tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 26, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
michael cohen left his ten and a a half hour senate testimony during our show and promised honesty before the house. i'll be a part of it. it starts at 10:00 a.m. eastern on msnbc. including nbc specials. tune tine see what happens. as for now, "hardball" is up next. the fixer talks. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm steve curnacky in for chris matthews and we're following a couple of breaking stories. the house voted in a major rebuke to block the emergency declaration. now that bill moves on to the u.s. senate. and after nine-plus hours of testimony, michael cohen has
wrapped up his testimony before the intelligence committee. this was the first leg of what will be ea three-day marathon of hearings for the president's former lawyer. one of which will be broadcast live beginning tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. here was cohen leaving today's hearings moments ago. >> at this point in time i really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me to clear the record and tell the truth. i look forward tomorrow to have my voice tell the american people my story and i'm going to threat american people decide exactly who is telling the truth. i want to thank you agon for sticking around. have a good night. >> cohen's team is promising revelations in his testimony. this is what you call split-screened coverage. at the very moment cohen was
arriving on capitol hill, trump was touching down in vietnam for his high-stakes summit with kim jong-un. potentially high reaching consequences for trump's presidency. on the eve of his crucial meeting quote the expectation is that trump will stay up overnight in hanoi and watch wednesday's hearing. according to a senior white house official. meanwhile, new reporting continues to build anticipation for that public testimony from cohen. a knowledgeable source telling nbc news cohen will detail the allegations of lies, racism and cheating at private business meeting. most explosive is he will provide his own alleged criminal conduct and provide grannialer details pay offs to stormy daniels. cohen has already implicated the president in that scheme.
"daily beast" is preporting he is prepared to sign his stormy daniels cover up checks. joined by democratic congressman of washington who sits on the house intelligence committee. he'll be hearing behind closed doors from cohen this week. michael steel is the former chairman of the nrc and anita cue mar and assocative editor at "politico." congressman, let me start with you. the public phase. the public leg of michael cohen's tour of washington takes place tomorrow. as we say it starts at 10:00 a.m. how will what you hear tomorrow from him at this open public hearing effect your approach to him behind closed doors? >> i guess that depends to some degree on what he actually says.
we've actually got divided up jurisdiction. obviously it's going to be more focussed on matters related to the russian interference and counterintelligence matters. it will depend on part on what he actuallyicize. i think the world is going to learn new things tomorrow and i'm convinced the intel committee members will learn something new. >> we shared some of the reporting from folks around the scene there in washington that may be what this will -- a big piece of the focus tomorrow will end up being the hush money payment, the allegation of a campaign finance allegation of what role trump had. do you think that's going to be a significant part of tomorrow? >> i do. ib think people are going to be quite surprised at what michael ecohen brings to the table and testifies to. i've been telling my friends buckle up. because this is going to be significant.
>> this is somebody, michael cohen, we've already set to go to jail. his legal case has already worked its way through the system. is there anything he might reveal to these congressional committees that he hasn't to the authorities? >> don't know but there's certainly the potential to reveal things he that haven't been revealed to the public. there may be things we learn as members of the public. he promises granular details. and he makes reference to individual one, president trump, directing with him and coordinating him. i think there's plenty of room for new revelations about the involvement of president trump unthat activity. i don't think it's going the southe southern district of new york knows. >> you know this is going to. >> up tomorrow, the question of his credibility.
this is somebody coming back before congress who's been convicted of lying to congress. what about his credibility? how does he handle that tomorrow? >> you're right. he's about at the lowest eb of credibility having not only lied and admitted but lying to congress, the very place where he will be. the way prosecutors deal with known liars don't take my word for it. i will narrate these documents but i will show oyou in documents or point to the testimony of other people so you can believe the word of others. as an insider, he does have insights that can connect the dots. but he needs demonstrate dots in the form of documents to bolster his credibility. >> siting that ongoing threats against cohen's family from president trump. it came after the president had publicly singled out cohen's
father in law in an ominous post to twitter. and well known as a trump ally apurees to be following the president's lead, in a tweet just hours ago. he tweeted this. hey, michael cohen, do your wife and father in law know about your girlfriends? maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat i wonder what she'll learn while you're in prison. i bet she'll learn a lot. and response we will not respand to despicable lies and personal smears. gates was asked about that late today. >> can you explain to us what you meant in that tweet? >> i think my tweet speaks for itself. you should go read it. >> do you have insight on michael cohen's relationships? >> i think you should tune in tomorrow to fiengd out.
this isn't witness tampering, it's witness testing. when michael cohen who's about to go to prison for lying, there's an enhanced responsibility on the members of congress to tests that verasty and the truthfulness of the witness. we already know that michael cohen lies to congress. we know he lies to law enforcesment. now we're going to find out if he lies to his own family. >> there's the question of this is a member of congress putting this out there the way he put that out in public view. all the questions that raises about him as a member of congress. looking at that oversight committee is what you're hearing from gates, do you think that is representative of the tone struck by the republicans on the committee tomorrow? >> i help to heaven isn't. that was a pathetic display of
gangsterism. the kind of behavior a congressman should not display the evening before a very important testimony. he makes the point cohen has lied to congress. and put down the evidence in this moment sn moment that he's not lying but correcting the record, if you will. i hope with resneekt republican members that they don't -- they take the trump hat off long enough to listen to the testimony, particularly liszn to any corroborating evidence to that testimony. and do the due diligence and the level and give the witness the level of respect, regardless of what you may think of him personally and certainly this gaetz is spikable and unbecoming
of a -- if someone were to say that about your family situation, regardless of the circumstances to put something like that in a tweet about a person's family and specifically his wife is inappropriate. so i'm hoping the members on the committee take not the trumpian-gaetz approach, but take the approach that the american people expect of them to do a good job listening and weighing the evidence. >> the president, of course -- he is across the globe, 8,000 miles away getting ready for the summit. you got the reporting that he may be watching. some folks in the white house may be on edge about this. in terms of how the white house is planning to handle this, what are you hearing? is there a coordination at all taking place for how they're going to respond to this tomorrow? >> as you said the president is overseas and many of his top aids. you saw saurau sanders pushing
back today on cohen. of course she's overseas as well. they're 12 hours ahead. so it's very much not in their favor. if they dune doo want to watch and react in real time, they're go having to to stay up and i believe many of them will be. they have been waiting to hear what he has to say not just on the stormy daniels issue. h which i understand there's been a lot of apaid to. but it's going to go into trump's businesses, foundation, taxes and finances. the very thing the president is sensitive about. he didn't want this investigated and looked into. this is something his adult children are involved in. they're going to be watching and waiting and responding. a lot of the republican party, the rnc, a lot of trump supporters are here at home in washington so they'll be able to
respond more quickly in real time. >> your colleagues were putting this out there about michael cohen. what is your reaction to seeing that? >> well, steve, i am completely out of patience with people who confuse the hard work of governing in a high plurallestic democracy over tweeting the -- i found it vulgar, personal and highly inappropriate and i think it reflects more on the person who tweeted it than anything else. >> barbara mcquaid, i've seen information on twitter raising legal questions from matt gaetz. is this just in poor taste but within a congressman's right to do? or does it raise any legal questions? >> i think technically you might be able to make out the elements of a witness tampering charge. i don't know any reasonable
prosecutor would charge it. you have to pruvl that he wrote the tweet and did so with an intent to prevent the witness from testifying. i think his intent is to harass or embarrass or score political points. so probably not crime. but certainly is designed to intimidate a witness and in that regard is certainly as has been said, counter to the spirit of what congress is there to do and that is to divine the truth and not bully people from telling the truth. >> we mention again today behind closed doors, michael cohen was testifying before the senate intelligence committee. mark warner, democrat from virginia spoke to reporters. said this. >> a little bit more time finish and only time i'm going to make is two years ago when this
investigation started i said it may be the most important thing i'm involved in my public life in the senate and nothing i've heard today dissuedes me from that view. >> i'm curious. what is your sense when you look at trump's standing with republicans on capitol hill right now. how are they looking at this in private conversations? >> well -- the private conversation is often very different from the public pronouncements. the private tends to be more wailing and gnashing of teeth and i can't believe this is where we are kind of thing. but publicly, unless they are in the gaetz camp, hard core trumpians, they take a softer, methodical approach from the noise out of the white house and certainly a lot of the
revelations from the ongoing probes. they're nervous about this as you probably well know and looking at the numbers on the ground. the republican party has lost an enormous amount of traction with the voters. it was translated in the 2018 election. you're looking at the senate race in particular. 23/24 republican seats in play against eight democratic seats. the possibilities of losing the senate are high, particularly when you look at six or seven of those republican senators in blue states are in some trouble. so there's a lot of nervousness about how all this plays out and ultimately how it will impact them, not just the president of the party. and i'm looking for that there turning point when they really focus on their own self preservation relative to trump's survival. >> are we expecting that president will be using twitter
as part of his responses to this? >> i think it's a good bit. i have no knowledge of it but remember they're 12 hours ahead. so year going to see tweets at various times we're not used to. the early morning tweets will be happening soon. i assure you white house and the trump supporters and allies will be responding. this is going to be an all-day event tomorrow and they're not going to let that go. >> thank kwlyou all for being w us. did whitaker tell the truth about michael cohen? and possible widespread sexual aabuse against migrant children in u.s. custody. and. moments ago the house approved a resolution to reverse trump's national emergency declaration.
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welcome back to "hardball." there are new questions about whether president trump tried to influence a federal investigation of michael cohen. the houses judiciary believes it is evidenced that trump asked matthew whitaker, the then acting attorney general whether he could regain his office's control. burrman is a former legal partner of rudy giuliani was purse na personally interviewed by trump after donating to the campaign. he wanted a perceived loyalist
to lead the investigation of cohen was released by the "new york times." whitaker was asked if anybody reached out about the cohen investigation. >> mr. whitaker, did the president ask out to discuss a case where he was identified as individual one? >> no, congressman. >> did anyone on the president's behalf, either inside orrer outside the white house lash out to express dissatisfaction? >> did they contact me to lash out? >> did they reach out to express dissatisfaction? >> no. >> berman was never reinstall because he was recused. president trump's outreach, if proven true, could contradict whitaker's sworn testimony and help bolster inquiries whether the president tried to
obstructings haves in the southern district of new york. president trump has denied the allegations. and just moments ago jerar nadl from new york announced whitaker has agreed to come back to the committee to clarify his comments. ted deutsche sits on the judiciary committee. from the "wall street journal," is that accurate? does your commit ea believe it has evidence whitaker committed perjury in his testimony? >> thanks for having me. that's exactly why it's so important for the former acting attorney gen trool come back. this responsibility to conduct thorough oversight including probes of obstruction of justice requires us to bring him back and ask him about these allegations. this story about the president telling him, asking him whether he might be able to cause the u.s. attorney to unrecuse
himself so he gets more favorable treatment, that toorlg with the questions about the testimony they did offer about the time that he interviewed for the job, whether they knew his positions for the mueller report, whether the president lashed out at him after the guilty plea. all of these require him to come back and we take the responsibility of doing our oversight more seriously. >> okay. you've got confusion. you say you want to clarify things. but agon that idea that story that says you believe you have evidence of perjury. is that accurate? dayou think there's evidence from what you've heard right now of perjury? >> if you look at the response he's gave to her questions about when he interviewed for the job that ultimately went to ty cob rr, clearly it appears that he
brought up some of these issues in his conversations. if you go back and look, he's very care fwl the way he responded to the questions in front of our committee. it's really important for us to make sure that he wasn't attempting to get around the truth by trying to add additional language and statements to confuse us. tl that's why hey has to come back to pursue all of these issues with him directly to get to the truth and further to the issue of whether or not president of the united states obstructed justice. >> if somebody come businessfore your committee and gives answers technically speaking truth, you write the sentence out. you can't actually find a false statement in the sentence and yet it's sort of in spirit misleading. is that perjury? >> it's purerjury when they com to the congress and lie under
oath. >> in terms of the question of the president committing obstruction of justice. again the president denying what was reported by the "new york times" and the "new york times" saying he at least made an inquiry of getting a perceived ally back in control of the investigation. the president makes the inquiry, doesn't actually get this guy installed. does that hinder the ability to make obstruction case? >> it wouldn't. the idea is what is the intent. and you have an ally and that would be ea problem. that's why and there is so much
evidence ignored during the prior two years. we have to conduct our oversight and we take it very seriously. >> we were talking about this earlier. matt gaetz put that tweet out where he launched those allegations against cohen. a lot of outcry you're hearing already. is that tweet what congressman gaetz is saying on twitter, is that something the ethics committee might at all be interested in some way. >> i would start by reminding your viewers that federal law protects witnesses from the intimidation and attempted intimidation by others. with respect to the ethics committee by dhaur, i can't talk about what may come before the committee.
what that tweet reminded me of was when the colleague down played the importance of the potential sexual abuse of kids being held in detention facilities. it also reminded me frank laof his behavior a couple week withes ago when he tried to get fathers whose kids were gunned down at a high school thrown out of my hearing room. this is the type of behavior we're talking about and it's unfortunately been fairly consistent. >> you mentioned that the house judiciary did have a hearing on the trump administration's policy of forcibly -- and they released documents showing over the past four years roughly 5,000 migrant children held unu.s. detention facilities have claimed they were sexually assaulted while in custody. they also show an increase of allegations of sexual assault
after implementation of the zero tolerance policy. what exact failure does this point to in your view? >> well with, we're just starting to wrap our heads around what happened here. we received this information from hhs in response to an inquiry that was buried inucter documents. the fact there were thousands of allegations including over 150 just in the past three years of allegations of sexual assault by adults against migrant children in these detention facilities, this -- the reporting on this is horrific. we have to understand what it is that they were thinking at the time on tzero toleran zero tole. and what we tried to figure out
at this hearing is who knew about it? did the secretary know before they started ripping kids away from their parents, did he know they would troms it these kids and put them unfacilities where they were at risk of be sexually assaulted? there are more questions than answers today but we intend to get to the bottom of it. it's black mark on theed a min straugsz and the american people need to understand exactly what happened here. >> thank you for taking a few minutes. last night on "hardball." jewelio castro says a referimation on slavery. it's absolute confidence in 30,000 precision parts. or it isn't. it's inspected by mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians. or it isn't.
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ib have long believed that this country should resolve its original sin of slavery and that one of the ways we should consider doing that is through reparations for people who are the descendants of slaves. it is interesting to me that under our constitution and otherwise that we kauf otherwise that we compensate people if we take their property.
shouldn't we compensate people if they were property? >> welcome back to "hardball." that was this show last night, almost exactly 24 hours ago. julion castro saying he would support tabing a look at reparations for the descendants of african-american slaves in this country. this is a topic that somewhat surprisingly has emerged in the democratic presidential race. we mentioned castro. a few hours later, bernie sanders at a town hall event on cnn. here's what he said. >> so what is your position spi specifically on reparations. e-elizabeth warren and julion castro. >> what do they mean? what i've said is i think we must do everything that we can to address the massive level of despairty that exists in this country.
in other words as a result of a legacy of slavery you have massive levels of inequality. it has to be addressed and addressed now. >> in 2016 you said it would be divisive. >> again it depends on what the word means. >> as you heard in that introduction, there are other democraticb candidates who have been asked about this, talking about this. elizabeth warren, kamala harris. it's unclear exactly what position kamala harris was taking. cory booker seems to be against it. but this is topic. not one that's come up that much in presidential campaigns in the past. a little here and there. suddenly getting some play in the last couple of days. where do voters actually stand? where do democratic voters stand? you got to go back in time about three years to the 2016 campaign
to find the last really good solid poll on this. this was from the spring of 2016. this was over all, all americans 26% support the idea. 68% say they oppose the idea of reparations, of paying african-americans who are the descendants of slaves. let's look wrat that come from because there are interesting divisions. you look at the question of race. whites overwhelmingly 81% oppose. latinos split. african-americans 35 to 58% support the idea of reparations payments. we're talking the concepts. remember african-americans a major constitch witnessy. that's why you get an interesting divide. democrats, 38/55. it's not that overwhelming.
among republicans, 86 to 10. 55/48 when you break it down by party and there's a generational component. the silent generation. folks born between 24 and 45. they're 70 plus years old. the baby boomers pretty much the same overwhelming opposition. i'm generation x. you can see pretty overwhelming opposition. but a stark shift suddenly among milineals. democratic candidates need support from african american voters. you're seeing a little bit more openness to this idea of reparations. the polling is three years oiled. if we polled it again now and i bet someone's about to. do we see movement from what you had three years ago?
it does look like this question topic of reparations may come up. we will see how the public sorts itself out. up next the house is voted on a resolution terminatinging the national emergency declaration add the southern border. could there possibly be an override of a trump veto? override of a trump veto ♪ ♪hold on, i'm comin' ♪hold on, i'm comin' ♪hold on don't you worry,♪ ♪i'm comin' ♪here we come, hold on♪ ♪we're about to save you i'm comin', yeah♪ ♪hold on don't you worry,♪ ♪i'm comin' just as important as what you get out of it? our broccoli cheddar is made with aged melted
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get your human to visit wellsfargo.com/woof. what would she do without me? the house of representatives in a major rebuke to president trump passed a resolution a short time ago terminating his national emergency declaration that southern border. passed by a 245 to 182 vote. 13 republicans crossed over, voted to rebuke the president for bypassing congress. that sets up a vote in the senate.
so far three republican senators have announced publicly they will support the resolution. susan collins and alaska's lisa murkowski. one more republican defection would presumably allow the measure to pass, send it to president trump's desk and set the stage for what then would be the first presidential veto. vice president mike pence met with resistance at lunch of senate republicans this afternoon. asmany as ten could support a resolution to disapproval if a vote were held today according to four gop senators who attended the lunch and today mitch mcconnell declined to say if president trump's national emergency is even legal. when president obama issued an executive action in 2014, mcconnell and a host of republicans had no qualms of accusing president obama of over stepping his authority. >> if president obama acts in defiance of the people and
imposes the will on the country, congress will act. >> this president, if he doesn't get his way, i got pen. i got a phone. i'm going to go it alone. well, that's a disaster waiting to occur. >> we the senate are waiting in our duty. to stop this lawless administration at its unconstitutional amnesty. >> it may take a while to get him but the thing is history will treat him unkindly on this if he thinks he ecan become king. >> if he has the power to do that, what could a republican do regarding laws they don't like? he's created an executive action i think flies in the face of checks and balances and he had two year oofz democraticb controlled house and senate with super majorities and he never lifted a finger. >> we'll tell you how republican congressman explained it next. wn congressman explained it next. ty
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♪ thisyeah.ice. yeah, this is nice. mmmm how did you make the dip so rich and creamy? oh, it's a philadelphia- -family recipe. can i see it? no. new philadelphia dips. so good, you'll take all the credit. welcome back to "hardball. "a congressional resolution terminating president trump's national emergence at the southern border goes to the senate after passing the house. many republicans criticized president obama for actions bypassing congress. today one republican congressman who voted against that resolution told the "washington post" quote i'll be real honest
f obama had done this republicans would be going nuts. that's the reality. even if obama had the authority to do it just like i think president trump does. columnist for the "new york times" and former republican congressman from new jersey. i'm curious. you had that quote from mark simpson. sounds like about a dozen of your former colleagues on the republican side didn't. you've got some signs of a breakage on the republican side of the senate. it looks like this heads to a situation where the psz vetoes and does the dam just break on the republican side and there's an override? is an override remotely possible to you looking that state of play? >> i don't think the votes are there but 13 republicans the way i would have voted today. and this is ultimately going to end up in the supreme court of the united states. i believe based upon justice
jackson's decision, the concurrence in the steel seizure case that the court will rule what the president did was not constitutional. >> you see a court ending here. let me ask you about the politics though. you had the experience of running into one of the districts we talk about all the time. traditionally, classicly suburban dustricate that didn't seem to like donald trump. you fell just short there. the president sees, from all the reporting a political advantage heading to 2020 by stressing the issue of the border, by playing it the way he's playing it right now. thinking of your district, one of those classically old school republican suburban districts. is that winnable if the president stays on this course on this issue? >> there was a blue wave last november. it is moderate to not return. this is true in drms in 2010 as well.
i don't think we eincrease our majority in any way and the president was elected four years ago based on the electoral college, not on the pop y8er vote. so i don't view it politically the way the white house may be viewing it. >> we talk about republicans kind of changing their tune from when president obama was doing all executive actions four or five years ago. what about democrats? they were okay with president obama testing the limits of his presidential power. >> i don't think -- rir it's not that democrats have a position on executive power per se. it's the use of executive power is lying and jining up this false crisis and using it to override the expressed will of congress and it's not just that don't believe this is an emergency. donald trump, at least if you go by the rambling pressference he gave said i don't have to do this.
i just want to do it faster. so the whole thing is a farce. and the whole thing is clearly a misuse of the -- this particular statutory authority. i don't think to say yes, obama tested the limits of executive power to over -- to be able to act in the face of republican trans -- to say that gives carte blanche to trump rule as a dictator in response to his own racist fantasies is -- i don't thik it's a valid comparison. >> we put this data on the screen a number of times. 89%. trump's approval rating with republican voters sits at 89%. i just wonder looking at that vote in the house, looking at the pending vote in the senate, when you're looking at a vote in congress, how much does that weigh the fact that the party,
the rank and file seem to be so much behind the president? >> i think it depends state by state. i would agree ewith the 13 that voted the other way and approve those district wheres the 13 voted as they did and to be reelected president in pennsylvania and michigan and wisz wis or at least -- i'm not sure that was the case traditionally when you're running for relection and not just. >> pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin. a winner or a loser for trump. >> i think if the election were today, he might not win those three states. >> there's the pressdant, he thinks this ultimately goes to the report.
they sigh no, you can't do that. >> we hope. >> what if this can't be over ridden and the court upholds it. a democratic president, let's say a couple years from now revisit the power and how they will apply it. >> i ning the court upholds it, it will be such a nakedly partisan ruling that we can't assume it will be applied fairly when say president kamala harris declares a national emergency over climate change or gun violence. a skpreem court that allows trump to get away with this is a supreme court that is reaching for partisan republican outcomes and will figure out a way to r50u8 against democrats. >> does that enter into it at all. you heard lindsey graham say figure democrats do this with obama testing the limits. do republicans look ahead and
say what if there's a democratic president? >> i was critical president obama are i thing he stretched the limit and voted as i said today. and i want this for insurance because i don't want a kamala or bernie sanders or elizabeth warn to go beyond what i believe is constitutionally permisible for the executive branch. i think we should defend the constitution regardless of who defends the white house. i was critical of barack obama and i would be critical of any future democratic president. >> from new jersey and michelle goldbering. up next unless than 12 hours two controversial leaders will meet in hanoi. and tomorrow will be quite a day. you're watching "hardball." you're watching "hardball.
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that could reveal what your body isn't telling you. i'm gonna tell you that was the best $150 i ever spent in my life. life line screening. the power of prevention. call now to learn more. welcome back. halfway across the globe president trump is waking up in vietnam's capitol ahead of his second summit with north korean dictator kim jong-un. president trump arrived following a 20-hour flight. kim jong-un opted to make the journey by train. the 65-hour journey, more than 1,000 miles through china. he was caught giving in to one of his vices, taking a smoke break and using what appeared to
be a crystal ash tray. having one on one a conversations. gaucheiations among the nuclear program. is kim truly prepared to give up his nuclear weapons? and what is trump prepared to offer in return? before getting to those questions, officials are still reportedly working on an agreed definition of what denuclearsition actually means. and russian foreign minister sergey lavrov is in nrk with no agenda. he asked moscow's advice on how to deal with north korea. and we can't forget all of this is happening as the former lawyer his so called fixer to give what is describing as details to the president.
it would be a pivotal day for the president in hanoi and in washington. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> mr. co oen, should the president be worried? >> the man who kept donald trump's secrets begins telling what he knows. >> the man doesn't tell the truth and it's sad. and i should take responsibility for his dirty deeds. >> reporter: tonight congressman adam schiff of on what he expects to hear from cohen. and the house republican already threatening the witness. plus my exclusbive interview with a former trump campaign staffer accusing the president of sexual harassment. plus judiciary chairman nadler on the street block donald trump ffs border emergency, putensh