tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 13, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
facts matter. that's one take away from judge jackson. and tomorrow she could put roger stone unjail or let him back out. i'll re-interview the former attorney who dealt with the hush money payment. we'll have a wloel lot more on mueller and the probe. don't go anywhere. "hardball" is up next. four more years. let's play "hardball." ♪ ♪ good evening. three huge stories. a federal judge hit paul manafort with more prison time while the manhattan district attorney added new indictments.
the chairman of the house judiciary committee says the former attorney general has changed his story. it turns out the president did reach out to him to interfere in the cohen case and there are new signs that bought eoo'rourke is going to shake up the presidential race and do so tomorrow. we begin with the manafort sentencing and indictments against hum. he was slapped with a one-two punch. receiving more time behind bars as well as a new 16-count indictment out of new york city. we begin in washington where a federal judge snenlsed paul manafort to 3 and a half years in federal prison, unaddition to the four years last week in virginia. which brings combined sentencing to 3 and a half years. manafort expressed regret for his actions. he said quote i am sorry for what i have done.
let me be very clear i accept responsibility for the acts that led me to be here today. he said i will be 70 years old in a few weeks. my wife is already 66. she needs me. i need her. please let me and my wife leave together. the judge saying the defendant isn't public enemy number one but he's not a victim either. it's hard to over state the number of lies, the amount of fraud and the extraordinary amount of money involved. then came an unexpected plot twist and decided minutes later on 16 criminal counts in the state of new york. those charges brought by the district attorney of manhattan and falsifying business records. all part of an alleged scheme including millions in loans. he could face up to 25 years in new york state prison.
most significant is donald trump can't pardon manafort if he's convicted of charges. i'm not sure if trump can knows that. here's his reaction to all these developments today. >> i think it's a very sad situation and i saw that just a while ago. and certainly on a human basis it's a very sad thing. i feel badly for him. yes. ib have not even given it a thought as of this moment. it's not something that's right now on my mind. i do feel badly for paul manafort. >> the manhattan district attorney filed state charges, which would be a way to gt around the pardon. >> i'll take a look at it. >> i'll take a look at it. i'm joined by vance a former federal prosecutor and advocate
the importance of the special counsel and political reporter aat the "new york times" and political are porter for the "daily beast." does trump not know that he can't pardon state crimes? i noticed that waffle. >> i think everybody else in america knows that. have been doing that for 18 months. so maybe the president is watching the wrong channel. >> to use a colloquial phrase, we shot the shoo would pile on. she could have gone up to ten total. >> she didn't and she was explicit. her sentence wasn't related to the sentence in virginia. i think that's important. she was perhaps more modest than i would have liked to have seen her be on the obstruction count. it seems it would have bun approp are toot give hum a higher sentence. but it wasn't so low that it
shocked the kaungsense. i thunk the real question is would you doubt it, be unhappy with it if the judge in virginia had stayed within the guidelines? >> i'll get after that to ken. how does the president walk away in history -- whether he gets reeelected or not, how does he walk away from this horrible connection? the chairman of his campaign keeps getting hit with criminal violations. he may get another dk aide or more out of the manhattan and it's his guy. >> no doubt. it's something that's going to fall otrump in the history of his legacy. trump joined a group of people. he basically joined a league of bond -- in terms of the people manafort represented prior to trump. a pro-russian ukrainian president. >> may have been the cleanest client he had.
>> a war lord who used child soldiers. marcos who literally stole billions from the people of the philippines and now donald trump is part of that panthium. >> what a group. judge jackson said that manafort lied about his contacts with kilimnik. quote the office of special counsel proved beyond a reasonable doubt -- this gets to the heart of conspiracy, working with the russians, whatever they want to call it. the havana club where they met with kilimnik. the fact he denied the nature of that meeting tells me he was hiding. >> certainly. and the special counsel has indicated that as well, sawing that lie about that meeting and
his other interass gets to the heart of the mission of the special counsel, which is of course proving or investigating collusion with russia. that said we did not see anything reflejting that -- the heart of that mission in the charges against manafort. and soi think that is giving the grounds for trump and for manafort's lawyers to say this was not about russian collusion. the judge seemed to bristle at times sawing that's a non sequitur. but it's notable given the special counsel tried to take this there and the judge seemed to be willing to entertain this. it was not in this case. in the roger stone case, we'll see. that's the last hurrah for the special counsel in the legal filings. if we're to believe he's wrapping up this case, that would be the last one where we could see a case for collusion maids. it was not made here.
>> in handing down manafort's sentence, the judge made clear the charges were unrelated to allegations of collusion. she said quote the no collusion refrainment runs through the entire defense memo unrelated to matters at hand. the no collusion is a non seq.ulater, meaning it has nothing to do with this case. and he falsely ruled the judge ruled there's no evidence of collusion. >> judge jackson conceded there was absolutely no evidence of russian collusion in this case. so that makes two courts, two courts have ruled no evidence or collusion of any russians. >> that lawyer's remarks echoed a similar misleading claim by the president last friday when he are peated again today. let's hear it. >> it was a hoax. it was all a bug hoax and now you're seeing it.
today agon no collusion. the other day no collusion. there was no collusion. >> to be clear no evidence of collusion was introduced because he was sentenced on entirely different charges. he uses every example to distort the truth and say -- we are going to see i think a collusion case. >> history is written by the victors. it seems history written by the losers. he lost today and trueing to spin to the public this lie of what the judges were saying. even judge ellis unvirginia was clear about the fact that collusion was not present in this matter but that doesn't mean there's no collusion. everything that's been demonstrated has been within the mandate of a special counsel. but this kennard and red hairing that the president is putting out that there's no collusion --
>> they seemed menendez brothers the way they talk. they have the same talking points. i don't want to offend the men endez brothers. >> they might be going over the same talking points or speaking with each other. they don't have the facts and law on their side and that's what parties do when they're losing. it's a pr battle, not a legal one. >> you're not psychiatrist but i wunlder how trump goes to bed at night. just when he thinks he's got his guy off this afternoon -- this morning actually. next comes the manhattan d.a.'s office with 16 counts against this guy, manafort. "new york times," front page, somewhere near the fold i guess, trump doesn't seem to know he can't pardon manafort in this latest mess of trouble. >> that's clear laan frt to mock
sure manafort doesn't get off the hook by prosecutors who are sort of averse to trump and averse to paul manafort. that said, it doesn't mean there weren't crimes committed separate from the ones manafort was charged with federally. farce that will be the challenge to show that thaw are not subjkting manafort to double jeopardy and we do expect for manafort's lawyers to argue some of the actions in the new york indictment are in fact the same with which he was charged at the federal level. i think nothing else thatx tends this legal battle will probably cause manafort to rock up several hundreds of thousands of -- if not millions more in legal fees. >> lawyers for manafort will say this is double jeopardy. he shouldn't be tried for crimes
under state law he's we've already been charged for under federal law. >> typically if you have two different sovereigns, federal and state, there's no double jeopardy. but new york has this double jeopardy clause. it seems they've very carefully selected charges that don't overlap the law. look for manafort's lawurate to file a challenge. >> different matters. >> well, thaw are different matters but what will matter more is if tlirlts same facts and charges. there's no federal crime or explicit krum of residential mortgage fraud. >> he's facing seven and a half years. maybe down to six-ish. it's a a lot easier to talk about from the outside from the inside. so he gets six plus years. and then he sits on trial.
he gos to trial, faces the possibility of 25 mere years. this guy -- he's turning 70 and facing 25 plus six. he's got to be mows to gt through this thing. >> most defendants don't like to spend time in state prison. they would rather spend theratime in federal prison. conditions are better. >> you mean they're protected from other prisons? >> conditions are better. >> he could potentially foss banking or tax charges in uliland california. it depends on what they choose to charge him with. we focussed on new york because that's the charge immediately unfront of us. but there's a lot of legal jeopardy kalss around the country. >> this is a wild speculation but the president of the united states says he hasn't given any thought to the pardon. we don't believe that.
he has given thought to it. get him free from the seven and a half and best of luck at the state court level? >> i think what's most likely is the president will not put anything else at issue a low likelihood trump would pardon manafort before his reelexz. because it would be so politically explosive. he recognizes the political implications would be enormous. >> it's great to have you physically here. i see you on the tube a lot. betsy, as always. i'm waiting for the "new york times" headline tomorrow. i think the word pardon is going to be in there somewhere. the former acting attorney general now says the president did reach out to him about the manafort investigation.
raising more questions that he tried to get the attorney switched to take the heat off of cohen. the former congressman appears to be jumping into the presidential race. can he turn his texas beto omania into a national movement? what a kiss. movement? what a kiss. -ah, the old crew! remember when we all used to go to the cafeteria and just chow down midday? -you mean, like, lunch? -come on. voted "most likely to help people save $668 when they switch." -at this school? -didn't you get caught in the laminating machine? -ha. [ sighs ] -"box, have a great summer. danielle." ooh. danielle, control yourself. i'd like to slow it down here with a special discount for a special girl. danielle, this one's for you.
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internet that puts you in charge. that protects what's important. it handles everything, and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. welcome back to "hardball." the "new york times" reported that president trump a2e6789ed to intervene in an effort to protect himself from further scrutiny. the president called the acting attorney general whitaker and asked whether a trump ally could be put in charge of the investigation. specifically to over see case.
>> did they reach out to you to express dissatisfaction? >> no. >> no. well, now the chairman of the house judiciary committee says the answer was yes. in a closed door meeting, whitaker changed his story. >> unluke in the hearing room, mr. whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss the michael cohen case and personally decisions in the southern district. while he was acting attorney general, mr. whitaker was directly involved in conversations whether oo to fewer one or more attorneys. involved in conversations about the scope of the southern district of new york's recusal whether the sulgtern district went too far in pursuing the campaign finance case in which the president was listed as individual number one.
>> a lot of pressure on that man you're looking at. the ranking member of that committee, doug collins disputed that intrp retaugz. on the house intelligence and oversight committee. congressman, with this idea that the guy says one day when the cameras are on no interruption by the president, no attempt to intervene in that case involving cohen. and of course by cohen, the president himself. i can't deny the president got involved. >> you know, i clearly -- there seems to be a contradiction between what he said in open setting and what he said in the closed setting. i mean this is par for the course. we've seen the president tell comey to layoff mike flynn and then he told rod rozen stein there's a red line around his personal finances.
and he found someone, matt whitaker, who maw have engaged unsubstantive discussions. he's been doing hev a lifting frathe president. >> what do you think of obstruction of justice as heavy lifting? you're not supposed to call up and switch prosecutors if you got a guy who's in that case connected with you. in other words you serve to benefit if you're judge shopping. in this case prosecution shopping. that is obstruction. you're changing the prosecutor. >> yeah. he's a target of this potential probe. and therefore trying to corruptly influence theed a min straugz of justice might be construed as obstruction of justice here. and so i think it has to be havinged. >> i'm just wondering the u.s. attorn a in new york, why would he want this guy, jeff berman in
there? >> you have to sume he thinks he's going to be running it in a way more conducive to what the president wants him to do. or why would he care? why did he care so much jeff sessions recused himself from the mueller investigation? he doesn't hide his motives very much. and the argument his supporters make is he's head of the executive branch, he's entitled under article two of the constitution to make his choice about who runs what investigation and so forth. it certainly invites critics to saw that's an abuse of power that's not appropriate and a reason why other presidents would not do this thing because at the very least it rauzs questions and looks bad. >> how many prosecutors does he have to fire? the attorney general, deputy attorney general, tries to fire the u.s. attorney in new york.
howmany examples of obstruction of justice do we need before the congress of the united states sees that as impeachable? your thoughts? >> i've always said i think impeachment is a last resort, not first step. weevl arer got to gather all the evidence and come to a decision about this. >> you haven't decided yet yourself? >> no. as a former prosecutor in illinois, we always said investigate and then prosecute. this is a very heavy decision, as you know. and we have to go through the steps and uncover all the evidence. one thing that unifies our caucus, i want to point this out, is we eall believe in very strong oversight and pursuing the investigation wherever the facts lead. >> well, don't wait for the republicans. meanwhile emails and documents it after cohen's offices were raided by the fbi.
they're seeking records bepresident trump's lawyer, rude agiuliani and mr. costello. in one of the emails in 2018 after a conversation with mr. jewel yawn a, he assured mr. cohen will sleep well tonight. you have friends in high places. wow. he called cohen's interpretation of events utter nonsense. in a statement cohen's current lawyer would not comment on the statement saying as ageneral matter from my own past experience it is impossible to deny or try to spin your waw out of what documents say. i've got to ask you a larger question about this president politically. as history books are written, all the sentencing oall of these people. papadopoulos, roger stone, flynn, ruk gates, manafort of course. i've nvr seen such a bath tub ring of hell around a president.
it >> yeah. we've kind of come to be -- let's not forget the sentencing of paul manafort today, that's his campaign chairman. this is a person he chose to run his campaign and while the crimes aren't directly related to the campaign. it's the first time i can remember a campaign chairman for a president convicted and snenlsed to years in prison since john mitchell in watergate. s there wrr a lot of other people who have lied to investigators at some point. we're down to the president himself. i think to a lot of people who support him, it just looks like a deep state going after trump for political reasons, partisan reasons. they see this as part of a conspiracy to take him down and delegitimize these prosecutions. >> i can think of three east
coast states where thaw have a criminality unoffice. people manage to get reelected over andover again because they get used to crooks and public life. have the american people gt used to crooks in the white house so much that all these sentencing is going on and they might reelect the ring master? >> i'm from illinois so i don't know what you're talking about in terms of krupgsz. >> you mean all those governors? >> the numbers don't lie. there are 34 individuals or entities that have been indicted by special counsel mueller. 17 outside investigations, not including those uncongress, eight cabinetsic are tars against whom ethics allegations have been alleged, five individuals going to prison,man a of whom are his chief aids and woo haven't even started talking about jared kushner. this is a big problem. and i hope they're not going to accept this in 2020.
>> you're very gen teal about your state of illinois. i didn't consider that on the list of east kos states with problems at the hewest level year after year. as always, sur. up next is beto o'rourke diving the to the already crowded field? i bet he moves tomorrow. it's going to be clear as a whistle tomorrow night this guy is in. all signs point to yes. all signs point to yes
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welcome back to "hardball." all signs are pointing towards former texas congressman beto o'rourke to enter the race tomorrow. tweeted we need help sending some txt messages tomorrow morning. o'rourke is headed to iowa tomorrow for multi-trip to the caucus states. he said you can probably tell i want to run. i think i would be good at it. that's thebust kiss i've seen for a candidate. i always saw the candidate wins who looks like the sun. that's trr the i78age you want.
let me go to claire mccaskill. saying very interesting things. from that very difficult political state from missouri or moomoor both. it's like a joke onbar. one guy's got suit and tie, he's got 50 years practically of political history. joe biden. and another guy rolled up sleeves, no tie, not much of a legislative record and everybody likes him. who wins? >> whoever can get together the middle and the left is who's going to win and that's who we should nominate. i think both of them understand how important that is. i'm not sure every candidate running gelts that part. but this isn't going to work if we give up on what has always been the heart and soul of our party and that's working class families. >> sorry.
you have 51% who saw i'm a liberal. most people around town say i'm a liberal. but there's a big country and 47% call them moderates orconservatives. they're self identified democrats. >> the presidency is always decided by those people who don't vote through a party lens. our count rais about a 1/3 and 1/3 and 1/3. seems luke we need to get busy and nominate somebody that can put together a majority of more than 50%. madge if we ended up with somebody like we currently have. we have a president who supports -- somewhere strong support around 30/35% and he's not doing so well. we need a president who can unite this country and that's only going to happen if our nominee gets that the middle matters. >> how do you get past the fact
that most passionate voters are the ones most polarized. for example iowa has always amazed me. but iowa has a lot of people on the left and the right. a lot of people on the left show up with great passion. they may be bernie people, kamala harris people. very comfortable with the word progressive. don't have a problem with the word social some cases. and not just democrats vote but independents vote who were mostly moderates. and you try to get those suburban votes too. . how do you tell that to the people who know you got to win uniowa first. you lose in south carolina and how can you beat the one who won all those contests? >> i'm not sure candidate who's
furthest on the left is going to win any of those primaries. that doesn't mean a majority of democrats that are going to participate don't all agree on the same principals. not just thoz that are most like lato show up but those that are also probably going to show up. >> cory booker coming on o. the first thing i do, like in basketball, march madness, i got to beat the people in my bracket first. i can't beat biden first. i got to beat kamala first. and get votes that would go to elizabeth or bernie. i got to beat the people on the left before i get to the fight.
like biden probably has to fight it out with beto for the moderate votes. >> i think the one that inspires that he or she can unite this country is going to be the candidate the democrats fall behind. it might even be one of the dand candidates traditionally thought of as more left. this is a bunch of candidates and a bunch of skilled people and a bunch of good leaders here. we got donald trump waiting to unite us. that's a big uniting force. i think whoever survives this process is going to be inspirational and appeal across the spectrum. >> do you think the democrats -- i've generally voted democrat, not always. do you think you can run two white guys? is that over with, a monochromatic ticket, all one gender.
is that gone? >> i thiet make any announcements with jentder and race. that's part of the problem is everyone assumed the president had to be a white man. the door swings both ways. i think whoever is the candidate for president is going to be smart enough to hopefully pick a vice president that goes even furpgter unnot just uniting just our party but the entire country. i think it would be smart for the ticket to look like america but i don't think it's something we should set in stone because that's just as bad as setting unstone its to the be a white guy. >> you don't think more than to balance ethically gender wise? >> to have a ticket that unites more of our country and that would mean a ticket that looks more like our country. but i don't think we can set a hard and fast rule and that's why we've never had a woman
president. >> like you and me we talk to everybody that's got ideas. biden/harris or harris something else. or harris brown if brown was open for vice president. anyway, the "washington post" point out if o'rourke and biden run they could have a more centerist brand of politics and appeal to an untapped portion of the party electorate. and o'rourke is care fool pay homage to progressive icons. but sells himself as something slightly different. a youthful uniter, willing to liszen and learn from the most rekals trnt right-wing voters. and said if i bring something to this i think it's my ability to listen to people, to bring people together to do something that is thought to be impossible. is that too idealistic? >> i don't think so. i think most americans are going to find it refreshing.
we vea guy in the oval office who never listens to anything but himself in the mirror. he's so incredibly self centered. it's never about this great country and the people that are in it. so i think any candidate who comes oout of the gate sawing i'm all about listening and figuring out a way taput it together -- and if it's authentic and we'll figure that out as time goes on. >> let's check our mem raz. i thunk you watched the kavanaugh hearings and so did you. progressives hated it because they thought who's going to get confirmed no matter what comout. i saw cory booker, i saw kamala harris and i saw comy klobuchar. and i thought the first two were very tough. they didn't luke what thaw saw in this witness chaur. thaw didn't like what he stood
for in his behavior in the past. whereas aim a took a more opaque attitude. you couldn't read heir. what's the smart personality to bring? you have to show anger and contempt for the right or do you have to be opock about it? what's tlr smart snuv >> i think it's situational. i think if you're in a debate with donald trump and he's going after you,en the you're going to have to show toughness because the president of the united states needs to be tough. i think this current president is massively insecure. i think he's constantly trying to reassure himself because who's not sure. and in other instances you've got to be polite. and people ask how i did 50 town halls in very red trump land and i said by and large people who disagree with me in missouri are polite. and that's real a what amy, where she comes from. i thunk it's a mixture of both
and as you know, you've seen this soman a times, crus rr. it's going to be the one that lights a spark in americans and in democrats that they are -- have integrity and vision and courage and can inspire and lift us up. that's what this country is hankering for right now. and whether they're going tough against trump when they need to or being very ploitd and listening when they have to, that's the one that's going to grab the reigns. >> as jack kennedy said let's get this country moving again. i'd vote for you, senator. missouri and missouri. on monday i will be sitting down with presidentm contender, cory booker on the road in iowa. the great cora booker. up next president trump lost bug in the government shutdown, didn't he? and the north korea ended in failure.
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welcome back to "hardball. remember that phrase from baseball? three strikes you're out? here we go. he lost a summit fight and he's about to strike out over the emergency declaration. he got elected oen a number of bold promises from infrastructure to the deficit >> do you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy? >> i do including myself. >> we will cut taxes for all working and middle class house hltds in america. >> never before heard of, impossible to believe. we're heading in a bad direction. more than a trillion. >>s in deficits.
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this morning president trump ever the salesman tweeted 15 times calling his first two years the most successful in presidential history. president trump toggled, i love that word, toggled between two of them. make america great again and keep america great. finally he settled on we are number one, president. columnist with the "new york times" and jennifer reuben who writes opinion pieces for the "washington post." it's time for a little accounting, inventory. he's -- when he's not on executive time, what's he doing? he's lost everything this year. he keeps losing. jennifer's going to get into judgeships. >> i think we know what he's doing. he's live tweeting fox news, obstructing justice or dem
gauging against immigrants. what else does he do? you expect him to governor is like expecting my preschooler to read tolstoy. he played a successful ticon on tl vision and now he play as successful television on fox news. i wouldn't say he has lost everything but because the thing he's bun able to hold on to is his face. he creates such a vor texts around himself. after he was elected, there was attention to all kinds of crisis. the opioid crisis, the crumbleing infrastructure. all of this has only gotten worse under his watch. we don't talk about it anymore because we're just so busy talking about him. >> i liked a couple things he was for. i loved infrastructure. i wanted to see penn station in
new york be a little more delightful than a rat trap. which is getting there somewhere. but lax is awful. i thought when is our country going to look like every other country in the world? and he hasn't lufted a finger. he gave all the money to the rich. >> if he really had just cut taxes for the middle class and come up with a super duper health care plan and done an infrastructure plan, he would be 55/60%. of course that's not what he wanted to do. >> if he doesn't deliver for the crowd, the people who voted for him. >> one he's telling them he's done the wall. apparently it's already been built. the second thing is judges. that holds the christian right together. they think that's their -- >> life is the issue? >> yes.
>> he seems to be primary concerned with saving his keister right now. it's all about watching the trials, how bad man fort is getting treated and watching cohen talk. all this stuff is cover and evacuate as far as the president is concerned. being protected from his can country is his primary mission. >> i think that's one of his missions and i thunk it's pretty clear if he doesn't win reelection, he will be indicted. but he's also somebody who's driven by vanity and ego and has a hatred of losers and an obsession with winning. so you can imagine how reelection would be important to his own brittle self image. the other thing i would think is if he real a was singularly concerned with protecting himself from the law, the one thing he could do is stop
committing crimes, but by all indications he continues to obstruct justice constantly. >> who's done a badly, horribly but he's tried to go out on the world stage. why he keeps having stupid summits with little dictators. who's trued to do what presidents usual a do but unlike nixon or regan, he's not had any success out there. so what else is he going to do? talking about the vortex, i bet he's going to dump mike pence this year. he -- >> just get to the end of that. you think he's going to face a woman candidate? >> correct. and he needs a woman and someone to be buzzing about him. r. >> nikki haley. >> there you go. >> thank you. anyway. thank you bogt of you.
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so when our president acted to ground those planes, i was comforted. it's good to know that united states has joined with our follow humanity and caution is the right word. one called it criminally insufficient and it's unconscionable that a manufacturer, the faa and the airlines would have a pilots flying without adequate training and available resources to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models. president trump tweeted airplanes have become far too complex. it's hard to imagine any american president mocking a different decision. we've had this model of plane crash twice and to have a a third one crash with more lives lost is on those who failed to take the reasonable step to find
out what caused the first two crashes. isn't it odd having an leader take a step towards caution and good sense? isn't it odd to have this leader doing it? let's appreciate the good sense, grounding the 737 max 8 makes sense. even if both are too often absent from this president. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> i have not even give fn a thought as of this moment. it's not something right now on my mind. i do feel bad for paul manafort. >> the campaign manager gets another three and a half years in prison and an indictment in new york that would thwart any potential pardon. >> pardoning manafort would be seen as a political disaster for the president. >> tonight new evidence of