should have a seat at the table. it's an incredibly diverse class, particularly in the democratic party, something we should be proud of. >> congressman reid, talk about you chaps. >> thanks, chris. >> what do you think makes your party so mono chromatic? >> it is a problem. i think we have to recognize the problem. what we as a republican party need to do is take a hard look at -- >> is trump helping? >> he's a veridy visive president, but what he's doing in regards to economic recovery, getting people back to work, and lowest unemployment rates for african-american and women participating in the workplace, those are good things. what we need to do as a party is do a better job of selling and telling people what we stand for. the president did a good thing today with prison reform. >> kemp was great on that. >> no doubt about it. the president's language, and his demeanor and everything, he'll completely alienate the very people needed to build the
republican party. we have a congress where we're going to have 102 women, the largest number of women ever and the diversity you talked about. i think the democratic party really represents the face of america. and, you know, it's not about making america great again because we don't want to go backwards. it's about how we go forward. >> i think a lot of african-american republicans, jackie robinson, wilt chamberlain. but they're all gone. thank you to my panel. i'll be right back.
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that's "hardball" for now, thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> this report that mueller is going to ultimately give to congress is going to be like a bombshell going off. >> special counsel stays active. >> i actually have communicated with assange. >> as democrats go after trump's acting attorney general. >> we are demanding that mr. whitaker recuse himself from the russia investigation. >> tonight, congressman adam schiff on matt whitaker. >> i don't know matt whitaker. >> protecting robert mueller and the whiff of indictments in the air. then, meeting the new class as more races are called for democrats. >> guys, there are secret