tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 15, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
day two on who could be bob mueller's boss. senator tim kahne, of course the former running mate to hillary clinton who is fired up about the shutdown. that does it for us. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. trump's stuck. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. there's a lot of news to get to. in just a minute bill maher will give us his take. president trump spent the day hunkered down at one end of pennsylvania avenue with what is now the it longest government shutdown unamerican history with no end in site. his nominee for attorney general bill barr told senators he
wouldn't fire special counsel robert mueller without cause. but he also declined to promise to share mueller's report in full with congress and the american public. this just days after bomb shell "new york times" report that the fbi had been scrutinizing whether he could be an agent oof a hostile foreign power, russia. president trump met with house republicans after a group of congressional democrats rejected his invitation to meet with him. to have the president tell it, he spent a lot of time at the white house waiting for democrat des. >> i haven't actually left the white house in months. i've been here i guess every night except one day i flew to iraq and to germany to see our troops. so i flew and came back. i'm not sure i missed a night per se. but basically i've been here for many months in the white house. >> i didn't even find it to be a lonely place.
i was here christmas. i was here on new year's eve. >> i was here christmas evening. i was all by myself in the white house. it's a big, big house, except for all the guys on the lawn with machine guns and i was in the white house all by myself for six/seven days. it's very lonely. >> anyway the associated press reports the president is is baffled he's not getting more credit for staying put. and while they note he's been isolated in his residence and prone to frust raegzs about his inability to get democrats to buck. national political reporter for "washington post." how is it getting to him that he's been accused by "new york times"s, paper of record and "washington post," of being an agent of record? >> he's frustrated. spoke to kennedy, republican in the capitol. says the president is digging in more and more on his border wall.
under siege from not only the shutdown but his interactions with vladimir putin and the white house. >> he reminds me of a kid who's been on snow holiday for two weeks. what's he do? >> it's more of a cabin fever. it's about an inability to govern. they say they don't see anyway this president breaks. they think tsa agents have to walk out of their jobs to force the public to get serious and bipartisan senators are trying to come up with a deal. they know this president is isolated inside this white house. >> the sad joke is he started this whole shutdown because rush limbaugh and anne coulter said he had to. to make a pun, he's doing the limbaugh. it's not like he ehad a strategy. did he know what he was doing? >> he's watching the barr hearings, watching the "new york times"s story and "washington post" all over cable tv about russia and he's saying to his
advisors i need my base with me in 2019. whatever happens with the mueller investigation, subpoenas flying with house dmt democrats, it's not just about the border wall but government and all the problems that lie ahead. >> nancy pelosi came out there as tough as politically i've ever seen and said it's an immorality to build that wall. unconditional surrender is what she said. >> a different dynamic of his generation. you don't notice a nickname for speaker pelosi. he gives almost everybody else a nickname. not heir. she's a powerful person in this washington. >> has he met his match? >> at this moment. she's not going to cave on his demand for a wall. she has her whole caucus with her. >> as president trump emerged yesterday from his weekend sequestered in the white house he faced a barrage of questions about that explosive "new york
times" report about whether trump was secretly working on behalf of russia. >> reporter: mr. president,io yesso or no have you ever now or worked for russia? >> i never worked for russia and you know that answer better than anybody. not only did i never work for russia, i think it's a disgrace you eevren asked that question. because it's a big fat hoax. >> host of "real time with bill maher." thank you and we miss you and you're coming back and that's great. >> thank you. >> in the time you've been away and watching the massacre of democracy, he's been asked if he's a russian agent? you have to go back to the rosen burgs. the idea the president of the united states is accused by the paper of record of working for the bad guys. >> it's about time. i've been using the word treason
and traitor for the whole time he's been in office and every guest has been saying i was an alargest and over stating the case. i hear those words used a lot more. that's what it is. what is it when you're plainly with the people who are not us? didn't we see that in helsinki? plainly he was saying given the choice i'd go with president putin. president putin says he didn't do it. i don't know why he would? can you imagine if bush had stood on the it rubble and says, well, bin laden said he didn't do it. i don't know why he would have. >> that's what defense attorneys do. they said the "new york times" said the fbi, a bunch of bureaucrats, not democrats, investigated him because they thought his behavior matched that of an agent. doing things one after another, include canning firing the comey
that seemed to be in the interest of one party, russians and putin. is there a difference between guilty as charged and innocent. yours? >> no, i think what you have to understand about him is he's this political narcissist. i think every article should begin president trump who suffers from being a clinical narcissist and go on with the story. because there is no difference in his mind, his sick mind between doing what is right for him and doing what is fright the country. i don't think he thinks in terms of whether he's betraying anybody. there is no betraying. there is only what is right and good for donald trump. i don't know how we get out of this except getting him out of office. i wasn't necessarily for impeachment until recently but i think you have to go ahead and do it.
but if you don't do it with him, where is the bar? and what sort of damage is he going to do for the next two years he is there in this office? i think the question for everybody is who's side are you on? on the it fbi's side. he's got republicans attacking the fbi and all our institutions. are you with trump, this one sick man? or are you with the fbi? are you with the rule of law? are you with donald trump? are you with judges, are you with everything we've basically built our country on? or are you going to throw it away for this one guy? i want to know what the lindsey grahams are thinking? what are you lying to cover up for this guy and you don't even know what you're lying to cover up? >> that's a question if you step back 101 contacts between the trump people going into the presidency, 101 with russians, i'd spend my life with getting
around and i haven't met many and i got nothing against people of russia. but how many contacts can you have without somebody saying what's up? even the republicans. >> and this is just what we know he does plainly, in public, in front of the cameras. i mean his defense seems to be i was only giving orders. what we're going to find out in the mueller report, i have no idea but more of the same. look, it's not that complicated. at some point he couldn't baueree money from anybody else so he got it from the russians. cut to the hookers and the hotel room. he is into them. i don't know if it was witting or unwitting. when you're a narcissist like him, he doesn't think that far ahead. he doesn't think. he just says -- this is what i wish people would understand.
he just says at any given moment what he wishes the reality was. i make kim -- yeah? >> ted copal wrote a beautifully written article saying watch out whether the voters kick him out or the mueller report leesds him to be impeached and either way he's going to be out there. trump's at 31. that's 1/3 of the country is strongly behind him. you suggested he may not leave? >> yes. i've always said that. he's going to go when he wants to go. i don't think -- he was saying in the last election that it's rigged, except that he won and it wasn't rigged. but if he loses, he's already planted the seed with his people that they're all against him. if you can't trust the fbi and the justice department and the rule of law and the judges, then obviously an election can be faked. so if everything is fake news and everything is rigged, when he loses the election, they're
not going to accept that. that's what he knows. he has that army in the street. they care about the street. the gutterhead come can to power is that's what historians said about hitler. that's what this is. >> the congo, what's going on in zimbabwe. poor countries got tribal differences and every time a guy loses, they claim it was stolen, they try to arrest the guy they beat. lock her up was his -- what his -- what do you call it? his jingle for the last couple years. arrest hillary clinton as a joke and if he had lost the election, he would have said it was stolen. he's teaching a good portion of the american people not to trust any objective fact including numbers in election.
>> well with, that's how whether dictator dooz it. they have to destroy truth first because if people reads the paper, knew it was going on, then obviously they would be upset but they don't and they especially don't hear it inside the fox news bubble. so what you have is someone who can tell you what the truth is. they believe him more than what they believe in the "new york times"s because they don't read the "new york times." so you're left with a situation where there is no truth and you're just going to pick sides and that's where we have this terrible lack of bipartisanship. forget about getting anything done in the country. year just sort of fighting for our life as a country. >> what do you make of this steven king thing today? i'm not talking about the novelist? this guy from iowa, he's been pushing the envelope for years and now they finally today passed a resolution in the u.s.
congress saying this is awful, we don't believe unwhite house supremacy, they're making it official. >> i mean look where the bar is, cris can rr, that we're cheering the republicans because they say they don't believe in white supremacy. this is how far down we've gone. this is where they draw the line. i'm beginning to wonder if they would ever draw a line. but again the question we always have to ask is what will the republicans put up with? obviously most of the country thinks that donald trump is a dangerous menace. so you're either on that page or you are pro-dangerous menace. and if the it republicans are going to go down this road where they are going to defend him, even when he is taking down the fbi, the justice department, those institutions, those pillars of our society,en the i tobt know where we're going to
go. year going to go someplace that isn't america anymore. >> are you ready to look at something and see that might lead to a truly great presidency with all these 32 people talk about running in 2020? >> any presidency would be better. i want the it democrats to find the best candidate available. i want them to go through a rigorous primary process. and that's a good thing. people are asking all the time, what do you think of beto? i dont know. it's like a band. i just 3rd one song so far. i want to hear more but i really don't know a lot of their stuff and year going to finds out and that's what's good. because i want the most talen d politician to emerge. we all want that. we want someone who can beat
donald trump and we'll find out who that is and i like a lot of the people i see so far. >> you're a smart guy, bill maher. i can't stop laughing on your show but here you're so dam smart. >> well, thank you. >> talk about maturity. "real time" airs 1:00 eastern hbo, starting february 15th. i've seen you in person too. coming up the fate of the mueller investigation will rest in t hands of one, william barr. would he resign if trump ask him to fire mueller? and the one question everyone's asking right now. will the mueller report ever see the light of day? that's up to bill barr, not maher. this is "hardball." where the action is this is "hardball. where the action is not much, but it's home. right, kids? -kids? -papa, papa! -[ laughs ]
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welcome back to "hardball."" the man who will decide the fate of the special counsel's probe faced law makers. and amid questions of whether robert mueller's findings will ever be shared fully with the congress and the american public. william barr said he'd allow mueller to finish his investigation. but he also assured wlau makers that he would not obey an order from the president to fire mueller. >> when directed by president 96n to fire the special counsel, the prosecutor investigating watergate, he resigned instead. if the president directed you to change those those or fire mueller, would you follow richardson's example and resign instead? >> assuming there was no good cause? >> assuming no good cause. >> i would not carry out that
instruction. >> well, however, barr would not commit to releasing mueller's report itself, even though he repeatedly vowed to be as transparent as possible. instead he said he would release his own summary, his own, william barr's summary of mueller's report. >> under the current regulations the special counsel eare port is confidential. the report that goes public would be a report by the attorney general. >> i'm hearing you say that inspite of the fact that you want be to transparent neither congress or public will get the mueller report because that's confidential. so what we'll be getting is your report of the mueller report. is that what you're telling us? >> i don't know at the end of the day will be releasable. i don't know what bob mueller is writing.
>> in an amendment last spring william barr, him, criticized the mueller probe calling it fatally misconceived. while he acknowledged he shared that memo with trump's defense lawyers at the time. yet today will not accept a recommendations of ethics officials of whether to recuse himself from over seeing the russian probe, giving every indication he will supervise mueller if he gets confirmed. >> let's imagine it's a judgment call and the it career ethics officials in the agency are that you recuse yourself. what scenario would you not follow their recommendation? >> if i disagreed with it. i came to a different judgment. >> on what basis? >> the facts. >> such as? >> whatever facts are relevant to the recusal. they could be in unerable.
the attorney general is the purseen that makes the judgment and that's what the job entails. >> and betsywoodrough with the "daily beast." it sounds like he's not going to do it, no matter what this ethics board has to say in the matter. >> chris, he's not going to recuse himself. he saw what happened to the lasts person that recused himself. that's why congress should do all it can and just pass legislation protecting mueller. there is no shortage of lawyers in america, no shortage of conservative lawyers in america. can't we find one that didn't meet with donald trump to join the defense team against mueller and one that didn't send a mem oo about the illegitimacy of the mueller probe?
he had answers today that made me feel better but his past actions and the president's intent has me very concerned. >> don't you think you have to have somebody elected president before you can get that done? the president of the united states is the president of the united states, he's tlr the attorney general. he decides whether to recuse himself or not, whether to release the mueller report or not in its fullness? wasn't it pretty clear he was saying we've got the power, the presidency, the attorney general's office. >> and i don't trust mr. barr or it the president's team with that because they've proven unworthy of it. and going back to whether this report should be eare leased or not if the president had nothing to hide, he would say read every page of the report. i have nothing to hide.
only someone with something to hide would consider hiding things from the american people. >> we just had bill maher and he's one smart analyst. he doesn't have any reason to believe donald trump will leave, physically the white house if he's not reelected or impeached and convicted. he's not convinced he would abide by the constitution? >> there is no way. he is a fighter through and through. that is one trait i will give him credit for. i think he thinks he is above the law and wouldn't leave. we have to impeach him in a congress or a ballot box but he's not going out on his own. >> same question to you. it seems to me that william barr created the headlines already. he basically said i'll decide how much of the report to report and i'll put it in my report or i won't. and i will decide whether to
recuse myself and by the way i'm not going to recuse myself. he basically told them i'm the boss. >> and i can tell you the president's legal team has had question about how they have william barr handling any future report from mueller's team and mueller hasn't finished it yet. but one of the key questions for them is whether he'll include material based on what white house staff told mueller about their conversations with the president. that could be vital material to assessing wlg trump has obstruction of justice. we can expect the president's lawyers to claim that it's covered by executive privilege. >> who makes the call? >> bill barr. and threats rr say he says this is cover by executive privilege and gives a redacted portion to the hill, then it's all but guaranteed likely congressman nadler will sue.
he will issue a subpoena and then it would be determined by the federal courts which could quite a long time. >> the u.s. congress now controlled by democrats in the house of representatives has the power to subpoena the full mueller report when it comes out? >> yes and i believe the u.s. v nixon ruling shows that. the president cannot rely on executive privilege to shield himself from criminal liability or conversations to direct people to commit criminal aktsz. we're going to get. it's just a matter of how soon. >> the president is basically defended in a criminal investigation? >> yes, i do. and i believe that if he had nothing to hide, he would not block the eare port from being released. he would not refuse to sit down with mueller as mueller sooks to get more answers from him and he would not pick an attorney general who has tried to already
audition aualready audition for the job. who's acting like someone who has betrayed our country and put them first every single time. >> one thing we know and your a student of this president as much as we all try to be. he was watching every moment today, every nano second of that hearing somewhere in the white house studying all the channels, watching all the networks how they're covering it but basically the same reality. he's got a guy saying things like i won't fire the guy except for cause. he thought he got anlgtother to up there. >> one of the things in mr. barr's testimony is he's a talented lawyer. really sophisticated. he understands washington and he's been through the congressional conformation process befor. and what year seeing is very much testimony that is barr doing what any nominee would do
which is trying to make it easy for senators to vote for him. but we know he had conversations with the president about legal challenges and we can confidently surmise those conversations happened and that they didn't necessarily sound a whole lot what like barr sounds like yesterday and will sound like tomorrow. >> boy, he looked like a washington mandarin. a guy used to share -- serving power, being surrounded by it and loving it. >> and we need someone who's going to stand up for power. >> you're reporting right now that the special counsel's office in manhattan are scrutinizing it chairman nunes, michael flynn and dozens of foreign officials. why would the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee be sitting in a group of
politicians two days before the inauguration? >> he hosted a breakfast with michael flun and they invited a host of foreign dig nuitaries as well as hethy donors. >> he did the midnight ride and he ghut white house. >> this happened before trump was in power and the reason mueller has asked flynn himself is because one of the questions is did foreign money move through intermediaries through the president's inaugural committee? that's one of the questions he's trying to answer by looking at this breakfast. >> so nunes could be a witness? >> i don't want to speculate but he is on the special counsel's radar. >> it's a stunning thing to their president of the united states defend himself saying i'm not an agent of the russians. they're not soviet union but
they still are in many ways. what is it to hear a president of the united states saying i'm not an agent of russia. >> i'm not a crook. and it took him two days to say it. when you act on behalf of the russians, encourage them to hack after it's revealed they're hacking. when you tlake all the meetings they offer and meet with the leader in secret and take the notes and act to take away sanctions, pull us out of syria, you're working for the russians. and i think he knows exactly what he's doing. >> up next. fresh reporting that donald trump has repeatedly discussed giving vladimir putin what he desired most of all, a withdrawal from nato. the military alliance built to keep russia from grabbing western europe.
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reported the president repeatedly said he was in favor of withdrawal from nato, a move russia would love. senior administration officials said president trump told national security officials he didn't see the point of the military alliance. the european union isn't paying its fair share. nato was quoted 1949 by the united states, canada and several western european nations to provide collective security against the soviet union. author of dwhaet plot to destroy democracy" and former ambassador at large to the former soviet union. the professor. i don't know what you want more than this one. the one think the russians, go toing back to stalin's days, when they created the war saw pact was mujeszic success of the north atlantic trooty association. the most successful certainly since world war ii.
they were really on the march, the red army. it prevented a third world war and they had to form a war saw pact to it counter it and they're still worried whether the baltic states are going to come at them because of the nato agreement. what do you make of trump trying to get rid of nato? is he working for the rusky specifies >> i've been predicting that. he has been working within moscow's framing of the world at least since 2012 and we know that through his tweets. he does not fundamentally understand any history, certainly not history of the soviet union. all he he's had a fascination with going to russia since 1997. he's been on the kgb's optics when czech intelligence was carrying out reports on his first wife. so that being said, he doesn't
fundamentally understand what nato is. but he does understand that his base, that being vladimir putin and the russian oligarchy have talked to him about it and he is adopted their position, that it would destroy 74 years of u.s. building of stability within central europe. that doesn't matter to him. last year he didn't even seem to understand it was a military alienchs but he thought it was a trade alliance. >> let me go to the professor. what do you make of this? is this just an accidental coincidence everything he does seems to be for putin? >> there is a funny affinity between these guys we don't really understand. the one thing you need add to what malcolm said is that this is donald trump's whole world view.
it's not just his view of dealing with putin. he has made no sookerate of not liking nato. but he's not a clubbable guy in general. he doesn't believe in belonging to things for increased security too, cooperate. he likes to pull out of things. the iran deal, nafta, tpp. climate change agreements. you name it, donald trump a guy who wants to pull out. and he has obviously seen that there's a lot of vexing that he can do of all his advisors by saying this. >> the only club he likes is mar-a-lago. >> where he owns it. he doesn't like other co equal members. that is something that is deep -- >> how can you grow up in the post world war ii period, '50s, '60s, '70s like he did and not know the role nato's played in
our collective defense and it's a good thing and the russians hate it? >> look, he isn't just saying he disagrees with harry truman about nato. you know, think itting that nato hurts us, puts him on joseph stalin's side as well as vladimir putin's >> and open the investigations to find out if this guy's behavior, which seems to match up with someone who was working for moscow is in 235k9 a agent. >> i think they started with the activity that russians were undertaking here. they were looking at what the russians were doing. and then they started dus covering that all of the people that russians were reaching out to, so many of them were affiliate would the trump
campaign. so, you know, they began moving up the ladder to discover the direction for this was coming from. not really big surprise. >> well, it's not but it is a horror story. and up next. it looks like iowa congressman steve king, finally went too far with his divisive rhetoric and this time his colleagues came down on him hard, as they should. watching "hardball." watching "hardball." rn, marie could only imagine enjoying freshly squeezed orange juice. now no fruit is forbidden. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn? for all-day, and everyone i've ever opioloved away from me.thing everything. i blew my ankle out and i got prescribed pain pills by my doctor. if making my detox public is gonna help somebody
welcome back to "hardball." u.s. congressman steve king of iowa has faces under creasing criticism from both sides of the aisle following the interview with the "new york times" where he questioned why the term white supremacist was seen as offensive. and the houses publicly disproving of his remarks. a day after they stripped him
all of his committee assignments. king has tried to walk back his comments, saying they were mischaracterized and voted in favor of today's resolution to reject white supremacy. >> i've carefully studied every word in this resolution and even more i'd add more that are stronger language, i agree with the language in it. i want to ask my colleagues let's vote for this resolution. i'm putting a yes on the board here because what you say is right and true and just. wow. so congressman king has a history of racist comments. here we go. >> for everyone whose rar valedictorian, they've got cavs the size of cant lopes because they're hauling across the desert. it would simply be a discouragement to be fooling
round with it. we do that with livestock all the time. >> i mean i'd ask you it to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions made by these other categories of people you're talking about. where did other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization? >> subgroup of people. omarosa, newman. author of "unhinged." and a recent u.s. congressman from pennsylvania and derek johnson, president and ceo of the naacp. what's this mean? this action by the house today? >> take action against someone they' they've for a long time have these views. it will be interesting to see what type of action they'll take on the white house to the who shares some of these views. the republican party may be getting a message that this
count country's a diverse country. the outcomes show democratic electorate and as a result of that, hopefully they understand they must stand up and speak out against -- >> you're saying this is basical basically self protection by the republicans. >> here's a group that still support a presidents whoses using racial overtures to justify shutting down the government. >> you knew hum, had dinner with him, breakfast with him. 23rrs >> i don't know that i -- mitch mcconnell came out strong -- >> wasn't scott the key guy? >> sure but look. yes, but at the same point in time being stripped of all your committee slots is a big, big deal. and having the conference chair woman say he should find another line of work, that's a strong, clear rebuke >> they took away agriculture
from iowa. >> but this is a case of too little too late. he has a long documented history. i think he bragged about raising more money for king than anyone else because he embraced this whole theology that king is pug pushing out. >> don't they have -- >> no, not when -- and you awatch it. >> white nationalist or not. i'm curious. it's nationalist, some people say white nationalist. >> do you remember the comment wheres trump said i'm a nationalist and we all know the long history that is attached to being a white nationalist and being the supremacist that they've embraced. >> you think david duke? >> absolutely. >> it's a racist term. you have buzz words for white
supremacy and being a res dbt from mississippi i can hear very clearly like most african americans in this country. he stepped up last week, scott. he stepped up and voted against fraud, another fellow onominee because he understand his legacy will be tied to this plutical party and he's made good decision he didn't want to be connected to racism. >> good for him. in the mean time, he's only ventured out a handful of times as the government shut down drags on. quote when not at work, he has fritered away the hours by watching the multiflat screen tvs. installed upstairs, gazing out secured windows. sounds like a novel. gazing out secured windows, tweeting at his enemies and phoning his pals. trump repeatedly told reporters
he hasn't made the to his resort, mar-a-lago. boo hoo. it's almost like "home alone." >> i send my son to his room for five months for punishment. >> go to your room. you know this guy personally. what's he do? >> he sits there and gets more and more irritable and the more irritable, the more irattic and the more isolated -- >> get on the phone and say send me opclub sandwich? >> he likes to call people to enforce that he's right, even though he sees the dottau he's wrong. he's watching coverage showing americans disprove and he'll call meanal who say hold your ground. he's losing his mind. he can't go to mar-a-lago, he can't --
>> he was doing the limbaugh. rush limbaugh says you got to have the wall. you're dead meat and he says okay. this is pathetic. rush limbaugh calling the shots. >> it's not about him. it's about 800,000 federal work whoorz have missed a paycheck. i came through the airport and i thanked the tsa agents. he said it's a struggle. can you imagine? some are living paycheck to paycheck and missed a first paycheck after a holiday. it's unfair and selfish of an individual who calls himself president. >> don't you worry about the air traffic controllers? >> i worry about a lot. i think the invitation for house democrats not going to the white house was a mistake. >> that was photo op. >> you have to play that out. >> you go to the white house for a photo opand he slams his hand
on the desk and walks out. it's a waste of time. >> voters are savvy. >> it doesn't have the right rhythm. >> my husband is going to get you. >> you honor your husband's name and your name and everything. thank you. naacp. it's one of the great ones. up next, another democratic candidate has announced they're running in 2020. s announced the running in 2020. this time, it's his turn.
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welcome back to show smoe. "hardball." kristen gillibrand of new york announced she's putting her hat in the ring. >> do you have anything you'd like to announce? >> yes. >> and what would that be, madam? >> i'm filing an exploratory committee for the president of the united states tonight. >> we'll be right back. >> we'll be right back if you have psoriasis,
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let me finish tonight with a question about the future. in countries less committed to democracy, you can count on them streaming the loser screaming it was rigged. this is the mentality donald trump has brought to american politics, a language that denies objective. ted coppell wrote a op-ed on what president trump might do. even in it defeat could remain powerful and he has a point. a new poll at trump 41%. up a bit since the government shutdown began. 33% are strongly approving of
him. but his numbers haven't really changed since 2016. what if he decides to form a third party liked itty roosevelt did, or another lost cause like we saw in the south? what if he declares the election results are fake news and refuses to budge? who c who knows? do you? "all in" with chris hayes rr right now. president trump putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> the alarm bells keep sounding. >> the president of the united states is a clear and present danger. >> and president trump is pursuing vladimir putin's agenda on nato. then trump's pick to over see it the mueller probe face as senate.