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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 26, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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we even talk basketball. there's a lot more we're going to show you including starting tomorrow. and that does it for me tonight. see you back here 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. trump with a vengeance. let's play "hardball." ♪ sfloets ♪ ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. we have arnold schwarzenegger, the "terminator" tonight. he called jerry mandering a scandal. a cause i fully agree with. remember the count of monty cristo who dies trying to get revenge on his enemies? neat count of mar-a-lago. donald trump is out there seeking vengeance on those he
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blames for the investigation itself. the democratic chairs are now demanding the release of the full report from the department of justice. a new "politico "morning consult poll shows 82% of americans say the mueller report should be released and that includes 75% of americans who want the mueller report out. the special counsel clearly did not exonerate trump of obstructing justice and trump wants revenge. speaking from the oval office yesterday, he accused his political opponents of treason and now he's pointing the finger without any evidence at the predecessor's administration. >> i think it went very high up. i think what happened is a disgrace. i don't think our country should
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ever allow this to happen again. we cannot let it ever happen again. it went very high up and started very low. but with instructions from the high up. this should never happen to a president again. i don't want to say that but i think you know the answer. >> trump's also blaming the press, tweeteding the mainstream media is under fire, and being scorned all over the world as being corrupt and fake. for two years they pushed the russianclusion delusion when they always knew there was no collusion. now the republican accolades are following his lead, using barr's kpa exonerating letter for calls for retribution. adam schiff release his chairmanmanship. senator lindsey graham renewed
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his call for the investigators. and asking networks to reconsider allowing certain guests to appear on television at all. and press secretary sarah sanders posted a march madness bracket to mock pundits of the russian probe. they're based merely on a summary of the report by the attorney general, not the report it sfl. nbc news is reporting it will take weeks for them to make a version of the special counsel's report public. version. white house correspondent for pbs news hour and the former deputy -- well, actually ben rhodes is the former deputy national security advisor under obama. everybody can't do everything. first of all i want to make a little plea here. if the president was so dam innocent, why does it take two years to get cleared onclusion?
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two years by a man he honors now? digging in and finally after two years he's able to clear it onclusion. and still says i can't exonerate him on obstruction. and he says it was a waste of time. it was -- we had to have in this country. we had it because we're vigilant about our democracy. it turned out oin one case to be exonerating, perhaps and in other case not kpaun rotting. what do you take of the vengeance campaign of this president? >> it's good to be on your show. we live in a nation of laws. there's a rule of law a constitution, the department of justice and look, the darmts of justice did their job. tl the special counsel was appointed. the president said it was a witch hunt. well, if it was, it yielded 37 indictments. six people around the president
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pleaded guilty. they pleaded guilty, been indicted or going to jail and a dozen other cases that have been farmed out to other jurisdictions. the special counsel has spoken. he says the coordinating or conspiracy part did not rise to the level that he needed to consider moving forward on that. but as you have already established, he left the door open on the obstruction of justses. and i believe, without having seen the full report -- but i believe the special counsel was sending a message really that he would appreciate congress actually making the decision on the obstruction of justice. so there's a lot to be seen. but the president needs to respect the rule of law, the constitution and the investigatory process. >> you've been in politics, you've been in high level positions.
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it seems strange instead of doing a victory lap, or at least the exoneration so far in sweating out the rest of the, he's decided to go on offense and he wants to have several members removed from their committees. what do you make of his vengeance strategy? >> this is consistently his play, to try to rally his base, fire people up. if he felt so good about kbhaab what's in the report, he's president, he can declassify anything he wants. i'm not, for one, willing to accept the four-page memo oto a attorney general who wrote a letterer putting down the mueller report. and chris, in the clip you played, accusing obama administration of all kinds off things with no specifics.
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this a man who criticized a very thorough investigation as a witch hunt, then standing there with absolutely nothing to back it up, accusing his predecessor of misdemeanors without any supporting evidence. there were zero indictments in our administration. this special counsel administration yielded many indictments. clearly his lawyer was committing a crime that trump directed him to commit. trump doesn't want to talk about that. he wants to talk about the people he wants his supporters to attack and tlalgthat's not a lead this country. >> obama did it. the president contradicts his earlier claim that the fbi's investigation started with christopher steele's dossier. he spent months saying it's all about the dossier. it wasn't the dossier and it wasn't obama. the fbi first opened the russia
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probe because george papadopoulos bragged that he had got political dirt on hillary clinton. >> what's -- >> why is he coming up with more and more people to hate and more and more reasons to investigate if he's clean? >> at the core president trump is someone who wants to fight back, punch the opponent and over do it in some ways the reaction. he talked to republicans and said that mueller report was bs. i talked to lindsey graham. he said it was like a mini election to him. those were his words. i think when you thing about the dossier and the fact that the president isn't even acknowledging that lindsey graham said he saw the dossier and he said turn it over to the authorities and that's what happened. that's not part of this discussion and it's because president trump seizes an opportunity to make this a campaign issue. he's going on the defensive.
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>> it seems to me there is some sort of cleverness behind what trump's up to here. perhaps with the help with bill barr. the man he put in as attorney general. remember how w. said i won, gore lost? we went to the recount and always seemed like gore was the poor loser, even though he was being the honest guy of accepting the result oz of the numbers. what could trump be up to saying i won, i'm exonerated, these other guys are the bad guys, the felons basically and we finally do see the mueller report a month from now, two months from now they'vae already won the pr battle. why are they lying now if they're lying? >> i think you're 100% right.
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and if you watch the last few mont months felt very orchestrated. he puts in place barr. a man saying the mueller investigation was not krdable. then they knew that they had in bob mueller who somebody unlike james comey -- remember when comey decide not to charge hillary clinton, they talked about the concerns. they know bob mueller was just going to file the report and not say anything. and they knew congress was not going to see the report right away because it was going to go first to the attorney general's office. they would have this window to shape public perceptions. no one else has seen it. barr geets interpret this report to congress in this four-page memo. trump is out with a vengeance declaring victory. the white house hasn't even seen this report.
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what happens? he has one part of the media that is immediately going to rally to his side. his right-wing media has his back and all anybody else has is this letter from barr essentially saying the report validates trump's version of oevents, even though we have this much bigger caveat from bob mueller on the question of obstruction of justice he is expressly not exonerating trump -- >> we're together on this. this is in the line of politics because timing is everything. he gets to shape the opinion. the president himself gets to shape the opinion about the verdict on him. he egets to do it thanks to bill barr, the man he put in to help him do it perhaps and now months from now we might get the full report. by then everything is jelled and trump has won it the argument. >> we know william barr was auditioning for the job when he wrote his 19-page report
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basically saying the president could not obstruct justice. if the president had full faith and cred cant now in the mueller investigation and the mueller report, the mueller investigation clearly showed that russia deliberately and intentionally interfere would our election. so maybe the president, while we're waiting for the release of the report, he can spend his time holding vladimir putin accountable and making sure russia is not able to interfere in our 2020 election. >> that would be smart presidency. >> i wrote a story about two years ago about people that grew up in authoritarian regimes seeing echoes of that input. he likes these figures like vladimir putin and kim jong-un. even if they won an election, i'm going to make sure these people -- that's the difference between america and third-world countries. we see that input's personality
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coming out. >> if i lose, it's rigged. if you lose, you go to jail. while trump's allies embrace the results of the mueller probe, they're still saying it should have never happened. >> this was the greatest farce ever perpetrated on our democracy. it's a disgrace a stain on our constitution. >> this must be a day of reckoning for the media, the deep state, people who abuse power and they did it so blatantly in this question. >> did the investigators, did the prosecutors use the law for political purposes? if that turns otult be true, that is bigger than watergate. >> you handle public relations as part of national security concerns. what is their plan near it comes out in a couple of weeks? i think there will be pressure on mueller to do so.
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what is this gnashing of teeth about? they're not going to get rid of adam schiff. he's -- they're not going to get people they persona nongraudau on television. about the president's potential collusion. others will do the same. but this is an honest investigation and i think people should be proud we have these kinds of investigations by somebody as good as mueller who even the president praises. but what's this trashing going to accomplish? >> let's not forget this investigation has uncovered a lot of criminal activity. the democrats that control the house. there are going to be investigations that reveal corruption, that do reveal all kinds of misdeeds probably by this administration. mueller report will ultimately
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get out and there will be damming information against the president. they want to take this moment and dwruse it for maximum purch. so trump's a deep party, and they're trying to color in their supporter's minds whatever hap ngz in the future. this is clearly the pr strategy. they're trying to get ahead of that and make this a he said/she said thing and trump's opponents are using that to say whatever happens is an extension of this deep state exercise and a classic muddy the waters strategy. >> i think the politics of resentment which the president is a champion of needs more and more reasons for agreavement.
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as always thank you congressman so much for tonight. b ben's going to stick with us. hostility towards intelligence did not begin with the mueller report or the dossier. he's got a problem with knowing what's going on. his top intelligence official in the u.s. government -- well, his nick flame the guy mr. rogers. mr. soft guy from the neighborhood. what's drivie this and who want to manage to keep these people from killing each other? and later, as i promise, arnold schwarzenegger comes on with "hardball." what he calls the scandal. >> below 20% approval rating. but 98% of them get reelected. so this is crazy. the system is wrong and what ronald regan said in the '80s is i it's unamerican.
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it's an international scandal. >> i talked to the former governor about his fight against ja jer gerrymandering. jer gerrymandering car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. over to you, logo. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ our grandparents checked zero times a day. times change. eyes haven't. that's why there's ocuvite. screen light... sunlight... longer hours... eyes today are stressed. but ocuvite has vital nutrients... ...to help protect them. ocuvite. eye nutrition for today.
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♪ my people came to me, dan coates came to me and some others and they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he said it's not russia. i will say this i don't see any reason why it would be. >> there's president trump siding with putin in helsinki on the question whether russia medaled in the 2016 election or not. they concluded the russian
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government didn't -- and still the refusal to condemn efforts is one place where he's at odds with national intelligence. and mike pence talked dan coats out of resigning over examples like this, these butteies. trump pushesed goats to find evidence that former president barack obama wire tapped him. and criticized the intelligence community as biassed and accused coats of being behind leaks of classified information. andads pence has stepped in whenever trump is souring on coats, he privately called "mr. rogers." and joining me now is nbc national security reporter who got this story. this is so sad. the president is so determined to kiss up to putin that in front of his dni innumber one
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person that tells him what's going on in the world, he trashesputen to make him like him and each more that day. >> president trump when he was candidate trump had this relationship and weeks after what we write about in the story when dan coates always resigned in december and mike pence pulled him back from the ledge, only weeks later when coates talked about how iran is basically awithin the realm of the jcpoa and how north korea has no real interest in denucleizing. within hours he was trashing the intelligence community once again. >> it seems to me he's got a real problem with intelligence. upper case i rr or lower case "i kwaelgts. he doesn't seem to like people who have the facts.
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>> whether it's the media nor intelligence community, he's got an aversion to facts, if those facts are not consistent with the current narrative he's pressing. and in a democracy you need facts as the basis for compromise and legislation. i was there every single day with james clapper. he would tell us the facts and every single day there was something we didn't want to hear. there was something going wrong in the world, something not working out. but jaums clapper's job was to tell us straight and walk out the door. and if you don't make your decisions based on facts, you're going to have failures like what happened in north korea. trump goes to hanoi. the summit collapses. >> another godfather reference pops in my head.
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my boss insists on getting bad news immediately. all smart people want bad news immediately. the tension between the president and director coats has played out in public. he reacted to news that russian president vladimir putin had been invited to washington during a live interview with andrea mitchell. >> we have breaking news the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in the fall. >> read it again? did i hear you? >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. that's going to be special. >> it's one thing for andrea mitchell to chuckle at that because of the surprised way it was announced on twitter. but there you have his intelligence guy showing more
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than chuckle worthy. >> i was in the room for that and i remember it -- everyone was amazed. and afterwards the conversation was how much longer is dan kroets going to last in this administration? afterward he apologized directly to the president and put out a statement saying he wasn't in any way trying to be dismissive. >> they all seem to laugh at him, not with him. >> i want to go back to something that ben said. he laid out the fundamental differences with how president trump is a different consumer based on his experiences with president obama. president trump wants certainty with what he's told in intelligence. they often deal in degrees of conf conftdance which aren't always high. and he just doesn't have a large attention span.
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he doesn't want to lisson for a long period of time. ben is a pufferict person who can explain how different he is of consumer of intelligence from what we've seen in previous presidents. >> we have a president who isn't interested in hearing the facts. the relationship between dan coates and trump has been strained from the start. according to current and former senior officials coates found it particularly hard to hide his exacperation with the insistence that obama had wire tapped him during the 2016 campaign. over and over again trump raised the issue and coates told he's not wire tapped. but there president didn't want to hear it. it began early on, a senior administration official said. you could tell that coates thought the president was crazy. i'm sorry. i'm not used to this.
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it's so rare in a political world when you have the director of national intelligence thinking the president is crazy. seven days in may or something. >> what's so disturbing about this barack obama did not wire tap trump tower. u.s. president doesn't issue orders. so clearly if trump is asking him to go find out if this was true, coates says no and trump doesn't like the answer. the underlying problem is in a democracy, that should be the end of the discussion. what was so disturbing in the report is that he kept coming back to it. he kept saying no, vow to come back and tell me it's true and he wouldn't take that for an answer. in a democracy if something's not true, the president can't
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just order them that it is true. and in addition to can cutting him out, the common thread is we would never announce a major decision, like inviting a president for a summit without a process that included the intelligence committee. so the fact he was cut out should be alarming to people. >> and it fits so neatly from a president who would fire him when he wouldn't give it, a man who would get rid of his attorney general. and i think it was obstruction of justice. fits neatly with this crazy attitude towards national intelligence and dan coates. great reporting tonight. great reporting. we're living off of you. this is your work. up next president trump is pushing to invalidate the entire
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welcome back to "hardball." five months ago president trump promised that republicans would protect prekpiexisting conditio while accusing democrats of
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trying to eviscerate health care. >> republicans will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. please remember that. republicans will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. we're doing it. if democrats like to spread false rumors. they're the ones that won't be able to because there will be nothing left when your system is obliterated. >> republicans will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. i wish people would get that into their heads. >> well, late last night the department of justice made a move to do just the opposite. according to a one-day court brief, they're backing a recent decision that would invalidate the entire affordable care act. 52 million americans could be denied coverage. in fact more than eight years after the ac arksz was enacted,
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it's so deeply embedded in our country that a reversal would effect millions more. democrats who took control of the house on the promise to protect obama care pounced. >> the gop will never stop trying to destroy the affordable health care of america's families. and this houses, with a democratic majority, we're here to strengthen those protections and to lower health care costs because this house, this democratic house is for the people. >> well, the administration's court filing came just hours before democrats rolled out a new plan that the speaker just said to strengthen the aca. their plan would reverse some of the damage done by trump administration pallacy. for more i'm joined by david cicilline. a democrat from rhode island. one thing i could never understand is why the democrats didn't expose trump.
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when he says i'm going to keep protections for people with preexisting conditions when he doesn't have a health care plan and wants to get rid of the only one we have, which is obama care ini'm getting rid of the cow. what are you talking about? >> the president tweeted the republican party is the party of health care. at the very same time the president has directed the department of justice to get rid of coverage for preexisting conditions, more than 50 million americans will lose protection. and democrats released led legislation to expand the tax credits, to lower the costs. so there's a real contrast between democrats trying to protect coverage for preexisting conditions and the president says he's doing the opposite is trying to take away coverage,
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trying to end the aca and rip away coverage from 20 million americans. >> i was struck by the emotion of president obama in the last several hours when he talked about how you got to fight for what you're willing to lose your seat over. in other words you got to put everything you've got, your entire career in politics, pick the one you care most about. he said in my case it's health care. that's how important it was to obama. >> parents who used to lie at wake praying that their child would not get sick because they were born with a preexisting condition. or people terrified they'd lose their job and couldn't get the kind of care they needed. people's lives were transformed when they had access to quality health care. this is a right, not a privilege for the few. we're here to fight to protect it. and president obama is right, it's made such a difference in the lives of millions of
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americans and the republicans are back at it, trying to take away health care, coverage for preexisting conditions while the president is tweeting he's for health care. >> he hates obama so much he wants to destroy his legacy. >> rather than start off with a big infrastructure plan, the first he wants to do is repeal obama care because he can't bear the fact that president obama led the effort to insure millions of americans have access to high-quality insurance. >> aren't you amazes at what penn station looks like in new york, even now? aren't you amazed nothing's been done? >> and we ran on an agenda for the people of this country, driving down health care costs, driving down the cost of prescription drugs. a very serious step to rebuild our country that will create 50 million good paying jobs.
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the american people want tuse deliver on the promises we made and infrastraukture is a reality. our roads, bridges, ports, schools. and democrats using to make a plan to respond in a serious way. >> you, cicilline and hakim jeffries, and whoever pickeddia guys, you're great. thank you so much. coming up former california governor arnold schwarzenegger joined me to talk about partisan gerrymandering and high has other strong comments about what this country needs for the future, including what we need in a democratic candidate. demo. ♪ with venus, you're in charge of how your skin feels. so, when the world expects you to follow the rules,
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welcome back to "hardball." a political battle. u.s. supreme court had argumented today over political gerrymandering, namely who gets to draw the boundaries of congressional districts. republicans boasted about creating as many districts as possible that would favor republicans. the consequence according to the associated press, republican candidates receive 51% of the two-party vote compared to democrats 49% state wide. yet republicans want a 9-3 seat advantage in the house. one, a republican seat remains undecided. so it's really 10-3. even though the votes are even steven. and then there's maryland. republican voters challenge the redrawing of maryland's sixth congressional district which allows them to take over seats
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in the u.s. house that he held for over two decades. he had been elected by a marge. he lost by 21%. the democratic governor said it was to create a district where the people would be more likely to elect a democrat, than a republican. a very strong advocate is former california governor arnold schwarzenegger. it. bllds blld spay for what i need. oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no... only pay for what you need. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ this and even this.hark, i deep clean messes like this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair, while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself.
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welcome back to "hardball." arnold schwarzenegger has emerged as a strong advocate for ending partisan gerrymandering. he spoke along side eric holder on the day the supreme court heard arguments about gerrymandering and this afternoon i sat down with the governor to discuss that and other topics. governor, i heard you talk about how gerrymandering is a scandal and you're going to terminate it. >> that's right. i'm going to say hasta la vista, baby. when i was governor, i saw first hand of how gerrymandering is ruining the whole system.
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they protect their seats. they elect and nick voters, rather than the voters picking them and all those kinds of things. the problem is they don't have to get anything done because you can't get them out there. congress has below 20% approval rating. this is crazy. the system is wrong and i think what raungled regan said in the '80s is it's antidemocratic and antiamerican and that's what it is. it's a scandal. >> you shift it? >> you create. among the politicians here in washington to work together.
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and to the left, the republicans in order to win in that district because they're so now you can't get together to go in there or come up to some -- and they get kicked out of the district. that's the way the system works. that's why we in california have fixed that. and we have created an independent commission. and that doesn't look at politics. drawing the lines in the same way and since then we've seen great changes. the aprauproval rating from 20% 50%. and then much more work together. it's not perfect. the democrats will always be democrats and the republicans will always be republicans.
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but work together and solve the problems. >> they intervened in florida because they said equal protection. why don't they get involved in this? your hopes they're going to stop this inequality? >> the reason i'm here in washington is because i want to hear the supreme court's arguments and the different debates about the maryland case and the north carolina case. those are two extreme cases. one, the democrats get the favor and one, the republicans. and in maryland it's one of those crazy things where the republicans getting 35% of the vote but only 12.5% of representation. and in north carolina, the democrats have 47% of the votes but only get 23% of the representation. this is absolutely crazy. this is the cases the supreme court is sharing.
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and they're supposed to have a dilemma on their hands as always, which is should the court really get involved in something politicians were meant to work out? and read in between the lines of what they're struggling with. if we get involved, then dont all the cases end up at the court and the judges, rather than politicians. so it's a fair argument. but i think it's a way smart enough to help the situation and really get involved and solve this problem once and for all. the opposition that the politician will self heal. 200 years we've had gerrymandering. >> it worked unpennsylvania. it used to be 13-5 republican, even though the state was pretty even and now it's 9-9. it's pretty fair. mccain.
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john mccain has been villinized by this president. >> to me it makes no difference what anybody says about mccain. i get angry about it no matter who it is because mccain was a very dear friend of mine. he was a big supporter of mine when i ran for governor and especially when i was fighting for environmental issues, which he was one of those great republicans who thought there is global warming and we should fight it. he was a great war hero. he was a great senator. he was fantastic in every way. so anyone that attacks him, i will fire back and i will not let that go. mccain was you know, just a national treasure. >> you think you were too much alone in that? not too many people stood up to john mccain in the republican party.
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>> being an austrian i say i want tabe a body building champion. i was alone there, right? >> the long-term impact on oyour party in the country of donald trump? >> i don't look at it that way because i'm so focussed on -- i think all evils are created because of gerrymandering. the reason why i was voted in as an outsider because of the look of an outsider. they did not think about gerrymandering then. the reason why donald trump is because they look for an outsider. this is the status quo and all those people, the people searching for an answer. but the fact of the matter is what you really have to solve, have to tackle is the gerrymandering. that's where the evil starts and
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where it ends. >> well, you're stucking to the topic. is there any democrat you see running for president you can imagine voting for in 2020? >> it too early to tell, really. it'sall was good to come out of the gaut and be enthusiastic. but with our elections, it's more sustaining power. because unlike europe that has six-week election period. it's two years. how can you sustain this? how can you be fresh to the audience all the time? how do you raise the money? how do you communicate well? how do you stay on top all of the issues going on right now? and i think the democrats have as good a shot as ever because people look at different ideas. if they can articulate what the future is, they're going to talk
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about changing the voting age. they talk about the electoral college, ticket not going to do it. people say wait a minute. whining because we lost the election. no, show leadership. this is what i would do with climate change, job creating. this is what i would do to get rid of the national debt. this is what i would do with comprehensive immigration reform and paint a picture for the people to get excited over. there's so many things still that can change, as you could see the last day in the week it has changed all now. with them coming out and saying trump did not collude with the russians. that changed a lot of the dynamic of what's going to happen in 2020. who is the one that is the most enthusiastic and paints the best
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let me say quite simply i admire very much what we just heard from governor schwarzenegger about gerrymandering. it is a scandal.
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and they should pick the politicians, not the other way around. they shouldn't be out there picking the popular content so they don't get defeated. people shouldn't be robbed of their representation by political slight of hand. as the "washington post" warns every day, democracy dies in darkness. and that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> i tend to think it's like your brother summarizing your report card. >> as the president begins a new attack on medicaid, cover frj preexisting conditions and the health insurance for millions. >> the republican party will soon be known as the party of health care. >> president trump's stunning assault with 2020 candidates

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